Friday, December 16, 2011

Ultrarunning May 1981

This race report originally appeared in the May 1981 edition of Ultrarunning Magazine.  It is typed as seen in the original magazine.

Knickerbocker Knocks Back Record...3:40:42 for 60 km
by Stan Wagon

The NYRRC's 1981 Ultra Series got off to a fine start on March 7, with the fourth annual Knickerbocker 60 km run in Central Park. Several inches of snow the previous day and a brisk wind made for chilly spectators and split recorders, but the road in the park was free of snow, and the conditions were good for running. Central Park joggers must be fairly used to weekend races by now, and they seem to enjoy the presence of such events.

The pre-race favorite was Bill DeVoe of Queens, who has an impressive ultra record for someone who's only been running seriously for three years.  In 1980 he defeated Allan Kirik in a 40-miler, won the national TAC 50 km championship and the Philadelphia Marathon, and placed 4th at Boston with a 2:24:47.  Bill led through the first lap in 38:02, but was not running away from the field, as both Larry Friedman and Terry Knickerbocker looked strong, 30 seconds back.

The race was a homecoming of sorts for the 32-year-old Knickerbocker.  He had won the inaugural version of this race 4 years ago, running a U.S. best time to do it.  Incidentally, the race was not named for Terry, but, after it was over, it was certain that if you heard someone say "Knickerbocker" it was Terry they meant, not the race.  While not a force in ultras since that 60 km win, Terry staged a comeback of sorts.  Free of injury, and with 27 straight weeks of 100+ miles (and, notes Terry, "weight work to develop my quads") he felt ready for a good race.

DeVoe held the lead with two more laps in the 36 minute range, but, the fourth time around, Knickerbocker made a strong move, taking the lead with a 35:52.  DeVoe  was suffering a bit from stomach cramp sand was unable to stay at the front.  But Knickerbocker seemed to get stronger and smoother as the race progressed.  After 50 km it was clear that he was not going to be pressed, and with a split of 3:04:05, he knew he had a chance to regain the record he set four years ago.  That record had been improved twice, by Alan Kirik, and, this past January, by Frank Bozanich, who lowered it to 3:44:10 (see story elsewhere in this issue).  But Terry pushed himself through the final lap, finishing in a new U.S. best of 3:40:42 (5:55 pace).   The field included many old-timers on the N.Y.C. ultra seen, and all seemed quite pleased at Knickerbocker's return to form.

Larry Friedman's steady race earned him a fine time to go along with his second place finish (6:15 pace), while 41-year-old Bob Van De Kieft ran a noteworthy 4:09.  The list of finishers read like a who's who of east coast ultramarathoning, and if that wasn't evident, it was made clear at the awards ceremony.  Race director Richie Innamorato presided, and he seemed to know the ultra history of each of the top 20 runners as well as they knew the road in Central Park.
It was no surprise that 45-year-old Sue Medaglia was the first woman.  She was displeased at how much her time was slowed by several pit stops, but still, it's the third best amount American women.  And there was no surprise int he team competition either, as the Millrose team, Knickerbocker, DeVoe, and Bill Hart, won easily.

At the awards ceremony, Allan Kirik was presented with the NYRRC'c Ultra Runner of the Year Award for 1980.  Highlights of the year for Kirik included a strong second place int he London-Brighton 54 miler, a super-fast 6:37:54 for 100 km (6:24 pace), and a sub five hour effort for 50 miles in windy conditions at Copper Harbor, Mich.

Knickerbocker 60 Km

Central Park, N.Y. March 7, 1981
Certified  37.28 mi

1.   Terry Knickerbocker    3:40:42 (American Record)
2.   Larry Friedman            3:53:23
3.   Bill DeVoe                  4:00:52
4.   Tom Chiaro                 4:03:18
5.   Bob Van De Kieft       4:09:16
6.   Bill Lawder                 4:13:38
7.   Glenn Olszewski         4:16:22
8.   Bill Hart                      4:17:54
9.   Rafael Bordonaba       4:19:55
10. Martin Kittell              4:20:05
31. Sue Medaglia              5:09:11

I only typed in the top 10 and first place woman, there were 47 finishers and 58 starters.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Trail Striders, The Final Episode

Here is the final episode of the Trail Striders documentary.  I was a bit disappointed with this video when we saw it at Transrockies, and I still am today.  After so many good episodes, I expected a really cool ending, it is still a fun little video though.  Enjoy!!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Friday, December 2, 2011

Marion Corrigan Memorial 24 Hour Super Run

This original race report was in the January-Febuary 1982 ultrarunning magazine.  It is re-typed as it was.  I will look through some more of these old magazines and post stories that I find interesting.  I picked this one once I saw that the race was held on a 150 meter long indoor track!  Please note that the author was 62 years old at the time of the race and set the US 60 and over record for 24 hours.

