Sunday, November 29, 2009

Southern Oregon Fat Ass (SOFA) Announcement

This update from the SOFA "race director" Tim Turk:

The plan:

To run the Wild and Scenic Rogue River Trail. We'll leave Graves Creek about 9AM on Saturday, January 23rd and run out-n- back for a total of about 50k. Remember, out-n-back means you can cut it short or make it long. I hope to see you there! Let's try beat our record of 27 runners. Our etiquette in the past has been to run in social groups on the way out, regroup at the turn-around, and run what ever you feel like on the way back.

This is a self-supported run that crosses countless streams that we drank from for years without incident. I'll run with my filter this year, since Rob Cain had to ruin my delusion and get giardia. Do I need to mention rain, after all this is Oregon, right? Oh yeah, poison oak too.

The SOFA started out as a way to celebrate birthdays of some Oregon ultrarunners . Tim Turk (me), Craig Thornley, Jeff Riley, Marcus Mayfield, Clayton Gillette and Hal Koerner all celebrate birthdays around the same time. You too? Let me add you to the list.


From the north, take the Wolf Creek exit #76 to the Graves Creek Trailhead. I think it's about 9 more miles.

From the South, take the Merlin exit #61 and do the same. You'll go about 20 more miles to the trailhead.

Give me a call or email if you have questions,

Tim Turk

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

47th Annual JFK 50 Mile

For the 47th year tradition still holds true at the John F. Kennedy 50 Mile Race. Held amongst the rolling hills and along the banks of the meandering Potomac River of Western Maryland the JFK always holds true to its promise of fast times, big crowds and good memories. This year would prove no different.

The race starts in the sleepy town of Boonsboro, Maryland. The course climbs from the start for three miles up onto South Mountain where it gains the ridge and follows the rocky, leaf-covered Appalachian Trail (AT) for roughly eleven miles to the Weverton Cliffs. At the Cliffs the course descends steeply to the Chesapeake and Ohio (C&O) Canal. Once on the Canal, twenty-six miles of flat, dirt towpath await the runners. The final eight miles criss-cross paved country roads to the finish line in the small town of Willamsport, Maryland.

At the end of this year's race we'd see some of the fastest times ever run on the course. Three runners would finish under six hours and twenty-five runners would finish under seven hours. Greg Crowther of Seattle, WA would win with the second fastest time in course history; 5:50:13. Devon Crosby-Helms from Sausalito, CA would set a new women's course record in 6:29:21. In total, 1027 runners would traverse the course; one of the largest ultramarathon finishing fields ever in North America.

Along with individual performances, JFK 50 also recognizes Team categories. Rogue Valley Runners put together what we thought to be an unstoppable "men's open team" consisting of Hal Koerner, Scott Jurek, Eric Clifton, Josh Brimhall and Ian Torrence. We had a good run but it was Team New York City consisting of Michael Arnstein, Oz Pearlman, David James and Michael Oliva that had the better day. Team NYC topped Team RVR by a good 32 minutes.

In the open race it was great to see Hal Koerner and Scott Jurek finish in the top ten men at JFK. Hal finished with a 6:05:02 (his fastest of three finishes) and 4th overall. Jurek finished 10th in 6:31:12. Josh finished just outside the top ten in 6:32:13. Ian finished 20th overall in 6:48:14 and Eric rounded out the Team by finishing in 8:12:55.

Congratulations to all runners, race directors and volunteers who completed and assisted with the 47th Annual JFK 50 Mile Race.

Full Individual and Team results can be found on the race's web site.

Below is a photo-montage of the day's events from the Rogue Valley Runners' perspective. Photo's are courtesy of Jenny Uehisa, Maria Clementi and Bill Susa.

Boonsboro, Maryland

Scott Jurek, Hal Koerner, Josh Brimhall & Ian Torrence minutes before the start.

The crowd assembles in downtown Boonsboro, Maryland.

The start of the 47th JFK 50 Miler.

The AT

Koerner high fives spectators on the Appalachian Trail.

