Saturday, November 29, 2008

Magical Orcas Island!

Orcas Island, a geographic gem, located in the heart of the San Juan Islands North of Seattle in Puget Sound. This is one of those rare places in the world when it rains, it warms the soul and just feels right and actually feels like “great weather”! We have had a lot of “great weather” over this Thanksgiving. Our first Thanksgiving Holiday in America in 8 years and we are celebrating with our Orcas Island Gaylords, Randy, Marny, Colin, and Genna, Our Seattle Gaylords, Peter, Lauren, Weston, and Caitlin, along with Laura and Courtney. Kim, Laura, and Topher flew up in a Cessna 172 from Seattle to Eastsound and after a short 45minute flight with great scenic views we arrived onto the Island and the rhythm of Island life.

The weekend has been filled with fantastic memories, amazing Orcas Island home cooked family meals, Dessert parties, daily trail runs, hikes, and shared experiences of adventures around the world.

Randy led us through some amazing runs on the Island, Cascade Lake, Mountain Lake, Twin lakes, Mt. Constitution, Rosario, Mt. Pickett, and some of the oldest forests on the Island along with streams, waterfalls, and rivers. The colors in the park are out of this world, vivid greens, lush ferns, mossy trails, soft earth, big trees, and loads of single track trails, hills and hidden forest views. If you haven’t been to Orcas, find a way to come explore this wonderful Island. If you have been here, come visit again, it will warm your heart and sooth the soul.

Peter is flying us off the Island tomorrow on his “Beachcraft Bonanza” for a special “Gaylord Airlines” chartered flight. Should be a great way to cap off a perfect weekend!

Wishing all our family and friends around the world a warm start to the Holiday Season!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Pt Mugu 50km - Topher 3rd & Kim 1st in the 30km

We have been hitting the running trails hard since we have moved to Santa Monica. This weekend we drove 45 minutes north up the coast past Mailbu to the Pt Mugu State Park for a trail race. Topher ran the 50km race and I ran the 30km race. It was a beautiful course with some good ups and downs while we enjoyed amazing coastal and ocean views along the way.

After just winning the trail marathon on Catalina the weekend before Topher ran a good race to finish 3rd overall in 4:29. His run had about 5,500 feet of climbing so not a flat run at all.

My 30km race had about 3,400 feet of up and down. I was happy to run it in 2:52 to break the women's course record and finish 4th overall. Wow..I am becoming quite the runner. All I know is trying to keep up with Topher so i guess that helps.

We are off to Orcas Island for Thanksgiving with family and some final training on Mt Constitution before The North Face Endurance Challenge run in San Francisco. Topher will be running the 50 miler an i will do the 50km.

Happy Thanksgiving,
Kim and Topher

Oh today is a little chilly here in Santa Monica....maybe in the 60's...i had to put on a fleece. I also heard there is rain in the forecast. We need it.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Catalina Epic! Topher Wins, Kim 5th woman!

An epic tour of Catalina Island with perfect sunshine and 100degree F temps, and 3600 ft of climbing proved a challenging combo. Competition was fierce at the head of the course with our friend Nicolas Mermoud, from Chamonix France, and Topher running from the front all day. A German runner living in Rodondo Beach was lurking all day just off the pace of the front duo and finished 3rd.

The event was hosted by our dear friend, Dean Karnazes and the event had a special screening of his movie running 50/50/50, the first time we had seen the movie and it provided massive inspiration for the race today for all!

Headed out to the beach to relax and soak in the nice Indian Summer and a nice Dinner tonight with the entire Karno Family.

Best from the California Gaylords!

Kim and Topher

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Monday, October 27, 2008

Indian Summer!

After 8 years living in Europe, we had forgotten the joys of Indian Summer in California. Since we have arrived, every day has been perfect weather with lots of sunshine and great temperatures at the beach. We have explored the trails of the Santa Monica Mountains. The warm off-shore Santa Ana winds have been blowing, creating some truly amazing days, some fires, tremendous sunsets, and one very scary encounter with a big rattle snake!

