Wednesday, June 4, 2008

This Weekend In Running (6/7 - 6/8)

The 100s are coming, the 100s are coming....and there are 3 of them. So, to kick off this week's edition of TWIR, let's take a closer look at each of the 100-mile races taking place this weekend.

First up, the 13th annual Kettle Moraine 100 Endurance Run in LaGrange, Wisconsin. Our good friend and world famous blogger Bob Gentile will be participating in his first 100-mile run here, and will be paced by Tom Triumph - good luck Bob ! The course is almost entirely on trails (except for a few hundred feet of road crossings) and traverses the Ice Age National Scenic Trail (IAT) for about 65 miles. Runners deviate from the IAT when near the Nordic Trails at the start/finish and also near the Scuppernong turn around at miles 26-36. The trails are about 80% wooded terrain, with the rest meandering through gentle prairie or marsh areas. Part of the course takes runners through a series of roller coaster of hills, with small rocks and roots scattered about. Other sections are gently rolling with relatively smooth running surfaces. Although the hills are not long and/or especially steep, the total altitude gain is approximately 12,000 feet. 30 hour cut-off. Eric Clifton holds the course record of 15:57:09 (1999). Since 2001, no more then 60% of all starters have finished the 100-mile race.

Next up, the San Diego 100 Mile Endurance Run in Cuyamaca Mountains, San Diego, California. Complete with 12,300 feet of elevation gain, runners are awarded a silver buckle for a sub-24 hour finish and a bronze buckle for a sub-31 hour finish. This is an out-and-back course primarily on the Pacific Crest Trail. Karl Meltzer is the defending champion and course record holder.

Lastly, the Old Dominion 100 Mile Cross Country Run takes place in Woodstock, Virginia. The course consists of a loop trail through the Massanutten Mountains, Shenandoah River Valley and Fort Valley Virginia, with 14 significant climbs, and 14,000 feet of elevation gain. There is a 28-hour time limit, with sterling silver buckles awarded to those who finish within 24-hours. There are 24 aid stations along the course. The number of participants in this race has fallen significantly since 2001. In 2005 there were on 11 finishers (4 bucklers). In 2006, 13 finishers (8 bucklers). In 2007, 15 finishers (6 bucklers). A small negative about this race - its 4:00 AM start. You can read a fairly detailed history of this event on the race web-site (by clicking HERE).

If you are in the mood for a little less mileage, here are a few other ultra events taking place this coming weekend :

FANS 12 and 24 Hour Run (MN) - Each race begins with a 1.656 mile out-and-back stretch along Lake Nokomis, followed by a 2.4217 mile counter-clockwise loop around Lake Nokomis. The initial out-and-back stretch is run to allow the race to provide accurate 50 mile and 100k splits at the start/finish area. The course, which is only partially shaded, is generally flat with surfaces of dirt, grass, asphalt and one stretch of unavoidable concrete.

Another Dam 50k (OH) - The course is mostly trail & dirt with a little bit on paved bike path and park roads. It is the second race in the Ohio River Road Runners Club 50k Trail Series.

Squaw Peak 50 Mile Trail Run (Provo, Utah) - This is a very challenging, difficult and scenic loop course through the Wasatch Mountains above Provo, Utah. The trail consists of dirt trails (43%), dirt roads (38%) and some paved sections (19%). There is over 10,000+/- feet of elevation gain and loss, with 5 major climbs varying from 1100 feet to nearly 3000 feet. A series of climbs takes runners up 2700 feet over 5 miles to an overlook of Squaw Peak.

Rainier to Ruston Rail-Trail Relay and Ultra (WA) - The 50-mile course follows the Foothills Trail from the shoulders of Mt. Rainier to the shores of Puget Sound. The trail passes through pristine wilderness and historic communities, following the old Northern Pacific railroad grade that once brought settlers and supplies into the west. The top runners, walkers, and ultras in each division receive the coveted Golden Spike Award. The Rainer to Ruston helps to promote the Foothills Rails-to-Trails Coalition, a 501(c)(3) organization which is dedicated to completing a contiguous, non-motorized, public trail from Mt. Rainier to Tacoma.

Holcomb Valley Trail Runs (Big Bear Lake, CA) - 33 and 15 mile trail runs on a loop course on the Pacific Crest Trail and U.S. Forest roads in the San Bernardino forest. This event is sold out.

On to the marathons, and there are several, including :

Forest of Nisene Marks Marathon (Aptos, CA) - Out-and-back course with 2,500 feet of elevation gain in the first 12 miles. Half Marathon and 5k options as well.

God's Country Marathon (Coudersport, PA) - Begins at the Galeton Area High School at 1300 feet above sea level. After touring around beautiful Center Town lake in Galeton runners head West on Scenic Route 6 entering the majestic Susquehannock State Forest. Just past the 17 mile mark you wind up and over Denton Hill peaking at 2424 feet above sea level. Then it is all down-hill from there into Coudersport the county seat of Potter County. The finish line is at the historic Potter County Courthouse.

Caring Foundation of Montana Governor's Cup Marathon (Helena, MT) - 35th annual. Believe it or not, this is he first year that this event will have chip timing, an expo, packet pick-up, and on course entertainment. Half marathon, marathon relay, 5k, 10k and bike event also offered.

Green River Marathon (Kent, WA) - Course record is a whopping 2:59:15.

Casper Wyoming Marathon (Casper, WY) - Loop course with aid stations every 2 miles.

Deadwood-Mickelson Trail Marathon (Deadwood, SD) - Point to point course, beginning in the hamlet of Rochford. The first 1.5 miles are on road, then the course becomes the Mickelson Trail. The next 12 miles are a mixture of gentle uphill and flat terrain. From there to mile 19 is downhill, From 19.6 to about 20, there is a serious downhill... it's runable, but you have to be careful not to become a "runaway." From this point to the end, the course is either downhill or flat and finishes at the historic Engine House at end of the line…the Deadwood Trailhead.

North Olympic Discovery Marathon (Port Angeles, WA) - Relatively flat with one hilly section. Half marathon, 10k and 5k options.


  1. Wow. Even on vacation you keep us blog readers informed :) Lots of good races this weekend!!!!

  2. Meredith - I was about to type the same exact thing as you!
    Tony - you are amazing. Give me a buzz when you get back so we can iron out details for this weekend's relay ... a mere 8 miles you are obligated to do :) Safe travels home.

  3. Wow, only a 60% finish rate for KM100. Bob picked a tough one!

  4. huh? 60% what? WTF!!!!

    LOL Thanks for the re-cap of the race, gonna go puke now :-)

    Hey call me tomorrow when u get back in !!!

  5. hey, don't forget our 9 leg 50 mile relay :D

  6. Dude, how do you know of all these races? I'm surprised Casper, WY has a marathon. My younger brother was born in Casper, and we lived there when I was a toddler.