When I have to take time off from running, I invariably start looking at what more I could do. It usually ends with me chasing down some legend in the record books.
This is a tough, tough place for masters runners. The Minnesota records for men over 50 (I'm looking ahead a few years) belong mostly to Doug Keller and Paul Brown. Take a look:
1:16:42 1/2 marathon
The marathon record is listed as 2:50:48, but that's an error. It's closer to 2:40. Unless Steve Plasencia has it, in which case it's probably under 2:35.
Note added: Norm Green and Kjell-Erik Stahl both ran 2:26 in Minnesota after turning 50. The record in Minnesota by a Minnesotan over 50 is Alex Ratelle's 2:30:42.
What about the ultra distances? Surely they must be easier... Well, those records are no longer kept! I have a list from 2005 with the records for men 45-49 in Minnesota.
100K in 6:31.
That's right. 6 1/2 minute miles. 2:50 marathon pace for 62 miles. That's Don Ritchie, from Scotland, who set that at the old Ed Fitz. The records for native Minnesota men 45-49:
6:42:48 50 Mile
17:37:51 100 Mile
127.0 miles in 24 hours.
The first two were by either Garrett Tomczak or Tom Andrews. The record for 24 hours was broken by Paul Hasse, who did 131.38 two years ago (and he set the 100 mile record in the process, but I don't have the exact number).
I got to wondering about even longer races for guys my age. Only US records are available. The 100 mile and 24 hour records for my age class are mostly by Roy Pirrung of Wisconsin, so the local talent doesn't disappear here, either. I saw the age-class 6 Day record (yes, people run for 6 days) was 624.4K (388 miles) was by Tom Andrews in 2001 (age 46)... of Minnesota. Then I noticed that the records hadn't been updated since 2004. The new record, set in 2005, was by Danny Ripka (also Minnesota, age 47)... 478 miles.
80 miles a day every day for 6 days!
This is why Matt Patten keeps track of how many guys named Matt are ahead of him in races (he'll be first or second Matt at Zumbro this week, most likely #2) and why I still find myself thinking I'd have to run the Superior 100 Mile in 30 hours to be the fastest guy named Steve from my hometown (pop. 35000) to finish it.
Maybe I should move to somewhere less competitive...
6 hours ago