November 5, 2011
Saddleback Trail Marathon
Rated toughest in California with 5,100' of climbs!

2011 Saddleback Trail Marathon - Race Report

Morning each…                                                                      

My mum in Coventry, England always told me I was a lucky boy and I was lucky with the weather for the running of the 2011 Saddleback Trail Marathon.  My  Magic luck is still there after all these years.  Having organized many hundreds of races over the last 27 years in California I can only say we are so bloody lucky to live in the State that has everything.  The magic weather brought out topless runners, how good can it get?  After the heavy rains on Friday, my aid station crews were so happy to enjoy the dry 65 degree plus temps - especially up on the Main Divide. Lovely Julia and her special forces team had to do some double duty cos me mate Big Kevin got locked out for a while…  But with the help of my new FS Leader Becky we soon got back on track.  None of these glitches where noticed by the runners of course and without Heiko and his band of Hams things could have gone downhill fast for the race. Anyway all this is part and parcel of putting on a running event in the woods.

Sorry if you were getting chilled at the start, but I have to say all those things while waiting for everyone to be at the starting line.  Please don’t beat me up!  Bill and Sandy shouted 81 starters… by the ¾ mile point me mate Big Jon was 200 meters in front of the pack and looking very serious… Oh shit I said, someone is focused to do some serious hurt.  Lucky for me my mate Doug had started earlier to make sure the trail markings were in place before the climb out of Holy Jim… that is where he got passed by big Jon.  Steve and Annie up at the first aid station only saw a flash going by, they thought he had started early!!!

Michelle Barton, our local champ, was happy to be in the top ten again and waiting for some of the boys to fade.  Previous winner and course record holder from 2004 through 2009, 51 year old Steve Lind was having a good day watching the young spunks do their thing.  Only runner Scott Neubaruer had a problem and withdrew with the help of a couple of mates.  Everyone seemed to be enjoying a fun day in the sun.  Back at the finish line our little group was guessing what the finish time was going to be… my guess was far out! 

Big Jon Clark stormed across the finish line in a record time for the Saddleback marathon course.  He never saw another runner all day and was happy with all the support on the course.  His heart beat was back to around 45 by the time Greg Moe arrived in Lower Blue Jay.  It was a first for Greg at that distance, he said he was really trying to control his pace for the first 16 miles or so…. Shit what is he going to do next November?  My new and improved running mate Kurt Whittington was only minutes behind to take third.  Old Mr. Lind strode in just over a minute later. 

1st woman, Miss Barton wasn’t really happy with her time, but still managed a top ten overall spot.  25 year old Annie Cierna was real happy to take second woman overall. Third overall woman was a race day entrant from Pasadena, Jennifer Heiner… Hope she comes back to our neck of the woods. All the award winners were happy and why not on such a magic day.  For those who came to their first race at Blue Jay, all I can say is I am sorry for the unruly behavior of some of the local bludgers who always try to intimidate the RD.  Just something I have had to live with at all my races I am very sorry to say, but I am sure you quickly got into the swing of being part of a magic group of trail runners.  Must say congrats to all the first timers at the trail marathon distance, it is the toughest Marathon in California, but soo rewarding when you cross that finish line.

Hope you enjoyed the food and drink and the awards gathering, my long time mate Bob is always happy to help at the Raffle…. Hope you all got something nice! I am happy to be back after a summer of drinking red wine for a month in the UK & having another birthday with mates in Laguna Woods.  I look forward to seeing you all sometime in the new year.  You have a couple of months before the start of the Winter Trail Run Series, now a 5 race series, starting January 7th.  The shorter trail run distances will help you with the longer races later in summer, trust me!.  “A Snail Pace” will again support the series as they always support all your running and racing needs.  All the support I get at my events is really appreciated even those who want to get under my delicate skin with their nastiness… joking of course!  Where could a 70 year old bloke enjoy having fun with the best mates in the world, hopefully it shows with my quiet demeanor.  Enjoy the festive season and we will gather again in Lower Blue next year.

