Sunday, February 21, 2010

National Champion Shines at Hagg Lake 50k

The Oregon Trail Ultramarathon Series kicked off yesterday with the Hagg Lake 25k / 50k Trail Runs. USA Trail Marathon Champion Max King (pictured) won the 50k by 15 minutes in a time of 3:26:54. Max was followed by another Central Oregon speedster Andy Martin (3:41:31) and FitRight NW employee Ruben Galbraith (3:42:00). On the ladies side Pam Smith finished 8th overall in 4:18:34.

The 25k race was won by the only person to run a faster per mile time than 50k winner Max King (6:40). Dave Harkin's 6:24 pace gave him the race win in 1:39:06. Dave was followed by Nathan Smith (1:43:54) and Richard Bolt (1:44:52). The first woman to cross the lakeside finishline of the 25k race was 41 year old Kristin Lynn (2:11:05).

Complete results can be found at:
Photos courtesy of Brian Conaghan Photography

Friday, February 12, 2010

2010 XTERRA National Trail Championships return to Bend

For the 3 consecutive year Bend, Oregon will host the XTERRA National Trail Running Championships on September 18, 2010. While not an officially sanctioned USA Championship, this race features the best of the best from XTERRA trail races held around the country throughout the year. This race is also the lead up to the self-proclaimed XTERRA "World" Championship held the past years in Hawaii. If runners stick around for another weekend they can run in the USA 50k Trail National Championships (sanctioned by USA Track & Field - the official national governing body for all running sports) on September 25. Here is the complete press release from XTERRA:

Let's face it, Bend, Oregon is pretty much one of the coolest places in the country and a mecca for all you trail running pilgrims out there. That's why XTERRA is headed back to Bend on September 18th as it plays host to the XTERRA Trail Running National Championship for the third consecutive year. Bend, Oregon is surrounded by one of the most sophisticated and spectacular trail systems out there, and XTERRA has taken advantage by creating a fast, relatively flat, yet challenging course for the 2010 XTERRA Trail Running National Championship.

As the final event in a 60+ race series, regional champions and elite runners from all over the country will be vying for their chance at the $5,000 prize purse, and XTERRA.TV will be there to capture all the excitement. Of course, you don't have to be an elite runner to join in the fun as we'll also host a scenic 10km and a stroller friendly 5km too.

What else can I do while I'm in Bend you ask? Whether you are looking for a relaxing bike ride along the Deschutes River followed by a tour of the town's seven local breweries or an action-packed, thrill-seeking climb up Smith Rock, Bend's activity options are truly limitless. Then after a hard day of play outside in the pristine fall temperatures of Oregon, wind down in Bend's bustling, urban downtown full of top-notch restaurants and shops.

Still not convinced? XTERRA is offering early bird rates of just $25 (5km) / $30 (10km) / $40 (21km). XTERRA will also be teaming up with Bend's Bigfoot 10km Trail Run for the "XTERRA 10 and Again" promotion with discounts for anyone running in these back -to-back events. Registration is now open, so sign up today. See you in Bend!


Thursday, February 11, 2010

Wild Idaho 50 mile & 50k race registration opens

What exactly is a WIFMER or a WIFKER? Don't feel bad, I didn't know either until I read the website. Turns out it's a pair of USA Track & Field sanctioned ultra running trail races in Idaho. Here's the announcement from race director Ben Blessing:

Hey everyone, registration for my inaugural event, the WIFMER & WIFKER, opens at midnight. Exciting hardcore new race(s) a 2 hour drive north from Boise. 12,600 ft of gain for the 50 miler, 9,600 for the 50K. My dad will be cooking food after the race, which will hopefully sell the race after you've tasted it. Unique finisher awards for everyone. Race website is Race registration is at I hope to see many of the Northwest crew out there. Happy Trails!

Ben Blessing

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

IAU News and Updates!

Press release from the International Association of Ultrarunners following their annual meeting in Monaco. Bend resident and 100k Champion Kami Semick pictured left:

Dear IAU Friends,

We, at the IAU, hope that all of you have had an enjoyable new year and are now all set to achieve new goals set for 2010.

