This Week In Running (Week of 10/2 & 10/3)

This Week In RunningIt is time to get our October running shoes out.  This week we will take a look at just a few of the races/events taking place on the weekend of Saturday, October 2, 2010 and Sunday, October 3, 2010.

Arkansas Traveller 100We begin with the 20th annual Arkansas Traveller 100 (Ouachita National Forest, Arkansas on October 2-3).  The race covers quite a bit of surface alternatives – pavement, best gravel road (smooth), maintained gravel road, unmaintained gravel road, old road (4-wheeler trail) and the Ouachita Trail.  This event has a 66.3% finisher rate. Course records are held by James Kerby (15:37:26 in 2004) and Ann Trason (17:13:10 in 2002).  In 2009, PoDog Vogler comfortably took top honors with a 17:49:50 finish, followed by Kyle Baldwin (19:17:35) and Cade Smith (20:49:20).  Monica Scholz (23:16:41) took the top spot on the women’s side.  In 2008, after the Western States 100 was canceled due to fires, AT100 was used as the fourth race in the Grand Slam of Ultrarunning.

50-mile, 50k, 1/2 Marathon and 10k trail races will take place at The Bear Chase Race (Bear Creek Lake Park, Lakewood, Colorado on Sunday).  “An excellent race for first-time ultramarathoners,” the “pretty fast (by trail/ultra standards) and not overly technical” course includes a variety of challenging terrain and panoramic views.  The 50-miler has about 3,600 feet of elevation gain, while the 50k has about 2,050 feet.

Chattanooga, Tennessee is the site of the so-called “premiere 50k trail race in the Southeast,” the Rock/Creek StumpJump 50k (Saturday).  This event takes place on dirt-packed trails with Tennessee mountain stone thrown in, and has 5,000+ feet of elevation gain.

Orcas Island Triple Ripple Trail FestivalEvery now and then we find a non-ultra event that piques our interest, and this week we found one in the Orcas Island Triple Ripple Trail Festival (Saturday and Sunday in Moran State Park, Orcas Island, WA).  No, it wasn’t the name that caught our attention…go on, just say it…triple ripple, triple ripple, triple, ripple.  Maybe it was the 80 year-old single-track trails, giant cedars and doug firs, peeling madronas, moss and lichen and ferns, clear lakes and dizzying ocean views?  Nah, it was certainly the “go-fast, go-up and go-long” theme that claims that “you’ll go home walking funny, or we haven’t done our job!”  You can compete in any one of 3 races: the Go-Fast 4 Mile Mountain Lake Run (9 AM Saturday), the Go-Up 10k Uphill Climb (3 PM Saturday), and the Go-Long 30k-ish Trail Run (8 AM Sunday).  Better yet, go for the Triple Ripple Trail Monster and run all 3.  The Triple Ripple Trail Monster will be the runner with the lowest “weighted” total time for all 3 races.  The 30k counts 1x, the Uphill Climb 2x, and the 4-miler is weighted 3x.

Here’s what’s in store for Triple Ripple Trail Monster competitors.  The Go-Fast 4 Mile Mountain Lake Run is a single loop of beautiful mountain lake on single-track trails, a flat, fast weekend opener.  The Go-Up 10k Uphill Climb features a summit of Mt. Constitution – it starts at Camp Moran, circles the south shore of Cascade Lake for a little “warm-up”, then heads straight uphill for 2.4 miles to the Cold Springs saddle.  The Go-Long 30k-ish Trail run is 18+miles of the best unbeaten paths on Mt. Constitution.  Runners are treated to long ascents and descents through old growth hemlock, sitka spruce and doug fir, ravens croaking and gurgling over hidden ponds, foot-deep moss sprouting chanterelles, and giant views of the Strait of Georgia and Puget Sound.  It is hilly and hard, but run-able.

Also make sure to check out the Desert Dash Daytime Trail Run Race (Saturday in Las Vegas, Nevada), Gold Country Trail Runs (34-mile, 21-mile, 25k and 8-mile, Saturday in Auburn, California), FATS 50k (Sunday in North Augusta, South Carolina), and the Blues Cruise 50k (Sunday in Leesport, Pennsylvania).

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