Weekend Today: High School XC

photo credit: Gary Paulson

photo credit: Gary Paulson

It has been cold here this February – extremely cold! The average temperature thus far is 9.2 degrees. In fact, the only city that has been colder is Burlington, Vermont (7.7 degrees).

With that being said, Weekend Today is going to provide us with some memories of warmer days – warmer cross country days!

If you follow the blog, you probably know that I often write about the Fayetteville-Manlius cross country teams. Most recently, I highlighted their national championships (plural) at NXN.

The teams have been featured in Runner’s World (on numerous occasions) and The Wall Street Journal.

Now, they will be featured on Weekend Today. Check it out on NBC on Sunday morning!

Speaking of high school XC, do you have any plans to see McFarland USA?

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Pre-Preview: Cayuga Trails 50

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If you found this post while looking for info on Cayuga Trails 50, I recommend you check out the race website or my race report from 2014.

Once again, the race is U.S. 50-Mile Trail Championships. That means an excellent elite field will head to Ithaca, New York for the weekend of May 31st. I know that it seems far off, but it’s only three months away! I’ve broken the field down into geographic regions. At this point, it looks like the East-Coast fields are stacked. However, keep in mind that the race was won last year by two West-Coasters (although neither was originally from the West Coast).

Race registration opened up back in December and I’ve included below a list of prospective Top-10 finishers.

THE GUYS

Team East-Coast
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Cole Crosby – Cole is one of the local favorites. He was seventh last year and he is in a great position for a top-five finish in 2015.

Samuel Jurek – Last year, Sam ran 3:35 for 50k, 6:13 for 50 miles and 16:56 for 100 miles. This is his first trip to Cayuga Trails and it should be interesting to see how he fares.

Tristan Williams – Tristan came in second last year and he ran the fastest split for the second half of the race. At this point, he is the early favorite.

C Fred Joslyn – Fred is a 2:18 marathoner, so speed isn’t an issue. He has done one other ultra and he had modest results. If he gears his training toward the 50-mile distance, Fred will definitely be competitive in the race.

Ryan Paavola – I’m not really familiar with Ryan. However, he has been improving over time and has a decent chance at a top-ten finish.

Michael Daigeaun – Mike had to drop last year due to injury. He will definitely be top-five if he is healthy and he may snag a podium spot.

Ben Nephew – Ben was fifth last year, and he wrote a great race report that is available here. With only one of the top four back so far, Ben looks ready to claim a podium spot in 2015.

Jim Mollosky – Jim was ninth last year. He is another local favorite. Along with Cole, he will probably have spent the most time on the course leading up to race day (if the snow ever melts).

Daven Oskvig – Daven was registered last year but couldn’t compete due to injury. He already ran a 50-miler this year – under 6 hours – in January! He’s obviously in great shape and will finish in the top five if he has a good day.

Iain Ridgway – Iain was 10th last year. I expect him to finish right near there once again.

Aaron Saft – I’m not familiar with Aaron. However, he has some impressive results down in the Asheville area and he may surprise some people out there.

Team Midwest
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Tyler Sigl – Tyler Sigl. I was really excited when I saw this name on the entrant list. Tyler is a 2:17 marathoner and he has gone under 5:30 for 50 miles. Yikes. Apparently, his long runs consist of 30 miles slightly below 6-min/mile pace. He will be near the front of the race for a long time – can he pull off the win?

Chad Trumbo – Chad was eighth last year. He could be top-five material this year.

Team West-Coast
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Yassine Diboun

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THE GALS

Team East-Coast
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Sarah Schlaack – Sarah ran well in 2014. Perhaps she is hitting her ultra stride. Look for her to finish in the top ten.

Jackie Palmer – Jackie was third last year, just behind Krissy Moehl. I think she’s the favorite at this point, although the race is wide open.

Liz Pfleghardt – Liz was third last year at the Green Lakes 100k (12:37:29). She is in a good position to take a top-ten spot.

