Monday, August 04, 2008

Burning River aftermath

The second annual Burning River 100 is now over. Congratulations to all the finishers and thanks to the volunteers and race supporters.

The weather was less extreme than last year with daytime highs near 80F and overnight lows in the low 60s. The results showed: Of 138 starters, 89 runners completed the 101.2 mile run (65% finish rate.)

Once again this year, both the men's and women's champions are local northeast Ohioans: Tim Clement (17:40) from Solon and Connie Gardner (18:21) of Medina.

As for my day, I feel extremely grateful for the help of 25+ volunteers who offered up part of their Saturday to work at the Station Road Bridge aid station (mile 33 and 39.) In our second year, I felt better prepared to care for the needs of the runners and crew members. Thank you to volunteer members of the Second Sole Running Group, Cleveland West Road Runners, and to those associated with the Vertical Runner store who helped to make our aid station a success.

Station Road officially closed at 4:45 PM. After cleaning up and returning supplies to the finish line, I high-tailed it to Pine Hollow (mile 75) for the chance to run with a race participant. Chris Petit of Pittsburgh, second place at the Laurel Ultra and whom I know as a fellow pacer at the Akron Marathon, was attempting his first 100 mile race. I ran with Chris for his final 26 miles and had the pleasure of witnessing a remarkable ultrarunning performance. After nightfall, Chris ran steadily and finished in 20 hours, 15 minutes and 4th overall place. Congrats Chris!

After a brief nap, we returned to the finish to watch the final hour and the awards ceremnony. Witnessing the determination of the 20 year-old who finished just before the 30 hour limit at 29:57 made the entire weekend.

Thank you all who made this year's Burning River 100 a success!

Friday, August 01, 2008

Burning River weekend

Click image for webcast

It's time to head out for the weekend.

The Burning River 100 mile endurance race starts at 5:00 AM at Squires Castle in North Chagrin Reservation.

Runners descend upon the Cuyahoga and must endure sun-exposed Towpath Trail near the Cuyahoga River between miles 30-39.

The Cuyahoga River was dubbed the "Burning River" when it caught fire in late 1960's due to industrial pollution. With the heat and humidity of an Ohio August, the Burning River is sure to live up to it's name.

You can meet the runners and keep track of their progress on the webcast. Also available: Aid station details, course guide, video footage of the course, and link to local weather.

It's not too late to volunteer. Come on out.

Ledges Overlook. Mile 71 of the Burning River 100 mile endurance run.