So, the new year is upon us and we're starting to see some action inside and outside of the state's borders.
Even though it was technically held in 2010, the Buzzard is consider Run Wild Missoula's New Year's Eve Indoor Track 2-mile Race as a 2011 event. And, that's were Pat Judge of Helena flexed some early season master's muscle. Running right on the heels of 21-year old Thomas Everett of Missoula (and a collegiate athlete at South Dakota Tech) Pat ran a solid 10:23 to get the year started right.
New Year's Day saw the year start off at the annual 5K run in Thompson Falls. Cold temps and lots of snow on the roads kept time's slow and the field a bit smaller than in some past years. But, fun was still had by all - and, a surprising number of folks also took part in the Polar Bear Plunge.
Week two of the year was a quiet on the running front. But, there was a big bang of activity this weekend - all of it out of state; but, involving Montana athletes.
Let's start with the Yellow Jacket Open at Black Hills State in Spearfish, SD yesterday (1/15/11). Alan King, in the midst of a marathon training cycle, equals his PR at 3,000 meters with a 2nd place 8:58.58. In two weeks Alan takes a stab at a fast marathon at the ING Miami Marathon. In addition to Alan - Rocky Mountain College (Alan coaches at RMC) and MSU-Billings (coached by Dave Coppock) were there and running hard. See full results of the meet at: http://bhsuathletics.com/sports/mtrack/2010-11/files/2011_YJ_Open_Results.htm
Also yesterday - the University of Washington Indoor Preview meet in Seattle. The Ricardi kids were at it - both now in their post-collegiate careers - at 3,000 metes. John ran an 8:46.66 in the men's race. Lois (now married and running under the name Lois Keller) ran a stellar 9:50.41 for a 4th place overall finish.
Today's PF Chang's Marathon and Half-Marathon had a full complement of Montana athletes (see full results at http://results.active.com/pages/page.jsp?eventLinkageID=15). Leading the way in the full marathon was Brendan Halpin of Missoula. He placed 18th overall with a 2:38:39 performance. Also under 2:45 was John Fitzgerald of Missoula at 2:42:45.
In the half marathon, Ben Rush of Helena ran 1:16:12 to lead the Big Sky finishers. Joe Anderson of Billings (not a name that's familiar to The Muddy Buzzard) ran sub-78 with his 1:17:39. 60-year old Tim Brooker of Plains (and The Runner's Edge) ran a solid 1:29:47 to come in as the 3rd Montanan.
Lewis Elliot of Phoenix (but a native of Billings) ran a 1:15:03 after going out with the lead pack in the first 5K. Lewis is a national level triathlete who just returned to Arizona after a multi-week Christmas break with his family in Montana.
A lot of the action in the next few weeks will be indoor track based (and on the collegiate level). But, there are a few road races in the state; and, Big Sky athletes will be traveling to a few out of state events. The Buzzard will do his best to keep you all up to date on what's going on with the distance running scene in and around the Big Sky State.
See you on the roads, tracks and trails.
The Muddy Buzzard