We are finding adventure in every aspect of living as we "repatriate" into American culture. We find curiosity in the basic tasks of shopping for food and enjoy the tremendous variety available to consumers, the 24/7 rhythm of life, entertainment, sports, building new friendships, establishing new business contacts & networks, and all the different "characters" that make America a diverse and stimulating society.

We have a great Fall/Winter race schedule and are looking forward to running the Catalina Eco-Marathon next weekend on Catalina Island off the coast of Southern California. Our friend Dean Karnazes is hosting the Marathon and the event will be screening his movie of running 50 marathons in 50 US states in 50 days. We are looking forward to enjoying the weekend with the entire Karno Family. Come join us next weekend and catch the energy of this super event!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Life Changes!

Sometimes the best way to expand the mind, learn, stay flexible, adaptable, keep a youthful spirit, and grow is to turn your life upside down and reinvent yourself. Well, we are taking this concept to its fullest. If you are not already aware, after 8 wonderful years living in Europe and Italy, we have returned to California and the "new world". A new opportunity for Topher professionally and a new opportunity for both of us personally. We have relocated to Santa Monica, California and we are temporarily living on the beach with fantastic Pacific Ocean views, great urban culture, superb running and outdoor active lifestyle surroundings. New adventures await in this progressive West Coast environment.

Look for news updates to follow!

Friday, August 29, 2008

UTMB Live info and Anti Doping

Here are the steps to follow the live website:

click LIVE

click Fiche Courere

click Dossar - and put 24 (this is tophers number) and will give you his progress. Look at the profile on the top to see where he is.

ALSO to see head of the race:

click LIVE

Click Tete de Course and then highlight Tour Du Mt Balnc - this will list the top 10 runners
We hope for that towards the end and ideally not at the beginning. Better to start slow and finish strong.

I will send updates along the way on the blog so check back.

Toph is resting now after a press conference with 100 members of press from all over the world. This event is huge in all aspects! Just like the tour de France!

Oh and Topher was chosen for anti doping control so they took a blood sample yesterday. 20 top runners were chosen to be tested. No problems (as far as we know). Some even had to do a hair and urine samples but Topher just did blood. Wild huh! Scott Jurek and Nikki Kimball were also tested (fellow Americans running the race).

4 hours until the start,

The Morning of the Big Race!

A team breakfast against the amazing views of the Mt Blanc. Simone Moro and his wife Barbara will be helping with Topher's support. Also family will be supporting along the way.

Laura, Colin and Lisa are headed out to do the first 8kms of the race course. Laura also did the last hill of the race the beginning of the week so she is really getting a taste of the course.

Beautiful day here!


Thursday, August 28, 2008

UTMB starts Friday 6:30pm in Chamonix - GO Topher!

The Ultra Trail Tour du Mt Blanc run starts friday 6:30pm local time from the center of chamonix. This year the race is 165kms (104 miles) with 9400 meters (30,OOO feet) of up and down. It is the 6th edition and the hardest course yet. The race starts in france and goes to italy, to switzerland then back into france following around the Mt Blanc (the highest mtn in europe) There are 2,500 runners and it is the best and most competitive field of racers ever! There are 50 nations represented. The front of the race will be full of excitement for the men and women. The weather looks great so that is good for everyone - the runners, the organisation and the supports.

I will post updates as I see topher along the way and tell stories of the race at:

Also follow along on the race website for the LIVE instant timing updates at:

Click LIVE
Then click for timing updates for UTMB 165km race

Topher is number 24

The energy and atmosphere here is like nothing we have ever seen. This really is the biggest utra race in the world. It is fun to be a part of the excitement. Topher should have a good run. He is in super mountain running shape and is capable of a great finish. Just hope it is a good day for him and can keep the energy all the way.

We have some family here to help and enjoy this great event. Laura, Colin and Lisa will be out on the course just soaking in the crowds, music and festivities all night and day. So fun adventures for all.

Send strong thoughts to topher as he charges up and down the big hills of this difficult race!


