The Interval, 4/12/17

Some Austin-area trail runners made the drive up to Waco this past weekend to race in the Toughest N’ Texas events, ranging from 50K down to 5K.  The trails in Cameron Park are excellent, with a lot of variety packed into a small area.  The 50K race was a duel between Austinites Anthony Jacobs and Steven Moore.  Jabobs maintained a lead throughout and finished in 5:02, with Moore just a few back in 5:09.  Full results for all events are here.  I emailed a bit with Jacobs about the race:

1. I’ve run a couple of shorter races in Cameron Park and enjoyed the trails. How did you like the course? Your elevation change was surprising to me…

The race itself was pretty unrelenting in terms of the intestinal way the tightly packed course was laid out as well as constant up and down. There was never a climb sustained over 100 feet up or down, but it was often at a high grade. The way I’d describe it to people is a smooth terrain like Walnut Creek here in Austin combined with the chippy elevation gain of Bull Creek. Enjoyable and unique course.

2. From the splits, it looked like Steven Moore kept it fairly close, but you were always ahead by a few minutes. Were you pushing the pace or waiting to react if anyone came up on you?

The way I was running was mostly reactionary, trying to keep something in the tank in the case I was happened upon.

3. What is your training focus for the next couple of months?

I’m tempted to run a few more races such as the marathon at Texas Switchback, but I’m trying to focus on a mileage base from here till The Bear. We shall see.

Thanks to Anthony.  If you run any of the trails around the Bull Creek area you have a good chance of spotting him as he trains for The Bear 100 in September.  This race in the Wasatch mountains of Utah has over 22,000 feet of climbing in 100 miles.

Over 2,900 people competed in the sixth and final running of the Austin 10/20.  Brom Hoban, writing for the Statesman, covers the reasons the event is winding down, including increased expenses for the use of the route at the Domain.  I think the 10 mile distance is great for road racing and this race was one of the few, if not the only, race at that distance on the local schedule.  With $5000 in prize money, the Austin 10/20 attracted a strong field of fast runners from outside of Austin.  The Statesman has coverage of these results.  For the local runners, I picked out a few special performances:

  • Kate Leugers:  local wonen’s winner, 1:05, 6:30 pace
  • Chris De La Ronde, women’s masters winner, age 59, 7:12 pace
  • Kevin Kimbell:  men’s masters winner in 57:12, 5:43 pace
  • John Potts:  Third in men’s masters at age 59, 6:25 pace

With the Boston Marathon on Monday there have been a flood of interesting articles about this great race:

  • Inspiring article on Katherine Switzer, the first woman to run Boston in 1967 and an entrant in the race this year, from Runner’s World.
  • Ben Beach is about to run his 50th consecutive Boston, also from Runner’s World.
  • Excellent article on the 1951 race, which was won by Shigeki Tanaka, who witnessed the aftermath of the Hiroshima atomic bombing, from Let’s Run. (hat tip to David Yin)

If you are still working out your race strategy, take the time to listen to episode #14 of the Running Rogue podcast.  The most recent episode, #17, has some great Boston stories as well.  It’s available from most podcast distributors and directly at this site. (hat tip to Matt Fletcher)

My last pre-Boston interview is with Nora Colligan.  She’s one of the fastest women in Boston and is coming off of her second place finish at the 3M Half Marathon this January.  Nora was a college runner at Northwestern and is now working as an engineer at Samsung.  She ran in the US Olympic Marathon Trials in early 2016 and her marathon PR is 2:44.  Nora answered the following questions by email:

1. Is this your first Boston Marathon and did you get your BQ at the Olympic marathon trials in 2016?

This will be my 4th Boston and my BQ time is from my Olympic Trials qualifier at CIM (Sacramento) 2015.

2. Will you be in the elite start group at Boston?

No, I will be starting in the 10am start with wave one.

3. The trials marathon was a bit more than a year ago, have you been doing any racing since then?

I raced the Daisy 5K last spring as part of a Rogue team, which was a nice change from marathoning! Last fall, I dealt with some minor nagging issues and then raced 3M in January as part of the Boston buildup.

4. Describe your running community.

I train with Team Rogue under coach Steve Sisson. The group is a fantastic group of adults who are all extremely dedicated to accomplishing their running goals. We also like to have fun outside of our workouts!

5. What was your approach to training for Boston and how did it go?

My approach was to get as many miles as I could without getting injured. My training hasn’t gone exactly to plan, I came down with the flu right before the Austin marathon that lingered and triggered another cold after. None of these things completely stopped my training and I’ve been able to get back on track in the last month, but I’ll probably have a slightly more conservative approach to the start of the race because of this. The good news is that I’m healthy and will make it to the starting line in one piece!

6. What excites you about this race?

Boston is always an exciting and special race whether or not I’m running it. The course has amazing support but yet is challenging enough that it breaks the best of us. My last couple of Boston races have been pretty disappointing and I wanted to come back this year to change that.

Best of luck to Nora and the other Boston racers I’ve interviewed over the past few weeks.  I plan to check in with Mercedes, Bonnie, Matt, and Nora after the race and will post their reactions.  I hope the conditions are like 2011!

Interesting News and Articles

Jim Walmsley punched his Golden Ticket for the 2017 Western States 100 with another dominating performance.  Running the Gorge Waterfalls 100K in Oregon, Walmsley ran 8:20, nearly an hour ahead of Ben Koss, and shattered the course record by 49 minutes.  Full results are here.  Speculation on Let’s Run is that Walmsley could run sub-14 at WS100.  The course record is 14:46 by Tim Olson in 2012.  Walmsley was on track for a course record last year, but took a wrong turn at 93 miles.

The Nike 2 hour marathon attempt will be held in Monza, Italy around May 6.  The exact time will be set based on weather modeling.  The event will be streamed live, details to follow.  Coverage from Runner’s World.

Upcoming Races

This race is somewhat close to Austin, the Kiwanis Stampede 5K in Lockhart.  I’ve run it a couple times and it is a fun event.  The course is flat and fast and you get cowbells for overall and age-group placings.  Carmen Troncoso generally brings a good crowd of fast Austin runners from her training group.  You can still sign up, drive out on Saturday for the race, and stay for a BBQ lunch.  Race website.