Justin runs down the trail and ultramarathon results from this past weekend. Mostly focused on UTMB, but hey, a pretty good race at The Rut and a couple of new FKTs to consider.
Rule #3: There will be no beeping sounds on GPS watches. Ever. That sh*t sucks.
I had a great time at the SLO Ultra 50k on Saturday guiding Kyle for 23 miles on some beautiful trails on private land. Lots of climbing, but still a very fast and runnable course. Two main takeaways:
–One: I can understand how blind/VI runners run on flat terrain, but running trails–especially downhills–impresses the heck out of me. (Just take a sec and consider closing your eyes next time you’re running down a rocky trail.) I finally asked Kyle about how he bombs downhills and his response is something I’ll use in the future: “Shorten your stride and hope for the best.” Simple.
–And two: The course seemed to have a lot of military personnel running. I hung out at an aid station for awhile waiting for Kyle and started noticing a different style of runner: Self-sufficient runners passing the aid stations. High and tight cuts. Fit. Rucksacks. Yes ma’am and yes sirs. It’s what I love about this sport…the diversity of backgrounds and walks of life, then everyone lines up on the start line to get dirty together.
If you’ve got questions about guiding or would like to volunteer your eyes on the trail, shoot me a message or jump on over here. United in Stride matches blind/VI runners with sighted guides in your area.
Mario turns in his Morning Shakeout from Chamonix. Tough day out there as he saw two of his prime athletes take DNFs at UTMB. What a weekend!
Wyatt has been obsessed with Leadville for as long as I’ve been following his blog and he’s got a bunch of buckles to show his admiration for the event. But after this past race kicked his ass, he’s done, turning the page, and won’t be back.
World 100ks are coming up too. Here’s Byron’s preview for this weekend. Another loopy course.
Chinese ultramarathon runners are starting to show up on podiums a lot more than usual, and apparently some people believe it’s due to doping. Seems simple: You have a country of that many people, and you’re bound to have some incredible talents. That said, the author seems to think it’s abhorrent and unfairly discriminatory to be skeptical of someone’s performance due to their country of origin, and there are plenty of examples in recent years where it made sense. East German weightlifters in the 80s…wrought with state-sponsored dopers. Russian athletes from the past decade…plenty of evidence that many were doping.
More on the burgeoning Ultramarathon scene in China. The country is putting serious money into creating a tourism economy and I expect to see them on the big stages for many years to come.
Right around now, Ryan Ghelfi will be setting out to break Gary Robbins’ FKT on the Wonderland Trail. Go get it!