March 17, 2010

Next Up Chuckanut 50k

(Me in 08 sporting 3/4 tights, under board shorts, Montrail Hardrock shoes and rocking my then sponsors H.H. gear. I'd like to believe I've come a long ways since then!)

I HAVE HOME INTERNET AGAIN, YEAH HAWWW!! Two weeks is a damn long time to be sitting outside on a patio in a jacket and gloves while attempting to draw internet at about 25% from a random neighbor down below!

It's been over two full months since I last raced. This has been one of the longer stretches I've gone through in the last few years and I'm absolutely bursting at the seems to get back at it again already!

This weekend is the Chuckanut 50k down in Bellingham, and the field is STACKED!!

I've only run Chuckanut once before, that being in 08 and I was coming off of double calf injury that had me sidelined for the five weeks leading up to it. I was happy just to finish that year. Last year I had a stellar race two weeks prior in North Vancouver at The Dirty Duo, but I paid the price with an injury that left me sidelined and staring at a DNS. Aaron Heidt went on to nail that race and I ended up being his water boy for the day...he never woulda won without me!!

ALRIGHTY, all that to say that, as Mr. Buffer puts it, "IT'S TIME!" (to get it on)

I'm actually feeling really good heading into this weekend and I have absolutely no excuses not to have a great race. I came down with a bronchial infection a few weeks back but the timing of it could not have been better. I'd been suffering through a pretty bad ankle issue that I was constantly ignoring and after being forced out of running for TEN full days it managed to recover 100%. Funny how life can sometimes force you to accept things you'd rather pretend didn't the balding process for instance!

Last week I managed 105km of running, which was up from exactly 0.0km the week before. The first few runs were terrible but by weeks end I'd managed some really solid runs both solo and with fellow Montrail teammate Ryne Melcher. All in all, I just can not wait for this thing to begin already!

A quick breakdown of the who's who:

I'd have to give the favorite to a Mr. Andy Martin. If ya haven't heard of Andy yet he was Hal Koerner's faster partner down at Trans Rockies last summer. Andy is a roadie who's won some very respectable marathons in the last few years. Considering Chuckanut has a full 20km of completely flat running it will be a challenge for anyone to match Andy's outright speed.

If anyone can do so I'd have to give it to BC runner Adam Campbell. Again this might not be a name everyone knows yet, especially considering it's Adam's first ever ultra. However, Adam raced with last year's winner Aaron Heidt at Trans Rockies last summer and they were completely evenly matched. Adam is a multi time national duathlon champ and married to Olympic triathlete Lauren Groves. Simon Whitfield is one of his best buds and Adam has a lifetime of competitive athleticism to back him up. He'll be right at the front for sure.

Next up would have to be Erik Skaggs, though this being his first race back since his kidney failure at Where's Waldo 100k in August it's tough to know if he's back to 100% and willing and able to lay it all out there on race day again yet?

Hal Koerner finished 3rd last year and has already opened 2010 with more apparent speed through his first few races (which is truly scary to any WS hopefuls out there). I'm sure he'll be going for broke.

OK WOW. I just re-read the updated list of racers and it's even more stacked than I fully realized. Here's a sampling of others who'll be 'in it to win it'

-Peter Ellis. Local having run 4h05m for 4th last year and 2nd in 08
-Scott Wolfe
-Justin Angle
-Ryne Melcher
-Michael Havrda
-Yassine Diboun
-David Papineau
-Brian Morrison
-Darin Bentley
-Chris Downie
-Adam Lint
-Chris Rennaker
-Matt Simms

+++ There are ALWAYS a few fast guys who sneak into these things, like Ellis in 08 when he finished 2nd in his first ever ultra.

Umm, yeah...looks like this will easily be the most competitive 50k I've ever run! Having said that I think I'm heading to bed now, it's midnight, and all of a sudden my legs are feeling heavy and sore!



Boris T said...

Good luck Gary. Say is that a pic of you on the front page of their website?

runamanda said...

Good Luck

runamanda said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jonathan Bernard said...

Also.. Adam Hewey, Miles Olerich, etc, etc, etc, etc. way too many fasties! And YOU, of course!

Francois Fournier said...

Hi Gary,

What about you as a favorite ???

Good luck and make us feel proud as Canadians (as always)

garobbins said...

The guy on the front is a legendary runner by the name of David Terry. I had never met him but he passed away in late 09 and had touched a lot of people's lives along the way. It's Krissy's tribute to him.

Jonathan, I didn't know the name Adam Hewey and certainly would never overlook Miles, WOW, it really is going to be a barn burner out there!


Dom Repta said...

What a line up. I will be crawling and watching from the back but it is crazy to see how far this sport has come since some of these guys started.

I can't even pick a favorite but if I had too....I am going all Canadian all the time! I won't pick a name but I think 3 Canadian men top 6 and 2 Canadian female top 5!!!

I also pick 1 Canadian male bottom 5 baby!!!

Gary come back out and run me in, it will be good training for you! but that might make it a 70 km run for you...

Krissy said...

Take a look at the Womens field too! I think some of the speedy boys are going to be looking over their shoulders too :)

Nicola Gildersleeve said...

Nice call Krissy!!!!!!!

Derrick said...

Wow...What a field. Will be fun to follow.

All the best!

garobbins said...

I wasn't meaning to isolate the woman at all, I honestly looked at the starters list and didn't feel that I knew enough of the names to properly bout this, I pick Ellie!


Darin said...

Thanks for including me in 'The List', Gary, I'll give you the $20 when I see you Saturday.

saschasdad said...

Martin's goal is to break Uli's c.r., which he may do, but unfortunately for him Skaggs is back at 100%. Skaggs gets the W, and the new c.r.

garobbins said...

Four under four, that's my prediction right now

Ryne said...

Agree Sean I can see Andy going under the old course record. Weather looking to be unbelievable too! Maybe Skaggs will just run a faster course record!
Should be a good time and I predict 6 people under 4 hours Gary!

Gary Robbins said...

Melcher, good call on the six under 4hr...too bad it wasn't the six we were both hoping for!!