Much Love Big BAZZA XXX

Saddleback Trail Marathon Winners
(BOLD RED times are the official current COURSE records
Year Men’s time Name Female’s time Name
2011 3:10:32 Jon Clark 3:55:55 (8th OA) Michelle Barton
2010 3:14:15 Dean Dobberteen 3:26:03 (3rd OA) Michelle Barton
2009 3:28:11 Kevin Bean 3:50:15  (6th OA) Ashley Nordell
2008 3:25:48 Tracy Moore 4:04:46  (9th OA) Michelle Barton
2007 3:28:43 Rob McNair 3:37:43 (2nd OA) Christine Ensign
The GAP??        
2004 (RND data) 3:15:44 Steve Lind 3:52:56  (12th OA) Maike Sander
2003 (RND data) 3:16:04 Kevin Taylor 3:55:10  (13th OA) Michelle Barton


Place Name m/f Age Time
1 Jon  Clark m 37 3:10:32
2 Greg  Moe m 28 3:26:39
3 Kurt  Whittington m 33 3:30:21
4 Steve Lind m 51 3:31:44
5 Jamison  Smith m 33 3:31:46
6 Joshua  Malpa m 33 3:49:01
7 John Virgil m 38 3:55:10
8 Michelle  Barton f 40 3:55:55
9 Sam  Bosworth m 33 3:58:30
10 Philip  Anthony m 40 4:03:49
11 Annie  Cierna f 25 4:07:02
12 Keith  Swiatkowski m 39 4:16:59
13 Chris  Goddard m 41 4:19:30
14 Jannifer  Heiner f 33 4:19:30
15 Andy  Weaver m 47 4:23:00
16 Matt  Kayala m 29 4:24:17
17 Eric  Kosters m 50 4:28:34
18 Bob  Linnes m 45 4:28:34
19 Jay  Reale m 47 4:29:56
20 Chuck  Sohaskey m 49 4:30:08
21 Jon  Centofranchi m 46 4:31:12
22 Steve  Mirriles m 60 4:32:33
23 Mike  Swenson m 37 4:32:46
24 Jezza  Fetzer m 40 4:33:21
25 Mari Russell f 47 4:35:05
26 Scott  Templin m 50 4:36:49
27 Theresa  Apodoca f 49 4:38:45
28 Zack  Johnson m 43 4:40:30
29 Chris  Muller m 42 4:41:15
30 Keith  Kirby m 47 4:47:31
31 Rafael  Corarrubus m 43 4:47:55
32 Dave  Winkler m 49 4:50:26
33 Jeff  Padilla m 60 4:52:38
34 Ben  Gatos m 54 4:52:38
35 Julia  Canales f 40 4:53:10
36 Chris  Haines m 52 4:57:25
37 Rebecca  Bartis f 41 4:59:38
38 Melanie  Weir f 47 5:00:03
39 Dan  Dickson m 50 5:00:40
40 Dave  Scott m 50 5:02:39
41 Keith  Marsicola m 53 5:07:49
42 Linda  Kessman f 51 5:09:00
43 Laurie  Smith f 58 5:09:09
44 Tracy  Cole f 33 5:09:47
45 Mike  Kovanaugh m 51 5:12:04
46 Jonathan  Trask m 21 5:12:51
47 Donnette  Moothart f 51 5:13:06
48 Jeff  Trevena m 57 5:16:21
49 Steve  Curtis m 55 5:18:38
50 Kurt  Erlandson m 57 5:22:17
51 Kevin  Sheren m 51 5:25:20
52 Laura  Sohaskey f 51 5:25:31
53 Brittany  Hyland f 28 5:28:14
54 Bjoern  Kampmann m 38 5:30:09
55 Kimberly  Manfred f 39 5:30:09
56 Cathy  Harris f 54 5:35:28
57 Larry  Letts m 57 5:35:28
58 Andy  Morean m 38 5:36:10
59 Carmela  Layson f 41 5:40:01
60 Robert  Rainey m 53 5:43:16
61 Dennis  Huffman m 62 5:44:12
62 Hu  Kyung m 50 5:44:18
63 Pat  Moore f 50 5:45:14
64 Kang  Lee m 58 5:48:15
65 Min  Chae m 55 5:48:15
66 Steve  Hernandez m 44 5:52:21
67 Deborah  Acosta f 36 5:52:21
68 Chris  Diaz m 52 6:01:05
69 Lauren  Miertschin f 46 6:01:55
70 Joanne  Taylor f 55 6:04:30
71 Rowell  Ramos m 46 6:04:30
72 Valerie Winkler f 47 6:07:26
73 Brian  Eynon m 41 6:11:29
74 Nina  Riha f 44 6:11:29
75 Jeremy  Howes m 40 6:14:45
76 Jeff  Coon m 54 6:18:48
77 Doug  Malewicki m 72 6:20:14
78 Elana  Beacon f 40 6:23:00
79 Marina  White f 25 7:11:00
80 Billy  Dickey m 72 8:19:01