From chamonix,

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Monday, July 14, 2008

Gran Trail Valdigne - 87km with 17,000 feet of up/down and rain

Top 3 finishers - Flavio (2nd), Massimo (1st), Topher (3rd)

Wow! What can i say.....this was an epic adventure for sure. "Team Gaylord" had great success with Topher having a great race to finish 3rd in a very strong field of runners and Kim to finish 2nd only 10 minutes behind the 1st women. But most importantly no injuries - Kim has some sore muscles but will work thru it by recovering with pasta, fresh salads and vino.
Let me just list some stats of the run...they are impressive:
Length - 87km = 54mile
Up and down - 5,200 meters = 17,000 feet (a lot...just ask my quads how that felt)
Starters - 425
Finishers - 256 (only 20 women)
Time Limit to complete the race - 25 hours
Weather - rain, warm, cold, thunderstorms, ridge top winds, more rain
Trail conditions - steep, muddy, rocky, technical, wet, slippery
GU energy gel count - Topher ate 12 and I ate 11 (all chocolate...our favorite)
Blisters - 1 on my hand from gripping and pushing on my poles and 1 on my toe
Toe nails lost - only Kim's big toe
Atmosphere - Fantastic
Fun factor - High - We love the beauty of the mountains and the challenge of the trail.
It was the toughest trail race of this distance that we have ever done and most of the competitors would agree. Dura! Hard! That is what everyone was saying while shaking there head like they could not believe what we just completed.....then a smile. We are all crazy but love it!
1) Tagliaferri Massimo (10.19.26)
2) Gadin Flavio (10.29.08)
3) Gaylord Topher (10.41.52)

1) Oliveri Virginia (13.11.08)
2) Gaylord Kim (13.20.28) (25th overall)
3) Balsamo Luisa (14.58.16)

What's next?
Well, Topher is back hard at work and I am getting us regrouped and organized at home after all of the travel. Then the end of July we do our annual 3 day training around the Mt Blanc trail to prepare for the UTMB race the end of August. It is always a fun 3 days out on the trail with friends.
Thanks again for all the support and notes from family and friends.
Enjoying the runners high while eating lots!
Kim and Topher

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Kim takes 2nd!

Kim endured "the most brutal race of my life" finish 2nd place just a mere 10 minutes behind 1st place. She finished with tears in her eyes and a big smile. Some short term damage to assess: blisters to the feet and a big toe nail that will be coming off very soon, but no major issues, so "Team Gaylord" is happy!

Full race report to follow.

Thanks to all for your encouragement!

Topher & Kim

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Toph takes 3rd!

In one of the most epic trail races in the world (86km) 54miles, Toph endured brutal conditions including lightning, hail, thunder, hot sun, and the gnarliest trail conditions he could remember. The trail transformed from a technical combination of roots, dirt, rocks, to a river of mud, rocks, and slime. No injuries!

Kim is fighting hard to make it a "Team Gaylord" podium and is currently in 2nd place about 15 min off the lead. She should be finishing shortly. Yes, she is enduring all the exact same conditions! Right on Kimmy, go!


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Friday, July 11, 2008

Gran Trail Valdigne!

We are in Courmayeur, Italy with a neck stretching view of the south face
of Mt. Blanc. We will be running the Gran Trail Valdigne race today, a calf
and quad busting 86km (54mile) mountain race with over 16,000ft of uphill
and 16,000 ft of downhill.

We had a somewhat sleepless night of downpouring rain, lightning, and big
thunder. The trail is sure to pose some really gnarly challenges with tough
conditions today. First challenge is a 4600ft climb up out of Courmayeur, a
climb so steep, you are clawing your way to the top with all "fours"!

Keep tuned for updates!

Topher & Kim

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Cortina at it's best!!

We are so fortunate to have the Dolomite's in our backyard. It is a great escape only 2 hours form our house in Montebelluna and it is so refreshing. The summers can be hot and humid by our house so to escape to the fresh mountain air is reviving.
The trails are great for running and hiking. We plan out really fun loops that pass by mountain huts that we can stop for a pasta or an apple strudle. It is so nice and all you need are a few euros in your pocket and not a big heavy pack. Love that!
The wild flowers are spectacular right now. As a tradition we always take some photos of the flowers. So i have attached a few for you to see.

