Routes and Photos



30 May 
Quarterfield E.S. 
B&A Marley Station

31 May 
Prospect Bay Md

21 June 
Annapolis, MD

28 June
Piney Orchard

4 July
Cambridge, Md

18 July
Quiet Waters

19 July
Upper Marlboro

8 Aug
Truman Pkwy

29 Aug
Crumpton, Md

The NEW YORK TIMES (of all places) had an interesting article on us 'more mature' ultrarunners - which ALL of you will be soon enough.  

On March 1, the day after his 80th birthday, Bill Dodson of Mountain View, Calif., tested his limits.

On a frigid day in Caumsett State Park on Long Island - competing in a 50-kilometer (31-mile) race that was also serving as the USA Track & Field National 50K Championship - Mr. Dodson made a dogged effort to set a record for the 80- to 85-year-old age group. Judging from some of his previous performances, the existing record - 5 hours, 54 minutes, 59 seconds - seemed well within his grasp. But as the wintry day wore on, flakes began descending, and by the time Mr. Dodson was on his final 5K loop, it was snowing heavily. He struggled on, slipping and falling twice on the slick pavement. Both times, he arose and continued to shuffle along.

"I pushed myself to the absolute limits," he said afterward.

Indeed: With the finish line in sight, he fell again. And this time, crawled across the finish line.

He missed the record by eight seconds.

That day, Mr. Dodson, a retired computer programmer and grandfather of six, was exposed to the elements more than twice as long as the overall winner of the 50K, a man young enough to be one of those grandchildren, 23-year-old Zachary Ornelas of Ann Arbor, Mich., who covered the distance in 2 hours, 52 minutes.


So was Mr. Dodson's all-out effort admirable or foolhardy? An example of determination at its best, or a case of an older adult stubbornly putting himself in danger?

Probably the former and not the latter, says a longtime researcher of ultradistance runners. "It seems to me like he's just driven towards a goal," said Dr. Martin D. Hoffman, a professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation at the University of California at Davis and principal investigator in a continuing study of such runners.

That study, involving 1,212 subjects, has yielded three published papers since it began in 2011. Among the findings is something that would surprise even typical weekend distance runners - many of whom regard the ultrarunners as a bit of a lunatic fringe: "The injury incidence in the ultrarunners wasn't higher than what had been reported in other studies of runners in shorter distances," Dr. Hoffman said. Another finding was that runners who were younger and less experienced in ultramarathons - generally, races longer than the standard 26.2-mile marathon - appeared to be most at risk of injury.

Theories abound as to why: Ultrarunners, especially older ones, tend to run long, but not very fast. They know how to pace themselves. They are experienced and can marshal their resources appropriately for the big day as opposed to grinding out the miles in training day after day. And, since ultras are often held on trails, the pounding the runners' joints endure could be less severe than it would be in a big-city marathon on unforgiving pavement.


According to Bryon Powell of Moab, Utah, who keeps statistics on ultrarunners on his website, about 20 percent of all ultradistance race finishers in the United States last year were 50 and over. (Although far fewer in number than marathoners, runners who have finished an ultramarathon have risen an estimated 50 percent in the last five years, to about 25,000 to 30,000 in 2014.) In certain areas, including California and New York, the percentage of ultrarunners over 50 may even be higher.

"Ultrarunners are typically older than your average runner, no question about it," says Mike Polansky, president of the Greater Long Island Running Club, the organizer of the 50K in which Mr. Dodson competed in March.

"It takes people who are a little bit crazy," he adds.

Maybe so, but among the attributes that have enabled these runners, mostly men, to go the distance are some often attributed to older people: patience, caution and a reliance on well-established patterns.

"Ultrarunners stay in their comfort zone," says Dr. Dorothy F. Scarpinato, an orthopedic surgeon who treats many runners in her practice in Melville, N.Y. "They have the same routine."

