Thursday, December 19, 2013

Desert Solstice: AR and WR!!!

Mile three of 100…”I’m actually here. I’m at the Desert Solstice taking a swing at the North American 100 mile record.” I remember this thought passing through my mind during the early stages of the race. Everything seemed somewhat surreal after my shaky start to 2013: a last-minute race change to the Ice Age 50 Mile in the spring left me just outside of qualifying for Western States 100, and my summer ended with a DQ at mile 93 of the Burning River 100 after missing an aid station. This all left me wondering where I should go with the remainder of 2013. I knew I would be returning to the Tussey Mountainback 50 Mile, but I had completely intended on calling it a year if Tussey went badly. Fortunately, a second place finish at Tussey left me feeling confident, and a quick recovery left me wanting more. A last-minute sign-up for the Chicago Lakefront 50 Mile put me on the start line of the pancake flat, four-out-and-back-style, paved course less than two weeks later. Exceeding my own expectations with a 5 hr, 12 min, 36 sec performance at the Lakefront 50 Mile rekindled my early 2013 aspirations of a 100 mile track race in Phoenix. Still not entirely sure if this was a wise move, I hesitated for a week. Ironically, Nick Coury of Aravaipa Running contacted me, offering me a spot at the Desert Solstice Track Meet. This was enough convincing for me.

Race Fuel

  • Vespa Ultra Concentrate (1)
  • Vespa Junior (1)
  • Cup of coffee
  • ½ can of coconut milk
  • 2 Tbsp of almond butter
  • NOW Foods: Fruit and Greens PhytoFoods Powder and Spirulina Powder
  • Xendurance: 4 capsules

  • Vespa Ultra Concentrate (4)
  • Vespa Junior (4)
  • Banana chips
  • Potato chips
  • Mountain Dew
  • Gatorade
  • M&M’s

Race Gear:
  • Drymax Trail Running mini crew socks
  • Skora Base
  • Fuelbelt Slice and Sprint
  • Julbo Pipeline with Dust lenses
  • X-1 ipod shuffle headset

Additional Media Coverage

Talk Ultra Interview: Podcast, itunes

Paleo Runner Interview: Podcast, itunes

Race Photos

Courtesy of Michael Miller Photography and Aravaipa Running


  1. so fantastic! great job... very inspiring!

    1. Thanks for the kind words Nikki! It was certainly an exciting day.

  2. AWESOME report of the race, Zach!!!!! I read it while I listened to your podcast

    1. Thanks Beth! Ahh the joys of multi-tasking :)

  3. Zach you are truly an inspiration and an incredible athlete; making Wisconsin proud!!! I think the haircut reduced your wind resistance. You are incredible. Thank you for sharing your experience.

    1. Thanks for the kind message! Speed cut :)