What’s the recipe for course records and fast times on a long-running trail race? Perfect conditions and and a stacked field, clearly.
Sadly, I wasn’t able to be out there in person for this year’s Way Too Cool 50K, but as the results were coming in via text and Twitter, it was immediately apparent that something special and amazing had taken place.
First off, Patrick Smyth’s winning time of 3:04:48 is insane. That is a sub-6:00 pace over a hilly trail run, and a four minute improvement over Max King’s record 3:08:50 that was set in 2013.
Mason Myers deserved a fist bump for his masters win in 2:41:26.
Local Men Dominate
By Mark Winitz
NAPA, Calif. — Two-time Kaiser Permanente Napa Valley Marathon winners Chris Mocko and Devon Yanko ascended the winners platform yet again at today’s 37th Annual Kaiser Permanente Napa Valley Marathon.
Mocko, age 28, of Folsom, who previously won the race in 2011 and 2012, emerged victorious in the men’s race with a time of 2 hours, 23 minutes, and 6 seconds.
Yanko (née Crosby-Helms), 32, of San Anselmo, dominated the women’s field after previously emerging victorious at the Napa Valley Marathon (NVM) in 2007 and 2012. The winners headed a sold-out field of 3,000 entrants who were greeted by blue skies, little wind, and ideal temperatures in the low-40s rising to around 60 degrees by the 6-hour finish cut-off time.
I was immediately suspicious since the findings of this most recent study: 1. Don’t mesh with a ton of other studies, and 2. Don’t seem to mesh with my personal observations.
They report: “A study of 1,098 runners found that those who ran the fastest were nine times more likely to die prematurely within 12 years than those who enjoyed a more sedate pace of around 5mph for two or three times a week.”
Wow! If this were reflected in the world around me, then I’d have a lot fewer people to race than I do.
Sally Edwards, co-founder of the California International Marathon and Fleet Feet Sports, headlined a group of six inductees joining the Sacramento Running Association’s Hall of Fame Saturday night.
Edwards, talented ultramarathoner Bill Finkbeiner, legendary Jesuit High School coach Walt Lange, Jesuit distance aces Eric and Mark Mastalir and former Masters running standout Jim O’Neil were honored at the SRA’s third annual Hall of Fame and Annual Achievement Awards dinner at the Sheraton Grand Hotel in Sacramento.
Standout Masters runner Iain Mickle was honored as the SRA’s Athlete of the Year.
To begin, let me go on record as saying that you are, undoubtedly, the fastest jogger at the park. You burst out of the wooded thicket and into my sight like a firework of sweat and sleevelessness amidst Sunday’s leisurely banality. Kicking up a trail of dirt and pebbles, you weaved and dodged through the crowded walking path like Hermes in Raybans, and I could not look away.
Jane Kibii takes 2nd! (Photo courtesy of Erik Aguilar/Painani.org)
By John Schumacher
Volha Mazuronak’s surge down the stretch produced a women’s course record and Jacob Chemtai’s late move delivered a personal best en route to individual titles on a cool, fast Sunday at the California International Marathon.
Mazuronak, from Belarus, pulled away from Colfax’s Jane Kibii in the final seven miles to win the women’s race in 2 hours, 27 minutes and 33 seconds, shattering the 15-year-old course record of 2:29:21 set by Australian Nickey Carroll.
Chemtai, a Kenyan living in Santa Fe, N.M., dropped Zambia’s Jordan Chipangama and Kenyan Kiplangat Terer in the closing miles to win the men’s race in 2:11:57, the eighth-fastest time in the race’s 32-year history.
Kenyans Julius Koskei, Eliud Ngetich and Jacob Chemtai, Ethiopia’s Tesfaye Alemayehu and Zambia’s Jordan Chipangama all appear capable of winning the men’s race and the $10,000 first prize on the 26.2-mile course from near Folsom Dam to the state Capitol.
Koskei, the 2013 CIM runnerup, owns a 2:10:14 personal best, the fastest time in the men’s field. Alemayehu, who lives in Antioch, has run 2:11:18, owns two top-three CIM finishes and is a two-time Credit Union SACTOWN Ten-Mile Run champion.
Ngetich ran 2:11:59 in 2013 and Chemtai delivered a 2:12:39 performance earlier this year. Chipangama also stood out in 2014 with a 2:12:22 effort.