This Week In Running (December 2008)

Welcome back to the final 2008 edition of This Week In Running. With the holiday season upon us, and with TWIR set to take its winter break, today we take a sneak peek at a few of the races set to take place in December 2008.

The North Face Endurance Challenge 50 mileWe begin with the 2008 North Face Endurance Challenge series championship event, which takes place in San Fransisco, California on December 6. Situated in the visually stunning Marin Headlands just north of the city, The North Face Endurance Challenge Championship course has surprised runners with both its scenery and amount of elevation change. Participants are encouraged to train for repeated uphills and downhills of several hundred feet at a time. A majority of the course covers run-able fire road (very little technical single track) overlooking the Pacific Ocean, with occasional glimpses of the Golden Gate Bridge. There is a 50-mile, 50k, half-marathon and 10k. The course is rated 5/5 stars for elevation change and 4/5 stars for overall difficulty.

Hellgate 100kThe 5th annual Hellgate 100k takes place on December 13 in Fincastle, Virginia. The best map to get of the course is the Trails Illustrated Map put out by National Geographic. The map name is: Lexington-Blue Ridge Mts.- George Washington & Jefferson National Forests & the map number is 789. (Trail # 15 on map) As for the weather – “The weather at this time of the year in Virginia is very “unpredictable”. It could be 30-40 at night and 50-60 in the daytime or teens at night and 30-40 in the day. We don’t usually have much snow at this time of the year, but we could. Come prepared for EVERYTHING. . !! In 2005 we had a couple of inches of ice on 4- 8” of snow.” Check out the “course overview by Aaron Schwartzbard” for a detailed course analysis of the course.

The Twin Peaks Ultras will take place on December 13 in Corona, California, and features a 50-miler and a 50k. The was was rescheduled from February due to fires in Cleveland National Forest. 100% singletrack and fireroad in the beautiful Santa Ana Mountains and Cleveland National Forest. The 50k has 7,700+ feet of elevation gain, and the 50 mile has 12,600+ feet of elevation gain. The 2009 event will return to its February date and will add a 100k option.

There are numerous marathons to choose from in December, including the following:

12/06 Baton Rouge Beach Marathon (Baton Rouge, LA)
12/06 Kiawah Island Marathon (Kiawah Island, SC)
12/06 Memphis Marathon (Memphis, TN)
12/06 Tecumseh Trail Marathon (Bloomington, IN)
12/07 California International Marathon (Sacramento, CA)
12/07 Las Vegas Marathon (Las Vegas, NV)
12/07 Marathon of the Palm Beaches (West Palm Beach, FL)
12/07 Tucson Marathon (Oracle, AZ)
12/13 Rocket City Marathon (Hunstville, AL)
12/13 Roxbury Marathon (Roxbury, CT)
12/14 Dallas White Rock Marathon (Dallas TX)
12/14 Honolulu Marathon (Honololu, HI)
12/14 Otter Creek Trail Marathon (Brandenburg, KY)
12/21 Christmas Marathon (Olympia, WA)
12/21 Jacksonville Marathon (Jacksonville, FL)
12/28 Run for the Ranch Marathon (Springfield, MO)
12/31 Last Chance for Boston Marathon (Bellingham, WA)

You can, of course, click on any of the marathons listed above and peruse its website for more information.

That will wrap things up for this week and for 2008. TWIR and iRunFar.com would like to extend the warmest holiday wishes to all of its readers and fans. Be sure to stop by iRunFar.com in January of 2009 for another edition of This Week In Running ! Happy Holidays !