Saturday, September 27, 2008

Women's all time masters at Equinox, and other notes

By popular demand, here are the top 20 age graded performances from the women’s Equinox Marathon. Well, just kidding. I haven’t gotten any comments one way or another. This blog basically operates in a void. But that’s okay.

If you want the official statistics, go here, It has everything you’d ever want to know about Equinox statistics and trivia. You will find a treasure trove of archives and information. The annual Deluxe booklet is yet another perk that makes this race so unique and fun.

First, however, I’d like to caveat the women’s masters performance list and say that it might not be complete—there might very well be some good age group times that have been buried in the results; please feel free to let me know if there are any corrections.

Rank……Name…………Age………Time……Age Grade Percent
1. Marcie Trent …..61 ..…4:08:05 .….75.1
2. Marcie Trent …..60 ..…4:04:41 .….75.0
3. Marcie Trent …..63 ..…4:10:52 .….74.3
4. Susan Faulkner …..43 ..…3:18:16 .….74.0
5. Marcie Trent …..68 ..…4:46:46 .….73.6
6. Marcie Trent …..59 ..…4:11:43 .….71.8
7. Dorli McWayne …..54 ..…3:59:45 …..70.3
8. Jane Lanford …..48 ..…3:41:51 …..70.3
9. Debbie Cropper …..46 ..…3:38:21 …..69.7
10. Amy Dalton …..45 ..…3:36:59 …..69.2
11. Jane Lanford …..50 ..…3:51:25 …..69.1
12. Georgia Gufstason …..49 ..…3:49:09 …..68.9
13. Doris Cooper …..70 ..…5:58:41 …..68.3
14. Marcie Trent …..56 ..…4:14:20 …..68.1
15. Dorli McWayne …..53 ..…4:04:04 …..68.1
16. Susan Faulkner …..42 ..…3:34:06 …..67.7
17. Jane Lanford …..46 ..…3:44:55 …..67.6
18. Dorli McWayne …..51 ..…3:59:47 …..67.6
19. Marcie Trent …..58 ..…4:24:51 …..67.3
20. Dorli McWayne …..52 ..…4:05:05 …..67.0

If Wayde Leder is The Man for masters men, then Marcie Trent was certainly The Woman. Not only does Trent have 7 of the top 20 age graded Equinox performances of all time, she has the top 3. The other day I said that Susan Faulkner’s 3:18:16 at 43 was an outstanding time, and as an overall course record that has stood for 6 years it still is. Nevertheless, Trent went on a tear after turning 60, capped off with a 4:04 at age 60 and 4:08 at 61. Those will prove to be tough marks to beat. Dorli McWayne has also made her mark with 4 of the top 20. As with the men, we have some tough masters runners out there, with Susan Faulker, Tina Devine, and Jane Lanford ready to take some of these age time down. We can expect to see this list to change a lot in the next few years.

Now that the Deluxe official guide is out here are some comments on the splits, which is always an interesting subject. The fastest split times go way deep this year, well into 40th place and beyond for the men. The report and Notes section even summarized the top 10. Except for one…it just said that I got “run down” by Simon. No matter, I’ve got a blog of my own so here’s the rundown from this geezerly 7th place position.

Place-wise I started out in the low teens for a couple miles, and was in 11th by the first checkpoint at 2.4 miles. I held 10th until we started the steep climb on Ester Dome Road. About 2/3 up, just past Henderson, I passed Simon and moved onto 6th, which I held for 15 miles, until the final 450 meters. The finish was like getting caught up in a buzz saw. I ran 1:11 from 26 to the finish—that’s a pretty good clip for the end of a marathon. Simon ran that same stretch in about 58 seconds, well under 5:00/mile pace. I’ve raced Simon 15 or 20 times and never had finished behind him, but he’s got big talent. Here’s a tip of the hat to my Kiwi friend.

Anyway back to the splits, if you divide the race into thirds--start to St Patricks at 9 miles (10th fastest), to the top of the chute 17.1 miles (7th fastest), and then to the finish (4th fastest)--my splits/placement could not have hardly gone better. The only thing I might change would be to go maybe 10 seconds per mile easier from 18 to 21 to leave a little more energy for the end.

Finally, about making a list the fast starters who faded, what’s up with that? Whatever their reason for slowing down, these runners have already paid a price and I don't we why we have to single them out.

Monday, September 22, 2008


The paper ( did a good job of covering the men's, women's, and relay races. I predicted the winners, and their times pretty well, thank you very much.