The IAU Executive recently held their Annual meeting in Monaco. Several important decisions came out of the meeting.

One important change you will notice about the IAU-sanctioned world events is the consistency of calling all the events as “Championship” as opposed to previously used distinctions of “World Cup” or “Challenge”.

Some of the news items at the start of 2010 are highlighted below:

1) Best Athletes of the Year (Male and Female)

IAU is pleased to announce the creation of the “BEST ATHLETES OF THE YEAR” Award. This annual award will be given to the best performances for male and female athletes.

The important points to be noted for this award are as follows:

• The nominations will open on December 15th of each year at 12am EST
• The nominations will close on January 7th of each year at 11:59pm EST
• Any individual can nominate an athlete to be considered for this award
• Nominations can be received through online or email submission
• A limit of 1 nomination will be placed per email address

The Executive Council at the Annual Meeting will consider the athletes nominated and make their decision for the award. Please note that due consideration will be given to the number of nominations that each nominee receives.

For further information read article online.

2) New Agreement with World Masters Association (WMA)

It is with great pleasure that we announce that the IAU has struck a new agreement with the World Masters Association (WMA).

The two associations have a long history of joining forces in providing ultra events to our athletes. This year will see a return of the World Athletics Championship 100km with a Masters version attached to the race.

The highlights of this new agreement are:

• WMA sanctions ever year a World Athletics Championships 100K.

• If the WMA is hosting a World Championship within a month of the IAU 100km World Cup, then the WMA will not be participating in the IAU event in that year.

• IAU organizes every year an IAU World Cup 100K for national teams and has agreed to organise the WMA World Masters Athletics Championships 100K every year in conjunction with its own World Cup 100K. The competition site is decided by IAU.

For further information read article online.

3) Inaugural 100 km Asian Championship

The inaugural 100 km Asian Championship is taking place on March 27th. The event is taking place in Jeju, South Korea and it promises to be an outstanding race.

4) 8th 24 Hour World Championship

The 8th Annual 24 Hour event is well on pace for May 13th in Brive-la-Gaillarde, France. The preliminary invitations have been sent to Member Federations.

5) 50 km World Trophy Final

The 50 km World Trophy Final has been awarded to Galway, Ireland. The race is scheduled for August 29th. The race series is being worked on and will be published online as soon as it is available.

6) 24th 100 km World Championship

The 24th Annual event is set for November 7th 2010 in Gibraltar. Organization work is progressing very well and the outcome looks very positive.

7) Deadlines for Bidding on Future IAU events

Deadlines will be imposed for bidding on future events to give all organizations an opportunity to place a bid with the IAU. For bids to hold events in 2012 and 2013, application process is now open and will close in September 2010.

The 2010 Season is shaping out to be another outstanding season, both on the organizational and administrational, front. You will once again see athletes at the centre-stage of our association.

If you have any questions, or suggestions and comments, please feel free to contact us. We look forward to seeing you this year at one of our main events.

Nadeem Khan
Director of Communications

Friday, February 5, 2010

Former Oregon Ultra Runner Joins McMillan Running

Former Manager of the Rogue Valley Running store Ian Torrence (pictured too fast for the camera left) has moved to Arizona and become McMillan Running's first Ultra coach. Ian was also a regular at the La Sportiva / USATF-Oregon Mountain Running Series and series winner in 2009. Congrats and good luck! Here is the full story from McMillan Running:, the world's foremost online coaching resource, has hired veteran ultrarunner Ian Torrence to head its new ultramarathon coaching division.

The creation of the new ultramarathon division expands the offerings of to include any distance beyond the marathon (most typically 50 kilometers, 50 miles, 100 kilometers, and 100 miles).
"Ultras are a different beast," said Greg McMillan, owner and founder of McMillan Running Company, Inc. "Ultrarunners are starved for proven advice on how to train and prepare for the rigors of races beyond the marathon. Having someone as successful, experienced and knowledgeable as Ian on our coaching staff will benefit many runners. He's already inspired many others with his long list of achievements and enthusiasm for the sport.
As a coach at, he'll take it one step further and be available to help ultrarunners on a daily basis in order to assist the them with all the challenges and unknowns that arise during training and racing ultramarathons."

