There seems to be tremendous interest right now in the health effects of sugar in our diets. Many people say that it is sugar, rather than fat, that is leading people to be overweight. Documentaries like "Fed Up" talk about both the addictive nature of sugar and how the idea of "eating better and exercising more" makes little sense when the environment makes it practically impossible to eliminate sugar additives from your diet in the first place. No matter how hard you try, the deck is simply stacked against you, so the thinking goes. So 21 days ago I set ...
INDIANAPOLIS – Six women and six women will compete for Team USA at the 2010 International Association of Ultrarunners’ 24-hour Run World Championship, to be held in Brive, France on May 13-14, 2010. The roster, featuring high-profile athletes such as Amy Palmiero Winters and Scott Jurek, was announced by USA Track & Field this past week.
The athletes representing the United States are listed below in alphabetical order.
Suzanna Bon, 45, Sonoma, CA. A mother o five children, Bon is a former elementary school teacher. She ran her first ultra in 2003 and has specialized in trail races, collecting numerous victories and course records. Her road ultra debut was a stunning 134.7-mile victory at the San Francisco 24 Hour Race in 2009.
Jamie Donaldson, 35, Littleton, CO. Donaldson is a middle school math teacher who has been the USA’s top finisher at the 24-Hour Run World Championship the past two years, finishing fourth in 2009 world title race in Italy. She was runner-up to Kami Semick for Ultrarunning Magazine’s Ultrarunner of the Year in those years and was a USATF athlete of the week in 2009. She is a two-time winner and women’s course recordholder of the Badwater 135 mile race across Death Valley. She recently ran 21:01:28 to break the American track record for 200km.
Joe Van De Water of El Dorado Hills, California recently took on the monumental challenge of running the Tahoe Rim Trail 100 mile race. The event uses a course that is two laps of a 50.2 mile circuit on mostly single-track trail. The course features a daunting 19,788 feet of elevation gain and another 19,788 feet of elevation loss. Joe takes us along for the ride with this guest race report.
The Course: 100.4 miles (50.2 mile course x 2) mostly single track trail, but also some dirt road mostly on the Tahoe Rim Trail on the Eastern side of Lake Tahoe from Spooner Lake to the meadows near Mt Rose summit. 19,788’ cumulative climb and same descent. Average elevation >8000’ with low point at 6800’ and high just above 9000’.My Crew: Pacers – Ala Dean who covered mile 50.2 to 76.3 and Ken McKee who covered from 76.3 to finish at 100.4. Food/drink and moral support – my Dad, who left with me to go to the start at 3:15AM Saturday and was at every spectator available checkpoint until finish Sunday at 4:30AM; my wife and daughters – Ann, Charlotte, and Savannah, who cheered me at the aid stations through the day and were cheering me in at the finish. Big thanks to the Crew. This type of race is a team effort and my accomplishment is really a team accomplishment.
Stats: 108 starters, 64 finishers within 35 hour time limit. I finished in 23 hours 30 minutes 10 seconds, 11th overall and 3rd in 40 and over (masters).
My Story: This may seem like a long race report, but I actually left out many stories –- like the crazed barbarian in animal skin toga at the red house; the race leader eating and drinking while simultaneously throwing up; numerous highs and low; strange encounters at aid stations in the backwoods and many conversations and people met along the way. So much to tell. There is an ultra running phrase – “You run for long enough and something is bound to happen”. Something certainly did.
Here’s another video we put together of Josh Cox going for the American Record in the 50KM this past Sunday in Phoenix.
Running Advice and News
Although he fell short of a world record, he broke the American mark by over four minutes as he powered in at 2:47:17.
Cox ran the standard 26.2 mile marathon course with the elite field of the Rock N Roll Arizona Marathon. After crossing the finish line in ninth place in 2:20:32, he then headed onto the Arizona State University track to run 18 laps and bring the total distance to 31.05 miles.
Two days before the race, Cox had said that he was in “PR” shape and capable of running close to his personal best, which was a 2:13:55 effort that he ran at Chicago eight years ago. On race morning he gave thumbs up and said that he felt “great” before starting the race alongside the elite field.
But problems set in during the first 20 miles of the race, as an upset stomach hindered his progress. He was forced to stop twice to use toilet facilities — once on the course and once just after crossing the marathon finish-line, but prior to making his way onto the track.
BOALSBURG, Pa. – Eric Grossman (Emory, Va.), ran Saturday’s Tussey Mountainback 50 Mile in 5 hours 48 minutes 34 seconds on his way to winning the USA 50 Mile Championship and setting a new course record by nearly five minutes.
Grossman, 40, took the lead after 12 miles and ran solo on his way to the overall and masters titles. Zach Miller (Ann Arbor, Mich.), finished in second running 6:07:13. Rounding out the top three was Jason Bryant (Elkin, N.C.), finishing in 6:15:16.
The women’s title was won by a newcomer to the 50 mile distance, Sarah Vanderelli (Latrobe, Pa.), who finished in 7:45:19. Vanderelli, like Grossman, won both the open and masters’ titles.
Finishing in second was local favorite Morgan Windram-Geddes (Boalsburg, Pa.) in 8:01:00, while Diana Widdowson (Conestoga, Pa.) posted a time of 8:09:31 for third.
