Ultra Trail News From Around the World
Here’s an excellent report on the Fat Dog 70, including all the fears that go into an ultra trail race, the execution of the run, problems faced mid-race, and the ultimate acceptance that it’s freaking awesome.
One opinion: Muscle confusion is mostly a myth.
The USATF 50k Championships were held on Saturday at the Tamalpa 50k in the Marin Headlands (where the race shares many of the same iconic trails as The North Face 50M and Miwok 100k). A few thoughts and pictures (all mine):
- Cody Reed is a machine. Cody is Jim Walmsley’s friend and training buddy from Flagstaff (by way of CA) who won his first ultra (Miwok), in April and won Tamalpa on Saturday as his first 50k. He’s got a good head, quick legs (14:10 5k, 8:45 steeple), and a massive amount of potential. Someone better pick this guy up soon. We’ll see him next at North Face, along Jim, Zach Miller, and other speedsters.
- Outside of people running it and diehard USATF fans, the race didn’t carry a lot of interest nationally. Strangely held on the same day as the largest ultramarathon in the world, it was greatly overshadowed by UTMB, had a decently fast field, but for being the “50k trail championships”, there was unfortunately not a lot of excitement behind it. It’s hard to get excited about a USATF Championship race when no one from the USATF MUT Council found it exciting or important enough to attend.
- Race directing and markings were dialed (other than the RD having a problem w my horn), but runners were falling all over the place. Sam Robinson went to the hospital with a bloody face and side, and others were equally beat up. The combination of David Roche’s bandaged hand and Megan Roche’s fat lip is sure to raise some eyebrows in public…
- Speaking of Megan, she rocked the CR by six minutes and collapsed at the finish line, as usual. She ran a smart race, allowed the early leader (Herron) to go out (too) hard, then kept putting time on the clock.
- Headlands Brewery was there, and their American Pilsner is outstanding. On a similar note, I stopped at Russian River Brewery on the way home and waited an hour (that’s actually not too bad for that place) to buy beer to go.
- Full results here.
Harvard does a quality job training the mind, but training the body has been ignored. One professor is trying to change that.
Thoughts on UTMB:
- Tim Tollefson and David Laney are two of the smartest ultra trail runners in the world. Patient, strong, and focused, both guys moved up in the field over the night and next day and finished 3rd and 4th. Awesome.
- I tweeted on Saturday that “regardless of what you feel about the company, Team Nike knows how to put on one hell of a show at UTMB.” Where were the other domestic teams? Did Nike focus specifically on making a splash at the race, or did it just turn out that way? Where were the Altra guys? North Face? Maybe it’s me who’s missing the point and wrongly believes that multiple athletes on a huge stage is a good marketing play. Am I nuts for thinking there’s a decent ROI?
- Zach Miller continues to be my favorite runner to watch, and Magda Boulet once again showed what a solid runner she is with a strong 5th place.
- iRunFar’s excellent rundown right here (link fixed.)…with fancy new logo.
Catching up with The Angry Jogger as he takes it day by day. Good for him!
With such a variety of ultra trail races this weekend, it’s a good discussion to look at the differences between large and small races. Here’s how the road folks see it. Me? I like big races like TNF and small local races equally. What I like most is having the ability to mix them up and choose.
Skurka asks a good question: Under what conditions will you wear waterproof footwear? My answer: Snowshoeing, and that’s it. You?
Cascade Crest 100 was this weekend too. Krissy Moehl took it for the ladies, Jesse Lang for the fellas, and popular URP guest Ben finished his first 100. Nice!
Smoothies: You’re doing them wrong.
Bummer: As far as I know (please correct me if I’m wrong!) there are no (zero!) shoe companies making xc flats smaller than a size 4. Nike has consistently made the waffle racer down to a 1, but as of this year, <4s are discontinued. It’s surprising and disappointing that more companies don’t support youth sports like this.