Friday, November 20, 2009

A New Perspective On Hills

ORN [Obligatory Running Note]: Scheduled for later today: Cruise Intervals @ Half Marathon pace. 13.5 miles total. (2 miles warm up, 2 x 4.5 miles at 8:17 pace with 1/2 mile recovery in between. 2 miles cool down).

So, I'm here at work, settling in to Friday (and by settling in to Friday I mean catching up with all the running blogs I follow, posting my FRIDAY FUNNY, planning my long run, and oh, yeah! getting down to some serious work, D!). Anyways, I scan FootRX's blog (which by the way is getting better and better), and happily came across a race update for Aaron Saft, local running hero and serious, serious nice guy (in fact, if I weren't already stalking Ritz, Aaron would be in my sights for sure!). Here it is:

USAT&F Trail Marathon Championships

On Nov. 7th, Aaron Saft raced the Lithia Loop Trail Marathon in Ashland, OR, which served as the USAT&F Trail Marathon National Championships. The race climber 3800' in the first 8 miles up to 5000+' of elevation. The race continued for 12 miles above 5000' and was snowing at that elevation. At 20 miles, the race descended 3000' for the last 6 miles. Max King of Bend, OR won the race in 2:40 after placing 19th the previous weekend in the New York City Marathon in a stellar time of 2:19. Sam Robinson of Berkley, CA was 2nd in 2:42 followed in 3rd by Aaron in 2:48. Fourth place was Coach Greg McMillan (first Masters) in 2:54, & fifth was Jim Johnson of NH. A beautiful course & Hal Koerner & Ian Torrence did a great job of putting on a great event!

On a side note, Aaron got to meet Erik Skaggs, who we sent donations to
after his kidney failure from racing the Where's Waldo 100k. Erik is doing great! He sends his thanks for the donations. Erik is happy to be back to running. Thank you to all who contributed.

A couple of things strike me:

First, as always, what a fantastic runner Aaron is. He's such a humble guy that I am sure most people who meet him through the store are unaware of his great accomplishments in the sport. If he lived in L.A., he would no doubt be unable to avoid the rockstar status he deserves.

Second (secondly?), did you read the part that said, "The race continued for 12 miles above 5000' and was snowing at that elevation. At 20 miles, the race descended 3000' for the last 6 miles"? I am in the midst of agonizing over my race plan for Thunder Road, and as you might have guessed after my last race report, I'm really troubled by the hills in Charlotte. So, thanks Aaron for the new perspective on hills. Apparently, I don't even know what a hill is.

Elevation profile for Lithia Loop Trail Marathon:

Elevation profile for Charlotte's Thunder Road Marathon:

In summary, Lithia Loop Trail Marathon eats Thunder Road Marathons for breakfast. It makes Charlotte's course seems like an airport tarmac in comparison. The takeaway: there's always a bigger hill.

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