Torrence has more than 15 years of ultra experience under his belt. Since his ultra debut in 1994, he has, to date, finished 149 ultras, 22 of which were 100-mile races. In all, Torrence has won 49 ultramarathons. Some of his wins include the Massanutten Mountain Trail 100 Mile Run (twice) and the Superior Trail 100 Mile Run. He's a two-time, top-ten finisher at the Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run. He's finished the JFK 50 Mile Run fifteen times and was part of a four-person team that won and set a course record at the Oxfam Hong Kong Trailwalker 100 Kilometer Race in 2001. In 2002, he completed, what was at that time, the fastest Grand Slam of Ultramarathoning by finishing Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run, Vermont 100 Mile, Leadville Trail 100 Mile, and the Wasatch Front 100 Mile in a single summer. Torrence also has eight top-ten finishes at USA Track & Field National Road & Trail Ultramarathon Championships.

For more specific information about Ian's coaching visit

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

2010 La Sportiva / USATF Oregon Mountain Running Series

New for 2010 you can win cash prizes and free trail running shoes! This mountain running series is designed to promote competition in the Oregon mountain running community. All the races in the series are well established and represent some of the very best mountain races in Oregon. The 2010 series consists of the following four races:

May 8, 2010 – Larison Rock Hillclimb, 6 miles, Oakridge, OR
Race Directors – Alan Abbs ( and Catrina Davis (
This will be an up/down format race on trails near the town of Oakridge. The Larison Rock Hillclimb is organized by the same crack team that puts on the famed Where’s Waldo 100k just up the road at Willamette Pass Ski Area.

July 25, 2010 - Great NW Mountain Run, 6 miles, Mt. Hood, OR
Race Director - Kevin Foreman -
The inaugural 2008 version of this race featured a head to head battle between Joe Gray (US Mountain Running Team) and Max King (US Olympic Trials – Steeplechase) making it the fastest race in the Oregon Mountain Series. The 7-mile course runs both up and down the slopes of Mt. Hood from historic Timberline Lodge.

August 7, 2010 - Mt. Ashland Hillclimb Run, 13 miles, Ashland, OR
Race Director - Torsten Heycke -
Now in its 33RD year, the Mt. Ashland Hillclimb Run is the oldest continuously run mountain race in Oregon. Starting in downtown Ashland, this race climbs 5600’ over 13 miles to finish on the summit of scenic Mt. Ashland. The course record at this race was set in 1986 by Los Angeles Marathon winner Ric Sayre (1:42). Dolores Bergman set the women’s record in 2004 in a time of 2:13.39.

September 4, 2010 - Sunrise to Summit Race, 3 miles, Mt. Bachelor, OR
Race Director - Molly Kelly -
Organized by the Mt. Bachelor Ski Education Foundation, the Sunrise to Summit may be one of the shortest race in the series but it is the steepest. This uphill only course climbs 2600’ in about 3 miles under ski lifts, thru volcanic rock strewn slopes to finally finish on the barren summit of Mt. Bachelor. The course records are held by Max King (35:32) and Jennifer Sventek (43:45).

SCORING: Runners score points based on their time as a percentage of the winner's overall time, making every second count! For example, a winning time of 41:08 gets 100.00 points; a time of 42:21 is worth 97.13, and 1:20:32 gets 51.08 (the winning time being just about 50 percent of that runner's time. Women's scoring is based on 100.00 points for the first female finisher. A runner's top 3 of 4 races are totaled to determine overall series scoring.

AWARDS: The title and primary sponsor is La Sportiva, with additional support at events from the USATF Oregon Association.

