Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The 18K Superchallenge

Legendary among college runners is the coveted trilogy which has no equal in the track world. The 10,000, the 3000 steeplechase, and the 5000 all in the same day. Now it's been done several times over three days by several well known runners like Macharia Yuot at D3 nationals in 2006 or Scott MacPherson from Arkansas at the recent SEC championships where his total time was around 55 minutes. Rumor has it that some runners at Tufts came up with this in the 90s and the goal was to get your total time in less than a hour. One female runner from WPI tried it several years ago at our NEWMAC championships and she won the 10,000 and got fifth in the 3000 but our coach wanted to save her for New Englands the next week so she didn't do the 5000. 

For the college track runner it is the ultimate day. For D3 runners to get a total time under an hour you have to be moderately competitive at every distance. I don't think D1 runners have the opportunity very often to run all three the same day because their meets are generally stretched over several days. Regardless of who you are it would not be easy. Of course if you want to push yourself why limit yourself to an hour? I kind of think that 52 minutes would be nearly impossible except for professional runners who rarely even run two races the same week. It's a unique opportunity to be able to run all three races the same day. For those of us moderately good D3 runners just trying to break an hour chances are no one would even notice outside of our team. It's also a waste of he next week because most likely you would be so sore after that that trying to throw down any workout that week or even a race the next weekend would probably suffer. 

However, despite the sacrifice and stupidity of the 18k Superchallenge for any runner that completes it (that is all three the same day and less than an hour total time) let me know and show me the website with the results and I'll buy you a meal. 

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