SPOONER LAKE, Nev. and#8212; Sam Skrocke's first-ever 50-mile race this past Saturday was unfolding just as he had hoped and#8212; with him crushing the Tahoe Rim Trail Endurance Run, and with his competition in the rearview.
But then, around mile 40, his stomach threw a kink in his plan.
and#8220;I think I just ate something that I shouldn't have at an aid station,and#8221; said Skrocke, pointing blame to a chilled, milkshake-type energy drink. and#8220;It was sitting in ice all cold and it looked so good, I just couldn't help myself. But it tore my stomach up, and by the time I recovered I had slipped into third place.and#8221;
The Truckee runner held on to his third position for the final 10 miles, crossing the finish line at Spooner Lake behind only Eric Wickland and Jeff Kozak in a time of 8 hours and 56 minutes. Wickland, from Agoura Hills, Calif., captured the 50-mile win in a time of 8 hours and 36 minutes, and Kozak finished in 8:51.
and#8220;It was tough,and#8221; said Skrocke, adding that he used the endurance run and#8212; touted by promoters as a and#8220;glimpse of heaven, a taste of helland#8221; and#8212; as a stepping stone toward a 100-miler, which he'd like to tackle next year.
Among other top local finishes in the 50-mile distance, Paul Sweeney of Truckee ran a smooth and collected race to finish fifth overall in just over 9 hours, at 9:03, while Michael Tebbutt, owner of Twin Peaks Catering out of Kings Beach, finished 14th in 9:54.
and#8220;It didn't feel like it was my best day, but I guess I should be happy with it,and#8221; Sweeney said of his finish.
Elizabeth Davis of Arizona was the top woman and 11th overall in 9:41, Molly Zurn was the second woman and 17th overall in 10:07, and Jenny Capel was the third woman and 20th overall in 10:30.
A total of 121 of the 146 runners who started the 50-mile race reached the finish within the cutoff.
In the 50K, which Chris Knorzer won in a time of 5 hours and 12 minutes, former Olympic biathlete Glenn Jobe of Sierraville recorded a seventh-place finish in 5:50, Jamie Adams of Kings Beach finished 12th in 6:04, Chris Luberecki of Tahoe City was 14th in 6:09, and Betsy Nye of Truckee was the seventh woman and 32nd overall in 7:05.
Jorge Maravilla of Napa dominated the 100-mile race, winning by more than 2 hours in a time of 18 hours and 48 minutes. The 33-year-old's time was the third-fastest recorded in the 10-year history of the race, and about an hour off the course record of 17:47, set by Thomas Crawford in 2010.
Thomas Reiss of San Luis Obispo finished runner-up in 20:58, while Jon Olsen of Modesto was third overall in 21:27.
Only 65 of the 108 entrants finished the 100-mile race within the cutoff.
Ron Nageotte of Stateline, who completed his first 100-miler Sunday, finishing 52nd in 32 hours and 45 minutes, thinks the high dropout rate was directly related to the chilly temperatures after sundown.
and#8220;I was expecting it to be warmer than it was,and#8221; Nageotte said. and#8220;The issue for the 100-mile runners was that at night it got really cold and windy up on the ridges. You're at 9,000 feet, and the wind was very cold. I was shivering. There were a lot of dropouts, and I think most of them were because they weren't prepared for the windy, cold ridges.and#8221;
Bree Lambert of San Jose won the women's 100-mile run and placed ninth overall in 23:07. She was trailed by Jennifer Benna of Reno, who finished one place behind in 23:23, and Susan Donnelly of Tennessee, who finished 36th overall in 30:59.
Complete results will be posted this week at www.tahoemtnmilers.org.