Thursday, May 3, 2012

Oh, What A Day!

Oh, what a day! It was perfect
And, if I may here interject,
Ideal for this ultra race
Which has Lake Merced as its base:
A lake pine and cypress bedecked.

Three distances: one to select.
Pick ere the mind starts to object.
Goal? The will and courage to showcase!
Oh, what a day!

Pain, heat, long miles to deflect;
The body, the mind to direct 
To keep going, to keep the pace.
Goal? Yesterday's Self to outrace!
Don't we from us a lot expect?
Oh, what a day!

I doubt if a recent race I have run or directed even came close to how perfect the day was for running in the Ruth Anderson Ultra races. The South Bay sweltered in the high 90s while Lake Merced topped out at a cooler 79 degrees.

A record number of entrants, 92, signed up for the race although only 80 started. There were 78 finishers making for the second highest Finishing Rate, 98 percent, in the last 11 RA races.

The awesome soups you enjoyed were made by Darshan Thaker who has become (and I now lapse into French)  le Chef de Cuisine pour Ruth Anderson et Run-de-Vous. Merci beaucoup, mon ami!


The first one to start the Ruth Anderson festivities was Tracy Crane. A 5K run with her daughter later in the day in Manteca necessitated an early start. Her Facebook status message at 3:45 a.m. read "I'm here! Bright and early! Starting in T-15 minutes. Gulp! 31.08 miles I got u!".

Victor Ballesteros and Jean Pommier set the pace early with Toshikazu Hosaka not far behind. Suzanna Bon and Wendy Georges were at the head of the women's race.

The beautiful day wended its way past the face of the clock as the runners went around the lake round after round. Dave Comb's newly minted Webcast software worked like a charm and friends and family members who had been notified of the live updates were now able to cheer on their runners via phone calls or text messages knowing exactly where they were in the race.

John Burton, the former RD of Ruth Anderson, was the first one in the race and from the Quicksilver Team to cross a Finish line. He won going away in 3:47. Tommy Konwinski finished 19 minutes behind him in 4:06. The 50K finishes started rolling in. Laura Alvarado won the Women's race in 5:07. Tracey Crane finished her first 50K in 7:58 and left immediately to drive to Manteca for the race she was to run with her daughter. She did well there too!

The youngest and the oldest competitors finished within minutes of each other. 77-year old Bill Dodson finished in 5:29 while 14-year old Elijah Helfman finished 3 minutes behind him. I doff my hat to you, gentlemen!

51 runners finished the 50K.

21 of them crossed the finish line before the next race distance, the 50-mile race, saw its first finisher.

Jean Pommier, 3rd. in last year's 100K (read about his eventful 2011 race day on, crossed the Finish line in 5:49.

Wendy Georges won the women's race in 8:17, 9 minutes slower than her winning time in the same distance in 2010. I know that she ran a better race this year for, at one point after 30 miles, she cramped up so badly that she could not even move. A few salt tablets gulped down in one go and determination saw her start moving again and finish the race with sheer grit writ large on her face. Way to go, Wendy!

There were 16 others who strode to the 80K Finish line.

Victor Ballesteros, in the meantime, had been going around the lake like a metronome. Half the race was done in 31 minutes per lap while the second half was between 32 and 34 minutes. That pretty darn good if I may say so, Victor! He was the 3rd person to cross the 50 mile distance, just ahead of the 3rd 50-mile finisher Nattu (7:48), on his way to a 7:32 100K finish.

The first 4, of the 9, 100K finishers incidentally qualified to run the Spartathlon in 2013 (and 2014 if they want to) by finishing in under 10:30.

65-year old Jim Magill crossed the 100K Finish line at the same time that 69-year old Lynnard Phipps completed his 13th lap. The amazing Magill then accompanied Lynnard on his last lap! Friendship indeed!

Congratulations to all of you. You inspire me by running with a smile on your face and joy in your hearts.

NORTH AS: Steve Jaber, Dave Combs, Stan Jensen, Anu Singh, Samanvitha Rao, Lily Patil, Madhulika Goel, Mark Nassi, Georganna Quarles, Steve Holman, Jason Reed, Kashyap Jammalamadaka, Murali Murugesan, Diane Forrest, Sandy Baker, Shishir Ramam, Joe Swenson, Keith Blom, Shradha Tibrewal; Neeraj Bhatia, Ashwini Kaushik, Anjana Gorur, Kripa Venkatachalam

SOUTH AS: Murli Thirumale, Anil Vaidya, Chandramouli Balasubramanian, Pavan Goklani, Balu Vellanki, Anand Aravindan, Manjula Jonnalagada, Sumanth Rajpal, Ganesh Pattabiraman, Anu Mayuran, Vikram Chandran

Gratitude to Don and Gillian and Zombierunner for supporting the race year after year.


