8 questions to discover a race : Coyote Two Moon Ultras

26 Nov 2009 17:39
Jean-Loup Fenaux
Focus on a race Interview

As part of a larger group of local trail runners, Just A Bunch of Yahoos and our club, Coyote Cohorts, we’ve provided unique and exhilarating running challenges (C4P and now C2M) for the ultra community for a dozen years. I’m just thrilled that the JABOYs rally around the idiot schemes that dribble from between my ears. I’m on hiatus from my own ultra ‘career’ to enjoy hosting these crazy events, and to roam on mountainous long distance trails.

Chris Scott, self proclaimed ‘Chief Idiot’ of the Coyote Two Moon Ultras.

Hello, on March 5th , you’ll be organizing the Coyote Two Moon Ultras . Can you tell us where it is located?

Ojai, California. About 70 miles upcoast from Los Angeles, inland about 15 miles, with great views of the ocean from the Ojai ridge!


How old are the races and why were they created in the first place?

This will be our 3rd Two Moon. The event follows from Coyote FourPlay, which was a four day running ‘party’ where participants could choose across various distances each day, with the longest distance across all days of 198 miles.

C4P lasted 10 years, and we pulled the plug partly to discontinue the very demanding work of our volunteers across so many days, and partly on theory that all events ought to have a finish date.

What kind of route have you set up for the runners? How would you describe it?

The ridge behind Ojai has 7 trails that spider off the ridge road (which stretches for about 12 miles across the top) to different trailheads at the bottom. Deciding on the courses was almost a no-brainer, as the 100M’ers do all 7 climbs to the ridge, the 100K’ers miss out on 2 of them. The ridge road itself isn’t flat, so runners spend their full time on each course going either up or down.

No complaints yet on it being too easy!

How many runners do you expect on Friday evening? What type of runners do you plan to attract?

Because it’s a staggered start, the first group of runners leave Friday evening, and the last group starts Saturday afternoon. We’ll have 5 start groups per distance. As for type of runner, because of the elevation gain, we set qualification standards (with some flexibility) to reduce the chance that neophyte ultrarunners get in too much beyond their current capability.

So, we prefer ‘seasoned’ runners, both to improve their chances of finishing, as well as to reduce burden on our volunteers having to care for someone ill-prepared for the course.

Coyote Two Moons Ultras - Eric Dino

At that time of the year, what kind of weather can we expect?

Because the courses go to and off the ridge, temperatures can vary greatly by location on the course. While averages are between 4-22 Celsius, last year the temps were as high as 30C and as low as 0.

Have you planned festivities around the races?

Entry fee pays for pre-event lunch and post-event brunch. In the couple days before the event, we also offer other activities to help bring people to our coastal climate.

A favorite activity, aside from a couple casual days of running and sitting near the beach, has been bowling — those who play get assigned to teams, and awards of marginal value are given to performances of special note: highest, lowest scores for teams and individuals.

Coyote Two Moons Ultras - Chis Scott

We also try to create a fairly festive atmosphere on the course itself, where both aid station staff and runners can entertain each other throughout the event. This picture is of Roch Horton, a several time finisher of Hard Rock 100M in Colorado, going through a riff on our Sisar Canyon A/S Captain’s (Wild Bill Kee) guitar at 4AM and Mile 11 of the 100M!!

Yes, ‘festive’ is fair term for what we try to encourage and create at Two Moon…

The marathon finished, what advice would you give a runner who has never been to Ojai before? A good restaurant, a fancy sightseeing?

Ojai has its own unique culture, as it sits apart from most other local communities and thus avoids the feel of exurban Los Angeles, and for its high concentration of artists living in the area. With that setting, there are several good restaurants in town.

Driving to the coast (about 20 minutes away), there’s almost a limitless supply of activities that visitors can enjoy. As a run finisher, even just sitting on the beach can serve as both entertainment and recovery!

In a single sentence, what would you tell the readers of ahotu Marathons to make them register for the Coyote Two Moon Ultras?

Coyote Two Moon offers both a challenging course and an event-driven and runner-created hospitality that stretches well outside just the miles you’ve signed up to do.

Thank you Chris
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