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Rob Krar is Becoming a Legend

August 18th, 2014

Rob Krar is at home in the mountains. (image: Denver Post)

Rob Krar is good at running 100-mile races through the mountains. In June, he took the Western States Endurance Run title and this past weekend he won the Leadville Trail 100, running the second fastest time in both races’ history. In conquering the Sierra Nevada and Rocky mountain ranges’ most storied ultra races, Rob has put himself on the map as one of the world’s best runners, something that would have been hard to predict for the former middle distance runner from the banks of Lake Ontario.

Rob has always been good at running. As a young track runner, Krar earned himself a scholarship at Butler University and boasts personal bests of 1:51 and 3:44 in the 800 and 1500 respectively. The Canadian native hardly has the prototypical background of an ultra marathon champion. Following his time at Butler, Rob moved to Phoenix to pursue a career as a pharmacist and mostly gave up competitive running. The city life in Phoenix wasn’t to Rob’s liking and when the opportunity to transfer to Flagstaff came along, Rob made the move.

Many runners have made their way to Flagstaff to log countless miles on the town’s endless mountain trails, but Rob ended up there by a different route. What was to be a short stint in Flagstaff to earn his pharmaceutical certifications, is now going on 8 years with no plans of leaving. Clearly, Rob also started lacing up the running shoes again.

Rob didn’t turn into an overnight champion. After running sparingly between his time at Butler and his arrival in Flagstaff (he graduated from Butler in 2001 and transferred from Phoenix to Flagstaff in 2006), his body had to adjust to training regularly again. It took a year or so before Rob’s running returned to form. At first, he took to the roads and notched personal bests of 2:25 in the marathon and 1:05 in the half marathon. Despite the competitive success, running on pavement took its toll physically and mentally and after extended time off for an injury to his heel that required surgery, he took to the trails in earnest. He has been destroying trail races since, from winning the Sportiva Mountain Cup in 2012 to his Leadville domination this weekend.

If Rob’s victory at Western States showed that Rob has arrived as a true ultra star, his win at Leadville showed that he’s not content to simply bask in his newfound stardom. Krar seems to have a genuine love for the trails and is more intent on covering as many miles as possible than chasing after adoration (Although his signature beard does have its own twitter account @RobKrarsBeard). For Rob, there is no rest for the weary as he is set to run Steamboat Springs’ Run Rabbit Run 100 mile race in less than a month. A win there would make for a truly legendary summer.

Scott Running Sport , , , ,

Skyrunning takes to the Alps: Sierre-Zinal

August 11th, 2014
Run Zinal trail

Breathless Mountain Running: The Alps' Finest. (image: EveryTrail)

From our home on the pacific, the closest many of us Californians come to a true adventure in the Alps is a ride down the Matterhorn Bobsleds ride at Disneyland. With countless races in the United States worthy of any runner-traveler’s bucket list, it is easy for Americans to forget about the rest of the world. However, the Sierre–Zinal trail race through the Alpine wonderland of South-Eastern Switzerland is worthy of our attention for its beauty alone. The course features views of some of the most renowned peaks of the alps: Zinalrothorn, Obel Gabelhorn, Dent Blanche, and of course the Matterhorn in real life. Doug Meyer of Run the Alps does a better job describing this magical race than I do in his blog here.

The race, which celebrated its 40th birthday last year, is hardly content to let its panoramic scenery be the only draw and many of the world’s best trail runners are invited each year to take part in the festivities. The course is crafted in a way that no particular skillset is favored and runners from a variety of backgrounds can find their way to the podium. At 31 kilometers, the race is hardly a sprint but it is short enough that the field is not exclusively seasoned ultra runners. There is some highly technical terrain that requires dexterity and the ability to adapt to a quad-burning crawl, but there are also much smoother sections of dirt road that reward runners that can handle a swifter pace.

Joe Grey had an awesome race on a course that suits his many talents. (image: Skyrunning.com)

Stevie and Kilian are midway through very successful seasons. (image: Skyrunning.com)

Where there are advanced trails and elite competition, the venerable Kilian Jornet always seems to be involved. This race was no different as Killian rose to the top for the seventh time this year in a world-class trail race. This time, American Jo Grey from Washington appeared to give him a challenge until the final 4km of the race but Kilian was able to open up over a minute on Joe before they eventually crossed the finish.

