Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Ultra Season Underway In a BIG Way

Hang in there folks...we've been busy here in the Rogue Valley. Lots of ultrarunning to recap! Its all very exciting; we're witnessing the dawning of a new movement in the sport of ultrarunning: so many folks taking part, so many races, and competitive fields getting faster and faster.

Lets start up north at the Chuckanut Mountain 50K near Bellingham, WA. The esteemed owner of Rogue Valley Runners, Hal Koerner, and his girlfriend, Carly Varner, traveled to join 270 runners for the 17th running of this trail event. Good weather, good competition and solid training helped Hal to a tight third place finish in four hours, 2 minutes and 18 seconds. One of the fastest times ever run on the course! Carly finished in a strong 6:04:49.

The start of the Chuckanut 50K.

Hal stretches it out in the early flat miles.

Due south was the running of the largest 50 kilometer race in the US, a trail race called Way Too Cool. John Leuthold, Todd Ragsdale and Anne Crispino-Taylor went to check out what all the hub-bub was about.

Here's what we heard after the race went down:
John Leuthold -- "Basically, Ian lied to me. It was more technical and harder than I was led on. There were 16 creek crossings! I was impressed at the amount of ultrarunning talent gathered for this one race."

Todd Ragsdale -- "I went through mile one in 6:44! I looked around and nobody cared. I knew at that point that this was going to be a fast 31 miles! This was the prettiest piece of California I've ever seen."

John finished in 4:12:18, Todd in 4:22:51 and Anne in 5:57:33.

Way Too Cool's course has some sweet singletrack!

This past weekend a large contingent of Rogue Valley Runners went across the mountains to Sisters, Oregon (near Bend) for the Peterson Ridge Rumble 60K and 30K trail races.

Here's a small report from Eric Poole (who finished 5th in the 60K distance):

"Here's a run down of the Best Of's:
Best shoes - Jenn Shelton with her snake skin clogs
Best tights (you are jealous are you not) - Tom Pelsor
Best Effort - Rob (double hernia and throw in some giardia for good luck) Cain - AMAZING - he had lost about 5% of his body weight pre run!!!!
Best Driver - Annie (I'll even pass a sheriff - almost) Crispino-Taylor
Worst Parking Karma - Annie (I'll pass all the good spots close to the Bend Brewing Company) Crispino-Taylor
Best luck - Ben (first time playing "rocks, paper, scissors" and he wins) Benjamin
Best impression of a bad ice skater - Steve Greuel
Most "together" after the run - Clyde "The Glide" Aker
Best salt lick impression after the run - Darcy Klienman

It was a fun run. I enjoyed the mix of running on some fun singletrack, dirt road and fireroads. Good aid stations that were well placed. The weather was AMAZING and the hangout scene after was really great...music, friends, BBQ and you got to cheer on the finishers. There were a number of spots on the course where you got beautiful views of Mt. Bachelor and the Three Sisters. The 60 km ended up being a wee bit over 34 miles and the 30 km ended up being closer to 20 miles."

A huge congratulations goes out the local finishers: Eric Poole, Jenn Shelton, Rob Cain, Darcy Kleiman, Ben Benjamin, Anne Crispino-Taylor, and Tom Pelsor. Look here to find out how they, and others, did.

Darcy Kleiman runnin'.

Rob Cain practices his hurdling skills.

Anne running on the dirt.

Jenn on the trail.

Ben Benjamin victorious at the finish line.

Eric Poole turns in a fast time and good race at Peterson.

Darcy and Anne love that they are DONE!

Jenn Shelton avoids the hurdles at Peterson's finish line.

Tom Pelsor finishes Peterson. Are those Clifton tights?

Rob, Anne, Jenn, Darcy, and EP look cool at Peterson.

Also this past weekend, along the shores of the American River, outside of Sacramento, CA another huge race took place; The American River 50 Mile. Bend's Max King and Ashland's Hal Koerner traveled down to the event together. Max won last year's Siskiyou Outback 50K. His goal was to finish in the top three at American River; his first foray into the 50 mile distance realm. Needless to say he did so and then some. Max won the race in 6:04:44. His next goal is to run circles around a fresh Erik Skaggs at this weekend's Pear Blossom 10 Mile Road Race.

Hal dropped at 40 miles. Saving his gusto for a better and bigger day. He was, however, good enough to accompany Max to a NASCAR event after the race festivities had concluded. A sport they both longingly crave...

Here's a story about the race from the Auburn Journal.

Max King crosses the tape at American River 50 Mile.

Thanks to Glenn Tachiyama for his shots at Chuckanut and Peterson.


Scott Dunlap said...

We were wondering where Hal disappeared to.

Max just rocked it out there against a tough field. Hoping to see him at States!


Rennaker said...

I heard Skaggs is aiming to take Max down @ Pear this weekend. Take advantage of his tired legs...

On a side note, I heard Torrence may just beat up on John Leuthold at Pear.

Unknown said...

...Max, it would be great if you could actually just bring that tow line on down this weekend.


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