Weekend Wrap at Inside Trail: Speedgoat Speedy and new R2R2R FKT

Grand Canyon. Photo: getoutgetlost.com

Over the last 30 years, running the “big ditch” has inspired men and women to see just how fast it can be done.  The rim to rim to rim, double crossing, out-n-back, or simply r2r2r is a substantial overnight hike for most people, who must already possess a level of fitness the average American will likely never attain.  To run the r2r2r in a day takes the adventure to a new level, a goal that has been plunked into most trail runners’ bucket lists.  This brings us to the crème de la crème brimming the rim of the canyon, the elite who train and plan for the undertaking in the hopes of having everything come together to set the FKT (Fastest Known Time).

Peter Bakwin’s site on FKTs briefly covers the men’s FKT accomplishments,

Allyn Cureton held the R2R2R record for 25 years at 7h51m23s, set in an actual race on 11/9/1981 (S to N to S Kaibab trails). Races have long been banned in the National Parks. The record was finally bested on 11/10/2006 by Kyle Skaggs, 7h37m. Kyle had to run a little extra due to a bridge being out. A year later (11/10/2007) Dave Mackey ran 6h59m56s, for the current record. Dave reported being held up for several minutes on his ascent back up the South Kaibab by a mule train.

Over the weekend Dakota Jones eclipsed Mackey’s record by 6 minutes, reaching the south rim finish in 6:53.  Brendan Temboli, one of a group of runners who started with Dakota said, “The weather forecast was not promising going into it. woke up to ~3″ of wet snow, lots of wind… hit the trail around 6:45am and within a few mins of dropping in elevation conditions improved a lot. north rim was very snowy too.”  Epic day.  Congratulations Dakota!

 

Pinhoti 100 Buckle. Photo: run100s.com

Pinhoti 100:  In the woods of Alabama, Karl Meltzer solidifies his already granite-hard legacy with his 31st WIN at the 100 mile distance at the Pinhoti 100.  Meltzer ran unchallenged, breaking his own course record crossing the finish in 16:42.  Pinhoti was his fifth 100 miler of 2011, two of which he won (Massanutten being the other).  He ran a steady solo race, staying on or under 17 hour splits.  Second place, Joseph Czabaranek of Shalimar Florida, was a distant 2.5 hours behind, crossing the line in 19:10.  Jamie Anderson rounded out the top three in 19:16.  Last year’s champion, John Dove, regrouped from some mid-race problems to finish 4th in 20:38.  For the women, Jill Perry, fresh off her win at Oil Creek 100, dominated the field for the win in 22:16 and 7th overall.

 

Eric Grossman at the 2008 MMTR. Photo: eco-xsports.blogspot.com

Mt. Masochist 50 Mile:  Eric Grossman is an instructor and he held class on Saturday with hard-earned lessons for his competitors at the Mt. Masochist 50.  Running his personal best in his sixth MMTR, Grossman hit the finish line in 6:58:22.  His star pupil was Brian Rusiecki, who came charging in for 2nd, just 1:12 behind in 6:59:34.  Paul Terranova earned 3rd place in 7:09.  Sandi Nypaver continued her winning form shooting to the line first on the tough 54 mile course in 8:05.  Alyssa Wildeboer came in a distant 2nd in a hair under 8:34.  Young Dacia Reed rounded out the women’s podium in 8:48.

Meltzer Invades Alabama: Pinhoti 100 Preview

Photo: Race website

Like a shark, the Speedgoat must keep moving to stay alive.  Even with a bulging disc, suffered during Hardrock this year, he continued to stay active during recovery with long hikes.  Karl is back this weekend to run the Pinhoti 100.

In its 4th year, the Pinhoti 100, is one of those secret gems.  The point to point course boasts 16,200 ft of climb on mostly (80 miles worth) singletrack trail, gnarled with roots and rocks hidden under fallen leaves.  It’s like a day/night-long run in a booby-trapped forest.  Karl comments about the race on his site, “It is very well organized to boot. Todd Henderson, the RD does a great  job marking and has great aid station personnel.”  The race is full with 132 registered runners ready to enjoy the Pinhoti trail as they “make their way over the highest point in Alabama while navigating over rocks, through creeks and across beautiful ridge lines of the Talladega National Forest.” [race website]  The high point of the course, Mt Cheaha at 2,413 ft, is also the highest point of Alabama. [Wiki site]

Karl Meltzer

Karl Meltzer set the course record here two years ago with a 17:12.  He says, “I feel great.  I’ve put in five weeks of training at 10,000′, so I’m ready for sure.”  The only person to have come within two hours of that time is John Dove from Georgia, who’s run all three previous installments of the event.  John’s best time was en route to his win here last year in 19:01.  John will have his hands full trying to fend off Pennsylvanian Angus Repper (past wins at Sawtooth 100 and Virgil Crest 100) and Kentuckian Troy Shellhammer  who’s had a nice little season with a 16:12 at Umstead 100 and 7th place at UROC 100k.

For the ladies, Jill Perry from New York looks strong coming off her win last month at Oil Creek 100.  Is she recovered enough to muster the power to race hard against young Tennessean Sarah Woerner?  Sarah is the defending champion at Pinhoti (24:42) and has put together a solid season filled with sharp performances at a variety of distances.

The weather forecast looks nearly ideal with partly cloudy skies, highs in the 60s and lows around 40.  Hope everyone has a safe, fast, and fun race.

Pinhoti 100 elevation profile. Photo: Race website