Races — Keflezighi Looks Ready for Olympics at Rock N Roll San Diego 2012

running-advice-bugSAN DIEGO – (June 3, 2012) – The 15th Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego event on Sunday morning was a star-studded affair. Meb Keflezighi, winner of the 2012 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials, appears ready for the upcoming London Olympic Games. The 37-year-old ran smoothly and effortlessly on Sunday, winning the Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego ½ Marathon in 1 hour, 3 minutes, 11 seconds, his second consecutive victory in his hometown. Ryan Hall, 29, the U.S. record-holder for the half-marathon at 59:43, struggled because of plantar fasciitis in his left foot, and finished a distant second in 1:05:39.

Meb Ran Away with the RNR Half Marathon (Photo: Competitor Group)

The women’s half-marathon was won by New Zealand Olympian Kim Smith in 1:08:37, a time that would have placed her seventh among the men.

Nixon Machichim of Kenya broke away with a little over two miles remaining and won the men’s Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego Marathon in 2:10:03. Russia’s Alevtina Ivanova also made a late burst and won the women’s marathon in 2:27:44. The men’s and women’s marathon champions each earned $25,000.

More than 30,000 entrants from all 50 states and 40 countries were greeted with ideal running weather on Sunday morning. The men’s half-marathon was the keynote event, expected to be a tense duel between the two Olympians. But after about a mile, it was no contest. Keflezighi, the 2004 Olympic Marathon silver medalist, pulled away and the suffering Hall could not keep up.

“I wanted to go out early because I know how the race will be in London,” Keflezighi said. “I tried to duplicate what it will be like there.” The San Diego course is similar to London in that it has several turns and downhills. “This was not a do-or-die race, but I’m a competitor,” Keflezighi said. “I’m not a guy who likes to sit back and waits to kick in the last mile.”
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Commentary — Lessons from the Hula Dance

Coach Joe English

Coach Joe English

I’m so glad to be back to racing again, because as I run races I’m reminded of lessons that I can share with you readers. Today I want to tell you a story from a race two weekends ago and present a few lessons that may be helpful to you in one of your upcoming races. Never give up.

The setting
Four weeks out from my major fall marathon, so I’m at the point where I’ve been doing lots of heavy training at marathon pace. This weekend was an in-between weekend — sandwiched between my two longest pace runs of the season. Since my mileage was supposed to be low, I thought I would go out to run in a local half-marathon, called the HulaMan Half-Marathon, and run the race at my marathon goal pace.

I wasn’t going to try to run this race for a fast time — I was just hoping to run my marathon goal pace, and I felt it was OK to avoid getting sucked in to a duel with someone to run my planned pace. I’ve been running this goal pace over and over again for months, so I’d hoped that this would be a confidence builder — an easy cruise, so to speak, since it was only 13.1 miles.

I should also mention that I had the flu earlier in the week and was still not quite myself. I think I was well enough to run, but not feeling great; not sharp and focused like I normally would be going into a race. In fact, the thought of running longer than 13 really sounded unappealing on Sunday morning when I got up.

Lesson 1: give it a shot. Even if you feel bad, you won’t know until you try.
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Ultra-Running — Running the Tahoe Rim Trail 100 Mile Race

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’.

Joe Van de Water at Tahoe Rim Trail 100

Joe Van de Water at Tahoe Rim Trail 100

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.
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