The Interval, 4/19/17

Michael Woo and Matt Fletcher at the Boston finish, photo courtesy of Matt.

The 2017 edition of the Boston is in the books and it was a great day for US elites and many of the Austin-area runners who were able to handle the warm temperatures.  The men’s and women’s winners were Geoffrey Kirui and Edna Kiplagat, both from Kenya, in times somewhat slower than at other major marathons such as London, Chicago, and Berlin.

The women’s race was close until the 19th mile, when Kiplagat gapped the field.  She then dropped a 5:01 mile (the men ran 5:04) up the first part of the Newton hills and kept the pressure on to win by a minute over Rose Chelimo.  Jordan Hasay was third, about 10 seconds behind Chelimo.

The men’s race was similar, with Kirui and Galen Rupp together until mile 24 when Kirui ran the fastest mile of the day, 4:27.  Rupp kept it close, but could’t maintain that pace and ended up losing by 21 seconds.

I like this mile-by-mile summary from Flotrack.

The big story of the day was the excellent performance by US athletes.  Rupp, with a solid second place at Boston to go with his bronze from the Rio Olympics is now a force in world marathoning.  I’d like to see what he can do on a fast course like Berlin.  Jordan Hasay just ran the fastest debut marathon for an American woman.  It will be exciting to watch her progress in the next few years.

The fastest Austin-area runner was Jeff Sadler, with a 2:48, just 30 seconds ahead of Nora Colligan.  All of the runners I interviewed over the past few weeks had good races.

Nora almost managed a negative split, despite the heat and the late hills.  Here is her summary:

Yeah, the race went pretty much as planned! With the warmer conditions, I think the conservative start played into my favor and left me with a little energy coming out of the hills. Boston is always a fantastic race, extremely well organized with tons of support… and today was no different!

Mercedes Orten ran a 3:27, and wrote the following about her race:

This year was the hardest yet! You can prepare to succeed all you want in the marathon, as I did this year with Trail Roots, and you never know if everything will come together on race day. No matter what, I will always give Boston my all. I am so proud that I was able to hold pace for my 2nd fastest Boston out of 6 consecutive races this Patriot’s Day. Every year presents new opportunities and unknowns, but what I can count on always is this great city, my everlasting awe at this one-of-a-kind event, and of course the special people that I share it with. 3:27:20 in 70+ degrees, direct sun, and blustery wind? I’ll take it! And I’ll be back on April 16, 2018

Matt Fletcher sent me this description and promised a more detailed report for The Interval next week:

The promise of a cool, though not cold, day with a tailwind was a bust — it was full sun and downright warm and the light breeze was often just enough to make the air feel still around you. Thankfully it was dry, however, so sweating did work to cool us, but those not experienced with extra salt intake would suffer dehydration slowdown and have a bad second half.
That proved true for thousands I passed walking or trudging between Newton (MM16) and the finish. It was a 10-15 minute slower race day for most, or worse if you didn’t adjust at the start.

As much as my race mojo eluded me in November and January, it was rockin’ in Boston! My body actually worked Monday and all my training and OCD payed off with a 3:08:58, which is my non-downhill PR on a day where so many suffered. It was “wicked hawd” for sure, but I promised to make it hurt and hurt it did, and it was worth it, and the beers afterwards were heaven-sent… once my stomach would accept them, anyway!
The highlight — getting to share 15 miles of this hallowed course with Michael Woo, my road running mentor and friend, who encouraged me from the day I started running, and who helped me dream of running Boston. Running beside him was an experience I’ll treasure forever.

Upcoming Races

I’m excited to watch the action at the 40th Capitol 10K race this Sunday.  A bunch of my friends are running.  Cate Barrett and Kate Leugers should be near the front of the women’s field.  Erik Stanley should contend in the men’s race.

A couple of my friends actually grew up in Austin and have good memories of the early days of Cap10K.  Scott McIntyre ran in the first edition of the race:

In 1978, I was a high school sophomore. My sister, Laura, was a senior. We both ran track for Anderson. The Capitol 10,000 was the first road race either of us had ever run. Before this, it hadn’t occurred to me there even was such a thing.

The race started on Congress avenue, somewhere around 6th street. Everyone I knew planned to run. I remember hearing there were 5,000 runners that morning. I’d never seen anything like it. Laura and I had no idea where to line up. We tried to start near the front; nearly underneath the banner we believed was the starting line, but when the gun or air horn sounded, we couldn’t move. It took a good 15 seconds before we could start shuffling forward. Lots of pushing and shoving. By the time there was space enough to actually run, it was complete chaos. Everyone was frantically trying to catch up with the leaders. I remember sprinting as fast as I could. Everybody was. Absolutely no notion of pace. Most of us had never done anything like this before. The mob rushed down Congress, hit the trail, and tuned right. Pretty much the entire race was on the Town Lake trail and there wasn’t nearly enough room. Hundreds hit the first footbridge at the same time and I can remember runners crashing through the water to get around the bridge. (The trail system was less developed back then.)

