Olsen, Smith Shine at Desert Solstice
Phoenix, Arizona, December 15. Jon Olsen and Pam Smith recorded stellar performances for 100 miles at the Desert Solstice 24-hour race. Olsen's time of 12:29:37 was the third fastest ever by an American, behind only Rae Clark and Bernd Heinrich. Smith recorded a 15:01:40 time, fourth on the all-time list and second best track performance behind Ann Trason.
Joe Fejas won the 24-hour event with 156.6 miles. Connie Gardner was the women's winner.
Ian Sharman and Dave James led the field early before succumbing to the cold and rain dropping out. Olsen held a strong and steady pace, coming up just short in the last couple of hours, trying to best Bernd Heinrich's 12:27:01 for second on the all-time list. Rae Clark of Auburn, California holds the American record at 12:12:19, set back in 1989. Michael Arnstein started conservative and negative split a 12:57:45, making up a lot of ground in the final few hours. Arnstein moves into sixth on the all-time U.S. list.
Pam Smith was the first to 100 miles for the women in 15:01:40, posting the second fastest track performance behind Ann Trason's 13:47:41.
The runners enjoyed overcast skies and temperatures in the 50's but dealt with rain (pouring heavily at times) on the all-weather track at Central High School near downtown Phoenix.
1. Jon Olsen, 38 Modesto, CA, 12:29:37
2. Michael Arnstein, 35, New York, NY, 12:57:45
3. Jay Smithberger, 43, Granville, OH, 13:49:13
1. Pam Smith, 38, Salem, OR, 15:01:40
1. Joe Fejes, 43, Hoschton, GA, 156.626 miles
2. Nick Coury, 25, Tempe, AZ, 139.746
1. Connie Gardner, 49, Medina, OH, 132.228 miles
2. Debra Horn, 53, Shaker Heights, OH, 131.117
3. Jennifer Aradi, 37, Chicago, IL, 128.132
4. Charlotte Vasarhelyi, 36, Kitchener, ON, 114.777
photo, above left: Jon Olsen at the 2011 Ruth Anderson 100K (photo by Alan Geraldi)
below left: Pam Smith (courtesy ultrasignup.com)