Sunday, September 28, 2008

Rogue Valley Goes to Xterra Nationals

On Saturday several Rogue Valley Runners traveled to Bend, OR to take part in the Xterra Trail Run National Championships. The 21 kilometer trail course was set along the scenic Deschutes River that meanders through town. With a $5,000 prize purse available, some of the country's swiftest trail runners came to race. When the dust cleared, 225 runners would complete the race. Max King (Bend, OR) would take the lead at mile three and win the men's race in 1:08:01, that's roughly five minute mile pace. Eugene's Susannah Beck would win the women's race by see-sawing back and forth several times with Bend's Kami Semick. Beck would outdistance Semick by 19 seconds at the finish line, winning in 1:23:07.

(l to r) Jenn Shelton, Ixel Sanchez and Susannah Beck at Xterra Bend.

Rogue Valley had some stellar performances as well. Leading the pack was Ashland's Brian McGuire in 1:22:23. Brian missed winning the 50-54 age group by 30 seconds. Central Point's Joe Griffin finished in 1:29:44; 44th overall and fifth in the 44-49 age division. Ashland's Jenn Shelton blazed the course in 1:30:04, winning the 25-29 age division and finishing sixth lady overall. Winning the 20-24 age group was Rogue Valley Runners store employee Ixel Sanchez in 1:33:31. Jeff Pons and Melissa Glatte, both from Central Point, also represented the Rogue Valley by finishing in 1:46:19 and 1:46:44 respectively. Medford's Jodi and Wayne Marthaller finished in 1:53:42 and 2:23:31 respectively. Running across the line together were Jennifer Patterson (Medford) and Pennie Pons (Central Point) in 2:12:41. Nancy and Mark Fadling of Medford ran in 2:24:47 and 2:28:38 respectively.

Full results can be found here. Some photos can be found here. Congratulations to all runners!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Northwest Mountain Running Championships

Driving in from eastern Oregon, the horizon gave nothing away. It was going to be cold and wet. And it was.

Rain on the verge of snow at the finish line.

However, the drizzle and 40 degree temperatures could do nothing to cool the hot competition lined up for this year's Northwest Mountain Running Championships. The line-up would prove to be one of the best in the region this year. With $6,000 (supplied by END) in prize money (open, master's, team) runners with mountain running talent were bound to head for Mt. Hood. The headline duel was between Joe Gray, fresh off his stellar performance at the World Mountain Running Championships in Switzerland, and Olympic Trials Steeplechase Qualifier/TransRockies co-winner, Max King. However, if they were to falter, a strong secondary group of runners would be there to scoop them up. In that group were Erik Skaggs (co-team member of King's at this year's TransRockies and 2008 Mt. Ashland Hill Climb winner), Erik's brother, Kyle Skaggs(winner of the 2008 Hardrock 100 Mile Endurance Run), Richard Bolt(Team Leader for the Teva US Mountain Running Team and fierce mountain running competitor), John Howell (2:29 finish at the 2006 Austin Marathon), and Anthony Rinck (2:35 finish at the 2007 Portland Marathon). To add even more dimension to the race, Portland's Team Red Lizard Running Club and southern Oregon's Team Rogue Valley Runners would bring to the table two tough teams that would compete for the Men's Team Title.

The sign says it all.

The course, now wet, started at Mt. Hood's Timberline Lodge at 6,000'. Runners ran six miles across, up and down ski runs, the Pacific Crest Trail, dirt access roads and technical single track to determine who the best mountain runners were. Runners ran to over 7000' and above tree line, across snow fields, climbed 2000', all while buffeted by a few 30 mph wind gusts.

Joe Gray leads Max King and Erik Skaggs early in the race.

Max King burns the downhill.

Erik Skaggs in pursuit.

Kyle Skaggs digs in.

Ian Torrence leads a chase pack up the slopes of Mt. Hood.

