Newcomers Win at Way Too Cool
Cool, California, March 14. Leor Pantilat of San Carlos, California and Caitlin Smith of Oakland were the winners at the 20th annual Way Too Cool 50K held here today. Smith, 28, won while completing her second ultra (she ran her first 50km three weeks earlier at Sequoia 50K in Oakland). Pantilat won the Skyline to the Sea 50km and placed 18th at the Quad Dipsea 28.4-mile, both in 2008, in his two previous ultras.
Pantilat took the lead from early leader Eric Grossman at about mile 9 and held a steady 2-3 minute lead throughout the second half. Smith ran with Bev Anderson-Abbs for much of the race until pulling away on the Goat Hill climb with about five miles left.
The race is the unofficial "season opener" of the crowded northern California ultra schedule. More than 500 runners participated on a slightly re-designed course that is 1.3 miles longer than the previous course. Weather was ideal for racing, cool and mostly sunny, with highs in the mid-50s. However, runners noted that the course was a little more eroded than usual due to heavy rains in February. Four runners - Bill Finkbeiner, Janet Pucci, Dennis Scott and Gloria Takagishi - have completed the race all 20 years.
1. Leor Pantilat, 24, San Carlos, CA 3:39:51
2. Dan Olmstead, 36, Eugene, OR 3:42:58
3. Benjamin Berkowitz, 25, Los Angeles, CA 3:45:29
4. Eric Grossman, 40, Emory, VA 3:51:02
5. Victor Ballesteros, 38, San Rafael, CA 3:51:11
1. Caitlin Smith, 28, Oakland, CA 4:12:20
2. Bev Anderson-Abbs, 44, Red Bluff, CA 4:17:15
3. Joelle Vaught, 34, Boise, ID 4:19:41
4. Nicola Gildersleeve, 24, North Vancouver, BC 4:21:50
5. Meghan Arbogast, 47, Corvallis, OR 4:23:05