The Pacific Striders gave the other Ultra clubs a big “Not in My House!” nose thumbing at this years Skyline 50K. It was the first team victory of the year for the club since the 2003 Ohlone Wilderness 50K. On top of that it was TWO wins as both the Open Mens and Mixed Team claimed the top spots.
The trio of Adam Ray, Joe Schieffer and Eric Ellisen were nearly 2 hours ahead of runner-up Tamalpa and 3 hours up on BAUR. The Mixed Team of Tim Quinn, and Jennifer Ray however had a down-to-the-wire victory over the Buffalo Chips by a mere 75 seconds. Thats a good lean at the tape in ultra running!
Adam Ray took 4th overall with an excellent time of 4:25:24, good for 2nd in the 30-39 and less than 4 minutes out of 2nd place. The overall winner w
as 22-year-old Chikara Omine. Joe Schieffer was right behind Adam in 5th place, winning the 50-59 division with a time of 4:26:25. Eric Ellisen was 17th overall in 5:03:02.
The Strider Mixed team was led by Tim Quinn in 5:10:10 with fellow senior Don James on his tail in 5:11:24. Jennifer Ray placed 9th in the womens and 60th overall with a time of 5:59:09. Team captain Mike Palmer was just in front of Jennifer with a time of 5:53:34. 151 runners completed the race.
he Pacific Striders ultra runners were victorious at not one, but TWO ultra races on the same weekend. At the Saturday (3/19) RuckyChuck Turnabout in Foresthill, Lon Freeman bested a field of 118 runners with a time of 4 hours 38 minutes to win the hilly trail race by a full 30 minutes. Clem Choy also completed the event placing as 7th 50-59 runner in a time of 6:44.
The following day, Strider Zach Grossman won the Steven’s Creek 50K by a narrower, but still sizable margin, of 9 minutes. Zach’s time was 4:51. Also finishing for the Striders was senior runner Tim Quinn who placed 19th overall in a time of 6:01. Jennifer Ray placed 4th in the women’s division with a 6:14, while Clem Choy did an encore 50K in 7:03!Zach took the lead early and held a 30 second lead at 10 miles over Keith Blom of San Jose, with the first female, Sarah Slaymeyer only another 10 seconds back. By 20 miles Zach had widened his lead to nearly 3 minutes over second place Slaymeyer. Over the next 5 miles however, Zach would pull away to nearly 6 minutes on the next runner – this time it was Brian Robinson (43) of Mt View. Zach would add another 3 minutes to that margin over the last 10K to win handily. From Clem on his back-to-back 50Ks …I have done Steven’s Creek since its inargural run so I didn’t want to miss this year’s run, which was run number 4. The Rucky Chucky was appealing since I have never gone from the River Crossing back to Foresthill. Also I have not been racing as much these days. So the back to back 50K gave me an opportunity to kind of test myself. I tried to recruit Jennifer Ray, who is preparing for her first Western States. When I arrived at Rucky Chucky, I found that there were four other people doing the same back-to-back run. I guess that is the culture of the ultra community. I felt fine for both runs, the legs were a little more tired on the second day. No surprise there. It was rainy and muddy for both days. Footings were poor and we had strong wind on the ridges. It was a fun experience. I would recommend this to anyone whoÂ is preparing for their 100 miles journey