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How I almost broke 3:00 at the Boston Marathon, and why I didn’t!

April 23, 2015 By: John Blue Category: General Running News, Masters Runners, Road Races

The author running at wet Boston Marathon (Photo courtesy of Dan Weintraub)

The author running at wet Boston Marathon (Photo courtesy of Daniel Weintraub)

By Daniel Weintraub

Three days post-Boston, and my shoes are finally dry. I can walk down stairs without much trouble. I am feeling mostly recovered from the Marathon. But I am still not quite recovered  from the post-Marathon partying. I had not trained for that. I partied hard Monday night (i.e. four or five drinks — that’s hard for me) with Jenny Hitchings, Galen Farris, Abe Weintraub, Stephanie Ward, and Angel and Steve Simpson, friends of mine from Michigan.

Most of what happens in Boston stays in Boston, but I can say I enjoyed watching Galen announcing Jenny’s first place age group triumph to everyone we met in the bars and then seeing the normally modest Jenny take selfies with her new fans and tell her story over and over. She was doing everything but signing autographs on people’s calves. I was proud of her.

I had no such hopes for glory in Boston this year. But I was on a mission of my own. A year ago I ran my first Boston Marathon in 3:01:15, narrowly missing my goal of breaking three hours. I was on track to break three last year until my quads, thrashed by the course’s persistent but underrated down hills, locked up in the final few miles and my pace slowed to a relative crawl.

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Farris, Pfeifer claim Gold Rush titles: The Pair’s Patience Pays a Performance Premium

May 12, 2013 By: John Blue Category: Trails, Ultrarunning

Galen Farris looking smooth at mile 45. (Photo by Sean Dulany/Freeplay Magazine)

Galen Farris looking smooth at mile 45. (Photo by Sean Dulany/Freeplay Magazine)

By John Schumacher

Galen Farris and Jen Pfeifer decided to start slowly, respect the heat and try to make up ground in the second half of the inaugural Gold Rush 100k on Saturday.

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Rites of Spring: American River 50

April 10, 2013 By: John Blue Category: General Running News, Masters Runners, Trails, Ultrarunning

Second woman finisher Tera Dube navigates the trails. (Photo by Sean Dulany/Freeplay Magazine)

Second woman finisher Tera Dube navigates the trails. (Photo by Sean Dulany/Freeplay Magazine)

As we crowded up on the levee near the start line for the 2013 running of the American River 50 Mile Endurance Run, two things were dominating conversations of the old timers: the temperature and the crowd.

It was warm, and it was also humid and still. I spotted a few trash-bag wearers, but most people were lightly dressed—at least for 6:00 AM on an early April morning. It always unnerves me when it’s unseasonably warm at the start of an ultra.

The crowd was huge. There were around 1,100 registered runners in the field, which is much larger than in previous years, and makes this race one of the country’s largest.

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Running Far at the Jed Smith Ultra Classic

February 11, 2013 By: John Blue Category: General Running News, Road Races, Ultrarunning

Amy Halseth wins the 50 mile race. (SRN photo)

Amy Halseth wins the 50 mile race. (SRN photo)

The green grass and warm sun of spring still seem far away on these cold and damp Valley mornings. But there are harbingers of happier times!

There are occasional, cheerful, sunny afternoons that remind me of how much easier it is on these old bones to run when it’s warmer, and how much easier it is to get out of bed when it’s daylight already when I wake up for work.

One such harbinger of spring is the Jed Smith Ultra Classic, put on by the Buffalo Chips Running Club each February since I was a wee lad in short trousers. (Actually, since 1979.) For as long as I can remember, it has been the first race in the Pacific Associations Ultra Grand Prix.

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Weekend of Racing

May 02, 2011 By: John Blue Category: Collegiate, General Running News, Masters Runners, Road Races, Ultrarunning

It must be spring! Not only am I sneezing every 30-seconds, it seems as though we were overwhelmed with races and tasty results to report on.

In track and field, Stanford was host to the 2011 Payton Jordan Cardinal Invitational, where the Hornets’ Lea Wallace turned out the 2nd fastest Division I 1500 of the year. Wallace, in her first 1500 of the season, ran 4:11.31. The only collegiate athlete ahead of her is Jordan Hasay (Oregon), who ran 4:10.28 in the same race this weekend. Letsrun.com has an excellent write-up about the event.

Up in Oregon on Sunday, Sacramento’s Jenny Hitchings ran a PR 2:46:10 in the Eugene Marathon–just 11 seconds shy of the Women’s Olympic Trials Marathon qualifying time. Hitchings was 5th woman overall, and 2nd masters behind Bend’s Kami “The Machine” Semick.

Speaking of close calls, at the Quicksilver 50K in San Jose, Jen Pfeifer, of El Dorado (former of Folsom), was reportedly in the lead until the final mile of the race where she went off course and picked up several extra minutes. While lost, Pfeifer was passed by a more attentive Adona Ramos, of San Jose. Ramos took the win with only about 15-seconds to spare.

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