Tuesday, May 9, 2006

Miwok 100k Ultra Marathon

This weekend I traveled to San Francisco for the Miwok 100k ultra marathon. I wasn’t running in it, I was there to support and pace Krissy Moehl. The race was a modified out and back in the Marin Headlands, 62.2 miles of beautiful trail and 10,000 feet of climbing. The course ran from Rodeo Beach, up Mount Tam, along the Bolinas Ridge and out to Randall (course map) then back.

It was a great experience supporting Krissy. I drove ahead of her to the support areas. She would come running through and slow enough to drink Balanced Drink, or eat an alvacado (yep alvacado). I had a lot of fun getting to know all the other support people, the wives, girlfriends, friends that make up the ultra community. There was a strong showing of Pacific Northwest ultra runners. On the mens side of things Dave Mackey went out fast early in the race only to drop after some cramping calf issues. Scott Jurek of Seattle (7 time Western States 100 mile winner) took 2nd in 8:42. My buddy Justin Angle placed 9th in 9:05 in a talented field of 350+ ultra runners. Dean Karnazes (ultramarathon man) put up 10:22 and finished 34th.

The woman’s side of things was where all the action was. Krissy was racing against two of the best female ultra runners in the US, Nikki Kimball and Bev Abbs. She ran her own race and was 10-15 minutes behind both girls at times. I picked her up at mile 42, and paced her the last 20 miles to the finish. She was looking strong in 3rd place at the Bolinas aid station where I started to run with her. I ran the uphills in front to give her a rabbit to chase and she took the front for the downhills. The course was amazingly beautiful running a trail cut into the side of the ridge over looking Stinson Beach. Before reaching the next aid station at Pan Toll she passed Bev. That was great motivation and shortly after leaving Pan Toll we could see Nikki. This is apparently unheard of as only a few woman have ever caught Nikki in a race (she was undefeated on US soil last season). Eventually we caught her and gave her quite a scare. Her pacer screamed, “Krissy!”. This lit a fire under Nikki and she put it into another gear, hammering down the hill and pulling away. Nikki won the race and set a course record in 9:10 crediting Krissy for pushing her to the record. Krissy came in just over 5 minutes behind her in 9:16. Both of these woman are amazing athletes.. they have inspired me.

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