Is "100K" a four-letter word?September 4, 2007
My 2007 racing season will reach its climax this Saturday at the IAU World Cup 100K, the closest thing there is to a true world championship of ultramarathoning. This year’s race will be held in Winschoten, a small town in northeastern Holland that has previously hosted World Cup 100K races in 1995 (when Tom Johnson and Ann Trason set the still-standing American 100K records of 6:30 and 7:00, respectively), 1997, 2000, and 2004. The course is a completely flat 10K road loop that passes through a building known as De Klinker. This apparently is a cultural center of the town, although, based on the name, I prefer to imagine it as a giant prison for runners who fail their drug tests.
As noted previously, my summer training has been lackluster, so I’ve tried to set realistic individual goals: a top-10 finish with a time under 6 hours and 45 minutes. My track workouts have gotten somewhat better in the last week — 3x1600m in 4:59 with 400m jogs in between, and 2x3200m in 10:10 with a 600m jog in between — so I’m feeling a bit more optimistic than I was last month.
Team-wise, it would be great to bring home a bronze medal. However, the start list indicates that France, Italy, Japan, and Russia are all bringing men’s teams with credentials superior to ours, so a top-5 finish might be a more reasonable team goal, especially considering that each team’s top three finishers contribute to the team time and we’ll only have four men in the race. (Patrick Russell, though included in the start list, is an alternate for us and won’t be competing.) Interestingly, the same four countries seem to have an edge on our women’s team (which will be without the services of Laura Bleakley and Nikki Kimball, despite what the start list says).
Thank you in advance for your support.