I remember catching up with runners who were now walking, and wondering if this was what you did in 6 mile races. Like most of the runners that day, I went out too fast, but don’t think I ever stopped. The trail never really thinned out. It seemed packed the whole way. I don’t remember any water stops. On the south side of the trail, people were looking down on us and cheering. It was all wildly exciting. With a mile or so to go, I distinctly heard somebody yell “look, it’s the first woman.” I glanced over my shoulder and saw …none other than my own sister. As it turned out, Laura was the first female winner of the Cap10K in 37:45. All three local stations interviewed her afterwards. It was surreal. The next day, the Statesman printed the names of every single finisher.

David Yin also grew up in Austin and he wrote about running the race with his family:

One of the things I love about the Capitol 10,000 is that it is a special tradition for so many families in Austin. I teach high school, and I’m always surprised by the large number of my students who run each year. Nearly all started running or walking with one of their parents or siblings when they were young kids. Some of these kids never run all year except for this one time each spring when they lace up to spend time with their families enjoying the good vibes of Austin.

The Capitol 10,000 is a big event for my family. My dad has run all but one of the previous 39 editions of the race. He has fond memories of the first race when the few hundred participants raced on portions of the Hike and Bike trail. My mom pushed my brother and me in umbrella strollers for my first Cap 10Ks when we were infants and toddlers. Eventually the race directors banned strollers, and my dad shepherded us through the first races that we ran. This past year, my dad initiated my one-year old daughter into the family tradition. Violet completed her first Cap 10,000 in 97 minutes, strapped to my dad in her carrier.

As a young kid, I loved the Capitol 10,000, because it seemed like a big traveling party. In the 80s and 90s, the race started behind the state capitol building, and my family would often head to the start an hour early to take in the energy of the huge crowds. It seemed like all of Austin was running. My dad, brother and I would run across family friends, classmates, old teachers, acquaintances and random exuberant people ready to go. Costumed runners added to the party atmosphere. In the late 80’s and 90s, there were more costumed runners, and many of the costumes wore elaborate, handmade creations. Every year, there was group that ran in a Chinese dragon costume. One year a mime completed the 6.2 mile course walking on his hands.  My brother and I always looked forward to the crest of the hill on 15th St. where my dad would lift us high in the air so that we could see the street ahead and behind us packed with people. We were part of the action! Later in the race when our energy and stamina began to flag, we would look and listen for the marching corps from Fort Hood, the Lackland Air Force Base and the police academy. Their martial chants and tough guy attitudes would inspire my brother and I to slog out another mile or two. My dad preferred the hippie response to the corps, a group of ragtag hippies/rastafarians running in tie-dye shirts, shaking seed-filled coke can rattles and chanting old protest slogans. Eventually, we’d cross the Congress Ave bridge where my mom would be waiting to take our photo each year, and then we’d race down Barton Springs and to the finish on Riverside.

Area Races

The 11th Annual Lockhart Kiwanis 5K Stampede was this past weekend.  Nearly 200 people ran the race on the flat course that starts and finishes in downtown Lockhart.  Carmen Troncoso’s training group dominated the women’s race, as usual, sweeping the top 5, with Mandy Plante running 20:09, followed by Lucy Rojas and Laura Mitchell.  The men’s race was won by River Bailey in 16:54, followed by David Serrato and Dieso Garcia.  Full results are here.

The Ash Dash 5K is a fundraiser for the Austin State Hospital and the course is on the grounds of the complex near 45th and Guadalupe.  268 people finished the race.  The women’s winner was Kaitlyn Johnson in 19:14.  Kimberly Palmer-Contreras was second and Kara Zuspan third.  Mat Miller was the men’s winner, in 16:05.  Dominic Ricci and Luis Gutierrez were also on the podium.  Full results are here.

Interesting News and Articles

This article from iRunFar goes through the calculations for proper hydration and describes the various options for maintaining normal function, even for ultra runners.

You’ll laugh at this article on Trail and Ultra Liars.  (hat tip to Andy Bitner)

The race report from John Kelly, the only finisher of the 2017 Barkley Marathon is a great read.  I’m not at all interested in doing that event…

I have thought about living a vagabond life, just trail running, reading books, and drinking beer.  Morgan Sjogren is living that life and wrote about it for Trail Runner Magazine.

This New York Times article got a lot of coverage:  An Hour of Running May Add 7 Hours to Your Life.  It’s a good analysis of some long-term observational studies.  Unfortunately for most of the people that read The Interval, we’ve already run enough to get the maximum 3 year extension.