First, another of my too-frequent apologies for letting this blog slide. I just wrapped up grad school, which it turns out is a major bummer for your free time. Now that the haze following a thesis defense and graduation has lifted, let’s get in there in and dig out the crusty impaction of materials I should have been pushing out all these weeks:
Chippewa 50k: hardly anyone seemed happy with their race afterwards
NEW AUBURN, WI – It wasn’t anyone’s fault, of course, though the weather gods didn’t apparently take kindly to man’s thrashing of the course record over and over each of the years Chippewa has existed. About half the undulating trail was covered in ice and snow (firm in the morning, soft on the way back) on April 27, making this normally very runable course a real pain for anyone who likes to get into a rhythm while running for four + hours (that’s everyone). The last half was made tougher by the fact that it ended up being the first really “hot” day of the year, because why in the world would we make it easy?
On the men’s side, Mike Borst (age 19) of LaCrosse, Wisconsin, won the war of attrition and crossed the line in 4:08:57; Otsego’s Nick Nygaard was close behind in 4:12:54 and city boy Chris DeNucci was third in 4:13:44.
April Cole, of Hammond, Wisconsin, celebrated her win in the Zumbro 100 only two weeks prior by cracking five hours and winning the women’s race in 4:58:06. Ami Hutchinson, of Middleton, Wisconsin, was second in 5:18:59 and Zumbro 17 champ (also ninth at last fall’s JFK 50) Leslie Semler, of Hermantown, prevented the Wisconsin podium sweep by finishing third in 5:24:28.
Superior 50k: Lundstrom reigns (again)
For a more concise recap, check out my most recent contribution to Down the Backstretch.
LUTSEN – Chris Lundstrom – the former Team USA Minnesota runner and current top-notch coach, from Minneapolis – continues to look unbeatable on the Superior 50k course. His win (3:50:31) Saturday was his third straight; it also notched him another USATF-Minnesota Ultra state title and was only a couple minutes off his own course record of 3:48:54, set in 2009.
His time is that much more impressive given conditions on the course, where snow only this week gave way to mud.
Lundstrom had a race on his hands this year from Brighton, Massachusetts’ Samuel Jurek (no relation to Scott). Jurek had a several-minute lead leaving the final aid station, but Lundstrom managed not only to catch him but gain a lead of over three minutes by the finish. Jurek finished second in 3:53:29. Duluth’s Benjamin Cogger finished third in 3:55:01.
In the women’s race, Duluth’s Andrea Ring (a relative newcomer to the ultra scene) took home her first USATF-Minnesota Ultra title, finishing in 5:42:45. Eagan’s Kathy Jambor finished second and won the master’s title (as well as the master’s state ultra title) in 5:49:54, and Amy Carolan, of Marine on St. Croix, finished third in 5:53:42.
The Chippewa 50k is tomorrow on the Ice Age Trail near New Auburn, WI. Word is the trails might be clear-ish in time for the veritable who’s-who race at 8 am. (update – the absence of Chris Lundstrom, who will be running Get in Gear, will make it a little less stacked, but a lot more exciting).
The trail as of Thursday, from the event’s facebook page:
In the men’s race, 2012 winner and 4th-place finisher Rasmus Hoeg and John Storkamp, respectively, won’t be back, but look for these guys up front (among others):
Chris Denucci – 2:35 marathoner, CR at Surf the Murph (4:08) last October. Last name lends itself to creative nicknames.
Eric Nordgren – 2nd at Chip last year under the old CR, but training for Western States this year and presumably not peaking here. On the other hand, BEARD.
Forrest Tracy – Afton 50k champ last year. Known to shout “I got-ta find Bub-ba!” upon leaving each aid station.
Jake Hegge and Michael Borst – young guns tied for the win at Zumbro 50 and went 1-2 in some races last year, including Voyageur. Might actually be the same person.
I again know nothing about the women’s race. I could do some cross-referencing between the entrants’ list and ultrasignup, but this thesis isn’t going to write itself.
