Saturday, April 19, 2008

A Windy Day at Ruth Anderson 50K/50M/100K

RD Extraordinaire, Rajeev

Today, I decided to help my friend Rajeev (the poetic runner), to ensure his first time as a race director for the Ruth Anderson 50K/50M/100K would be a success. Fellow ultrarunner, Hao, and I were assigned the timing the 50K finish line.
Fellow Volunteer, Hao, Ready to Time the Runners

Hao graciously offered to pick my up at the hotel where we were staying. We would help out at the race while my wife and the kids would go to the Malibu Grand Prix, which was located just down the road. We talked about upcoming races and, if his busy schedule allows it, Hao might come and pace me for a section of my TRT Speed Record Attempt in August.
Runners Circle the Course

We arrived early and as we drove up, we could already see many runners spread out over the course. I saw Alan Geraldi, Michael Kanning, Mark Tanaka, and many other familiar faces.
When we checked in with Rajeev, we found out it would be another hour and a half before the first 50K runners would finish, so I took the opportunity to run a lap on the course (4.5 miles) with Alan. It was great to catch up with him. We talked about Alan's upcoming races (Keys 100, Badwater, UTMB, and countless other tough ultras-- wow!)
Alan at the Aid Station
Later we caught up with Chihping and I met Steve Ansell in person for the first time. One thing was for sure: this was not going to be a fast day. The wind was howling around Lake Merced and on the back stretch, which also included some uphill running, strong gusts of wind would sometimes force runners to walk.
Lake Merced

After one lap, it was time to start the 50K timing. Jean Pommier came in first in a very fast 3:44. After that, we had to write down the time for everybody that either finished at 50K or continued to run additional laps in the 50K or longer distances. When someone finished the race, we would call in the official time to Stan Jensen who was keeping track of all the runners' laps at the finish line. At times it got pretty busy, so it was good that there were two of us.
Jean Pommier Wins the 50K
Steve Ansell, Looking Strong
Alan Finishes in 3rd Place (50K)
This Runner's Girlfriend Paces Him A Few Laps to a Successful 50K
After a while I started wondering why we had not yet seen my friend, Michael Kanning, who was going to shatter the 100K Jr. National Record. I called Rajeev and found out that he had dropped out. The 50K finish was located about a quarter of a mile away from the start area, which was unfortunate, because if I had been timing at the start area, I would have pushed him back out on the course! (just kidding!). We'll have to check his blog to see what happened, but I am sure he will be back later this year (Pony Express?) to rewrite the record books.

Mark Tanaka Floats By

As time went on, the wind would not let up and it started to take its toll on the runners. Many called it a day at 50K, but a few kept going. Mark Tanaka went on for the 100K and did a superb job, pacing himself. You could almost set your clock on it Every 37-38 minutes Mark would come gliding by, making it look easy.
At 1:30, another volunteer took over from us and Hao gave me a ride back to the hotel. After a quick bite to eat, we spent the afternoon in San Francisco, visiting SF MOMA and at night we went out for a nice dinner in honor of Vicky's birthday (tomorrow).

All in all, it was a great day and interesting to see the race from a different perspective for a change. Congratulations to Rajeev and all the other volunteers for all their hard work in putting this race together and congrats to all the runners who braved the stormy weather to run 50K or more.

Next up: The Spring Run 10K on April 26th.


Mark Tanaka (Ultrailnakaman) said...

Hey, Peter, thanks for coming by and helping out with Hao. Sorry, I was having problems recognizing people out of context (I hadn't suspected you'd drive down to SF on such a windy day). Glad your kids had fun at Malibu (sound like something in the future for mine) and you caught the SFMOMA and had a great dinner in the city.

Maybe I was pacing myself initially, but eventually it was slogging.

Alan said...


Thank you for coming out and volunteering! Also, thanks for running that lap with me - helped me a lot!

Since I did not get a chance to grab my camera or snap photos, please be advised that I will infringe your copyrights and "borrow" a few images for my report :)

hao said...


great write up. it was great to catch up with you. it was fun to volunteer at the race. it's now a race i'd like to run some day. :) good luck in your training. really hope to be able to run a section with you during your through run in august.



anil said...

Hi Peter,
a very good briefing of the race peter. its very nice of you to come down from nevada for this race. hows the TRT training coming up, time for a update :)


Peter Lubbers said...

The training is going well. I'll post an update at the end of the month.

Baldwyn said...

Hi Peter,

Thnaks for volunteering for the event! It seemed like a better day to run than to stand around in the cold. Funny, I was looking at the big version of the "runners circle the course" photo, and thought "Hey, I remember following that guy in front for awhile." About a minute later, I realized that was me behind him the picture too!

Thanks again,


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