Weekly Rundown for September 30, 2020
This past weekend I had a great time spending the day heading up the Dry Run Aid Station for the World’s End 100k. It’s an event typically running the same weekend as my Cayuga Trails races, so, although I’ve always wanted to, I’ve never been able to get down to run or volunteer. It was a beautiful day to be out there, it was a great community, and top-notch production. More on World’s End to come in this episode tonight.
On the gear front I received a few wear-test models from Skechers including the Speed Trail and Razor 3. I’ve put some miles already into the Speed Trails and am mixed, and am excited to stack the Razor 3’s next to the Brooks Hyperion Tempo. I’m also really excited that the Saucony Switchback 2, pushed back for months in release secondary to COVID, finally came through the doors.
In the Media:
Chris Wristen of MassUltra.com wrote a nice article on the running of Massachusetts’ Village Ultra, Ellie release a TC Interview with rockstar Debbie Livingston. CULTRA jackassed with Kate Gelato, Jay and the Pain Cave went into 20 questions with 24 Hour national age-group record holder Bob Hearn. With a title that makes me think of early Radio Lab, Chris and Ellie, on their Hamstrings and Heartstrings Podcast elicit and reveal confessions from listeners, and Ryan Plockelman on his Podcast Adventure Jogger interviewed Eric Kosek in an episode titled FKT for the Whole Family
On the FKT Front:
Anyone else have the consistent experience w/ the FKT site of results seemingly appearing, disappearing, moving pages, and popping up as duplicates on multiple pages? It’s relatively maddening! But, I’m thankful for them doing it regardless! Info drawn from www.FastestKnownTime.com:
Robert and Maria Hanna, 9h 27m for the Richard Goodwin Trail
Robyn Bratica, 4h 23m for the Upper Charles Trail’s Out-Back format
Leigh Weil, 8h 12m for the Seneca Creek Greenway Trail
- Nina Silitch, 5h 57m for the Kinsman Ridge Trail which is as 15.8 mile beast boasting over 6,000 feet of elevation gain, and which is the baseline unsupported female mark
- Brett Mazza, 2h 44m for the unsupported Whiteface – Passaconaway Loop, lowering Ben Nephew’s 2015 mark by 14 minutes
- Chelsea Poisson, 5h 1m for the Cannon and Kinsmans Loop, shaving 38 minutes off the prior Unsupported Female mark
- Corin Kwasnik, 19h 28m for the Pemi Loop’s 14 Pemi 4000ers configuration which, I didn’t load into my mapping software, because i don’t know if my software is as tough as that route sounds
- The relentless Kelly MacDonald, 5h 34m for Panther, Santanoni, and Couchsachraga, lowering Sara Niccoli’s mark from only weeks ago by nearly 90 minutes
- Bill Hoffman and Jake Stookey back at it for another self-powered division mission with 21h 40m for the Lake Placid 9er Challenge
- Sarah Keyes, looking recovered and putting that base to work by getting back at it with 3h 50m for the Dix Range Traverse, taking over an hour off of Laura Tuttle’s mark from 2019, and only 20 seconds off of the second fastest men’s time set just last year
- Laura Tuttle, 2h 58m for Pitchoff Mountain
- Nick Arndt, 7h 42m for the High Peaks Wilderness Traverse, a spectacular looking 34 miles with a reasonable 6,300’ of gain and for an opening or baseline mark for this new route
- Nick Arndt again with 3h 40m for the Grey, Skylight & Marcy connection, taking nearly 40 minutes off of
Frankie DiSomma’s time from 2019.
Kevin Zuech and Keila de Jesus, 5h 27s for the Wissahickon Green Ribbon Trail
Joshua Goad, 7h 22m for the Catawba Triple Crown, besting the prior unsupported mark which was still fresh being set on September 12th, by 32 minutes.
Liz Lierman, 1h 25m for the Mt. Mansfield Vertical K which looks like it would be a fun one for others to go try to pick off
In Person Event Results from this Past (packed) Weekend
September 25 / 26:
Pemberton 24, a festival of 5k’s, with a format of a 5k starting every hour with participants able to run as many as they like, whether one, five, or all 24. The scoring system is a bit convoluted, but pretty cool. The organizers created a points system which included points for the overall number of 5k’s, for placing in each, and for running them in the week hours of the morning. I think this does a pretty great job of leveling any gender bias for the toughest runners with gender grading. The overall win went to Liz Ozeki with 135 points, second to Maria Miller, and third, the top male, Aaron Ellison with 100 points. Full results here
Weighing in on the event is Richard Wayshner, third place male.
