This Week In Running: January 26, 2015

Mountain Mist 50k – Huntsville, Alabama

This Week in Running Justin Mock TWIRScott Breeden (Bloomington, Indiana) earned a repeat win at “Alabama’s Toughest Trail Race.” Breeden finished in 3:58, five minutes better than his winning time from last year.

“The last half of the race is really technical. I think people don’t understand how rugged some of the courses we have in the Midwest and South are,” Breeden said of the race’s appeal. “A lot of the trails are really nasty–mud, rocks, blown-down trees. The trails aren’t really manicured like they are out West.”

After leading early on, a wrong turn dropped Breeden to the back. He didn’t rejoin the leaders until mile 18. “At that point, the really technical section starts and a lot of people that started too fast struggle. I was able to pull away during this section,” Breeden recalled.

If the 25-year-old likes nasty trails, he may be in for a treat. Breeden is high on the Barkley Marathons waitlist and hopes to compete in that notoriously difficult event later this year.

Trailing the race winner, Daniel Hamilton (Chattanooga, Tennessee) and Ron Brooks (Louisville, Kentucky) finished second and third in 4:10 and 4:16, respectively. After a five-year run, course-record holder David Riddle (Cincinnati, Ohio) missed this year’s race while continuing to recover from injury.

Dee Goodwin (Cohutta, Georgia) was first female in 5:35 with Darcy Dubuc (Huntsville) and Sally Brooking (Marietta, Georgia) running 5:42 and 5:46. The women’s podium showed a tremendous age range. Goodwin is 47 years of age, Dubuc 24, and Brooking 58.

Coldwater Rumble 100 – Goodyear, Arizona

The distance carnival at Estrella Mountain Regional Park outside of Phoenix, nearly 20,000 acres of mountains and desert, offered up six race distances. The second-year 100 miler, made up of five 20-mile laps, was won by Brandt Ketterer (Denver, Colorado) and Emily Toia (Phoenix). The two finished in 19:08 and 23:36, respectively. Chris Palmer (Scottsdale, Arizona) and Lorie Alexander (Calgary, Alberta) won the 52-mile race in 9:02 and 10:37. Sion Lupowitz (Tucson, Arizona) and Julie Anne Mahmoud (St. Robert, Missouri) ruled the 52k distance in 4:30 and 5:07, respectively, and finally, Sean Meissner (Flagstaff, Arizona) and Elissa Sander (Mesa, Arizona) finished first in the 20-mile race at 2:39 and 2:43.

Other Races

Pennsylvania’s toughest terrain and winter’s worst weather combine to make the Frozen Snot 13.5-mile race “one tough booger.” Joshua Gavitt (Picture Rocks, Pennsylvania) and Larie Hall (Winburne, Pennsylvania) weathered the course’s 5,600 feet of elevation gain the best, finishing in 3:54 and 4:21.

Jesse Haynes (Capistrano Beach, California), the 10th-place finisher at last year’s Western States 100, won the Calico Trail Run 50k in southern California in 3:59. Jayme Baldwin (Alpine, California) took the women’s race at 4:58.

Jesse Haynes 2015 Calico 50k

Jesse Haynes wins the 2015 Calico Trail Run 50k men’s race. Photo: Keira Henninger

After 100 miles on the Erie Canal towpath in upstate New York , Steve Parke (Ontario) won the sixth annual Beast of Burden 100 in 17:09. Full results weren’t yet available at the time of this writing and it was not clear who the women’s winner was.

New Zealand’s Ultra Easy 100k, the first race of the Australia New Zealand Oceania Skyrunning series, crowned Scott Hawker, an Australian-based Kiwi, and Becky Nixon (New Zealand) as race winners. Hawker and Nixon finished the ironically named race, which boasts 15,000-plus feet of elevation gain, in 11:12 and 14:35.

Next Weekend

Course-record holder Ian Sharman (Walnut Creek, California) will return to the Rocky Raccoon 100 on Saturday, January 31 in Huntsville, Texas. Sharman rocketed to fame with a 12:44 finish at the five-lap race in 2011. Since then, he’s started Rocky twice, dropping in 2012 after 63 miles and running 13:38 for second last year.

Sharman won’t be eligible for the accompanying USATF 100-mile trail championship, but his likely closest challenger is. Peter Hogg (Indianapolis, Indiana), already the 2013 USATF 100-mile trail champion, will look to avenge his own Rocky Raccoon DNF from a year ago. Hogg’s 100-mile credentials include 14:25 and 15:51 100-mile finishes at Burning River, the faster of the two when he won that USATF crown.

“I want to get back to Rocky Raccoon for the same reason I went last year,” Hogg explained. “I want to try to run a fast trail 100 mile with good competition and on a course with strong history.”

Hogg’s 14:25 at Burning River remains the course record and when asked to compare his current fitness to then, he responded, “I really didn’t think I was in great shape at Burning River, but ended up having one of the best races of my life. I feel very fit for Rocky Raccoon this year and more fit than I felt at Burning River, but I don’t know if I can have a better race than I did at Burning River.”

The masters race looks to be competitive with 40-plus standouts Scott Dunlap (Woodside, California), Josh Finger (Spring City, Pennsylvania), and Jean Pommier (Cupertino, California) all registered.

A year ago, Liza Howard (San Antonio) ran 15:07 at the Umstead 100. If not for a wrong turn and stopping to nurse her baby twice, she surely would have finished under 15 hours there. She’s a favorite in the women’s race at Rocky Raccoon and sub-15 is her goal. “I’ve been working towards that for a long time,” the always-cheerful Howard said. While both Umstead and Rocky are thought to be flat and fast, Howard said that each course favors different runners. “Umstead is crushed gravel and has bigger hills in the back,” she explained. Rocky is flatter, but with roots.

Like Sharman, she too dropped from the race’s 2012 edition. Howard is actually now coached by Sharman and her training mirrors that of him. Seeking speed, she ran 2:55 at December’s Rock ‘n’ Roll San Antonio Marathon and 2:56 at the Houston Marathon on January 18. “I hadn’t run a marathon in 20 years before this,” Howard said.

Liza Howard at 2015 Houston Marathon

Liza Howard at the 2015 Houston Marathon. Photo: Ginger Rodriguez

Last year’s women’s winner, Nicole Studer, who was second at the Bandera 100k earlier this month, is also on the entrants list.

TWIR Notes

Hollywood and trail running intersected this week with a number of popular videos hitting the web.

Call for Comments (from Meghan)

  • Did you run any of these races? If so, tell us about your adventure! Or are you running the Rocky Raccoon 100 this weekend?
  • What results did we miss? Let us know in the comments!
Justin Mock

overcame years of disappointment to finally win a burro race in 2014. He has also run as fast as 2:29 for the marathon and finished as high as fourth in the Pikes Peak Marathon. He also writes for Running Times.

There are 7 comments

      1. Bryon of iRunFar

        This is correct. However, it's more common than not that there's only one bid for a particular USATF trail or ultra championship in a given year. Two bids for a championship is the minority scenario… and more than that is /very/ unlikely.

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