Based on what she sees, the older ultramarathoners do not seem to suffer injury to any greater degree than those running shorter distances, an observation that squares with Dr. Hoffman's study. For example, Dr. Scarpinato notes, the incidence of stress fractures - a common injury in runners, because of the repetitive trauma of running, especially on pavement - is low among her older ultrarunning patients.

"If I see one stress fracture a year among the ultrarunners, that's a lot," she says.

At the same time, while they may be consistent in their habits, aging ultrarunners are exploring new boundaries for physical activity that previous older generations would never have imagined, much less tried.

"We're all pushing the envelope," Dr. Hoffman says. "Those of us who exercise regularly are expecting more, expecting different outcomes from what we saw with prior generations. No reason we shouldn't."

This is not to say that every retiree with the time should go out next weekend and start training for a 50K. "They should understand the commitment needed to run these distances," Dr. Scarpinato said. "Certain people, their body types might not allow them to do this."

But if not this, then something: As study after study has shown, regular physical activity - not necessarily running 30 miles once or twice a year, but walking for 30 minutes four or five times a week - has many health benefits for older adults.

"Aging is a use-it-or-lose-it proposition," says Dr. William Roberts, a professor of family medicine at the University of Minnesota Medical School, and the medical director for the Twin Cities Marathon. "Continued exercise throughout a lifetime will reduce the rate of loss of strength and endurance, likely improve quality of life and help maintain balance, which reduces falls."

As for ultrarunning, Dr. Roberts adds, referring to Mr. Dodson's superlong-distance races, "most 80-year-olds can't do that, but if you can't, you ought to be doing whatever you can."

Mr. Dodson, who at 5 feet 9 inches tall and 145 pounds was blessed with a physique suited to a runner, has competed for years without problems. His one major injury, a herniated disc at 70, came from pulling at an awkward angle on a particularly stubborn weed in his backyard.


Just because older runners run more slowly and exhibit more caution and consistency in their training and racing habits, it doesn't mean they are any less driven. On April 11, Mr. Dodson was back in the hunt for another ultra-record, this time at the National 100K Championship (just over 62 miles) in Madison, Wis. For 15 hours on a sunny, 60-degree day, he circled a 10K (6.2-mile) loop around Lake Wingra and the University of Wisconsin Arboretum. He finished in 15 hours, 5 minutes and 47 seconds, beating the national record for 80- to 85-year-olds by more than two and a half hours.

Mr. Dodson called it the high point of his 30-year running career. And, he added, recalling his long, cold day at Caumsett State Park six weeks earlier, "it was great to finish standing up."


  Fatigue is voluntary.


  You are an 'experiment of one' 



Tom Nelson has constructed a site to show our routes and water stop locations for the long run coming up each week.  You can indicate your intention to run and see who else is planning on showing up - one more incentive for getting there. Check back to the following website later in the week for the latest info on water support:



NOTE:  Steve has added a rotating photo feature to the web page. I have sent him some photos but if you have any you like, send them to Steve at:  Take a look.

bluepoint cat

SPRING/SUMMER Moore's Marines Long Distance Training
Kent Island Running CLUB
Peninsula Pacers Running CLUB
Anne Arundel County STRIDERS

 Week #178, 23 May 2015


30 Years of MOORE'S MARINES 

  "Aging is a use-it-or-lose-it proposition,"




Note: If you have an article, link, tip, race accomplishment or milestone to pass on to the group, please let me know. Use Annapolis Trail Runners Facebook Group to share tips and questions directly with everyone in the group.



 We have 8 months of Port-A-Pot covered.

THANKS - Barbara Hamilton for donating to the Port-A-Pot 
THANKS!!   METAvivor Adventure Race was a big success - great conditions, great competitors, and great volunteers!  Early calculations look like we will be able to donate over $1000 to METAvivor for research and support!
  Remember; ALL volunteers will receive a FREE entry to one ROSARYVILLE TRAIL RUNS or BEN MOORE MEMORIAL HM & 10K. 