Joe Swenson

Keith Blom

Anil Vaidya (South AS)!i=1828744827&k=KnT3TNq

Gururaj Singh

Rajeev Patel!i=1814096625&k=FhpZRTb

Leanne McCulloch

Jean Pommier

Jean Pommier

John Burton

Victor Ballesteros

Wayne Plymale

Monday, May 2, 2011

Wonderful Performances in the 2011 Ruth Anderson Ultra Races (Saturday, April 23, 2011)

Could a day have been more perfect for running and volunteering? The weather gurus had predicted a few showers now and then for race day but the clouds desisted from dumping their load on the runners and volunteers.

Some new Course Records, a few Age Group records and 67 of 70 starters finishing made for a 96% finish percentage. Good luck to all who stopped before the Finish in their next race.

(Race HQ)

(The South Aid station in the afternoon)

Ian Sharman made the race all his own after the first 2 laps. Martin Gaffuri matched him in the first lap, fell behind a bit after the second and finally let Ian stamp the race with his Course Record setting performance. 3:10:54 (6:08.5 min/mile). He ran this race as training for his favorite race, the Comrades in South Africa. His splits were almost metronomic - 27.5 - 28 minutes per lap.

(Ian Sharman with his award)

Victor Ballesteros looked great all the way to a Personal Best, by more than 20 minutes, of 3:24:24, good enough for 2nd. place.

(Victor Ballesteros)

Charles Wickersham smiled his way to 3rd. place in 3:45:26.

(Martin Gaffuri was the first one into the South Aid Station)

Former Ruth Anderson Race Director Amy Burton won the Women's race with a superb time of 4:17:59 followed by Marion LeClerc in 4:34:45. Deborah Georges, running her first ever ultra marathon, rounded out the triumvirate with a 4:55:51 run.

Tony Nguyen knocked off 2 hours from his previous best 50K time. Buddy Pohl's daughter Samantha Pohl, all of 12 years old, and his wife, Alicia walked their way to a 50K finish in 12:46.

Toshikazu Hosaka, the ever smiling one, powered to a 6:31:31 50M victory. Wim Van Dam finished 2nd. in 6:55:41. Patrick McCloskey rounded out the top three with his 7:42:39.

(See? Toshi is smiling!)

Clare Abram won the Women's race in a Course Record time of 7:03:41. Her time was the 3rd. best time overall. Jean Suyenaga, the only other woman 50M runner, finished in 10:16:34.

Two performances are worth mentioning. 15-year old Jonathan Huerta, growing up to be quite an athlete in the shadow of his talented mother, Lisa Huerta, battled with 15-year old Nishad Singh to take First Place in the M < 20 Age Group with a time of 11:25:50. Nishad finished close behind in 11:27:50. Rumor has it that Nishad was on the phone doing homework while running!

What a fantastic race this one proved to be. Joe Binder, the 2010 50M winner, and Jon Olsen, the 2010 100K winner, battled the clock to try and make it into the US World 100K team. Both needed to run under 7:16. Mission accomplished for both. Joe Binder won the race in a stunning time of 7:00:19. He had set his sights on coming in under 7:01. Jon Olsen finished 12 minutes behind him in 7:12:35. Sub-7 minute miles for 62 miles!

(Joe Binder making it look easy)

(Jon Olsen making it look easy too!)

Jean Pommier was in a plane in Phoenix airport when the race started! He finally made it to the Start line just over 2 hours late but still managed a stunning 8:13:30 run. The 2 hour late start kept him out of 3rd. place which went to Eduardo Vasquez who ran a wonderful 9:15.

(Jean Pommier kept on flying even after he got off his flight!)

Lisa Huerta was the only woman to run the 100K. She won her 2nd. Ruth Anderson 100K race (previous win was in 2008) with a time of 12:38:33.

Raman Rajpal started the race with the intention of running 20K or 30K. He finished a 100K 15 hours later, very satisfied and justifiably proud for gutting it out.

Congratulations to all of you and thank you for gracing this small race year after year with your smiles and talent.

Race Sponsors
Zombierunner, Mara's Pasta, Trail Runner Magazine, Aquaphor and Vespa

Your Awesome Volunteers
Pre-race (shopping/food/goodie bags)
Vandana Thirumale, Lily Patil, Suchitra Vaidya, David Sirbiladze, Anu Singh, Malhar Singh

North Aid Station
Steve Jaber, Stan Jensen Dave Combs, Abe Galvan, Lily Patil, Marla Moresi-Valdes, Martin Casado, Jeff Jones, Steve Holman, Darshan Thaker (soup chef), Sumanth Rajagopal, Shishir Ramam, Diane Forrest, her daughter Keara Forrest, Manjula Jonnalagada, Rich Hieronymus, Jason Chan, Wendy Georges, Janet Thomson, Brajesh Upadhyay, Todd Anderson, Jennifer Kindelberger-Meyer

