USA 50k Trail Running Championships – Video

Mt. Bachelor in Central Oregon

This race really took a lot out of me mentally and physically… So I stepped away from working on this video for a few weeks. But now with a new perspective, I thought I’d put it up.

The USA 50k Trail Running Championships were held on September 22nd, 2012 at Mt. Bachelor in the Cascade Mountains of central Oregon. This race was held in conjunction with the Flagline 50k, put on by Superfit Productions in Bend, Oregon. USA Track & Field holds USA Trail Championships at a wide variety of distances. Over the past 3 years, I have had great success in these championship races from 10k to the marathon, winning nine US Masters titles… But I’ve never done a 50k… and I was really nervous.

Preparing for an ultra marathon (any race longer than 26.2 miles) is a different process, than preparing for shorter races. The main consideration is fueling during the race. Thanks to the input of Robert Yerex, I found a novel way to eat/slurp my fruits and veggies while racing, without creating a big mess – Baby food squeeze packs.

Another important consideration in doing a 50k are the shoes that you’ll wear. Ramping up from a marathon to an ultra marathon, significantly increases the load placed on the feet, tendons, ligaments and joints of the lower leg. Even though this is a trail race, I opted for a lightweight, road racing shoe with lots of forefoot cushion – The Brooks Green Silence. The extra cushion (especially on a course with lots of steep downhills) can keep your legs from suffering too much during the race. The trails in the Bend, Oregon area are quite smooth and leveled out by mountain bikers, so the need for big lugs on the bottom of your shoes are not really necessary for the majority of the races that are held in the Bend area.

To find out how I did, check out the video below.

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Don’t Let Insecurity Hold You Back

Tim Van Orden musing about the benefits of insecurity.

While on a road trip to the Seacoast of New Hampshire, I stumbled upon some insights into my past and it’s effect on my current behavior. I’ll admit it, I’m an information junkie… I’m passionately curious. But where does this curiosity and quest for knowledge come from? I’m pretty sure that it comes from my feeling of academic insecurity that I developed in college. I believe that this sense of insecurity has been the critical driving force in my recent desire to expand my knowledge base. In this regard, I believe that a contained and regulated insecurity could actually be used in a positive way.

Check out the video for more thoughts on this topic

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Falling in Love… With Running

Tim Van Orden talking about falling in love with running… again.

Do you love doing the things that you are committed to? Or do you simply feel pressured and obligated to do them because of a commitment you’ve made? Many people find themselves committed to routines that they don’t enjoy, and they seldom step back and allow themselves to view the activity from a distance and new perspective… to see the forest, rather than the leaves on the trees.

After winning the US Masters Championship in the 50k in Oregon, I began to feel the pressure I’ve been carrying… Hitting high miles every day of the week for months on end. So I decided not to run for a while and see what shows up.

Perhaps I can learn to fall in love all over again with running.

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USA Track & Field Interview – Plant Based in Prime Time

Tim, featured in this issue of Fast Forward

Tim shares some great news! The Running Raw Project was just featured in the USA Track & Field (USATF) quarterly magazine ‘Fast Forward’. Not only is this a huge honor, to be featured in the publication of governing body of running in the United States, but this just happens to be their biggest issue of the last four years – This is the 2012 London Olympics issue!

All of the highlights of the Olympic Games and Team USA are covered in this issue, including all the world records that were set and gold medals won. But, the last two full pages of the magazine are dedicated to Tim and the Running Raw project.

What a huge honor to be featured along side Ashton Eaton, Allyson Felix, Sanya Richards-Ross, Aries Merritt and all of the other top American running stars.

Perhaps the tipping point has been reached… Perhaps the message is finally being heard… Perhaps now other top athletes will read this article and take up the torch of a plant based diet.

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The Little Death – How To Get Through Fall Without Falling

A brilliant display of Fall color.

After a wonderful trip to Los Angeles I find myself back in Vermont, where I’m greeted by a brilliant display of Fall color. While the vast majority of the tourists clogging the arteries of the state see the foliage as sublime and poetic, I see it in another light… Or should I say ‘in another dark.’

The trees are becoming depressed and crying out… They scream in shades of red, orange and yellow in a last ditch effort to get attention before entering a state of near death for the Winter. Fall foliage is a little death for the trees and people flock to celebrate it. Perhaps it’s the same urge that people have to stare at car accidents or burning buildings. We seem to be fascinated by death and decay. While at the same time, many of these people are also crying out, but their cries are not as pretty and they don’t receive the same celebration. Their imminent fall is most often reviled… Leading to increasing personal darkness, loneliness and feelings of despair and separation.

So how does one deal with the downward spiral that can often accompany Fall? In this video, Tim shares his personal strategy and techniques for getting through the dark and dreary days ahead… Techniques that set him up for a happy, healthy and hearty Winter of fun.

Just because they trees are depressed, doesn’t mean that you have to be as well.

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Goal Setting, Planning & Broken Sidewalks

The city of Los Angeles, home of the broken sidewalks.

In this post I discuss the dangers that can arise when you set your plans in nice, flat, smooth concrete.

While goal setting is an important tool, it should not be seen as an end in itself. A certain amount of flexibility needs to be incorporated into any path that you lay out for yourself. If your goals and plans are rigid, and you create a straight-line path to reach them, you are certainly going to be shocked to find out that reality had other plans for you.

