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The Making of “Ultra Woman”

December 1, 2011

My latest video project, “Ultra Woman,” was a lot of fun to shoot and put together, but the process didn’t come without its challenges.

I went to film Meghan Arbogast working out on a couple days when she came down to Eugene from Corvallis. I actually got really lucky with the weather because it was sunny on one afternoon and I missed the rain on another, an amazing feat in Eugene during November. I was pretty happy with all the footage I got.

I did an on-camera interview with Meghan, and that came with its problems. After I had filmed the interview, I was looking over it on my computer and I realized I had broken one of the biggest rules in video. I framed the shot perfectly, but interviewed her from the wrong side of the camera! So in the footage she was framed on the left side with room on the right side, but she was talking to me on the left side of the camera. The result was an awkward shot because there was no room in the frame in the direction she was looking and talking.

Luckily I didn’t need to use the A-roll interview footage because I sequenced the video with all the B-roll I had shot. In the end, I liked the look of the video without a talking head because I thought it made the piece more engaging and about the action.

I realized I had broken one of the biggest rules in video. I framed the shot perfectly, but interviewed her from the wrong side of the camera!

My other main issue was with audio. Unfortunately, it was a pretty windy day when I interviewed Meghan outside, and someone was mowing the lawn around the track. These two sounds were pretty distracting in the audio. Fortunately, the audio clips I used in the video didn’t have much of the lawn mower noise, and I was cleverly able to use a high-pass filter on the audio to remove the low, muffled wind noise.

So despite the obstacles, which inevitably arise each time I make a multimedia piece, I was able to create a clean, engaging video that I hope will be a beginning to my future career in multimedia production and photojournalism.

Ultra Woman

November 30, 2011

I have finally finished my multimedia feature video on ultra runner Meghan Arbogast. Many thanks to Meghan for her cooperation and help. I am quite proud of the video, which highlights Meghan’s impressive accomplishments and fun attitude.


Eat, Sleep, Breathe, Run!

November 20, 2011

In order to express my passion for running I created a short, personal narrative video. I filmed some great footage out on the Amazon running trail and over at Hayward Field in Eugene.

I talk about my development as a runner, from a sprinter to possibly an ultra runner one day. And I try to express my love of just getting outside and enjoying nature as I run.


Shoes: the Vibram FiveFingers vs. the Hoka OneOne

November 18, 2011

The Vibram FiveFingers is geared towards minimalist and barefoot runners.

The Hoka OneOne has a super thick sole and extra cushion.









In the ultra running world people are very particular about their shoes. Some people like barefoot or minimalist shoes and others like cushioned shoes. Barefoot shoes were created to simulate humans’ natural running stride. Because many traditional shoes today have cushioned soles, barefoot runners say that runners are running from the heel to the toe instead of running from the ball of the foot to the toe, which is a more natural stride. So shoes such as the Vibram FiveFingers and RunAmocs, moccasin minimalist shoes, were designed to make runners run on the balls of their feet.


Traditional running shoes.

Critics of barefoot running say that switching to minimalist running shoes after years of running in traditional shoes can have negative effects on the body. The foot doesn’t easily adapt to running without cushion under the foot. Runners can also experience Achilles tendonitis or fractures if they don’t run with proper form in minimalist shoes. The best approach is to switch between traditional shoes and minimalist shoes while running.


RunAmocs are soft, minimalist running shoes.

The Hoka OneOne is somewhat of a retaliation against the barefoot running movement. It has a thick sole that raises the runner higher off the ground than traditional shoes do and they give some bounce to a runner’s stride. The thick sole is shaped to rock a runner’s foot from the heel or midfoot to the toes.


Whichever approach you prefer, I think runners need to listen to their own bodies and make sure their shoes are not putting excess stress on it.

Ultras to Mark on Your 2012 Calendar

November 11, 2011

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  • 17th- Frozen Trail Runfest: This 50k race takes place in Eugene at the Mount Pisgah Arboretum. It’s usually a wet, muddy run for runners who have to grit their teeth and power through the cold weather.



  • 3rd- Comrades Marathon: Don’t let the name of this race fool you because it’s no traditional marathon. This race is 56 miles long and takes place in South Africa between Pietermaritzburg and Durban. The race is the world’s largest and oldest ultra and was run for the first time in 1921 to commemorate the South African soldiers killed in World War I.
  • 23rd- Western States 100: The Western States is 100 miles long and takes place in California between Squaw Valley and Auburn. It’s one of the world’s oldest trail ultras and is extremely challenging with steep climbs along the route.


  • 11th-13th- Badwater Ultramarathon: This race is 135 miles long and is run between Death Valley and Mt. Whitney, California. I would consider it a suicidal race because temperatures along the route can reach 130 degrees. Twenty to 40 percent of participants don’t even finish.
  • 28th (tentative)- Mt. Hood 50 Miler: This race is 50 miles long and is run around Mt. Hood in Oregon. It’s a scenic race through the Mt. Hood National Forest.


  • 18th- Waldo 100k Trail Run: This 100k ultra takes place around the Willamette Pass Ski Area, 70 miles east of Eugene. Eugene ultra runner, Craig Thornley, puts on the race. The trail climbs three mountains and passes by the beautiful Waldo Lake.
  • 18th-19th- Leadville 100: The Leadville ultra is 100 miles long, taking place in the Colorado Rockies. This is another extreme ultra that should only be attempted by experienced ultra runners. Elevations along the route are between 9,200 and 12,600 feet.