South Aid Station
Anil Vaidya, Chandramouli Balasubramanian, Chakri Gulipalli, Deepu Shanthkumar, Veena Bhandarkar, Vivek Kumar, Jason Chan, Vandana Thirumale, Renuka Char, Rich Hieronymus, Raja Aji, Zach Landman, Cristina de la Fuente, David Downing, Sunil Shah, Renu Vora

Race Pictures
Alan Geraldi
Mara's Pasta
Chihping's FB album:

Race Reports
Ian Sharman
Jean Pommier
Tony Nguyen

E-mails From Runners
Hi Rajeev,
Thanks for a *wonderful* event on saturday. see you soon,
- Clare Abram
Rajeev, Stan, Dave and all the other wonderful volunteers and sponsors, as well as runners:

Wow! What a day! It seemed like I had my own personal Fan Club on each lap. The cheers, supportive comments and hugs were just great. And many of you were probably out there twice as long as I was.

Then to get the new course record - what more could I ask... well, maybe one thing, to get into WS100 again next year and finish this time. I could collapse die after the finish and have a fulfilled life - although I would rather wait and do it when I finish Boston at age 100 ;-).


Thanks for making this weekend so much fun. I had an awesome time, and to be able to PR by 2 hours is amazing. You made it into my race report! Check it out:


Hi Rajeev,
You did a great job organizing a very good race. I loved the people manning the aidstations. They were going out of their way to help me. Weather was great for a fast time. I ended up with a PR for the 50mile distance thanks to the conditions, the assistance, and the loop course. Yes indeed, I personally run faster on loop courses because I can pace myself better.

Wim van Dam,

Hi Rajeev!

Thank you so much for directing such a well organized and fun race. I thoroughly enjoyed myself yesterday in my very first 'official' ultra-distance race! I surprised myself in setting a new course record for my age division. Wendy and I were smiling all day, happy I did so well. I guess now she will be on the website as holding the record for the 100km and her younger sister (currently twin until May 24th) holding the 50km record! Ha, how's THAT for family performance!!

The volunteers were wonderful and very accomodating. I loved the "Indian" contingent at the second aid station. They took excellent care of me every time I came around. It was truly delightful seeing them at the ready with a Gu and water waiting for me to grab and go. And they always smiled and said words of cheer. It was such a joy seeing them lap after lap. BRAVO.

Of course the HQ volunteers were just as amazing, cheering for me and doing whatever to keep me going forward. Well done, Rajeev, very well done. I tip my hat to you! Thank you also for the water bottle. I have wanted one of those special bottles ever since my sister brought her's home last year. Thank you very much.

Finally, Wendy told me about your new race taking place in August(?) If I don't run one of the distances or relay, I'll definitely volunteer to help at an aid station or do whatever you might need. Count me in!

Hugs, Rajeev. Thank you again. It was a marvelous day. I'm grateful to you.

Deborah Georges

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Deja Vu All Over Again - 2010 Ruth Anderson Ultras (April 17, 2010)

Barring the actors, some of whom starred in the 2009 version of the races, the stage was almost a carbon copy of 2009. The morning was a tad warmer but the bulk of the day was equally warm and wonderful as the 2009 one.

This small race is definitely becoming more and more popular as is evident from the record number of registered runners and starters, 87 and 83 respectively. The 78 people who successfully finished one of the 3 distances made for a new high for RA Finishers. Course Records and Age Group records were set on a perfect day for racing.

Congratulations to all of you who toed the Start line at 6:30 a.m. To those of you who dropped out before reaching your race goal distance I wish you achieve the result you desire in your very next race.

Consistency is what stands out when one looks at Todd Braje's splits for the 6 full laps of Lake Merced. Each of the 4.5 mile laps was done in 28 minutes +/- a few seconds. He went on to win the race in 3:15:38, setting a new 50K Course Record by almost 3.5 minutes. He truly made it look effortless. Coming in second behind Todd, in 3:33:49, was Toshikazu Hosaka.

The Women's 50K race was won by one of the RhoQuick runners, Miki Yannoni, in 4:07:43.She too made it look easy. Her time is also the new F 40-49 Age Group CR.

Kelly Cronin, not far behind Miki, crossed the Finish line in 4:13:39 to finish second.

Laura Guest ran a 4:39:04 to set a new F 20-29 Age Group CR.

Jonathan Huerta, all of 14 years old, knocked off almost 2 hours from his 2009 50K time! His eventual finish time was 5:47:25. Nishad Singh, Anu Singh's (she ran 7:01:37) son, was the other 14-year old to run the 50K. In his first race of this distance, he pushed hard in the last mile to finish in 6:59:43.

The Men's 50M race was won by Joseph Binder. He literally barreled and slid his way through the North Aid Station on his way to a superb 5:37:46. He broke Thomas Reiss's Course Record by a whopping 19 minutes!

