Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Support The Home Team

Over the last few years, there has been an explosion in the collegiate opportunities for runners in Montana. For so many years, the only options were MSU and UM. Both had great programs; but, with the limitations imposed by the NCAA, the opportunity for walk-on or JV programs has all but disappeared.

For 19 years, MSU-B has had a cross-country program at the DII level; and, was the only option for runners who weren't ready for running at the DI level. And they have produced some very solid athletes over the years. But, in order to run with athletes of comparable levels, they have had to travel all over hell and gone. And, on top of it, the team has been coached by long time Montana Road Race (4-time Gov's Cup Marathon Champ among his accomplishments)

But, that tide has begun to turn over the last few years. We now have XC programs at Rocky Mountain College (Alan King - coach), Carrol College and the University of Great Falls. And, on top of it all, MSU-B has brought their track program back to life and are ready to have their first meet of the year this coming weekend.

The addition of XC (and track) at these schools really has the potential to provide the impetus for athletes to stay with the sport after High School. And, hopefully they find their passion for the sport and continue to run and compete (and hopefully stay in Montana) post collegiately. We need to continue to have an infusion of young blood into the sport to keep it young, fresh and competitive.

We need to do our part by supporting all of these in-state programs. Several of them have benefit runs. Keep your eyes on www.runmt.com to see when these races are going to occur; and, if you're able to make it - do the right thing and participate in the event. The funds raised by these runs help these programs to do some of the little extras for their athletes. If you can't make the race, feel free to enter anyway. The $15 or $20 will still go to the program and every little bit helps.

Do your part, support the home teams. We're all in this together.

See you on the roads, tracks and trails.


Grande Colina Aislada

Easter weekend saw the annual Big Butte Run take place. The main event is the 11 kilometer run that goes up and over the "Big M" north of the Montana Tech campus. It then traverses some of the back roads behind Tech and is a challenging trail race.

The race was won by Dewey Peacock of Bozeman. Dewey has really taken to the trails in the last couple of years and is now a member of the Inov-8 Trail Racing Team. Dewey ran 46:22 for a 75 second win over "Jim Diamond" of Helena. Suspicion makes me think that this may actually be rick Judge or Brian Wieck representing the Diamond Jim TC out of Deer Lodge (and temporarily HQ'd in Helena). Anyone have any input on that 2nd place runner.

First woman was Kristin Hueftle of Butte in 65:04.

In the 5K, 15-year old Theresa Lombardi of Butte was the women's winner in 25:09, less than 1 second ahead of Rachel Schoenig. In 3rd was a Eddi Walker in the 50-59 division. And, contrary to what the paper was reporting, it appears as though the overall men's winner was another 50-59-er, Don Sundberg (Butte) in 21:08.

Up this weekend is the Buttercup Run in Arlee - see www.geocities.com/btrcuprun for more details.

Also on the Horizon is a run in my own back yard; so, wanted to make sure you all knew about it. It is the River Road Run in Plains on April 6th. There will be 10K and 3K events. The run is to benefit the Cancer Network of Sanders County. So, if you're looking for a nice, small town run on a scenic course in the Clark Fork Valley, come up over. Entry blanks are available at the Runner's Edge in Missoula or at www.cancernetworksanderscounty.org.

See you on the roads, tracks and trails.


Saturday, March 22, 2008

Tommy R on the move

Bye Bye Griz

Hello Argos

For those of you hadn’t already seen or heard the news, Tom Raunig will be stepping down as head coach of the Griz at the end of this track season. He’ moving on to a full time teaching position at the University of Great Falls and putting his doctorate degree to good use. So, no more Coach Raunig ---------------- now it’s Doctor Tom.

The up side is that we will still have him in Montana; and, hopefully we’ll even get to see him out competing in a few more of the state-wide running events.

Make sure you take the time to wish Tom all the best. Better yet, help show your thanks by taking the time to be a spectator (or even a volunteer) at one of UM’s home meets this spring.

The link to the story in the Missoulian is: http://www.missoulian.com/articles/2008/03/22/sports/sports04.txt

See you on the roads, tracks and trails.

Tony B

Valley Of The Sun?????

Spent the St. Paddy's Day weekend visiting my son in Tempe, AZ. As I left Missoula on Friday night the snow was coming down, temp in the low '30's, wind blowing - typical early spring conditions. Man was I looking forward to some time in the desert sun. Oh baby, get to wear some shorts and sandals.

Unfortunately, someone forgot to let Mother Nature know that I was headed into town for a visit. Sautrday was in the mid-'60's. But, outside of that, the temp was mid-40's to mid-50's. Windy, cloudy and cold for the most part. It was a bit of a bummer.

On the upside - did get the cahnce to run a small race while there. The Tempe Saint Patrick's Day Run was held on Sunday the 16th in Tempe's Kiwanis park. It was my first race since about this time last year. My fitness still has a ways to go; but, I was able to hit my goal of a sub-30 minute 8K (29:57). It's not where I want to be; but, it's a start.

And, considering that I started the year barely able to hold 8:00 pace for 2 miles, I'm happy with the progress. There's a few aches and pains as I get the mileage back up to normal and begin to incorporate some harder efforts and long runs. But, all in all I seem to be holding up.

I'm excited about the arrival of spring and the opportunity to do some racing her in the northwest part of the state. It's exciting to do some new races, meet new people and explore new roads and trails.

Till later

See you on the roads, tracks and trails.


Danny Boy was hearing the races calling

Well, the Shamrock Runs around the state have come and gone and brought us squarely into spring. The first of these was the annual AOH Locker Room Bar Run in Anaconda. I’ve already noted those results in my post of March 11th. This last weekend saw races in Billings, Missoula, Bozeman and Great Falls.