Koerner runs through the first major aid station at mile 9; Cramptons Gap.

Jurek grabs supplies at the mile 15 aid station called Weverton Cliffs; the end of the Appalachian Trail and beginning of the C&O Canal.

The C&O

Hal grabs some food to go at one of the many aid stations along the C&O Canal.

The Crew and Photographers: Jenny Uehisa and Maria Clementi.

Torrence on the Canal at mile 27; Antietam Aqueduct.

Jurek receives his goodies from Jenny near mile 38.

Josh Brimhall moves along the Canal near mile 38.

The Final Eight

Jurek enroute to a top ten finish. He is passing the Downsville aid station.

Torrence rounds the bend at Downsville, four miles to go. Maria Clementi cheers him on.

The Finish and Awards in Willamsport, Maryland

Jurek slaps Ian as he finishes his 15th JFK 50.

Eric Clifton (JFK 50 course record holder) is the fifth finisher for Team Rogue Valley Runners. Eric's wife Noni is there to congratulate him.

The top three finishers for Team Rogue Valley Runners show off their medals. (Left to right: Brimhall, Koerner & Jurek)

Not Worthy. Jurek bows in the presence of Greg Crowther; this year's JFK 50 Mile winner.

Some of the top ten men receive their trophies. (left to right: Jurek, Ingram, Lavine, Ricklefs, Koerner & Woods)

Some of your top women finishers. (left to right: Devon Crosby-Helms, Monica Ochs & Meghan Arbogast)

Post Race Cool Down

Post-race cool down at the 9:30 Club in Washington, DC with special guest Umphrey's McGee.

That ain't soda! Cheers to a race well run!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

2010 "Tribute to the Trails" Calendars Now Availble

Now available online and at Rogue Valley Runners, the 2010 Tribute to the Trails Calendar. All proceeds from the sale of the calendars benefit the Washington Trails Association, the body responsible for creating, maintaining, and repairing trials in Washington State. We all know Washington used to be a part of Oregon and that we all still travel north to play and race on a number of the trails that they work on. So pick up your copy today or purchase one for a friend or family member for the holidays.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Pioneer Road Run 2009

The Pioneer Road Run, which runs from Phoenix, OR to Talent, OR and back again, is southern Oregon's oldest road race. The race was first run in 1971 and has continued since. There is both a nine mile and five kilometer race. This year more than 150 runners ventured out for these races. Here are some race images captured by Andy Atkinson along the course.

The outpouring of volunteers made it possible for Joe Griffin to run Pioneer this year. Usually he's found behind the timing table recording finishing times.

Ian Torrence huffs it through the last quarter mile of the nine mile race.

Personal trainer, Mike Sotos, demonstrates the proper use of compression socks.

Adam Seibert leads a long string of runners, including Chris Redfedlt (red jersey), in the early minutes of the five kilometer race.

Chris Rennaker uses Pioneer as preparation for California's North Face 50 Miler in December.

Trevor Palmer enroute to a 15:07 5K victory. Five seconds shy of his own course record.

Hal Koerner digs in as he closes in on Erik Skaggs in the closing seconds of the race.

Sarah Hyman wins the Pioneer nine mile race.

Corey Hartgrave crosses the line in the nine mile race in 43:07 to win the wheelchair division.

Damian Baldovino (nine mile winner) leads a charging Bob Julian and fully recovered Erik Skaggs (red jersey) in the nine mile race.

More of Andy Atkinson's photos can be found on the Mailtribune's website here.

Full race results can be found on the Southern Oregon Runners website here.

Congratulations to all runners, volunteers and race director Jan Griffin for a job well done!

Friday, November 13, 2009

A Round-Up of Lithia Loop Trail Marathon Post Race Literature

Folks often look for literature, descriptions and photos about an event they just completed and/or will compete in. It provides a good sense of closure and at the same time provides a good reference for the years to come. So, what we've decided to do here is post the press, blog, photo and, yes, even video coverage the 2009 Lithia Loop Trail Marathon collected this year. Enjoy and please do chime in and let us know if we've missed something! Thanks for all the great write-ups!!!