Oh yeah, Trail Mix was last weekend at Hyland. I somehow always overlook that one. Results are…not up yet. I just checked.
PS – tomorrow marks 365 days since the domain ultramn.com was registered. Thanks for reading.
Zumbro went off without a hitch, in the scheme of things, last weekend. In the words of TCRC patriarch and ultra maven Kurt Decker, “the conditions were ungodly awful. I’m moving to Florida and am not sure why anyone would take part in this godforsaken sport.” That’s paraphrasing, but that’s the jist of what he said at work Wednesday.
I’m going to circumvent the wordy recaps of seasons past and just link to results, for a few reasons:
1. It’s quicker for you to read and ascertain information therefrom.
2. I’m in the dumps about my sustained ineptitude when it comes to picking who will be up front (exception: 50-mile…also, Aro was second in the 100). I’ll blame mother nature for driving down turnout and thus skewing the accuracy of my predictions somewhat. I’m in talks with Dean Chambers to start a site called unskewedstartlists.com but his chief strategic idea of eliminating “good” runners from the lists is troubling. Stay tuned.
3. I’m this close to finishing my master’s thesis, and am using the other hand to fend off health insurance agents who caught wind that I’m about to turn 26 and get booted from my parents’ coverage. You want a pretty story, you write it yourself, alright?
I’m sorry. The weather is getting to me, and will likely be getting to me through Chippewa next week (speaking of, look for a preview of that soon). Without further ado, here are links to results, which I hope you could have found on your own:
100 Mile/race of attrition
The Zumbro races are this weekend, effectively marking the beginning of Minnesota’s ultra season. The weather seems not to agree, but more on that in a second.
First, the pre-Zumbro all-comers beer mile went off successfully Monday evening at a track that shall not be specified, since the NSA is probably reading this and beer miles are, according to veteran Steve Quick, “illegal in about four different ways.” Of course, their drones probably caught it in the meantime. Anyway, here’s proof:
Now to the other thing.
The Zumbro 100-mile endurance run sets off from the Zumbro River Bottoms Management Area in Theilman, MN Friday at 8 AM. The course consists of one 16.7-mile loop which competitors run six times (100.2 miles, the same exact-ish distance as the vaunted Western States 100).
The course is 100% on trail and features 18,588 feet of elevation gain and (get this) 18,588 feet of elevation loss – 3,098 feet of both gain and loss per loop.
The 50-mile race covers three of those loops and has the unique feature of beginning at midnight on Friday night/Saturday morning. Those people who usually choose 50s over 100s to avoid running in the dark will want to avoid this one.
The “17-mile” race is – stay with me here – one loop. It begins at 9 AM Saturday.
Here is a map and elevation profile of one such loop, in case my description wasn’t sufficient:
In the 100, all of the top three male finishers from last year are returning; they are, from first to third respectively, Bob Gerenz of Coon Rapids, Matt Aro of Duluth, and Joseph Boler of Hastings. Recall that last year Gerenz and Aro had a regular Duel in the Sun, finishing only two seconds apart. Since then, Gerenz cracked 24 hours at Leadville, Aro finished 11th at Voyageur and 5th at Sawtooth, and Boler finished 9th at Sawtooth. RD John Storkamp named Doug Kleemeier as a potential dark horse (the emergence of one could be inevitable, given the conditions, he says); Kleemeier most recently ran 7:41:58 at the Surf the Murph 50 Mile in October.
On the women’s side, Susan Donnelly, of Oak Ridge, Tennessee, will be back. She has won the race each time it’s been run since 2009, and since last year has run a sick nasty number of races, though Zumbro was her only win.
In the 50, look for wunderkids Jake Hegge (21) and Michael Borst (19). They train together at UW-LaCrosse and have racked up some noteworthy results in the last year, including a win at Voyageur by Hegge (where Borst was second) and a win by Borst at Dances With Dirt/Devil’s Lake, where Hegge was second. Duluth’s David Hyopponen will bring some speed as well, though Storkamp says speed will likely be secondary to strength given the course conditions.
No real insight on the women’s race here – Becky George, who won overall last year, is not returning.
