Thursday, April 29, 2010

We'll See Some Things Bloomin' This Weekend

Bloomsday coming up this weekend.  Not sure who all from Montana will be present; but, you can be sure that there will be some good representation from Big Sky Country.

The Buzzard was hoping to have a good first weekend in May.  But, not so sure that I'll be pulling it off.

Had a good early spring of training.  But, by about mid March was starting to feel flat.  And, it hasn't gotten any better.  Almost feels like a bit of overtraining.  Flat, some lingering fatigue, no snap.  Didn't really thingk that I was doing that much in the way of mileage or quality.  But, apparently, it was enough to allow me to cross onto the bad side of that proverbial line.

But, we'll give it a go anyway.  Hey, us runners are always like the Bon Jovi song - "Livin' on a prayer".  Who knows - life can be funny.  Even when you think that you're about to run like the big ole doggy doo, you pull off the flyer (and vice versa).  So, we'll go, run hard, have fun and enjoy the spectacle of Bloomsday.

For those of you who are also heading to Spokane - best of luck.

See you on the roads, tracks and trails.

The Muddy Buzzard

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Big Weekend In The Big Sky

As expected, the racing was hot this weekend.

Saturday saw the 38th running of the Riverbank Run in Missoula.  Even though the weather turned windy later in the day, the morning saw some real nice racing conditions.  At the time of the 10K (9:00 a.m.), the temps were in the mid-40's with little to no wind.  And, it really didn't start to get ugly until noonish.  By that time the races were all done and complete. 

First out of the gate was the 10K, with Jimmy Grant toeing the line to see if he could defend his 2009 title.  And, with a solid 31:44 time, he got the win and a continuation of his stellar 2010 season.  It was a tough win with a slew of solid times coming in behind.  2nd was UM assistant coach Phil Keller with his 31:53; and, another 10 seconds back was Kiefer Hahn in 32:03.  The top 5 were rounded out by Mike Wolfe of Helena in 32:42, then Joseph Peelgrino ( a new UM grad student) in 33:23.  Courtesty of Ray Hunt, here's the lead pack of the 10K.

Phil with glasses, Kiefer in white, Wolfe in Grey, Jimmy with hat, Pellegrino in red

Top men master was Brent Ruby (42) of Missoula.  His 34:38 placed him 6th overall.  2nd master was Scott Gaiser at 35:40 (9th overall) and 3rd was Jeff Braun - 10th overall at 36:03.

The first woman was Jenny Newton, with her 38:30, giving her a 75 second win over Katherine Aune of Missoula.  First master's woman was Mary Pat Ostger of Stevinsville at 43:44.

Then came the 5K (and the 2nd leg of the race's trifecta - where athletes run the 10K, 5K and mile and the lowest combined time is the winner); and, like the 10K, the lead was dominated by the trifectors (hey - that's a great made up scrabble word isn't it :-) ).  Here Pellegrino got the better of the 10K boys with a stellar 15:09 allowing him to break the tape.

Pellegrino leading Keller and Kiefer into the 5K finish

Next in was Phil Keller at 15:13, Kiefer at 15:15, Quentin Decker at 15:25, then Collin Fehr at 15:29 and Mike Wolfe at 15:42.  7th overall and 1st master was Antoine Cuervo of Whitefish in 15:05. 

Meg Lerch was the women's winner and was unchallenged with her 16:27 for 11th - missing out on a top 10 finish by only 2 seconds.

Then comes the last bit of pain for the trifecta folks.  The mile - after 9.3 miles of hot running you then have to put the hammer down, keep the lactic acid at bay and let the lungs burn.  And; boy, did they burn it up.

Clearly, it was hot and fast right from the start and stayed that way to the end.  Pellegrino picked up his second win of the day with his 4:44.  Right on his heels were Kiefer Hahn at 4:45 and Phil Keller at 4:46.  Mike Wolfe rounded out the sub-5:00's with his 4:58.

In the end, Keller got the trifecta win with a combined tme of 51:52.  Then Kiefer at 52:02, Pellegrino in 53:15 and Wolfe at 53:20.  The women's winner was Jeenifer Sauer with a 68:24 combined time.

Great day in River City.

A day later was the Ice Breaker Road Race festival in Great Falls.  More of the big guns were on hand, with a head to head match up of Alan King and Thomas Jodoin.  And, they didn't disappoint in the marquee 5-mile event.

With Bernard Langat (the requisite Kenyan getting the win in just under 25:00), Alan pulled off a 2nd place overall with a 25:39.  Jodoin got the 3rd overall (both of them beating the other "ringer") at 26:21.  Although some heavy rain affected the race, it didn't seem to slow the boys at all.  Kyle Strode of Helena kept his hot 2010 year going, taking the masters win at 28:22.