Jean Pommier looked smooth and efficient on his way to a 6:07:34 that earned him second place. He is now the proud owner of the M 40-49 Age Group CR.

Megan Deverin ran steady 41-44 minute laps to win the Women's 50M race in 7:46:13. Her time is also the new W 20-29 Age Group CR.

Wendy Georges, the Women's 2009 100K winner, finished second in 8:08:42. This time was good enough to earn her the W 50-59 Age Group CR.

Jon Olsen looked very good on his way to a 100K triumph. His eventual finish time was 7:32:29. We had him break the winner's tape twice just so we could get a picture of him. He ran the last 30 feet all over again for us with a smile on his face.

Pierre Yves-Couteau, Assistant RD of the Quicksilver 25K/50K/50M (May 8), just squeaked in under 8 hours (7:59:48) to finish second behind Jon.

The Women's race was the closest affair of all the races. It was inspiring to watch Yang Shin and Suzanna Bon fight it out over the last mile. Suzanna went on to cross the Finish line 9 seconds ahead of Yang in 9:38:31.

Suzanna, representing the US in the World 24-Hour championships next month in France, went on to run 3 more laps to finish the day with a tad over 75 miles. Good luck to her in the 24-hour Championship.

Don and Gillian from Zombierunner
Zombierunner has supported this race for a long time now and 2010 was no exception. The gingerchews/candy and the Chap stick are a Zombie tradition!

I am thankful to Ultrarunner and Trail Runner for the free magazines that went into your goodie bags.

I love my friends very much. They are the wind beneath my RD wings!

Steve "RD Extraordinaire" Jaber
No praise is high enough for the amazing person who once captained the Ruth Anderson ship. Knowing that he is around gives me a huge boost of confidence. He is Mr. Efficiency as far as I am concerned! I called him RD Extraordinare last year and the title still holds.

Stan "Ubiquitous" Jensen
Patiently updating the list of race entrants ever day in the last week, taking phone calls during the race from the 50K and 50M timers who were calling in with finish times and e-mailing me the race splits an hour after we had disbanded is just amazing. He is another person whose efficiency is wondrous. His love for the sport has always been evident and we are all grateful for his help.

Dave "Peripatetic" Combs
Dave Combs is another person I admire. He is one of the first to show up in a race and one of the last to leave. He makes it very easy to lean on him.

Lily Patil
She drove up with me early in the morning and helped out all day in the North AS. She even paced Bharti Dudhela for a lap during Bharti's 50K run.

Darshan Thaker
Ze Grill Master!!! Vat can I say? Ze Indian "crepes" (dosas) were awesome as was the dal "soup". You are now the official Grill Master for the race. Thank you very, very much for the pains you went to in order to give the runners great food after their race.

Mark Nassi
He came in very early, helped set up Race Central and then spent many hours working with Stan Jensen and Dave Combs in the scorer's tent.

Jonathan Gunderson
Jonathan, too, came in early and helped out for many, many hours in the North AS.

Baldwyn Chieh
He rode to the race with Mark Tanaka and spent the next 9 hours volunteering and taking pictures.

Anand Rangarajan
He helped out in the North As during the hours when the runners were coming in alomst every other minute!

Diane and Keara Forrest
For the second year in a row, this mother and daughter team lit up the North AS with their laughter and help. As far as I am concerned they have permanent duties, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., in future RA races. By the way, they drive down from Sacramento.

Sandy Baker and Jennifer Blake
They drove down with Diane and Keara and helped make the North AS the festive place it was.
Thank you, dahlings!

Shishir Ramam
Like last year, this dear friend of mine was another one I could and did lean heavily on. He started off by taking pictures, went on to help out in the South AS and then spent many long hours sitting all alone on a chair as the 50M timer. Thank you, my friend.

Roli Khattri
She helped out in the North AS and spent many hours selling race T-shirts (she did a good job - I am within $50 of having enough money to retire!).

Manjula Jonnalagada and Kalyani Subra
Manjula has now helped 3 years in a row. Thank you both for driving up and helping out in the North AS.

Leslie Carboni
Still too soon to come back from a running injury, Leslie decided to crew Grant, her husband, and eventually wound up replacing Mark Nassi as Stan and Dave's right hand (wo)man. Thank you!

Naren Dudhela
He picked up lunch sandwiches for all the volunteers and went on to become one of the race photographers.

Vivek Kumar
He showed up early and helped out with pre-race activities. He was our coffee angel in the first few hours of the day. Good luck in Miwok, my friend.

Zach Landman
Like last year, he volunteered in the South AS from 6:00 a.m. and then switched duties to become the 50K timer.

Bill Dodson
He decided to volunteer instead of run RA this year and became your 50K timer along with Zach Landman.

Sandip Borle
He spent the early hours of the day volunteering in the SOuth AS. Thank you for showing up and helping, my friend.

