This Week in Running (7/26 – 7/27)

iRunFar is psyched to bring you a new weekly feature – This Week In Running!

Tony Portera of the Run-a-Long-Way Blog has kindly agreed to share TWIR directly with the iRunFar community. (Tony previously published TWIR on his blog.) Every week TWIR highlights the coming weekend’s ultramarathons, select marathons, as well as other races that will surely interest iRunFar readers. As you can see below, Tony also occasionally adds commentary regarding the previous week’s events to TWIR. So please welcome iRunFar’s newest contributor – Tony Portera – and TWIR!

[If you enjoy TWIR, subscribe to the iRunFar Blog to automatically receive TWIR every week!]

After a week off to crew and pace at the Badwater Ultramarathon and the Vermont 100 Mile Endurance Run, This Weekend in Running returns to preview a few of the running events that will take place on the weekend of July 26-27. But first, a quick congratulations to Jorge Pacheco (23:20:16) and Jaime Donaldson (26:51:33, a new women’s course record) on their victories at Badwater, and to Andy Jones-Wilkins (16:07:52) and Devon Crosby-Helms (18:31:34) on their victories in Vermont. Both Jaime and Andy have posted race reports on their respective blogs.

And now, on with the show….

This week we feature the Jay Mountain Marathon (Jay, VT) – Both the marathon and 1/2 marathon are sold out. This event comes complete with a race director’s warning:

Racer Director’s Warning: The Marathon, (33.0 miles), is considered by our own participants to be the hardest marathon ever put together for it’s distance; This is a trail marathon, and using the word trail is stretching it. One section is actually a bushwhack from flagging tape to flagging tape, and another section will take you on a deer trail leading to a mountain brook. You will run in the brook for about 3 miles. At mile 20 you will cross a 50-foot wide river in order to reach aid station #6. Only the adventurous, experienced trail runners and fit athletes should sign up for this race. You will get wet and very muddy, and you are likely to end up with scratches on your legs. This is NOT a normal marathon. Most of our runners double and some triple their PR. If you have not run a marathon in less than 5.30 hours in the last 12 months, don’t even think about doing this one. We realize that the expense of traveling, lodging, etc. makes the trip pretty expensive for some. Okay, your first reaction is that 5.30 hours for 19.0 miles is nothing. This is not a joke. This is a very, very hard race and if you have not run a 5.30 hour marathon in the last 12 months, the chances of being cutoff are very high. Think twice before registering. Because of the difficult terrain, aid stations are spaced every 3 to 4 miles. It is advisable to run with a water bottle. Most of our past runners took over 1 hour, some 2 hours, to cover the ground between aid station #5 and aid station #6, only 4.4 miles apart. Rule of Thumb: If you’re not sure this race is for you, it’s probably not.

If you survived that, take a look at some of the ultra events taking place this weekend…..

Wasatch Speedgoat 50k (Utah) – Join RD Karl Meltzer on Saturday the 26th for “a tough, high altitude trail run, with over 10,000 feet of gain” on single-track trails and rough fire roads.

Mt. Hood Pacific Crest Trail 50 Mile (Mt. Hood, Oregon) – Our good friend Olga Varlamova is a co-RD for this event. Straight out and back. The course heads north on the Pacific Crest Trail from Timothy Lake Area to Mt. Hood Timberline Lodge before turning around. It is 99% on the PCT, very shaded, a few road crossings and about half the distance has roots and rocks. The other half is fast with good footing. There’s a total of 5,200 feet of climbing over the 50 miles.

Rebel Summer Scorcher 12-Hour Run (Iowa) – This 1st annual 12-hour run is on the Sioux Central Campus and is to be run on an 800m grass loop. Start is on Saturday at 8:00 a.m.

White River 50 Mile Trail Run (Crystal Mountain, WA) – The USATF national trail championship event since 2001, this event takes place in the shadow of Mt. Rainier. “The race stands as an ultimate test of mental character and physical endurance. Over the 50-mile distance the race course rises and falls a staggering 8,700 feet (total elevation change: 17,400 feet). The race features rolling terrain, ridge tops, northwest forest, several sections of technical trails, and of course several demanding climbs and challenging descents.”

Minnesota Voyageur Trail Ultra (Carlton, MN) – Out and back on difficult, rough woodland trails. No pacers allowed.

On the marathon front, trail/wilderness marathons appear to be the focus this weekend, featuring the following events…

Grand Island Trail Marathon (Munising, MI) – 10K option as well. “If you are a crazy, passionate soul who lives for the joy of endless single track, root-rock hopscotch, and a post run plunge into the world’s largest freshwater lake,” this is an event for you. The course includes single-track, two track, and narrow dirt roads. Note: This is a trail marathon on a wilderness island. Do not expect large numbers of spectators and the comforts of a road marathon. Do expect extraordinary beauty.

Kilauea Volcano Wilderness Runs (Volcano, HI) – Called one of the “world’s toughest measured marathons,” this race challenges the most advanced and hardy endurance runners. The course covers extremely rough and uneven terrain, starkly beautiful lava fields in the Ka’u Desert, and 1,000 foot elevation changes. Runners should have trained on trails or have participated in trail running events and be able to finish the marathon in 7 hours and 30 minutes. Add one hour to your best time to see if you can meet this requirement.

Please leave a comment to let Tony and iRunFar know what you think about this new feature.