Best from Cortina - the Queen of the Dolomites,

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Topher Survives the Cro-Magnon and takes 6th overall!

Race & Monte Carlo Photos

An epic day of adventure for Kim and Topher as we traversed the Mercantour Mtns from North to South finishing on the beaches of Monte Carlo!

The day started out brutal, 3degrees (C) and 4 inches of fresh snow overnight lined all the course above 1800mtrs (about 20 miles worth of snow on the course).

Topher along with about 400 other runners took the start with one of the most competitive fields in the event's history. 100km of pure mountain joy/torture lay ahead. The race started at 6:30am and went straight up Limone ski area. Toph and the lead runners all took off running the switchbacks up the mountain (the official course). About half way up the first climb, it all broke loose and it was an chinese uphill (anything goes and everyone finding every possible short cut they can to get to the top first). In what is clearly a European norm, finding the shortest line between check points seems to be accepted, so Topher along with all the other runners started forging straight up and down the race course where they could. (We don't like this style, but if you don't adapt you end up running a longer race!).

Topher was running in the lead with Dawa Sherpa for the first 20km, when they entered a section of woods and another chinese downhill and poor trail markings found Topher totally lost and running in the wrong direction. He eventually popped out and found his way back onto the course having run an additional 2-3km. Very frustrating!

35km into the race found Toph make yet another wrong turn due to missing trail markings. He ended up running an additional 5km this time loosing another 20-25minutes. When he reconnected to the course, he was in 25-30th position. So he spent most of the day trying in Vain to bridge back to the leading pack.

The run was epic, running across mtns upto 2500mtrs (8000ft) snow covered and literally scrambling up and down the peaks and contouring the mtns on goat tracks. An extremely technical and tedious course. The highlight was a 7000ft descent off the peak into the 70km aid station. Toph's Quads and knees were ready for the uphill that followed.

Kim spent all day traversing the mtns in proud support finding Toph in the most remote sections of the course. She was "4-wheelin'" her way through mud bogs, snow fields, and dirt roads.

Toph clawed his way back throughout the day to finish 6th place in 10hrs 24min. Had he recovered that 30minutes he had getting lost he perhaps could have taken 2nd. A great day for all, super competition, a gnarly course, the nicest race director, Pietro who hosted us at the event, and a cool city to end in! Monte Carlo!

Best to all around the world. Thanks for following our adventures, we love sharing them with all of you. And thank you for your comments, emails, text messages of encouragement!

Kim & Topher

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Thursday, June 12, 2008

The Cromagnon is ON!!!

The race will start with a few modifications along the way to deal with the snow at high elevations.
It should be quiet the challenge with the snow, mud and water for the runners. Not like it is easy with 18,000 feet of up and 21,000 feet of down. Yikes in 100km. Only the strong and brave will finish this race.

There are many good european runners starting. My pick to win is Marco Olmo. He has won here before and is strong- even at 60 years old! But Dawa Sherpa will not make it an easy win for him. Not sure who is in better form for the big mountains. We will see.

Topher for sure has the leg speed but we will see how he is on the big hills. The goal is a good solid run with no injuries and to enjoy a new place. It will be perfect training for the UTMB (mt blanc race) the end of august.

So follow here LIVE. The race starts at 6am Saturday in Italy then finishes on the beach in Monte Carlo. Ahhhhh!

Should be another fun adventure!

Go Topher!

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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Cro-Magnon up in the air!

We are off to Limone (Piemonte) Italy to run a 104km race across the mountains to Monte Carlo this weekend. This race is the first of 3 mega mountain ultramarathon races we (toph will run this one and Kim will "crew chief it") plan run over the summer. The Cro-Magnon has 17,700 ft (5400m) of climbing and 21,000ft (6400m) of descending, traversing north to south the mountains dividing Italy and France,finishing on the beach in Monte Carlo. The race course has been getting hammered by rain, high winds, fog and snow, so it is still uncertain whether we will be able to take the start for the 2008 edition.

Official news today....

