Sunday, September 20, 2009

YUT-C Race

I traveled across the border to Youngstown, Ohio to check out the YUT-C 50k on Saturday. Bob Combs and company put on a fine event in the heart of the city. Who would have thought that you could get a 50k on trails in the middle of an urban area. Well done guys! When I finished, they had a cold beer and hot food in my hands within minutes.

The race was well attended by Pittsburgh area runners. Michelle E. from the North Hills was first woman overall. Other finishers were Stacy K., Eric D., Kevin R., Kat B. and Todd E. Sarah Micklo and her sister Marcia also competed, both completing their first ultra's. Sarahs' husband Dave showed up at the finish line sporting his four Grand Slam belt buckles.

Rich V. was at the race, but spent the day working one of the aid stations. I can't thank the volunteers enough, as they are the soul of every race. Without them, the races just would not happen.

Next up will be the Oil Creek races in October. The YUT-C was a good training run for the Oil Creek race. There will be many Pittsburgh folks running there, I hope I can remember them all.

Let me know if you have any ultra's between now and October 10th.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Mission Accomplished

The Wasatch Front 100 was the final race in Dave Micklos' attempt at the ultrarunning "Grand Slam" and I imagine he was excited to finish. When I talked with Dave after the Leadville race, he was ready to get it over with. I will talk to him when he returns to get his thoughts on becoming the first Pennsylvanian to complete the "Slam". For those who are not familiar with it, the ultrarunning Grand Slam consists of four of the longest running 100 mile races in the United States. They are the Western States, Vermont, Leadville and Wasatch Front one hundred mile races. Each year a few dozen folks set out to complete the series, and only a select few actually complete the four races. Congratulations Dave on a job well done. Now take it easy for a few weeks.

The "Greek Run" was held at the end of August and seventeen local runners came out to enjoy the six hour fun run hosted by Wayne and Jan Kurtz. The day was perfect for running. A challenging loop course, overcast skies, a little rain, and great food capped a fun day in the woods. The hit of the day was the extensive buffet that Jan had ready for the runners at the completion of the run. A few runners even left the course a bit early in order to get a head start on the food. Don Smith was the winner, running a total of eight laps, with most of the other runners completing seven laps. Wayne has already agreed to host the run next year, with both a six hour and twelve hour event.

Our local fun run schedule now boasts four long runs that provide an opportunity for runners to get a long run in without the time and costs associated with traveling to races. I will post the schedule for 2010 when I confirm the dates with the hosts. We may even be able to add a fifth run to the series, so that the local ultrarunners can get their endorphin fix.

The Punxsy 50k was run on Sept. 12th. I do not have any information on the race yet, but I hope to get a couple of race reports that I can pass along.

Next up is the YUT-C 50k in Youngstown, Ohio. This will be my first time running the event, but I have heard great reviews. There will be many local runners participating.

The Oil Creek races are scheduled early in October, and there are a lot of local runners entered in one of the three distances offered. There are 50k, 50 mile and 100 mile races on the docket. I remember a few years ago, you could count the number of Pittsburgh area ultrarunners on two hands. Now there are too many to count, and I keep running into more at the races I attend. It is good to see that ultrarunning is going strong in Western Pannsylvania.