Thursday, July 30, 2009

Pacific Crest Trail and White River 50 Mile Trail Races

A couple of trail ultramarathons took place last weekend; let's discuss. Up north, near Mt. Hood, the Pacific Crest Trail 50 Mile Ultramarathon went off. Among the 126 finishers were three of our favorites:

Clyde Aker, 10:00:47
Annie Crispino-Taylor, 10:29:45
Ben Benjamin, 11:01:11

Annie Crispino-Taylor hits the trail.

Yreka's Clyde Aker.

Ben Benjamin looking good.

Further north, in the state of Washington, the National Trail 50 Mile USA Track and Field Championships took place. Set at the foot of Mt, Rainier this course has it all: riverside running, breathtaking views and pulse racing climbs. TheWhite River 50 Mile Trail Race attracted several of southern Oregon's ultrarunners. Here's who did what:

Hal Koerner, 7:43:01
Darcy Kleiman, 10:11:20
Carly Varner, 10:29:06
Mark Sherbow, 13:32:19
Chris Rennaker, "50 kilometer option"

Renn-Dog contemplates his 50K effort.

Hal rests in the brush after his top ten finish.

Darcy finishes her first 50 miler! Yoo Hoo!

Carly is all smiles after her finish. We like that!

We'd like to do a little shout out to former RVR employee Anton Krupicka's awesome finish at White River as well. Not only did he win, he cruised to a seemingly unbeatable course record in the process! 6:32:07!
Tony bounces to the finish and the win.
Congratulations to everyone, good work, nice efforts!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Treadmill Uphill Challenges and Outside Magazine Press

Hal Koerner, Rogue Valley Runners' owner and top dog, headed east to Salt Lake City this past week to take in new products and ideas at this summer's Outdoor Retailer Trade Show. He couldn't get away, however, without going head to head with Tony Krupicka, former RVR employee and current Leadville Trail 100 Mile champion. They fought it out on the Uphill Treadmill Challenge. Fifteen minutes at a 10% grade. How did they fare? Hal was heard saying, "My arms went numb." In the end, Tony just out-leaned our local southern Oregon hero.

Hal and Tony beat each other up on the Treadmill Challenge. (photo by Kevin Peaslee)

Gotta love this story in the July 2009 Outside Magazine about our hometown girl Jenn Shelton.

Written by Christopher McDougal, the author of Born To Run, the short piece is a good read.

Jenn Shelton as seen in July 2009 Outside Magazine's profile piece.

Friday, July 17, 2009

One More SOB Shot...

Just had to add one more classic photo that captured the moment. You know you've had an impressive race when the current two-time Western States 100 Mile champion is tumbling backwards, as he video tapes you, with his mouth agape.

Once again, congratulations to everyone who ran their hearts out this year at southern Oregon's largest ultra, the SOB 50K. First-timers and old-timers alike, nice work ya'll. Till next year!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Son Of A B@#$&!, nope, that's Siskiyou Outback!

Why is it an SOB? Could it be that the scenery is b#@&%in'? Could it be that the course's altitude makes it so freakin' tough? Perhaps it sucks that you couldn't get in because it filled? Or maybe the competitive field keeps getting faster and faster? Or maybe it's cuz 31 miles is a flippin' long way to run, period! Oh yeah, now you awoke Sunday morning with a splitting headache because you were attached to the post-race beer cooler.

Regardless of your reasons, whether you've run this race or not, you will return or you will add it to your next year's race schedule. It's a race not to be missed! The course and the post race party lend it to one of the best race experiences you'll ever have. Rob Cain and John Price, the two new co-race directors, have filled the shoes of their predecessors (Mel Bailey and Tom Pelsor) like fine wine with a good meal. The second bottle is just as good as the first.

So what happened this year? The weather was perfect (the rain and fog came the following morning). The post-race fare was superb. The aid stations and course markings were on par with that of the Biltmore Hotel. Sound like something you'd want to be a part of next year?

157 runners completed the 50K and 157 runners finished the 15K. I know, weird. But just so perfect. See, the trend continues. Headlining this year's performances was the race that, Rogue Valley Runner and Ashland local, Mr. Erik Skaggs had. Holly Christmas Mama! Another course record added to an already impressive CV. 3:39:19! More than three minutes removed from Max King's stormin' time of last year! Too perfect? Nope, it's the name of the game here at SOB! Kudos to Bend's Rod Bien who brought in an impressive second place finish in 4:01:21.

What about the ladies? Anne Hitchcock from Auburn, CA won the 50K with a time of 4:35:00. Idaho's Teresa DeBlieck finished a strong second in 4:40:21.

For those who insist on running faster and, perhaps, not as long, there is a 15K option offered at SOB. Again, the perfect event for everyone. Chris McIssac, from Olympia, WA won the 15K in a blazing time of 59 minutes and 28 seconds. Local runner, from Phoenix, OR, Marci Klimek, won the ladies race in 1:09:32.

How about some photos:

Typical SOB Scenery.

Just why folks swarm to the event...sweet trails.

Catered Finish Line.

Happy? I'd say so. Course record and looking good! Nice work Skaggs! Happy Birthday man!

Oh how we miss the 80's. Mr. Eric Poole and Renn Dog do it up right at the Grouse Gap Aid Station.

Carly Varner leads Ixel Sanchez in the 50K.

Bob Julian runs the 15K, fast!

Full results for the SOB 15K and 50K can be found at the official SOB web site.

Photos were provided by Andy Atkinson, see the rest of his SOB photos here, and Michael McCullough.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Fourth of July Racing in Ashland, Oregon

Seems like everyone came out for this run! Almost 700 runners for both the six and two-mile races! An incredible turn out! The race has been around for long time and is steadily gaining in popularity. Here's an excerpt taken from the race's info page on Facebook.

"This event was first competed on 4th July 1977, and was called the “Senators Cup Run.” The event started at Triangle Park, near Ashland High School on Siskiyou Boulevard, and included a 6-Mile Run and a bicycle race. In 1978 the start/finish was moved toward downtown Ashland, and the name of the event changed to the “Fourth of July Run”. The event has always had a 6-Mile Run, but its accompanying 2-Mile (1984-1991, 1999-present) or 1-Mile (1992-1998) has changed depending on which year. The bicycle race accompanying the original event was dropped in the mid-1980s. 2009 had a little under 700 runners participate, representing 18 states and Canada as their places of residence. The 2008 race witnessed 573 total participants. There were 481 participants in 2007 and 485 in 2006."

Erik Skaggs runs hard to the finish tape on East Main Street in downtown Ashland. Skaggs captured second place in the six mile race. He finished in 32:30, 20 seconds behind the winner, Portland's Tim Julian.

RVR's Chris Rennaker hammering home. Renn overcame a tight hip issue that slowed him at the four mile mark to finish in 37:08.

Leland Fulton, Rogue Valley Runner's newest store employee, strides in the final stretch. Leland found the course to be challenging and "...really hot."

RVR runner and store employee Ian Torrence finished the hilly course in 36:20. The hamstrings are tight now!

Bob Julian Jr. kicking old style with the bandanna. Bob rounded out the top ten in an impressive field and crossed the line in 34:29.

Western States 100 Mile winner, Hal Koerner, ran the race as well. It was his first running strides since he finished Western States last weekend. He was overheard saying that he's had better runs, but it felt good being a part of Ashland's largest running race.

Check out theMailtribune's article about the race.

Full Fourth Of July Race Results found here.

Andy Atkinson's photos of the races can be found at the Mailtribune.