At the finish line, Max King would start his final sprint too late. Joe Gray (Team Rogue Valley Runners) would win the NW Mountain Running Championships in 39:23 (taking home $1,150 for his first place, top of the mountain course premium and team wins). Max (Team RVR) would follow two seconds later. Erik Skaggs (Team RVR) would finish third in 41:35. Richard Bolt would finish first for Team Red Lizards in 42:58, fourth overall. Kyle Skaggs and Ian Torrence came across the finish in 7th and 8th places respectively to round out a winning Team Rogue Valley Runners.

Lisa Nye, of Bend, Oregon would win the women's title in 50:45, less than a minute ahead of fellow Bend runner Katie Caba.

Team Rogue Valley Runners (left to right; Erik Skaggs, Max King, Ian Torrence, Kyle Skaggs, Joe Gray not pictured)

***More awesome photos, top ten men's and women's results and another write-up can be found on Richard Bolt's Oregon Mountain, Ultra & Trail Running web site.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Lithia Loop Trail Marathon Entrants

Here's the current list of runners (as of September 17th) who have entered the LLTM. That means 57 athletes are entered. This leaves 43 available slots to fill before the race on November 8th.

Please let us know if you see any glaring mistakes with our current information.
Name Age Gender Origin
Michael Sotos 33 M Ashland, OR
David Jordan 41 M Medford, OR
Luke Frechete 30 M Ashland, OR
Kelly Bradbury 38 F Smithfield, UT
Eric Dinger 34 M Medford, OR
Nikki Dinger 32 F Medford, OR
J.C. Callans 41 M Eagle Point, OR
Jennifer Callans 35 F Eagle Point, OR
Freeborn Mondello 29 M Talent, OR
Darcy Kleiman 31 F Talent, OR
Amy Nangle 38 F Talent, OR
Rick Blink 33 M Vacaville, CA
Rob Reckard 37 M Grants Pass, OR
C.B. Fralich 35 M Grants Pass, OR
Erin Fralich 38 M Grants Pass, OR
Brendan Holmes 29 M Klamath Falls, OR
Shahid Ali 23 M Ashland, OR
Kim Larson 37 F Ashland, OR
Chad Harris 32 M Roseburg, OR
Adam Cortell 36 M Talent, OR
Reeger Cortell 42 F Talent, OR
Stephen Itano 49 M Fairfield, CA
Lisa Dean 38 F Fort Jones, CA
Leonard Farr 44 M Newburg, OR
Courtney Pickett 40 F Ashland, OR
Phil Finch 58 M Reedsport, OR
Jennifer Sallee 38 F Ashland, OR
Brooke Bouer 34 F Talent, OR
Molly Holzshu 35 F Ashland, OR
Rene Millan 35 M Ashland, OR
Steve Waxmonsky 34 M Ashland, OR
Kouba Sayre 37 F Talent, OR
Luanne Park 48 F Redding, CA
Dean Heuberger 57 M Yamhill, OR
Megan Heuberger 28 F Ashland, OR
Darrin Bolz 41 M Medford, OR
Clem LaCava 60 M Corvallis, OR
Kelly Cronin 31 F Yosemite, CA
Rick Haase 63 M Shoreline, WA
Ali Miles 24 F Jacksonville, OR
Anne Crispino-Taylor 50 F Ashland, OR
Jinny Brown 55 F Ashland, OR
Lisa Bach 42 F Ashland, OR
David Kamp 61 M Corvallis, OR
Joe Mosley 54 M Eugene, OR
Sharon Mosley 46 F Eugene, OR
Grey Hecht 36 M Talent, OR
Susannah Beck 40 F Eugene, OR
C.J. Hitz 35 M Findlay, OH
Anne Hitchcock 30 F Auburn, CA
Hillary Noel 26 F Henderson, NV
Josh Brimhall 32 M Henderson, NV
Priscilla Anderson 32 F Murphy, OR
Win Goodbody 41 M Portland, OR
Terri Libert 40 F Eugene, OR
Stephen Hamilton 66 M Sunriver, OR
Kaija Staley 33 F Jacksonville, OR

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Hal Koerner wins Angeles Crest 100 Miler!

Hal after his 2006 Angeles Crest victory. Photo courtesy of Larry Gassen.