In the “17,” Ben Kampf.
In case you haven’t heard, from everyone, “hey how ’bout that weather, eh?” it is indeed going to be slippery, snowy, muddy and wet this weekend. Spring has been slow to get around, and as a result there is lots of mud and ice still hanging in the valleys, in Storkamp’s words; a few inches of snow in the next day or two could make matters even slushier. A warning about the cold was posted on the event’s Facebook page this week, as were several photos and notes on course conditions – one of which prompted an outcry from one racer who felt the weather is a factor over which we lodge complaints with race staff (it isn’t).
For anything I didn’t cover, there’s always the race website. Stay dry out there.
John Storkamp, of Hastings, finished (I believe) 10th in the on-foot division of the Iditarod Trail Invitational in Alaska yesterday. He completed the 350-mile course in seven days, 5 hours and 15 minutes.
Complete results can be found here.
USA Track & Field Minnesota’s Mountain/Ultra/Trail (MUT) Chair Sam Rush has confirmed that the following races will comprise the 2013 MUT series and championships:
MUT Series Races
May 18: Superior 50k (Lutsen, MN)
June 1: River Bottoms Run 10-Mile, Ft Snelling State Trail (Mendota, MN)
July 6: Afton 25k Afton State Park (Afton, MN)
August 16: Endless Summer Trail Series 7-Miler, Lebanon Hills Regional Park (Eagan MN)
September 4: Autumn Trail Series 5.7k, QBP Parking Lot/Hyland Lake Park (Bloomington, MN)
September: Muscle Milk Woodsy 8.9 Mile, Murphy Hanrehan Park-Reserve, (Savage, MN)
May 18: Superior 50k – Ultra Championship
July 6: Afton 25k – Trail Championship
Local race director extraordinaire John Storkamp, of Hastings, is among 11 competitors starting the 350-mile Iditarod Trail Invitational in Alaska tomorrow at 2 pm local time.
Storkamp is no stranger to cold, long treks. A regular fixture at the Arrowhead 135 in International Falls, he placed second at this year’s race in January, covering the course in 51 hours and 33 minutes. He is attempting the self-supported race, which takes place entirely in the backcountry (with checkpoints) and does not cross any towns, on foot; other categories exist for snowshoeing, skiing, and biking, and some competitors attempt to cover 1000 miles.
Temperatures are estimated to range from 40 F to -50 F over the course of the race.
Here is a course map:
I spent most of the last week in Nicaragua on assignment for Trail Runner Magazine, covering (and inadvertantly running in) the Fuego y Agua events on Isla de Ometepe. I placed higher in the beer mile than the actual race.
It was a fun time with some fast people, and I’d encourage anyone with a sufficiently adventurous spirit and a sufficiently large expendable income to check it out in the future. Here are some pictures (all by other people):
The TC trail team sent a contingent to Allison, Arkansas last weekend for the Sylamore 50k and 25k, as well as some homemade moonshine at the after party.
In the 50k, all five of TC’s runners placed in the top 25. Mike Bateman led the way in the 50k, taking 6th in 4:42:00. He was followed by Brian Peterson, who finished eighth in 4:46:14.
Paul Holovnia and TC store owner Adam Lindahl were both in the top 20. Holovnia finished 15th in 4:55:07 and Lindahl, having run once prior the entire month of February, finished 17th in 4:57:55.
Kurt Decker finished 25th in 5:12:13.
Complete results of the 50k can be found here.
In the 25k, Tony Kocanda earned medalist honors in both the master’s and overall category by winning the race in 2:05:19. Full results can be found here
Kami Holtz, Pam Nielsen, and Helen Lavin all placed in the top seven at The Coastal Challenge stage race in Costa Rica February 3-8. They placed fifth, sixth, and seventh, respectively, in the expedition category (averaging roughly 50k per day for six days), though they appear to have more or less tied overall and in each section; their overall time was 47 hours, 55 minutes.
Tempe, Arizona’s Dave James won the event overall in 26 hours, 54 minutes.
Complete results can be found here.