Top Ten Things You Might Hear At RVR

Hal at Where's Waldo '08

Hal on Fuji Mtn at Where's Waldo 2008

Rogue Valley Runners in Ashland, Oregon is arguably the capitol of ultrarunning in the US these days.  Sorry Seattle Running Company and Auburn Running Company, but have you seen the caravan of ultrarunning gypsies that owner Hal Koerner has assembled down there?  Let’s see, there’s Ian Torrence, Erik Skaggs, Kyle Skaggs, Tony Krupicka, and the Western States 100 defending champion himself, plus a couple of solid, but lesser-accomplished runners (sorry Ixel, Chris, and Darcy).   It’s a great place to buy shoes or just hang out and chat with the boys.

After being told by Hal at the Southern Oregon Fat Ass 50K on the Rogue River trail in January that he was glad I was in front of him for the first three miles so he could “practice his 72-hour pace,” I was actually speechless.  He got me good and I had no response.  But when I finished an hour or so after him, I warned him that his time will come just like AJW and Twiet.  Well, Hal, it’s come.  Here are the top ten things you might hear at Rogue Valley Runners.  All quotes are from Hal unless otherwise noted.

10. “Seriously guys, do these Moeben Sleeves without a shirt make me look fat?”

9. “Can you believe that I’m the defending WS champion and I still don’t get any respect?” (see AJW’s poll where he was 5th)

8. “Hey Hal, how many races are you going to drop out of this year? You should try to break the all-time record.” [Kyle]

Defending WS Champion "out of shape" in Cabo

Defending WS Champion in Cabo

7. “Does anybody know what to do for plantar fasciitis?”

6. “Chris, did you borrow my pink arm panties?  I can’t find them and I’m in a sexy mood today.”

5. “Hal, are you and Ian going to grow some this year and sing karaoke at the Georgetown Hotel after Way Too Cool?  Carly and I were the only ones to represent Ashland last year which was really weak.” [Erik]

4. “Is it true that somebody from Eugene has won Way Too Cool two years in a row now?  Didn’t all you guys go down there last year?  Pathetic, guys.” [Kyle or Tony]

3. “Next time Thornley’s down here will you ask him to sign the photo we have of him on the wall?”

2. “Tony, if you beat me at States, you’re fired!”

1. “Ian, it’s your turn to pet and clean my cougar today.”

Did I miss any?

2/9 Update: In private communication with the defending WS champion, he acknowledged that he looked out of shape in the Where’s Waldo Fuji picture I included above.  So, to show me what he really looks like when he’s out of shape, he sent me the picture to the right and said, “this is what Western States champions do in the off season…….. Cabo, dirt, 90’s………good luck.”


  1. 1. It takes all 23 store employees to subdue a single shop-lifter….
    2. Hal is growing his hair longer thinking it will make him as fast as the other guys…..
    3. Instead of bragging to your co-workers that you ran 4 hours today, you’re actually embarrassed that you only ran that far.
    4. Working full time means putting in a 40 hour week of course, 15 actually working and 25 running…..
    5. They can play possibly the crummiest pickup game of 2 on 2 basketball to watch known to man…..
    6. When Anton started working there, Hal had to take down the store sign that said, “No Shoes, No Shirt, No Service!”….
    7. If you’re over 30, you are referred to as the “old guy”…
    8. They call it Rouge Valley Runners, but nobody actually ever runs in the valley….so Rouge Runners is more fitting..
    9. It could be the largest group of employees ever assembled in a single location in Oregon, that have never worked a full time job.
    10. They all think Ryan Hall is a sprinter…..
    11. On Hal’s employment application there is no spot to list your work history….just your PR’s…
    12. With that many ultrarunners in one store, Hal had to put in a second bathroom….

  2. Craig,
    This sh*#t is hilarious! I think you’ll be hearing from many of us.

    I may be lesser know and not as accomplished as some of these nuts at RVR but who was on the cover of the January Trailrunner…;P

    Go ahead and bring your two on two team to Ashland and I’ll school both of you by myself, but I’ll have Erik on my team so I don’t make you look too bad.


  3. Top 10 Reasons You Don’t Want Anton Working in a Running Store:
    1. When asking customers how much mileage they run a week they reply, “30 miles or so”…Anton keeps quipping back, “I asked how much for a week not a day?”….
    2. When customers mention they are training for a marathon, Anton busts out laughing…”Is that really the best you can do?”….
    3. Much to Hal’s dismay, Anton keeps put up racks of empty hangers under the “Running Apparel” display…
    4. When Anton goes running during the lunch hour, he doesn’t get back until after 5pm….
    5. When customers ask for more than one pair of shoes, Anton goes all intellectual…”This just another example of a capital rich society with commercial interests with their advertising industry that do not want people to develop contentment and less greed. Military interests in economic, political, ethnic or nationalist guises, do not want people to develop more tolerance, nonviolence and compassion. And ruling groups in general, in whatever sort of hierarchy do not want the ruled to become too insightful, too independent, too creative on their own, as the danger is that they will become insubordinate, rebellious, and unproductive in their alloted tasks…so, do you really need another pair?”….
    6. He keeps telling customers they don’t need shoes to run….
    7. Customers keep asking…”who’s the homeless guy with no shirt stretching out front?”…
    8. He thinks everyone can wear arm warmers on their legs like he can….
    9. He gives terrible training adivce to beginners…”You want to start out easy, say, 18, 19 miles on your first run….” or…”You want to alternate your training days, go long hard, then longer and harder, long and hard, harder, followed by a long run…”
    10. When Hal holds a “buy-one pair get one free sale”…Anton insist on only giving away one shoe for free…

  4. I noticed your 9 Feb update from Hal. Looks like he’s practicing his (slow) walking to me. I also note the sag in the front waist ban of his shorts, kinda like it’s got something (like a belly) in the way from stretching straight across. Lesser minds wonder.

  5. I just wish somebody would expound on who this somebody else is. I mean, to get top 3 at Western and I’ve never seen their name in any results sounds a little questionable. Hell, that seems to make we wonder about the validity of the entire poll now. I think AJW is playing some pretty serious mind games right now.

  6. Actually Hal wears arm condoms not panties. Also, while you’re talking about “rouge” valley runners don’t forget Jenn Shelton who will blow your doors off with a smile (I think wearing less clothing must make you really fast!).

  7. All you Oregonners (especially the “men”)- I direct your attention to the 2006 WS results. The top 2 representing your state were females, and Seagull carried the torch for all you men in 54th.

    When the conditions got tough- Cali represented! OR people hung out at the swinging bridge because their skin was drying up.


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