Locals complete virtual Boston Marathon

September 18, 2020

The 124th Boston Marathon virtual experience was held last week with thousands taking part all over the world. Several Delaware runners took to the streets (and trails) for their 26.2-mile experience. Boston organizers asked for data to be sent to them and made it easy to upload from Strava or Garmin. However, I still saw many runners with “moving time” reported and not “elapsed time” on the Boston website, which surprised me as the BAA is usually very tight with restrictions. If we ever get back to live racing full time, just a reminder to the virtual world that if you stop for any reason, my Seashore Striders finish line clock continues to tick.

Congratulations to the local Boston Finishers: Francisco Puac, 2:50:56; Mike Sewell, 3:27:09; Martin Rodriguez, 3:34:02; Jo Ann Moore, 4:33:26; David Miller, 4:55:06; Douglas Gilison, 5:34:29; Kari Overington, 6:04:29; and Laura Collins, 7:01:15.

Doc Masser Memorial Fund

A memorial fund has been set up in memory of Lee “Doc” Masser. It can be accessed at Lee died of natural causes Sept. 4, and I am currently working with several agencies on some memorial ideas for the area in memory of Doc. Donations can be made to the memorial fund and directed to many areas of the Seashore Striders, from youth to adult to the racing series to the community giving piece. Thank you for your support.

Run, White & Blue 5K

The seventh annual Run, White and Blue 5K was held virtually last weekend with 91 runners taking part, a far cry from 520 in 2019. I give organizer Janelle Boyer credit for keeping it going for a great cause.  Congratulations to Michael MacDonald of Felton, who won the overall male title in 20:18, while Megan Wagaman of Wilmington won the overall female title in 25:27. David Landis of Selbyville won the male masters title in 20:23 and is running better than he has in a few years. Lisa Ruschman of Milton ran 28:26 to win the female masters title. All participants will receive a cool embroidered running hat for their participation, and the top three finishers in each age group will receive medals.

Jake Bamforth attempts ultraman

Recent USF graduate Jake Bamforth completed two challenges this past spring, as he cycled the elevation of Mount Everest on a hill in Clermont, Fla., by repeating the climb 135 times in a row, taking 16 straight hours to complete the distance. Only three riders from Florida have ever completed an Everest Challenge. Then in July, he completed a swim from Cape May, N.J., to Cape Henlopen State Park in Delaware. That was 14.2 miles in choppy waters, taking him 6:36:07 to complete – the fastest in history. Only five swimmers have ever successfully completed the swim.

Jake is now living at 5,000 feet of elevation in Colorado and training between 5,000 and 8,000 feet in Fort Collins, with Boulder and Pikes Peak in his backyard. When I moved him out west in August, I wrote, “Only time will tell what his next challenge will be.”

He is at it again! In the triathlon world, there are several levels of races, with each raising the level of difficultly. There are the sprint, the Olympic, the half ironman, the full ironman, and now I have learned about the ultraman. I knew an ironman was difficult and an ultra-marathon was extremely tough, but now that I know about the ultraman, in the words of my buddy and coach Kenny Riedel, this is insane!

The history of the Ultraman World Championships is an athletic odyssey of personal rediscovery; as such, it is the next step in the endurance challenge of being human. Covering a total distance of 320 miles, held on the Big Island of Hawaii, it requires that each participant complete a 6.2-mile (10K) open ocean swim, a 261.4-mile (421K) bike ride, and a 52.4-mile (84K) ultra-marathon run, the distances being determined by the size of the Big Island. Several websites refer to the ultraman as “the greatest race in the world.”

Ultraman is a three-day race which was first held in 1983. It generates a bit of a different crowd compared to an ironman. Ultraman doesn’t have the big award ceremony, closed roads, aid stations or anything like a typical multi-sport endurance event. It sort of attracts the purest in triathlon endurance. The courses are typically much more challenging than an ironman as well. For example, the courses will purposely veer off to hit difficult trail runs, technical roads, etc., and Jake’s run and bike course will be no different. 

I asked Jake to give a brief summary of his three-day plan to complete the challenge.

“On Day 1, we will do the swim in Horsetooth Reservoir in Fort Collins. Then we will do all the coveted climbs Fort Collins is known for – Rist Canyon, Buck Horn Canyon and Poudre Canyon – accumulating about 9,000 feet of elevation. Day 2 we will ride from Fort Collins to Estes Park and then continue up through Rocky Mountain National Park on Highway 34 - Trail Ridge Road. We will climb over 15,000 feet of elevation. Day 3 we will navigate around Horsetooth Reservoir through Lory State Park and Horsetooth open space doing all the major trail climbs. Then we head southwest to do a loop in Bobcat Ridge. Then we head back to complete the loop around the reservoir. The run will have about 9,000 feet of elevation, quite a bit over 50 miles. The goal of this was to make it as difficult as possible and to show my friend J.C. LaVerde of Florida [with whom Jake completed the “Everesting” challenge] all that Fort Collins has to offer – the full Colorado Experience.”

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