15 Questions with Run Team’s Rayel “Rye” Daza

Posted July 30th, 2016 by Brian Hock

The next Simple Hydration Run Team member to answer 15 Questions is Rayel “Rye” Daza from Quezon City in the Philippines.

1. What is your favorite color?

I can’t settle for 1 color, but I particularly like the combination of green and orange.

2. What is your favorite song right now?

I have a lot, but ‘Running with the Wolves’ by Aurora has been my go-to track when I want to focus on my cadence.

3. What is your favorite book?

The Time Traveller’s Wife. I’m not a reader. In my entire life, I’ve only finished 4 books. That includes school textbooks! :)

4. What is your favorite movie?

Salt (Angelina Jolie)

5. What is your favorite snack food?
Pizza! Pizza is life.

6. What is your favorite word?

Courage

7. What runner inspires you?
Anyone who works in the night shift but manages to train, race, and finish with podium awards. Racing and night shift work are 2 difficult things to manage separately. And those that are able to do both simply amazes me. I work in night shift as well, but I fall short for podiums. LOL!

8. What is your favorite workout?
Core-strengthening workouts. But it’s the type I hate as well. Hahaha!

9. What is your favorite running shoe?

Currently, my Hoka Huaka, it’s been giving me PRs from half marathons, full marathons and ultramarathons.

10. What is your favorite race medal or award?

Top 3 Finisher for my age group during the inaugural Cardimax-Clark Ultramarathon. It’s the first time I used a Simple Hydration Bottle for an entire race.

11. What race would you highly recommend?

(Haven’t joined any international race, and not planning on joining one anytime soon so..) I would recommend Mayon 360 Degrees 80K Ultramarathon. It’s held in the province of Albay in the Philippines. It’s the only running event that will allow you to circumnavigate the world’s most perfect cone-shaped active volcano.

12. Have you ever bonked in a race?
I haven’t experienced bonking, but I have DNF’d once due to an inflamed Achilles Tendon. I revenge-raced the same event/route and was able to beat my personal best by 3 minutes, which I have been struggling to do for more than 3 years.

13. How many miles have you covered without walking during a run or race?

Around 15 miles.

14. Do you prefer running in the summer or winter?

We only have 2 seasons in the Philippines. It’s either summer or rainy, and it changes no matter the time of the year. I prefer running in the rain here. I once trained for 13 miles during a tropical storm.

15. What is a fun fact about you?

I can eat a pint or more of ice cream in one sitting but I don’t consider it fun fact. I have to do it because I don’t own a fridge. LOL! I would, however, consider my advocacy in supporting inclusivity and equality (with emphasis on LGBT people) as a fun fact about me. I have been doing this since 2013. It helped me get to know more people in the running community. I have also received comments/feedback from members and supporters of the LGBT community that they are inspired by my advocacy — which resulted to them starting their own. It’s not a big scale, but people like us need all the support we can get.

15 Questions with Run Team’s Ian Lye

Posted July 25th, 2016 by Brian Hock

The next Simple Hydration Run Team member to answer 15 Questions is Ian Lye from Singapore (currently living in Switzerland).

1. What is your favorite color?

Yellow. It’s been my favorite color since I was a kid. Red’s a close second though!

2. What is your favorite song right now?

The Jam I’ve currently got on repeat in my iPod is Fun by Coldplay (feat. Tove Lo).

3. What is your favorite book?

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is also a favorite of mine.

4. What is your favorite movie?

I’m a huge movie buff, and I can’t name just one. So here’s a selection of a few of my faves off the top of my head: Blood Diamond, Training Day, The Professional, Crash, The Beach, Brokedown Palace, Black Hawk Down, The Game, Shawshank Redemption, any of the Bourne movies….

5. What is your favorite snack food?

Nachos with Salsa! M&M’s® will do the trick too!

6. What is your favorite word?

Grind. Keeps me pushing through when I just want to stop during a hard workout.

7. What runner inspires you?

Kilian Jornet, Seb Chaigneau and Francois D’Haene are the ultrarunners at the very top that I most admire these days, but the runners that inspire me the most are my friends in the local ultrarunning community in Singapore. Many of them are really accomplished, and I just try to ask as many questions and learn as much as I can from them. Their feats remind me on a daily basis of what is possible if I truly put in the focus, work and sacrifice.

