The top trail runners in the area braved the cold rain and mud at McKinney Roughs on Saturday for the second annual Circus by Spectrum Trail Racing. This circus had 3 rings (3, 5, and 7, mile loops), a boisterous carnival barker, acrobats, a DJ, and a band to go along with the mud, rocks, and roots. The 30K was won by Amy Baker, who conserved energy on the slippery uphills and pushed the rest of the way to win in 2:57, about 10 minutes faster than James Valent. The 10K winners were Colin Hagen and Oksana Hays.
The Main Event was the 12 hour solo or relay. Individual runners or teams of up to 6 had 12 hours to run the maximum miles. Each completed loop of 3, 5, or 7 miles counted towards the total. Most runners avoided the 7 mile loop due to extreme mud for much of the route. The solo runners were incredible, churning through the mud and hills for 12 hours in the cold rain. The amazing Thomas Orf repeated as the winner, with 61 miles. Dana Munari was second with 55 miles. Marcy Beard was with women’s winner with 51 miles, followed by Lise Plantier with 47.
The top team of We Brake for No One (Brooks, Jacobs, Beckham, Moore) was gunning for 100 miles, but due to the poor conditions could only match the TrailRoots course record of 88 miles. Our TrailRoots team was second with 77, followed by the Drunk Allens, with 73.
Spectrum put on a great show, as usual and in spite of the weather. Great work by Mallory, Jason, and all the volunteers!
Interesting News and Articles from Outside of Austin
The 2 big races for Austin road runners were the marathons in San Antonio and Sacramento. At least 50 women and 74 men from Austin finished the San Antonio marathon, in the cold rain. Luis Gutierrez ran 2:42 for 5th overall. Leno Cano was the fastest Austin woman, with a 3:32 for 14th place.
A group of over 40 runners from Gilbert’s Gazelles traveled to Sacramento for the 33rd California International Marathon. This downhill point-to-point course is known for it’s good weather and fast times. Former Austin resident Scott MacPherson was in the elite field and finished 5th in 2:14. The fastest Gazelles were Johan Rudi in 2:48 and Dawn McElvain in 2:53.
Big prize money and the pristine trails of Marin County attracted a fast field of top ultramarathoners to The North Face Endurance Challenge 50 miler. The young guns Zach Miller and Hayden Hawks traded the lead early, with Miller pulling ahead toward the end to win by 2 minutes. He ran the last 5K in 16 minutes! They both broke the course record, with Miller finishing in an incredible 5:56. That’s 7:20 pace for 50 miles, with over 11,000 feet of elevation gain.
Austin was well-represented in this race. Paul Terranova finished in 7:55, 2nd in his age group. Mike McGinn and Nick Ackermann also finished with solid times.
Aside from racing, this was a weekend ultramarathoners were hoping to win the lottery. Not the powerball, but prized entries to Western States 100 and Hardrock 100. Both races severely limit entries and many runners wait years to gain the right to run either of these ultra classics. Austin-area residents with Western States entries: Paul Huggins, David Iler, and Dana Munari. Steven Moore won a HardRock entry. These guys will be running lots of miles and hill repeats this spring…
Elite trail racer and coach David Roche has been writing regular articles for Trail Runner Magazine. His latest has training tips for busy non-elite runners. Reading it, I realized that I had arrived at a similar formula over the past couple of years. Too bad it took me 15 years of trial and error.
This is the 38th Decker and the third race in the ARC Distance Challenge. The half marathon starts and finishes at the Travis County Expo Center and circles Lake Decker on, mostly, country roads. Watch out for the big hill at mile 10!