This Week In Running: January 19, 2015

The This Week in Running report on trail and ultrarunning for January 19, 2015.

By on January 19, 2015 | Comments

 HURT 100 – Honolulu, Hawaii

This Week in Running Justin Mock TWIRMichael Arnstein (Kailua, Hawaii) edged Alex Nunn (Honolulu, Hawaii) to win the five-lap jungle 100 miler. Arnstein, popularly known as the Fruitarian, finished in 21:29 to Nunn’s 21:47. Arnstein’s time is the fifth-fastest in race history. He was believed to have retired from competitive racing following a 12:57 100 miler at the 2012 Desert Solstice Invitational, but it appears that the former New Yorker has now relocated to Hawaii and regained his form.

Michael Arnstein, 2015 HURT 100 men's champion

Michael Arnstein, 2015 HURT 100 men’s champion. Photo: iRunFar/Susie Stephen

Second-place Nunn cut 63 minutes from his 2014 finish, and improved one position. Nickademus Hollon (San Diego, California) was third in 22:42, repeating his 2013 finish position.

Amy Sproston (Bend, Oregon) championed the women’s race with a 26:22 winning time. Like Arnstein, Sproston’s time also marked the race’s fifth-fastest ever. Earlier in the week Sproston had tweeted that one of her 2015 goals was to finish races she’d previously dropped from. Having now completed HURT, only the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc remains on her immediate list. Alicia Woodside (North Vancouver, British Columbia) and Kiyomi Kuroda (Japan) earned podium positions with 28:10 and 31:22 marks.

Amy Sproston, 2015 HURT 100 women's champion

Amy Sproston, 2015 HURT 100 women’s champion, on her way to the win. Photo: iRunFar/Susie Stephen

The course thinned the field considerably with high-level runners Yassine Diboun (Portland, Oregon), Kerrie Bruxvoort (Broomfield, Colorado), Denise Bourassa (Bend, Oregon), Nicola Gildersleeve (North Vancouver, British Columbia), and Candice Burt (Bellingham, Washington) all not finishing. It appears that former champion Hannah Roberts (Anacortes, Washington) did not start the race.

Other Races

Asian high-level runners along with smattering of international athletes gathered to race this weekend’s Vibram Hong Kong 100k. Long-Fei Yan (China) a 2:15 marathoner who has turned his sights to trails in the last year, won the men’s race, and Pui-Yan Wyan Chow (Hong Kong) a relatively new ultrarunner who has been breaking records at local, longstanding races, took the women’s race. iRunFar covered the race live, and our results article summarizes how the event went down.

At the San Diego 50, Marc Wilson (San Diego) dipped under the seven-hour mark with a 6:58 first-place finish. Jack Earnshaw (Oakdale, California) and Joseph Ochaba (Irvine, California) ran 7:11 and 7:13 for second and third, respectively. Neela D’Souza (Pickering, Ontario) and Kelly Wilson (San Diego) both ran under the previous course record at the three-year-old race. D’Souza finished in 7:29 to Wilson’s 7:41. Megan Stegemiller (Springfield, Virginia) was a distant third in 8:34. James Walsh (Encinitas, California), in advance of his pending move to Colorado, dominated the accompanying trail marathon in 2:47.

The 13-year-old Capitol Peak Mega Fat Ass in Olympia, Washington served up “good, old-fashioned, unsupported fun,” along with 6,100 feet of elevation gain over 34 miles. Maxwell Ferguson (Renton, Washington), the winner of many Pacific Northwest races, toppled the course record with a 4:17 finish. Jess Mullen (Seattle, Washington) was 35 minutes faster than anyone else in the women’s race. She finished in 5:37.

Travis Macy (Evergreen, Colorado) and Sarah Lavender Smith (Oakland, California) won the Steep Ravine 50k in 4:21 and 5:56, respectively. The two raced from Stinson Beach to Mount Tamalpais to Muir Beach on the popular Bay Area trails.

Just south of San Francisco, short-course stars David and Megan Roche (Sunnyvale, California) won the Pacifica Foothills Trail Half Marathon in 1:26 and 1:38.

