Lots of catching up to do after the holiday weekend, so let's get right to it.
Two local runners competed in the women's open division of the USA Cross Country Championships in Spokane, Wash., on Saturday. It was a strong women's field, featuring several Olympians, including eventual winner Shalene Flanagan. How did our locals do?
Former UC Davis star Kim Conley (pictured), 23, finished 18th with a time of 27:55 in the 8K race.
Marathoner Jaymee Marty, 42, represented the U.S. Air Force and finished 59th at 31:59. (The Air Force team won the military competition.) Complete results for the USA Cross Country Championships are here.
Closer to home, at Saturday's Valentine's 4 Mile Run, 27-year-old Kevin Pool of Folsom was the overall winner at 19:21.7, while Elk Grove's Mary Coordt was the fastest woman at 22:46.9. In a showdown between two of the Sacramento area's top running coaches, Rich ("Team in Training") Hanna and Chad ("Nike Fleet Feet Racing") Worthen, Hanna eked out a six-second advantage. Hanna finished 8th overall at 20:47; Worthen 9th at 20:53. Complete Valentine's Day run results are here.
The Folsom Trail Run Series' Valentine's Day runs on Sunday, two out-of-staters won the 12.5-mile event. Kirk Ferris of Reno won at 1:24:32, with Spohia Grise of Welches, Ore., the top woman at 1:51:34.
Locals won the 7-Mile race (John Couillard of Folsom and Susan Grinstead of Citrus Heights), but the eye-opening results came in the 3-Mile women's competition. That's where 12-year-old Eleanor Velez of El Dorado Hills (22:05) beat 11-year-old Sarah Dolley of El Dorado Hills (23:59).
Complete results from the Folson Trail Run series are here.
And now, for the truly odd running stories we gawked at over the weekend.
They held a "Tough Guy" race in Great Britain, in which runners had to go through fire, barbed wire, mud and broken glass for 8 grueling miles. Talk about a tough course!
Here's what the event organizer is quoted in the London Daily Mail as saying: "People attempt the course as a journey of self discovery. If people break their legs, they don't come whining like many in our blame and claim culture -- they ring up and apologize, saying, 'Please let me come back next year."
Click here for the full story and some amazing photos. Here's one below.