NOTE:  We are into our second week for Tuesday Track workouts.  Last Tuesday we did 10 hill repeats on PAPA BEAR - Ugh! This week -  at 6:30pm - at AHS track will be 4 x 800's' - see THIS WEEKS WORKOUT below.  I will be out of town this week but I WILL hear how it went and WHO was there - I have lot's of  'little birdies' hovering about.




REMINDER that registration is open for
ROSARYVILLE TRAIL RUNS (10k, 10M, 25K, 50k), and







    Tom Nelson has diligently collected GPS maps of the many routes we use from Truman.  Here is a link to his excellent Runningahead routes:  Click here for:  





Those Extra Holes On The Top Of Running Shoes? Turns Out We've Been Using Them Wrong All These Years
Those Extra Holes On The Top Of Running Shoes? Turns Out We've Been Using Them Wrong All These YearsMost of us know that the top holes in running shoes are used for additional ankle support. But it's very likely that you've been using them all wrong.

As the video below from Illumiseen shows, the proper way to use the top holes is to reverse loop the laces through. The next step involves making "bunny ears" with the loop, followed by threading the lace through each side.

Not only does this method give better ankle support, but it makes the heel fit more snugly against the shoe, preventing the painful toe-cramping that comes from your feet sliding forward in your shoes while running.







Based on reader feedback, there seems to be substantial interest in how to mix walking into training and racing, as well as how to become a more efficient, faster walker. As with running, practice and proper form are keys to improvement. Even the fastest ultrarunners will walk a little during races, particularly at longer events.

Benefits of walking The walking motion uses different muscle sets than running, which gives running muscles a relative rest. Hips and calf muscles are more engaged during walking and there is less strain on the quadriceps, gluteals, and knee tendons. You land more on your heels when you walk, changing foot stress points and potentially leading to lower incidence of blisters. Unless you are going up a steep hill, your heart rate and breathing will slow as you walk and you get some physiological recovery. In general, you use about ten - 50 percent as much oxygen walking as running. Eating and drinking are easier and your fuel will settle better in your stomach. Taking a five- to ten-minute walk break lowers your core temperature since you are generating much less heat while walking. If you mix in several walking breaks during long training runs, you may find you can complete longer runs; you might also find that your running pace is faster near the end of the long run. Enhanced blood circulation during walking helps flush waste products (hormones, lactate, and CO2) out of working muscles for better processing.

Walking mechanics and recovery Much research has been conducted in recent years on the mechanics and energetic cost of walking. About half of the energy used in walking goes into forward propulsion. The remainder goes into either heat generation or vertical force generation. In running, about one-third of energy used is applied to forward propulsion and more goes to vertical force generation. The medial gastrocnemius (a calf muscle) provides a majority of the forward impulse in walking, with the soleus (another calf muscle) having a supporting role when propulsive demands are higher. For example, when walking at 2.9 miles/ hour up a 15-percent grade, the soleus is recruited for propulsion and this type of walking has a 63-percent higher energetic cost than walking on flat ground. Both heartbeat and respiration rates return to near resting rates quickly in athletes. For example, following maximal exercise (heart rate in lower 180s), on a treadmill by female longdistance runners, heart rate decreased an average of 43 percent following two minutes of rest. After an additional three minutes of rest, heart rate only dropped another nine percent.

Walk training To improve your speed and strength as a walker, aim to practice walking two to three times a week during your runs. Two run/walk workouts per week should be enough practice for 50-km - 50-mile preparation. Adding a third walking-only (or mostly walking) session of about 45 minutes would benefit many runners going into a 100-mile or 24-hour race, where they might walk from several up to a couple of dozen miles during the race. Try some sessions with short walk breaks between running segments. Complete other workouts with longer, four- to eight-minute walks and run segments of 15 - 25 minutes to find which you like best. Some athletes struggle with the walk-run transition and prefer the longer walk breaks.

