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.


Jean Pommier said...

This is sooo cool, Rajeev: how many RDs cover their own race with their own blog? I can think of only one! Ok, two, must be something to see with Ruth as John and Amy had also blogged for their 2007 edition. And then Karl Metzler.

Your very special acknowledgments of each volunteer are so sweet, and deserved. What a nice community we could find on Saturday around Lake Merced, so much support to us runners.

Make me want to come back to finally crack the 100K distance at this event...

Many thanks,

Farther Faster

Darshan said...


Wonderful report and pictures as always.

In the pictures, the one of you presenting Scott Dunlap his 1st place award has both of you wearing AR50 jackets. At first, I had a good laugh.

Now I wonder if both of you are getting a discounted entry to the next AR50 :-)


Rajeev said...

Jean & Darshan,

Thank you very much! It's always fun to write about someone else's achievements!


Scott Dunlap said...

I had such a great time at your race, Rajeev! Thanks so much for putting it on.

That is funny about our AR50 jackets. They are as comfy as pajamas! We look like disco twins. ;-)

Mark Tanaka (Ultrailnakaman) said...
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Mark Tanaka (Ultrailnakaman) said...
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Mark Tanaka (Ultrailnakaman) said...

Sorry to miss it this year, Rajeev (and to keep making typos in your comments); you've grown into a skilled, veteran RD! Clarification: I had just run McNaughton not several weeks, but in fact 6 days earlier.