COMMUNIQUE- 8th of JUNE 2008After the reports of yesterdays by two teams of “baliseurs”
The “balisage” (marking) of the Cro-Magnon 2008 track is on and will be achieved by Wednesday the 11th. Snowfields are there but trenches have been opened so that to cross them, although with due care. In the Italian section a change of the track has become necessary for security reasons. You have been informed of it on this site.
An exceptional weather situation has built up and has been resting on the region since many days, particularly on the highest sections of the Cro-Magnon 2008. A thick mass of clouds and fog envelops the mountains above 2000 m, accompanied by almost permanent rainfalls.The extent and the density of the fog is such that in spite of a rather thick “balisage”, reinforced with reflecting ribbons, it is really very difficult, if not impossible to follow the right direction on the CrĂȘtes de Vespei where the footpath is inexistent and where the highest part in above 2400 m. Moreover some precipices border the way.
If the weather situation doesn’t change and the weather forecast remains negative for the next week, the Organisation Committee of the Cro-Magnon reserves itself to take a final decision on Wednesday the 11th of June: Either cancellation or confirmation of the Cro-Magnon 2008, certainly an Extreme Race but there are limits to it whenever the security is concerned, as per Clause 26 of the RULES.
The Neander-Trail is confirmed. The runners shall be very cautious, if the rainfalls go on as at present, in the ascent and descent of the Baudon.
Thank you for your understanding: it is difficult to fight against the weather

Adventure awaits!

Kim & Toph

Wednesday, June 4, 2008


Moscow is a fascinating city with nearly 9Mil people, it is alive 24hrs a day. It is still on the frontier of modernizing its society from its past as a communist state to a free market economy. Aside from some of the most brutal traffic found anywhere in the world, the city is rich in culture and there is tremendous Russian pride among its people.

I have had a fast 36hr work trip into Moscow, arriving at 4am on Tuesday morning, catching 2.5hrs of sleep and off to mtgs all day. I'm not sure if the ultrarunning helps for the sleep deprivation at work or the other way around. Either way, I'm not sleeping many hrs these days I'm my life.....that way I'm sure not to miss anything.

Aside from a full day of mtgs, I was able to see some of Moscow's finest sights: Red Square, GUM, Tsum department store, the world famous Metro with its mosaic art and sculptures, along with great Russian cuisine, horse radish Vodka, and great local beers.

Now it is back to Germany and Austria for more mtgs and I'll join up with Kim for a weekend in Cortina.

All the best from Moscow!

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Sunday, May 25, 2008

Olympian Awards

In true olympic spirit, the awards ceremony blew us away! The sun setting over the rolling hills of Olympia and the Pelopenese were our dramatic backdrop. They ran the ceremony in 3 languages (Greek, French, and English) honouring the endurance and courage of all the runners. They had a podium recognising the top 3 male and female runners with the National Anthem of the 1st place male and female. Toph was given an exact replica head bust of "Alexander the Great" for his victory! It was pretty wild listening to our National Anthem as the sun went down, a perfect end to a special day.

Thanks to all of you for your comments on our blog, emails, voicemails, text messages, and positive vibes from around the world! Another amazing adventure!

Official Results

Kim & Topher

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Saturday, May 24, 2008

Topher 1st - 17:35

Wow he did it. He pushed hard and finished in 17:35 for 180km. (111 miles)
The german finished 15 minutes behind.

More later,

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Friday, May 23, 2008

160km update

Wow this is unreal. Topher has now run 100 miles (just shy) in 15::40 The german is only 15 minutes behind topher and closing the gap. I have no idea who is this guy but he looks great. Topher is very tired now so we will see what happens in the final 20kms. Wow!
The sun is now up so this should help refresh the mind and hope ease the pain.


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127 km update

He has been going 12 hours and has ran 127kms. He is in the lead and on record pace.
Now a german is in 2nd I think 40 minutes behind then the Spaniard in 3rd.
Wow. This is incredible.
Sometimes I wonder if topher will beat me to the check point he is going so fast and we have to drive around on these crazy roads.

I am getting tired just following now. It is 3 in the morning.

