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.

Renn refreshes his bottle.


Chris Rennaker moves on the downhill.


Koerner descends in the early morning light.


Hal: Grabbing a Gu to go. And, perhaps, already thinking bacon and eggs or french toast?


EP likes the compression! Eric Poole comes into an aid station.

Most photos were taken by Ashland's Brian Mcguire. Congratulations to all runners!

3 comments:

C.J. Hitz said...

Hal, looking good sporting the NF shirt!

Chris, great job with the finish buddy. Curious, what kind of shoes are you wearing there?

Rennaker said...

Nice post IT!

Thanks CJ!

Shoes? well...they were some fancy Adidas climacools. Don't bother with them. I kept getting rocks stuck in the "climacool" hole in the bottom of them. Wasted too much time.

Great race with plenty of climbing for you next year, CJ.

C.J. Hitz said...

Chris, thanks for the heads up on the Adidas. I actually bought a pair of the black/orange Nike Lunar Glides to train in today. Excited to try them out. As for the race next year, I just might show up...for the 10k or half-marathon distance:-)