Have you noticed how many fast ultrarunners live in Oregon these days? How many good races there are in Oregon these days? Now, I realize our California friends to the south may still be a little sensitive after losing the bid to host the 2008 US Olympic Track and Field Trials and then not even being considered for the 2012 Trails … so I won’t even mention track and field. I’ll just stick with the longer stuff.
There seem to be three regions that have an unusual number of fast ultrarunners who are racking up all kinds of ultra victories. Here are some of the players who have won a race or ten recently.
- Meghan Arbogast (’07 Where’s Waldo overall champ, 6th at ’08 World 100K, qualified for ’08 Olympic Trials Marathon)
- Susannah Beck (course record at ’08 Way Too Cool, 1st at ’08 White River 50, 2nd ’08 North Face 50)
- Todd Braje (’08 Way Too Cool champ, winner of several others – has since moved to California)
- Matt Lonergan (winner ’08 Sunmart 50)
- Dan Olmstead (winner of several Oregon ultras, 3rd at ’08 Way Too Cool)
- Jeff Riley (winner ’08 Javelina 100)
- Lewis Taylor (’07 victory at Way Too Cool and ’06 Where’s Waldo)
- Hal Koerner (defending WS and AC champ, countless other victories)
- Max King (course record at first ultra SOB 50K, Olympic Trials Steeplechaser)
- Neil Olsen (’08 Where’s Waldo champ, several other Oregon ultras)
- Jenn Shelton (’08 AR 50, ’07 Rocky Raccoon)
- Erik Skaggs (’07 winner & ’08 course record holder Quad Dipsea)
- Ian Torrence (has won a race or 20 in his career)
- Rod Bien (winner of several Oregon ultras)
- Darla Brader (’08 winner Kettle Moraine 100)
- Jeff Browning (1st Bighorn 100 several times, ’07 Where’s Waldo champ)
- Prudence L’Heuruex (1st ’08 Where’s Waldo and ’08 Angeles Crest)
- Sean Meissner (runs everything, wins sometimes)
- Krissy Moehl (’07 course record at Hardrock, many other victories)
- Kami Semick (2nd at ’08 USATF World 100K, 1st at ’08 North Face)
There were two covers of UR magazine in 2008 that featured Oregon runners: Susannah in May and Hal in November. The runners listed above are just the runners who have won races recently. There are many more runners in each of these communities.
As for Oregon races, in 2009 there are two USATF trail championship races:
- USATF 100km Trail Championships at Where’s Waldo 100km (between Eugene & Bend)
- USATF Trail Marathon at Lithia Loop Trail Marathon (Ashland)
I don’t know exactly why it’s happening, but for a small state of only 3.7 million, Oregon is ultra dominating.