18 January 2010

HURT 100 - Canada kicks ass!

Holy crap -who would have thought that a couple of athletes from Canada, a.k.a. The Great White North, could run so well in the heat and humidity of Hawaii in January? Emerging from the rain, snow and cold of North Vancouver and Vernon, Gary Robbins and Tracy Garneau each set new course records on their way to respective wins at one of the toughest 100 mile runs around: the HURT100 in Honolulu.

Tracy won last year too, but took a phenomenal 3 1/2 hours off her previous time last weekend, and placed third overall in the race. If you haven't heard of this humble Canadian yet, run a quick Google on her to see that she has been quietly placing at the top of almost every event she has entered over the past couple of years: from 50k's in Kelowna, to the Sky Run 100k stage run in South Africa, to the Brazilian Jungle Marathon, to The North Face Endurance Challenge Championships. Tracy has it all covered, yet appears to be getting faster all the time.

Gary has been training like a demon all winter, and made it all click to overcome Ultrarunning Magazine's Runner of the Year Geoff Roes' previous CR by 16 minutes. Wow. For those few who may not have heard of Geoff, he absolutely blasted many significant course records over the past year, so for Gary to running a notch above Geoff's time (trail conditions notwithstanding) - and absolutely recognising Geoff's talent - indicates that he is definitely onto something. Time to meet more of the big dogs and go head-to-head, Gary!! Still a relative newcomer on the ultrarunning scene, Gary is poised for some great things - watch out for him at some of the majors this season and don't bet against him.

In addition, the indefatiguable Monica Sholz from Jerseyville, Ontario, and previous HURT winner, put in another day at the 100-mile office to place second on the women's race. I also have to add a shout out to another local Vancouverite, Matt Sessions, who overcame the demons that can lay on the Hawaiian trails to complete the 100-mile distance.

Congratulations to all the Canucks who took to the Mauka trails this past weekend!

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