March, according to the information gods at Wikipedia, comes from ancient Rome, when March was the first month of the year and named Martius after Mars, the Roman god of war. In Rome, where the climate is more Mediterranean, March marks the first month of spring. Well, it surely isn’t spring-time yet in most parts of the USA, but with March comes a few more 100-milers, including the 3rd attempt at the organized chaos called the Coyote Two Moon 100 in Ojai, California.
If there is a simple explanation for the Coyote Two Moon 100 (there’s also a 100k option) course, it is this, “Nordhoff Ridge behind Ojai serves as the spine off which seven different trails spider. The 100M’ers will do them all, the 100K’ers will avoid two of them. Since we start on the eastward end of the Ridge, you’ll first capture those trails, and work your way back west to finish with Pratt/Cozy Dell and Gridley trails before making your way back across the Ridge and down Horn Canyon to Thacher/Home/Finish.
Still don’t get it, try this :
“By prose, for 100M’ers, Start at Thacher, climb Horn Cyn to Sisar Road; take Sisar Road down to Sisar Cyn A/S; climb back up then access White Ledge trail to Lion Canyon A/S, with short out ‘n back diversion to top of Topa; down Lion Cyn to Rose Valley A/S; climb back up to Lion Cyn A/S; down White Ledge to Sisar Road, then up to Ridge Junction A/S; across Ridge Road then down chip seal road to Rose Valley; back up chip seal to Ridge Road, then down Howard Creek trail to Howard Creek A/S at the road; back up Howard Creek to Ridge then down to Gridley Top A/S; up towards Nordhoff Peak then down Pratt/Cozy Dell trails to Cozy Dell A/S on Hwy 33; back up Cozy Dell/Pratt trails to Gridley Top; down Gridley Trail to Gridley Bottom A/S; back up to Gridley Top; then across the Ridge and down Horn Canyon Trail to the Finish. For 100K’ers, you’ll climb up Horn, then turn left toward Ridge Junction A/S, and now follow the same course as the 100M’ers. Tiring just to read about it, huh?”
Simply put, the courses visit the trails on the Ojai ridge behind Thacher School and the town of Ojai. “Depending on whom you’ll believe, the 100M course has around 27,000 feet of elevation gain, the 100k about 19,000 feet of gain.” The 100 Mile has a 40 hour limit, while the 100k has a 26 hour limit.
The event has a staggared start – 5 waves/groups for each event, based on antipated finish time. The slowest 100-milers will start at 6 PM on Friday. Not just anyone can come out and play…if you want to run the 100-mile you must have completed another 100-miler with not less than 18,000 feet of elevation gain within 18 months prior to October 31, 2009, or have had an arguably comparable running challenge within the same time frame. Another aspect that is rare to this race is the opportunity to accumulate “Bonus/Boner Minutes”. We think it best that you research that aspect for yourself. Karl Meltzer holds the course record (17:24:00 in 2008). Betsy Nye (25:23:00 in 2008) holds the women’s course record
Sonoita, Arizona will host the Old Pueblo 50 Miler on Saturday. The course is a 50 mile loop on forest service roads and trails through the southeastern part of the Santa Rita Mountains (part of the Arizona Trail). Elevation at the start/finish is about 5,142 feet and ranges between 4,031 and 5,847 feet, with an average grade of 6%. [Check out Bryon’s slide show from the 2008 Old Pueblo 50.]
The Caumsett Park 50k, the USA Track and Field 50k National Championships will be held at Caumsett State Historic Park in Lloyd Harbor, New York on Sunday, March 7. The course is a 2.634687 mile loop (11.792125 laps of it) run entirely on a paved path. There are two small inclines per loop. Each loop has two aid stations, one offering water and food, the other with fluids only. Many top national and local ultrarunners are expected to participate, including Scott Dunlap, Mark Godale, Phil McCarthy, and current record holder, Michael Wardian. Wardian is the defending champion, winning the 2009 running with a time of 2:56:36. Kami Semick took first in the women’s category last year (3:29:20).
There are plenty of other ultras taking place this weekend across the USA, including the Green Jewel 50k in Rocky River, Ohio, and the San Juan Trail 50k in Cleveland National Forest, California. Make sure to check out those web-sites for more details, and have a great running weekend.