Tuesday, January 27, 2009

S.O.F.A. and Recent Marathons

The Group assembled at the start of the SOFA 50 Kilometer Trail Run.

Looking down the Wild and Scenic Rogue River from Graves Creek.

This year's Southern Oregon Fat Ass (SOFA) 50 Kilometer Trail Run was marked by beautiful weather and a myriad of "bonks." The annual gathering of runners, orchestrated by unofficial race director Tim Turk, along the Wild and Scenic Rogue River took place this past weekend. The after-holdiay tradition started at the Graves Creek Trailhead then traversed the Lower Rogue River Trail through the gorge for fifteen miles and returned the same way. Twenty-eight runners showed up to participate. Runners from the Rogue Valley and as far away as Eugene took part in this non-race event. Some of the runners included:

Erik Skaggs, Hal Koerner, Dan Olmstead, Todd Braje, Kurt Eisele, Eric Poole, John Price, Darcy Kleiman, Chris Rennaker, Tim Olson, Aaron Brian, Lewis Taylor, Meghan Arbogast, Craig Thornley, Nathan Blaine, Ken Ward, Dennis Gamroth, Chip Collins, Annie Crispino-Taylor, John Liebeskind, Mel Bailey, Sander Nelson, Tim Turk, Ben Benjamin, Kyle Skaggs

"The Train" of runners heads out from Graves Creek and a good day of running.


The setting for the Redding Marathon.
Two weeks ago several runners from the Rogue Valley traveled south for the Redding Marathon. We'd like to acknowledge their hard work and finishes.

2 JC Callans 41 M Eagle Point 02:54:45
26 Becky Hacker 38 F Ashland 03:26:40
41 Robert S. Hodge 48 M Grants Pass 03:40:33
42 Vic Harris 51 M Grants Pass 03:40:33
48 Tom Bell 39 M Medford 03:47:54
55 Aaron Ramirez 31 M Medford 03:53:36
63 Jim Fety 59 M Rogue River 04:01:39
67 Michael Sotos 33 M Ashland 04:05:25
89 Jeffery Proulx 40 M Ashland 04:26:39
107 Steve Lorenz 45 M Medford 04:43:34
135 Israel Mathewson 35 M Talent 05:17:55

Meanwhile, across the country, on the opposite coast, Ashland resident Karolina Wyszynska wins the award for traveling the furthest this month for a marathon. She completed the Miami Marathon in 4:19:42.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Ashland Ultrarunning Stars Make Print

Rogue Valley Runner and New Balance sponsored Kyle Skaggs was voted second in the "2008 Ultrarunner of the Year" voting.

The Rogue Valley's MailTribune covered the recent Ultrarunner of the Year voting. They interviewed the five Ashland'ers who garnered votes; Kyle and Erik Skaggs, Hal Koerner, Jenn Shelton and Tony Krupicka. To read the full article click here.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


Come out and enjoy the SOFA.

It just so happens that a lot of Oregon ultrarunners celebrate birthdays on the same weekend. Tim Turk, Craig Thornley, Jeff Riley, Marcus Mayfield, Clayton Gillette and Hal Koerner are all celebrating on the same weekend. The plan is to run the Wild and Scenic Rogue River trail. We'll leave Graves Creek about 9AM on Saturday, January 24th and run out-n-back for a total of 50k. Remember, out-n-back means you can cut it short or make it long. Last year we had a record turnout as well as record times! I hope to see you there! We'll have hot soup at the finish courtesy of the SOBs.

This is a self-supported run that crosses countless streams that many of us have drunk from for years without incident. Do I need to mention rain, after all this is Oregon, right? Oh yeah, poison oak, and dead bears too.

From the north, take the Wolf Creek exit #76 to the Graves Creek trailhead.

From the South, take the Merlin exit #61 and do the same.

Give me a call or email if you have questions,

Tim Turk

Saturday, January 17, 2009

The Frostbite Returns!

The typical dense, freezing fog that hangs low in the valleys this time of year in southern Oregon gave runners a perfectly timed reprieve. A cold, but sunny morning greeted the entrants of this year's Frostbite Returns 10K and 5K races. The courses, that run on the rural roads on the outskirts of Talent, OR, are far from forgiving. Only the first mile (and last) of the out and back routes can be construed as flat. The bulk of the ten kilometer course undulates like the ocean in a tempest; leaving most runners gasping for the frozen air that surrounds them.
J.J. Moses (in yellow) strides across the last quarter mile, catching air as he goes, to win the 10K.

