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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).

Almost-live coverage and/or results are likely to be posted to www.runwinschoten.nl, www.ultraned.org, and/or www.iau.org.tw.

Thank you in advance for your support.

13 comments

  1. Have a really fun trip and enjoy the experience and the people!


  2. Good luck on your Holland opus, mister.


  3. It's your kind of course, buddy! For the world championship! Go Greg Go! Carpe diem! Da daa da da daa da… (that's the theme song from Chariots of Fire, by the way)


  4. Best of luck Greg!Justin


  5. "…I prefer to imagine it as a giant prison for runners who fail their drug tests."I just spit out my coffee. This might be the funniest line I've read all week. Best of luck.


  6. Best of luck Greg! Can't wait to hear all about the race and the whole wonderful experience. Go after it!


  7. Good luck, Greg. I hope it's a great race that serves to expunge the less pleasant memories of Western States.When you get back, listen to the report on the Morey eel that was on NPR's Morning Edition today. There's a charming song at the end that made me think of you and your talent for science songs. Perhaps not up to your standards, but . . .


  8. Correction: Moray eels. They're not a group you want to offend.


  9. Good Luck!


  10. Just looking at the results (hopefully I'm reading them correctly) and it seems that you barely missed your individual goals, but congrats on the strong finish! And if my addition is correct, it looks like the USA edged out France for the bronze — fantastic!! Anyway, great job all around…


  11. The sum of the first three times for the men were19:53:16 for Russia, 19:58:10 for Japan,20:43:34 for USA, and 20:45:17 for France. Howard was only 6 minutes off his PR and both you and Chad Ricklefs PR'd. That sounds like an excellent team performance.Your splits were pretty even but your friend Oleg's splits fit within a span of 66 seconds (fastest 38:29, slowest 39:35). It's just amazing to me that you guys can run such even splits.Congratulations on a such a fine performance at the worlds.


  12. Hey, great run Doogie! Not many people can say they're top 12 in the world at anything.


  13. Congrats on a solid run, Greg!



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