Meanwhile, this has been a good training week right after American River with 90 flat miles, mostly around 7:15-7:30 min/mile except for a good speed work out at the Mountain View High School track with the peace of mind of running with experience buddies, Bob and Jeremy. A series of 6 800s which should provide some meaningful heart monitoring data at sub 6 min/mile pace.
That's it on my end, the ultra buzz was definitely elsewhere this week and it was cool hearing from many friends and inspiring performances:
- First, the infamous Barkley marathons which saw only one finisher this year despite 3 runners engaged in the last 20-mile loop. Brutal endeavor, at least it's definitely not on my bucket list, no worries on that end! ;-)
- Locally, John Medinger was directing a mud fest with his Lake Sonoma 50-mile and the male and female podiums were not the ones that most of us was expecting, quite a few surprises and DNFs among the elites.
- Further North, in Oregon, new Oregonian Ian Sharman won the Gorge Waterfall 50K only 1 week after taking third at American River. Way to race back to back, and fast!
- Then, in the Midwest, more precisely in Madison, Wisconsin, there was an event I was sorry to miss this year, the 100K Road Nationals, Mad City 100K (my 2015 report). At least I wasn't registered when the stroke hit, so less regret. Besides, I didn't really want to compete head to head with Steve Stowers who just turned 50 and had run 7:14:34 there 8 year ago (he was 42 and made Team USA for the 100K World Championships if I recall). So, yet another fast 50-year old guy like Rich Hanna (those who followed the February and March events will understand...). With that, I was expecting Steve to explode our M50-54 100K Road American Record which, like the 50K one, has been standing for 34 years (1982). Well, as it turned out, Steve did break it but by 12 mere seconds (7:38:31), what a sprint or struggle it must have been for him when he was looking at the clock! Respect to Rich and Steve then, and special thoughts to John Sullivan, who I don't know, for his two 1982 records which resisted so many years! Let me add additional kudos for the top 2 runners for their amazing times: Geoffrey Burns, 25, 6:30:37 and Patrick Reagan, 29, 6:35:56: world-class performances!
- Last but not least, this Sunday was the first stage of the Marathon des Sables, in the hot Moroccan desert and sand dunes. It's quite remote but there is a better coverage than the Barkley marathons (and it is most certainly a way different event in terms of popularity with more than 1,000 starters).