A return to madness

February 13, 2008

Having whined repeatedly in this blog about how I was racing myself into the ground last year, I’ve been slow to commit to any particular ultramarathons this year. I did hop into the Bridle Trails 50K on January 12th, but didn’t take it too seriously aside from wanting to win, which I was able to do by stalking Dan Salazar for the first two (of six) laps and then pulling ahead for good when he veered off to look for his drop bag. The sloppy mud on the trails and the darkness of the post-sunset laps were sort of enjoyable in that they made me feel like a hard-core trail runner. A couple of hours of that was enough for me, though, which may indicate just how soft my core really is.

Anyway, my first big race of 2008 will be the Mad City 100K on April 12th. Not only is it the USATF 100K road championship again this year, but the generous prize purse ($2000 for 1st, $1200 for 2nd, $750 for 3rd, etc.) offers me a reasonable chance of covering my travel expenses. If any readers of this blog are on the fence about coming to this exceptionally well-organized event, I hope you’ll join me there. Now that the national 100K road championship has been resurrected — none was held in 2003, 2004, 2005, or 2006 — it could use a few more participants!

A few people have asked whether I’ll be defending my 50K road title at Caumsett Park (New York) on March 2nd. The answer is no, even though I had a good experience there in 2007. (If you’ve never been exhorted onward by small crowds of Long Islanders — “Come on, CROW-thuh!” — it’s an experience I recommend.) Last year’s race happened to coincide with a trip east for a job interview, so I belatedly added it to my schedule. This year the logistics just aren’t as favorable.


  1. safe to assume we won't see you out at the orcas island muddy, snowy, 9,000ft+ of vert 50km this weekend then huh?!good luck at the 100km usatf 100k road national championship.hope to see you on the trails at some point this spring.

  2. Somehow no matter how hard I run, I suspect I'll never have people shouting : "Come on, CROW-thuh!" at me 😉

  3. Greg,Hope all is well and I was looking forward to running with you at the 50K Champs.Any tips, I heard it is a great course and I am hoping for a fast time, I am going to try for the American Record of 2:51.Thank you so much.Cheers,Mike

  4. Mike:In my opinion, it will be difficult to achieve an American Record on the Caumsett Park course. That's because the weather tends to be cold (temps in the low to mid-30s) and, more importantly, there tends to be a stiff headwind in the final stretch as you approach the start/finish of each loop. Also, there are a bunch of little hills that will slow you down. (For an elevation profile, go to usatf.org/routes/view.asp?rID=6000.)At the same time, you are likely to be a lot faster than everyone else there, so if you go for the American Record and wind up hitting the wall, you may still be able to salvage a win and a course record.Good luck!

  5. Greg,Thanks for the tips, that is what I was hoping to find out.Yes, I think the American record will be tough but I am feeling good, you never know perhaps I will have a good day (i.e., no wind and better temps).Thanks again and good luck at the 100K.Cheers,Mike

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