This Week In Running (Week of 5/29 – 5/31)
You missed us last week, didn’t you? Probably more so than you will miss the critically acclaimed and popular television series “Lost“, which saw its final episode run last Sunday night. With a 3-day weekend on the horizon, there are plenty of races/events that you can choose from to get “lost” in running on the weekend of Saturday, May 29, Sunday, May 30, and Monday, May 31, a few of which we will break down for you in today’s edition of This Week In Running.
“We’ll begin, with a spin, traveling in the world of my creation, what we’ll see will defy explanation”…what is this, Nanny Goat’s 12/24 Hour Trail Race with 100 Mile (28 hour option) in Riverside, California. Originally crafted as a 24-hour trail race, by special request they have added a 100-mile option (in the form of a time limit extension of 4 hours) for solo runners who wish to continue beyond the 24 hour time limit with a goal of hitting 100 miles. The race takes place on a one mile dirt loop on a private horse ranch. The course is flat, wide and, depending on the weather, footing is good. In the 2009 edition of the 24-hour event, Christian Burke took first place, recording 111 miles – 7 miles ahead of second place finisher Greg Hardesty. The 2009 12-hour race was won by Chris Martinez (67 miles), one mile better than second place finisher Charles Bauknecht (66 miles).
The Pocatello 50 Mile Trail Run (Saturday, May 29 in Pocatello, Idaho) will take competitors on a challenging tour of the Caribou-Targhee National Forest, and can be run solo or in a relay category (2 or 3 teammates). For the truly “hardcore” runner, the race is a serious test of endurance with approximately 13,700 feet of vertical gain. It is a large loop course, starting and finishing at the Mink Creek Group Site Campground Pavilion. From super-steep uphill climbs, to quad ripping downhills, the race course “has it all…and everything in between”. Most of the race is either on single-track, ATV trails or dirt roads. The high point (elevation-wise) is a bit over 8,600 feet. Only 80% of 2009 starters finished the race, with Dave James (9:16), Kevin Shilling (9:24) and Sean Meissner (9:59) finishing 1, 2 and 3. On the women’s side in 2009, Krissy Moehl (10:13) bested Darla Askew (10:58) and Mandy Hosford (11:29). iRunFar’s Bryon Powell has written a profile on the Pocatello 50, where he dropped out last year.
For those looking for a little drama, Montrail runners (and good friends) Sean Meissner and Matt Hart are finishing off a two race competition versus one another at Pocatello. Hart has a 23 minute lead after the first showdown at the Orcas Island 50k. Take a look at this video of the pair talking smack on Orcas Island. Oh, and there’ll be lots of others joining Matt and Sean, too… on the men’s side, Karl Meltzer, Scott Jaime, Andy Jones-Wilkins, Luke Nelson, Ty Draney and others. The women’s race will be a showdown featuring Joelle Vaught, Amy Sportson, and Mandy Hosford.
We keep things short this week and wrap it up with the Pineland Farms Trail Challenge 50 Mile (Sunday, May 30 in New Gloucester, Maine). This is a true, weekend-long event, with a slew of other race options – 5k, 10k, Barefoot 5k, 5k Canicross, 25k, 50k and 50 miles over the course of Saturday and Sunday. The 50-mile is a loop course, with runners first completing a 3.5 mile loop, followed by 3 laps of the 25k course. It is an “off-road roller coaster on well-maintained XC trails that twist, turn, and roll their way through forests and across pastoral, working farmland.” The trails are level, wide, and non-technical with no roots or rocks. Although there are no major climbs, the rolling terrain is unrelenting. The surface of the trails is mainly grass and dirt sprinkled with pine needles, pine cones, twigs, and small stones. From time to time runners will be directed off the main trail system and into fields, where the course will follow a path cut by local farmers using their haying equipment. The grass is rough and can vary in height in different places.
The Pineland Farms 50-mile course records are held by Brian Rusiecki (6:02:54 in 2009) and Amy Lane (7:24:42 in 2009). Both Rusiecki and Lane are returning for this year’s 50 miler where they’ll be respectively challenged by stand out New Englanders, Leigh Schmitt and Aliza Lapierre.
What events are you running/attending this weekend. Leave us a comment and fill us in on all the details!
[Trail Goat Note: The 85th Comrades Marathon will be run in South Africa this weekend. It's the world's largest ultra (23,000+ runners) and will feature top Americans this year, including Michael Wardian, Kami Semick, Nikki Kimball, and Josh Cox. We interviewed Wardian in the days before the race.]