This Week In Running (Week of 5/1 and 5/2)

This Week In RunningTWIR was incommunicado last Wednesday. (We know you missed us and spent the entire day hitting the refresh button, hoping beyond all hope that a new edition would magically appear.) Honestly, we have no excuse at all, unless, we play the Miwok 100k card.  Yes, that’s it, that’s it….we needed some extra time to give you a sneak peak at the 15th running of the Miwok 100k, which kicks off at 5:40 AM on Saturday, May 1 in Sausalito, California.

Miwok 100k guyMake no mistake about it, the Miwok 100k is hilly, delivering approximately 10,000 feet of cumulative elevation gain. Yet, with elevation comes spectacular views of San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge, Mt. Tamalpais, and the Point Reyes National Seashore. The course, a modified out-and-back, consists of mostly fire roads and single-track trails (with about 5 miles of roads). It is also one of the most competitive races around.

In the 2009 event, Eric Grossman took top honors with a time of 8:35:17 followed closely by Victor Ballesteros in 8:38:10 and Scott Jaime in 8:46:23. Kami Semick took top female honors (9:07:02) over eventual Western States 100 champion Anita Ortiz (9:10:53).  It was Semick’s 3rd consecutive win at Miwok. The course record was set the prior year (2008) when Dave Mackey dominated the field to win in 7:53:19, a solid 30 minutes ahead of Jon Olsen (8:24:13), Geoff Roes (8:34:02), and Scott Jurek (8:38:17). The women’s course record is held by Ann Trason (8:55 in 2001) [Thanks to Gary Robbins for the correction].

The 2010 Miwok 100k list of registered entrants is just as stellar as it has been in the past. On the women’s side, Semick is slated to return and so is Ortiz. And you can’t leave out names like Devon Crosby-Helms, Krissy Moehl, Prudence L’heureux, Darcy Africa, Jenny Capel, Amy Sproston, and Diana Fitzpatrick as contenders. The men’s race is highlighted with  names such as Anton Krupicka, Hal Koerner, Evan Hone, Glen Redpath, Erik Skaden, and Zach Gingerick, just to name a few. This will surely be an event to keep a close eye on this weekend! (Note: Bryon Powell of iRunFar will be there covering Miwok. Follow iRunFar on Twitter for live from-the-course updates.)

If Miwok isn’t enough for you, here are a few other events taking place this weekend (all of which are on Saturday, May 1):

Muddy MarathonMuddy Marathon (Rockaway, New Jersey) – The trail course is 6.55 miles with over 1,600 feet of elevation gain and loss, beginning inside Craigmeur Recreation Complex, running through wooded paths, old ski trails and open fields. It then transitions through non-blazed trails into the woods to meet up with the Four Birds Trail. It follows this trail up the ridge and for approximately 2 miles before switching over to another non-blazed path in a return route to Craigmeur. This is NOT a trail race for beginning  trail runners. “You will run through water, mud, over rocks, possibly over downed trees, on blazed trails and also areas where there is no trail.”

Strolling Jim 40Stolling Jim 40 Mile Run (Wartrae, Tennessee) – For 32 years, the first Saturday in May has meant one thing in the scenic hills of Bedford County, Tennessee: the return of the Ultra-Marathoners. And the Ultra-Marathoners have kept coming back. Coming back to stroll the quiet streets of Wartrace and Bell Buckle, enjoying the picturesque homes and quaint shops. Coming back to share in the three day reunion of the Southern Ultra community. Coming back to celebrate the end of winter with a run in the inspiring springtime beauty of the Highland Rim. Coming back to be a part of one of the US most competitive road ultras and to match their times against the fastest runners of the past 29 years. Coming back to strive for a coveted Gold Shirt. Coming back to feast on the bountiful repast at both pre- and post-run festivities. But, most of all, the Ultra-Marathoners keep coming back because, at the Strolling Jim, every runner is a hero, an honored guest, and a welcomed friend. Join us this May, and you will find your own reasons to keep coming back.

Greenland Trail 50kGreenland Trail 50k (Larkspur, Colorado) – Located within 3,000+ acres of the Greenland Open Space, the course passes through native grasslands, by ponds, through rolling Gamble oak hills and skirts ponderosa pine forests, allowing for outstanding views of Pikes Peak and the surrounding buttes. The entire course is run on dirt trails with wide, smooth double-track trails. This very fast course is very beginner friendly.

How about you, our readers? What are you all up to this weekend on the trail/ultra front ?

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