Scott Dunlap's "A Trailrunner's Blog": Fast Run at the Lithia Loop Marathon
Devon Crosby-Helm's "The (Ultra) marathon Life": Lithia Loop Marathon
Jim Johnson's "DoubleJRunning": USA Trail Marathon Championships
Scott Sandow's "Trail Runner Chronicles": Lithia Loop Trail Marathon Race Report
Dave Dunham's "Double-D Mountain Runner": USA Trail Marathon Championship
Richard Bolt's "USATF Oregon Mountain, Ultra & Trail Running": USA Trail Cahmpionships
Bryon Powell's "": Lithia Loop Trail Marathon Results
Mai Cam Doung Photography: Lithia Loop Trail Marathon
Team INOV-8 USA: Saft and Dunlap at USATF Trail Marathon Championships
Team Swiftwick: Nick Lewis finishes 7th at US Trail Marathon Championships
Heather Daniel's (2008 report) "Run With It": Lithia Loop Trail Marathon Race Report

Race Coverage:

USA Track & Field: "King Named Athlete of the Week"
Competitor Magazine: "King and Arnold Claim USATF Trail Marathon Crowns"
Runner's World TrailHeads: "Champions All Around"
Mail Tribune's "King Wins Lithia Loop Marathon"


Chippy D's
Richard Bolt's
Cathy Dunham's
Mai Doung's


From Dave Dunham's Blog: Video 1; The Lead Pack and Video 2; The Chase Pack


Online Race Results
USA Track & Field and Photos

Monday, November 09, 2009

2009 Lithia Loop Trail Marathon Wrap-Up

Once again the weather held out for the Lithia Loop Trail Marathon. During the middle of the race some drizzle fell at the finish line while snow flurries swirled around runners and volunteers higher on the course. Ideal conditions for a USA Track and Field National Trail Marathon Championship.

The lead runners separated themselves immediately. A pack consisting of Aaron Saft (NC), Sam Robinson (CA), Jim Johnson (NH) and Max King (OR) pushed each other to the top of the first major climb (3000' in eight miles) at Upper Horn Gap. It was there that King made a move on the flatter section of the course to gain the lead for the rest of the race. He finished in 2:40:23. Robinson and Saft didn't make it easy for King as they finished roughly two and eight minutes behind him respectively.

In the men's master race Greg McMillan (AZ) and Dan Verrington (MA) took the early lead. McMillan worked his way through the pack, eventually passing a cramping Jim Johnson in the last mile to finish fourth overall in 2:54:50. Verrington finished second about ten minutes behind McMillan. Local harrier, JC Callans (Central Point, OR), finished third in the men's masters race in 3:08:25.

In the women's race things played out a little differently. Right from the gun, Cynthia Arnold (KY) took the lead and never looked back. At mile 23, however, she took a wrong turn and was directed by race management to retrace her steps and run the correct course. Arnold had built such a lead (14 minutes by 20 miles) that the extra mile of course correction did not affect her placing. She crossed the line in 3:08:42, seven minutes ahead of second place finisher Becca Ward (WA). Ward pushed hard to the finish in order to out-lean third place finisher Devon Crosby-Helms (CA) by six seconds. Kate Lapides (CO) finished first in the women's masters race and crossed the finish line in 3:48:57. Karla Nash finished second about 14 minutes back of Lapides. Local Ashland runner, Lisa Norvell, finished third in the women's master's division.

143 runners crossed this year's finish line. Full race results can be found here. We'd like to thank the more than thirty volunteers that spent their day on the course and made this race possible. Join us on November 6th, 2010 as the Lithia Loop Trail Marathon returns and plays host as the USA Track and Field National Trail Championships for yet another year.

Fall foliage provides an excellent back-drop for the start of the 2nd Annual Lithia Loop Trail Marathon.

(left to right)Devon Crosby-Helms (3rd woman), Win Goodbody (pink body suit), Krissy Moehl (4th woman) and Ellen Parker (5th woman) less than a minute into the race.

