This month’s trail runner of the month is Jim Archer of Boring, OR. Jim is a retired contractor/home builder.
How did you get into trail running?
I started running in the 4th grade in Roseburg then moved to Oakland by 7th grade. I won the state 440 championships in my junior year and got 4th as a senior (51.4 adjusted 400 meter time.) I did a walk-on at OSU but found out you had to run 5-6 miles at 6 am! That and 3 part-time jobs put an end to that. I ran the Portland Marathon in 1984 in 3:03 and Boston in 1985, age 40 in 3:43. I did a 5:05 road mile and 36:45 10K. I reran Boston in 2005 at age 60, about 4:20.
After 40 yrs of road and track, I met a group of Corvallis trail runners at a 10K trail race on Cape Perpetua in 1994. One member of the group, now a long-time running friend, talked me into doing my first Ultramarathon, the MacDonald Forest 50K, in 1998. After that, it was the McKenzie River 50Ks. I did 6 each, with the last ones in 2015. In the same time span were numerous trail runs of various distances, including some trail Marathons.
What is your favorite trail to run on?
I lived in Florence for 43 years, and the USFS Coast Horse Trails north of Florence are “My Trails.” I helped with trail maintenance and was RD for the Cape Mountain Trail Run for 12 years. That event is now part of Daybreak Racing’s trail run events. It will be held November 20-21 and is now a 25K and 50K. I also spent a lot of time on the trails at Cape Perpetua.
What is your favorite trail race?
The Condor 25K in McDonald Forest. It is held in honor of a long-time trail runner Dave Bateham. This year Sat Oct 2nd.
What are your weekly average running miles and ascent?
I was a 440 runner in my early days, so I use that as an excuse for low mileage! So probably average around 25 miles and 500-700′.
What is a typical weekday run?
Typical is 4 days/week at nearby Oxbow Park of 3-5 miles.
What is a typical weekend run?
I try to get to McIver for 6-12 on the weekend without a “race.”
What shoes do you wear?
I rotate Hokas and ON. I like the ON Cloud series in the winter because they have good traction in the mud.
What is your favorite trail running apparel?
I run in Path shorts. I like the liners. For race shirts, the Mountain Hardware Puffy and a North Face shell “if” it rains!
What watch do you wear?
I have an older Garmin 920. I’m not into techy stuff, so time, distance, and elevation are good.
What nutrition do you like to use on runs and races?
Hammer Nutrition: Hammer Gel, Heed, Perpetuem, Recoverite, and Endurolytes.
What do you like most about the trail running community?
This is an interesting thing now. For years the races were like family reunions, and most folks were pretty laid back but competitive! I now live in Boring and run solo 95% of the time. At a race, I can count the finishers in my age group, 70+, on the one hand, and I may not know any of them. On the other hand, at this year’s Dirty Half, there were 650+ finishers, and the only person I knew was William from Eclectic Edge Racing! So times change. Not only finish times but the social aspect as well. But the good times are still there. A run in the rain, on a dusty trail, or the view from the top of a mountain. If you keep these things in mind, all the “I had to walk up that hill,” or my pace dropped a bit, or that person beat me will have less importance, and you can enjoy this running thing for a long time.
One of my kids hooked me up to STRAVA. So far, no comments on the old, slow guy results. (Hint: Here’s Jim’s Strava account if you want to comment.)