100-mile race just a warmup for the winner

Doyle Woody

The most remarkable thing about Geoff Roes' record-busting run in the Resurrection Pass 100-Miler last weekend may not have been that he obliterated the course record by more than three hours.

Nor that he won the ultramarathon from near Hope to Cooper Landing and back by nearly four hours.

Nor even that he accomplished both those feats while dialing back his effort because he used Resurrection as a training run for an even more daunting 100-miler next month in Utah.

More striking, arguably, was that after running Resurrection from 3 p.m. Saturday until shortly after 8 a.m. Sunday, Roes went for a six-mile run in Anchorage on Monday -- and, all things considered, felt pretty good.

Back home in Douglas on Tuesday -- he flew out of Anchorage on Monday night -- Roes banged out a seven-mile training run and lifted some weights too.

"I actually felt kind of fresh, and kind of felt some quickness in my legs," Roes reported by phone Tuesday evening from Douglas.

Roes, 32, won the Resurrection 100-Miler in 17 hours, 13 minutes, which slashed 3:20 off Jeff Arndt's 2007 record of 20:33. In doing so, he became the first man to win both the Resurrection 100 and Resurrection 50 -- Roes last year set the 50-Miler record of 6:10.

Laura McDonough of Anchorage has also captured the women's titles in both races -- she was also the fastest runner overall in 2005, when she won the 100-Miler (21:57).

Roes' victory over the weekend, in which he averaged about 10:20 per mile, and that's counting a quick stop to eat soup and pizza and the turnaround, added yet another highlight to his running resume. He won the Crow Pass Crossing in 2007, clocking the third-fastest time ever (3:07:48) in history of the marathon-length backcountry race from near Girdwood to the Eagle River Nature Center. He also won the Alaska Mountain Runners Grand Prix title in 2006.

Still, his performance in the Resurrection 100-Miler was particularly jaw-dropping.

"Wow,'' said mountain runner Harlow Robinson of Anchorage, who has won Crow Pass twice and last month earned his fifth straight win in the grueling Matanuska Peak Challenge. "Double wow.

"From what I can tell from reading his blog and looking at his times, he's close to being national class.''

Roes said recovering so well from Resurrection gives him confidence for the Wasatch Front 100-Mile Endurance Run in Utah next month. While the Resurrection 100-Miler features an elevation gain of about 9,000 feet, and an equal descent, Wasatch includes 26,000 feet of climbing and a roughly equal amount of descent.

"I've always felt like my recovery timetable is the best indication of how fit I am,'' Roes said. "And I'm feeling pretty good. At the same time, 100 miles is 100 miles.''

Though Roes easily led near the halfway point of the Resurrection 100-Miler, he said he briefly considered stopping at the 50-mile mark and considering that a good enough training run. By then, though, he had consumed enough calories -- he downed about 6,000 in the race -- to make up for not eating enough in the day or two prior to the race.

Also, he had found his rhythm and felt so good that he ended up running the second half of the race slightly faster than the first half, and he ran the last 50 miles non-stop.

"I felt like I could physically handle that pace with no problem,'' Roes said. "It was just a matter of mentally sticking with it.''

Roes has been running hard for about the last five weeks after running sparingly during a two-month period in which he trained for and competed in the Great Divide Mountain Bike Race. He was in second place in that epic 2,490-mile race from the U.S.-Canada border to the U.S.-Mexico border before he dropped out after about 1,400 miles.

Other than slightly swollen feet and some muscle soreness in his feet, Roes came out of Resurrection largely unblemished.

He plans to race the 14-mile Windfall Lake Trail Challenge Run in Juneau on Saturday as a trainer, then depart next week for Utah to get acclimated to the altitude there.

And given his performance at Resurrection and his excellent recovery, he's eager to test himself.

"I definitely have a higher level of confidence,'' Roes said.

Find Doyle Woody's blog online at adn.com/hockeyblog or call him at 257-4335.

Resurrection Pass 100-Miler

1) Geoff Roes, 17 hours, 33 minutes (course record; previous record, 20:33, Jeff Arndt, 2007); 2) Jeff Arndt, 21:04; 3) Eliseo Marquez, 24:35.

Resurrection Pass 50-Miler

1) Alex Henry, 6:59; 2) Daniel Salvador, 8:01; 3) Eeva Latosuo, 9:09 (women's winner); 4) Todd Kasteler, 9:10; 5) Laura McDonough, 9:12; 6) David Johnston, 9:13; 7) Tom Schlabach, 9:25; 8) Jeff Mailloux, 9:55; 9) Ed Bennett, 10:38; 10) Shannon Rochelle, 10:55; 11) Brad Traxler, 11:26.

FOLLOW ROES: To track Geoff Roes' training and racing, check out his blog, titled "Fumbling Towards Endurance."