Thursday, January 8, 2009

Lake Waramaug 50m/100k 1981

Lake Waramaug was one of my favourite ultras to go to, not that i ran 50's, but i was there to act as photographer and handler for some of my crazy friends that did these races. Waramaug is out in western Connecticut, run around a lake. It is beautiful country. This race would bring in the best runners in the east as well as the rest of the country and beyond.

This particular year i was heading out with the usual crew of Gerry Beagan (who was running) and Kenny Field (fellow photog and handler) and picking up Amby Burfoot along the way, Amby was running part of it. We got there late and set up camp in the truck while Amby headed into the Inn to get his room. I slept in the back of the Bronco with the gate down and feet hanging out as did Kenny and Gerry slept under the truck as we were parked in the middle of a field, so the grass was sort of comfortable. This is not what you would call ideal sleeping conditions, but alot of our roadtrips to races ended up like this and we did not mind. Morning came fast. The cows in the pasture woke us early as well as a pissed off George Gardiner who was cursing at the cows and anyone else who was around, he hopped into his car and drove back to RI without running a step which is too bad, he would have been one of the top runners.

You can read the race report from Frontrunner Magazine by clicking on the story at the below.

The race was won by Stu Mittleman, who was just elected into the US Ultrarunning Hall of Fame. He ran an impressive 5:14.05 50 mile time, going through the marathon split in 2:41.
Leslie Watson from England won the womens race in a World Record time of 6:02 37, marathon split of 3:10, which was good for 10th place overall. The depth of talent here was incredible, 21 runners finished under 6 1/2 hours. 11 runners ran under 3hours for the marathon on their way to 50 miles, and in a 2 cases, all the way to 100k.

I really like going to these races, it is similar to going to the mountain and trail races. Runners here have a different mentality, going to extremes for the challenge of pushing their bodies. They do what seems impossible to many runners, but if you set your mind to it, you can do it.

You can see more photos from this race as well as other recent entries, Nifty Fifty 1980, Block Island 1980 and Boston Marathon 1986 @

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