Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Ryan Shay Memorial Fund

On November 3rd the nation lost one of its most talented and promising distance runners. Ryan Shay, at the age of 28, collapsed five miles into the Olympic Marathon Trails in New York City and could never be revived.

Here is alink to his remembrance ceremony held recently in his home town, Flagstaff, AZ.

In honor of Ryan Shay, an integral member of the Flagstaff, Arizona running community, the Center for High Altitude Training has designated its current "Running Fund" through the Northern Arizona University Foundation to be a "Ryan Shay Memorial Fund," with the targeted purpose of serving as a source for athlete stipends. These stipends are financial allocations to eligible U.S. middle distance and distance runners that help pay for their training-related expenses while training in Flagstaff.

For further information and details on how to contribute, click the following link:

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Quad Dipsea no match for Ashland runner

Erik Skaggs, of Ashland, Oregon, was the men's winner of the Quad...Most everyone considers crossing the Dipsea Trail a formidable challenge. To run it four times in a row - 28 miles, with 9,200 feet each of precipitous uphill and downhill - appears nearly incomprehensible.
To do it in under 4 hours is, well, off the chart of adjectives. At Saturday's 25th annual Quadruple Dipsea, Erik Skaggs became the second runner ever to turn the feat with a sensational time of 3 hours, 53 minutes, 7 seconds. San Rafael's Victor Ballesteros was runner-up, 20 minutes back.

Skaggs, making his first visit to the Dipsea Trail, laid down the gauntlet by covering the opening leg from Mill Valley to Stinson Beach in a scintillating 54 minutes. Buchanan (last year's winner) lost sight of him by the top of the steps which open the course. Skaggs returned to Old Mill Park, halfway through, in 1:51:14, well on track to break the Quad's legendary record of 3:52:29, set by Carl Andersen in 1992. But a slowing, though still torrid, third leg of 59 minutes kept finish line observers guessing. Despite a furious final charge, Skaggs missed the record by 38 seconds.

"It was hard," said Skaggs immediately after finishing. "I walked, for the first time, on the hill out of Stinson Beach on the last lap, and that demoralized me a bit."

taken from the Marin Independant Journal

Monday, November 12, 2007

The Pioneer Road Run

This past weekend marked the running of southern Oregon's oldest road race (started in 1971), The Pioneer Road Run. The race, located in Phoenix, Oregon, had two different race distances: nine miles and five kilometers.

Rogue Valley Runners' store employee, Ixel Sanchez, won the women's nine mile race in a time of 1:01:07. It was her first race back after her stellar performance at the Portland Marathon (see her marathon story here). Darcy Kleiman, also a RVR store employee, finished third in the women's race in 1:11:00.

In the men's race, John Leuthold, won yet another southern Oregon race (read about his other recent victory here). Chased all race long by Darren Goff, Leuthold eked out another close victory by finishing the nine mile course in 50:40, four seconds ahead of Goff. RVR store owner, Hal Koerner, finished third in 51:32. Other store regulars, Aaron Reed and Jeremy Eisen, finished fourth and sixth respectively.

A special congratulations must go out to Trevor Palmer, Elliot Jantzer and Joe King. Trevor set a new course record in the five kilometer race by crossing the finish tape in 15:03. Elliot set a new age group record (14-18) by finishing the 5K in second in 15:55. Joe finished the 5K in 25:37, in an 80+ age group record time of 25:37!

Congratulations to the more than 130 runners that took part. Results can be found on the Southern Oregon Sizzlers web site.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Seiad Valley Preview

Many locals know well the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) as it crosses the flanks of Mount Ashland on it's way to Pilot Rock, Soda Mountain and over to Green Springs and Hyatt Lake. But on rare occasion the need to get away strikes. A recent, clear November day gave such inspiration for a trip like this.

The troops loaded up for the drive into southern California and then west on Highway 96 along the mighty Klamath River. Less than ninety minutes after having left Ashland the group found themselves at a dirt turn-off along the road, just west of the small community of Seiad Valley, with a Pacific Crest Trail marker pointing the way. Up they did charge. The car was left along the banks of the river at 1,500 feet and six miles later the runners stood next to an abandoned lookout tower at 5,200 feet.

Here the northern California mountains are framed by the old building's now vacant windows. Mt. Shasta can barely be seen.

Abbey (tongue a hanging), Erik, Kyle and Ian (R to L) stand on Lower Devil's Peak with rugged Kangaroo Peak in the distance and the Red Buttes Wilderness beyond that.

Looking down on Seiad and the Klamath River more than 3,600 feet below.

Now that most of the elevation was gained, the group continued to contour along the mostly above treeline flanks of Middle and Lower Devil's Peak reaching almost 6,000 feet. The crew took in the views and then backtracked to the car...a few trip notes...water is scarce and ticks are a plenty on this section of trail.

This little excursion definitely whetted our appetites to explore further on the PCT and to find out what other incredible vistas, summits and sweeping ridge lines lay between here and Mount Ashland.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Pre Seen Training on The Plaza!!!

Steve Prefontaine was spotted sprinting through Ashland's downtown Plaza last night. The photographer was lucky enough to catch him in what was, no doubt, a warm-up for this weekend's Olympic Marathon Trials. His die hard fans seem to follow him everywhere he goes.