(Share your photos on Baz's website.  Please email them to

Marathon Photos submitted by:
 Michelle Barton & Doug Malewicki
Please email us if you know any of the missing names.)
(Click on any picture to see a larger version.  Right click to Save As.)
(If you want an original full size of any of these photos to print out, EMail:
Identify it by section, row and column.  Free of course.  Baz will buy me a Starbucks next month!)



The early morning sunrise view of Lake Ellsinore up on the Main Divide (approaching the 1st aid station).
e Geezer Doug started out at 6:30 AM to get the Marathon trails marked.  Was cold. He initially wore tights, gloves & jacket with the hood up.
Smoke from the cabin next to the start of the Holy Jim trail.  Never saw smoke in 6 years!
The TUNNEL of trees and overgrown vines located a bit past the start of the Holy Jim trail and its fun 2,350' climb in 4.3 miles!

Kurt Whittington 33 was 3rd overall in 3:30:21

Jamison Smith 33 was 5th overall in 3:31:46

Greg Moe finished 2nd overall in 3:26:39

John Virgil was 7th overall in 3:55:10


First woman passing Doug was his daughter Michelle Barton (almost to the top of Holy Jim)

Michelle and her
famous long red hair

was 1st woman & 8th overall in 3:55:55

Keith Swiatkowski 39 was 12th overall in 4:16:59

Annie Cierna 25 was 2nd woman overall in 4:07:02 & ?

Bob Linnes 45 & Eric Kosters 50 came in 17th & 18th in 4:28:34.  Was Bob's first marathon ever.  Congrats.

Jannifer Heiner 33 and Chris Goddard 41 finished in 4:19:30. Jannifer was 3rd woman overall!

Chuck Sohaskey 49 was 20th overall in 4:30:08

Andy Weaver 47 was 15th overal in 4:23:00

Jon Centofranchi 46 was 21st overall in 4:31:12

Steve Merrilees 60 was 22nd overall in 4:32:33. Steve was 1st in 60-69.

Jay Reale 47 was 19th overall in 4:29:56

Jezza Fetzer 40 was 24th overall in 4:33:21

What a clear day!
(Click on this photo to see some good detail of the city far below!)

Scott Templin 50 was 26th in 4:36:39

Doug Malewicki 72 was 77th overall in 6:20:14

Theresa Apodaca 49 was 5th woman in 4:38:45

 ? with Keith Kirby 47 who came in 30th overall in 4:47:31

Chris Muller 42 finished 29th overall in 4:41:15

Keith Swiatkowski crosses the finish line in 4:16:59

Kurt Erlanson and Sam Bosworth celebrate another great Saddleback finish!

Geezer Doug crosses the finish line in 6:20:14

 Jamison Smith (5th overall), Michelle Barton (1st woman) & Kurt Whittington (3rd overall)

Lauren Miertschin
Lauren's BLOG eloquently summarizes her Saddleback Trail Marathon experience  
It has the entire on-the-trail story.  A totally different perspective than Baz's writeup above.

