Weekend Preview

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This weekend, there are two very different ultramarathons taking place over 3,000 miles apart. In fact, one of them is just about to get started today (but will continue into the weekend)!

Rocky Raccoon 100

Rocky Raccoon 100 starts Saturday morning in Huntsville, Texas. This year, it will be the USATF 100-mile Trail Championship. Rocky Raccoon is fast! In 2011, Ian Sharman ran 12:44:33 – the fastest ever 100-mile trail run in the United States (7:38/mile). I expect Ian to take the win this weekend, but his record is likely safe. With that being said, you just never know in a hundred miler!

In 2007, at Rocky Raccoon, Jenn Shelton ran 14:57:18 – the women’s U.S. 100-mile trail record (8:58/mile). I believe that record will fall this weekend. Pam Smith and Michele Yates are both running and either one of them could take it.

The conditions at Rocky won’t be ideal – it’s going to be a little on the warm side and there’s a chance of rain:

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Be sure to check out www.irunfar.com for raceday coverage.

Yukon Arctic Ultra

Meanwhile, over 3,000 miles away, the Yukon Arctic Ultra is just about underway. The race starts just north of Whitehorse, Yukon Territory – where exactly is that?

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The race includes a 100-mile option and a 300-mile option (every other year, there is also a 430-mile option). You may compete in this ultra on foot, using a bike or using cross country skis. There is no prize money and checkpoints are anywhere from 26 to 44 miles apart. Last year, the 100-mile (running) race was won by a pair of Italians – they both ran 24:35!! The 300-mile (running) race was won by a Swiss gentleman named Otmar Flepp – his time was 6 days, 2 hours, 22 minutes. Nicole Dörr, a German, was the only other finisher – her time was 7 days, 7 hours, 40 minutes.

While Rocky Raccoon is a very fast course, I’m pretty sure the Yukon Arctic Ultra wins on scenery:

photo credit: Martin Hartley

photo credit: Martin Hartley

photo credit: Martin Hartley

photo credit: Martin Hartley

photo credit: Martin Hartley

photo credit: Martin Hartley

Interestingly, this race is cold – but not that cold! In fact, the starting line this year had to be moved nearly twenty miles to the north because of problems caused by melt. Last week, the temperature in Whitehorse hit a record high of nearly 44 degrees. However, the next few days, it will be a little on the “cooler” side.

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8 Responses to Weekend Preview

  1. Great post! We knew about the upcoming Rocky Raccoon but had NO IDEA about the Yukon Arctic ultra. That looks unreal!

    • Jason says:

      Thanks! What races are next for you two?

      • We’ve got the Surf City Marathon (won’t push it since I’m still recovering), then we’ve got the Old West Trails 50K in March and I have Oriflamme 50K in April, PCT 50-miler in May and the San Diego 100 in June!

        Going to be a busy few months. How about you?!

      • Jason says:

        Awesome – that’s a busy racing calendar! The weather here is still terrible so right now I’m doing anything from 5ks to half marathons when I can. My first bigger race of the year will be a ten-miler in early May followed by the Cayuga Trails 50 in June (my first fifty miler). I can’t wait!

      • I just checked out the Cayuga Trails 50 and … WOW! That looks like an amazing, AMAZING course! Best of luck on all the upcoming races! Looking forward to following the training and recaps!

  2. as much as i love me some pam smith i’m going to go ahead and say michelle yates would have a better chance at snagging that record. girl crushed it last year! it was so awesome getting to see her run at run rabbit run 100 last year while pacing a friend! she had the music blaring & was rocking some bear bells! yes, bear bells are really a thing.

    also, you forgot to mention the sean o’brien 50 miler!!!! the dudes field is SO STACKED and i think cassie scallon is going to CRUSH the women’s field!

    just my thoughts 🙂

    fun post & great photos!

  3. Those races are incredible! So is your race schedule, wow.

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