Sunday, July 12, 2009

The Dog Days are here...

... and the running is hotter than ever. The spring and early summer saw many local runners doing extraordinary races. There was the Bull Run Run 50 and MMT100 in Virginia. The Laurel Highlands Ultras in PA, the Highlands Sky 40 in WV, Mohican 100 in OH and of course Western States and Hardrock out west.

There were a bunch of local runners who completed the Bull Run Run 50 in April to kick off the season. All of them did well, and there were a few humorous stories as well.

Dave Micklo did well at Western States 100, the first leg of the ultrarunnng grand slam. Up next for him is the Vermont 100. Perhaps I can get him to write a few words about Western States.

Bob Combs, our good friend from nearby Youngstown, OH is set to finish the Hardrock 100 as I write this. The HR100 is considered by many to be the toughest 100 mile run you can do (except perhaps the Barkley, but that is a different discussion).

Ron Ross from Cleveland finished the Mohican 100 in Ohio for the what seems like the umpteenth time.

Jeff Gleason should be in Death Valley right now, acclimating for the Badwater 135 which begins on Monday. If you get a chance, check the Post Gazette, as there are a couple of articles about Jeff running Badwater. He should do well, and has a great crew with him.

Wayne Kurtz returned from Hungary where he raced a double iron triathlon. He told me the race was held in a small town there, and all of the residents treated them like stars. They were asking the athletes for autographs. If you know Wayne, he is not into the publicity thing, but I am sure he enjoyed a moment in the spotlight. His training for the deca-iron in November is going well. I will be there reporting for the latter part of the race this year.

Next month, Bob Fargo and Dave Micklo will be traveling to Leadville for the 100 trail run there. I know Bob has some unfinished business there and will be ready to rumble. Bob has been putting in some monster miles on the Laurel Trail.

The Laurel Races went well this year, and the weather was perfect. If you always wanted to run a good time, in good conditions at Laurel, this was the year. For those of you that have not experienced this beautiful trail, you owe it to yourself to check it out. You don't have to wait for the race, as you can hike or run it any time of the year.

Next up, Anne's run on July 18th. It is a six hour run at the Gilfillen Trail in Upper St. Clair. The trial is a 1.25 mile loop on a wood chip surface. The race honors Sam Bertenthals' late wife Anne whom we sadly lost this past year. The race starts at 0600. Check the Greater Pittsburgh Road Runners website for more information.

Don't forget the Greek Fun Run at Wayne's house at the end of August. It will be a great training run for those of you getting ready for fall races. The info is here:

I will try to check in next week before I leave for RAGBRAI, where I will be touring the great state of Iowa for a week.

Keep running well,


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