Thanks to the runners and volunteers, this year's 21st annual Ruth Anderson Ultra was another success! The San Francisco weather was perfect with clear skies and a cool breeze as over seventy runners set out on personal quests -- some seeking glory and fame (or at least a few points in the PAUSATF standings), others chasing personal records, and some just looking to have fun and log some quality training miles amidst good company. Sixty-six finishers survived the pounding of the asphalt and dirt bike path around Lake Merced, setting six new age-group and course records. As a tribute to the diversity of the field at the race, both the youngest and the oldest runners set age-group records. There were also several Dean Karnazes sightings (he was reportedly last seen running North), as well as guest appearances by Hollis Lenderking and Charles Blakeney, who were both promptly inducted into aid-station service by the opportunistic race directors.
New Course Records
Michael Kanning, men's under 20 age-group 100K course record, 11:59:18
Peter Vermeesch, men's 30 - 40 age-group 100K course record, 7:27:53
Thomas Reiss, 50 mile course record, 5:56:17
Konstantin Drabkin, men's under 20 age-group 50 mile course record, 8:12:30
Cassandra Johnson, women's 60 - 69 age-group 50K course record, 6:24:43
Julianne Scheberies, women's 70+ age-group 50K course record, 6:36:23
100K Race Summary
Pieter Vermeesch, a native of the Kingdom of Belgium, ran away with the men's 100K race, fueled on to victory by a steady intake of orange juice and chicken-noodle soup. Pieter's time of 7:27:53 broke the previous 30 - 40 age-group course record by several minutes. Mark Tanaka raced in to second place, celebrating his 40th birthday in style by running a lifetime best sub-8:00 hour 100K in 7:57:03, taking over 45 minutes off his time from last year. Kermit Cuff Jr., rounded out the top three with a strong finish of 9:16:51.
Perhaps the talk of the day was fifteen-year old Michael Kanning, the youngest competitor to complete the 100k course, who broke the previous under-20 course record by over an hour and a half! Hiroaki Nakamura, who had previously run only marathons, ran his first ultra of any kind; but instead of getting a gradual introduction with 50K or 50 miles Hiroaki ran the full 100K course. Hiroaki went on to win the 20 - 29 age group, as did Joe Swenson in the 50 - 59 age group.
In the women's 100K race, Wendy Georges was again women's 100K champion after front-runner Julie Fingar called it a day at 50K. Wendy pushed the pace and shredded her own 100k time from last year by over 40 minutes, running 10:10:58. Leanne McCullough grabbed second place with time of 11:44:21, while Soon Gaal rounded out the top three in 12:50:46, winning her age group.
50 Mile Race Summary
Thomas Reiss of Germany dominated the men's 50 mile after front-runner Pieter Vermeesch elected to keep going to 100K. Thomas ran a 5:56:17, destroying the existing 50 mile course record of 6:20:43. Jean Pommier (6:52:03) and Dean Karnazes (6:53:31) finished within minutes of each other for second and third place. Be sure to read Jean Pommier's blog (below) for all the details. Up-and-coming youngster Konstantin Drabkin -- who flew across the country from Florida -- won the under 20 age group, setting a new age-group course record. Chris MacAskill won the 50 - 59 age group, and Tom Pelsor won the 60 - 69 age group. Congratulations gentlemen.
Lisa Huerta ran impressively, winning the women's race in a time of 9:47:00. She was followed shortly afterward by Christine Miller in second place with 10:01:35. Congratulations to both Lisa and Christine on their fine 50 mile performances!
50K Race Summary
Gary Cohen won the men's 50K in 3:50:30 followed closely by Alan Geraldi in 3:53:27. Congratulations to both for their sub-4:00 performances! Ron Duncan finished minutes later in third with 4:08:08. Ron was later seen volunteering at aid stations and pacing friends running the 100k -- so clearly he had some energy left and probably could have run faster. Jonathan Gunderson, Gary Wang, Jim Hesson, and Jim Magill all won their respective age groups. David Nard managed to run just over a marathon on a stress-fractured foot before wisely calling it a day. As legendary country music guru Kenny Rogers sings, "You got to know when to hold em, know when to fold em, know when to walk away, know when to run…"
Julie Fingar, who originally had her sights set on the 100K, called it a day at 50K in a winning time of 4:12:31. Linda Bialla was second in 4:46:34, winning her age group. Leslie Lindquist took home third place with her 5:26:30 finish. Carol Cuminale won her age group. Cassandra Johnson set a new course record for the 60 - 69 age group, as did Julianne Scheberies for the 70 - 79 age group. Congratulations ladies!
Race Results, Blogs, and Photos
Full race results available at: http://www.run100s.com/ra.htm Official Ruth Anderson Race blog and photos: http://ruthanderson07.blogspot.com/ Rajeev Patel's (The Poetic Runner) blog: http://rajeevtherunner.blogspot.com/2007/04/ruth-anderson-50k.html Jean Pommier's blog: http://fartherfaster.blogspot.com/2007/04/ruth-anderson-50k-50m-or-100k.html Jean Pommier's photo album http://picasaweb.google.com/FurtherFaster/RuthAnderson2007
Thank You, Thank You,
Special thanks to... Gillian Robinson and Don Lundell of our sponsor ZombieRunner (www.zombierunner.com); Steve Jaber, former long-standing race-director who was again on hand this year to help out and share his wisdom; Stan Jensen of run100s.com who did the work of five people coordinating the timing tent; Jim Pommier who captained the South aid station again this year; BAUR (Bay Area Ultra Runners) for sponsoring the race, Quicksilver Running Club of San Jose for helping with the North aid station, and all the runners and volunteers who helped make the race a success including Alyssa, Ron Duncan, Kristina Irvin, Alex Harris, Eddie O'Rourke, Chris Alexander, Mark Magers, Mark Metcalf, Kevin Gove, Craig Slagel, Charles Blakeney, and Hollis Lenderking. Thank you all, and see you next year!
John & Amy Burton