As fall kicked in around Central Texas, area top runners made the most of it. From great workouts, to impressive wins, to PRs, here’s a snapshot of runners on the move.
Former Longhorn track and cross-country runner Jessica Harper raced the Berlin Marathon two weeks ago, knocking down her PR of 2:40:40 set at the Rotterdam Marathon in April 2017. Harper, who had trained up to 90 miles a week to prepare for Berlin, nailed a 2:35:56, despite some concerns about the rain and relatively warm temperature.
“There was a slight headwind, and it was much warmer than most would want, but the slight rain kept it a little cooler,” commented Harper. Harper’s PR came after two and a half years of frustrating injuries.
On September 27, ultra-man Paul Terranova capped off a great season with a win at the USA Track & Field 100K Trail Championships. The race, hosted by Tejas Trails race took place at Camp Eagle, in Rocksprings, about 100 miles west of Fredericksburg.
“2019 very easily could have been another year of “just doing 100-milers” following HURT 100 in January, Cruel Jewel 100 in May, and Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc in August,” said Terranova, who had been signed up for San Juan Solstice 50-miler in June before it was cancelled due to the late-season snowpack and avalanche danger.
“So with the USA 100K Trail National Championship moving from its normal January date at Bandera to a late September (27) date in Rocksprings, it was a relatively easy sell to my coach Jason Koop and my wife and crew-chief Meredith to step-in to a race on ‘home-turf’ that largely went under the radar with its gnarly terrain, unconventional 7:00 p.m. Friday start, and 95% night running with zero moon illumination. It was super gratifying to head into the fall/winter having gained a boatload of mountain experience this year, stayed healthy & uninjured, and motivated for the 2020 campaign ahead!”
Steve Sisson, the former Longhorn track and cross-country star-turned coach, who has impressive career bests of 13:50 for the 5K and 29:15 for the 10K, proved that at 50, he’s still got it. Though Sisson shrugged off his win two weeks ago at the Sky Island 50K, he’s definitely in good shape.
On September 21, Sisson covered the rugged 50K terrain in Fort Davis in 5:06:22.
“I have been running some long runs, some quality miles & a few trail runs each week. Nothing super consistent. Maybe 50 miles a week, max,” said Sisson, who spends his time in both Austin and Colorado. “I wanted to get a Boston Qualifier which I did in June at Rock & Roll San Diego (3:00:55). I want to try to break 2:50 at Boston since I just turned 50 years old!”
And finally, how’s this for the workout of the week? On October 8, Mark Pinales, a former Longhorn ace who won the Run for the Water 10 Miler and the Humana Rock ‘n’ Roll San Antonio Half Marathon in 2016, along with the 2017 3M Half Marathon posted the following workout.
5:00 am workout before cross country practice: 5-mile tempo around Austin streets with a little bit of elevation gain, 5-minute recovery, and a fast mile on the track to finish it off. Pinales’ miles clicked off at: 5:13, 5:04, 5:05, 5:01, 4:47 and 4:35 for the fast mile.
“This has been a go-to workout of mine to work on race pace work and then focus on closing that last mile. It also allows me to get in great pace control efforts for longer races while not having to do a 15-20-mile workout. It makes any pace slower than this feel like a cake walk,” says Pinales.
Upcoming Races: Hill Country Halloween Half, Saturday, October 26 at 7:30 a.m. at HEB Center, 2100 Avenue of the Stars, in Cedar Park. Run for the Water 10 Miler Sunday, November 2 at 7:30 a.m. Starts and finishes at Cesar Chavez east of Lamar Blvd. in downtown Austin.