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