Thursday, April 24, 2008

This Weekend In Running (4/26 - 4/27, 2008)

A slew of challenging trail runs and scenic marathons are on tap for this weekend, including the “spectacular, rewarding, mystical and unforgettable” Big Sur International Marathon. If I had to put together a list of "dream" marathons to run, Big Sur would be in my top five. Big Sur's point to point, moderately difficult course features rolling hills that wind through redwoods, paralleling ranches, and stunning views of the Pacific Ocean.

Switching from beauty to sadness and rememberance, this weekend also features the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon. A statement on the OCMM web-site sums up the meaning of this run in honor of the victims of the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, claiming 168 lives and injuring hundreds of others : "On April 19, 1995, a great wrong was done in Oklahoma City. However, on this day in April the forces of fear and hate were beaten by love and compassion. The Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon is a race that is not about running—it is about life. 168 banners line the marathon course, one for each victim. Those banners serve to remind us as we run that we have been given the gift of life and that it is too precious to waste. This is what the Memorial Marathon is about: realizing the preciousness of time, valuing one another, taking life as it comes and making something magic from it. Celebrating Life. You don’t have to be a runner to participate in the Memorial Marathon. All you have to do is change the world you live in one moment, one opportunity, one person at a time. It is not about running—it is about living."

On the ultra side of things, be sure to check out the following events:

Free State Trail Runs (Clinton Lake State Park, Lawrence, Kansas) – Trail marathon, 40 Mile and 100k options feature a loop course on rocky & hilly single-track trails. Trail marathon and 40 mile finishers receive medals, while the 100k finishers get a pewter belt buckle.

Devil Mountain Double Century 200 Mile Bike Race - Rugged and scenic.

24 Hour Adventure Trail Run (Triangle, VA) - Held within the Prince William Forest Park, just outside Marine Corps Base in Quantico, this race "offers a great opportunity to visit the Nations’ Capital and explore 15,000+ acres of Virginia’s National Park wilderness". The course is an 8 mile loop with rolling hills and approximately 300+ feet of elevation gain/loss per loop.

Sybil Ludington 50K (Carmel, NY) – See Race Preview posted Tuesday, April 20.

Sweet H20 Trail Run (Lithia Springs, GA) - 50K and ½ Marathon options in Sweetwater Creek State Park, with winding, moderately difficult trails following Sweetwater Creek, and venturing past Civil War-era textile mill ruins.

Promise Land 50K (Bedford, VA) – Very difficult loop course on trails with just under 8,000 feet of elevation gain.

Capitol Peak Races (Olympia, WA) – 50M, 55K and relay options on single track. Expect mud. 50 mile Course includes three 14-18 miles loops and two 2000 foot climbs with an overall elevation gain of 7,000 feet. The course is 90% single track hiking and horse trails with generally rolling terrain tucked in between the major climbs and descents. There is also the potential for great views Mt. Rainier, Mt. St Helens, and other Cascade Volcanoes on a clear day.

Zane Grey Highline 50 Mile & 50k (Payson, AR) – Along the historic Highline Trail in the Tonto National Forest. Winners over the years have included Kyle Skaggs (defending champion), Karl Meltzer, Dave Mackey, Nikki Kimball, and Scott Jurek.

BPAC 6-Hour Distance Classic (Buffalo, NY) – 3.25 mile paved, traffic-free loop.

PCTR Big Basin Redwoods Trail Run (Boulder Creek, CA) – All events (9K, 17K, 25K, & 50K) are sold out. 50K features 6,100+ feet of elevation gain.

On to some of this weekend's marathons (most of which offer ½ marathon and shorter distance options) :

Saturday: Country Music Marathon (Nashville, TN), Kentucky Derby Festival Marathon (Louisville, KY), Pine Line Trail Marathon (Medford WI) and ING Trestle Valley Marathon (Minot, ND).

Sunday: Big Sur International Marathon (Carmel, CA) and Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon (Oklahoma City, OK).


  1. I ran the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon last year. Great race but Aubrey and I bonked hard at mile 18 due to the humidity. haha

  2. Spring has sprung for races!

  3. 200 mile bike race? My privates say "ouch" LOL

  4. I agree Big Sur M would be cool.

    I'm going to OK City for a conference in a week. Too bad the timing was off...

  5. I thought last weekend is a big weekend but this is even bigger --Zane Grey sounds challenging, as does Big Sur ---but Sybil is every bit as bad as Big sur. see you tomm.

  6. and don't forget those crazy cats that kicked off the 10 day race in queens on wednesday, and the ones starting the 6 day race on sunday!!

    one of whom is our own buddy barbara (in the 6-day race)!