In trying to get results of those races, I’m finding that it’s not quite so easy to find race results from around the state. Runmt.com does a great job of posting the calendar. But, not all of the races or host clubs are super timely about posting results. And, for the most part, forget about finding results on newspaper sites. They were bad enough prior to the internet revolution. But now, the sport is all but invisible to them. Bozeman tends to be a decent exception (thank Tim Dumas and your cohorts at the Daily Chronicle). But even Missoula, a hyper-fit outdoors community is only so-so in listing results of anything but the bigger papers.

I would love to do my part in trying to spread the word and let our statewide running community know how races pan out. So, if you have run a race (or are involved in putting one on) and know where the results will be posted, let me know and I’ll pass the word. Likewise, if they aren’t going to be posted anywhere else, send me the results and I’ll post them here (or at least the top finishers).

Now, on to the races.

The most competitive of the runs (at least on the men’ side) would seem to be Bozeman’s race (The Run to the Pub) on the 15th. Kurt Michels (an MSU grad (he’s now doing post-grad work in mathematics) and Flathead HS alum) set a new record on the 10K course at 32:33. That bested his sometimes training partner Kelly Fulton by 37 seconds (33:10). Kelly is a BSDP team member, a Billings Senior grad, a cross-country all American at DIII St. Olaf University, and currently doing his masters in architecture at MSU). Also, Kelly is to get married this August to Liz White, a Tacoma native and another Ole grad.

First master’s man was an old Irishman straight from the streets of Butte, Pat O’Connor in 35:51 (4th overall).

The women’s open winner was Melissa Dock of Bozeman in a fine time of 38:06. First master woman was Marybeth Adams of Belgrade in 48:19. Full results at perfect-timing.org.

The Billings Shamrock Run was held on the 16th. I believe that this is the first Shamrock Run that I’ve missed since 1991 when we moved to Billings from southern California. It was strange to not be out there at 1:00 on Sunday hitting the pavement with the other members of the Blue Dome Social Club. That being said, it’s funny, but they held the race even without me present. I guess life does go on. In the last couple of years they have dropped the 10K event and have gone to a 5K only. So, the talent pool doesn’t get at all diluted. And, there was some pretty solid racing this year – probably the best overall set of performances here in the last several years.

As expected, Alan King dominated the field. Alan has been on a roll since about this time last year and is really establishing himself as one of the top runners in Montana. He’s a Billings West grad and did his collegiate running at Dakota Wesleyan. After a year in Alaska (where he suffered a severe ankle break playing tundra football), he’s come back to his home turf. After a solid year of training and mileage in his legs, he’s really starting to show his talent. Alan’s 16:33 was followed by a close race for the top 5 with Ryan Archer at 17:22, Josh Dean, as senior at Billings Skyview in 17:35, and Mark Bolt and Eban Nordhal (senior at Rapelje HS I believe) in 17:41.

The first master’s man was Stephen Kosnar in 17:54.

On the women’s side, Sarah Graves of Billings continues her stellar running of the last year with an 18:59. Sarah is a Sidney native who ran for Dave Coppock at MSU-B. In the last 1 or 2 years she has really developed as a runner setting PR’s from the mile to the marathon. In the marathon, she just missed qualifying for the Oly Trials with a breakout performance at the St. George Marathon.

The first master’s woman was Kathy Perrins in 21:43. Full results at rimrunners.org.

Up in Great Falls, the crowd seemed a bit smaller, but the runners were out for a good cause (raising funds to help the UGF track and XC teams. It’s good to see that Nathan Taylor is still running and racing and he took first place in the 4 mile event with a solid time of 22:33. CMR standout Keely West finished 10th overall and took home t women’s title at 26:47.

Spring has sprung, the races are being run and the trails they are a callin’.

See you on the roads, tracks and trails (watch for ticks kiddies)

Tony B

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The Leif is Green

Sounded like a classic day at the AOH Locker Room Bar race in Anaconda this past weekend. Ray Hunt reports that it was abourn 40 degrees at the start with a steady tail wind. The net downhill course saw clear roads that were ready for the pitter patter of racing leprechauns.

The 6 mile was won by Leif Seed at around 31:30 & Ann Seifert at approximately 40:00. The 3 mile winners were Raul de Panal(?????) @ 15:49 & Susan Kaluza @ 18:57. Full results should ultimately get posted at http://www.anaconda-aoh.com/

With that, the road race season for the year is off and (literally) running. This weekend has St. Paddy's day races in Missoula, Billings, Great Falls and Bozeman.

See you on the roads, tracks and trails.


Sunday, March 09, 2008

Jennifer, Jennifer, Jennifer

Jen Thomas took a little trip out west this weekend to the University of Washington Last Chance Indoor Track Meet. She wanted to show the college punks a thing or two about running the 800. And, boy did she.

She scored a 4 second PR to take second overall in a big studette time of 2:13.28 (see below)

1 Amy Egan Utah State 2:10.43
2 JENNIFER THOMAS Unattached 2:13.28
3 Kailey Campbell Washington 2:13.39
4 Karissa Carlson Unattached 2:21.64
5 Jenna Dorsey-Spitz Runner's Roost/R 2:25.29
-- Dani Schuster Washington DNF

Now some would say that the time is not legit since it was run on UW's oversize 390 meter indoor track. But, to me, 2:13 is 2:13. I don't care how you slice it. There are still turns to run, it's not downhill, and you have the dry stale air to contend with. Congrats Jen - way to show the young punks how to turn over the legs.

See you on the roads, tracks and trails.