Never mind the hot July weather, two course records and two masters age group records fell during the fourth annual Tahoe Rim Trail 50K/50-Mile Endurance Runs on Saturday at Spooner Lake State Park.
Paul South from Louisville, Colo., shattered the men's record for the 50-kilometer course as he ran a time of 4 hours, 37 minutes and 25 seconds to outlast Reno's Dan Stoll-Hadayia in a duel for first-place. Meanwhile, Jenny Capel of Reno finished fourth overall and blew away the women's 50-mile course record with her time of 9:00:45.
Jeff Kozak of Bishop, Calif., finished as the overall winner in the 50-mile race with a time of 8:35:43, while 40-year-old Michael Uhler of San Leandro, Calif., finished second overall and set a men's masters record of 8:44:11.
One other record fell in the women's 50K masters age group as Kitty Marcroft, 43, of Hailey, Idaho, ran 6:02:12 to finish 10th overall and as the second woman. Julie Young, 39, of Auburn, Calif., was the first 50K woman in 5:32:10.
Saturday's races also doubled as the 2005 Road Runners of America (RRCA) National 50K/50M Championships.
With the high temperatures, the record times came as a surprise to the race directors, Kevin Bigley and Dave Cotter.
"Both Kevin and I thought there was no way anyone would set a course record, but we were wrong," Cotter said. "Both of those course records were impressive. Paul was 17 minutes faster than a (50K) record that had stood for four years. And we knew Jenny had been training very well, but she went out and shattered that (50-mile) record by 28 minutes."
This is the second national title in two years for South, who won the USA Track & Field Trail 50K championship in 2004 at the Golden Gate Headlands 50K.
On Saturday, he was chased to the finish by Stoll-Hadayia, who surpassed the previous course record with his 4:39:59 effort. Stoll-Hadayia won Carson City's Escape From Prison Hill Half-Marathon on April 30 and will represent the U.S. Orienteering Team at the World Championships in Japan next month.
Carson City's Steve Roark and John Ostezan placed fourth and fifth with respective times of 5:31:24 and 5:31:57. Roark was coming off a strong effort at the Western States 100-Mile Endurance Race on June 26-27, where he finished 57th.
The percentage of runners who went the full distance in their races was high, as 272 of the 297 starters made it to the finish chute. Overall, Cotter described the race as a success, thanks largely to the 130 to 140 volunteers who worked the aid stations and other aspects of the event.
"This is the biggest race we've had so far and the feedback has been tremendous," he said. "The runners are really impressed with our volunteers and the running clubs (Sagebrush Stompers and Tahoe Mountain Milers). They like the difficulty of the course and they appreciate being in one of the most scenic spots in the world."