Anil Vaidya
He drove to my home the previous evening, loaded hos car with South AS stuff and duly transported them to the AS along with 5 lbs. of boiled potatoes. Another friend I lean heavily on.

Suchitra Vaidya
Anil Vaidya's wife, she is the one who boiled the 5 lbs. of potatoes that Anil had as ultra fare in his AS.

Bharti Dudhela
In spite of having a 50K to run the next morning, Bharti was sweet enough to boil my other 5 lb. bag of potatoes for the North AS.

Pratima Gupta
She manned the South AS in the early hours, when it was at its busiest, and did a stellar job. Hugs to you, babe!

Chandramouli Balasubramanian, Krishna Kumaraswamy & Gargi Nalwade
They were the second shift in the South AS and did a stellar job too.

Mohan Thirumale
Mohan is another friend who has now shown up in all 3 editions of the Rajeev Ruth Anderson race. Thank you, buddy.

Brajesh Upadhyay
He and Mohan took care of the South AS from 2:00 p.m. onwards

Chandrakala Kappana & Vivek Rai
These two dear friends have been volunteering for 3 years now and they do a fantastic job of making the South AS a welcoming place for the runners. Hugs to you both.

Sandhya Ramam & Megha Chawla
Thank you both for taking care of the South AS during its least busiest hours of the day. You two rock!

Anu Singh
She drove up the weekend before the race with me to race storage and helped Steve Jaber and me with race stuff. I have used her van every year of this race as my race vehicle. Thank you, doll.

Race Splits

Race Pictures

Race Reports
Mark Tanaka

Thank You e-mails from runners
I will reiterate my thanks to all of the excellent volunteers. As usual, you were great. I'll echo Mark Tanaka's sentiments, sorry I didn't smile very much. For me, it's more of a concentration issue. When I'm in a race, I'm constantly thinking (or trying to ) about what I might need, or be forgetting to take, when I'm entering or about to leave an Aid Station. Most of you know that I spend little or no time at Aid Stations, especially in this race, where we take only 20-25 minutes between Aid Stations.

Charles Blakeney
So, with the volunteers included in the emails, let me say THANK YOU! I signed up for the 50K to run 31 miles for my 31st birthday (which was April 10). I was terribly sick on my actual birthday with a terrible head cold and it still lingered on race day. Thanks to you all for giving me paper towels to blow my nose at every aid station :). I actually felt very strong and finished feeling very very good. I played with the idea of running the 50 miler (even though I didn't really train for it), but decided to stop at 50K to get home to my sweet 8 month old son. Many volunteers/runners might have heard me mention him, so here are weblinks that have his smiley face. Thanks again and I'll be back next year!!!

Val (Hower)

Once again, you put on a great race. Your sweetness was all over it, which adds so much to the fun. It's my one chance too to see Steve and your volunteers were all wonderful. Thanks so much for taking it over from Amy and John, this race should never die.

Wendy Georges

Of course I appreciate all of the volunteers and even the RD. I tried to thank everyone in person but in case I didn't, I'll send a separate e-mail to them. As usual, it was a well run race. What was unusual was the incredibly good weather. I don't know how you managed to get us such good weather but thanks.

Todd Hayes
Thanks again for a great race Rajeev and all your communicative energy. Thanks to all the volunteers, I very much enjoyed the day.

Pierre Yves-Couteau

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

2009 Ruth Anderson Ultra races

Ideal Conditions in the 2009 Ruth Anderson Ultra races

The 2009 version of the race was markedly different from the previous year. Gusty winds were replaced by ideal conditions. A cool start was followed by a moderately warm day that made for superb running.

A record number of entrants, 150 eager soles, toed the Start line. Of course they had to listen to the RD deliver his usual spiel before their legs were given the signal to do their thing.

Dan Mancini and Tim O'Rourke, attempting to break the National 50K record for their respective age groups, were the first ones to sail through the South Aid Station. Zach Landman, John Brooks and his friend Candace held out cups of liquids for them and the other runners following in their wake.

The first few laps were fast and furious with Dan and Tim running together. They were followed into the North Aid Station by Scott Dunlap, Jean Pommier and the other fast runners.

Dan and Tim eventually dropped, within minutes of each other, around the 21 mile mark. Cramps had done in their record attempt. Good luck to them in their future attempts.

Last year's 50K champion, Jean Pommier, had his dreaded asthma surface around Lap 5. He dropped off the pace a little as a result and finished 3rd overall. Scott Dunlap took the overall 50K title in 3:37:22 followed by Todd Hayes whose 3:55:50 was a few minutes ahead of Jean's 3:59:18.

The women's race was won by Leslie Carboni in 5:45:00. Second place went to the "young", at 67 years, and fast Eldrith Gosney who ran 5:56:57. Lisa Huerta finished right behind her in 6:01:23.