North Carolina’s Weymouth Woods 100k was made up of fourteen 4.47-mile laps through the race’s namesake nature preserve. Dan Lenz and Emily Clay completed the circuit first, finishing in 8:44 and 12:45, respectively.

Industry and Community News

Leadville 100 Lottery
Following years of increasing demand, the Leadville 100 introduced a lottery system for the first time late in 2014. Although a full entrant list doesn’t appear to be available online, this week one of the sport’s best announced her entrance into the race.

Ellie Greenwood (North Vancouver, British Columbia), the 2014 UltraRunning magazine Ultrarunner of the Year, will race her first Leadville 100 next August. Despite its high altitude, the course is commonly thought to be a “runner’s course,” and one that Greenwood should do especially well at. She could challenge Ann Trason’s 18:06 course record that has stood since 1994.

No Run Should End in a Helicopter Rescue
Although not ‘this week,’ anymore, Allison Tai’s story from earlier this month is worth repeating for its potential lessons. The 32-year-old obstacle course racer, and veteran of the Canadian Death Race, was visiting her mom on Vancouver Island when a wayward run left her on unfamiliar mountain trails in the dark.

Tai explained how her plan went awry to iRunFar, “I have run the road that leads into the maze I was running on a few times. I thought I’d be running on a back road that led through the parkland, rather than an unmapped maze of logging roads. So I really wasn’t prepared for a trail run, just a run on a dirt road–and then a paved run come dusk with my husband on the other side of the park.”

She accepted an offer for an ATV rescue, but when that ATV couldn’t negotiate the terrain, a helicopter was sent to hoist her from the mountain. While Tai likely wasn’t in immediate danger, she is incredibly grateful for the work of those who rescued her.

“I personally had no idea that things even escalated past a really nice guy coming to give me a ride on his ATV until I saw a chopper with a spotlight. Thankfully the SAR people I’ve talked to post event haven’t been making it a big deal. I guess the helicopter needs to go out for training purposes, so it’s not the absolute crazy waste of resources I feared it was. That was tough to deal with, that and just having so many amazing people out there. It’s not just the incredible people who eventually pulled me out on the helicopter, but also the ATV teams that were trying to get to me before the chopper came. They are all volunteers who drop whatever they are doing to go out there in the cold.”

Tai tells her story in more detail on her blog with a refreshingly good-natured tone. She explains what she did wrong and offers lessons that all runners and adventurers should heed. “Hopefully the story and message stick–and the momentum in terms of exposure for search and rescue. They are hugely under-recognized. It’s unbelievable what they do and who they are,” she said.

Altra Halo to include implanted iFit device
The Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas also wasn’t ‘this week,’ but remains newsworthy. Altra, the upstart natural running shoe brand, introduced the Altra Halo with its implanted iFit device at the sprawling trade show. The thought is that the iFit can send messages to an iPhone or GPS device to instruct runners to alter their stride. Altra founder Golden Harper calls it a “running coach in a shoe.” Harper says that the Halo helps a runner make real-time adjustments, prevent injuries, and increase performance.

Altra product line manager and ultrarunner Zac Marion, explains more. “The Halo analyzes the aspects of your gait cycle that can actually benefit on the go, such as cadence, ground contact, and foot-strike patterns. These are all great indicators that come with simple solutions if they are off what’s been proven in medical journals to be ideal metrics. Incorrect foot-strike patterns can be changed through intentional posture corrections and form checks. Cadence and foot-strike patterns are indicative of over-striding and increased musculoskeletal stress, which can be corrected through increasing cadence.”

The shoe will be introduced in late 2015.

Altra Halo

The Altra Halo design concept. Photo courtesy of Altra.

Call for Comments (from Meghan)

  • Were you ‘at the races’ this weekend? If so, where did you race and how did it go?
  • Did we miss mentioning a race? If so, let us know which one and men’s and women’s winner results in the comments.
Justin Mock

Justin Mock is the This Week In Running columnist for iRunFar. He’s been writing about running for 10 years. Based in Europe, Justin has run as fast as 2:29 for a road marathon and finished as high as fourth in the Pikes Peak Marathon.