The 2015 Grand Slam with Ham is just… Sigh…
Plain caught fire again, only this time it did it at the wrong time, so the race was canceled. Cascade featured a monsoon, which led to a high DNF rate and generally soggy spirits. Badger was rotten as well, but that’s what Badger is supposed to be, so cry me a river. The upshot is that nobody can really finish the prescribed four granddaddy races without Nomex gear and possibly air support, so we tried to give them something to test their capacity for monotony and will hold a Baker Lake 100 miler, which they’ll start before the regular race. Maybe we’ll give them rocks to carry. The last three standing as of now are Yvonne Naughton, Ray Siegrist, and the indefatigable Hideko Opperman, who holds the current record for worst Slam weather luck.
John Barrickman won for speed, Daniel Kuhlmann won for distance and Hideko Opperman won for number of times getting lost. Plain was the breaking point for our last two leading ladies, Hideko and Genia Kacey, who had finished everything else.
2013 Grand Slam With Ham went unclaimed. Jason (Ras) Vaughan was our top contender until Plain, when instead of handily finishing the series including opting for the Pigtails 200-miler he had the opportunity to enjoy his first DNF. He still wins the title for Washington Grand Kinda-Sorta Slam (Hold the
Ham Plain), which seems appropriate for a vegetarian. Yet (in his own words) he will rise back up,”like a comic book supervillain or a cyborg assassin from the future.” We look forward to seeing his costume choice.
- Jason (Ras) Vaughan, Orovillie, WA – Badger: 27:17:00, Lumberjack: 26:44:00, Pigtails 200-mile: 67:27:00, Cascade Crest: 31:27:56 Total time on trail: 152:55:56, Total mileage: 500
2012 Grand Slam With Ham (all 5 races):
- Van Phan, Maple Valley WA – Badger: 28:06:25, Lumberjack: 21:16:00, Pigtails 200-mile: 52:50:00, Cascade Crest: 25:34:59, Plain: 32:57:00 Total time on trail: 160:44:24, Total mileage: 600, Average pace: 16m 4s/mile
- Matt Hagen, Seattle WA – Badger: 28:06:25, Lumberjack: 23:34:00, Pigtails 150-mile: 43:54:00, Cascade Crest: 25:48:26, Plain: 29:34:00, Total time on trail: 150:56:51, Total mileage: 550, Average pace: 16m 28s/mile
The official 2012 Grand slam is finished! Upon Van Phan’s finish at Plain, Matt Hagen made a claim that since he had come in over three hours before her, he should be declared the winner.
“If you’re counting from the start of Badger to the end of Plain…” he argued unconvincingly to the shuffling array of volunteers, race directors and one very exasperated looking gal with pigtails who had just sat down, “I mean… You don’t stop the clock, right? It’s start to finish. I’m the ‘first finisher’ of the Grand Slam With Ham.”
Somebody really should have been shooting video.
Eventually his smirk broke through and Van stopped kicking his ankles long enough for him to explain to the others that Van had soundly defeated him in every race in the series except this one and Badger, and that had been because she refused to leave him in the latter miles of that arduous race, insisting that since they had run all night together they should finish together.
Count it any way you like – total distance run (600 miles vs. 550); number of races won (4 to 1); or just overall pace per mile (16m 4s vs. 16:28s) – Van Phan is this year’s champion of the Grand Slam With Ham, just as she was the winner and sole finisher of last year’s Grand Slam.
But I (Matt) am still going to say I’m the ‘first finisher’ whenever Van is within earshot. 😉
2012 Grand Kinda-Sorta Slam (4 races, hold the Plain):
- Jeff Forister, Seattle WA – Badger: 30:51:19, Lumberjack: 27:46:00, Pigtails 100-mile: 25:50:00, Cascade Crest: 30:38:07, Total time on trail: 115:05:26, Total mileage: 400, Average pace: 17m 16s/mile
We were sad to have lost our third competitor for the whole enchilada, Jeff Forister, at Deep Creek. He ran a strong Cascade Crest, but had to drop down to the “Plain 100k” when he was feeling rough and the lightning storm was getting bad as he came into Deep Creek. Even making it halfway is not easy in a race that only 72 people have ever finished. He did, however, finish Badger, Lumberjack, Pigtails and Cascade Crest, making him the official “Grand Slam, Hold the Ham” winner for the 2012.
2011 Inaugural Grand Slam (4 races, predates Pigtails 100/150/200):
- Van Phan, Maple Valley Wa – Badger: 26:44:00, Lumberjack: 25:27:00, Cascade Crest: 28:28:41, Plain: 35:10:00, Total time: 115hr 49min 41sec, Average pace: 17m 22s/ mile