The Interval, 1/3/18

Dan Hannon, Brent Katz, and Matt Fletcher toasting with FireBall at the Rogue Black Eyed Pea Run. Photo by Sam LaBrie.

I like running in the cold so the last couple weeks have been great.  For TrailRoots, we had a workout on the track last night, a simple fartlek.  Running at 28F made it unusual, almost like we were doing something against the rules.

I hope many of you got in a good run on New Year’s.  I joined a couple hundred who did the 3, 5, 7, or 10 mile Black Eyed Pea routes from Rogue Running.  Chris McClung sent us off at about 8:30 into a headwind as we went past the Rock and up to Tarrytown.  The 10 mile route crossed MoPac at Westover then meandered to Shoal Creek before hitting UT and heading back to Rogue on Congress.  Rogue and their sponsors had a couple of water stops on the course and then the traditional mimosas and black eyed peas at the finish.  I saw lots of familiar faces, running pals I might not have seen since the last Black Eyed Pea Run.

Chris McClung of Rogue sending us out for the Black Eyed Pea Run. Photo by Sam LaBrie.

I spent a few minutes after the run looking around the Rogue store, now managed by JackRabbit.  The inventory and selection are much increased.  It was hard to get a feel for the service level given the crowd, but I expect that has remained solid.

The new running store in town, The Loop, has opened.  Early word is that the selection and service is great.  I’ll check it out soon.  They are having a grand opening block party this Saturday.

One of my closest running pals, Jose Moreno, was visiting his family in southeastern Spain over the holidays and ran in a race in Murcia on New Year’s Eve.  Jose said “It was a great event with over 5000 runners in a 6.5K race. I ended up on 193th position with a time of 27 min exactly… The winner did 19:42… of course, he was from Morocco…  The best is the music, atmosphere and running through the old city area with people cheering like crazy.”  I think we should send more Austinites to Murcia for New Year’s Eve 2018.

New Year’s Eve in Murcia, Spain. Photo courtesy of Jose Moreno.
Lead runners at the Murcia 6.5K. Photo courtesy of Jose Moreno.
Jose Moreno (white) racing in Murcia. Photo courtesy of Jose Moreno.

I missed this news in the last issue of The Interval:  the elite field for the Austin Marathon is almost set.  High Five Events has increased the prize money and they are attracting a bigger field of elites.  The 2017 winners, Allison Macsas and Joe Thorne, will be back, but they will have more competition.  A couple dozen runners will vie for the $15K in prize money, with $3K going to each of the winners.  Thorne won in 2017 with a 2:32 and it looks like the winner this year should be sub-2:20, with several runners having PRs in the 2:13 to 2:15 range.  Similarly, Macsas won with a 2:48 last year and she’ll be competing with women who’ve run under 2:35.

I’ll be at the Bandera Endurance Run on Saturday, volunteering at an aid station.  Many of my TrailRoots pals are racing the 25K, 50K, or 100K.  The event is once again a Golden Ticket Race, with the top 2 men and women getting bids for the Western States 100 in June.  Check out the iRunFar coverage of the elite field.  Notable is Camille Herron, who placed second at Bandera last January, the start of an incredible year in which she won the Comrades Marathon and set a 100 mile world record.

I made some decisions about my racing schedule for the next 6 months.  I’ll try to get in 4 races for the Texas Trail Championships, each of these will be less than 50K.  I’ve entered the Marin Ultra Challenge 50K in March.  I love the smooth trails, big climbs, and incredible views in this great area just north of San Francisco.  I’ll also run the monthly Vagabond Time Trials from Spectrum.  Damn, that sounds like too much racing…

Interesting Articles

Yuki Kawauchi broke the record for most sub 2:20 marathons in style, running 2:18 in a small race in Massachusetts for his 76th.  The temps were close to zero: be sure to watch the short video clip of him slipping on the icy track at the finish.  An incredible feat.  He also has the record for most sub 2:12 marathons with 25.  Coverage from Let’s Run.

A wonderful photo gallery on 2017, from Strava.

A recap of the top trail running feats from 2017, from Trail Runner.

Upcoming Races

As I mentioned above, I’ll be at Bandera on Saturday.  It’s really the marquee event for trail runners in the Hill Country.  Put it on your list for 2019.

Road runners are putting in their final workouts before the Houston Marathon on January 14 and the 3M Half Marathon on January 21.