In the men's 10K race, J.J. Moses took the lead from the start and never looked back. J.J. galloped away from both the nearest 10K and 5K runners with ease winning in 34:15. Elliot Jantzer ran with the chase group until the turnaround and then blazed back to finish second overall in 36:04. A tight trio of runners followed suit consisting of Eric Poole, Chris Rennaker and Ian Torrence. At the finish line Rennaker and Torrence fought, with teeth gnashing, for a third place tie in 37:40. Poole finished fifth three seconds behind. Jeremy Eisen was sixth in 38:52 and Joe Griffin brought in seventh in 39:40.

In the women's 10K race Dorsey Dobry was crowned the ladies' winner in 42:18. Maggie Donovan followed in 43:37. Laura Raber was third woman in the 10K, across in 53:59. Kierra Huggins finished fourth in 44:28.

Battling a head cold, John Leuthold started conservatively and worked his way through the pack to win the 5K race in 18:18. With this being John's first win of 2009; inquiring minds want to know if he will continue on to break his "ten wins in a year streak?" Guy Hawkason ran hard to stay in stride with Leuthold. Guy finished second in 18:20. Todd Ragsdale, returning to the racing circuit since injuring his knee in November, took third in 18:23.
John Leuthold (5K winner), Todd Raggsdale and Chris Redfeldt celebrate after a well run 5K.

In the women's 5K, Suzanne Ray took the win in 21:12. Jane Podolski finished second in 22:17. Melanie Neilitz rounded out the top three in 22:59. A special kudos to RVR Thursday Night Ladies Group Run leader Maria Clementi who finished the 5K in 23:39.

Congratulations to race director Krista Peterson for a job well done and to the rest of the Southern Oregon Runners' volunteers that helped the 160+ runners cover the course. Full results will be posted here soon.
A Good Group Assembled. (Standing left to right; Torrence, Eisen, Leuthold, Moses, Scott, Lela and Camden Stemple. Kneeling l to r; Brian, Poole. Lying; Rennaker.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Ultrarunner of the Year

The results are in! The annual voting for Ultrarunner of the Year has wrapped up and half of the staff here at Rogue Valley Runners have found their way onto the lists.

Ultrarunning Magazine holds the voting at the end of each calendar year. Using a panel of twenty anonymous voters spread across North America all results from 2008 are complied, analyzed, scrutinized and voted upon. Ultrarunner of the Year and Performance of the Year are considered in both an open category and age group category (over 50).

After the votes were tallied, Rogue Valley Runner employee Kyle Skaggs found himself in the runner-up position for Ultrarunner of the Year (missing first by a mere three votes) and first in the Performance of the Year category. Kyle's win and course record at Colorado's Hardrock 100 Mile Endurance Run pushed him to the top in both categories.

New store employee Tony Krupicka found himself sitting at number four in the voting for Ultrarunner of the Year. Tony's wins at Moab's Red Hot 50K (tie with Kyle), Zane Grey 50 Miler, American River 50 Miler (also received points for Performance of the Year) and Dogwood 50K (three way tie with Kyle) threw votes his way.

Rogue Valley Runners' owner Hal Koerner found himself poised at number seven for Ultrarunner of the Year. Hal's big wins at the Angeles Crest 100 Mile Endurance Run and at the Dick Collins Fire Trails 50 Mile Run scored points with the judges.

Missing the top ten for Ultrarunner of the Year by one spot, RVR employee Erik Skaggs still came away with a fifth place showing in the Performance of the Year category. Erik's win and course record at the Quad Dipsea put him there.

We'd also like to congratulate fellow Ashlander and running partner, Jenn Shelton for receiving votes for both Ultrarunner of the Year and Performance of the Year on the women's side.

On a personal note, we are disappointed to see that Central Point's Neil Olsen's Where's Waldo USA Track and Field National 100 Kilometer Trail Championship win and course record was neglected by all the voters.

Check out the full results and write-up here while the other fifty percent of us here at RVR try and catch-up!

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Running in the New Year

Local Rogue Valley Runners John Leuthold (Phoenix, OR) and Joe Griffin (Central Point, OR) decided that running would be a good way to see the New Year in. They traveled north to Eugene for the 2009 First Run. Both John and Joe would run their first ten kilometer road race on Wednesday night (starting just before midnight) and their second 10K race Thursday morning. Somewhere in between, we trust, they fit in a good New Year's toast.

Leuthold won the New Year's Eve 10K in 36:51. This was John's tenth race win in 2008. Griffin finished third in 39:07. The next morning, in a faster, more invigorated crowd, Leuthold, running almost a minute faster than the night before, finished third in 35:58. Griffin finished sixth in 40:30. Full results for both races can be found here. Nice work gentlemen.

Local Channel 16 News was on the scene too. See John Leuthold interviewed after his New Year's Eve win. Select the video titled "First Run of the New Year" located on the left side bar.