A very special mention of the Huerta twins. Jonathan and Jody. A chip off the old block. They are as tenacious and gifted as Lisa Huerta, the winner of last year's 100K women's race. These two teenagers made the 50K look easy. Jonathan, in fact, had never run more than 18 miles. Congratulations to you both.

The 50 mile race was won by Sean Lang who ran a 7:24:55 two weeks after his sub-7 hour finish in the American River 50. Eduardo Vasquez finished second in 7:50 while Chuck Amital running his first 50M, finished 3rd overall in 7:57.

Special mention of Marty de Castro. He landed in SFO on April 16th. He probably started the race a bit jet lagged but looked strong and steady all through the race. He ran with purpose and finished with a smile in 11:25. What a start to a week long vacation in the US!

In the Women's race it was deja vu all over again! Shades of 2008 when Carilyn Johnson lost count of the number of laps she had run and only found out, after 8 laps, that she was 1 lap past the 50K finish point which is where she had wanted to stop. Not wanting a DNF against her name, she went on to win the 50M. Jean made a similar miscalculation and ran an extra 4 laps to win the women's race in 9:25. Reshu Jain, running her first 50M, was the only other woman to finish the 50M. She finished in 11:41, hand in hand with Vivek Kumar who also ran his first 50M.

Last year's winner, Mark Tanaka, was worried most about Joe Swenson behind him. Rightly so. Mark won the race in 8:45 with Joe breathing down his neck. Joe finished in 9:07, a scant 22 minutes behind him. Mark, having run the McNaughton 150M 6 days earlier, did not show up to defend his title. Joe won the race in 9:21. Dmitry Nechayev placed second in 9:42 and Charles Blakeney finished 3rd overall, mirroring his placing from last year.

The women's winner, Wendy George, had many laps, in the middle of the race, of feeling down and sluggish. She roared back in the last 4 or 5 laps and finished very strong in 12:14.

Laurie Woodrow, having made the 50M cutoff with ease, eased off on the throttle and coasted in, despite bleeding blisters, at 8:02 p.m. to finish second in 13:19.

Michael Kanning started the race aiming for the National under-20 record in the 100K (10:55). Blisters forced him to cut short his attempt just shy of 40 miles into the race. We wish him luck in his next attempt.

Congratulations to all you runners. The ones who finished and the ones who did not. You learned something more about yourselves in your stopping before the Finish. That is a success in my book.

Race reports: Jean Pommier
Scott Dunlap
Zach Landman (South AS volunteer)
Race pictures: Diane Forrest
Rajeev Patel

I am ever grateful to the following people for their support of this year's race:
Don and Gillian, from Zombierunner
Thank you both very much for the goodie bag goodies

Shannon Taylor, Manager, Lululemon Athletica (Santana Row)
Thank you so, so much for the awesome goodie bags

Peter Defty of Vespa
Scott Dunlap, Jean Pommier and Leslie Carboni are Vespa users.

Richard Smith of Fluid
The recovery drink packet in your goodie bag.

Shannon Farrar-Griefer, Moeben Sleeves
This lady is generous and helpful beyond belief. Amidst her hurry to get to Boston for the
marathon hurry, she found time to not only find 75 pairs of sleeves for me but found a new
printer (her usual printers did not have the bandwidth to get the logos printed on time) to get
the logos done. I received the sleeved Thursday afternoon! Thanks love!!!

No ultra race can be organized and run without the help of volunteers. This small race is no exception.

I would like to thank the following people from the bottom of my heart. They come out just because they know me. Unconditional support. Thank you all for making my race happen.

Steve Jaber
This man is amazing. He was everywhere, taking care of all the minutiae. I have learned so much from this once RD of Ruth Anderson. I hope he shows up for many years to come. :)

Stan Jensen
Mr. Ubiquitous is how I perceive him. I see him in Auburn, in Sacramento, in Marin County ... His is an asset to the Ultra world. None bigger than him though. His capable handling of the scorer's duties left me with one less thing to worry about.

Dave Combs
He of the Ultra mailing list moderator duties. He of the volunteering in races as far flung as ATY and Coyote Two Moon. Mr. Peripatetic. Another numbers whiz, like Stan Da Man Jensen. Another person one can lean on.

Karen Hanke
She designed the race logo for me. What an amazingly gifted individual!!

Vandana Thirumale
She boiled and patiently cut up 2 large bags of potatoes. The same one Chuck Amital enjoyed eating late into his 50M! :)

Anu Singh
She boiled the other 2 bags of potatoes. Instead of resting her legs for her 50K the next day, she bustled about helping me. Then ran a PR, by 1h 45m, in the 50K.

My Mom
She helped me make the goodie bags 2 nights before the race. Very patient. Very organized. Thanks Mom.

David Sirbiladze
Like last year, he loaned me his friend's generator. It powered Stan Jensen's laptop and the electric kettle that boiled water for the post-race instant soup.

