Sunday, April 29, 2012

2012 Leona Divide 50M - Tim Olson and Jorge Maravilla... and down the stretch they come!

I am ultra lucky to be able to attend so many great ultra running events... especially this year.
Leona Divide 2012
This week, the destination was Southern California, about 300 miles south of San Jose near Palm Dale/Lancaster California. Besides being the second to last chance to grab an automatic bid via Montrail Ultra Cup into Western States by finishing 1st or 2nd (or third if one of the top two finishers were in WS100), it was also going to be the Ultra Runners Racing League 3rd "Trial - Trail Challenge" between ultra running clubs Rogue Valley Runners of Oregon and Quicksilver Running Club of California. Previous battles took place at Chuckanut and Lake Sonoma. Team Bend (captained by Rod Bein), and RVR (captained by Hal Koerner) had won the previous two events. Fortunes would remain the same as RVR whooped QRC for a third straight time in a " 2 male/ 1 female, death match - straight time format".

(L to R) - Quicksilver RC, Scott Laberge, Clare Abram, Toshi Hosaka, Jean Pommier, Bree Lambert, Rogue Valley Runners Hayden Teachout, Jenn Shelton, Chris Rennaker, Tim Olson.
Before I get to the team results, I must share something with you.

Over the past 5 years I have met some of the most unselfish and passionate people - you ultra runners. I am so proud to be associated with true sportsmen and women in our sport. In this case, I am talking about Tim Olson. I found out in an emotional conversation with Jorge Maravilla at the finish, that Tim Olson got him to the 3rd place- a finish worthy of an automatic bid to Western States 100 for Jorge.
Jorge Maravilla being himself on Friday?  He has added a jump to his smile! (With Jean Pommier and Greg Lanctot)

What you see from Leona Divide blogs  and FB posts are smiling faces. What you see are results. What you don't see is is the act of a bond between runners that battled two weeks ago at Lake Sonoma 50M and battled together this week at Leona Divide 50M for each other. Unfortunately, Jason Wolfe, was the casualty between ultra bretheren Tim Olson and "Hip Hip Jorge" Maravilla. When I crossed the finish line (much slower than Tim and Jorge of course) Jorge told me he wouldn't have got that bid if it wasn't for Tim. Let's just say, for those that haven't met Tim, it should come to no ones surprise what a true gentleman he is.

So, it went down something like this...

Jorge was in third at the last aid station (mile 46.1). Tim was in fourth and charged fast through the aid station catching Maravilla and told Jorge "let's go". Out of that aid station, it was a 1/2 mile slight climb before a 3.4 mile or so downhill to the finish. They got going and saw Jason Wolfe (currently in 2nd) walking. They pushed together to pass him by the top. The rest you already read saw. Jorge to WS!

To Tim, I dedicate this blog to you. You are another reason why I love our sport so much.

To Jorge, have fun at WS. We are all happy for you.

Congratulations also goes out to Dylan Bowman (Winner and new course record holder ), Heather Fuhr (1st Female), and Ashley Nordell (2nd female). They will be joining Jorge at Western States in June!

Here's how the times played out in the URRL "Challenge #3":

Tim Olsen 6:07
Hayden Teachout 8:11
Jenn Shelton 8:35

Jean Pommier 7:07
Toshi Hosaka 7:44
Bree Lambert 8:46 and Clare Abram 8:43

Other QRC runners included myself, Scott Laberge, Nattu Natraj, and Karen Bonnett.

Thank you Keira Henninger and all the great people (especially Jimmy & Kate Freeman's SoCal Coyotes aid station) that made Leona Divide a great event.

If you would like to have your club or organization participate in our league, then please contact me (Greg Lanctot), Hal Koerner, or Jimmy Dean Freeman.

Next event is next week at Miwok 100K featuring:

Rogue Valley Runners
SoCal Coyotes
Tamalpa Runners
Quicksilver Running Club

Thanks for letting us play at your event!

Greg Lanctot

Some more pics below... video being edited....NOW!!!