URP Daily News and HOKA Project Carbon X Details | Wed, May 1

Two years ago, the Western States wait list went down to the 39th person on the list. Last year, it went to thirty six. Recently, runners holding the 37th and 38th spot withdrew.
Henry had a chat with the new 37th spot Mike Sveum about how he’s training with the hopes of his one ticket getting him in to The Big Dance.
He also spoke with Lindsey Rust, who’s currently at the 40th spot who’s signed up for other events, thinking the odds aren’t in her favor.
I had Andrew Chapello on the show a few years ago when he was in a similar situation…sitting in the 36th spot in early June, he was training for an event that may not happen. (Spoiler alert: He got in and finished.)

Magness: Three strategies to rest your body and avoid overtraining.

Sports: Trans athlete breaks four powerlifting world records. Again, this type of thing fundamentally changes sports as we’ve always known it. It’s possible to love and have compassion for the trans community and at the same time recognize that their situation creates an unfair playing field for the other 99% of athletes.

This is a different: Court rules that women with elevated t-levels (ie Caster Semenya) must take suppressants to compete in track and field events.

Jimmy Elam in the redwoods

Speaking of Western, check out our latest interview with Jimmy Elam. Jimmy just won a Golden Ticket at Canyons 100k and has a pretty damn impressive skillset he’s brining to the table. How will he and his coach Jeff Browning prepare this mountain goat for a downhill course? How did running competitively at an early age affect him? And how in the world is he able to pee while running 6:30/pace?

100k World Record Attempt

This weekend in Sacramento, HOKA One One will host a special event aimed at cracking the 100k world record. Billed Project CarbonX, this is part media event for their shoe launch (the Carbon X) and part time trial where Jim Walmsley, Pat Reagan, Sabrina Little, and a slew of other HOKA athletes will race the clock in attempt to crack Nao Kazami’s 6:09:14 set last year at Lake Saroma in Japan. While the 50 mile is a relatable distance to domestic ultrarunners, the 100k is an international mark with more significance. (The 50M WR has stood since 1983.)

Kazami’s 6:09 WR translates to a 5:57/mile pace. Max King currently holds the American Record with a 6:27 set in 2014 in Qatar on a course that consisted of twenty 5k loops run on tile.

The women’s world record (though I don’t think it’s in play this weekend) is 6:33 set by Omoe Abe at Lake Saroma, 2000. The women’s AR is 7:00:48 held by Ann Trason and set in 1996. I believe that is more attainable.

The run will take place on the American River Bike Path, a 30 mile stretch of blacktop that runs from old Sacramento to Folsom along the American River. This will be a point to point run that is also used for American River 50, Jed Smith 50, and a few half marathons each year and will not mostly be closed for the event. Runners will share the space with cyclists, dog walkers and casual runners…Weather is expected to be in the high 50s to low 80s and about a quarter of the route is shaded by trees. The race will be directed by Julie Fingar and NorCalUltras…Julie also puts on American River 50, Way Too Cool, Rio Del Lago, and many other events and timing will be done by Rich Hanna of Capital Road Race Management. Both are very well respected in the region. More on the course below.

Entrants:

Jim Walmsley Jim ran 7:05 at the 2015 World Championships. He’s had some additional success since then. I believe this record to be in Jim’s grasp. It’ll be close, but with the right conditions it can happen.
Pat Reagan – Pat has a 6:35 PR (and third fastest American time) set in 2016. Pat is consistent, has a perfect stride, and is methodical with strategy and pacing.
Tyler Andrews – Tyler lives in Peru and has a 2:46 50K PR. It’s my understanding that he’ll be targeting the 50M world record. There will be an official split on the course.
Sabrina Little – 152 miles in 24 hours. Whether or not she wears her side ponytail will be significant.
Mike Wardian – If there’s a WR attempt, Mike will be there. Current 45-50 AG world record is 7:04. Mike ran 6:42 in 2011.
Hideaki Yamauchi. – Yamauchi is a 2:18 marathoner with a 6:18 100k PR from 2016. Yamauchi won t he IAU 100k World Championships last year.
Yoshiki Takada – Takada ran a 6:41 at Lake Saroma last year.
Aiko Kanematsu – She ran 7:49 at Lake Saroma last year. I don’t know much about Kanematsu.

Pacers:

Sage Canaday, Jared Hazen, Tim Freriks.

Thoughts:

  • The course will start in Folsom (Karen’t bakery at 6am) and run downhill towards Sacramento for 18 miles. At that point, the race/run will consist of nine 4.7 mile loops on the Jed Smith course. This will take runners along the bike path again, up and over Watt Ave bridge, down along the other side of the American River, up a slight levee hill, sharp right across Guy West Bridge, another sharp right back along the top of the levee , and then back to Watt Ave where runners will cross that bridge. Lots of turns, but they’re mixed in with little ups and downs.
  • The loop portion is one mile from my house.
  • Here’s a GPS of the route. Note the net elevation loss.
  • All Strava segments will be blown away this weekend.
  • The course is apparently USATF and IAAF certified.
  • The event will coincide with a relay, though details are thin (update: looks like it’ll be a 10 x 10k relay), other than it starts at the finish line. While pacers are acceptable in record attempts (in this case, the 50M/100k) those pacers must run from the start. If fresh-legged pacers (or in this case, relay runners) step in and run with the 100k attempters, this would not be acceptable.
  • Toni Reavis will be on hand announcing and commenting on the race. Toni is someone who’s respected in the sport, understands nuance, and will call it like he sees it. I’m anxious to follow his commenting. Follow the event live on HOKA’s Facebook feed.
  • In my opinion, Pat and Jim have the most beautiful strides in the sport. Balanced, powerful, and graceful, I can not wait to see these guys tear it up for 62 miles on my home turf.
  • As stoked as I am to see this, I hope this type of event doesn’t become the norm. Nike did their Breaking 2 time trial event. Hoka’s doing this. Take me back to the time when athletes competed against each other, regardless of sponsor, in an attempt to prove who’s best. (Yes, I’m aware of World Champs, but that’s hardly representative of the best.)
  • Update for local runners: I spoke with the County employee in charge of permits and reservations Amber Valeska and she told me that the entire bike path (blacktop and DG side skirt) are reserved, but the single track and the toe (trails between the levee and bike path) are NOT permitted. This should allow recreational runners and walkers to use the area without getting close to the race/timetrial. Also, the bike path will reopen right after the runners come through…she expected Wm Pond to be open and available by 7:30. This is excellent news, as I was afraid shutting down the entire area on a beautiful spring day for 8 runners would create a tremendous amount of bad blood between other user groups and the runners participating in the event.

I’ll be there on Saturday watching it all go down, tweeting like a fool, snapping. pics and videos, and chatting with the athletes. Stay tuned.

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