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The Skinny for the week Donald Sterling slipped out of the news cycle

The Superior “spring” races were this weekend at Lutsen. I could literally not care less whether the 50k again served as the USA Track & Field Minnesota Ultra-Trail Championship, as it has in the past.

The big concern going in were trail conditions, as Lake Superior has been providing its not-so-immediate vicinity with its own second winter this spring. Just a week before we were getting reports from both the RD and others out scoping that in spots where snow persisted, it was deep, and that though dry trail existed, it was wedged between mud and other nastiness. In other words, the notably tough Superior Hiking Trial was going to be even tougher. This caused Kurt Decker to bail on the race because he isn’t tough anymore. Just kidding, he had a wedding to go to. Which is disappointing. Priorities. Your twitter handle isn’t “@mnweddingattender.”

@mnweddingcrasher would be cool though.

Anyway,

It seems things managed to mostly clear up in time for the race, but conditions were still far from ideal. Ben Cogger (Duluth) still managed to break four hours, winning in 3:54:18. He must have run alone for a lot of it because he was 23 minutes (exactly) ahead of runner-up Jonas Holmberg Thunder Bay). Adopted Johnnie and relative city-slicker Dimitri Drekonja (Minneapolis) was third, nary a minute behind in 4:18:21.

Christi Nowak (St. Paul) continued to show she’s back to her unbeatable form, besting the rest of the women’s field by nearly an hour. She won (good for 10th overall) in 5:01:32 while Tiffany Kari (Duluth) was second in 5:56:00). Shawn Severson (Alexandria) was third overall and first master in 6:00:25.

50k results are here.

Meanwhile, Heather Kampf’s Husband dominated another JV race, winning the 25k in 1:53:29. His margin of victory over Andrew Papke-Larson (Decorah, Iowa) was only about 48 seconds, but Benny Boy also took a nasty spill and a wrong turn. Send your put-downs and words of derision to Ben.Kampf@adidas.com.

Emma Spoon (Decorah) won the women’s race in 2:12:44.

And it appears Ryan Braun took a break from cheating in baseball to run this race as he finished seventh in 2:05:35. Unless there’s a different Ryan Braun – come to think of it, Roid Man probably doesn’t live in Rochester, MN, as this one does. Sorry, trail-running, non-PED-using, better-state-residing version of Ryan Braun. Nice run.

Long-form 25k results can be found here.

Etc.

Ultra runners fancy themselves a tough bunch (rightfully so), but I’d compel those of you who abhor the roads to step out of your comfort zone and race the Brian Kraft Memorial 5k next weekend. It’s fast and flat and hurts so good. Why?

1) Speedwork isn’t fun, but it’s good for you. There’s a reason Krar and Sage, not Anton, have been winning races lately.

2) It’s around Nokomis, so think of it as one lap of the old FANS course. Then divide 24 or 12 hours by your 5k time and inflate your ego with an imaginary new PR from FANS.

3) It’s an old-school race. No one wears a costume and jumps around and the spectators are watching the race instead of holding glittery signs. You don’t get a medal for finishing and there’s no beer garden or music festival after. Everyone runs fast and then moves on with their lives. 60 or so guys (and a couple gals) broke 17 minutes at it last year because the Twin Cities are awesome at running. So, if you appreciate running because of running, and not because it give you new photos to post on Facebook, this race is for you.

4) While it’s on the team circuit, you can register for the race the regular way and not have to give a dime to USATF!

5) It’s on Memorial Day, so you won’t be working.

6) You will probably beat me. Seriously – I’m into heavy training for Grandma’s and have never been more tired. Last night the roommates and I were watching a movie and the next thing I know it’s 3 AM and I wake up on the hardwood floor in a puddle of drool. Road running is hard.

Back on the subject of Superior, let’s venture further back in the pack and congratulate those who were copleting their first-ever 50k. Among them were Lucas Geadelmann, Brett Balfe, Jessica Johnson and Colleen Supple, who were completing their trip through TC Running Company’s debut 50k training group. Awesome work, guys.

I guess I’ll go take a nap now (see #6).

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