Sacramento Running News

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Weekend at the Races: Way Too Cool 50k & Shamrock’n Half

March 12, 2012 By: John Blue Category: General Running News, Road Races, Trails, Ultrarunning

The lead pack after 8-miles: Gary Gellin, Rich Hanna, Shaun Martin and Sam Robinson

This past weekend featured two of the regions most popular races.

On Saturday, over 700 ultrarunners, including some of the top names in the sport, lined up near the Cool Firehouse for a go at the remarkably dry Way Too Cool 50K.

This was the second running on a new and designed to be faster course. For last year’s debut of the new course, mud was the theme of the day and thigh-deep stream crossings kept a lid on the pace.

This year, in a winter of remarkably little rain, streams were shallow and mud was scarce. The pack went out fast, with the lead runners averaging around 6:23 per mile for the first eight mile loop.

After 20-miles, Gellin and Hanna had dropped the other contenders and ran in close contact until Goat Hill (~26 miles). At this point, Gellin made a

Gellin heading for the win with about a mile to go. (SRN photo)

break and Hanna couldn’t respond.

By the time they reached the Highway 49 aid station (about 29.6 miles), Gellin had established a 30-second and growing lead over Hanna, and won the race in a course record 3:27:43. A noticeably slowing Hanna finished about 2.5 minutes back, in 3:30:10.

Jacob Rydman ran a very smart race for third place, cruising 20-seconds/mile more slowly than the lead pack for the first 20 miles and then absolutely hammering the last 10–picking off Martin shortly after passing the Highway 49 aid station. Rydman’s split over the last ten miles was the fastest of the field at 6:58/mile over some of the most challenging hills of the course.

Rydman’s finishing time was 3:34:08, and he was followed in by Shaun Martin at fourth in 3:36:06.

Tyler Stewart cruises for the win. (SRN photo)

In the women’s race, pro-triathlete Tyler Stewart took the lead from Caitlin Smith after the first eight miles and never relinquished it. Stewart moved steadily through the leading men, before settling at 10th overall by the time she came through Highway 49. Stewart won with a finishing time of 3:49:37.

Eventual second place woman, Megan Laib, ran a tactical race accelerating throughout the event and moving up several places before picking off eventual third place finisher, Caitlin Smith, in the last few miles of the race. Laib’s finishing time was 4:00:42 and Smith brought it home in 4:05:48.

All in all, a great day for racing in the hills around Cool! Complete results are here.

The next day, back in Sacramento, well over 5,000 runners took off from Raley’s Field for the Shamrock’n Half Marathon.

The threatened rain failed to materialize and the crowd was able to enjoy racing in another pretty terrific March day.

Sacramento’s Chris Vargo smoked all comers to win the race in a blistering 1:09:04. A few minutes later, Andrew Timmins, of Vacaville, earned second with a 1:11:41.

Reno’s Jeffery Moreland finished around 40-seconds back for third, with a 1:12:20.

On the women’s side, Sacramento’s Erin Wachter ran uncontested for the win in a speedy 1:21:36.

Colleen Peschel, of Shingle Springs, was the next woman in, finishing 1:28:29 for second. Just a bit back, in 1:28:25, was Clayton’s Sarah Cameto, who earned third for her effort.

Complete results are here.

Congratulations and well done to everyone who trained and race in these events! (Some of you even ran both!)



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