We arrived early in the morning Saturday to cover the final hours of the Salt Flats 100 Ultra Marathon. The Start – Finish for the race was held at the start Bonneville Salt Flats Raceway. One of the bonuses of covering this race was the opportunity to attempt the land speed record for a Toyota Corolla. The course didn’t have it’s proper prerace grooming so 85mph was all we could achieve. Regardless, cross another item off the bucket list!
While the runners didn’t quiet reach landspeed records they got to run the same lines as the 400+ mph cars. Although, one ultra racer in particular, Jay Aldous, set the course on fire with a 15:04. Liz Bauer, running her 12th 100 mile race of 2012, won the women’s race in 24:44. Liz ran the Labor of Love 100 last just 6 days ago as she goes for 30 100 mile finishes in 2012. Go LIZ, Go!!
The general consensus about the race was that it was much harder than expected. Temperatures dipped down around the freezing mark overnight and caught many off guard. The winds, combined with the low temps, made the course even more challenging. Liz Bauer commented, “wasn’t easy, wasn’t hard but challenging”. Liz struggled at the end with some cold induced asthma. Even with the cold and wind, 16 people of the 49 (+ 1 dog) came in under 24 hours with another 5 coming in under 25 hours.
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I spoke with Race Director, Vince Romney, about the race. Vince said, “Last year was the test event. After we finished the thought, “how kool, we’ve got to have an event out here” “. Vince was impressed with the number of runners who came from all over the US. He was also impressed by help that formed, “the volunteers came together quickly as a team and they’re awesome”.
We find many good stories at each and every race… Ryan Anderson provided us with another great example. He finished his second ultra in under 24 hours after losing an amazing 135 lbs. Ryan’s father suffered an aneurism and while at the hospital he was thinking of how his father was suffering from something he had no control over. He knew he had an issue he could do something about and how would he explain to his kids if something happened to him. It took him 5 months to lose the first 100 lbs and 6 more to lose the final 35. He started running after losing the first 100 lbs and qualified for Boston just 16 months after starting to lose his weight. He said he couldn’t wait to finish Boston because he was chomping at the bit to run trails and do his first ultra… which he completed only one month after Boston (May, 2011). Afterward he swore no more ultras but signed up for, and finished, Bear last year. Sounds like many of us… never again… and then… 🙂
Finally, Trail and Ultra’s own Emily Berriochoa PR’d in 29:50. After over coming a few low points she motored in for a 3rd place female finish. Congrats Emily!!
Good Job Emily!
Thanks Mark and Yami for showing up at Salt Flats! Super cool race, made better by the amazing support of the Ultra friends we always meet along the way.