This Week In Running (Week of 6/5 – 6/6)
Ah…the sweet smell of the summer months. The sun is shining, birds are chirping and all is peaceful on the trails. Well, not exactly. How about that Pocatello 50 Mile Trail Run? Canceled mid-stream due to horrible weather and consequently dangerous conditions at the higher elevations. Race directors Jared and Ryan said it best – “The second to last thing that a race director wants to do is cancel their race while it is in progress….the last thing that a race director wants to do is attend funeral services for runner(s) who perished while on their course, a scenario that was all too possible on Saturday.” iRunFar covered the event in detail: Pocatello 50 Mile Called Mid-Race Due to Weather.
There was some great running at the Pineland Farms 50 Mile Trail Race on Sunday. Brian Rusiecki defended his overall title with a stellar 6:06:32 performance, besting Ben Nephew (6:19:36). A new course record was set on the women’s side by Aliza Lapierre (6:48:07 and 3rd overall!).
[Trail Goat Note: Off the trail and onto the road, the Comrades Marathon was last weekend. We previously covered how Americans fared at Comrades and interviewed the race's top American, Michael Wardian, in the days before the event.]
This week we welcome back a few 100-milers, and will give you a sneak peak at 4 events taking place on the weekend of Saturday, June 5 and Sunday, June 6, starting with, of course, the 100-milers. So, pull a chair up, sit back, and get those reading glasses out ’cause off we go….
A pair of out-and-back legs make up the Kettle Moraine 100 Mile Trail Run taking place on Saturday in LaGrange, Wisconsin. The first leg starts at the Nordic loop and turns around at the Scuppernong campground for a round trip distance of 62.9 miles. Leg #2 heads out to Rice Lake for a 37.3 mile out-and-back. The course is run entirely on trails (save a couple hundred feet of road crossings) and traverses the Ice Age National Scenic Trail. The trail is about 80% wooded terrain, with the rest meandering through gentle prairie or marsh areas. Part of the course is a roller coaster of hills, with small rocks and roots scattered about. Other sections are gently rolling with fairly smooth surfaces. Total altitude gain is approximately 12,000 feet. Zach Gingerich won the 2009 event in 15:17:32, over two hours ahead of second place finisher Scott Klopfenstein (17:34:19). Jenny Chow took top honors for the women with a time of 20:26:55. The course records are held by Gingerich (15:17:32 in 2009) and Donna Perkins (18:12:30 in 1998).
Significant climbs and 14,000 feet of elevation gain await the runners in the Old Dominion 100 Mile Cross Country Run on Saturday in the Massanutten Mountains and the Massanutten-ensconced Fort Valley, Virginia. With a bright and early 4 a.m. start at the Shenandoah County Fairgrounds in Woodstock, the race is a measured loop trail through the Massanutten Mountains and is planned as a fair test of endurance running. The course has a 28-hour time limit, with sub-24-hour finishers earning the Old Dominion sterling silver buckle. The 2009 event had 22 finishers, 12 earning the silver buckle. Jason Lantz took first place (18:35) over Brad Hinton (19:39) and Scott Brockmeier (19:52). Liz Bauer (22:44) won the women’s race.
The 14th annual Squaw Peak 50 Mile Trail Run takes place at 5:00 AM on Saturday in Provo, Utah. The course is “a very challenging, difficult scenic loop course through the Wasatch Mountains above Provo, Utah,” consisting of dirt trails (43%), dirt roads (38%) and some paved roads (19%). Over 10,000+ feet of elevation gain and loss, with 5 major climbs varying from 1,100 feet to nearly 3,000 feet will certainly test your legs. Scott Jamie (8:05:32) prevailed in 2009 besting Kevin Shilling (8:07:50), while Darcie Gorman took first female (9:50:10).
Lastly, the Mid-Atlantic Regional of The North Face Endurance Challenge will take place in Washington, DC this weekend, returning to Algonkian Regional Park, Great Falls Park and the Potomac Heritage Trail. The courses ever-changing terrain consists of 50% single-track trail, 30% dirt or gravel double-track, 10% gravel carriage road, and 10% paved road. The Great Falls sections are highlighted by hills with steep but run-able climbs of up to 300 feet. The River Trail covers up to three miles of tip-toeing and hopping along bluffs high above the Potomac River – a tedious, but scenic adventure.
As usual, feel free to add all the details of some of the other events that you may be participating in this weekend in our comment section!