Going for a coffee.

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62km update - 7th checkpoint

Topher is going well 62km into the challenge. You know the usual suffering begins soon. The sun should be setting in 1 hour so it will be cool.
He now goes up a big hill and I do not see him for 22kms.
It will get cool fast as he goes up to the highest part of the race.
He is 30 minutes ahead of the Spaniard now but still a long way to go.

Off to 84lkm.


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20'km update-3rd checkpoint

Topher is going strong. 1 hour 30 minutes to 20 km. Pretty fast hopefully not too fast. He is in the lead with a Spanish guy just with him. The Spaniard was 2nd last year in 21:10. He looks very fit I must say.
Now they start up the first hill off road. The next checkpoint is in 13km. So he is on his own for some time now.

All is well,

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Off to the start at Nemaea stadium

We are on our way to the start. It is hot - 26 degrees Celsius which is about 80 degrees farenhiet. There is some wind but it will be for sure hot until the sunsets and get into the mtns.

There are 80 competitors. A few strong guys so it will be tight at the top.

I will send updates as I see topher. I will write the distance in kilometres and you can calculate into miles.

I am with our new friend george who is helping be navigate along the way. He is greek so that will be very helpful with the language and communication.

Should be a fun day.


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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Athens - The cradle of Western Civilization!

We have landed in Athens, Greece! It is the cradle of Western Civilization, the birthplace of democracy, of philosophy, of poetry, of arts and crafts.

The 2004 Olympics have completely "modernized" some of the infrastructure (a brand new airport and roads into the city center) making our arrival process smooth. We were greeted by "George" a local Greek guy working with The North Face in Greece. We all had a great walk through "Plaka", which is the ancient area of the city. Amazing maze of streets with great culture and various ancient ruins sprinkled throughout the neighborhood. The ancient part of the city felt very comfortable considering it is filled with 10 Million people!

George wanted to share the local flavor with us, so we found a great little outside cafe and enjoyed a mixed plate of fresh veggies, meats, hummus, along with a bottle of Ouzo. Just what every ultra runner needs to open the bloodstream prior to a 180km race!

A nice walk around the Acropolis at sunset with "peakaboo" views of the Parthenon, truly remarkable! We strolled back to our hotel and watched the changing of the guards at the Greek Parliment. The Greeks have a nice interpretation of "changing the guard".

We will get an upclose view of the Parthanon tomorrow, get some fresh food for our adventure ahead and find our way to the starting villages in Peloponnese.

Some info on the race that starts at 14:30 local, 05:30 Mtn Standard Time.......

The “AETHLIOS” International Long-Distance Running Association, with the organizing of this 180 km Race, every two years, aspires to bring to world attention the Ancient Games linked to two of the most resplendent Stadia of ancient times:

  • The ancient stadium of Ancient Nemea where, in our time, from 1996, are revived every 4 years the “ NEMEA” Games.

  • The stadium of Olympia, the birthplace of the Olympic Games where, for more than 12 centuries, had been glorified the Olympic Spirit and established the Sacred Truce. Here was lit formally for the first time in 776BC the Olympic Flame, just as in 1896 for the modern Olympic Games.

The layout of the route of the Race was based on knowledge of the most significant archaeological and historical evidence along the whole of its length, the beauty of the Peloponnese and the authenticity and hospitality of the villages which welcome the athletes as they pass through.
The route runs for 100 km along country roads with asphalt and 80 km of dirt tracks. The elevation differences total 3 800 meters.

Kim & Topher

Monday, May 19, 2008

Off to Athens, Greece to run 111 miles

Wednesday we travel to Athens, Greece. Thursday we will gather supplies and hopefully sneak in a few tourist sites before meeting at the hotel for the race check in.

Friday at 14:30 Topher will take on a new challenge - running further then he has ever done in one continuous push. He has run quite a few 100 mile races and now we are going out into the unknown.......111 miles (180km). It shound be a good challenge physically and mentally. He can do it!

The run is a mix of road and off road trails. It has a total of 12,000 feet (3800 meters) of up and down. To the left is a map of Greece showing the route. He will run that black solid line in the middle of the map from east to west.