  • 8th (tentative)- McKenzie River 50k Trail Run: This 50k race takes place along the McKenzie River in Oregon. The trail follows the path of the river from its source and offers great views along the way.

Power Food: A Runner’s Best Friend

November 4, 2011

I came to realize that spirit, as much or more than physical conditioning, had to be stored up before a race.

-Herb Elliott, Olympic champion and world-record holder in the mile who trained in bare feet, wrote poetry, and retired undefeated.

Runners know that what they put into their bodies before and during a race is very important. I know that I am always aware of what foods I eat before a race. It’s not necessarily about food that’s good for you because the important thing for runners is to pack in the calories. Ultra runners, especially, need a pretty constant intake of calories if they are going to make it through a 50 or 100-mile race. So here are some tips for which foods will give you the boost of energy you need on those long runs.


Pasta is a good source of carbohydrates, which runners' bodies store as energy.


Pasta is the classic carb-loading meal many runners swear by, but recently people have said it’s best to have the big pasta meal a couple nights before the race. Carbs store energy that your body will use while you run. This is my favorite meal to have before a big run. When I was a sprinter in high school, I even had spaghetti for breakfast!


Soup is an easily digestible food that is good to have before a race.


Liquid foods such as soup or juice are best to have right before a race. Your body won’t have to digest difficult fiber but will still get the necessary nutrients it needs. When I eat soup the night before a race, my stomach feels great while I’m running.


Fruits are a good source of sugar, an energy booster.


Fresh fruit is good to have for breakfast an hour or two before a race. I like to eat bananas before a race because they are easily digested and are a good source of potassium.


Gels can give an extra kick of energy to runners during a race.


Energy gels are one of the best ways to replace the nutrients your body is losing during a race. Energy gels can easily be carried while you run and can be quickly accessed.


Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate

It is most important to stay hydrated before and during a race. Sports drinks will help add electrolytes that the body is losing, and water will replenish your body and muscles with oxygen.


Foods to AVOID include high-fiber foods, high-fat foods and caffeine.

Top 5 Scenic Trails to Run Around Eugene

October 28, 2011

The bark dust section of Pre's Trail is littered with leaves in the fall.

So this week I did it. I got a run in every other day. Running really is a stress-reliever for me, and I feel like this week has gone by so much smoother because I was able to get out and just run.

I also made a list, in no particular order, of the top five trails I think are great for novice or expert runners.

The McKenzie River rushes right by the McKenzie River 50k race route.

1. McKenzie River Trail

Location: The trail begins about 72 miles east of Eugene along Highway 126.

Description: I have only hiked part of this trail, but it is rated as one of the top 25 running trails in America by Runner’s World magazine. Each year in early September the McKenzie River 50k Trail Run is held on this trail. The trail runs alongside the roaring McKenzie River from its headwaters down towards the McKenzie covered bridge. The route includes steep climbs and descents and goes past hot springs and old lava fields. It really is a beautiful run.

Level of Difficulty (scale from 1-10): 7

Distance: 27 miles


Colorful trees shelter Pre's Trail in the fall.

2. Pre’s Trail

Location: The trail runs alongside the north section of Alton Baker Park and passes Autzen Stadium, running near the Willamette River towards Springfield.

Description: I love going on a relaxing run on this trail when I have a break between classes. It is one of the most famous in Eugene and is named after Steve Prefontaine, a University of Oregon runner who had seven American track records in long distance races. He died in a car accident in 1975. The bark dust trail winds through woods and fields, passing a couple of ponds. The trail is especially beautiful in the fall when the trees change colors.

Level of Difficulty (scale from 1-10): 1

Distance: 4-6 miles


Runners gather at the head of the Amazon Trail to run the mile loop.

3. Amazon and Rexius Trails

Location: The Amazon Trail starts in South Eugene between Amazon Park and Hilyard Street and connects to the Rexius Trail between East and West Amazon Parkway.

Description: I run these connecting trails all the time because they are easily accessible and because they wind through South Eugene, a peaceful part of the city. The trails run by groves of trees and Amazon Creek. Amazon Trail can get busy with runners in the afternoons but Rexius is usually less crowded. I also find that the farther I run on Rexius the more peaceful and quiet it gets because there tends to be less people and traffic.

Level of Difficulty (scale from 1-10): 1

Distance: 1-5 miles

Runners can easily forget they are still in the city as they run along the Ridgeline Trail.

4. Ridgeline Trail

Location: The trail is easily accessible via Willamette Street or Fox Hollow Road in South Eugene near Spencer’s Butte.

Description: I have yet to run on this trail, but a lot of runners in Eugene run this path. There are also many trails that connect up in this area, so runners can make their runs as long or short as they want. Douglas fir trees shelter the trail and views of the city can be seen along the route.

Level of Difficulty (scale from 1-10): 4

Distance: 1 mile

Groves of trees and sweeping meadows, which are full of flowers in the spring, surround the trail that leads up Mt. Pisgah.

5. Mt. Pisgah Trail

Location: The trail and Howard Buford Recreational Area can be accessed by taking the 30th Street exit off I-5 and driving east.

Description: I have hiked this trail to the top of Mt. Pisgah, and I don’t plan on running the route anytime soon. But for the experienced runner, the trail would be a great hill workout. For beginning runners there are some flat paths running around the base of Mt. Pisgah near the arboretum and Willamette River. 

Level of Difficulty (scale from 1-10): 4

Distance: 6-10 miles


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