I got a call a little after midnight last night from a very excited young man; Hal has done it again! In 18 hours and 29 minutes, Hal has won the Angeles Crest 100 Mile Endurance Run; a full hour ahead of his nearest competition. Improving on his 2006 winning time by eight minutes, he again cements his name in this southern California race's history. He raced back and forth with Jorge Pacheco for the first half of the race and then, in the heat of the day, Hal made his move. He was able to gap the rest of the field and run alone through the night to the finish line outside Pasadena, CA.

Here's a great description taken from the event's web site of what Hal experienced during his 18 and half hour win:

"From Wrightwood to Pasadena. 100 miles includes 90 miles of trails and 8 miles of dirt road in the Angeles National Forest including portions of the Pacific Crest Trail, and 2 miles of paved road. The race starts on Park Street in downtown Wrightwood and finishes at Johnson's Field in Pasadena. There is a 21,610 ft. accumlative elevation gain, 26,700 ft. accumlative loss, resulting in a 48,310 feet total elevation Change. The highest point is Mt. Balden-Powell at the 9,210 ft. level."

Congratulations Hal!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Wagner Glade Trail Work

Rob Cain and Tipper in the "Glades" with Mt. Ashland in the background. A view seen by few.

Allen Goffe and Ian Torrence cut a tree in the upper "Glades."

Ever thought what it'd be like to summit Wagner Butte from Ashland. Well, dreams do become reality. Through a cooperative agreement with the US Forest Service and the Ashland Woodlands and Trails Association the Wagner Glade Trail is close to completion. Over the past week, several work parties have traveled up to the foot of Wagner Butte from Ashland via Forest Service Road 2060 to punch through the trail.

Here the basics:

1) The trail is approximately two miles in length. It rises from the USFS 2060 road to the Wagner Glade Pass and connects with the Wagner Butte Trail which arises from the opposite side of the mountain.
2) It rises from approximately 5000' to 6600'.
3) The trail follows a faint, but already existing tread-way that was used up until the 1950's to supply the Wagner Peak Lookout, until that lookout burned down.
4) The trail skirts the "glades" high on Wagner Butte's flanks (as seen from Mt. Ashland).
5) There's water too, a small spring can be heard and seen from the trail's path. If it's flowing in September, good chances it flows all year round.
6) The trail is NOT yet complete. The trail is flagged, but about a mile of tread-work remains as does about a half-mile of downed tree removal. This is where YOU come in!

Work parties are still meeting and continuing to work on the trail. The next work party is headed up on Sunday (September 14th). They are meeting at the Ashland Park and Recreation Department in Lithia Park at 8:30AM. John Price is heading the work party this weekend. Contact him at to RSVP or to ask questions. Other work will be done as well on dates yet to be announced. If you can't make it this weekend, but want to do some work in the very near future contact John or Rob Cain at One day's all it takes to make the dream a reality.

Historic blazes that once marked the route to Wagner Glade Pass, and, now, will again do so.

Ian Torrence cuts tree that blocks the trail's tread-way.

Rogue Valley Runners in the News

Ian Torrence and Chris Rennaker running trails in Ashland. Photo courtesy of the Mailtribune and Denise Baratta.

A great story in today's (9/11/08) Mailtribune on trailrunning quotes several Rogue Valley Runners! Check it out here!

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

McKenzie River Trail Run

The McKenzie River from along the course.

This past weekend a large contingent of Rogue Valley Runners headed north for the annual running of the McKenzie River 50 Kilometer Trail Run. Set along the beautiful McKenzie River, about an hour east of Eugene, runners would run a point-to-point course along the river under a canopy of dense, cooling vegetation. The race has a long, deep history in the ultrarunning community, as it has results that date back to 1988. It's a 'must do' for any trail runner.

This race started fast and ended fast! Todd Braje, of Eugene, won the race by setting a new course record in 3:33:17. Many personal records were turned in as well. Here's how the Rogue Valley group did...

The sea of green. Rogue Valley Runners off to a fast start.