8. What is your favorite workout?

Long, slow trail runs alone to just zen out to, with some hills sprinkled in between. Flat is boring!

9. What is your favorite running shoe?

For shorter distances, it’s got to be the Salomon S-Lab Sense Ultra line. Super comfortable and they just fit like a glove. For longer ultra-marathons, the Hoka ATR Challenger is my go-to, with its fantastic cushioning-to-weight ratio.

10. What is your favorite race medal or award?

My medal from the Marathon Des Sables (150 miles semi self-supported stage race in the Sahara over 6 days), and it sits framed together with my unwashed shirt (below) from that race. It represents the accomplishment of a dream two years in the making.

11. What race would you highly recommend?

Marathon des Sables. Discovery Channel once named it the Toughest Footrace on Earth. ‘Nuff said!’

12. Have you ever bonked in a race?
Yeah, at least twice that I can remember. Once during a half-marathon when I was trying to set a PB and went out too fast in the first half of the race. Second time was during a marathon in intense humidity. Both times, it felt like I was running in quicksand, and that my legs were moving progressively slower no matter how much harder I tried to push.

13. How many miles have you covered without walking during a run or race?

26.2.

14. Do you prefer running in the summer or winter?

I lived most of my life in Singapore, where the weather is 80 degrees Fahrenheit with 85% humidity all year round on average, so I’m going to have to say summer… it’s what I’m used to.

15. What is a fun fact about you?

I never managed to successfully run a full 10 kilometers until I was 21 or 22. I used to struggle mentally with the idea of running that far for that long. The distance just seemed impossible to me. Today, I’ve run 100 kilometers in a race twice, and also done a 250km stage race… Crazy when I just look back and think about it!

15 Questions with Run Team’s Rick Martin

Posted July 23rd, 2016 by Brian Hock

The next Simple Hydration Run Team member to answer 15 Questions is Rick Martin from New Cumberland, Pennsylvania.

1. What is your favorite color?

Boston Blue

2. What is your favorite song right now?

Invincible by Pat Benatar

3. What is your favorite book?

Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer

4. What is your favorite movie?

The Big Lebowski

5. What is your favorite snack food?

Unsalted almonds with Ghirardelli 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate baking chips

6. What is your favorite word?

Conundrum

7. What runner inspires you?
Gene Dykes

8. What is your favorite workout?
Long run (20+ miles) in the mountains.

9. What is your favorite running shoe?

Trail: Altra Superior 2.0
Hybrid: Topo Fli-Lyte
Road: Skechers Go-bionic 2.0

10. What is your favorite race medal or award?

German weather house

11. What race would you highly recommend?

JFK50

12. Have you ever bonked in a race?
Not yet.

13. How many miles have you covered without walking during a run or race?

About 40 miles during JFK50.

14. Do you prefer running in the summer or winter?

Not even close…summer.

15. What is a fun fact about you?

I can eat a whole half gallon of ice cream in one sitting.

15 Questions with Run Team’s Eva Marie Soquena

Posted July 21st, 2016 by Brian Hock

The next Simple Hydration Run Team member to answer 15 Questions is Eva Marie Soquena from Makati City in the Philippines.

1. What is your favorite color?

Pink. I’m the typical girly-girl.

2. What is your favorite song right now?

This is What You Came For by Calvin Harris. It’s my current power song when I’m out on a run.

3. What is your favorite book?

The Harry Potter books. They’ve always been my favorite since my childhood days.

4. What is your favorite movie?

I have a lot and most of them are chick flicks. The Notebook, The Holiday and Bridewars are my go-to movies when I’m bored.

5. What is your favorite snack food?
Nachos. I love it even more when it’s drenched in cheese.

6. What is your favorite word?

Weekend. Because for me weekend usually means going for a long run or hiking or going on an adventure.

7. What runner inspires you?

A lot of runners inspire me and most of them are women, because I’m into women-empowerment. One of them is Jenn Shelton, who’s one of the top female ultra-runners in the world.

8. What is your favorite workout?
I like circuit-training and yoga. These are my usual workouts for when I’m cross-training because they help condition the entire body.