I will be with a North Face sales agent to navigate thru the small villages in the countryside to follow Topher along and see him at differnet checkpoints. It will be quite the adventure for both of us. I have never been to Greece so I am looking foward to it.
There will be a photographer following Topher and an editor of a Greek running magazine to write a story and profile Topher and the race. Should be exciting. And I will be blogging LIVE to keep you posted. So check back starting Friday 14:30 greece time....which is 7 hours ahead of east coast and 9 hours ahead of utah time.
Run Topher Run!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Running in the rain

Sometimes you just have to get out there even when it is raining. At least the country side is green and the grapes are starting to bloom here in italy.

This is the final longer run before greece. The weather will not be like today - wet, rain and 56 degrees. Greece probably will be humid, sticky hot with temps in the high 70's.

Better go home to make topher a nice hot pasta to eat when he gets home.

Enjoying the rain,
Kim and topher

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Friday, May 16, 2008

Back to Italy and good food - ahhhh!

We are back in Italy after a fun filled trip to California. (now fighting a bit of jetlag)

I missed all the great fresh food while I was away. All the fruits and vegetables are so good right now.....juicy tomatoes, sweet carrots, fresh greens, great strawberries and on and on. So we are back eating our normal diet and enjoying big salads, pasta and a glass of vino.

The next adventure is Greece. Topher will go out into a new unknown world.....a 180km running race. Yes, alone.....not with a team and not on a bike but on his own 2 feet. I will be there to follow along and will send updates to the blog. Meanwhile, check the race web site to learn more of the run that will traverse the countyside of Greece from Nemea to Olympia. The race is on May 23rd starting at 14:30 in Greece.

Gotta go watch the Giro d'Italia wrap up show....sort of the play by play recap show like NFL football on the 21 day bike race in Italy that is going on right now. Good stuff.

Ciao for now,

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Miwok 100km Poetry

We thought we would share some Poetry my brother Peter wrote after enjoying a day together out on the trails at the Miwok100km in California.


The Miwok 100

Early in morning with oatmeal in hand
We go to where ocean meets sand.

Runners get ready as day starts to break
They all wonder if the finish can they make.

62 miles to return to that spot
Up and down hills, running non stop.

With Gaylord and Jurek and a girl named Kami
Their ability to run long is simply uncanny.

At aid stations they meet with their crew
To refill their water bottle and pick up some Gu.

The spectators mean well cheering them on
Saying things like: "Looking Good! Way to go! Stay strong!"

With sun shining down the views can't be beat
This is no time for sightseeing just watch your damn feet!

They turn around to return to the start
A marathon distance will challenge their heart.

But onward they run inspiring us all
We join in, keep up and try not to fall.

The finish was exciting, a sprint to the end
Topher chasing Eric round the last bend

Then refuel with food, warm up with fleece
Rest up, recover for next stop is Greece!


Next race on the Calendar is the Nemia to Olympia 180km (112miles) in Greece in just 19 days.....check out details of this historic run through the heart of the Greek countryside at:

Toph & Kim

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Miwok 100km - Finish!

We had some technical difficulties with cell range getting posts out but now we are finished.

Brief very rough results:

1. Dave Mackey 7:52 (new course record...smashing run!!)
2. Jon Olsen 8:20
3. Rob Cain 8:35
4. Scott Jurek 8:38
5. Lewis Taylor 8:43
6. Eric Skaden 8:51
7. TOPHER Gaylord 8:51

First woman: Kami Semick 9:12ish

Toph had a great day and it was a good run for him. These guys are strong and he was happy to hang with some of the best ultra runners in the US.

He had a pacer (someone to accompany him on the trail) from mile 43. So he got to share the trail first with his brother randy from mile 43 to 50 then our friend Jim Vernon ran from mile 50 to mile 58 then his brother Peter ran from 58 to the finish(62 miles). So a bit of fun for all.

Great work by Tia (the race director) and all the volunteers for making Miwok the best 100km.