Kshama Rao
She woke up real early (3 a.m.), after helping me load her SUV with race supplies the evening before, and drove to Race Central with me. She started off by helping Steve set up the tents before heading out with Zach Landman to set up the South Aid Station.

Bob Cowdrey
I had not met him before. He drove up from San Mateo, in the wee hours, to volunteer. All on his own! What a guy. He was the first one calling out your bib numbers as you made it into the North AS.

Zach Landman
A sweating runner, complete with a headlamp, appeared out of the 5 a.m. darkness. Zach Landman making his appearance in the North Aid Station. He, along with John and Candace, took care of the runners in the South AS all morning.

John Brooks and Candace
They, along with Zach, made the South AS work seamlessly with the North one. A wonderful couple who are always smiling. I befriended them in the Coyote Two Moon race. Wonderful friends!

Darshan Thaker
He had pinged me a month or so before the race, ouof the blue, asking me if I could use his help. What a trooper! In spite of having the Diablo marathon to run the next day, he spent countless hours on his feet helping the runners and other volunteers. He managed to have a good run the next day. :)

Carol Cuminale
Having twisted her knee while pacing in the AR50 two weeks ago, she wisely decided not to start RA. She showed up with her usual lovely smile and infectious humor and eventually became your 50K timer.

Diane Forrest and Keara Forrest
Diane promised to come down from Sacramento, along with her daughter Keara, to help right after we both finished AR50. True to her word, she showed up on time and took over the capable duties of being Stan and Dave's phone person. She would answer the phone and get the finish times and bib numbers of the 50K and 50M runners. In between she doubled up as the official awards photographer.

Keara was the star of the day. Helping constantly, she never got tired or bored. What a volunteer!

Karen Bonnett
My RDL buddy! She showed up around the same time as Diane and Keara and joined Carol Cuminale as the 50K timer after which she helped out in the North AS. Very capable.

Mohan Thirumale
He picked up all the sandwiches for the volunteers along with other supplies that I called for while he was on his way to Race Central. Thank you sir!

Pallavi Ramam
She and Mohan not only kept us volunteers fed but also helped bring in supplies for both the aid stations.

Deepa Ramam and Nayan Ramam( 3 years old)
Deep, while keeping an eye on Nayan, helped out in the North and also went to the grocery store for more supplies. Thank you love.

Shishir Ramam
He was my go to guy for the first part of the day. He was everywhere in the Aid Stationa and also the guy who made trips to pick up supplies. He was then unceremoniously dispatched to act as your 50M timer. he finally came back in the late evening and was with me when Laurie Woodrow finished. He had to be! I was his ride back to the South Bay!!! :)) Thank you boss!

Maria de Vincenzi, Matt de Vincenzi and Cailin de Vincenzi
My personal trainer showed up around noon and volunteered, along with her 2 children, in the North AS. She was the one who went and got us extra gasoline for the generator! Thank you Maria.

Manjula Jonnalagada
I coached her 2 years ago for the Sankara Eye Foundation (SEF) Half marathon. She is one of the ket SEF volunteers. She has reciprocated the past 2 years by driving up to volunteer for a few hours. Thanks!!

Chandrakala Kappana and Vivek Rai
CK and Vivek - hugs to you both! You are the first ones to offer to volunteer and do so with a smile. Thank you both for taking over the South AS during the peak hours of the late morning.

Anil Vaidya, Renuka Char and Pratima Gupta
These 3 had a lot of fun. They replaced CK and Vivek in the South AS and from various reports I've gathered from my spies (a.k.a runners), they were kicking up a storm of fun and good cheer there well into the late evening. Thank you, you fun loving devils you.

Until next year. Run smart. Run safe. Have a great year folks.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

2008 Ruth Anderson race

Gutsy/Gusty Performances in the 2008 Ruth Anderson 50K/50M/100K
The 2008 race was indeed one for the books. Not for any record performances by the runners but for the intense conditions they had to deal with and overcome on the way to their respective finishes.

Race results

Congratulations to all you runners irrespective of whether you finished or not.

Our thanks go out to all the volunteers who made this race happen. They braved the intense winds and the bitter cold with a smile and an ever present helping hand. I want to make a special mention of Chihping Fu who went over to the South AS and volunteered after his race. Yuki Negoro joined him around 2 p.m. after finishing his 50K.

One can gauge how tough it was from the 100K overall winner, Mark Tanaka's, time of 8:45:06. He ran the same distance last year in a PB of 7:57:03!

The back part of the 4.475 mile loop i.e. from mile 2.2 onwards was extremely windy all day long. There were reportedly some sections where the runners felt like they were not moving at all.

There were 6 DNFs from a starting group of 49 runners.

100K Race summary
Mark Tanaka looked as smooth in his last lap as he had in his first. He did slow down from his furious 34-36 minute laps to 43-45 minute ones at the end but that hardly made a difference to the overall placing.

