We're a little behind here at RVR but I imagine those runners that braved the 15th Annual McDonald Forest 50k still remember it quite clearly. Conditions were spectacular as some 230 runners contended against a deceivingly hilly course with all types of terrain to navigate. Luckily the mud wasn't all that bad and everyone found a way to move their fastest. Keeping with tradition, Neil Olsen speedily left the rest of the field and cruised to the win. No, Neil hasn't won at the Mac before, but he did extend the streak of a previous champion never repeating. Nice work!
We had a number of Rogue residents that competed as well and proved victorious in their own right.
7 Adam Seibert Medford OR 40 3 M40-49 4:38:15
62 Jamie Arvizo Ashland OR 31 6 F30-39 5:45:06
70 Richard May Ashland OR 43 19 M40-49 5:52:24
82 Shahid Ali Ashland OR 24 7 M20-29 6:04:13
116 Ben Benjamin Ashland OR 63 3 M60-69 6:32:14
130 Beth Brinkley Jacksonville OR 46 14 F40-49 6:40:07
209 John Lotts Central Point OR 47 47 M40-49 8:53:18
Neil atop Dimple Hill, making his move!
Here's a short recap of Neil's day;
"It was a great day. I actually paid attention (briefly and early on in the race) to birds singing in the trees, wildflowers, great views, and beautiful forest. I shed my long-sleeve shirt after the first 30
min. There was some mud in the maze, but not much. I wore those
very light orange fastwich, which gave me adequate traction which was great, but they were a little thin as I felt the gravel through them later on. Maybe next year we'll get lucky and have more bone chilling drizzle and slop like a few years ago.
A bunch went out fast. I think I was in 13th at the top of the first climb. On part of the descent towards Soap Creek my GPS watch showed under 5:20 pace at one point, but Brian Morrison was still pulling away!
Into the maze and on extendo there is plenty of company from the early starters. For the next 10 miles I picked off people as I could, while trying to save a little in the tank. Towards the end of the maze I caught Michael Lynes, who admitted he would have felt fresher if he hadn't just won the Tacoma Marathon the week before. I pulled up even with David Larsen on the long uphill to Dimple Hill and we passed the leader (who was brave but clearly a nubie, as he was running without a water bottle). At the Dimple hill aid station I changed into the green RVR singlet, to look fresh (and harder to spot in the woods).
David must have blazed through that aid station, as I had to bomber down the hill to catch and pass him. I got a minute or so on him by Chip Ross, but started having muscle cramps - first just when jumping a stream, later in spurts with every step.
So I was pretty nervous heading up the horse trail. That is where Poole and I think Rennaker passed me last year. I was able to keep it under red-line, and finally hit the gravel road at the top. I came upon a cyclist, who jokingly said "go runner!" I didn't realize until was right up to him that it was my brother! He had ridden up from his home a few miles away to cheer me on.
That last long uphill doesn't look bad on paper, but it drags on forever. The down-hill was a relief in that it is a different kind of pain. Then it was just a matter of holding on until I heard the sound of my daughters then the finish line.
It was my 6th start and 1st win. I have loved Chip Ross and dimple hill since running them from my back door in high school 25+ years ago.
It was the first time in several attempts that my parents timed it right to be at the finish line at the same time as I was.
Fortunate for me, no Koerners, etc showed up- it was the slowest winning time in a few years, and 8 min slower than my fastest, but 16 min faster than I did last year."
What we've come to expect from Ben.
Jamie far removed from the Boston Marathon.