Roes shatters 50-K ultra marathon record

Geoff Roes, who owns the course record in the Crow Pass Crossing from near Girdwood to the Eagle River Nature Center and has developed into one of the world's top ultra-distance trail runners, captured yet another title and race record Saturday.

Roes, 34, smashed the record at the Chuckanut 50-K in Bellingham, Wash., covering the 31-mile trail run in 3 hours, 41 minutes, 51 seconds. That beat the old record by nearly eight minutes.

Roes passed runner-up Michael Smith (3:45:21) on a climb about 22 miles into the race.

"I felt surprisingly good and it's always fun to win,'' Roes told the Bellingham Herald. "I've had some tough races I've won and I've had some easier races I haven't done as well in.

"It's nice to have both -- a tough race and a race I finished well in.''

Roes was named Ultrarunning Magazine's male Ultrarunner of the Year for both 2010 and 2009. After living in Douglas and Juneau, he last year moved for the winter to Nederland, Colo., but has written on his blog that he will return to Juneau this summer.

Last year, Roes demolished the record in the Western States 100-Miler in California, which is perhaps the most prestigious title on the American ultrarunning circuit. His time of 15 hours, 7 minutes, slashed nearly 30 minutes off the previous standard.

Ultrarunning Magazine named Roes' Western States effort its Performance of the Year, the second straight year he earned that honor.

A month after Western States, he won the 24-mile Crow Pass Crossing in record time for the second straight year. His time of 2:54:44 came a year after he and Eric Strabel of Anchorage became the first runners to break the three-hour barrier in the backcountry race that includes a crossing of frigid Eagle River at the halfway point.

Roes, who has won Crow Pass three times, won at least five ultras last year in record time.

Anchorage Daily News