Americans did well on the podium, in addition to Grey’s silver, as Stevie Kremer of Colorado took the women’s race after a pair of second place finishes prior to Sunday. With her second win on the Skyrunning circuit she now has the lead with 3 of 5 races complete.

The Skyracing series continues in the Swiss Alps with the Matterhorn Ultraks on August 23rd and concludes with the Limone extreme race in the beautiful Lombardia region of Italy.

Scott Running Sport , , , , ,

Week in Review: July 27-August 2

August 2nd, 2014

Molly Huddle Running to the win

Molly Huddle Continued Her Winning Ways with the USA 7 Mile Title. (Image: Quad City Times)

USA 7 Mile Championships takes over Davenport, Iowa

The Quad City Times Bix 7 is one of many gems on the USA road-racing calendar each year. The race, named for jazz musician and Davenport, Iowa local, Bix Beiderbecke, is the largest non-marathon race in the Midwest each year. It has a list of past champions that reads like a road running hall of fame, with names like Bill Rodgers, Joan Benoit Samulson, and Khalid Khannouchi. The race typically fields a star-studded international cast but in some years it plays host to USA championship races, which have seen winners like Meb Kelfezighi and Ryan Hall. This year was an American only year, as it again hosted the USA 7 mile championships. Each champion brings home a shiny new trumpet as his or her trophy in honor of the race’s namesake.

Coming into the race, the two athletes that dominated the headlines were this year’s Boston winner and former Bix champion Meb, and Molly Huddle. Huddle, another former Bix champion, is fresh off her American record 5000m in Monaco. Molly certainly lived up to the pre-race hype as she took the lead from the gun and never looked back, winning by over a minute. Meb was not quite as triumphant as some hamstring troubles took him out of the race at mile 5 after leading the early miles. Sean Quigley won the race in a kick after numerous runners shared time in the lead.

Commonwealth Games shows off some former NCAA stars

As we mentioned in our Commonwealth games preview blog: Glasgow, Scotland played host to most of the English-speaking world’s best athletes outside of Americans. While Americans don’t participate in the Commonwealth games, there was a good representation of former NCAA athletes that have adopted America as their training home at some point in their lives.

UTEP’s Blessing Okagbare set the Commonwealth Games record in the 100m and won the 200m while representing her home country of Nigeria. University of Oregon alumni Brianne Theison Eaton, wife of decathlon world record holder Ashton Eaton, won a gold medal in the heptathlon for her home country of Canada.  Southern Utah’s Cam Levins got himself a bronze medal in the 10,000m for Canada, While Stephen Chemlany of Iona and Kenya won silver in the Marathon. Shane Brathwaite of Barbados and Texas Tech won bronze in the 110 hurdles, and others surely represented American universities as well as their home country in virtually every event in the competition.

The success of these athletes truly speaks to the NCAA’s ability to develop star track and field athletes. Considering that the vast majority of athletes in the NCAA are American yet the Commonwealth games doesn’t feature them, makes the success of the American system admirable worldwide.

Ethiopian Athletes leave IAAF World Junior Championships Facility, Seeking USA Asylum

Many of the world’s greatest track athletes unfortunately come from some unstable regions in the world. Ethiopia in particular has seen more than its fair share of turmoil in recent memory. With political tensions coming from Egypt over large damming projects on headwaters of the Nile River, the ever-anxious border with Eritrea, formerly part of Ethiopia, as well as porous borders with similarly volatile countries: Eritrea, Sudan, South Sudan, and Somalia. Ethiopia is right at the cross-roads of many unsavory situations.

With that in mind, one could hardly blame four young Ethiopian athletes from seeking a better life in their escape from the IAAF World Junior Championships that concluded last weekend in Eugene, Oregon. Amanuel Abebe Atibeha, Dureti Edao, Meaza Kebede, and Zeytituna Mohammed left the athletes village on the University of Oregon campus in a sedan headed for Portland last Friday. They have been found by police and are confirmed to be safe and unharmed. Political asylum is a long hard process and these young athletes have a tough road ahead of them whether it is in Oregon or in Ethiopia.

This is not the first time that runners have used their talents to escape their countries’ unrest. Following the 2008 World Cross Country Championships in Edinburgh Scotland, a group of Eritrean runners never boarded their flight home and have lived in Scotland ever since. Their escape of landmines and civil war has resulted in minimum wage jobs and a cold apartment in Glasgow. This story particularly hits home here because Tewoldeberhan Mengisteab, the oldest of the athletes finished 52nd in those championships… I finished 51st in the same race and we recorded exactly the same time. We are the same age, have a similar skill set, but hardly share similar paths in life. Stories like this certainly add a bit of perspective to the lives we live.

