The Interval, 2/8/17

16427235_10154500476244220_2530479477991939434_n
Our goodwill mission to Austin’s sister city Oita, Japan appeared to be a success.  The John Conley-led team were all over the local TV and print news and runners Hannah Steffen and Erik Stanley did well in the Beppu-Oita marathon.  Hannah ran a solid 3:01, good for 10th place.  Erik ran 2:31, which put him at 78th place and the second US runner.  Erik’s PR is 2:27, so this was a great time for him, just recently coming back from injury.  From the pictures and FB posts, it’s clear that the group John put together did well representing Austin.  (This picture was posted by John Conley)
Closer to Austin was the 25th running of the Rocky Raccoon 100 miler at the Huntsville State Park.  The Tejas Trails crew put on their usual well organized and enjoyed event.  210 people completed all five 20 mile loops within the 30 hour cut off time.  The men’s winner was James Stewart in 13:39, followed in just 5 minutes by Ronnie Delzer and then Matthew Urbanski.  Since James is from the UK, that makes Ronnie the 2017 USATF 100 mile trail champion.   Sabrina Little repeated as the women’s winner in 16:50, a couple hours slower than her 2016 time of 14:55.  She is also the USATF women’s 100 mile trail champion.  Shandra Moore and Ashley Truan were second and third.
A notable finisher was Joe Prusaitis, in 28:41.  Joe handed off the race director duties to Chris McWatters last year and is now able to run the races he founded and nurtured for many years.  He also ran the Bandera 100K last month.  Rumor has it that he and Joyce will be hiking the Appalachian Trail this spring.
The course next year should add back the “Dam Loop” portion that has been closed the past 2 years due to construction at the park.  The Tejas crew will be out there this weekend for the running of the Rocky Raccoon 50 K and 50 mile races.
Interesting news and articles:
I enjoyed this long article from iRunFar on the history of Western States 100 from the perspective of someone who grew up around the race.
The 40th Empire State Building Run-Up was held recently.  I was surprised at how quickly an elite runner can make the climb of 86 flights of stairs, just 10:31 for this years’ winner Piotr Lobodzinski.  The record of 9:33 is held by Paul Clarke.
The US Cross Country championship was held recently in Bend, Oregon.  Local volunteers helped shovel 2 feet of snow from the course, but it was still muddy and treacherous for the elite men’s and women’s fields.  Aliphine Tuliamuk was the women’s winner in the 1oK race with a time of 34:25.  Leornard Korir continued his hot streak by winning the men’s race in 30:12.
Upcoming races:
As I mentioned above, the Rocky Raccoon 50 K and 50 mile races are this weekend.  I expect more Austinites to be in the mix than for the 100 miler.  Paul Terranova is on the list for the 50 mile…
The weekend after is the Austin Marathon, Half Marathon, and 5K.