Caveat: this isn’t very well written, I know, but I’m tired and didn’t have much time for editing before Manny’s b-day.

Bob’s “50th Manny Challenge” Report:

• 50 miles running

• 50 miles SS mountain biking (over 50% on trail)

• 500 pullups / 500 pushups / 500 ab exercise

• 50 boulder problems (10 V5 or harder)

• 10 mile ocean paddle

• 5 Olys

• 5 glasses wine

• 5 hard boiled eggs

• 1 fritter

Ok, let ‘s get logistics out of the way first.

The idea of this Challenge was supposed to be incredibly difficult, maybe too difficult (by design), and I prepared very well for it. After some specific training, which was mainly starting to go bouldering again, I thought I had a decent shot. The weekend before the event I planned a high-altitude test run of a shitload of exercise at the cabin and I did better than I expected. Bitchin. Figured I was ready to take on the challenge after some much needed rest days.

Ummm, no.

Major storm system rolling in, threatening to close down any form of climbing by Friday evening. So I moved The Challenge forward from starting 50 hours before the clock turned to Novemer 22nd, to as soon as fucking possible, which turned into 4:10pm Thursday afternoon. The worst part of this change in schedule (besides having to miss a day of work when I actually needed to be there, sorry PK) was the missing 30 hours of rest I wouldn’t get and was planning on recovering with, and also the lack of preparation. This event was planned as completely self-supported and I had originally planned on getting all my shit together Friday afternoon. I essentially had nothing ready when I started Thursday, just threw some running shoes/shorts in to the van and my bike and gear with lights that I hoped were charged enough and drove to Romero.

Thursday Night:

Drove to Romero and got on the bike, clock officially starting at 4:10pm. The ride up was a nominally painful 6.75 miles, the ride down was slow and because Nuke doesn’t run distance at 20 mph, more like 6mph (unless there’s a squirrel in sight), so it took an hour+ longer than if I’d been alone. Drove from Romero to the beach and ran. Drove to the house and did ½ hour set of 5s. Ran some more after that. Got to bed around midnight-ish.


To start, bike ride to Romero from house. Got up at 5:45a and it was pretty bad looking outside. The weather report said rain wasn’t supposed to start until Friday night and I was hoping to get the climbing done right after the bike ride. After some coffee, pullups/etc, I got on the bike at 6:45a and within 10 minutes I was completely wet. No climbing during this challenge. The bike ride hyper sucked. It was long, cold, painful and windy, and cold and wet and cold. The Pukester had planned on meeting me Friday afternoon

for some climbing, and when I got to the top of Romero at around 9ish, I checked my phone to see a message from him saying, “Pretty wet out there.”. I sent him the attached picture of me at the summit area, soaking and miserable. Rode back down, then took the beach route to check out the conditions for paddling. Looked ok, and I knew I didn’t want to get on the bike again, so I pedaled up to The Mesa to get in enough miles to get 50 by the time I got back to the house.

Got home, got the paddle gear together and headed to the beach. The 5 mile paddle was uneventful, although kind of a pain because the swell was from the south and that made the paddle out fairly easy (with the swell), and the paddle back in hard (against it). You always want it the other way around.

Got back to the van at the park, and Nuke was waiting and ready to run. I’m not sure he knew what he was in store for. Ran 7 miles with Nuke, stopped back at the van, fueled, left Nuke, ran 7 more miles, stopped and fueled, ran 5 more miles with Nuke. Fucking painful and I nearly called off the last 5 miler except I knew it would be harder if I had to do it tomorrow.

Had to go to the grocery store after running (this was one of those things would have gotten done on Friday). I’m sure I smelled great to everyone passing by me at Trader Joe’s. Got home and started eating, Puke came by with a beer for me, I smartly passed on it, as I would have stopped everything then and there if I’d drank it. After eating, did a ½ hour set, then ran another 6+, for over 25 miles of running for the day.

Got to bed around midnight-ish again.


Got up at 6:45 and did some pullups/etc. with my coffee. Weather was looking ok. Decided to just head out and run the last 12 right off the bat, even though I could barely walk when I got out of bed.

Nuke and I walked probably 75% of the first 1.5 miles from the house to the beach, then I started to feel better and got rolling, but very slow. Ran all the way up to Lazy Acres on the Mesa and came back, the ocean was perfect paddling conditions. Damn….I was hoping it would suck and was seriously considering saying fuck the last 5 miles of paddling. Couldn’t do it.

True story: funny thing when me & Nuke were walking back up the hill to the house after nearly 50 miles I was sort of “out of it” and I thought about how good it was going to be to see Ratso, as if he’d be waiting at the house for me. Damn. I gave the Ratso!!! call out when we got home anyways.

Fed Nuke a congratulatory meal for finishing his 50k, got my ocean shit back together, drove to the beach and went for a paddle.

The paddle was fantastic, excellent conditions. Nice light wind, with short period swell. I’m really glad I didn’t scrap it, and I really wished I was less tired to have enjoyed it more. On the way home I stopped by the donut shop and bought a super shitty looking fritter.

Now, to salvage the climbing portion, I concocted an idea to climb 200 moves in The Shed. The idea being: I was supposed to do 50 BPs, with 10 V5 or harder. Realistically, the average number of moves that I would have done on a problem would be about 7, so times 50=350 moves. Since the easiest jug-to-jug move at The Shed is harder than 90% of the moves I’d have done bouldering, I cut that number in half then added a little for around number. I DIDN’T use the warm-up jug route to count moves except for the 2 laps (up/down) as a warm-up. The rest was legitimate hard moves on established routes and one that I made up and attempted while I was there. I never made it to the top of the wall except for the warm-ups. Took a little over 2.5 hours. All that said, I easily would have done the 50 bps, but would have no doubt failed on the 10 V5s, my guess is I would’ve gotten 6, but who knows.

Did some random pullup/etc. reps at The Shed and went home.

Did a 20 minute set of 3s, and the exercise was officially done at 5:10pm, 49 hours after starting.

By 6:05, with 5 minutes of my 50 hours left, the only thing I had left was a swallow of Oly and two bites of fritter.

The bites of fritter were horrendous, almost unbearable. The Oly went down easy. I was in bed shortly after 8pm.

Final note: My barometer (for me) for hard exercise has always been my 30th Birthday Challenge in Yosemite. This one ranks up with it, and I know that I’ve never fought more against quitting/amending than this weekend. Glad I suffered through it, bad weather and all.

Happy Birthday Manny