Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Bio Skin Sponsorship

Hi!  I am up for a Bio Skin Sponsorship this weekend starting tomorrow.  If I win, Bio Skin will give me a race day shirt to promote their products during my race(s), some free product(s), and most importantly pay my race fee(s) for The North Face Endurance Challenge Series race(s) I am doing in Wisconsin on September 13-14, 2014.

To be honest, this would be really helpful for our family.  There are four of us racing five events that weekend, and if one or both of my races could be covered, it would really help our budget for the weekend away with the kids.  Raising six kids and guiding them into racing is not easy nor cheap!! :)  So, if you feel so inclined, I, or should I say, we, would really appreciate your vote.

Furthermore, I am more than willing to help advertise a company like Bio Skin that makes products which help in athletic performance and aid in recovery, even from injury.  Check them out at

The link for voting will go live tomorrow and is found on Facebook at Bio Skin's page or at Who should win Bio Skin Sponsor?  You can vote 1x per day from Thursday - Sunday.  Appreciate your vote!  Thanks!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Unapologetically Ultra Podcast

Last week I had the awesome opportunity to be interviewed by Caity McCardell .  Caity hosts an ultra running podcast called Unapologetically Ultra.  The sponsor for this show is the Runner's Tea, of which I am a product ambassador.  I will have a more thorough review of the Runner's Tea in another post, but wanted to give everyone a heads-up about this podcast.  Caity and I talk about faith, family, some traumatic events that happened here in Parkersburg, IA, gratitude, and of course, trail & ultra running.  I really enjoyed talking with Caity and hope you will enjoy this podcast.  Unapologetically Ultra - Brad Zinnecker

Friday, August 15, 2014

Trail Review: East Esker Trail, Mendon Ponds Park, Mendon/Pittsford, NY

While staying at my sister's on vacation, I was able to find this nearby park and get three days of fine trailrunning in on this loop.  The East Esker Trail, according to the write-up on the map, (get one at the Park Office), is a challenging 4.7 mile trail.  Looking at the map, it is also the longest trail and has several rolling hills as you would expect with an esker.  What is an esker?  Click here to find out: Esker.  I use to run on an esker trail when I lived in Massachusetts, so I knew this would be a fun but tough trail.  With eskers, I usually expect continual rollers, and the feeling that I am high up in the hills/mountains, even when I am not.

The East Esker Trail, starting from the little parking area near the junction of Douglas and Pond Road, (just south of the Calvary Lodge) and heading in a counter-clockwise direction, begins by going up a short hill and then leveling out.  Eventually it deposits you out near another trailhead entrance/parking area for this same loop.  Just before I got there, as the trees opened up, near a small prairie on top of a knoll, I saw the same bunny rabbit sitting by the trail every day!  I think he/she must've lived nearby!  It's pretty funny, because that is the only rabbit I saw the whole time I was there, while I counted 30-50+ deer everyday between my driving and running through the park!  Sometimes I almost had to shoe the deer off the route.

Anyway, after the bunny, the trail turns North and goes back uphill again.  There are several hills in this first mile, making it the hardest of the 4-5 mile loop.  (BTW, once you figure out the main loop and where you are, route finding is pretty easy.)  The second mile is not much easier, but once you hit the water tower and start coming back down, (around 2.4?) the second half of the run is where you can make some time back up on the downhills and flats.  This half has a few portions of nice single-track as well as double-track and skirts a pond for part of it.  The second half is not without hills, but it seems like there are less than the first half. 

Most of this whole route is tree covered, so with the high humidity we had that week, I was pretty wet afterwards, though there's little problem with sun.  Also, wear a hat, because the greenheads/horseflies/whatever they were, go for your head, totally annoying, and sometimes biting.  A visor the second day meant I was continually being attacked up top, whereas a cap the other two days seemed to help lessen the issue. 

Double loops were fun, but tiring.  The family mini-van was a great aid-station.  The park is something like 2500 acres and has all types of other trails, a playground, and various ponds.  So it could be totally possible to make your outing family friendly with lots of things for the kids and other non-runners to do.

You can find a copy of the map here: Mendon Parks Map and the webiste here: Mendon Ponds Park Website.  This is an awesome county park, and if you live in, near, or travel through Rochester, NY, you should definitely check it out.  Run a loop for me on the East Esker Trail!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Trail Review: Hathaway's Pond, Hyannis, MA

Hathaway's Pond is a small freshwater pond and beach area in Hyannis, MA.  It also happens to have a nice 1.0-1.1 mile trail running loop that goes all the way around it.  Recently I was back vacationing on Cape Cod visiting my wife's family and wanted to trail run locally.  While I knew a couple of places to do so on Cape, they would be a drive, which in summer traffic might take some time I didn't really have or want to waste.  But a relative mentioned the loop around Hathaway's Pond.

Since I typically get up early to run and the gate to the area was locked, I parked about 1/2 mile away at a local strip mall, outside of the Dunkin' Donuts.  Once I got into the area and started running the trail, I found various offshoots (which you could add to lengthen and explore), but eventually figured out the main loop.  It has just enough small rollers, rocks, and roots to keep you honest as you run around the pond.  While short, it is a nice alternative if you are staying in the mid-Cape area.  Very accessible and very few people out, mostly just people walking their dogs.

Enjoy the link above and if you're out that way, do a loop for me! :)

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