9. What is your favorite running shoe?

Asics Gel-Kayanos are my favorite shoes. They’re really good for long distance runs. I bought the 20s in 2014 and I’ve worn them in all my marathons and ultra-marathons. I now have the 21s.

10. What is your favorite race medal or award?

My favorite award would be the trophy that I got from the Mayon 360 80k ultra-marathon, which has a route that goes around the Mayon Volcano. Other than the fact that I got it from the toughest race I ever joined, it was also a great souvenir as it was made of volcanic ash from the Mayon Volcano itself.

11. What race would you highly recommend?

I would highly recommend the Laguna Phuket Marathon, being dubbed as the best destination race in the world, because of its scenic yet challenging route.

12. Have you ever bonked in a race?
No, thank goodness! I’ve experienced cramps and leg injuries. There’s even one instance where I actually tripped, fell, and got wounded, but I haven’t bonked yet.

13. How many miles have you covered without walking during a run or race?

I’m a great believer of the Galloway or the run-walk method during races so the longest would have to be only around 7 miles.

14. Do you prefer running in the summer or winter?

We don’t have winter here in the Philippines, but I do love to run in cold weather. It can get really hot here, so I don’t really mind a little rain.

15. What is a fun fact about you?

I can finish an entire pizza in one sitting.

15 Questions with Run Team’s Ruth Thompson

Posted July 17th, 2016 by Brian Hock

The next Simple Hydration Run Team member to answer 15 Questions is Ruth Thompson from Dickson, Tennessee.

1. What is your favorite color?

Turquoise

2. What is your favorite song right now?

Shut Up and Dance by Walk the Moon

3. What is your favorite book?

I have 2 enjoyable series and an auto buy author:
- Nocturne Falls by Kristen Painter
- Althea Rose Mysteries by Tricia O’Malley
- Molly Harper is my auto buy author

4. What is your favorite movie?

Sharknado

5. What is your favorite snack food?

Chocolate covered pretzels

6. What is your favorite word?

Donut

7. What runner inspires you?
My Mom. She runs at an 8-minute pace and is always guaranteed an age group award.

8. What is your favorite workout?
I don’t have one.

9. What is your favorite running shoe?
Any that don’t cause ball of foot hot spots or heel blisters.

10. What is your favorite race medal or award?

Flying Monkey Marathon 2015 Theme was “Hunger Games” and every finisher got a Wooden Flying Monkey Pin.

11. What race would you highly recommend?

Barrel Fest 5-Miler in Springfield, TN for my short race. Pistol Ultra in Alcoa, TN for my long one.

12. Have you ever bonked in a race?
Mile 14 of Flying Monkey Marathon I was on time until that hill, need/received much wanted hug therapy at mile 20.

13. How many miles have you covered without walking during a run or race?

7.5 miles Training for Pistol Ultra.

14. Do you prefer running in the summer or winter?

Winter for the most part in middle Tennessee you can almost always run outside except during dreaded ice storms. The worst was an ice storm, minor melt, ice storm, then it warmed up to 45 degrees with rain which turned the snow layers into a slick sheet of ice.

15. What is a fun fact about you?

I run for the costume award, I’m wont make age group race finisher so I go for fun. I’m also a firm believe in every runner matters and stay to the end to support the very last runner because they’re the runners with the best stories.

Q&A with Simple Hydration Ultra Racing Team’s Malory Peterson

Posted July 13th, 2016 by Brian Hock

Name: Malory Peterson
Location: Kailua, Hawaii

Q. Where did you grow up? What was it like growing up in that area and specifically how did it influence your running?

A. I grew up in Corvallis, Oregon, a beautiful town in the Willamette Valley. It’s hard to find an Oregonian that doesn’t love the woods, and I spent ample time in the backcountry with my family, looking for wildlife. I began running Cross Country my sophomore year of high school, and my coaches regularly incorporated trails into our workouts. My high school coach and mentor, Meghan Arbogast, really inspired me to begin running longer distances on the trails. Meghan is a highly decorated ultra-trail athlete, and training with her on the weekends and off-seasons exposed me to the world of ultramarathons. The trails of the Pacific Northwest provided solace and clarity for me as a teen. They’re my first love!