The Kenyan women took the top 2 spots; but, then came Nicole Hunt at 29:33 (15th overall) and Dani Shahan in 30:01 (16th overall).  I believe that this was Nicole's last run as a sub-master - she'll be a 40 plusser come Bloomsday.  For this event - Laurie Detzi was the women's master champ.

At the 3-mile distance - Moses Leavens got the win at 15:44, with jared Reyes (of UGF) in 2nd at 16:06.  3rd overall, and 1st masters was Antoine Cuervo (coming back a day after his 7th overall/1st master run at the Riverbank Run) in 16:25.  Of note on the masters side was 50-year old Charlie Lucero - 8th overall - in 17:42.

The women's winner (and 1st master as well) was Kathie Perrins in 18:56.  Another 50+ athlete had a big day - multiple 3-mile winner in past years Suzie Kaluza of Butte was 3rd overall today in 19:42.

See you on the roads, tracks and trails

The Muddy Buzzard

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Talk About Tough

Okay, so one of you runs the fastest ever American time at the Boston Marathon (2:08:41).  Another runs within 15 seconds of his PR (2:09:26).  And what did those efforts get Ryan Hall and Meb Keflezghi??????
How about no better than 4th and 5th place. 

That's what happens when the winner runs a course record 2:05:52 (Robert Cheruyiot of Kenya) and second place runs 2:07:23 (Tekeste Kebede of Ethiopia).  Then, the third place guy (who ran in the lead until the last 4 kilometers) "blows up" and still holds on for third in 2:08:39.

But, that's what happens when the world of elite marathoning has reached a new benchmark for excellence.  2:07 is basically the new lower threshold for elite performance.  And, you pretty much have to be ready to run 2:05 or 2:06 to be even think about winning a major marathon. 

It's a far different world than it even was just 5 years ago.

On the upside, the American men seem to be getting closer.  We now have guys "in the mix" at some of the big marathons.  We have Hall and Meb in the top 5 at Boston, and Jason Lemkuhle pulled off a 9th to give us 3 in the top 10. 

But, they're going to have to get in a whole different mid-set to be ready to take it to the next level and be prepared to hit 2:06 or 2:076 everytime that they toe the line.  5:00 pace (2:10 effort) isn't going to cut it any longer.  They're going to have to adopt a bit of the Kenyan philosophy where you go for broke.  You very well may crash and burn; but, you may also flame brilliantly, hit a flyer and have a performance for the ages.

I remain hopeful that we're making the progress we need to and that the young guns like Hall, Ritzheneheim, Rupp, Tegenkamp, Fernandez and others are going to be solid competitors on the world stage and set the tone for the up and coming generation of American distance runners.

The Muddy Buzzard

A Win For Mountain West

Diane Cummins pulled off a big win at the Mt. Sac Relays on Saturday.  Running in the elite/invitational section of the 800 meters, Diane won the event in a stellar time of 2:03.25.  Considering that 2:00 is the line of excellence in the international world, Diane is basically there during an early season meet.  Great start to the year for Diane.  And, kudos to the Mountain West Track Club of Missoula being represented by Diane in the 800 and 1500 meters, as well as Meg Lerch in the 5,000 meters.

Great work ladies.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Beantown on Monday

The Boston Marathon is Monday and there's a number of ways to see the action.

Universal Sports will be broadcasting the race on the web.  Connect to the action at 

There will be real time web coverage at and

And, of course - lots of information (including web coverage) at the Boston Athletic Association site @ 

The BAA's athlete tracking isn't quite as user-friendly as some other races:  But, if you know someone who is racing and are willing to spend a couple of minutes on the website, you can get their numbers and track their performances through the race at multiple check points.

It will be exciting to see if Meb Keflezghi or Ryan Hall can finally break the domination of the East African's and bring the laurel wreath back to the US.

The Muddy Buzzard

MT Sac

Pretty decent Thursday and Friday for Montanan's at Mt. Sac.

Thursday - Steepelchases:

Men Olympic Development Division
     John Ricardi - Idaho State (Gardiner) - 8:52.80 6th out of 20 (6/20)
     Matt Adams - Montana State - 9:01.44 (9/20)

University/Open Division -
     Zach Nordahl - Air Force (Rapalje) - 9:17.70 (13/18)

Women Invitational -  Lois Ricardi Keller - Unattached (Idaho State)(Gardiner) - 10:16.50 (6/18)
    That time meets the "B" standard for the 2010 national championhsips and is only 4.5 seconds off the A standard.  So, it's very likely that we'll see Lois lining up with the big girls at nationals this summer.  Way to go Lois!!!!!

Friday -

1,500 Women's Olympic Development
     Heather Haug - Montana State (Livingston) - 4:26.48 (13/18)

1,500 University/Open - both the Ricardi's came back from their Steeples in the 1,500
     John Ricardi - 3:49.68 - 18th out of 94 (combined from multiple heats)
     Lois Ricardi Keller - 4:30.62  (12/86)

Women's University/Open 5,000 meters
     Meg Lerch - Missoula/Mountain West TC - 16:43.94 (16/31)

Women's Invitational 1,500 meters
     Diane Cummins - Missoula/Mountain West TC - 4:12.81  (3/9)

Great job to one and all.  Specail shout out to Lois and her meeting the national qualifying B standard.

