Monday, April 11, 2011

Team Montrail Kicking Ass

There are so many races in ultrarunning now that almost every weekend there are impressive performances. This past weekend was certainly no exception. There was of course the old man who ran 5:55 to win the American River 50 on Saturday. Rumor has it that he even stopped a few times along the course to make balloon animals for children who saw his shoes and thought he was a clown. Wouldn't surprise me as he has two kids of his own and he's so sweet and cute with his daughter Ava, that Elle and I have taken to referring to the two of them jointly as Dava. As in Elle asking me this morning, "Are we still going to have a play date with Dava this week?"

Beyond this there were two other performances this past weekend by Montrail team mates of mine that were also hugely impressive. Ellie Greenwood also at American River and Andy Henshaw at the Mad City 100k.

Impressive performances are so common nowadays in ultrarunning that I sometimes feel immune to them. I will hear of a performance that someone has had and, even though they may have set a course record in a 20 year old race I will more or less take the news as though it were expected. Records are being broken so often that in many races I think course records are expected. There are of course still performances which really jump out and scream for attention and surprise. Of the dozen or so of these that I've been aware of in the past year I think that 3 or 4 of them belong to Ellie Greenwood. I've come to expect her to do great things just about every time she runs, but she was able to really catch my attention again this weekend. She ran 6:25, finishing 7th overall in a field of about 800 runners! Only some women by the name of Ann Trason has ever run this race faster (and correct me if I'm wrong but I believe the course has changed since the years that Ann ran it). I thought maybe, just maybe, on a great day Ellie could run 6:30 on that course, but when I got a message from her the day before the race saying that her hip has been bothering her a bit I didn't imagine she was going to do it on this day. Turns out she ran even 5 minutes faster than 6:30. Western States this year will be her first 100 miler. It's hard to expect an eye popping performance in anyone's first 100 miler, but one would have to be crazy not to at least allow for the possibility that she may do something really special on that day.

Andy's performance at Mad City may have been just as impressive. With the possible exception of Sharman at Rocky Raccoon I think this is the men's performance of the year so far (and Ellie's AR is likely the women's performance of the year so far). He ran 6:47, almost a full 10 minutes faster than Wardian's course record there! Certainly didn't see that one coming.

Team Montrail is looking stronger at the front of the pack than ever. Also a shout out to new Montrail runner Ryan Burch who finished 5th at American River in a stout time of 6:09. Super impressive for a Colorado mountain guy.


Sperryrocks said...

Yeah, that 5hr 55 min finish at AR50 is unreal...freaking 7 minute miles for 50 miles?! I can whip out the 630-7 minute miles like anyone else, but for only 10-15 miles! I say its nuts. And to hear that he stopped along the way makes it even crazier.

Speedgoat Karl said...

Hoka one one baby! :-) Balloons, clowns, moonboots, I like that the best. Comfort.....priceless. That old man just keeps on turnin' them over. Ellie is unreal, hopefully she'll show a few how good she is at the track meet in June.

Kill it at Zane Grey!!

Jason Schlarb said...

I appreciate the balloon comments. I laughed out loud...
Saw a couple ladies yesterday on the trail and thought of Dave tying baloon animals. Great.

John said...

Yes, the current course at AR50 is about 0.6 mile longer than it was prior to 1999. I believe Ellie's time places her the 2nd fastest woman in the 32-year history of the race. On the old course Trason ran 6:09:08 in 1993 - only 10 minutes behind overall winner Sean Crom (and she also ran 6:11 in 1995, 6:23 in 1987 and 6:27 on a hot day in 1992)