Sancho Panza played squire to no one in today's first Eldorado Hill Challenge, capturing the highest flag of all 11 runners in the one hour distance race. Panza covered 7.2 miles of the hilly Goldstream Valley course in 59:16. He was followed by Ed Debevec at 6.6 miles in 58:04 and Graham Reynolds at 6.3 miles (after penalties) in 1:00:45. Anna Merrill won the women's division, covering 6.1 miles in 57:13, followed by Jane Lanford at 6.0 miles in 57:37 and Katie Graff at 5.8 miles in 58:43. Runners exceeding one hour were assessed a distance penalty of one to two tenths of a mile per minute. While runnable, Friday's snow slowed runners somewhat on the trail section of the course, and the summit flag (7.6 miles) remained unclaimed. Full Results here.
Large (345 MB) video file (.avi) of the finish here. Small (14.3 MB mp4) and shorter video here.
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!
Saturday, March 2, 2013, 11:30 AM
Location: 1369 Molly Road
Distance: One Hour (7.6 Miles Maximum)
40 Runner Limit
The Eldorado Hill Challenge, brand new this year, promises to be a fun challenge for those hardy souls of Interior Alaska who cheerfully brave, and run, throughout our subzero winters. 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)
Former Cornell track athlete Rick Lader, in his Fairbanks running debut, surprised even the faster-than-usual field of 43 runners at Sunday's St. Patrick's Run, handily setting an impressive new course record for the hilly 7.1 mile course. Lader finished the race in 41:13, bettering Devin McDowell's 2011 record of 44:01 by nearly three minutes, and his nearest competitor, Paul Wayfield, by almost six. Wayfield finished in a comfortable second in 47:10, followed by Hill Challenge champion Sancho Panza (a/k/a David Spencer) in a hard-won third of 49:23, narrowly clipping 2010 St. Pat's winner Jay Baxter (who beat his 2010 time by almost a minute in 49:25). Lader also claimed the “Irish” record from Dorli McWayne, his age-graded “Irish” time of 41:13 outstripping the veteran racer's 2011 graded time record of 42:47; Wayfield and Bruce Gard took second and third in the Irish standings. In the women's race, after tearing through the snowshoe series over the winter, Erika Burr tied Alida van Almelo's 2012 women's course record of 51:38. She was followed by Nikki Potter in 54:53 and Anna Merrill in 57:16. Megan O'Sadnick was the last of twenty runners to catch the Leprechaun this year, finishing in 58:44. Full Results here.