The 2011 USATF Oregon Road Race Grand Prix kicked off in Medford, Oregon with the 10 Mile Road Race Championships contested at the historic Pear Blossom Run on April 9th, 2011.
2010 USATF Oregon 10 Mile Champion, Kirby Davis of Bowerman AC, was unable to defend his USATF Oregon 10 Mile title at the Pear due to injury, thus leaving the competition wide open for a new USATF Oregon 10 Mile champion to be crowned. The men’s race proved to be a fine match between Max King of Bowerman AC and Mike Reneau of Strands. King ran second to Reneau for most of the race before pulling into the lead with less than two miles remaining and surging ahead to capture his record sixth Pear Blossom championship in the 10-mile race over the streets of southwest Medford. Max averaged 4:55 per mile for the run recording a new course of 49:10. His mark eclipses the old course record which he previously held by 11 seconds! Congrats Max on a fine run!
The 2011 USATF Oregon 10 Mile women’s race would also see a new champion, as 2010 champ Jenn Shelton did not enter because she was away from the area. Running uncontested the majority of the race, Marci Klimek, a Linfield College graduate, cruised to a convincing victory touring the course in 1:00:37. Klimek is no stranger to championship racing, while at Linfield she was the first Wildcat woman to win the Northwest Conference crown and competed in the NCAA Division III national championships three times, finishing as high as ninth. Also, she notched a couple of 9th finishes at the track & field nationals and holds several school distance records. Since graduating in June 2010, Klimek, 23, is now sponsored by a women's running apparel company, Oiselle, based in Seattle. She works at a running store in Bend. This was her first attempt at the 10 mile distance and I think everyone can agree it was a complete success. Nice run Marci!
Below you will find your top 3 open men and women USATF Oregon members at the 2011 Pear Blossom Run.
USATF-OREGON 10 MILE ROAD RACE TOP 3 Open Men & Women
- Max King, Bowerman AC, 49:10
- Michael Reneau, Strands, 49:24
- Eric Griffiths, Run Portland , 52:01
- Marci Klimeck, Unattached, 1:00:37
- Erin Skourtes, Run Portland, 1:04:04
- Megha Doshi, Run Portland, 1:05:13
In the USATF Oregon master’s division at the Pear, Neil Oslen, 43, of Central Point earned the Men’s Master USATF Oregon 10 Mile Championship title with his finishing time of 56:09. His showing was good enough to break into the race’s top-10 as he finished 9th overall. On the women’s side, Felicia Hazel, 47, of Talent, was the first Female Master USATF Oregon member to cross the finish line in 1:09:32. That is an average of 6:57 pace per mile! WOW Felicia! Very impressive run!
I would like to thank race directors Zellah & Jerry Swartsley for putting on another great edition of the Pear. Congrats to all the participants and USATF Oregon members we competed in the Pear Blossom 10 Mile Run. By supporting such a great local race and your USATF Oregon Association you’ve made sure “Everyone’s a winner!”
The USATF Oregon Road Race Grand Prix continues with the Eugene ½ Marathon on May 1st, the Red Lizard 5 Miler on May 28th, the USATF 1 Mile Road Race on June 18th, Butte to Butte 10k on July 4th and culminating with the BAC 5K on the evening of July 30th at the Nike World Campus in Beaverton, Oregon. Visit www.ldr-oregon.org for all information, results, and updates regarding the 2011 USATF Oregon Road Race Grand Prix.
USATF Oregon Mountain, Ultra, Trail
Solidly sunny and dry summer weather may be a couple months away but that hasn't stopped Oregon's trail runners from starting their racing seasons. Jacob Puzey (Hermiston, OR) and Pam Smith (Salem, OR) drew first blood - or mud in this case - at the Hagg Lake 50k this past February in Forest Grove. The second race in the Oregon Ultramarathon Trail Series took place in Sisters with Sean Meissner's ever popular Peterson Ridge Rumble. Dan Olmstead (Eugene, OR) and Joelle Vaught (Boise, ID) took top honors on the new 40 mile course run just below the snow line in the scenic central Cascade mountains.
Trail runners looking for a shorter distance challenge the 4th Annual La Sportiva/USATF Oregon Mountain Running Series kicks off on the May 14 in Oakridge with the Larison Rock Hill Climb. Larison Rock is a 5 mile uphill race organized by trail running veterans Alan Abbs and Beverly Anderson-Abbs. After Larison Rock the Oregon Mountain Running Series continues with four more races across the state in Jacksonville, Mt. Hood, Ashland and Bend. For complete information about all the races in the series visit usatforegonmut.blogspot.com.
In addition to the home grown ultra and mountain running races series Oregon will play host to three National Championship trail races. Coming first on June 12 the Footzone Dirty Half will once again play host to the USA Half Marathon Trail Championships. Last years inaugural Half Marathon Trail Championship was won by US Mountain Running Team member and Bend local Max King. Max has run some excellent road marathon times in the past 6 months so he should be in good shape to defend his championship. Another Oregon trail speedster who could challenge Max is Erik Skaggs (Ashland, OR) - one of the few runners beat Max in his own backyard. That backyard was the 2010 USA 50k Trail Championships which are back again in 2011 as the 2nd Annual Flagline 50k to be held September 24th outside Bend. The final National Championship being held in Oregon will be the Lithia Loops Trail Marathon in Ashland on November 5. Last year we saw Oregon's own Katie Caba beat out 100k National Champion Devon Crosby-Helms (San Francisco, CA). All three of these USA Trail Running National Championships are open to all runners - be sure to include your USATF member number if you want to be eligible for cash prizes and age group medals.
Regardless of your age or ability level, Oregon's trail racing calendar has a scenic challenge for you. From 5k to 100k, from flat to mountainous and from Steens to Astoria, there are over 60 trail races across the state. Some races have limited field sizes so to avoid missing your favorite race be sure to register early.
Long Distance Running Chairman