Howdy! I hope you had a great weekend. Here are a few stories from the last couple of days – some pretty interesting stuff that you definitely won’t see on ESPN!
Jenn Shelton has been on a mission to run the FKT (fastest known time) on the John Muir Trail (read about it here). She finished the 220-mile trail in approximately 4 days, 9 hours. This was not the FKT, but it is still a major accomplishment. To check out the FKTs on the John Muir Trail, click here.
The Commonwealth Games were this weekend and the men’s marathon was won by an Australian! Michael Shelley ran 2:11:15. He used a surge around 35k to drop Kenyan runner Steven Chemlany. Chemlany, who has a PR of 2:06:24, finished second, 43 seconds back.
For me, this was the story of the weekend. Steve Way was 33 years old, 230 pounds and smoking about a pack of cigarettes a day. Steve said:
“I needed to find something I could focus all my attention on that was going to help me lose weight and keep me off the cigarettes. In order to bury your vices, you need to find an equal and opposite addiction. You need to find passion.”
In 2006, he signed of for the London Marathon, trained for a few weeks and ran a little over three hours for the race – not bad! After that, he didn’t do much for a year and a half. Then, he started training again. Seven months later, he ran 2:35:26 in the London Marathon and finished 100th overall.
In this year’s London Marathon, Steve started behind the elite field but managed to move up throughout the race, and he finished 16th overall in 2:16:27 – he qualified for the Commonwealth Games by 33 seconds. Amazingly, the London Marathon was not his goal race! Steve was trying to set the national mark in the 100km – which he did. In May, he ran 6:19:19 for 62+ miles (6:06/mile).
Finally, this weekend, Steve (now 40 years old) had a go at the Commonwealth Games. He took the lead early on (because why the heck not?!) and ultimately finished 10th in 2:15:16. It was a personal best and the fastest time ever by a British athlete over the age of 40.
What is next for the former overweight smoker? Only time will tell!
Tereza Master, of Malawi, also ran the marathon at the Commonwealth Games. She finished 15th overall and set a national record of 2:50:54. Oh, and she ran barefoot!
In the past, Tereza has been critical of the goverment and the Athletics Association of Malawi, stating that the athletes are not getting adequate support. To her point, prize money at the national cross country event in Malawi ranged from $29 to $115. The athletes did not have uniforms and most did not have shoes.
Perhaps her performance at the Commonwealth Games will provide the impetus for change.
Bruno Brunod, a two-time Skyrunning World Champion and a legend in the sport, was in action over the weekend. The 51-year-old Italian who still holds many ascent/descent records placed 6th in the Cervino Vertical Kilometer.
Elise Cranny & Alexa Efraimson
At the 2014 IAAF World Junior Championships, Elise Cranny placed 4th in the Women’s 1500m (4:12.82) and Alexa Efraimson placed 6th (4:13:31). Dawit Seyaum, of Ethiopia, won the race in 4:09.86).
Emelie Forsberg & Kilian Jornet
Finally, Emelie Forsberg and Kilian Jornet will be acting as race directors in September (they will also be running, according to Forsberg). The race will take place in Tromso, Norway. The Skyrace (42km) has 4300m of vertical and the Mini Skyrace (19km) has 1600m of vertical.
However, if you’re not already signed up, you’re out of luck. The 2014 race sold out in 5 minutes!!
You’re all caught up!! How was your weekend? Did you do anything fun?