Neal finished 26th in a time of 8:04 at the North Face 50 Mile championships on December 5 in Marin County, north of San Francisco. The top male, Uli Steidl, ran 6:33 and the top female, Caitlin Smith, finished in 7:38. This race, criticized in past years for poor course marking and lots of hype, offers $15,000.00 to the top three men and women finishers. Review of this years race on Andy Jones-Wilkins blog | Race Results
We had 27 participants in this year's version of Vicki's Death March. This was a very nice turnout for the first Friday edition of the run. In years past, the VDM has generally been on a Thanksgiving weekend Saturday or Sunday. Looks like there are enough club members more interested in the mountain trails than in participating in the "Black Friday" sales at the malls to continue the Friday date in the years to come.
The terms of office of the members of the current VHTRC board expire on December 31. Three of the five members are not running for reelection. We need qualified people to step forward to lead the club.
There were a number of big stories at this year's running of The Ring in the Massanutten Mountains, held as per tradition on Labor Day weekend. The course has never been tougher, with the runners encountering not just the usual rocks, but also heat, humidity, spider webs, flying and biting insects, and overgrowth in abundance from this wet summer. It was a fair challenge for the 43 starters, a challenge that only 47% were able to complete this year.
Congratulations to Danny Mowers, who for the second year in a row ran away from the rest of a strong field with an overall win at The Ring. This year Danny finished in a time of 16:03, which was very impressive under the conditions.
Gilbert Gray won the Cyprus Ultra 135 on Cyprus. He was the only finisher. The event is a 15-lap run in heat and humidity. It appears that no one had finished it before Gilbert did. Gilbert also finished MMT in May, and Western States in June. Event Web site | Results (on Twitter)
VHTRC members Brad Hinton and Sheri Fiolek swept the top honors at the inaugural running of the Cacapon 12 Hour trail event in West Virginia on Sunday July 21. Brad was the overall winner, and Sheri was the top woman finisher in this race. More information should eventually be posted here: Race web site
A large group of VHTRC runners traveled to Silverton, Colorado for the Hardrock 100. This year, the course ran counterclockwise, which is considered by many veterans the harder direction. Jack Kurisky led the Blue Train finishers with a 40:02 finish. Bob Combs, Tom Simonds, Steve Pero, Jeff Holdaway, and Deb Pero also finished, and Brad Koenig became the first New Jersey resident to not only finish Hardrock (which he did in 2012), but also the first to complete both directions. Results
In temperatures that reached triple digits along the course, Oregonian and VHTRC member Amy Sproston finished atop the Western States women's podium for a third place finish in 19:25. Mike Morton, who started his ultra career 19 years ago with great runs at JFK, MMT, and Bull Run, was third male in 15:45, only five minutes off his WS course record from 1997. The heat took its toll on the field, as the only other Blue Train runners who finished were John Shepherd in 27:25, Linda Gaudette in 28:42, and Tom Green in 29:52. WS live updates
On March 5, we noted that the bluebells are popping out of the ground at Bull Run Regional Park - the upstream turnaround of Bull Run Run. In a month they should have flowers. We also noted extensive deer trails and a very interesting carcass. We have sent these to Gary for interpretations. Photos (warning the carcass, which is the last one, is gross)
Robin Watkins reports: "Adam Watkins finished the Iditarod Trail Invitational yesterday. The 350 mile trek across the moonscapes of Alaska, from Willow to McGrath, saw temperatures dip to -20 deg F and Adam finished in 6 days 22 hours 30 min in 5th place in the foot division. He 'blogged' from his satellite phone and you can see more information about the race. For the ITI, racers are invited to travel 350 or 1000 miles by foot, ski or bike. Video of the start - Adam coming into view around 0:20 and the camera moves with him to the end of the shot. WOOOhooo!!!!"