To continue on the participation, it was a strange race from a competitive standpoint. This event was used to provide entry spots to Western States to the top 2 or 3 finishers and dragged illustrious names such as: Max King, Mike Wolfe, Dave Mackey, Geoff Roes, Anton (Tony) Krupicka, Todd Braje, Uli Steidel, Ellie Greenwood, Kami Semick not to mention our local speedsters such as Chikara Omine, Erik Skaden, Rich Hanna, Victor Ballesteros, Mark Lantz, ... Without this incentive but also because of the upcoming Lake Sonoma next weekend, what I call the "unofficial world championship" with runners coming from many US States but also Europe (see the entrants list), no big shots were toeing the start line this year.
A special mention to Toshi, our ultra running team, who came all the way and very early in the morning (thanks for the wake up call, Toshi!) to distribute our new team shirts with the mention of our new sponsor, Zombie Runner, to cheer us up on the course and to drive a few team members from the finish to the start at the end of a very long day. All that after participating in the Barkley marathons last weekend, unfortunately stopping on lap 2 unable to navigate this torturous "course" (for those who don't know this infamous event, there are actually no trails, it's bush whacking) in a thick fog after losing his compass (not that the compass would have helped me anyway). And, of course, always all smile!
We alternated the lead until I first pulled away as I didn't stop to the first 2 aid stations, then Mark took the lead before I passed him again at the third aid station where I didn't stop either. From the initial start at around 7:20 min/mile pace, we were now down to a very stable 6:48 min/mile which I would keep all the way to Beals Point, now running solo and passing the marathon mark right on 3 hours.
The race was won by Matt Flaherty, 27, of Chicago in 6:08,
Our QuickSilver Ultra Running Team had 14 participants in the race this year, including 6 first timers at the distance(*), and we are delighted to report that all finished! Here is the list: Jean 6:47:39, Adona 8:48:19, *Loren 9:03:12, Joe 9:06:25, *Amy 9:12:40, *Lisa 9:16:04, Karen 9:37:24, *Gary S. 10:14:24, *Stephen M. 10:26:06, Harris Goodman 10:28, Stephen Strauss 10:49, Dan Marinsik 11:30, *Tim Allen 12:16, Kat Powell 12:22. This includes Stephen Marinsik who ran his first 50-mile at age 16. Stephen's father, Dan, his a 10-time Bad Water 135 finisher (2003-2012), so Stephen doesn't have for to go for ultra advices! Here is Tim at the start:
numerous sponsors that Julie has recruited to keep this event growing and support our sport (e.g. Patagonia, Clif Bar, Gu). I particularly liked the Honest tea Orange-Mango juice which I could taste at the expo at the finish line. Big thank to Joe for his finish line café, and in particular Jared who was still all smile as he was cooking his first burgers of a very long series:
the Monsters of Massage, Veloyce and Tom for getting me back on my feet and getting rid of all these toxines in my leg after such a physical push. Almost no soreness this Sunday morning in my recovery run, you are amazing guys!
For me it was race #207, ultra race #80, 50-mile race #22 (versus 21 marathon races), AR50 #6 (including one DNF). And I'm not keeping track of the number of business trips... I'm leaving tonight for Europe (UK, France, Slovenia, Greece) hopefully not missing my connection on the way back as I return a few hours before Ruth Anderson 100K in two weeks! Life is full, life is intense, life is good!
Congrats to the 828 finishers, thank you again to the 350 volunteers, and see you all on the trails again soon. Or on line in the meantime, especially those not running (thanks for reading that far! ;-).
PS: a few additional pictures from Agnès, including some close shots of wildflowers in this Picasa album.