Name: Greg Minter
City: Los Angeles
Occupation: Computer Animation Software
Number of Years Running: 12
Number of Marathons: 21
50k--San Juan Trail 1996 Cleveland National Forest, CA 50K 7:21
-Shadow of the Giants 1996 Fish Camp, CA 50K 7:19
-High Desert 1996 Ridgecrest, CA 50K 5:24
-San Juan Trail 1997 Cleveland National Forest, CA 50K 6:55
-Holcomb Valley 1997 Big Bear, CA 50K 6:50
-High Desert 1997 Ridgecrest, CA 50K 5:08
-San Gabriel Mtn. 1998 Angeles National Forest, CA 50K 7:13
-Bulldog Ultrarun 1998 Malibu Canyon, CA 50K 7.48
-Holcomb Valley 1999 Big Bear, CA 50K 7:18
-Bulldog Ultrarun 1999 Malibu Canyon, CA 50K 7:13
I'm not sure of my finishing place for most of these races, but my best race was definitely at Ridgecrest in '97. I think it's a nice course out there, and I think Chris Rios (the RD) puts on a great race.
50mi-- American River 50 1996 Auburn, CA 50M DNF@mile 48
- Avalon 50 1997 Catalina Island, CA 50M 10:04:35
- American River 50 1997 Auburn, CA 50M 11:12
- Avalon 50 1998 Catalina Island, CA 50M 10:29:10
- PCT50 1999 Boulder Oaks, CA 33M (called @mile 33 due to forest fire!)
At American River In 1996, I had one of my toughest experiences. It was my first 50 miler, and although I was physically prepared, I made a LOT of mistakes. Among them: missing my plane, being sick and taking dehydrating anti-histamines the entire week before, packing the wrong clothes, drinking lots of Coke when I'd never done so. I vomited from mile 31 to mile 48, until I cramped up so bad that I couldn't stand up to get out of the aid station. At one point I laid down in a nice patch of poison oak for a short rest. It might seem bad, but in retrospect, I feel fortunate to have made the mistakes ALL AT ONCE. I experienced and learned. The DNF motivated me to PR at my next 50 the following year, but more importantly, I think the wisdom gained has helped me to finish every ultra I've entered since.
100mi--Vermont 1997 Woodstock, VT 100M 27:25:31
125/160 (215 starters)
-Angeles Crest 1999 Wrightwood, CA 100M 32:31:39
88/95 (156 starters)
These two races were very special to me for different reasons; Vermont was a "gateway" of sorts, an initiation into the club, as it were. It let me know that I could do amazing things if I focused my mind. AC was (in my opinion) an order of magnitude harder as a course; in addition to the mental focus which I think this distance requires, finishing that race took raw physical toughness. Lots of long hot days in the Angeles National Forest that summer (I remember on one brutal day, the binding on my race guidebook actually melted in my car). I also learned that having a GREAT crew can mean all the difference. If I get in, the same crew has already agreed to support me again.
Previous Badwater Racing: None.
Previous Badwater Crewing: None.
Previous Badwater Clinic None. I plan on coming to as many of the clinics as possible if accepted.
Best Ultra Run Experience:
It was during the Angeles Crest 100. After a long climb, you reach the top of Mt. Wilson and can see the city of L.A. From talking with others who'd run it, they described cresting the peak and seeing the lights of the city below, knowing that most of the last dozen miles were downhill. Well, it turned out that I was running very conservatively, and sunrise happened on the way to the peak. I was a little disappointed, knowing that the lights wouldn't be twinkling, but when I reach the top, a cloud bank had moved in over the city as far as you could see. Peaks were just scraping though, and it looked like a huge blanket had been laid around the different mountains. Still breathtaking in my mind.
I suppose that would have been hallucinating that a train was coming straight down the road toward me and my pacer at one point during the VT 100.
The first time I tried the American River 50. I DNF'd. As I mentioned earlier, I made so many mistakes during that race, that I was literally crawling for parts of the last two miles before I dropped out at the last aid station. From that point, you can actually see the top of the hill where the race finishes, but I physically could not get up. I'd been sick for the last 1/3 of the race, and had truly given everything I had. It's always easy to run when you're having a good day, you get tougher pushing on days when you feel lousy.
I get a very complete sense of satisfaction when I'm running on the trail, and I think that naturally extends into ultramarathons. Running down a rocky single track at dusk makes me feel more alive than just about anything else...I feel like I'm "firing on all pistons," because I'm so engaged physically, mentally, and spiritually.
It's also just a wonderful community of people. I run with a group in Southern California called the Ultraladies, and we train lots of people (men and women) who want to get into ultrarunning. The Bulldog 50K is the "rite of passage" most years. I've made lots of friendships through attending races and just participating in the community that are very valuable to me. I work races and maintain the website calendar for the Southern California Ultra Series.
To me, it's a chance for a great adventure. I don't think there are so many chances for normal people to do amazing things in the modern world, and here's one in my own backyard. It's maybe the ultimate gut check. Can I do it? I can only try. What I know I can do is prepare and educate myself to the point where I'm ready to be at the starting line.
I have a charity in mind, but I don't want to approach them until I knew that whether I had been accepted. It's a local wildlife refuge...
Crew English: yes