Joseph Swenson finished 2nd. in 9:07:33 while Charles Blakeney finished in 10:58:02.

Lisa Huerta, the only woman to go the full distance, finished with a smile on her face and surrounded by her husband and children. Her winning time was 11:17:44.

50M Race summary
The 50M race had 9 finishers with Eric Herdman being the overall winner in 7:03:02. Second place went to Michael Gilbert in 7:18:02 and 3rd. place to Steve Ansell in 8:33:17.

The women's winner, Carolyn Johnson, went on to win in 8:13:11. She had intended to run only 50K but wound up doing an extra lap beyond the 50K distance. When apprised about the rules, she gamely continued to run instead of earning a DNF. Instead she earned a first place woman's finish in the 50M. Lady Luck indeed smiles on the brave!

Like Lisa Huerta in the 100K, she was the only woman to attempt the 50M distance.

50K Race summary
Jean Pommier ran away with the race and finished in 3:44:58. Ron Duncan, who signed up almost at the Friday online registration deadline of 7 p.m., finished in second place in 4:09:02 while Alan Geraldi finished 3rd in 4:14:27 reversing their finish order from last year.

Alan had finished 2nd. last year while Ron had posted his 3rd. place finish in 4:08:08. The time from this year shows remarkable consistency from this tall and lanky runner.

Beatrice Song won the women's race in 5:07:44. Jean Suyenaga and Carol Cuminale rounded off the 2nd. and 3rd. place finishes in 5:15:10 and 5:44:05.

Bharti Dudhela and Samanvitha Rao ran their first ultra marathon and finished with intense joy writ large on their faces.

Raman Rajpal ran his first 50M race 4 weeks after running his first ultra (the Pirates Cove 50K).

Anil Rao ran a self-supported 50K in Lalbagh Gardens in Bangalore in a time of 6:09:42.

Thank you, Thank you
Our sponsors were Don and Gillian from Zombierunner (

They were kind enough to make goodie bags in the midst of their move into a brick and mortar store in Palo Alto.

Race reports, Pictures
Pictures (Anil Rao) (Yuki Negoro)

Race reports
Alan Geraldi
Jean Pommier
Peter Lubbers

Thank you all and hope to see you again next year.

The Race Volunteers

David Sirbiladze
He woke up at 3:15 a.m. to drive with his nut of a friend, Rajeev Patel, to Lake Merced where he, single handedly, put up the 10x20 volunteer tent.

Steve Jaber
I learned so much from this amazing man about race directing. He was everywhere, taking care of all glitches.

A friend of Juliane Scheberies, was amazing all morning and many hours past noon. She was the heart and soul of the North aid station.

Anu Singh
She boiled a load of potatoes the evening before before sitting down to make the goodie bags. She then got up real early to drive up with me to the race where she volunteered in the North aid station.

Lily Patil
She too drove up early with me and helped out in the North aid station until she had to leave around 10:00 a.m.

This man was like my personal genie - he manifested all the things I needed within minutes! He was there from 5 a.m. until almost 3 p.m., all the while helping get stuff for both the aid stations.

Arul's wife, helped out in the North aid station, all the while warming hearts with her beautiful smile

Cori, Mohan, Anil, Chandrakala (CK), Renuka
These hardy volunteers braved the gale force winds in the South aid station with an ever present smile and a helping hand.

Nicole Whiting
She showed up just after noon and spent the next 4-5 hours helping man the North aid station. She made and handed out hot soup to the runners and other volunteers and had a smile for everyone.

Manjula Jonnalagada
Manjula helped out in the North aid station and worked tirelessly for all the hours she was there.

Deepa Ramam
Showed up with a sleeping child and her parents and helped out including getting sandwiches for all the volunteers.

Stephanie Huynh, Wendy Hong, and Danielle Cha
These 3 young girls showed up at 6:15 in the North aid station and helped out until they had tpo leave at 10:00 a.m. These young girls are from a local school, Lowell High School, displayed great spirit and a willingness to help.

Hao Liu and Pete Lubbers
Your 50K timers, along with Jeff Jones, sat all by themselves timing your 50K finish and did it with a smile.

Shekhar Hemnani and Rajeev Char
Your 50M timers, they helped bring down Race Central after the race and were there till the end helping the last 100K runners finish.

Hollis Lenderking
Shouting out bib numbers in the morning, he came back again later on to get stuff for the race. Thank you Hollis.

Dave Combs and Stan Jensen
The numbers duo. These two manned their timing tent with an efficiency that I could only stand and admire. Knowing that they were in their tent crunching numbers let me spend my time with other race matters.

Jeff Jones and Lyal Holmberg
Jeff helped out in the North aid station, manned the 50K finish area and then headed to the South aid station where he and Lyal worked until the very end.

Chihping Fu & Yuki Negoro
Chihping went out to the South AS and helped out there for many hours after his race. Yuki too went there after his own 50K and helped Chihping.