Dan Olmstead described it best the other day on AJW's blog when he commented, "you opened up a can of worms." I found the blanket statement rather relevant, somewhat outdated (who say's that anymore), overall pretty funny, and the epitome of what had been dug up this past week in ultrarunning. For those of you not anchored to distance running beyond the marathon, Ultrarunning Magazine just released it's 2009 Ultrarunning Rankings as well as 2009 Performances of the Year.
Insert gratuitous Mail tribune article:
Three Ashlanders ranked in Ultrarunning magazine Top 20
This piece on Southern Oregon's running heritage ran today as well:
Yep, Frank Shorter winning the inaugural Pear Blossom.
The Long Run
I should say that back in June when I won Western States, for the second time, against arguably the toughest field assembled in Squaw Valley, I had a stranglehold on the UROY voting and Performance of the year. Little did I know that times would fall, from such great heights, at races like Hardrock, S.O.B., White River, Where's Waldo 100k, Wasatch, Mountain Masochist, Javelina 100, JFK 50 and all in the span of 4 months. This would eventually force a panel of voters to wade through the wreckage of broken course records to determine a winner.
Luckily, a number of amazing performances were recognized and hours upon hours of dedicated mileage revealed. I think the voters nailed many of the top performances and runners of 2009. If there is any reason to doubt how the chips fell in 2009, well we'll take that up in 2010. 2009 will certainly be tough to replicate and by gosh it seems like a lifetime since 5 runners ran sub 17 at Western States.
Ultimately, the 22,000 + finishers of ultra marathons around the US turned in performances of a lifetime and to that we say, congrats.