A total of $3,200 was awarded at the championships, plus the course record bonus. Grossman was awarded $500 for the win, $300 for the masters’ win, and a $200 course record bonus and Vanderelli won $800 for her open and masters win.
For additional information on the USA 50 Mile Championships visit www.usatf.org.
Running Advice and News
CRYSTAL MTN., WASH — Michael Wardian and Susannah Beck have won the 2008 USATF 50 Mile Trail running titles at the White River 50 miler. For the seventh year in a row, the White River 50 Mile trail race was the site of the USATF 50 Mile Trail Championship.
The course, sporting spectacular views along the White River and on the Noble Knob Trail in the Norse Peak Wilderness, claims a total of 17,600 feet elevation change.
This year’s record field included 238 starters, which is a reflection of the excellent job done by race director Scott McCoubrey and his staff of volunteers and associates from the Seattle Running Company.
This year’s race saw the early men’s field packed tightly. At 17 miles at Corral Pass, Jason Bryant (Elkin, NC) led the charge, feeling that the pace was relaxed. Bryant most recently represented the United States at the NACAC Mountain Championships in Mexico. In tow were a “Who’s Who” of trail ultra running including 2008 50 km and 100 km U.S. National Champion Michael Wardian (Arlington, Va.), 2007 50 km and 100 km U.S. National Champion Greg Crowther, and a host of others, all highly credentialed and deserving of front pack attendance. The split for the first 10 runners was about 3 minutes.
INDIANAPOLIS – Mike Wolfe (Missoula, Mont.) and Eric Skaden (Folsom, Calif.) combined efforts through the last 25 miles for a “shared” victory in 18:59:10, while Nikki Kimball (Bozeman, Mont.) won the women’s title in 20:18:12, Saturday at the USA 100 Mile Trail Championships. This year’s event was hosted by the 2008 Tahoe Rim Trail 50K/50M/100M Endurance Runs.
The course included two loops, both beginning at Spooner Lake (7000ft. elevation), crossing over the high point of the course at Snow Valley Peak (9214ft.) and into the low point of the course in the Red House Loop (6800ft.) and turning at the aid station at Mt. Rose (approximately 8700ft.). The course sees a cumulative elevation change of 22,000 feet over the 100 mile distance.
Early men’s leader John Olsen (Modesto, Calif.) opened a gap on the field and at the 26.8 mile turnaround of the first lap and looked strong and comfortable with a lead of just over two minutes. He continued to set a blistering pace back to the start-finish aid station at 50 miles, where he built to a 13-minute lead. But at the Mt. Rose turnaround aid station, word spread that Olsen was sick at an aid station, and didn’t appear that he would be able to continue.
Wolfe and Skaden had, to that point, jockeyed for second, but Skaden broke away, making a move to catch Olsen. Skaden went by Olsen in the Red House loop, taking over the lead. When Wolfe went in and out of the Red House aid station, Olsen remained–his day was done. Wolfe caught Skaden just before the 75 mile turnaround point and suddenly Wolfe and Skaden came into view as they exited the woods and ran across the meadow, now working together in the lead.
INDIANAPOLIS – The next stop on the USA ultramarathon championships circuit will be Lake Tahoe, Nevada, this Saturday for the USA 100 Mile Trail Championships. This year’s event will be hosted by the 2008 Tahoe Rim Trail 50K/50M/100M Endurance Runs.
The 2008 championship field includes some of the Nation’s top ultra runners in both the men’s and women’s competition. Leading the women’s field is 2006 champion Connie Gardner (Medina, Ohio), who has also recorded national championships wins in the 100-mile run in 2003 and the 100-kilometer run in 2002; and Nikki Kimball (Bozeman, Mont.), the USA 50 Mile Trail champion in 2003, 2004, 2005, and 2006, and added the road race title in 2005.
Among the favorites in the men’s field will be, Jon Olsen (Modesto, Calif.), Erik Skaden (Folsom, Calif.), and Ian Torrence (Ashland, Ore.).
This year’s overall 100-mile men’s and women’s winners of the USA Track & Field National 100-mile championship will receive $1000 each. The top ten men and women USA Track & Field runners will receive overall medals. Additionally, the top three finishers in each five-year age division starting at 40 years of age will also receive medals.
Running Advice and News
Numerous news sources on the Internet were reporting today that the Western States 100-mile endurance run, one of the premier events in ultra-running, has been canceled due to fires in the area of the course.
The Roseville Press Tribune had extensive coverage, stating:
Lightning, fire and smoke did what snow, heat and the test of time could not.
In a move unprecedented since the Western States Endurance Run’s first 100-mile trek from Squaw Valley to Auburn in 1977, the event was called off Wednesday.
Tim Twietmeyer, Western States Run board president, said air quality and safety were key reasons for the decision to cancel the run.
The publication “The Mercury” is reporting today on the South African Comrades Marathon, saying that the race went off without a hitch. The 87KM ultramarathon is one of the world’s largest running events.
This year’s Comrades Marathon – the 83rd staging of the world-renowned 87km run – went smoothly with only a few injuries reported.
This was in stark contrast with last year’s race, which was marred by the death of two runners who collapsed at the finish.
Chris Botha, a spokesperson for Netcare 911, which manned the medical tents along the route and at the finish, said no major mishaps were reported. Paramedics were kept busy treating common sports-related injuries.