Scott Running Sport , , , ,

Runner vs Nature: Poison Oak and Ivy

August 1st, 2014

You have been warned! (Photo: My Own 100 Hikes blog)

Running Warehouse’s home is a truly beautiful place to be a runner. San Luis Obispo County is full of open space covered in countless miles of trails. Within the immediate area one can run on the beach or up to 3000 feet of elevation within a 15 minute of drive from this office. We are truly blessed, but every blessing comes with a curse, and our curse is poison oak. The scarlet letter of our trail running faithful shows itself every spring and reappears far too frequently throughout the summer.

Read more…

Scott Running Sport , , , ,

Eugene Hosts World Junior Track and Field Championships

July 30th, 2014
Run, Jump, Throw

Morgan Lake became very familiar with Hayward field as she won the Heptathlon and High Jump. (image: British Athletics)

In most years, the track world would be centrally focused on a world championships or Olympics right now. However, with world championships held on odd years and Olympics in their own quadrennial cycle, there is a gap every four years from these popular events. This allows several smaller championships to shine through during this period and different story lines appear to fill the gap.

The World Junior Track and Field Championships took place this past weekend in Eugene, Oregon and many of the world’s best young track athletes made history. It was the first world championship held in the United States since the World Cross Country Championships occurred in Boston in 1992. With the full spectrum of events held over 6 days of competition, there are far too many stories to cover in just one article. But with many young stars turning out performances that rival their much older peers on the open circuit, the meet certainly deserves mention.

Read more…

Scott Running Sport , , , ,

Common Wealth Games take over Glasgow

July 24th, 2014
Commonwealth games now running

The opening ceremony of the Commonwealth games began with a bang yesterday (Image: Getty)

While the sun may have set a while ago on the British Empire, much of the pomp and circumstances of the time endures to date. The Commonwealth Games, especially for sports fans, are the epitome of those traditions. Glasgow, Scotland plays host to this year’s edition of the quadrennial sports festival that mirrors the Olympics, albeit in a smaller scale for most of the English-speaking world outside of the United States.

Many of the world’s greatest track athletes are invited, making the event a significant fixture on the track calendar. With countries like Jamaica, Kenya, Australia, New Zealand, and India being represented, the competition is sure to be intense. Of course, the United Kingdom will also bring their best athletes to Glasgow as well. However, in this competition they represent their home nations of England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales instead of wearing the Union Jack.

While the withdrawal of Mo Farah is a big blow to the event, there is still enough great talent in the mix to create legacies and introduce new heroes. The most prominent name on the marquee is surely Usain Bolt, but he is only committed to Jamaica’s 4 X 100m relay team. Other prominent stories include Kenyan David Rudisha, world record holder in the 800, continuing his comeback from injury. New Zealand’s Valerie Adams is continuing her unprecedented winning streak in the shot put, and Englishman Greg Rutherford is hoping to add a matching Commonwealth medal to his Olympic gold in the long jump.

Rudisha Running World Record

David Rudisha has high hopes this year after recovering from a knee injury (photo: AP)

The Opening Ceremonies occurred yesterday and featured Rod Stewart belting out his hits and Scottish terriers leading each country in the parade. Also, during the opening ceremonies, £3.1 was raised for the charity Unicef to help children world wide with some of the participating countries being some of the neediest. While athletes don’t take to the track until Sunday, competition has started in earnest today with swimming, track cycling, gymnastics and many other sports already handing out medals. England’s Brownlee brothers, Alistair and Jonny did do some running today to win gold and silver (respectively) in the triathlon while Jodie Stimpson won for England on the women’s side.

The Commonwealth of Nations is, at best, a rough alliance of countries that share some language, culture, and an increasingly distant history under one monarchy (many times an unsavory history at that). The ability of the countries to come together and celebrate many of their greatest athletes is worthy of notice. Athletes like Bolt and Rudisha, choosing to travel to Glasgow and represent their countries instead of saving their legs for more lucrative meets in the months to come, is a testament to the games and their prestigious history.