Harald Aas won in 2:50 and Laura Brosius went 3:20. The rest of the top 5 for men and women weren't quite on, but I think it was as good as the paper's predictions. Congrats to all the finishers, volunteers, and support. This IS an amazing community event.

3:09:44, hey I'll take it and it's especially nice to be lucky enough to get a new age group record. Even though I got outkicked and finished 7th, lower than in 2004 (5th) and 2006 (6th) it was still a good day out there.

Until now this race has been somewhat frustrating. In 2004 I was in the 2nd pack, along with bonafide legends Matias Saari and Bob Murphy when we got stopped by a train for 2+ minutes. But I was still happy to finish on the podium (top 5) and I looked forward to more. Was in great shape mid-summer of 2005 but incurred a stress fracture. In 2006 I was almost as fit but caught a bad cold a couple days before and faded from a solid 4th to 5th, and then was outkicked by an early 30s runner for 5th. I really enjoyed taking a break and entering the relay last year.

This time I don't think I was in the same shape through the summer as in 2005-2006, but race results were solid throughout the year and moving into the new age class didn't hurt. To keep motivated for this year's race I focused on improving mistakes from the past. Things I worked on included running the first two miles slower than pace, taking the uphills a little easier, but also training for faster downhills. I also made sure I had the proper shoes; last time I wore trail shoes which were fine for the first 20 miles, which are mostly trail or gravel road, but these did not hold up well once I hit the pavement. I drank at least one drink at each water stop, often two, plus I had another 4 stashed on the course. Took a Gu about every 45 to 55 minutes (4 total). And finally, at 50 I went in with the attitude that I had nothing to prove.

Just run it, stupid!

It's good to have that monkey off my back and I look forward to future Relays. Not sure how many (if any) full Equinoxes I'll do in the future. NYC Marathon is definitely in my plans for next year and I might want to do Chicago or other lower 48 marathons at some time.


Finally, I took a little time perusing the archives and databases and have come up with a comparative performance ranking for the masters (40+) men* on the Equinox course, using WAVA age graded percentages. WAVA explained a little:

With these tables/calculators you can obtain an equivalent open time, but I don't think that's fair to the open runners. Let's just look at performance on the rugged Equinox course based on the percentages for a given age. Wow, Wayde Leder's The Man. He has 5 of the top 20.

Hope that someone finds this interesting.

Name Age... Time... WAVA Percentage Points
1. Fr. Bozanich 44... 2:58:01... 74.3
2. Bob Murphy 43... 2:58:28... 73.5
3. Roger Sayre 50... 3:09:44... 73.5
4. M. Lindberg 45... 3:02:37... 73.1
5. Wayde Leder 49... 3:09:48... 72.8
6. Jim Decur 53... 3:18:52... 72.6
7. Wayde Leder 44... 3:02:41... 72.4
8. Bob Murphy 52... 3:16:14... 72.3
9. Wayde Leder 51... 3:14:35... 72.2
10. Reifenstuhl 54... 3:20:40... 72.1
11. R. Burton 60... 3:32:44... 72.0
12. Wayde Leder 45... 3:05:26... 72.0
13. Roger Sayre 48... 3:10:47... 71.8
14. Bob Murphy 42... 3:01:21... 71.8
15. Wayde Leder 51... 3:14:29... 71.7
16. M. Lindberg 44... 3:05:14... 71.5
17. S. Justice 42... 3:02:46... 71.2
18. Jim Decur 56... 3:27:20... 71.1
19. Wayde Leder 48... 3:12:45... 71.1
20. Mike Kramer 40... 3:00:18... 70.9

The scores were based on 2006 WAVA calculator Things would actually be a little different if I used a calculator for each era (say 80s, 90s, and 00s); but that would make my brain hurt.

*Sue Faulker's 3:18:16 at 43 is as off the charts as Bozanich's: a 74.0

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Handicapping the Equinox

The local paper set out a long list of women's potential favorites today, describing how several of those who could make an impact can't run this year. Supposedly the record of 3:18 looks safe. Maybe, maybe not.

The race indeed looks wide open, but I'll bet that UAF Laura Brosius wins it easily and she certainly has the ability to post up an all time top 5 or 10 finish. Brosius ran the first relay leg last year in an impressive 58:59, which was the second fasted leg of the day (men included) and probably the fastest women's ever for the rolling 8.4 miles. She also won the Chena River Run with an 18:56. Heather Best has been running well, including an 18:26 at the 2.9 mile Golden Heart Trail Run. And veteran Equinox runner Kristen Bartecchi Rozell should challenge for the top 3.