Friday, September 25
The Yeti 100 Mile Endurance Run – Gaining only 3000’ while crossing 141 trestles along the crushed cinder Virginia Creeper Trail in Abingdon, VA. A Western States Qualifier, and a party scene at its core, the Yeti capped early, and hopefully was a blast. With a slogan of “Where Debauchery Is Welcome”, and in the spirit of the entity, in our Rundown a couple weeks back, instead of plugging the top seeds, we gave praise and props to the three entrants with the distinction of being UltraSignUp ranked as the DFL, or, Dead Fucking Last podium contendors.., Miranda Riley, Tara Pagano, and Eva Jones. Unfortunately, none either showed, finished, or DNF’d. It did look like there were a good number though racing the cutoff, which, oddly, is set at 29.2 hours, or 12:13:30 PM. Anybody in the Yeti community want to cue me into the 29.2 / 12:13:30 significance, if any? Reminds me of Bill Bowerman calling a team meeting for 7:27 in the film Without Limits.
At the front though were some wicked fast times. Patrick Reagan was the overall winner in a time of 13:33, and Nicole Monette for the women in 16:19. Both crushed the prior course records.
144 finishers, 92 DNF’s, and 70 DNS’s. This reflects a seemingly common stat this year of the DNS rate being significantly higher. While that makes sense at face-value given the state of COVID and valid concerns, what doesn’t is as RD’s I think we’ve all been more flexible this year in getting out rollovers or refunds up to the final days prior to the event. Not-showing is a bummer when it means, particularly with an event like this, that others maybe could have been pulled in off of a waitlist. I’m not certain if that was the case with Yeti, but has been with others I’ve put on or been associated with. Results here.
Saturday, September 26th
The Squatchung Surprise, 3hr, 6hr, and 5k this year at the Watchung Reservation in Mountainside, NJ and put on by the party people, Sassquad Trail Running. An event where your fate is influenced by the luck of the golf ball bucket draw. In the kiddy race, AKA the 5K, out of 30 finishers, Dave Gilbert took the win in 23.26, and Lynda Farinella in the women’s field in 28:36. In the 3 Hour, Robert Ivan checked off the most mileage with 17.9 for the overall win with Len Huffman and Michael STeiner not far off with 17.4. Erica Einhorn tallied the most for the women’s field with 16.1. In the 6 Hour, Kieran Williams bested second by a half mile, finishing with 35 miles under his belt. The women’s field looked tight with Toni Canora edging Courtney Kruse by two tenths of a mile to finish with 27.4 miles. Full results here.
Taking us on the inside is party organizer Kim Levinsky, followed by finisher Len Huffman.
IronMaster’s Challenge: 50k canceled, 15k still running, at the Pine Grove Furnace State Park in Gardners, PA. No results yet posted.
Live Out Loud Running’s Blue 2 Blue Challenge, in New Haven CT. Billed as CT’s Hardest 50k, making us of the Regicides and Quinnipiac Trails, and mixing in #BeastCoast Technicality, rugged coastline views, and 6,500 feet of elevation gain. This event seemed to live up to the rugged and technical nature, with many an entrant making skinned knee and blood donations to the gods of the trail. And the competition looked fun and stout, with Dan Bates and Ben Nephew taking it out hard in the early miles, Ben crumbling, Dan hanging on, but the sleeper, and FKT giant on the year, Justin Kousky hammer both of them i the final segments for the win in 5:48. For the women’s field Debbie Livingston hammered for the win, finishing an hour ahead of the women’s runner up in 6:59. RD Jim and finisher Debbie Livingston weigh in with clips. Splits can be found here, and full results here.
The rugged, tough, remote, and beautiful World’s End Ultra’s secondary to COVID modifications had to shave off the 50k, sticking with the Western States Qualifying 100k, and pushing back onto their Fall Classic Half Marathon date. Both ran in the beautiful and rugged World’s End State Park and Loyalsock State Forest. The Half saw 141 finishers with David Endress taking the overall win in 2:02, with the top female on the day going to Aimee Kohler in 2:29. Full results for the Half Marathon can be found here.
