Archive for June, 2008

A Picture Was Worth 30 Minutes

Amy “Flame” Brown (Chapel Hill, NC) had a picture in her mind on Saturday at the Highland Sky 40 Mile in Davis, West Virginia.  The picture included her crossing the finish line under a clock with her finish time.  She kept this vision throughout the race where the lead number on the clock was an “8” and not a “9” in the “hours” position.  Over 40 miles of rocky, technical trail, steep uphills and downs, short sections of gravel, dirt, and paved roads– while Amy paid attention, she kept the vision imprinted in her mind.  Being a lover of rocky, technical trails, and given an overcast day as a respite from the brutal heat that had overtaken the East Coast over the past 10+ days, Amy embraced the chance to go run as hard as she could in what she considers ‘perfect conditions’.  In the zone over the last 10 miles, even when challenged by another competitor who she had periodically switched positions with, Amy decided she wasn’t going to be outrun to the finish by her.  Despite the grueling trail portion for the first 36 miles, Amy still was able to push strong to the finish on the final road segment.  She crossed the finish line in 8:33:41, not only realizing her premonition, but annihilating her previous best time on the course by a full 30 minutes!  Amy finished as 8th female overall.

We should have asked her for this weekend’s lottery numbers.

Change Is Not Always Bad 

After a strong training phase, Nick Whited (Raven, VA) had thoughts of rewriting the course record at the Varmint Half Marathon in Burke’s Garden, VA.  As race day approached, and temperatures in the East were as high as the humidity, the race plan was rewritten and Nick went for the win instead of potentially sacrificing himself under those conditions.  For near 7 miles, Nick stayed with the pack, even after one runner stretched a 15 second lead from 5 miles.  At 8 miles, Nick caught the leader and “dropped the hammer” with a surge that proved unmatchable by any other competitor.  Nick cruised to the finish unchallenged in 1:22:55—a PR on that course by 60 seconds and 90 seconds ahead of the second place finisher.

Sometimes You Gotta Crawl 

Helene Strutko (Harvey’s Lake, PA) finished 4th overall female and 2nd in the 20-29 age group at Mt. Carmel, PA’s Strip Mine 9- 9 mile trail race last Saturday.  The race was appropriately named as it would along trails through and old strip mine.  Some of the climbs required going up “on all fours” and the footing was tough with rocks, gravel, and loose screed.  There was also no shortage of mud or steep down hills.  Helene was just less than 2 ½ minutes behind the age group champion.

Not Afraid to Mix it Up 

On an 85 degree, near 100% humidity, Friday night, Anne Lundblad (Swannanoa, NC) ran Black Mountain’s Rock 2 Rock– a race that was neither her typical terrain nor distance.  Anne is multiple-time US National Champion at ultra-marathon distances and Runner-up at the 2005 100 Kilometer World Championship and 2006 50 Mile Trail World Champion.  But, last Friday night Anne ran a 10K mountain race—6.2 miles of rocky, gnarly, single track and ATV trail straight uphill.  Showing no fear, but just an intense competitive side, Anne held her own finishing 3rd behind a member of the US Women’s Mountain Running Team, and an 800/1500 meter specialist fresh off a collegiate track season.  She was first Master’s finisher.

The next day, Anne had the strength remaining to pace her 8 ½ year old daughter, Emma, through her first 5K race.