Saturday, June 20, 2009

Ultra Entertainment

This week I've realized that there's something horribly wrong with going for a 3 mile run. Under my own rehab rules, I've limited myself to that distance this past week (until today's mighty 6er), and while I know it's for my own good, it's over before I even get a chance to enjoy the fact that I'm running. One great thing about my situation this week is there are tons of great distractions from the world of Ultras that are keeping me entertained when my running has to end:

First off, if you haven't read "Born to Run" by Christopher McDougall, you should probably do so today. If you don't read it, you'll run the risk of being the only one in your group on the trail in your next race not contributing to the conversation. Sort of like showing up for a Scientology meeting with Dianetics still unread on your bookshelf. You may already know the story of the Tamahuara indians, or the benefits of barefoot running, or the history of human evolution, but this book ties it all together with an interesting story that makes for a great read. Whether or not you agree with all the "scientific" points being made throughout the book, I think the last quote from Caballo Blanco perfectly sums up the spirit of ultra running (or at least how I view the sport): "Running isn't about making people buy stuff. Running should be free, man."

In other Ultra news, how about that US 100k team ripping it up in the World Championships this weekend in Belgium?!! Oregon's Kami Semick WON the race for the ladies and led the way for Team USA to win the female championship. Not a bad follow-up to the 24 Hour team taking 2nd place in Italy last month - Nice work ladies!! The men also put up a great showing with Micheal Wardian taking 6th overall in the race and Todd Braje cracking the top 20 w/ a 19th overall showing. It's great to see the US establishing itself on the world level in these races!

Adding one more thing to the list of great ultra distractions this week, is there anyone out there not buzzing about the insane talent ready to face off at Western States next weekend? Talk about a line-up of serious contenders on both sides (20+ deep for the men, 10+ deep for the ladies), Holy Cow! I won't get into a detailed list here since so many other blogs are already setting up polls and such (like irunfar and AJW), but I will mention that one guy in particular seems to be slipping under radar in all the chatter. I know he doesn't run 100s too much, but Leigh Schmitt is the real deal when he does move up to that distance
(he still holds the VT100 course record), and I'm pulling for him to represent the east coast with a top 3 finish out there in CA.

That's all for now...I'm going to get some pizza - Hey, it's not like it'll affect my mighty 3 mile "training" right now, right?!

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