Archive for January, 2008

Talk About Unfair Odds!

 

In the land of unfair odds, Eric Herdman (Las Vegas, NV) looked forward to his challenge.  He was faced with a 24 hour race on a treadmill.  Eric wouldn’t be in a fair fight, though.  He would be ganged-up on by a relay team called “Team Many” where 24 athletes from the Snap Fitness Club of Las Vegas, Nevada would give Eric their best shot for one hour each while Eric ran continuously.  The event was to raise money for charity benefiting a friend.  At 12PM PST on Friday, Eric and the first leg of “Team Many” started running.  Eric looked smooth and aggressive and seemed to enjoy the experience.  The event was broadcast on the internet with video and pictures being updated along with race distance of Eric by hour and cumulatively.  While the remainder of us went home on Friday and started the weekend, Eric stayed focused through the night and long into the next day against the host of 24 athletes.  Toward the end, Eric was extremely consistent through the last 10 or so hours even though the fatigue and pain set in and skin on his feet which was reduced to ribbons with blisters.  At the end of the 24 hour period, Eric had come up 27 miles behind—which is just over 1 mile behind each of 24 competitors on average!  Eric’s distance of 123.84 miles was a new PR by just under 7 miles, while it raised $1065.00 for friend Dan Campbell.

She’ll Get the Hang of it

 

Rarely have I met a young athlete who just loves to run as much as Dalton Kuhar (Scottsville, VA).  When you talk about running with Dalton, her face lights up and she smiles and beams with enthusiasm.  While Dalton has done a good bit of running, she hasn’t raced very much.  When her cross country season at the Fuqua School in Farmville, VA ended in late October, she eagerly started her preparation for the indoor season which her school does not compete in.  She trains alone every day.  She said her goal for her sophomore year was to break 13:00 for 2 miles.  She accomplished that the very first time she stepped to the line at the 2 mile at the Fork Union Indoor Invitational on January 12 at the Estes Athletic Center at Fork Union Military Academy.  Dalton toed the line with about 20 other athletes, ranging from state qualifiers to those who, like herself had never run a 2 mile race on the track.  Dalton’s plan was to run a near evenly paced race.  The plan went well, with Dalton slightly ahead of goal pace at half way.  But then Dalton found herself alone, running with a group of faster runners far ahead and a number of slower runners trailing.  For a couple laps, Dalton’s inexperience with racing on a small track with a large number of laps showed through.  With about 800 meters to go, Dalton regained her focus and confidence and ran for the finish line.  She kicked down the final straightaway, passing a couple athletes and pulling much closer to yet others to finish in a new PR of 12:57.  Dalton is capable of much faster as soon as she gets more experience racing and some more training under her belt.

Getting the Hang Quickly

Eric Herdman (Las Vegas, Nevada) owner of the Red Rock Running Company catches on quickly.  At Saturday’s Running From an Angel 50 Mile in Boulder City, Nevada, he realized what “Relax and Run” really means and how effective it can be.  Starting in the wee hours of the morning, the first hour of the race was in the dark in a downpour and 25 mile per hour winds.  Even when day broke, the cloud cover kept the day unusually dark.  The race was a 25 mile out and back with a headwind and rolling hills providing as much challenge as the competitors to a good performance.  A pack of six during the first hour dwindled to a pack of three aggressively pushing the pace.  Eric stayed just off the pack through the turnaround running relaxed and conserving energy in the headwind.  At the turnaround, Eric moved into second place and began to whittle away the gap between himself and the leader.  Climbing a 1.5 mile hill at the 40 mile mark, Eric remained smooth and relaxed and climbed with ease as if it were much earlier in the race.  From 40 miles on Eric said he felt like “a man on a mission” running as hard as he could run all the while maintaining his stride length and cadence.  Eric stormed to the finish line in 2nd place with a new PR by 17 minutes despite the wind shifting and providing a headwind for the second part of the course. 

Nick Whited (Raven, Virginia) mixed it up on a familiar  course at the Frosty 50K in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.  On a road and packed trail course around the perimeter of Salem Lake, Nick found himself feeling out the competition with a pack of 4 after the first 7 miles.  The early pace was aggressive but relaxed and Nick hovered in the 3rd to 4th range overall.  Trying to maintain eye contact with the leaders, Nick went through half way at 1:43:30.  The pace of the leaders proved a bit too aggressive for Nick to contend for the win, but through a strong second half running mostly alone, Nick came home with a time of 3:37:42—A PR by 17 minutes.