Q. Did you play any sports in high school/college?

A. I ran Cross Country, Track, and participated in Nordic Ski Team in high school. Cross Country was my primary sport. I set my school record for the 5K in 19:09, and was invited to the Nike Borderclash race on Nike Campus, a competitive 4K race between top high school athletes from Oregon and Washington. I ran the 1500 m and 3000 m in track, though my times were never that impressive! I ran a 5:14 in the 1500 m, and 11:28 in the 3000 m. I just enjoyed being in motion!

Q. We heard about you last year when you were running with the Rocky Mountain Runners. What was it like running with that group and now fellow Ultra Racing Team members Silke Koester and Ryan Smith?

A. Running with RMR profoundly influenced my life. I met Ryan Smith, Silke Koester and the other founding members of the RMR crew after my first marathon in 2013, when a new friend invited me to a weekend of camping and running through the mountains of Leadville, Colorado. These people were nuts! They were so fast, so strong, and really believed it was entirely appropriate to run 100 miles. I was hooked, and not a day goes by that I don’t think of the Green Gang and miss training with them. They’re an amazing little pocket of talented, intelligent, determined, high caliber individuals. Ryan and Silke are not only great training partners, but they’ve really modeled a way to build strong community, and promote the bliss (and chaos) of ultra-life.

Q. What was your first ultra race and what prompted you to make that leap and run farther than a marathon?

A. My first ultra was the 2014 Golden Gate Dirty 30 – a mountainous 50K course in Golden Gate State Park, Colorado. After training with a bunch of nutso RMR ultra-freaks I really couldn’t turn down the opportunity to suffer the same course with them! The feeling of crossing the finish line on that day was one of the biggest highs I’ve ever experienced. I finished in 8th place, and two years later I still can’t wipe the smile off my face. Mountains that beautiful don’t let you forget.

Q. You now live in Kailua, Hawaii. Why did you move to this great area?

A. Short answer – chasing love! I spent 2015 dreaming and breathing mountain running as I trained for the Leadville 100. I felt fulfilled by a life on the trails and above treeline, but my DNF at Leadville was a powerful experience. I was reminded that I still have a lifetime of personal growth ahead. Failing hurts, but I realized that if I didn’t give big dreams a try, I would live my life always wondering what could have been. I applied that to my personal relationships, and with the blow of the race drop still rattling, I reconnected with a former adventure buddy and we decided to embark on one crazy journey together! We fell in love, moved to Oahu, and are excited to learn and explore the island.

Q. What is the Hawaii running group you train with and can you compare it to the Rocky Mountain Runners?

A. I run with an awesome group called Aloha Run’n’Chug in Kailua. It is a social run club open to all ability levels, and they’ve created a really awesome community. We recently ran a relay circumnavigating O’ahu, and once a month we have post-run beach grill outs. Aloha Run’n’Chug focuses on short-distance road and beach runs, quite different from the weekly madness of RMR’s mountain-slaying Monday run! I love both groups in their own right, but at the end of the day finding a running group is hardly about the run for me. It’s about the people. I’ve met the most dynamic, inspiring people through these groups. I look forward to every Monday run, whether I’m huffing up Green Mountain with RMR, or busting out 6-minute street miles with Run’n’Chug!

Q. You’ve won the Aiea Loop Express in March and most recently the Mango Madness Race on June 11, 2016. Did you expect to win those races? How did they play out?

A. I never expect to win any race, but I went into both races thirsty for a solid performance. I was a bit apprehensive about the competition, as Hawaii is a notorious strong hub of triathletes and road runners. The Aiea Loop Express is a 7-mile, mostly smooth course, with only a couple miles of jungle-navigating. Mentally, I kept telling myself that the race was a 5K! I knew that the course would allow for a lot of control, and would probably end on a downhill, so I had to push the pace like it’s a road race. On a course that short, there is no excuse for hiking!

