Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Some Find it Hard to Believe

Well, there is common thread to this picture, let's see if you can figure it out.   OK, more than enough time. A four pack,  what looks like a 4 oz of malt liquor, and 4 perfectly good $1 IOU's to Taco Bell ( because TB is so classy they don't sell their bucks in any denomination smaller than a fiver.) And after all this do I still need to explain, of course.  Rogue Valley Runners celebrated it's fourth anniversary yesterday and by the looks of it, you know it turned out to be a quality evening.

We have seen many wonderful folks come and go over the years but ironically I was stopped yesterday, walking into the YMCA, by an acquaintance that mentioned to me the amazing job we have done to create community in Ashland.  She was amazed that our store had managed to stay in business let alone expand in such a small amount of time and turn so many people on to what it is we do best.  So thank you to everyone that has played a part in our success and has supported us through these "best of times."

Some may find it hard to believe that Erik Skaggs continued his dominance this past weekend by winning the Collins Mountain Trail Run portion of the Granite Man in 1:15.  Erik has burned through July racking up victories at the 4th run, S.O.B. and GM. Can he follow up August with some redemption at the AHC, we'll have to wait and see?  Store employee Jeff Olson was a close second and RVR 'rrrrrrr Jeremy Eisen eeked into the top 5.  On the ladies side, former shoe saleswoman, Ixel Sanchez placed second as time clock puncher Meghan Shaffer ran a strong 4th place showing.  Full results can be found here

Ixel Moving strong, barely breaking a sweat!

Southern Oregon Runners were out in full force. 

Look Jeff, you don't have to move all the way to Isreal to enjoy good ethnic cuisine, it's alive and well in the Applegate! 

Some of you may be wondering where the valley's fastest woman was this past weekend.  Well I'll tell you anyways.  The Deseret News Marathon was run early Saturday morning in Salt Lake City to a crowd of more than 700.  The odd thing about this run was the net 3,200 feet of downhill. Perfect for our mistress of descent (too much word play?)

After failing to raid the hotel's mini bar, this Born to Run star  hopped on a bus at 3 in the morning to make the trip to the start at Big Mountain.  After all was said and done, Jenn, with a rubber band bank in her pocket, ran a screaming 2:54 first place victory.
"I decided this year to maybe try a marathon and you know what? It's harder," she said. "I didn't train for this really. I was just doing my mountain runs. I guess if you want to run well in the marathon you have to train for it.

Now that's hard to believe.   

Monday, July 12, 2010

Boosting the Avg. Time on Site

So this morning marked my third run since Western States. It was a couple hours, so that was immensely long considering my previous endeavors would not have carried me up the escarpment.  What was reinforced, or rather what became evident, is that it takes a run like that to spark not only the motivation to move forward but also to reflect on the past.  After all the buildup to the race I imagine my mind needed as much recovery as my body.  As many of you know, my race didn't unfold as triumphantly as in the past, however there were many successful stories and infinite inspiration on the way to three local sub 24 hour performances.

It certainly was an interesting day, with conditions as manic as runners at an 85 mile aid station.  Seriously intimidating levels of snow in the high country proved challenging but gave way to a fast reroute that put everyone back in the saddle as comfortably as the heat they thwarted on down the line.  

Carly Varner, Chris Rennaker and John Price took advantage of their training and the worthy competition to run amazing times of 23:25:22, 20:03:08, 21:41:25 respectively and all earned the coveted silver buckle.

I have had to draw the line at her wearing the buckle to bed. 

Although Nick and I ran to the river, laying it on the line for hours, only to succumb (80 miles) to what may seem a bitter void, I think there are a few people out there that just might believe we were this close to finishing.

Unfortunately, this was about as much a chance as either of us gave ourselves entering the race, thus proving that indeed we still have the toughness and not as much craziness as other runners might think.

For those RVR's with longevity, here's your mugshot, your truly committed.   

Chris Rennaker, 1 for 1.          larry gassen photo

Carly Varner, could've used 2 more quads but what the heck.   

Ian, what's that your doing, wasting time at Michigan Bluff? Sliding your way to another buckle?

On, On!

The 34th Ashland 4th of July Run didn't disappoint as newcomer's Erik Skaggs and Jenn Shelton ran away from the competition to take the overall titles back to their singular residence.   32 minutes was all that took for Erik to run an immensely hilly 6 mile route and 36:19 seemed pedestrian for Jenn as she glided down Water Street clocking her fastest mile split since the Mt Ashland Hill Climb.  And if you believe my intro then you'll believe that last fact.  

This shot is uphill, more impressive than a fish bowl margarita. 

Erik, looking like he needs a margarita.  

Full results here.  

Photos here.

On and On.........

This past weekend marked the 12th anniversary of the Siskiyou Out Back 50k and 15k trail runs. This year our region experienced unusually wet and late weather leaving our race director team scrambling or rather slipping all along the crest to ensure a safe and pristine course.  The race is an testament to the strong trail running heritage of southern Oregon and Rob and John haven't missed a beat since taking over for Tom and Mel a couple of years ago.  It's still the most amazing bevy of swag (stuff we all get), aid station, post race camaraderie, and of course, course.  

Erik Skaggs proved once again that his fitness is on another level  as he dominated a fast field to finish just a few minutes shy of his own course record time from a year ago in 3:43.  He was follow by the 3rd fastest man in the event's history, Tim Olson, who blazed his way to a 3:52 leaving Neil Olsen third place with a hard fought 3:58.   

On the ladies side, Amy Sproston ran well all day and took the event in a time of 4:40.  She was follow by Ashlander's Melissa Schweisguth and Ixel Sanchez who ran 4:53 and 5:10.  

A very special congrats to first timers Aria Hemphill (5:17), Karoline Wyszynska (5:59), and Mike Sotos(5:17.) 

Store employee, Meghan Shaffer in her Oregon ultra debut ran a stellar 5:26, well done!  

Tim Olson, tapering.  I can only imagine how fast Western would've been if they had this crew. 

Mike Sotos completes the ultra distance.  

Karolina completes her first 50k and Ixel and Shahid return to the scene of their first one.

Must be the waterbottle. Or the nipples.  

And although we missed cheering them on, the three amigos took Eugene by storm last month to claim the relay portion of the Ridgeline Ramble,  luckily they left their uniforms in the emerald city.