Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Rocky Raccoon - Don't Squeeze the Sharman

I must admit, Ian Sharman's run at Rocky on Saturday turned my head. I've run Rocky three times and won it once. I also finished 2nd twice and one of those times was when Jorge Pacheco barely missed breaking Clifton's record. Yes, it's flat, fast, and, some might say, boring. But, I love the race and seeing how it unfolded this year, I really wish I had been there. Three guys under 13:30? Man, Kulak's ass must have been on fire!

Karl, dude, you ran a great race and got stronger as the day went on. Considering you come from the hills it was great to see you get after it in the flats. And, if it had been a 200 mile race you would have won hands down! Too bad you're running Hardrock because I bet you would love Vermont. Maybe next year!

Hal, you just keep doing it. To read Tony's story of the race you had him running scared like the grizzled veteran you are. Any race you're in, you're in to win. That's good stuff. And, I am guessing I won't see you soaking in the River this year:)

Tony, even on your A- day you made them work for it. And, given the fact that you pretty much run up or down all the time the fact that you did so well for so long going east to west says alot about you as a runner and has the rest of us quaking in our boots. It appears to me that experience is making you stronger, faster and better.

And, Ian, well, what can I say? I haven't officially met you yet but we've crossed paths twice. The first time was at WS 2010 when you passed me at Mile 87. You were, of course, polite as any Brit would be in the circumstances but I must admit the pass was impressive! The only solace I had at that moment was when my pacer told me "that's the British dude who beat Wardian at Comrades."

Then, just a few weeks ago we were both on Angel Island in the Bay Area. I ran an unimpressive 1:51 25K and you set the course record in the 10K. I guess that was your final tune-up for the fireworks that erupted in Huntsville on Saturday.

All in all, here we are and the stage is set for a great run-up to WS 2011. While I have long ago stopped pretending that I could compete for top-5, the top-10 goal remains a real thing. And, in the meantime, I love being a spectator in this sport that I hold so dear. As we roll into the final four months it looks like Geoff, Anton, Kilian, Nick, Zach, and now Ian are rarin' to go. Add to the mix Hal, Kaburagi and any number of others and we're in for a treat come June.

As for me, I am looking forward to howling at the Moon at C2M in March and rolling through the Canyon at AR50 in April. After all, the training is 90% of the run, right? AJW


Charlie said...

12:44 on that course. I think I read somewhere that you thought the course was 15 minutes slower than the one Tony ran (and won on) in 2007. Is that right? Would Ian's equivalent time be 12:30 vs Eric's 13:13? And Tony may have been close to sub 13 on the "old" course?

Thomas Bussiere said...

I love the RR course. Although not much on elevation, the roots and mud holes compensate nicely.

sharmanian said...


Sarah Spelt mentioned you were at Angel Island. I was only doing the 8k and missed the CR by 4 seconds due to being way too slow uphill.

I agree that WS will be incredible if everyone (or even half) the fast guys turn up fit. I've got a lot of catching up with the uphill training, but plenty of time in theory. And I doubt many would bet against you for top 10, where you'll pick up the pieces for anyone who goes out too fast.

See you at AR50.



trail pug said...


what time do you think someone would have to run at WS to impress as much as 12:44 at RR? or what other race record would have to be broken to compare in shock-n-awe value?

Michael Alfred said...

Hey Andy, you gave me great advice after the 2009 Rocky Raccoon regarding hydration (which you won and I dropped out of at Mile 80). I employed it on Saturday and finished in 17:30. It was the first 100 I've run that I'd describe as being anywhere near decent. Thanks again and keep spreading the good stuff.

Joe Kulak said...

Insane down there! Was a watching from afar. Truly awesome!

Joe K.