Spending a Day Indoors? Why Not Run 1000 Laps
by John Huckaby

It was a dreary Saturday morning as my wife, Betty, my marathon poodle, Suzette, and I headed to Friendly's for pancakes.  The waitress stared in wide-eyed disbelief as I dumped a pint of liquid fructose on my hotcakes instead of using the syrup she shoved at me from across the counter.  Little did she realize that I would run for 24 hours on that gloopy glob of griddle cakes saturated with viscous, sticky syrup.  We gave some breakfast sausage to Suzette, and headed for Auburn's outdoor track.

But blizzard-like conditions made the outdoor track event impossible, and the organizers fell back on their alternate plan, to hold the race on a certified 150 meter indoor track.  Nine runners toed the line, including race director Allan Wilson, and Al Hastings.  These two seemed like gladiators, and were really hyped up for the race.  They were both from Auburn, and had raced often in the past; Wilson beat Hastings last year by chalking up101 miles, and this year they both had their eyes on 125.  On my right was Sue Kahler, also of Auburn, who had run three marathons on consecutive weekends, winning two of them and finishing fourth in the Skylon Marathon.

At the gun, Wilson, Hastings, Kahler and on of the runners from the 6-person relay team took off while the rest of the field settled into a slower pace.  Still, it didn't take me long to realize that the pace was too fast.  Suzette came in for a couple of laps but then quit.  She returned later for a paw print autograph session with her fans.  The short track was somewhat boring, but every two hours we changed directions to unwind.  I locked in on a pace that would get me to 50 miles in about ten hours, and allow me time to take short walks every 15 minutes to keep my legs from cramping.

The public address system blared fourth good rock-and-roll, but after awhileI suggested they burn the tape of a song called "Another One Bites the Dust"; it was putting a psychological whammy on me.  In the early morning hours, after about 21 hours of hoofing around the track, they played, appropriately, "It's Been a Hard Day's Night."

While the leaders kept trying to outdo each other, Sue was hanging in there, running as gracefully as a ballet dancer.  If she kept it up, the guys would be in trouble.  But after about 8 hours, her legs cramped and her stride became ragged.  My wife gave her a rubdown with some powerful analgesic horse liniment, which also works well on the sinuses.  That junk is so powerful that it would mollify a petrified hamstring. Sue recovered her stride, but later was troubled with general fatigue (who wasn't?).  She ended up with over 116 miles, the fourth-longest distance ever run in 24 hours by a woman.

With about 30 minuted to go I had covered 98 miles.  There was quite a crowd on hand as the race was a fund-raiser for the March of Dimes and had received a lot of publicity.  It was a great moment to grandstand for those who had anything left.  Someone yelled to me to pick it up or I'd fall short of a hundred, and this caused a violent reaction on my part.  I started sprinting (forgetting that I had pledged a dollar for every mile I ran), and broke 100 with plenty of time to spare.  As I closed in on the 100 mark, I decided to give all the spectators a thrill.  I climbed out of my body, got up on my shoulders, and whipped myself like a jockey; I twisted my right hand clockwise to pump more gas into the big Harley motorcycle under me.  Faster and faster! My Etonics were just a blur as I went head-to-head with Dave Hall, from the relay team.  I startled him by outkicking him for 50 meters, but I couldn't hold it.

Everyone expected Hastings to hit the wall, but when he did, so had everyone else.  Ex-marin Wilson was tough, but her had to settle for second today.  I was pleased with my total; it had been a rough training schedule leading up to this race.  A 50 miler the previous weekend, 50 miles in training, and this race made for a 200 mile week.

While driving back home on the Thruway, my wife said, "giving that money to the March of Dimes was just great, they'll put it to good use in the prevention and treatment of birth defects."  Later, while staring straight ahead into the snow squalls, she said, "I know of one person that is suffering from a major birth defect - like missing a whole brain."  I didn't hear a word she said...I was wondering if the 24 hour run was going to be enough of a depletion run for the Philadelphia Marathon the next weekend.

Marion Corrigan Memorial 24 Hour Super Run
Auburn, NY  Nov. 21-22, 1981
Indoor 150 meter track
(with 50 km, 50 mi, 100 km and 100 mi splits)

Name, age mi yd
1.Al Hastings,36 122 528

2. Al Wilson,32 118 1499

3. Sue Kahler,27 116 676

4. John Huckaby,62 101 753
US 60&over 24 hr record

5. Kenny Davis,16 75 704

6. Perry Cook,22 50 1232

7. Bill Reynolds,24 50 880

8. Jack Brennen,20 41 1478

9. Mark Hall,13 41 1320