This Week In Running (Week of 8/9 – 8/10)

Welcome back to another edition of This Week In Running! Today we take a sneak peak at some of the races set for the weekend of August 9th and 10th.

But first, how about a quick look at some of the race results from the prior week. Lets begin with the Burning River Endurance 100 Mile, which featured a close battle for first place between the men’s winner, Tim Clement (17:40) and the women’s winner, Connie Gardner (18:21). Clement and Gardner were within a few minutes of each other for much of the first half of the race before Clement stretched the lead to nearly 40 minutes at the 50.6 mile mark. Gardner would close the gap to just 10 minutes over the next 8 miles. Clement held his ground and stretched the lead again before finishing 41 minutes ahead of Gardner. Clement finished 3rd at Burning River last year in 19:19. Defending champion Mark Godale dropped from the race somewhere around the 33 mile mark. At the time this post was written, a majority of this past weekend’s races had yet to post results.

And now, on with the show. Let’s see what’s on tap for the weekend of August 9th and 10th, 2008……

100s, 100s and more 100s, and there are two of them this week in the good old U.S.A. Let’s begin with the Headlands Hundred 50 & 100 Mile Endurance Runs in Rodeo Beach, Golden Gate National Recreation Area, California. If you happen to complete the 100 mile within the 32-hour cutoff, you won’t win a belt buckle. Nope, the RDs at Headlands prefer “a more practical award… Since Hardrock 100, one of the toughest 100 mile races, gives a coffee mug to finishers… We’re very happy to award finishers a coaster with their name and finish time”.

To qualify to run the 100 Mile, you must simply have completed an ultramarathon within the prior 18 months. The complete turn-by-turn course description, which comes complete with 17,720 feet of elevation gain, can be found HERE. There is also a course comparison to the Miwok 100k located HERE. There are aid stations every 3 to 8 miles where runners can expect fresh fruit, salty snacks, assorted candy, boiled potatoes & salt, water, and Clif Shot Electrolyte sports drink. After the race you can load up on soup and chili at the post-race picnic. The race starts at 7:00 A.M. on Saturday, August 9. The entry fee for the 100-mile race is $200 ($225 after 7/26). The 50-mile race is a bargain at $85 ($95 after 7/26). As of July 31 there were 15 spots left in the 50-mile race and 42 in the 100.

The Viaduct Trail Ultramarathon (50 & 100 Miles) also takes place on Saturday, August 9 at 6:00 A.M., and here’s the kicker….it is free of charge. Yes, that’s right, free of charge. In 2007, the inaugural race was held on a 68-mile point-to-point course on the D&H and O&W rail trails, with two total finishers. This year, there are 25 total entrants registered for this event (10 for the 100-miler). The race is run on a somewhat challenging 12.5-mile section of the D&H Rail Trail in Northeast Pennsylvania. Beginning beneath the Starrucca Viaduct, runners will run east and then south up the gradual slope of the rail trail, descend into and back out of the Bucks Falls gorge, and then turn around in Thompson and run back north to the viaduct. 50-milers will complete two laps of the out-and-back and 100-milers will do four. Runners should expect to be self-sufficient for this race. No buckles here either. All finishers receive a railroad spike finisher’s award.

Here’s a very brief look on some other races that are also on tap for this week…..

Turkey Swamp 50k (Sun., Aug. 10 in Freehold, New Jersey) – 10 mile, 25k and 20 mile options also. Loop course of slightly more than 2.5 miles. Mostly shaded dirt road and single track trail.

Howl at the Moon 8-Hour Run (Sat., Aug. 9 in Danville, Illinois) – Registration is closed for this event. A 3.29 mile loop through Kennekik Cove Park. 75% trail, 20% fine rock and 5% asphalt. For more details on this event, see the FLIER.

Mt. Disappointment 50/50 Endurance Runs (Sat., Aug. 9 in Mount Wilson, CA) – The 2008 USATF Southern California Association 50-Mile Trail Championship race. There is also a 50k option.