Wednesday, June 11, 2008

This Weekend in Running (6/14 - 6/15)

Three 100-mile races took place last weekend, and boy were there some "strange things afoot at the Circle-K". For starters, the 13th Annual Kettle Moraine 100 Endurance Runs were overtaken by thunderstorms, torrential sheets of rain, and several inches of water on the course. Over 110 runners started the race, but only 37 finished (less then 35%). Joel Eckberg (18:10:07) was the overall winner besting Mark Tanaka (20:39:37) by well over 2 hours. Darla Brader (22:04:50) took honors on the women's side.

In the San Diego 100 Mile Endurance Run, Tom Nielsen (19:26) and Gina Natera-Armenta (25:44) took top honors. Only 43 of the 81 starters (53%) finished this race.

The featured race for this coming weekend is the Pittsfield Peaks Ultra Challenge (solo and relay), described as "By far the toughest 50 Miler in the East. If its not... we'll find a way to make it so." Runners will summit 6 peaks in the Green Mountains, covering 53 miles and 14,005 feet of vertical gain on country roads, logging roads, NFS roads, snowmobile trails, and rugged single track trails. The peaks distances and elevations are as follows :

Contest Trail (Wilcox Mtn) - 12.96 miles - 2787 vertical
Hayes Brook Loop - 6 miles - 957 vertical
Bloodroot Mtn. - 19.89 miles - 4670 vertical
Hedgehog - 3.79 miles - 700 vertical
South Hill - 4.43 miles - 1508 vertical
Joe's Hill (Sable Mtn) - 7.08 miles - 3383 vertical

Leigh Schmitt was the overall winner in the 2007 edition, finishing in 10:38:44.

Pittsfield Peaks also has a Death Challenge that will take place this year at 3:00 A.M. on June 21 (I believe it took place on the same date as the Ultra Challenge last year). The Death Challenge is described as a challenging 10 mile race that "may kill you". Forget about the 3:00 A.M. start, the course, which is still TBD as of the date of this post, will feature "barbed wire, mud boggin, wood choppin, tunnels, deep water diving, running, crawling, crying, screaming, and sweating. Doubtful you'll finish but be proud of yourself for trying. "

Here is a great video that describes and discusses the Ultra and Death Challenge :

Here are just a few of the other ultra events taking place this weekend :

Laurel Highlands Ultras (Ohiopyle, PA) - The 29th running of the 70.5 mile race, and the 3rd running of the 50K race (including a relay option for the 70.5 mile event), both races are point-to-point along the Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail. 22 hour time limit.

Hawthorn Half Day Relay and Ultra (Terre Hauta, IN) - There was some question as to whether or not this event would take place due to flooding in the area - "We did have some flooding here in Terre Haute over the Weekend. Everything has cleared out, there was no damage in the park, and we are still set to go on schedule." 12 hour solo and team trail race on a rolling 5k loop around Hawthorn Park.

Desert R.A.T.S. (Moab, UT) - 6-day point-to-point trail race with meals and tents provided.

Lake Youngs Ultra (Renton, WA) - Unpaved regional trail loop around Lake Youngs, rolling hills (mostly), very fast, less than 900 ft elevation gain per loop, 40 meters of pavement, an aid station at the end of each loop near the Start/Finish line, and a BBQ at the finish. The course consists of 3 9.6 mile (15.45 km) loops for a total of 28.8 miles (46.35 km).

If you are looking for a little less distance and don't mind the heat, there are several marathons to choose from, including :

Bear Lake Marathon (Garden City, UT)

Magnum Track Club Boogie Marathon (Ellerbe, NC)

Hatfield-McCoy Marathon (Williamson, WV) - This year when you register, unless you are a "True Hatfield" or a "Real McCoy," the field of runners will be divided in half and designated Hatfields or McCoys. If you don't already know about the feud between the families, that's a whole story in itself. By participating in this added fun and competition you can help answer one of history's most asked questions, WHO WON THE FEUD, the Hatfield's or the McCoys? At the end of the race, the family with the lowest total time will win the feud, at least for 2008. A plaque will be placed on display at each finish line and each year a new plate will be added with the winning family's name for that year.

Marathon to Marathon (Marathon, IA) - From Storm Lake to Marathon Iowa, there is also a half marathon, 5k and marathon relay option.

Estes Park Marathon (Estes Park, CO) - Two-thirds of the marathon course is either flat or on a gentle, sloping decline.

Lake Placid Marathon (Lake Placid, NY) - This event is sold out (although there appears to be limited late entry available). Half Marathon and 4 person marathon relay


  1. omg!

    anthony, you forgot about us gerbils planning to run circles around the unisphere in the hot sun this weekend :D

    fyi - gerbils used to be known as "desert rats" - tough little cookies :D

  2. I like the idea of the Hatfield-McCoy Marathon! You're a wealth of race info!

  3. You ever do the Lake Placid Marathon? Even though it's kinda/sorta/like 3 hrs or so close I think I'd be scared of the elevation profile HAHAHAA (I'm such a wimp)