The first Austin Mile Challenge was held early on Saturday morning at the Austin High track. The event was a fundraiser for the Back the Track group and benefits their efforts to improve the most popular track in Austin. Check the website for results, photos, and very cool drone videos.
One crowd favorite was Chance Henderson of the Austin Police Department, who ran his 6:29 mile in full uniform, including a bullet-proof vest.
A bunch of kids ran, with some potential next-gen elites Beau Berry, daughter of Des Ficker Berry, and Grace Tuhabonye, daughter of Gilbert Tuhabonye.
The elite women’s race was won by Sarah Lancaster, in 5:05. She was followed by Laura Mitchell in 5:49 and Caroline Newman Phillips in 5:55. Carmen Troncoso (check her interview in last weeks’ edition of The Interval) was fourth in 5:58.
Laura answered a couple questions by email:
Armadillo Running: You’re a big fan of track and field and Leo Manzano was standing on the first turn. What was it like for you racing a mile on the track?
Laura Mitchell: I love all things track and field. I love watching it as well as training and competing. In fact, I was there in London 2012 to watch Leo get the silver medal. It’s always nice to have Leo a part of the race and supporting an event that is going to keep Austin High Track going is even better. Ever since my coach, Carmen Troncoso, told me that I could compete in Masters Indoor and Outdoor track as early as age 30, whenever there is a mile race out there, I always like to run in it. I used to race the old Congress Ave Mile, but now whenever I hear about a track meet going down or a mile race being put on I like to support. I hadn’t raced a mile since March, but I couldn’t skip an opportunity to support a track that has given me so much over the years.
AR: It looked like you were running even splits until the last lap and then you picked it up. Was that your plan?
Laura Mitchell: Thanks, the plan was to not get caught up in going out too fast, but to run even splits at what I had been training at and then to slowly ratchet down the pace when we came down to the business of racing.
Having my coach in the race with me made it interesting, as I thought we would be about the same pace, and sure enough halfway through, she was right there (Think Jedi Master vs the Young Jedi). I noticed after 800m, we were a few seconds off and that I would need to pick it up…coach made a slight move at around 850m so I covered and luckily squeezed by her and a runner that we were coming up on just as we hit 900m. In hindsight, I should have moved a bit earlier to keep from getting almost boxed there. At this point I felt pretty good, so I just pressed on the gas ever so slightly down the back stretch managing to pass a few runners and gaining momentum. Once I hit the bell lap (the crowd was also helping), I picked it up and with good form was able to turnover till the finish. I am glad to support the track that has given me so much. I’ve really grown on this track, one could say it’s as if it were a family member.
Thanks and congratulations to Laura.
The men’s elite race was interesting. In an earlier heat Keino Josephat ran an impressive 4:33, up on his toes and unfolding his long legs, speeding down the track in huge strides. He joined the field of the elite race at the last moment and we thought he was going to win again. It turned out he was the “rabbit” and took the field through 800 in about 2:15 and then dropped out. Mike Kuvach took over from there, going all out to finish in 4:21. Steven Grousnick was second in 4:32 and Collin Smith was third in 4:41.
Kurvach, readers of The Interval may remember, tied for the win at the last Cap’n Karl’s 60K just 3 weeks ago. Dude can run anything. I think we need to hold a 400 meter hurdles race next week.
The 100th running of the monthly Vern’s No Frills 5K was also on Saturday. Bill Schroeder was expecting 400-500 entrants but about 675 showed up. A fast group of 3 men took out the course record, previously 15:20. Alfred Kiplagat ran 14:53, closely followed by Will Nation in 14:58 and JT Sullivan in 15:18. The women’s race was won by Krianne McBride in 19:10. Anyanna Donwerth was second in 20:34 and Anna Gaethe third in 20:37. Full results are here.
In the department of Flatlanders Doin’ Werk, first take a few minutes to read this race report from Mallory Brooks and Allison Macsas on their Wonderland Trail FKT.
More “werk” from a couple of my TrailRoots running pals. First, Patrick Creel, following on his Bryce Canyon 100 miler a few months ago, completed the Squamish 50 mile race. This event, in the mountains just north of Vancouver BC, has over 11,000 feet of climbing. Next, Dennis Runyon finished the Leadville 100 mile trail run. Dennis and his pacer, Joel Stanford, braved freezing temperatures during the night at altitude. Hard to train for that in the Texas summer…
The Leadville 100 was won, for the fourth time, by Ian Sharman in 17:34. The women’s winner was Devon Yanko in 20:46. Coverage by iRunFar. Remarkably, Michael Wardian finished Leadville in 20:18, 10th place, and then drove to Manitou Springs to start the Pike’s Peak Marathon about 9 hours later. He finished that race in 6:02. Dude. Coverage by Trail Runner.
The track and field season is winding down, with a couple Diamond League races remaining in Zurich this weekend and Brussels next week. The fall marathon season will be starting soon, with Berlin and Chicago coming up in late September and early October, respectively.
When you see people running on a TV show or a movie do you think “I’m faster than that guy?” A favorite show is This is Us and a couple of the main characters went on a run in an episode and I spent the whole time critiquing their gear and form. Turns out Sterling Brown is a good runner.
More TV news (OK, I admit I have a problem), this group in Italy staged an ultramarathon where the runners followed a truck with a screen showing all of the Game of Thrones episodes. I like the show, but this sounds like a bad combination of entertainment options.
I found that last item from the vlog MTN Outhouse, check it out.
I’ve mentioned before the use of the Strava Heatmap to help find good running routes while traveling. Runner’s World used Strava data to look at some running demographics. Austin makes the top 10 in most categories.
The last of the 4 Capt’n Karl’s trail events is this weekend at Reveille Peak Ranch. From the series standings, it looks like Pieter Steenkamp and Casey Ulman have big leads for the 60K series. Similar for the 30K series with Shawn Griffin and Brittany Hamilton. The 10K series is a bit closer: Ester Beachy has a 5 minute lead over Airon Andrews, and John Soltau is 9 minutes ahead of Adam Allan.