Toph is taking a shower and scrubbing with the tecnu with hopes of not too much poison oak which there was a lot of on the trail. Then we will celebrate with cold beers and Thai food in San Francisco....Tophs buying for the crew team!!!

Thanks again Randy, Peter, Jim and Travis for the fun day.

Congratulations to all the finishers!!!


Miwok 100 mile 26.2

Here is a picture of Topher running along the trails between Pan Toll and Bolinas Ridge..
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Miwok 100 Turnaround at 35.7

Topher passed the turnaorund 4 hours 35 minutes into the race and was the 5th runner through this station!

The turnaround is at the bottom of a canyon. We fueled him up with a sandwich, chips, gu, and refilled his bottles, and he started back up the hill with 26 miles to go.

He still looks strong, but says, "This is where the race really starts.."

Note: Dave Mackey, the leader is on course record pace.

Kim and Crew
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Miwok 100 Pan Toll -Mile 21.7

Topher continues looking strong as he passes quickly through this station which sits at the top of a 1600 foot climb. So far the runners have climbed 3600 feet with about 7000 feet of climbing to go!

The first few runners were here in about 2:40. Topher was about 8 minutes behind the leaders.

First woman Kami came through about 5 minutes after Topher at 2:53.

From here they run a beautiful single track coastal trail among the green hillsides with amazing views of the Pacific ocean.

Next we will meet Toph at the turnaround at mile 35.6.

Kim and Crew

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Friday, May 2, 2008

Miwok - 12 miles update

Wow looking at a fast day on the trail.
First group of 3 guys came in 1:22 including hal. Then 3 minutes behind jurek.
The sun is just hitting the runners now so a touch warmer but still great running temps.

Kami is on a fast pace with Bev Abbs on her shoulder.

Toph is cruising right along - 1:28 to here. He is doing fine. A few more chocolate gus and a half of pb+j to keep him going.

It is a fun race environment with lots of smiles coming into the aid station.

We are off to pantoll - mile 21.7

The crew is going for coffee now.


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Miwok start-and they are off!

The adventure begins. 311 runners ran across the beach and up the first hill. Cool temps around 45 degrees. It should be great running weather today.

All the big guys are here - jurek, koerner, skaden and the list goes on. Should be a very fast and competitive race.

Toph was right out front across the beach. Now the hills...

Next update from 12 miles in.

Travis, Peter, Randy and I are off to the aid station. Always a fun day for the crew. Fun to have family here supporting.


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Sunday, April 27, 2008

Spring in full bloom in Italy/Miwok 100KM

We are enjoying super weather here in Italy this Spring. All the trees are blossoming and the flowers blooming. We have both been travelling a lot, Kim to the US twice in the last 4 weeks and Topher throughout Europe for work (Lugano, Barcelona, Biarritz, Cologne most recently).

We are headed to the US this week, Kim directly to California and Topher to Greensboro, NC, then on to California later in the week. We will reconnect on Friday in San Francisco with Topher's brothers Randy & Peter, along with our nephew Travis.

MIWOK 100KM - Saturday MAY 3rd, 2008 - Watch the action live here!

Topher will be running the Miwok 100km trail race in the Marin Headlands on Saturday. The race starts at 5:40am sharp (PST) and runs north up and down across the Marin headlands towards point Reyes. The run has over 10,000ft of positive altitude change, so the calves will get their workout in on Saturday. It should be a very competitive race as many of the best Ultrarunners in North America will be there. Follow all the action live right here on race day. We will have updates at each aid station with real time feeds.

Aid Station
Distance (total)
Tennessee Valley 11.9
Muir Beach 16.0
Pan Toll 21.7
Bolinas Ridge 28.4
Randall Trail (turnaround) 35.6
Bolinas Ridge 42.8
Pan Toll 49.5
Highway 1 crossing 54.7
Tennessee Valley 58.4
Rodeo Lagoon 62.4 (Finish)

Race website for more detailed info:

Kim & Topher

Monday, March 10, 2008

Sunset and Moonrise over basecamp on Aconcagua.
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Sunday, March 9, 2008

Chamonix France

Skiing Chamonix on a fantastic February day!
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