The trick is not to stop making goals, but to adapt to the changes that show up on the path and learn from them. By being in the moment, you can not only anticipate and respond to obstacles in your path, but you can see them as stepping stones along the way to an even better experience or goal than the one you had originally envisioned.

So the next time you are mapping out a path to your goal, have it go off road on some gorgeous single track through the mountains. You’ll enjoy the experience more and you’ll be much more capable and present when you’ve finally arrived.

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A Conversation With Dara Dubinet

Dara Dubinet and Tim chat outside of Euphoria Loves Rawvolution

While in Santa Monica, California, I had a rare opportunity to hang out and have a chat with Dara Dubinet at Euphoria Loves Rawvolution. Dara is one of the most popular YouTube presenters in the raw food arena. She shares some great raw vegan recipes on her channel darabubinet.

In this chat, Dara and I talk about being gentle when making dietary choices and not forcing yourself to comply with a strict dietary dogma… and much, much more 🙂

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How to get your kids to drink green smoothies – Recipe

Even kids will love this green smoothie recipe.


While in Los Angeles recently, I stumbled across a ‘secret’ green smoothie recipe… A green smoothie that will appeal to kids and wimpy adults that don’t like to eat things that are green. Most people make up their mind about the taste of something just by looking at it and without tasting it. Green smoothies can be incredibly delicious, but it can be hard to get kids and some adults to drink them because they are green. The trick is to make your green smoothie using a green vegetable that doesn’t color the smoothie green – such as broccoli. Broccoli is a cruciferous vegetable like kale, and is packed with powerful nutrition, including protein. So you can use this green smoothie recipe to get your color sensitive family members to embrace healthy foods.

Here’s the recipe:

Faux-Vert Smoothie
• 2 Frozen Bananas (peel them before you freeze them)
• 1 Cup Frozen Raspberries
• 5 Dates (I use Barhi Dates in this recipe, but they are hard to find)
• 1 1/2 Cups Broccoli – just the tops and not the stems
• 1 Tablespoon Chia Seeds (Rocking it Cali style)
• 2 Cups Water (Filtered or Well Water – Don’t use Unwell water)

Let me know what you think of this green smoothie recipe 🙂

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Tim Van Orden eats 80/10/10

A delicious avocado dish at Matthew Kenney’s M.A.K.E. restaurant in Santa Monica, CA

Some friends and I went to Matthew Kenney’s new restaurant M.A.K.E. in Santa Monica, CA on opening night and had a little fun. It seems that Matthew has taken the 80/10/10 diet into consideration when he prepared the menu… but with a delicious twist 🙂

While gourmet raw foods are a fun treat, they are definitely not a staple of my diet. I’ll eat at raw restaurants on average once every six months.

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Van Orden Wins 9th U.S. Title in the 50K

September 22nd — Mount Bachelor, Oregon

The top 10 finishers at the 2012 US 50K Trail Championships.

When Runners arrived at the start of the USA 50km Trail Running Championships this Saturday they were not certain the race was a go. Smoke from the nearby Pole Creek wildfire had covered the area in the days leading up to the race, forcing the race director to make a literal last minute decision about the fate of the race. Fortunately, the winds were blowing north at sunrise, clearing out most of the smoke and the race went off. Unfortunately, the finish line had to be moved a mile away due to fire fighters using the parking lot as a helipad. This change bumped the course from thirty-one miles up to thirty-two.

Among the elite field was trail ace Tim Van Orden, 44, of Bennington, Vermont. Despite winning the 2011 USA Trail Running Championship Series, Van Orden was nervous about competing in his first ultra marathon (longer than 26.2 miles). “I’ve had some injuries and missed some training recently, so I wasn’t sure I’d even be able to finish a 50k, let alone do well. Especially considering that the course starts at over 6,200 feet above sea level and climbs an additional 4,000 feet.” said Van Orden. But his worries were for naught as he stormed to the finish line sixth overall and winning his ninth USA Masters Championship (40 and over) in 4:04:32.

The start of the 2012 US 50k Trail Championships.

Asked about the course, Van Orden said, “The start was problematic and beautiful at the same time. The trail was so dry that the racers in front of me were kicking up huge clouds of dust. The dust was catching the early morning light, creating this orange halo around the lead guys. It was surreal… but at the same time I was choking on the dust. That, combined with the altitude and the smoke made it really hard to breathe. I was gasping the whole race.”

Van Orden has now won USA Masters Trail titles at 10k, 15k, half marathon, marathon, and 50k. What’s next for VanOrden, “The USA Trail Marathon Champs of course.” Which will be heldon November 3rd in Moab, Utah.

2011 World Trail Running Champion Max King, 32, of Bend, Oregon, defended his 2011 50k title, crossing the line in 3:33:10, while Erica Larson, 41, of Los Alamos, New Mexico, won the women’s division with a time of 4:11:28.

Finishing in second place for the men was Mario Mendoza, 26, Bend, Oregon, posting a time of 3:44:14. Third was Ryan Bak, 30, also of Bend, in 3:44:58. King, Mendoza and Bak are training partners in Bend, which is considered by many to be the trail running capital of the United States.

Rounding out the women’s top three was Natalie Bak of Bend in second place in a time of 4:14:16. Third was Emily Kalenius, 32, Albany, Oregon, in 4:53:26.

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