For the 100k Andrew Simpson ran off the front from the early miles, moving solid all day and going unchallenged for the win in 11:32. Top female podium spot went to Kassandra Spitler in 15:02, a minute and a half ahead of second place finisher Becky Kosek. There were 64 finishers from a starting lineup of 109 starters, a pretty significant DNF rate on the day, and, which seemed mostly due to runners not making the needed time cuts over this tough course. Full results can be found here.
And I’m stoked this week to try something a bit different which is to bring in a handful of voices from the Collective to reflect from varying vantage points on World’s End. In a bit, I’m going to close out this week’s Rundown with those voices. So, hang tight.
One of the trail originals, the 41st running of the Laurel Highlands 70.5 and 50k mile trail gem went down in Ohiopyle, PA, with a new crew of RD’s taking on the torch. Results aren’t posted just yet to give you the rundown there, but, we do have two voices from the Collective, one of the new RD’s, as well as finisher and ultra legend out of Virginia, Greg “Cabin Boy” Loomis on this year’s event. Results when posted will be here.
Sunday, September 27th
Steep Endurance was back at it with the Angevine Farm Half Marathon, a scenic, rolling track course in Warren, CT. They were running on a COVID push-back date, and adding a 50k into the mix. a new push-back date and 50k option, and covering scenic, rolling, dual and singletrack in Warren, CT. Most of the event’s top times came this year with Mitch Morris edging out second by just ove ra minute in 1:32, and Ingrid Wells out front for the women’s win in 1:53. For the inaugural 50k, Brandon Talisesky took the win in 4:54 with Robyn Bratica in 6:45 for the women. Full results here.
The Mid Penn Trailblazer’s Dam Half Marathon Trail Race at R.B. Winter State Park in Mifflinburg, PA, part of the 2020 Rocksylvania series went down. A fun rolling course with a few rock gardens, and a signature end of race 700 foot ½ Mile Stairway to Heaven climb before a 1.5 downhill stretch into the finish. Looks like Tristan Amell, young buck at aged 17, took the overall win in 1:57. The excitement appeared to be the race for the top Old Dude, with Jim Wenger, as Good Once as he Ever Was, edging third place finisher and other old dude Kip Hoffman by a mere 3 seconds. For the women, Meira Minard tok the win in 2:03. Full results here.
In-Person Events Coming Up
Wednesday, Sept 30th
Hump Day 5k at Blue Mountain Resort, PA, 6:00
NJ Trail Series 3 Days At the Fair in Augusta, NJ:
One that I missed got pushed back from its original / historic May date, and which runs the gamut of endurance distances which includes Marathon, 50k, 6 hour, 12 hour, 24 hour, 48 hour, 72 hour, a the grand Pooba 144 hour (or 6 day which is starting I think today), and, well, pretty much every combination in between. All events use a certified 1 mile loop, making it Boston Qualifying, and over crushed cinder. Registration still open here: https://runsignup.com/Race/NJ/Augusta/3DaysattheFair?remMeAttempt=
Saturday, October 3rd
Bubba’s Backyard Ultra, a Last Person Standing format event in Center Conway, NH. Course uses a 3.5 mile mostly forest singletrack loop with 250’ of gain and one aid station midway, and camping starting Friday night. Registration open through Friday so get on it if interested.
CatsTail Trail Marathon, a gorgeous fall marathon running point to point through the Catskills to complete a stretch started by Escarpment and Manitou’s Revenge. The course is rugged, and beautiful, covering 26.5 miles with 7,000’ of ascent. COVID field size was reduced to 50, so registration was long capped, but keep it on your fall radar for future years.
Sunday, October 4th
The Black Forest Ultra, a tough, remote, and rugged 100k run in North Bend, PA. With a tagline of “Diabolically Epic”, the event starts at 12:01 am with a 65 mile lollipop configuration offering 13,400’ of elevation gain and a 19 hour cutoff. I may be in for this one for next year, so keep it on your radar to join me. As of filming a few spots remain for this year, reach out if interested.
Saturday, October 10th
Tesla Hertz Run, a 10 Miler, 50k, 50 Miler, 100k, and 100 miler put on by Happily Running in Rocky Point, NY. Currently about 110 entrants between the distances. Uses a 10 mile trail loop on the Pine Barrens Long Island Greenbelt Trail with an aid station at the midpoint. Register here.
Midstate Massive Ultra in New Ipswich, NH, running 30, 50, and 100 milers on October 10th and 11th. With 197 already registered between the 3 distances, only 3 spots remain, and are in the 100 mile distance which runs from NH to MA on the historic Midstate Trail. Again, only 3 spots remain and only through October 1st.
