The Interval, 1/3/17

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The last couple weeks of the year didn’t feature any big races in the Austin area, but I sure saw tons of people running on the roads and trails.  I had the week off and ran every day, including a near bonk when I didn’t plan on the temperature getting to 84 degrees one afternoon at Walnut Creek.  Many of you started training for a spring marathon or were padding the mileage totals for 2016.  Others were getting in the last training runs for the big trail races at Bandera next week.
A couple community running events attracted crowds:  Black Eyed Pea runs held by Rogue and Gilbert’s Gazelles.  The Rogue event is a continuation of a RunTex tradition of a store-to-store run along the old Austin marathon course.  Rogue took it over a few years ago and, in the current version, the runs start and stop at the Rogue store on Pressler.  This past Saturday, Steve Sisson had some inspirational words for the crowd and then sent them off on routes of various distances, from just a few to 20+ miles.  Black eyed peas and other refreshments were available at the finish.  On Sunday, the Gazelle run started at Luke’s Locker and the group all ran the 4 mile loop on Town Lake Trail.  The Gazelles also had peas and mimosas at Luke’s following the run.  Both runs were a great way to end/start the year, seeing old friends and being thankful for our wonderful running community.
Interesting Articles and Links:
I’m a big fan of Strava and use it to track my workouts and keep in touch with pals.  They keep the actual number private, but estimates are that they have about 10 million active users.  Strava posted a review of 2016 and I liked a few of their statistics:
  • 304 million uploaded activities
  • 26.9% of these were group activities
  • 1.3 billion “kudos” given (one Strava member applauding another’s workout)
The world record for running a marathon in a Santa Claus suit is now down to 2:54.  Brian Lang set the record at the Philadelphia Marathon.  He trained by doing workouts in multiple layers of clothing and also ran a 1:20 half marathon in the suit as a trial for the big race.  He’s a former college runner with a 4:10 mile PR.  No word on if he’ll try to be the first sub-4 Santa.  From Runner’s World.
I didn’t realize that Norway is such a great trail running destination.  Mountain athlete Killian Jornet has added another Fastest Known Time to his list by completing the seven summits of Romsdalen, Norway.  The 49 mile route includes 30,000 feet of elevation gain.  This video is from his first attempt at the route.
I listened to the first edition of Running Rogue, a new podcast from Chris McClung and Steve Sisson.  They discuss current events in running, training methods, and have interviews with top local runners.  Give it a shot.
Just found this cool website: Real Endurance.  They aggregate articles from a few sources and produce some analysis of ultra running events.  Their review of 2016 indicates that the ultra movement may have peaked…
Upcoming Races:
The big race this weekend is the Bandera Endurance Run by Tejas Trails.  The difficult course with tons of climbing and acres of sotol is just outside of Bandera, between Fredericksburg and San Antonio.  There are 25K, 50K, and 100K races with the longer option being the USATF 100K national trail championship race.  Last January, Jim Walmsley obliterated the course record to win the 100K and start his incredible year of winning races and setting FKTs.  (He was just named the 2016 men’s Ultrarunner of the Year by Ultrarunner Magazine.)  Jim is not on the list of registered runners for 2017, but there is sure to be a bunch of fast trail runners in the Hill Country this weekend.