Thursday, December 10, 2009
The North Face Endurance Challenge 50 Mile
When $10,000 is on the line, you just show up. The North Face Endurance Challenge 50 Mile Championship offered this prize purse to both the first man and woman finisher; the largest single prize purse in trail ultra history. Set in the idyllic setting of the Marin Headlands, across the bridge from San Fransisco, runners would pit themselves against some of the best trail runners in the country in some of the roughest sea-level terrain available in hopes of grabbing a cash prize that would help pad the wallet.
Several southern Oregon runners headed south to test themselves in the 50 mile and 50 kilometer versions of the race. Rogue Valley Runner Chris Rennaker topped the list of southern Oregon finishers in the 50 Mile race. He finished 33rd in 8:37:52. Chris came away with not only an appreciation of rugged seaside terrain, but with a very personalized shoulder to wooden stair collision. Ashland's Eric Poole finished smiling right behind Rennaker in 8:49:45. Rogue Valley Runner Hal Koerner gave the 50 mile race a good go, but after having run his legs out two weeks prior at the JFK 50 Mile, he was more than satisfied with seeing only half the course, calling it a day and then going for breakfast.
The 50 kilometer race saw two locals run very well. Stephen Meador, from Medford, finished 58th in 6:32:50. Ashland's Shahid Ali, a Wednesday store group run regular, finished 79th in 6:59:06.
Full race results can be found here. A unique view of the race can be found on Uli Steidl's blog, the actual winner of the 50 mile race and aforementioned money prize purse.
Most photos were taken by Ashland's Brian Mcguire. Congratulations to all runners!