Scott Running Sport , , , ,

Runner vs. Nature: Skunks Stink

July 10th, 2014

Throughout the United States, skunks are hiding in cat-sized crevasses waiting to roam the night (or if you are reading this at night, they are roaming currently). These opportunistic animals are happy hunting insects and small rodents, foraging for berries, scavenging a convenient carcass, or making a mess of your trashcan. Over time, their versatility has allowed them to thrive in virtually every condition and take on urban sprawl with little impact on their population whereas other animals have been less successful at “fitting into society”.

Skunk

Skunks can't be missed (Image: Britannic)

Where most animals use camouflage to blend in, skunks are outsiders. If squirrels listen to Coldplay, skunks listen to Rancid and dress the part. Like our neighborhood punk rock aficionados, standing out is part of their visage and lets the rest of us know that they play by a different set of rules. Where their furry friends scurry to safety at the first sign of danger, skunks are more apt to mosey on brazenly until predators prove they are serious.

Despite their prolific presence in our environment, runner-skunk encounters are rare. Still, if you run enough miles, particularly at dusk or dawn, it is likely that you will see a skunk in your running career. If you get too close, you, and your social life will be immediately impacted.

While other mammals have the ability to create a musky scent for territory marking or mating purposes only skunks have the ability to spray their musk as a projectile. As anyone with experience can attest, their musk is by far the most potent. From glands in the skunk’s rear, the offensive fluid can be sprayed up to 12 feet with a good amount of accuracy.

Read more…

Scott Running Sport , , ,

Pozo 5K 2014 Race Results

July 9th, 2014

What a wonderful day at the Pozo Saloon! We had the most participants in the history of the race. While we did not have any records broken, there were some speedy times. I will let you look at the results to see who ran what (see results below). We would like to thank all of our friends, who woke up extremely early on a holiday and drove out to the middle of nowhere, to help make this event such a success. We honestly could not have done it without your help. So thank you very much!

Another big thank you to all of the participants! You helped us raise over $4000 for Jack’s Helping Hand. That is amazing! For more detailed information on Jack’s Helping Hand, check out our blog post here.

Thank you to the Pozo Saloon for their continued support of the 5K. We really appreciate you support.

Thanks to Josh at J. Carroll for the screaming deal on the awesome T-shirts! They were very popular.

Thanks to San Luis Ambulance for providing medical response and care on the course.

It seems that this little race is quite popular, as we continue to see many of the same names year after year. A few of the names are Ivan Huff and his group from Paso Robles High School, the Hungerford Family, the Mackinga Family, Kevin and Mary Cooper, the Wilson Family, Matt Ruane, and Carol Sinsheimer.

Thank you also to many of the employees of Running Warehouse and Tennis Warehouse. Your help and enthusiasm was wonderful!

Erik and Marissa Dube, father and daughter tandem

I hope that everyone involved had a good time, and I truly appreciate all of your help in raising money for a wonderful cause!

See you next year!

Read more…

Chris Running Events, Running News, Running Sport , , , ,

Q&A with Stephanie Nunes: A Look at Gluten-free Diets for Runners

July 3rd, 2014

Stephanie Nunes talks Nutrition

Stephanie Nunes of Rock Solid Nutrition is a San Luis Obispo native and Running Warehouse friend. She is a registered dietitian (RD) with over 15 years of experience and is certified as a Specialist in Sports Dietetics (CSSD) that has helped countless athletes, elite and beginner alike, achieve their goals.

Today she will be answering some nutrition questions that have become popular of late. Particularly, we will be discussing food allergies. Given the ever-expanding gluten-free section at many grocery stores and a strong push by many across the world to see more ingredients listed on restaurant menus, this surely a popular topic at the moment.

Read more…

Scott Run Training, Running Sport , , , , ,

Western States Race Recap with Tera Dube

July 1st, 2014

Tera enjoying the beauty of Robinson Flat

Racing is inherently unpredictable. It’s part of its charm. We can spend an eternity preparing for race day but any number of unforeseen factors can derail even the best-laid plans. Mastering the unpredictable is addictive and it is why we runners search ceaselessly for new challenges. It may be new personal records, more competitive fields, and longer distances over the most taxing courses.

This past weekend, Tera Dube, our retail manager and fountain of positive energy that helps this company thrive, reached the epitome of ultra running when she toed the line at the Western States Endurance run. As an automatic qualifier by virtue of  a fourth place finish at the Sean O’Brien 50 miler, she had her eyes on a top 10 finish and a sub 24- hour belt buckle. Her training lined up perfectly and she was confidently prepared for the journey from Squaw Valley to Auburn.

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Scott Running Sport , ,