Monday, April 27, 2009

Larison Rock Hill Climb - Race Preview

The La Sportiva / USATF Oregon Mountain Running Series kicks off this weekend in Oakridge with the Larison Rock Hill Climb.  If you're not running the Eugene Marathon or are just looking for a more managable challenge than this race is for you.  Tucked in the scenic foothills of the central Oregon Cascade mountains, Oakridge will be the starting point for the race.  This will be an uphill trail race beginning in Greenwaters Park and climbing 2300' to Larison Rd.

According to race director Catrina Davis, "Preparations are coming right along, we have volunteers in place and we are ready for a good event!  Historically we have had 20-25 runners and walkers for the Salmon Run & Walk, since it is our first year with the Oregon Mtn. Running Series I expect to have 30-40 runners (including the great Ron Hebert) between the two events, hopefully more!"

Wondering what it's like this time of year in Oakridge?  Spring has sprung and both courses are in full bloom with race day predicted to be 64 degrees and 30% chance of rain - perfect running weather.  With residual snow down to 2800', expect to see a little snow in the woods along the top of the hill climb course.

Where's Waldo 100k co-race director Alan Abbs says that Ashland area runners Ian Torrance and Erik Skaggs are planning to attand the race.  Ian was one of only 2 runners who finished all 4 races in the 2008 Oregon Mountain Running Series.  Erik won 2 races in the 2008 series and will likely establish a tough to beat course record on Saturday.

After the race be sure to stick around for the pancake breakfast or get into the Willamette Mountain Exchange to buy some great outdoor gear.  You can also visit the Brewers Union 180 pub to recharge your carbs (food and beer).  Make a weekend out of your visit to Oakridge and enjoy the 56th Annual Tree Planting Festival, see the parade after the race or the street fair, mini Olympics for the kids or some demos happening throughout the day.

Finally, be sure to register before this Thursday night at midnight on

USA 10 km Trail Championships: Early Entries Now Available for USATF Members

The 2009 USA 10 km Trail Championships will take place on August 29 in Laurel Springs, N.C.  The championships are being hosted by the FootRx Continental Divide Trail Run.
The field size for the FootRx Continental Divide Trail Run is limited to 150 runners.  Until May 31, USATF members will be able to exclusively enter the event.  After May 31 non-USATF members will be able to enter the Continental Divide 10 km Trail Run.   USATF members will not be able to enter the championship after the field reaches the 150 limit so be sure to take this opportunity to enter now before the the event sells out.
"Our organizing committee is thrilled to have the opportunity to host the USA 10 km Trail Championships and acquaint this area to the trail running community," stated race director Jason Bryant.  "The race site, 75 miles northeast of Winston-Salem, is on the brim of the Blue Ridge Mountains provides a magnificent setting for a championship race.  The Blue Ridge presents wonderful views into the foothills below on one side and views into the heart of the mountains on the other."
To enter the championships visit the championship USATF website.
About the Course from the Race Director
The race course will start on top of a mountain with some open fields to get things a spread out.  Then onto some tight singletrack that will twist and turn down the wooded mountainside. When you turn back up, forget the switchbacks, just head straight up.  At the top again, you'll get a break on some wider trails before heading back onto another singletrack descent.  What goes down must go up, so you will get a second chance to climb to the mountain top finish.  I believe our race course will provide beauty and a challenge.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Oregon Runners Named to US Team for IAU World Trail Challenge

Several Oregon based runners were named to the US Team scheduled to compete in the IAU World 100k Trail Challenge to be held in Serre Chevalier, France on July 12, 2009. The team was selected by the USATF Mountain, Ultra & Trail Running Council based on results from 2008 and resumes submitted by the athletes. Team members are:

Susannah Beck - Eugene, OR (Automatic Selection as 2008 USATF 50 Mile Trail Champion)- Declined position
Prudence L'Heureux - Bend, OR (Automatic Selection as 2008 USATF 100Km Trail Champion)
Anita Ortiz- At large from submitted resume
Devon Crosby-Helms- At large from submitted resume
Meghan Arboghast - Bend, OR - At large from submitted resume

