Archive for December, 2008

Not the Toughest Thing He’s Ever Done

Chris Miller (Alexandria, VA) headed to Central Virginia on December 13 with a daunting task ahead.  Not only was he nervous about the upcoming Hellgate 100K in Natural Bridge, VA—his longest race so far, but he had been seeded at #56, which he wasn’t happy with.  So he was out to perform well, but also make a point to those who didn’t give him the credit he thought he deserved.  Throughout the freezing cold night (the race begins at midnight) and treacherous terrain, Chris stuck to his race plan which was to not go out too aggressively and to maintain his intake of fluid and fuel.  While being passed early by many anxious athletes, Chris kept stayed focused and remained steady.  At one point a large group went by on a downhill section, using the ease of the gradient to pull themselves along, but beating their legs up at the same time.  Again, Chris maintained his cool, dead set on finishing steady and strong.  At the next aid station, Chris passed the entire group back and never saw them again.

Chris ended up finishing 6th overall in 13:19:51.  So he finished just a little bit better (50 POSITIONS) than his seed.

Chris apparently rarely backs away from a challenge.  As a veteran of the U.S. Special Forces, he’d come face to face with tough going before.  So, Hellgate 100K wasn’t the toughest thing Chris has ever done, but he said it was close…

She’s Multi-Talented

 

Just four weeks after placing 10th at the IAU 100Km World Cup, Devon Crosby-Helms (Seattle, WA) was back at it again, this time pounding the pavement in Sacramento, CA in the California International Marathon.  Devon ran a 2:49:52 for 11th place female and 6th American female overall.  Her time was a new PR, which is incredible having just raced 4 weeks previous.  The range of events Devon excels at is amazing, having dominated the Vermont 100 Mile this past summer to nearly achieving an Olympic Marathon Trials standard in the marathon. 

She Didn’t Want Her Season to End

 

After winning the state championship in cross country, Dalton Kuhar (Fuqua School, Farmville, VA) wanted another chance to show her fitness before she called an end to her season.  So, on Thanksgiving Day (November 27) she took one more chance to mix it up at the 27th Annual Fleet Feet Sports Cleveland Turkey Trot in Cleveland, Ohio.  The distance of 5 miles was a bit longer than her typical races, but Dalton wasn’t worried as she attacked the course and her competitors young and old alike (but mostly older).  Dalton finished in 34:38 to place 5th in the 15-19 age category and 182nd overall. 

Dalton said she felt strong all the way to the finish and couldn’t wait to get to race again soon.

 

It wasn’t unusual to see a temperature in front of the bank in downtown Boonesboro, MD of “19” on a late November morning.  It also wasn’t unusual to see teeth chattering, arms shaking, hands rubbing together, and little puffs of steam from the mouths of runners walking to the starting line for the 44th annual JFK 50 Mile.  What was unusual was that the temperature barely went above freezing at all that day and that the wind maintained a near constant 20-30 miles per hour.

The highly touted field included some previous year’s top finishers and some new comers with credentials good enough to cause them to become considered possible winners.  And, also wanting to be part of the oldest and most prestigious ultramarathon in the United States, a number of first timers toed the line hoping that their preparation was adequate and that this first experience would end up a happy one.

In particular in the field that day were the following:

Returnees:

827th Leo Lightner (Rocky River, OH) who set a new 80+ age group record of 12:55:48

 

188th Rick Moyer (Reading, PA who ran 9:10:17

And first timers:

90th Brian Coughlin (Riverside, CT) who ran 8:37:25

142nd Mia Kingston (Bethesda, MD) who ran 8:54:12

268th Luis Stoute (Panama City, Panama) who ran 9:37:24

345th Helene Strutko (Harvey’s Lake, PA) who ran 10:01:43

It was a phenomenal effort on the behalf of all competitors on a day that conditions were so tough that it would have been much easier to drop out and go sit somewhere warm than to continue toward the finish line.  All competitors are to be congratulated.