Well, it's a little early, but it's never too early to start preparing for the Equinox. As the flat summer races approach, one might wonder how those flatland races compare to Equinox performance. In short, they don't, at least not unless you do the requisite training (i.e. long runs and hills). That said, some rough correlations can be made, and I've mangled someone else's calculator to give you an idea! Read more to use it!
Three Interior running teams joined a record 176 other teams to finish the 32nd Annual Klondike International Road Relay in Whitehorse on Saturday. The 110-mile road race --and quirky northern spectacle--along the Klondike Highway from Skagway to Whitehorse began Friday evening and ended throughout the following Saturday.
Fairbanks teams “Blueberry Chocolate Dynamite” and “That's What She Said,” both returned from the 2013 edition of the race to challenge the daunting White Pass again. Erika Burr and Rick Lader, winners of the Run of the Valkyries earlier this season, sped up the pass and across the border at honor-winning speed for “Blueberry Chocolate Dynamite.”
Burr tackled the 5.6 miles of the short but precipitous leg 2 in 52:06, crossing the international border and taking 5th among women. Undaunted by the mountain that kept her at a 9:18 per mile pace, she then accelerated well over two minutes per mile for the more forgiving and less absurdly steep leg 3, reaching the Canada customs station and completing 7.8 mile leg in 54:23, a 6:58 per mile pace. Burr placed third among women for leg 3.
Lader took over where Burr left off and hurtled through the British Columbian night, pacing the half-marathon Leg 4 course at top speed, out-pacing all competitors and taking top honors with a time of 1:17:35, a 5:55 per mile pace. Bruce Sackinger and Dan Bishop each managed 8th among men for their respective legs for “Blueberry Chocolate Dynamite.” Sackinger completed 12.4 mile leg 8 in 1:32:51, passing 37 runners in the process, while Bishop faced stiffer competition on the 12.1 mile “glory” leg 10, finishing the Alaska Highway and Miles Canyon course into Whitehorse in 1:22:33.
Despite Lader's and Burr's performances, however, it was a new entrant from Salcha, Eric Lanser's “Sir Lanserslot” that posted the fastest Interior team time in the Klondike: 15:25:39. Lanser himself earned the best finish on his team, placing 8th among men for the 8.8 mile leg 7 in a time of 1:08:24. With a largely balanced effort throughout the legs, “Sir Lanserslot” took 4th in the open category, followed by “Blueberry Chocolate Dynamite” in 15:35:03.
“That's What She Said” finished in 19:20:26, taking 16th in the Women's category. Allison Blechman and Kathleen Stewart each turned in solid performances for “That's What She Said,” Blechman covering the 16 miles of leg 6, the longest of the relay, in 2:23:34, while Kathleen Stewart ran leg 8 in a brisk 1:46:10.
Anchorage harriers “Team Raven: Take No Prisoners,” retook the overall Klondike title, edging their traditional rival, Whitehorse favorite “Scarecrow” by 10 minutes, 13 seconds in a time of 11:04:51. “Team 8” from Juneau took third overall, winning the mixed category in 12:12:49. Two runners, Houston Laws and Klas Stolpe, also completed the first-ever solo edition of the race, crossing the line together in 23:34:34.
Adam Wood became the first person to capture the summit flag of the Eldorado Hill Challenge on Saturday, covering all 7.6 miles of the one hour distance race in 55:05. Dan Bishop also conquered the entire hill, taking second in 57:15. Davya Flaharty won the women's race, summiting and returning in 57:37. Oliver Loftus followed in 58:28 to take third among men and was the last of four to complete the entire hill. Anna Merrill took second among women, covering 6.8 miles in 58:49. Jane Lanford followed soon after in third, managing 6.6 miles in 59:16. The trail section of the course was well-packed this year and led to much speedier times than last year, the first year of the race, when the winner completed 7.2 miles. Full Results here.
Saturday, March 1, 2014, 11:30 AM
Location: 1369 Molly Road
Distance: One Hour (7.6 Miles Maximum)
40 Runner Limit
After a splendidly successful first year, the Eldorado Hill Challenge is again on the Running Club North calendar for 2014. The 2014 race will feature some minor changes, namely, flags will begin (sooner) at 2.6 miles, and all flags will be placed .05 miles apart (previously the first few flags were .10 apart). The Challenge is simply this: run as far up a hill as you can and return in no more than an hour. Whoever does the whole hill first wins. If nobody does the whole hill, whoever goes the farthest wins. The race starts (and finishes) just west of the corner of Clifden and Molly roads in the Goldstream Valley. Runners first ascend east along the entire length of Molly road until its intersection with Waterford, where runners continue east on a packed snowmachine trail along the Eldorado Ridge to its summit, roughly above (and a mile or two north of) the Silver Gulch Brewery.
Course Map (Requires Google Earth)