Mango Madness is a different beast. It takes place on the same course as the brutal HURT 100 race, and was directed by Melanie Koehl and Jacque Tellei. In true HURT fashion, they don’t tell you the distance of the race, or the actual course it will follow. For 1-2 miles of the course we essentially ran repeats up a steep, slippery concrete hill. The worst part? I kept believing the hill climbs were over, and then I would see the lead pack of men running towards me again! To top it off, at the end of a several mile technical descent to the finish line, they intercepted the racers and made us repeat the steepest, most rooted-out section of the course! Criminals. This out-and-back allowed for visibility, and I was able to see how close I was to the lead men. Difficult downhill is where I perform the strongest, so gauging the technical running and the proximity of other competitors gave me the confidence to tear down the steep sections and pass a couple more racers before the finish. I was just so happy they didn’t make us do push-ups at the finish line!

Q. What has been your favorite race and why?

A. My favorite race, without a doubt, is the Golden Gate Dirty 30. It feels like it’s in my backyard! The course is beautiful and just the right amount of grueling. A ton of Rocky Mountain Runners and Golden Mountain Runners participate in the race, so crossing the finish line is like stage diving into a crowd of all my favorite people!


Photo: Eric Lee

Q. Tell us about your experience with competitive ultra running? What about it do you love?

A. My passion for ultra-running comes down to a connection with our earth. I am spiritually driven to run further, to see more, to experience nature through an animal lens. Ultra running frees me from the burden of modernity. When I’m competing and training, I am allowed to let go of my identity, and only focus on the present. On the trail, it doesn’t matter how I look. It doesn’t matter how much time I spend volunteering, or networking, or posting to social media. It doesn’t matter how much money I make, or how many people I please. The farther I run, the closer I am to my natural self. Competition enhances this experience. Through racing, we are able to tap into the collective energy of the runners. We are each motivated to push into a higher state of living, and competing together is a way to drive each other towards fulfillment. The longer we run, the deeper we travel into the maze of self-doubt and insecurities, armed with only our determination to move forward.

Q. What are your personal bests at various distances and also please list top race performances with place?

A. 2015 Dirty 30 50K – 4th place – 5:58:17
2014 Leadville Marathon – 4th place – 5:08:37
2016 Xterra Freedom Fest 30 K – 1st place – 2:39
2014 Greenland Trail 25 K – 3rd place – 1:59:30
2016 Mango Madness 10 mile – 1st place – 1:56:53
2016 Aiea Loop Express 7 mile – 1st place – 1:10:34
I also ran one road marathon! (My first one)
2013 Steamboat Marathon – 6th place – 3:33:07

Q. Do you have a coach or follow a specific training program?

A. I do not have a coach, but I try to run with fellow competitors as often as possible. Other racers have a lot of knowledge about best practices in training, so I’m lucky to bump elbows with some of the studs. My training program changes depending a) the distance of race coming up, and b) mind-body balance in my life. In training, I try to run trails for most of my workouts. I usually incorporate two days a week of long runs based on effort (1.5-3 hours of sustained effort), and two days of shorter, quicker workouts. I love Koko Head repeats in Hawaii. I aim to run the stairs there 2-4 times at a 14:00 minute pace. For faster workouts, it’s imperative to run with a group. I try to push a sub-7 or low-six pace for about 3 miles. Burning my lungs and quads in a 5K-style workout really aids in mental preparedness for longer races. It reminds me that the faster I run, the faster the pain is over!

12. Who in running inspires you?

A. I am inspired by so many women that I run with, but in particular my friends Silke Koester and Julia German. Both these women have an incredible knack for suffering with a positive attitude. It’s uncanny! They have the remarkable ability to appear out of the night, beaten and worn by the trail, and still report on a beautiful section of wildflowers that they passed. Positively mountain babes.

Q. Is there any race/event or adventure that you would like to do one day?

A. I really look forward to running the Kalalau Trail along the Na Pali Coast on Kauai Island. The trail is as treacherous as she is beautiful. Between exposed cliff traverses and rising stream waters, Kalalau has claimed many lives. The run is 22 miles total, and while I am training towards a fast-paced attempt, I recognize that respecting the land and honoring her beauty should be my first priority.