Sunday, October 11th
Steep Endurance’s Mohawk Mountain Race. With a 10k and 8 hour vertical challenge option, an opportunity to pummel your quads into submission via a serpentine loop on the Mohawk Mountain Ski Area. The 10k gives you 2600’ feet of gain which is pretty solid, and the Vert Challenge 575’ each loop. Registration open through October 9th here.
Green Monster Trail Challenge, a beautiful and burly 15k, 25k, and 50k beauties run in Wellsboro, PA. This popular gem also sells out, and has already, and with a lengthy waitlist, but keep in on your fall radar for 2021.
Tussey Mountainback, a long-time US Championship event run in Boalsburg, PA. Covid modifications this year including a reduced field size and solo ultra only, and aid stations offering fluids and drop-bag format only. Registration open through October 10th.
The Sugarloaf Uphill Climb, a point to point ascent which gains 2,500 feet over 2.5 miles up Sugarloaf Mountain in Maine. Looks tough and beautiful. It appears it’s still running for 2020 but with registration capped out. Keep it on the radar for 2021.
Big Brad Ultras, 50k and 50m options run in the Bradbury Mountain State Park and area in Pownal, Maine. Sounds nicely technical, with 4,500’ gain in the 50k, and 7,500’ for the 50 mile over predominant singletrack. One to travel for, though, for next year as reg is closed for 2020. Keep your eye on it next round.
Saturday, October 17th
Sinnemahone Trail Runs and Ultra, offering 12k, 25k, and 50k options run in Emporium, PA. The 12k option gives you over 1,800 feet of climbing in 7 miles, and the 25k/50k seem to mirror that trend. An event to run as a stand-alone, or for next year as part of their series starting with a Paddle Race, a Gravel Race in the Middle, and Trail Race in the Fall. Pretty cool combination. Registration is open through October 15th: https://ultrasignup.com/register.aspx?did=78647
Sunday, October 18th
Call of the Wild’s Mountain Fest, 25k / 50k run over beautiful, rugged courses in Waterville, PA. With a boatload of elevation change, and technical terrain, this is another PA gem. Registration just capped out this week so keep it on your radar for 2021.
Saturday, October 24th
Live Loud Running’s Pachaug Trail Runs, giving you ½ Marathon, Marathon, and 50k options run in the Pachaug State Forest in Voluntown, CT. Covid modifications for 2020 include needing to drop the 50 mile, and limiting each distance to 100 runners, with 50 per wave. Registration open here through October 21st:
Virtual Events Coming Up:
Plymouth’s Long, Hard & Dirty Ultra – 10k, 30k, 50k, 8 Hour events running virtually between October 9 and October 12th. You can run their designated course in Plymouth, Mass, or anywhere. Register here.
Shore2Shore 25k / 50k originally slated to run using the Suffolk County Long Island Greenbelt Trail in Kings Park, NY, and spanning the tip from North to South, and an event pushed back from April and into a virtual format. I’m uncertain of the Virtual format details but you can Register Here:
Rockhopper Racing’s Roo’s Rampage which gives you a rare opportunity at a CaniCross Division event for this year. You can register here:
Batona Trail Races Virtual 33 and 55 milers, typically one that runs point to point in Ong’s Hat, in the New Jersey Pine Barrens- one that went COVID virtual, but, I can’t quite make out the format whether on a set course, on anywhere on your own, but you can register here for the 2020 Virtual, and keep it on your radar for 2021.
Closing Out with Voices from the Collective
As I mentioned minutes ago, I’m stoked this week to try something a bit different which is to bring in a handful of voices from the Collective to reflect from varying vantage points on World’s End. We have most excellent RD Dave “the Hillside Slider” Walker weighing in from the perspective of RD. Becky Kosek, second place female on being ready, going hard, and hanging in there when things don’t quite go as planned. Mark Valites, a finisher out of the Buffalo area also weighing in on his day, and, wilder, night, navigating the course when your headlamps run out of juice. Shannon Ray, in the field for the 50k which was cut secondary to COVID changes, and from the vantage point running crew and as a pacer. Grayce Gillette-Drummond on laying it all out there, and in some measures coming up short of the finish. And Sayard Tannis, from the vantage point of being a coach who had several athletes in the mix. Events are communities in and of themselves, and there are so many necessary pieces to the equation, and a host of experiences that come out of every one. My hope is to bring that to life. Let’s see if this works and I’ll catch you next week!