Wednesday, July 2, 2008

This Weekend In Running (July 4th Weekend)

With the holiday weekend ahead, and the cancellation of the Western States Endurance Run behind us, there isn't much in the way of ultras and marathons this coming weekend to warrant a fireworks display. Nevertheless, if you have the running itch, check out the following events :

Leadville Trail Marathon (Leadville, CO) - 26.2 very challenging miles on Leadville Rocky Mountain trails, including a summit of the 13,188 ft. Mosquito Pass. 7 aid stations and an 8 ½ hour total time limit. In the 2007 event, only one runner completed the marathon distance in under 4 hours (Blake Heren - 3:51:50). The 2006 winner, elite ultra runner Anton Krupicka, finished in 3:41:04. There is also a half-marathon option here that is equally challenging with a 5 1/2 hour time limit.

Afton Trail Run (Afton State Park, MN) - 50k and 25k options. Hilly, 25K loop (two loops for the 50K), winding through the park's trail system. For the most part, the trail is on well-established footing through the woodlands and prairie. There are long climbs, rising from the river bottom, up rocky ravines, and down again.

Angel Island Trail Runs (Angel Island State Park, CA) - 50k, 25k, 16k and 8k options (hikers welcome). Angel Island is a hilly, grass and forest covered island that provides spectacular views of Marin County, San Francisco, and the Golden Gate. Trails and roads circle the entire island and climb Mount Livermore. 4,000 feet of elevation gain for the 50k.

Creemore Vertical Challenge (Creemore, Ontario) - Head up to Canada for this 25k hourglass loop course - 50% trail, 50% country road and "almost no cliffs". The course is hilly (60% uphill and 30% downhill), climbing the Niagara Escarpment twice per loop.

Finger Lakes Fifties (Hector, NY) - Race #3 in the Western New York Ultra Series, the 50K, 50-miler, and 25K use the same loop course in the Finger Lakes National Forest on forest trails, roads, and pastures (watch for the cows and cow pies). The course for the 50-miler consists of an initial 15.69-mile loop, plus two complete 15.53-mile loops and a final 3.48-mile loop. The 50K entrants will do the same 15.69-mile first loop, plus one circuit of the 15.53-mile loop. The 25K will be one 15.69-mile loop. This event comes complete with its own special set of WARNINGS - Heat exhaustion, sprained ankles, yellow jacket stings, lacerations, are all possible during the run. Collisions with cattle, horses and vehicles are a possibility. You may get lost momentarily -- if you see no blazes or markers ahead of you, look back. If you see no blazes or markers behind you, go back! We are using orange arrows at intersections. If temperatures exceed 80 degrees, you must carry a water bottle or be disqualified.

Have a safe Fourth of July weekend !


  1. Sign me up for the last one LOL NOT REALLY!

  2. I ran that last race, Fingerlakes, a couple of times. Never got lost. Never got stung. It is a great race with a very scenic course. You do have to climb over barbed wire at one point on the course though! there is a stool, but still.