Your walking pace should be 14 - 17 minutes/ mile on flat or rolling terrain and 19 - 21 minutes/ mile on hills. Focus on keeping a good walking stride with erect posture, use a strong steady arm swing without your hands crossing over the centerline of your body, and push off with your trailing foot at the completion of each stride. It may be tempting to rest your hands on your waist while walking, especially uphill, but you will be more engaged and make better forward progress with a good arm swing. Don't lean forward substantially from the waist when walking uphill, so as to not impair your breathing. Shorten your stride and use a faster stride cadence when walking uphill.

For the first few practice sessions, focus on keeping a steady effort and pace during each walk break. Ease back into full running pace over the first minute or two after each break. After a few weeks, increase the pace of some of your walking breaks to develop your "fast stride". By conducting the pace workout once a week for a few weeks in a row, you can note your progress in walking faster without an appreciable increase in heart or breathing rates.

Sample run/walk plans Two plans for walk breaks are given in the table below. Note that with each plan you will be walking about the same amount each hour. Not all your walk breaks have to be the same duration. Aim to match the durations to the terrain, so that you are walking all or most steep uphills and running all downhills. Some walk breaks can be taken after an aid station stop, where you will walk while eating and drinking.

Short breaks should be long enough to reduce your breathing rate by 25 percent or more and your heart rate by 20 beats/minute by the end of the break. Long breaks should allow your heart and breathing rates to drop further (an additional ten percent) with a substantial drop in body temperature.

The short break plan works well for cold to cool weather races so you avoid becoming chilled. The longer break plan is ideal for hotter races to give you a couple of chances an hour to cool down while maintaining decent forward progress. For very long ultras (100 miles, 24 hours, or longer), you can shorten the running segments to 15 minutes and take four- to six-minute walk breaks to enable adequate fluid and food intake.

The proportion of time spent walking in the modified long-break plan is a little higher (near 15 minutes per hour). You may want to switch to a shorter walk break later in the race since it can be more difficult to run well for 15 minutes at a time when you are sore and tired.






This Weeks WORKOUTS 


 Tuesdays/Wednesday AHS Track is back on 'track'.


-   START 6:30pm   

 Keep it simple.  4x 800's . Be sure to work hard to stay consistent and steady. Always do 1 Mile EASY Cool Down. Steady - Steady - Steady - Relax


 Give me some feedback on how it goes.

 Remember, it is about gradual progression that will make you faster WITHOUT getting injured.  If you walk off the track or step off the treadmill feeling like you could have done more - you did just the right amount.  Patience is the hardest lesson runners learn.


During the Warm up do some Knee lifts on one curve and Butt-kicks on the other curve, and jog the straight-aways. THIS is IMPORTANT. 


Saturday Run 

***START AT 7:00am 



The Marathon Training Plan gets underway this weekend with a 10 Mile run.  For you veterans, use this as a test of your fitness. Record time, distance, HR, how you felt, humidity, temp for comparison later.


Always Keep thinking - "easy, relaxed, smooth stride and breathing". THINK RUN TALL.  Keep  taking "mental notes" on where you need nutrition, salt tabs, etc.  



   Sunday Trail Run- 8:00am - 5 Mile loop; starting from the AHS football parking lot. This has been less formal do it is best to check.    - Join our Facebook Group "Annapolis Trail Runners" and get details and share tips and questions directly with other members of the Group. 


Hope to see you at the track.     






Our Registration Process - Decoded! 


If we have managed to confuse you with our registration process - we are sorry!  Given the demand of the event, we are using a "block" registration process again this year.  Full details about pricing, registration dates and other details are located on our website.  Upcoming registration events are as follows  

  1. If you signed up for our wait list for online registration, you should have received your first email with instructions on Wednesday of this week. Please make sure you check your spam folder if you don't see the email with instructions and make sure you read the instructions carefully.  WAIT LIST REGISTRATION OPENS SATURDAY @ 8AM
  2. If you did not receive an email this week with early registration instructions, you are not on the wait list.  
  3. If you are not on the Wait List, General Registration opens at 12pm EST. To register on Saturday, CLICK HERE

Registration is expected to sell out quickly so set a reminder to register as soon as your category opens!  



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 Stay Healthy;   


   c: 410-570-0003