Maria Clementi (#32, who would go on to complete her first ever ultra in 5 hours and 23 minutes) and Carly Varner (looking at her watch) head out for the 31 mile jaunt.

Ian Torrence finished second in 3:44:48, the sixth fastest McKenzie River 50K finish ever.

Todd Ragsdale finished in 3:58:23, 4th place overall, a new personal record.

Eric Poole finished 8th in 4:02:37, also a personal record.

John Leuthold finished 9th in 4:04:24, his fastest 50K time ever.

Chris Rennaker, finished 11th in 4:08:50...a PR as well!

Joe Griffin finished in 14th, in 4:17:53, a new personal record too.

Carly Varner ran her fastest 50K by finishing in 5:03:20, 9th overall in the women's division.

Becky Hacker finished in 5:08:14.

Full Results for the 2008 race can be found here. The photography is courtesy of Tom Riley.

The Rogue Valley Runners finishing photo! From left to right; Griffin, Leuthold, Rennaker, Torrence, Clementi, Varner, Poole, Ragsdale.

...and now your moment of Zen...

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Ben Benjamin at the Lean Horse 100 Mile Ultra

Scenery along the Lean Horse 100 Mile Ultra course.

On August 23rd and 24th, Ashland native Ben Benjamin completed the Lean Horse 100 Mile Ultra; an ultra that traverses an old railroad bed turned trail near Hot Springs, North Dakota. The course cuts through the Dakota's famous Black Hills.

Ben Benjamin running at the Peterson Ridge Rumble this past April. Photo by Glenn Tachiyama.

Ben, 61 years young, finished the course in 26 hours and 19 minutes. Ben is far from new to ultrarunning. Lean Horse was his twelfth 100-mile finish. Ben also completed the Grand Slam of Ultrarunning (four 100-milers in one summer) in 2005 in a combined time of 119 hours, 15 mintes and 34 seconds. Also this year, he completed the Oregon Trail Ultramarathon Series by finishing Hagg Lake 50 Kilometer Trail Run, Peterson Ridge Rumble 60K, McDonald Forest 50 Kilometer Trail Run and the Mt. Hood PCT 50 Miler. Congratulations Ben!

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Lithia Loop Trail Marathon Update

Heading out along the 2060 road (approximately mile nine of the course).

In order to bid for the USA Track and Field Trail Marathon Championships in 2009, we had to accurately measure the LLTM course. So, last week Hal and Bob Holtel wheeled the entire thing. We found that the course was a little long; approximately two miles too long. So here is the revised map and profile with the new starting line and finish line posted. We'll now start at the yellow gate at the bottom of the 2060 road and finish near the upper duck pond in Lithia Park. Don't worry, we'll get you to the start line from the parking lots near Pioneer Hall via mass transit. Those details are forth coming.

We should also note that we have 42 entrants to date. This is a reminder for those that procrastinate, this marathon will fill and we can only take the first 100 entries. We will post a current list of entrants in the next few days.

Nike/Rogue Valley Runners win Transrockies Run

Erik Skaggs and Max King (in their yellow Leader's Jersey's) win the last stage, as well as the overall title in the Transrockies Run.

In Day Six's final push for Beaver Creek, Colorado and the finish line of the Gor-tex Transrockies Run the overall winning position was still up for grabs. Team Nike/Rogue Valley Runners had a slim four minute lead on the second place team, Team Saab/Salomon. In this final day's 21 mountainous miles anything could happen; teams would have to work hard to secure their positions in the overall standings.

Running the hardest they've run all week long King and Skaggs finished first and bolstered their overall win by finishing eight minutes ahead of the Saab/Salomon Team. A good video and full results can be found on the Transrockies web site.

Now back in Ashland and recovering from sore quads, swollen ankles and brusied toes, Skaggs looks back on the adventure. "It was so tough going out there each day knowing I had to run as hard as I could again and again and again. Max was a great team mate, we worked well together. He's a powerhouse! I could get a small lead on the climbs, stay even with him on the downhills, but he would just blow me away on the flat sections. The competition was much stiffer this year than last. That fact made the win so worth it. I'd definitely consider returning again next year."