Let's start on the Northern California coast. A week after Erik Skaggs blistered the course at the Quad Dipsea, several Rogue Valley Runners returned to the scene of the crime to attack yet another course run in the same area. The North Face Challenge is a 50-mile trail race that criss-crosses the steep hills and coastline just north of San Francisco. The race sold out as the best trail/ultra runners in the world converged on the race in hopes of winning part of the $30,000 prize purse, the largest ever in US ultrarunning history.
Kyle Skaggs dances through the rocks at The North Face Challenge. (photo by Jean Pommier)
RVR owner Hal Koerner and RVR employee Kyle Skaggs, battled up front all day long. In the end Kyle would finish fourth, about a minute behind third place (just missing prize money) and thirteen minutes off the leader, Matt Carpenter of Pikes Peak Ascent and Marathon fame. Kyle finished in 7:02:39, eight minutes faster than Carpenter's time last year on the same course. Hal pushed hard early and came into issues late in the race, but still finished in 7:51:44, a respectable eleventh place finish.
Ashlander Jenn Shelton paced her good friend Susannah Beck (from Eugene) for the last twenty miles of the race. Beck finished second in the women's race.
In the 50 Kilometer edition, Ashland's Carly Varner would finish a strong 33rd out of 131 finishers in 6 hours and 38 minutes.
Full North Face race results can be found here.
Just to the east of the business in Marin County another big northern California event was happening. The California International Marathon was taking place. Phoenix's John Leuthold decided to throw his hat back into the marathon arena. He did so with bravado. Clocking a 2:42:15 John ran his fastest marathon ever and came away with second in his age group.
John Leuthold,with obvious post-marathon residual suffering, poses after his marathon finish.
Full CIM results can be found here.
Across the big Pacific Ocean, Bend's Max King, who won the recent Southern Oregon Runners Turkey Trot, was also battling for prestige and prize money. Hawaii was the setting for the inaugural XTERRA Trail Running World Championships. Having won the XTERRA Trail Running National Championships earlier this year in Bend, Oregon, Max was obliged to give the world championships a shot. The 21-kilometer course climbed 3,000 feet; not a fast course. Max was able to hold a six-minute per mile pace on the rugged trails, out distance second place by three minutes and win in a time of 1:18:23. Max collected $2,000 for his efforts and a great Hawaiian vacation.
Photos and results from the XTERRA event can be found here.