Cynthia Arnold: Women's National Trail Marathon Champion

Max King: 2009 Men's National Trail Marathon Champion

Sam Robinson: Runner-up at the USA Track and Field Championships

Greg McMillan: Men's Masters winner from Flagstaff, AZ

Dan Verrington and Greg McMillan battle in the early miles for the Masters title.

The lead pack charges up the 2060 road. (Left to right) Aaron Saft, Max King, Sam Robinson, Jim Johnson

By popular demand, "The Fat Author" Todd Ragsdale.

Photos were taken by Mailtribune's Jamie Lusch and Cathy Dunham.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

2009 Lithia Loop Trail Marathon Results

A write up and photos will be coming shortly! For now, most folks will be interested in the results. You can view the 2009 results here. Here's the Mailtribune's write-up and coverage on the race. Congratulations to all!

Monday, November 02, 2009

Lithia Loop Trail Marathon Comes to Town!!!

2009 USA Track & Field Trail Marathon Championships
Lithia Loop Trail Marathon
Ashland, Oregon
November 7, 2009

Hal Koerner & Ian Torrence
Rogue Valley Runners
(541) 201-0014

Southern Oregon hosts 2009 USA Track & Field Trail Marathon Championships

Runners can expect much more than the standard marathon “bonk” at this year’s USA Track & Field Trail Marathon Championships. Runners will face an initial eight-mile, 3,200-foot ascent through the steep Siskiyou Mountains that shadow the southern Oregon town of Ashland. The trails and fire roads do flatten out for twelve miles in the middle of the race but maintaining pace may become difficult at the oxygen deprived 5,000 foot level. The final six miles and 3,000 feet of descent will test even the strongest of quads as runners descend on technical single track to the race’s finish at Ashland’s town center, Lithia Park.

Championship prize monies totaling $6000 will be awarded to the top five USA Track & Field male and female finishers as well as the top three USA Track & Field male and female masters finishers.

Last year’s Lithia Loop Trail Marathon winner, Jeff Caba (Bend, OR), is returning to defend his title. Sporting a 2:31:12 at this year’s Twin Cities Marathon, Caba will defend his title against his fellow training partner Andy Martin (Bend, OR). Martin ran a 2:25:46 at Twin Cities, and is no stranger to the trails as his team placed second at this year’s six-day Gore-Tex Trans-Rockies Race.

Chasing these gentlemen will be Thomas Brooks (Eugene, OR) who placed third in the steeple at the 2007 USA Track & Field Championships with a time of 8:27.34. Aaron Saft (Fletcher, NC) who won the 2007 USAT&F Trail Marathon Championships in 2:30:53. Phil Kochik (Seattle, WA) who won the 2004 USAT&F 50 Mile Trail Championships. Mark Godale (Aurora, OH) who sports personal records of 2:30 in the marathon, 3:17 in the 50 kilometer and 7:08 in the 100 kilometer distance.

In the women’s race, the two race favorites are Devon Crosby-Helms (Sausalito, CA) and Krissy Moehl (Seattle, WA). Crosby-Helms brings with her a time of 2:49:50 at the 2008 California International Marathon and a 2:53:20 at this year’s Boston Marathon. She also has wins at the 2008 Vermont 100 Mile Endurance Run and this year’s Vermont 50 Mile Run. Moehl hopes to cap a stellar year which includes a victory in France’s 103-mile Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc and her runner-up position at the Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run.

Also heating up is the competition for the men’s master’s title. Dan Verrington (Bradford, MA) ran a 3:25:22 at this year’s USAT&F 50 Kilometer Championships. Verrington will be chased by his fellow club mate (Central Mass Striders) Dave Dunham (Bradford, MA) who finished runner-up in the 2001 JFK 50 Mile and 2001 USAT&F 50 Mile Trail Championships. Greg McMillan (Flagstaff, AZ), of McMillan Elite, will vie for the title as well, as he sports a personal record of 2:31:58 in the marathon.