Michael Wardian (Automatic Selection as 2008 USATF 50 Mile Trail Champion)- Declined position
Neil Olsen - Central Point, OR (Automatic Selection as 2008 USATF 100Km Trail Champion)
Matt Lonergan- At large from submitted resume
Kyle Skaggs- At large from submitted resume
Mark Lundblad- At large from submitted resume
Ben Nephew-At large from submitted resume

Complete selection criteria can be found at:

Monday, April 6, 2009

Oregon Runners Win American River 50 Mile

Max King (Bend, OR) and Kami Semick (Bend, OR) won their respective races at the American River 50 Mile Race this past Saturday in Auburn, California.  Complete results can be found here.  Max held off Dave Mackey, Chikara Omine former US Mountain Running Team member Tim Parr to win by over 8 minutes.  Kami recently won the USATF 50k Road Running National Championships and bested the 2nd place woman by 18 minutes.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Lance Armstrong to enter Pikes Peak Marathon

In a surprise announcement, Lance Armstrong has announced that he will add the Pikes Peak Marathon to his 2009 race schedule.

“Time for me to step up” he said, before a hastily gathered crowd of reporters. “The New York City Marathon is flat after all. Too easy. I need more of a challenge”. While the gathered correspondents were still temporarily stunned, His Supreme Fitness quickly added, “Plus, I’m just sick of this biking thing. One guy screws up, ten other guys go down, and I break my collarbone”, he said, voice becoming more stern, in an apparent reference to the bad crash that took him out of the Vuelta a Castilla y León last weekend. “That really sucked”. Reporters remained skeptical, noting that he has raced bicycles for 17 years. “Yeah, and look what I have to show for it!” The World’s Most Tested Human rolled up his shirtsleeve, and reporters gasped at the chicken tracks up and down his arm, worse than a Harlem addict. Is this what made him decide to switch to mountain running? “I was sitting in my living room at 10 pm the other night, about to score with another beautiful, young, would-be starlet, when two guys burst in wearing white lab coats carrying an armful of needles and vials”. “You figure it out. Sort of ruins the mood, ya know?”

Reaction from the mountain running community was generally positive.

Nancy Hobbs, Chairperson of the MUT Committee, said, “All I care is that he pay his USATF dues.” Richard Bolt, Mens Manager for the Teva US Mountain Running Team said, “This is great; someone like Lance could bring a lot more money into the sport. Well, like, any money at all”. Scott Elliot, contacted in between his 89th and 90th consecutive day of training by running up Bear Peak outside of Boulder, Colorado, was also positive. “That’s great news. I’d be happy to offer him my training schedule. Of course, it’s only one sentence long.”

Initial hopes that someone like Lance Armstrong, regarded as one of the greatest athletes in the world, would bring added prestige to the sport of trail and mountain running, were tempered by the more experienced voices in the community.

The Managing Editor of Runners World Magazine, said in a prepared Statement, “As you’ve seen, we don’t acknowledge trail running as a viable sport, because the participants don’t seem particularly concerned about losing 5 pounds, or recipes for healthy 3-Bean Salad. However, this news may change our editorial policies. Do you think he’s available for a cover photo, wearing no shirt, looking like an imbecile, and with a moronic grin on his face?” Adam Chase, Trail Editor for Running Times, was much more positive. “Lance rules!” he exclaimed. “He’s the toughest and the best competitor in any sport, ever.” “If I can get Lance as my partner, instead of the usual stunning babe I somehow manage to come up with, not only can I solicit free entry into still another multi-day vacation junket-cum-”race”, but I might be able to win one of them.” The Editorial Staff at Trail Runner Magazine was more circumspect. They had never heard of Lance Armstrong. “If it has something to do with actual competition, we don’t know anything about it.”

The comments that everyone were waiting for however, were those of Matt Carpenter. The King of the Mountain himself, Matt is a 15 time winner on Pikes Peak (6 Ascents, 9 Marathons) and the course record holder of both. “I always have really encouraged competition, and welcome this news. Lance is incredible. His VO2 Max is almost as high as mine. His will to win is terrific and he’s known as a ferocious competitor - almost, but not quite, as fierce as mine. If I enter - which I’m not saying I am and not saying I’m not - and won’t disclose until the last possible minute - it could be a good race.”

Rumors that Michael Jordan was considering making a comeback by entering Pikes Peak could not be confirmed at press time.