See you on the roads, tracks and trails

The Muddy Buzzard

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Here's What's A Comin'

Fair amount of stuff going on this weekend - mostly on the track.

The road racing scene is a bit quieter this weekend.  There's the Jenni Kramer 5K in Billings, the Summit Classic in Kalispell and the Superfund Runs & The Bust a Gut events in Missoula.  Great community events; but, not the super intense up front races.  That comes next weekend with the Riverbank Run in Missoula, the Ice Breaker in Great Falls and the Peaks To Prairie in Billings.  Those will be some of the first races of the year that really tell where people stack up against one another.

For this weekend though - most of the college teams will be in Missoula for the Montana Open:  including UM, Great Falls, MSU-Billings and Rocky. 

The MSU thinclads will be heading south and running at Mt. Sac and Long Beach.

Also at Mt. Sac will be Megan Lerch of Missoula in the elite field for the women's 5,000.  Go Meg.

We're starting to get into the HS track season now.  No real eye opening performances yet; but, it's awful early in the season.  By the end of this month should start to see what kids are going to be the ones to beat by the state meets at the end of May.

Good luck to everyone who's competing this weekend.  Run Fast, Run Hard, Run Happy.

The Muddy Buzzard.

Saturday, April 10, 2010


Check out the MSU meet results from today at

One of the highlights was Alan King's 32:02 10,000.  If we was in college, he would have qualified for the Big Sky Conference Championhsips.  By lapping the field, it was pretty much a solo effort.  Great run for Alan.

The Muddy Buzzard

The Buzzard Catches Up

Catching up on a few race updates.

Great performance by Kyle Strode last month in S.F. at the Across The Bay 12K.  Finishing 47th overall, 4th in the 45-49 and 4th overall master - he sped to a 41:57 finish.  At 12K, that's a 5:37 pace (that's 3:28 per K for Ray and his ilk :-) )

At the March Meltdown 10K in Polson on 3/13 - Matt Shyrock led the way in 32:56.  Triathlete Lindsey Corbin (who won this morning's Grizzly Triathlon) was 2nd overall and 1st female in 37:16.  She was followed by master's champ Ted Burnham in 38:06.

At the Buttercup Run 5K in Arlee on April 3rd - Forrest Lumpry won in 17:26.  Missoula's Jenny Newton matched Corbin's March Meltdown effort and pulled off a 2nd place overall finish with her 18:40.  Kevin Plumage was 3rd overall and 1st master with his 19:09. 

Master's Men ruled the day at the Big Butte Run.  The only sub-40 man to crack the top 6 was Dewey Peacock. Outside of that, old guys kicked a little runner booty.  Led by Mike Telling at 44:07, the top 6 were rounded out by Pat Judge (44:11), Dewey in 44:59, Ray Hunt in 45:58, Jeff Braun in 47:12 and Marvin Speece (first over 50) in 47:52.  On a blustery, chilly day - it was a back and forth race at the front with Dewey and Pat trading the lead for 8K to 9K.  But, Mike Telling got on his horse on the run into the finish, caught Pat on the last hill and pulled out the win (see a great write up at the Butte's Piss and Moan Runners web site). 

On the women's side, Nicole Hunt (with only a few weeks left until she hits the masters ranks) won handily with her 50:05 effort.  She was followed by Mara Fisher in 52:55, Michele Bazzanella in 53:20 and ultra great Nikki Kimball in 54:00.

Some great racing on both sides of the gender divide.

In the 5K, Suzie Kaluza won for the gazillionth time.  Crossing into the 50+ age group hasn't slowed her down.

See you on the roads, tracks and trails

The Muddy Buzzard.

Friday, April 02, 2010

Casey & Ricardi Interviews

Check out these interviews with Patrick Casey & John Ricardi.

The Muddy Buzzard

Another Anniversary Come and Gone

So - two years ago was the day that the Lady Fate came up and bitch slapped me on April Fools Day.  Actually, it was more like a Mafia Don taking a tire iron to my kneecap.  Now, two years after a fractured patella, and all is mostly well.

Things have turned out quite well.  The knee seems to have healed fully.  I don't have any limitations on my mobility or day to day life activities.  And, I'm running normal mileage at normal effort.  In fact, my workout today include a segment of tempo pace, as well as a series of hill repeats on steep, gnarly hill.

I do appreciate evryday that goes by that I'm able to be out there on the roads enjoying the sport that has given me so much. 

Needless to say, yesterday was a good day.

Happy to say that I'll see you on the roads, tracks and trails

The Muddy Buzzard