So there's win place and show for the women's race:

Brosius - sub 3:24
Best - 3:28
Bartecchi Rozell - 3:30

A men's preview won't be published until Friday, so I get the jump on the paper. Did not recognize any of the big names from Anchorage or elsewhere, but there could be a ringer or two in the mix.

Three runners from Fairbanks Kevin Brinegar (5), Mike Kramer (4), and Matias Saari (1) have won 10 of the last 11 on this course. And all three will be running. Like last year it should come down to Saari and Harald Aas. Saari got his hard fought first win last year, pulling away over the final miles, and he has had another excellent year on the Alaska mountain running circuit. This time I'll give the nod to Aas, however. He's 10 years younger and nearly broke NCAA ski champ Marius Korthauher’s record at the Ester Dome Hill Climb two weeks ago.

The fight for third place may well be epic. Per usual in recent years, Brinegar has kept a low profile with only a few races. But when he does race, he's ready--demonstrated by a 2:42 at Boston and 1:15 for the Santa Claus 1/2 marathon last month. Kramer is the wild card. He won three Equinoxes in a row, including 2:47 and 2:51 in 2005 and 2006, and he could challenge for the win on Saturday, but Kramer, 40, has not been at the same level for the past year or so. Nevertheless, Frank Bozanich's venerable 40+ record of 2:58:01 (set in 1984) could be going down, which should be a huge carrot for Kramer. That brings us to Mark Lindberg, 45. Lindberg was a highly competitive high school runner decades ago, but trained sporadically when he was in college, graduate school, and developing his career. But after 25 years of that he'd had enough, so picked up his training, and posted an impressive 3:05 Equinox in 2007. He followed up with a 2:43 at Boston and just two months later a masters record of 2:41 at Mayor's Marathon in Anchorage.

Your sage’s picks:
Aas - 2:49
Saari - 2:50
Brinegar - 2:56 (Kramer and Lindberg should be right there and under 3:00).

Usually a 3:10-3:12 will net a top 5 finish at the Equinox. That probably won't happen this year, as the top 5 should be under 3:00 or low 3s. That is, unless one or more of the favorites has a bad day.

There should be a big gap between the leaders and second five, maybe 10 minutes or more. Evan Hone of Anchorage ran 2:52 at Mayors, and at 30 he has young legs that could help him break through and finish well under 3:10. Veteran Wayde Leder knows the course and has wicked downhill running technique; he will be in the hunt in the closing miles. Also watch for masters runners Kent Slaughter and Klaus Wuttig, who each posted some impressive races this summer, with Slaughter running in the top 10 at the Midnight Sun Run and Wuttig blasting a 1:19 at the Santa Claus half.

(hopefully, I'll be there somewhere in that second group).

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Top of the Ester Dome

Here are some pictures from the top of the Ester Dome, approximate elevation 2,400 ft. These are at about the 1/2 way point of the Equinox Marathon.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Equinox: Not ready for prime time

Here we go again - my biennial excursion to Equinox madness. The marathon is in less than two weeks. Summer flew by this year. After Mayor's Marathon in June I had about 6 weeks of recovery/part time training but did get in some long runs of 14 to 16+ miles to keep things rolling. After getting back from the North Slope at the beginning of August I have managed 5 consecutive weeks of solid training, capped off with 71 miles and a 21 miler the week before last. Also put three races in which I did not feel great but the results were decent (okay, decent only if you consider the age factor!).

1:19:58 1/2 marathon (Age graded 1:10 or 1:11)
16:27 xc ("5K", but it was probably more like 4.8K) (Age graded 14:23)
25:58 for Ester Dome Hill Climb )age graded 22:43

Yar! What a hoot. I'm such a loser. Age grading is fun right now because I'd be winning most of the races around here instead of anonymously in the pack.

Anyway, I feel semi ready for Equinox. Healthy, but not exceptionally fast or fit. I just feel sluggish. The downhills on the course are key, and they're tough. Holding it together mile 21 to 26 is vital to a good finish. Hoping that it will be a nice day, but if it's nasty perhaps all the better. I usally perform better when conditions aren't so good.

Competition up front looks tight this year. The three most current winners (Saari, Kramer, and Brinegar) are returning, and relative youngster Aas (runner up last year and just coming off a 22:54 on the Ester Dome Hill Climb), not to mention a few from the Anchorage contingent and newly crowned masters ace Lindberg (2:41 at 45), so getting a top 5 plate will be nigh impossible unless there are some no shows, DNFs, or massive bonks. I could set a personal best on the course and be way back in the placings. So it goes when you get over the hill.