Q. What is a typical week of training in your life right now?

A. For the last eight months I’ve been ‘funemployed,’ traveling the Western US and Hawaiian Islands, exploring, viewing wildlife, and trail running. I’ve spent time running in Wyoming, Yellowstone, Bozeman, Arches, Canyonlands, Maui, Big Island, Oregon, and the Grand Canyon. Not much of a consistent schedule! Just the drive to adventure on foot. Since moving to Oahu, my training goal is to find new trails on the island every week. Generally, the Oahu trails are more elusive and overgrown than the Colorado trails. I almost always plan to spend at least a third of the trail climbing, as the ridges in Oahu can be very steep and slippery. When training, I shoot for sustained effort rather than specific times. Since recovering from a hip injury this winter, I’ve also tried to incorporate yoga, strength, and mobility work into my week.

Q. What prompted you to use the Simple Hydration Bottle?

A. Several Rocky Mountain Runner friends began using the bottles during training runs. Living on a tight budget, I consistently invested in sub-par hydration systems, so after borrowing bottles from Silke for a run I knew that I needed to get one of my own.

Q. What was your reaction to the Simple Hydration Bottle after using it? What role does the Simple Hydration Bottle play in your training/racing?

A. I dislike running with weight in my hand, and find that vest-style hydration packs place the bottles at odd angles across my chest. The Simple Hydration Bottle was a perfect solution. It gave me more ounces than a belt flask, as well as a lot of diversity in the ways I can carry it. I carry the simple bottles in the back of my shorts, the back of my sports bra, through a waist belt if I’m carrying calories, or on both sides of my shorts by my hips. When racing, I’ve used two Simple Bottles at a time – one for Tailwind, and one for water. That has proven to be enough to get to most aid stations. I recommend them to everybody! They’re the perfect size, especially in Hawaii where it is always hot and humid!

Q. What races do you have planned for the remainder of 2016?

A. Maunawili Out and Back, 22 mile, August 6th, Oahu
Volcano Rain Forest Run, 13.1 miles, August 20th, Big Island
Tantalus Triple Trek, 30 miles, September 3rd, Oahu

Q. Anything else you would like to add about yourself?

A. Reach out to me! If you live in Hawaii or are traveling to the islands, connect with me for a run! I love building the trail community and sharing special places on Oahu.

Follow Malory on Instagram.

15 Questions with Run Team’s Erin Shaw

Posted July 7th, 2016 by Brian Hock

The next Simple Hydration Run Team member to answer 15 Questions is Erin Shaw from Louisville, Colorado.

1. What is your favorite color?

Green or Blue

2. What is your favorite song right now?

I don’t really have a favorite song, but Classic Rock is always a safe bet.

3. What is your favorite book?

It really depends on my mood. There are so many good ones out there.

4. What is your favorite movie?

I don’t know if it’s my favorite, but I never ever get sick of watching clue for some reason.

5. What is your favorite snack food?

Gummy Bears

6. What is your favorite word?

Kerfuffle. It’s just fun to say.

7. What runner inspires you?

There are so many! But I think I will have to go with Silke Koester. She is the whole package: tough, fast, caring, encouraging, helpful and motivating. Her and her husband Ryan Smith (another inspiring runner!) have created an amazing running community here in Boulder that feels more like a family than only a run group.

8. What is your favorite workout?

Green Mountain Mondays – I get to run up a gorgeous mountain with the Rocky Mountain Runners. I still stare in wonder at the views thinking this is my everyday life and not vacation.

9. What is your favorite running shoe?

La Sportiva Bushido

10. What is your favorite race medal or award?
My first 100 mile belt buckle.

11. What race would you highly recommend?

Bighorn 100. The scenery is incredible!

12. Have you ever bonked in a race?
Not yet!

13. How many miles have you covered without walking during a run or race?

I would guess 26.2. I have made it through a road marathon without walking, but I have always walked a little during mountain ultras

14. Do you prefer running in the summer or winter?

This is a tough one. I love running in the mountains during the summer when all the flowers are out and the rivers are flowing, but there is also something special about a snowy day on the trails. It’s always so quiet and peaceful.

15. What is a fun fact about you?
I got into ultra running when a friend asked if I wanted to run the Grand Canyon Rim to Rim to Rim in 2 weeks. I said yes, then when home and googled what that was. It turned out amazing, and I still haven’t learned to find out what I am agreeing to first before signing on when it comes to outdoor adventures.