* A total of $1500 in cash prizes will be awarded for overall series participants
* Trail Running shoes will be awarded at each race to the top USATF man and woman and each race.
* The series awards a special technical t-shirt to "Mountain Goats", USATF members who run all six races.

ELIGIBILITY: As a USATF Oregon program, the series scoring is limited to individuals who are USATF members. Though all races are open to all runners, USATF membership is required to score and win awards in the series. Some of the other benefits of membership are:

1. Eligibility to score and win prize money in the USATF Oregon Grand Prix and other selected USATF Oregon races.

2. Eligibility to score in USATF Association and National championships. The 2010 USATF National 50k Trail Championships and 1/2 Marathon Trail Championships are being held in Bend where cash prizes for top open and master runners are for USATF members only.

3. Elite runners who want to make the US Mountain Running Team or the USA 100k Team must first be USATF members.

4. 10% discount in the USATF Online Store, including Nike Dri-FIT gear.

5. Subscription to Fast Forward magazine.

6. Access to enter exclusive members-only contests.

7. Sport accident insurance.

8. Special discounts and offers from over 25 companies.

Click here to become a USATF member. If you have additional questions, feel free to email the series coordinator Richard Bolt at richardabolt at gmail dot com or contact the USATF Oregon office at usatforegon at msn dot com.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

US Mountain Running Team member Matt Byrne 3rd at Empire State Run-up

Matt Byrne (pictured left) also finished 42nd at the 2009 World Mountain Running Championships. Here's the full story from Race Results Weekly:

By David Monti

NEW YORK (02-Feb) -- Germany's Thomas Dold and New Zealand's Melissa Moon dominated the 33rd edition of the Empire State Building Run-Up here, handily winning their divisions in the world's most famous stair-climbing event.

Dold, 25, from Stuttgart, won the event for the fifth consecutive time, clocking 10 minutes and 16 seconds and beating his closest rival, compatriot Matthias Jahn, by 40 seconds. He took the lead immediately after entering the stairwell from the building's marble lobby, and never looked back as he climbed 1,576 steps to the 86th floor outdoor observatory.

"It's unbelievable," said Dold in English of his fifth victory, still coughing out the dust he inhaled in the building's stairwell. "It's so huge part of my life."

Dold, who has competed in this event six times, said it was his dedicated focus on this particular race, which climbs 1,050 vertical feet (320m), which makes him a winner.

"You have to concentrate every year on just one day," he said.

Dold is now tied with Australian Paul Crake with five titles, but the German has never come close to Crake's event record of 9 minutes and 33 seconds set in 2003. Crake, who was paralyzed in a bicycle racing accident in 2006, broke ten minutes four times.

Matt Byrne, 34, of Philadelphia, finished third and was the top American. Byrne, who was a 2008 USA Olympic Marathon Trials qualifier, ran here today just to switch up his training routine.

"I'm trying to do some different things the past few years," he said of his 11 minute and 29 second performance.

Unlike Dold, Moon had never competed at the Run-Up before. The forty-year-old mountain runner from Wellington has competed in a few other tower races, but had always wanted to compete here.

"I've had a taste of stair racing," she told reporters not looking the least bit tired. "I mean, if you've done a few stair races around the world, everyone always talks about, 'Have you ever done the Empire State Building?' It really is the most iconic stair race around."

Moon started conservatively, but said that she eased into the lead by the 20th floor. From there she stayed relaxed, emerging from the stairwell into the cold February air with a 40 second lead. She clocked 13:13 for her victory, well ahead of second place Gretchen Grindle Hurlbutt of New York City (13:53), a 2008 Olympic Marathon Trials qualifier. Amy Fredericks of Stamford, Conn., finished third (14:15).

Moon has had a varied and distinguished running career, which began on the track (she was the New Zealand 5000m champion in 1999 and 2001), but moved to mountain running where she was a world-beater. She won the World Mountain Running Trophy in 2001 and 2003, and in 2001 was named New Zealand Sportswoman of the Year.

Nonetheless, Moon considered today's win very special, too. "It will go to the top of my running C.V.," she said. "It's the most prestigious thing I've done."