First, a HUGE congratulations to my good buddies Bronco and Rooster for ripping it up at the Bighorn 100 miler and continuing Team Oregon's assault on the ultrarunning scene this year.
Bronco duked it out with Justin, Ty, and a couple of Bozemanites (Jesse and Erich). They were all pretty close through 42, and that's when Jeff decided to make his move. Apparently it was the right move, as he ran fast (and scared!) the rest of the way. He cruised through 50 in 9:15, then ran an incredible 9:41 second 50, to claim the victory in 18:56. This completes Jeff's hat trick, as he also won in 2005 and 2006. Justin and Ty also smoked the Bighorns, both finishing strong in 19:26 and 19:54, respectively. No runner had ever broken 20 at Bighorn, and now 3 did this year. Yes, it was a different course due to lots of snow up high, but these guys ran hard and fast. Attaboys all around!
I don't know Rooster's story, other than she won by an hour with a strong 25:10. Rounding out the girl's podium was another of Team Oregon's sweethearts - Olga! Great job Olga with your 26:50 (only about 3 1/2 hours faster than last year - can you believe that!?).
In the always exciting j.v. race (50 miler), another good buddy Matt Hart (my TransRockies teammate) claimed the W. For 2 years now, Hart has signed up for the 100 at Bighorn, and both years he has injured himself while training, but still makes the trip out and runs one of the other distances. Last year he won the freshman race (50 km). After a last-minute Colonel's training camp last week, Hart whipped himself into shape and was able to run in the lead from start to finish, winning in a speedy 8:11. Also running in the j.v. race was ultrarunning's fastest professional bowhunter, Cameron Hanes (another one of Team Oregon's finest). Cam and Matt duked it out last year in the 50 km, with Cam getting 2nd. This year, like Hart, Cam had signed up for the varsity race, but he decided to go for the 50 miler. He snuck in under the 9 hour mark in 8:59, claiming the final podium spot - and 1st place old guy (Crap, he's 40!?). Great race, my friends.
Full Bighorn results.
Tonight at Fleet Feet, we hosted our second Ultradork Night. This was Rod's idea to help get all of us WS-bound Central Oregonians excited for the big race. A week and a half ago, we watched the 1989 Western States video - the year that Ann's legacy started. Tonight, it was Western States 1988 and Brian Purcell's c.r. 16:24. Awesome videos, cheesy commercials, gutsy running, lots of cotton, no trail shoes, and shorty-short shorts!
As I'm well into taper-mode, I'm definitely feeling fit, rested, and very anxious (although I'm still eating lots, so I'm probably getting fat!). Since my 5-week, 625 mile training block, my weekly mileages have been 50, 98, and 52. The 98 had a good trail 1/2 marathon, my last good, hard 30 miler at Smith, plus two days off (that was Hart's unplanned boot camp week). Race week, I usually run Sunday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, but I'm seriously leaning toward taking Tuesday off, too, so I can get in 2, back-to-back rest days. I mean really, what good is running tomorrow really going to do for me anyway?
I'm super excited for all of the other Central Oregonians running Western. Karen and Jon Gnass will be starting their Grand Slam summer; Kami will be looking for a podium finish; Prudence will be chomping at Kami's heels; and Jenn will be out there to run fast and have fun (yes, Jenn moved to Ashland a couple weeks ago, but the entrant's list says she's from Bend, so we'll claim her!).
I leave Wednesday after work. I'm excited!