Kristen Hyer – Kristen is a regular on the CNY ultra scene. She did Cayuga Trails in 2013 (31st female) and 2014 (17th female) and I think 2015 will be the year she cracks the top ten.

Keila Merino – Keila was seventh last year. She’ll definitely be top five this year, and she may be able to snag a podium spot.

Stacia Broderick – Stacia will definitely be running at or near the front. She has a packed resume, including a 7:39 50-miler at Stone Cat. Along with Jackie, she is a pre-race favorite.

Laura Kline -Laura has gone 4:09 for 50k – that’s fast! She ran JFK in the fall but had to pull out due to injury. Cayuga Trails will be her first 50-mile finish. Look for her to grab a podium spot.

Jade Mills – Jade seems to enjoy tough races. The harder it is, the better she does. She may be able to crack the top ten.

Team Midwest
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Team West-Coast
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Amanda Brown – Amanda was ninth at The North Face championships in December (she was only five minutes back of Alicia Shay who finished sixth). As of right now, she’s the only elite West-Coaster in the field. I wonder if she’ll think Ithaca is gorges…

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Yassine Diboun, Amy Rusiecki and Krissy Moehl will miss this year’s race because they’ll be in France for IAU World Ultra Trail Championships (I’m assuming Brian Rusiecki will also miss the race).

The current entrant list for Cayuga Trails 50 is available here.

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World Records!



The News

A pair of world records went down last week. Genzebe Dibaba (shown above) set a new indoor mark in the 5000m. She clocked 14:18.86, besting the old mark by more than five seconds! She essentially ran the race alone – second place was more than a minute back and Dibaba lapped the entire field. Genzebe’s older sister Tirunesh currently holds the outdoor world record (14:11.15). Can these remarkable sisters push the mark under 14 minutes?

Meanwhile, stateside, Mo Farah set the indoor mark in the two-mile. His time of 8:03.40 bested Kenenisa Bekele’s time by about a second. Farah’s second mile was under 4 minutes. In the same race, Bernard Lagat set a Master’s world record (8:17:05).



Upcoming Races

The last indoor track meet of the year is on March 14th. I’m planning on running the 3000m again. So far this year, I’ve run 9:49 and 9:41, respectively. I’d like to go under 9:35. That would be a nice progression, and it would leave me in good shape for road/trail season.

My Training

Training is going as well as could be expected. It is still freezing – and I mean freezing! It was -5F when I got to work this morning and it hasn’t been warming up much during the day. Nearly all of my runs have been done with negative wind chills. Quite frankly, it sucks! Spring, if you’re out there, hurry up!!

With that being said, I’m still about 5% ahead of last year in terms of mileage.

Keep running!!

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Hoka One One Constant Review

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Hoka currently provides the largest offering of maximalist shoes. With that being said, Hoka does not offer very many wide shoes. Up to this point, the Mafate 3 is really the only shoe that could fit someone with a wider-than-average foot. Until now.

The Constant is a bit wider. It certainly would not fit someone who ordinarily wears a 4E, but it might fit someone who wears a 2E.

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It has a decent design and is generally well made. The tongue is seamless on one side, which provides a comfortable fit but allows for some adjustment. The shoe wraps the foot, which provides a decent, supportive feel. As stated above, there is a wider toebox (but I’m still waiting for Hoka to make shoes in widths).

The shoe has a 33mm heel and a 29mm forefoot – a 4mm drop.

The size 10 weighed in at 11 ounces – not bad!

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The shoe has a satisfactory sole. The grooves are deeper than many other Hoka models. I think that makes this shoe perfect for roads and some gentle trails. The shoe retails for $160 on Running Warehouse – ouch!