If you want to show your non-running friends what a serious trail course is actually like, Lauren also videoed her run.  It is on her blog or you can go direct to the YouTube link

Last year Lauren came in 90th overall in 7:25:23.  This year she came in 69th in a time of 6:01:55.  Almost an hour and a half quicker!!  That took a lot of dedication and a lot of training.  Congratulations Lauren.

AND in case you didn't know... 
The week before the Saddleback Trail Marathon

had a

"70K Happy Birthday Bash"

October 27, 2011

Michelle Barton & Dean Dobberteen wish Big Baz a

Doug Malewicki & Baz have been friends since 1973. Big Baz reminisces about their good old days... before they became genuine GEEZERS.

Young handsome Brit Baz in his prime in 1976 with Doug's daughter Michelle (age 5).

Little did Baz know back then that he would get into trail running - let alone that because of his trail races this same adorable little redhead girl would evolve into an ultrarunning rock star!


1st overall woman Michelle Barton with 1st overall Jon Clark & and 2nd overall Greg Moe


e Dad Doug & daughter Michelle do their traditional crossing the finish line together reenactment.  People were laughing and telling Doug he was PAPA SMURF.  Perhaps something to do with his blue shirt, blue arm warmers & blue tights (he even wore a blue jacket earlier in the morning).
RD Big Baz yells out "HEY DUMMY - ARE YOU TALKIN' WHILE I'M TALKIN"  It must be time for the AWARDS!



Julia Canales 40 earned 3rd woman in  age 40-49

Theresa Apodoca - 2nd place in age 40-49.

Linda Kessman 51 - 1st place in age 50-59.


Jamison Smith - 1st in age 30-39

Andy Weaver - 3rd overall in 40-49



Erik Kosters 2nd in 50-59

Steve Merrilees - 1st place in age 50-59. (& 4th OVERALL!)

Doug Malewicki 72 was 1st in the 70+ age group. 
He finished in 6:20:14
(Boo Hoo - exactly twice the 3:10:32 of Jon Clark's new course record!)

Doug & daughter Michelle

Jannifer Heiner 33 - 3rd woman overall

Annie Cierna 25 - 2nd woman overall

Baz's assistant, Bob Simonds, claims 1st woman overall!

Michelle Barton 40 was 1st woman overall the last 2 years.  She holds the course record that she set in 2010.

Kurt Whittington 33 - 3rd overall

Greg  Moe 28 - 2nd overall

Jon Clark 37 -1st place overall & a new course record of 3:10:32

Michelle & Jon - the top woman and man for 2011.

Michelle with her good running friend, fireman Jamison Smith who earned a 1st in age 30-39. 

Michelle & Keith Swiatkowski

After the awards, everyone had fun participating in the famous Big Baz MAGIC RAFFLE

Finally heading home after a long day in the Cleveland National Forest.

Julia, Julia - I thought being called PAPA SMURF was pretty bad?  You win!


SADDLEBACK MARATHON Garmin GPS data w/Google Earth Views
(2011 UPDATE - The Saddleback Trail Marathon may be even TOUGHER than we thought back in 2007!)
(click on any picture to see a larger detailed version)

Top View of entire race route.  Note distances and elevation changes for each section.

Google Earth 3D view of the Marathon terrain.

2007 GPS record of the elevation changes
Doug Malewicki's Garmin 205 GPS. 
The built in computer sums all those ups and downs. Shows we climbed a TOTAL of

This is Lauren  Miertschin's elevation profile from the 2011 Marathon using a Garmin 305 GPS.  Her unit said there was 5,401' of total climbs.

In near perfect agreement with Lauren's data, Mari Russell's Garmin 405CX model showed total climbs were 5,376' in the 2011 race.

Click on: Flyby Tour (takes 2 steps)
Wait for Google Earth to open, then zoom down from orbit to the view that shows the red outline of the entire 26.2 mile course.  Once it stabilizes, click the Video Tour button (on the left).  This starts the animation and bring up the control bar.

The view during the animation will give you a great 3D feel for the mountains and valleys we traversed.
(Free download of Google Earth is at: )