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Pros:

– design
– comfortable fit
– wider toebox
– seamless fit
– supportive fit
– decent sole

Cons:

– cost
– too heavy for racing
– still not that wide

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Back On The Trail…

Left: Back on the trail Right: "Terminator Arm" after two rattlesnake bites photo credits: Jenn Thompson

Left: Back on the trail
Right: “Terminator Arm” after two rattlesnake bites
photo credits: Jenn Thompson

Last summer, I remember hearing the story of Jenn Thompson, the ultra runner who was bitten by a rattlesnake (twice) and was fighting for her life.

It is an unbelievable story. Jenn documented it on her blog and it is an amazing read. I highly recommend it.

This week, I also listened to a podcast with Jenn. Disclaimer: If you listen to the podcast, you will cry.

I don’t want to give too many spoilers, but the story goes something like this: Jenn was out doing a 15-mile run. With 4 miles to go, a bike approaching from the opposite direction kicked up a rattlesnake that bit Jenn twice. It took her approximately one hour to get to a medical facility with anti-venom. By this point, she was dying.

“During the precious 28 minutes of waiting for an ambulance to find its way out onto the trail to get me, I called my parents to hear their voices one last time and listed my children’s names and their schools so that someone else could go and pick them up.”

At the hospital:

“I couldn’t use my limbs. I couldn’t feel any normal sensation. My throat felt closed off. I was vomiting. Powerful, horrifying “fasciculations” or convulsions of the muscles were happening all over me. My leg, then my diaphragm… then my stomach. Then I would vomit again **Her blood pressure is falling, she’s 51/26 now** Please don’t let me die alone.”

Okay, enough spoilers – read the story here. Listen to the story here. It’s unreal.

On a related note, I’m scared of snakes. I always have been and I’m guessing that I always will be. Fortunately, there aren’t particularly dangerous snakes around here. In fact, the only snakes I usually see are water snakes, which are a decent size (usually two or three feet) but basically harmless.

With that being said, I was recently looking at races and I spotted this picture from the Eastern States 100. This race is in Central Pennsylvania, about three hours from where I live.

Eastern States 100 (Central Pennsylvania) photo credit: Mike Romano

Eastern States 100 (Central Pennsylvania)
photo credit: Mike Romano

Apparently, just a few miles from the end of the race, the runners passed a rattlesnake den. W.T.F. Well, I guess I can cross that race off my list.

Any phobias that you would like to share?

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Salomon S-Lab X-Series Review

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Salomon has provided some nifty information on “City Trails” and now they have a shoe to back it up. The Salomon S-Lab X-Series has a similar feel to the S-Lab Sense 3 Ultra, but it is definitely geared more to the road.

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The Contragrip in the sole is excellent for making tight turns and I wouldn’t anticipate any slipping. In fact, the sole is my favorite thing about the shoe! The shoe is excellent quality and has a stylish design.

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The shoe has a 23mm heel and a 15mm forefoot – an 8mm drop.

It uses the Salomon quicklace system for easy adjustments.

The size 10 weighed in at 8.6 ounces. I thought it felt similiar to my current road racing shoe. It’s actually .4 ounces lighter!

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It’s not all roses. This shoe retails for $160 on Running Warehouse and Zappos.

Pros:

– quality
– fit
– weight
– sole
– design

Cons:

– cost

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Movie Review: MUT Runner

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In the Fall of 2014, Sage Canaday launched his first full-length (34min) feature film called MUT Runner. MUT (mountain-ultra-trail) Runner is filled with beautiful scenery, great music (primarily from Matt Flaherty) and informative short interviews.

People featured in the movie include Bryon Powell (iRunFar), Rob Krar, Timothy Olson, Max King, Buzz Burrell (Ultimate Direction), Anna Frost, Cassie Scallon, Dakota Jones, Michele Yates, Stephanie Howe…

The focus of the film is the evolution of MUT running. There are discussions on prize money, the level of competition, faster times, performance-enhancing drugs and more.

The Good
– the scenery
– the music
– the short interviews

The Bad
– the cost
– limited content

If you are interested in trail running and ultras, this is definitely a movie for you.

MUT Runner is available here.

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