With Lithia Loop serving as the U.S. trail marathon championship for the third straight year, competitive runners again lined up to race the dirt roads and trails around the Ashland watershed, even if they were sometimes snow-covered. On an snowy/icy course Megan Lund-Lizotte was the first woman to cross the finish line with a time of 3:03:46. . Lund-Lizotte’s time is the race’s second-fastest ever, trailing only Susannah Beck’s 3:00:29 course record in the race’s inaugural year. Kremer, who has announced that she also will seek a berth on the 2012 U.S. Mountain Running Team, was second in 3:05:34. Bend’s Stephanie Howe was a competitive third in 3:09:27. More info here.
A quick interview with the Trail Marathon Champ:
What are your thoughts surrounding the race?
This is the first time running this race. I felt really strong for the most part and pleased I was able to execute my race strategy just as I had planned. I went out hard on the climb (first 10 miles) and was able to create a big enough gap that no one would be within striking distance the rest of the race… and that is exactly how it unfolded. Stevie Kremer (2nd women) ran 2 strides behind me for the first 5 miles and then I broke away and focused on increasing my lead for the rest of the race. Uphill running is my strength of all aspects of running so I knew if I could take a commanding lead on the ascent I would be able to win. This is my first national title so I’m pretty stoked!
Goals for this race?
My goal going into this race was to win and break the course record. I managed to win (and snag my first USA national title), however I was misinformed on the course record. The website states that it was 3:08:42 when in fact it’s actually 3:00::29. So, I thought I had broken it by almost 5 minutes, when in fact I was actually still 3 minutes away. I do think I could have been really close to breaking the real record had we not had blizzard conditions and an icy course.
How many people usually enter this particular race?
Around 150, this year was a record turnout of 192.
What were the weather conditions like?
Snowy/icy course for the majority of the ascent and pelting snow. However, the last 6 miles where dry and clear–great variety of tough conditions!
What food supplies did you use for fuel during the race?
I took about half of an Espresso Clif Shot at mile 16 and washed it down with some snow I scraped off the course (all my water spilled out of the cup I grabbed at the aid station so I had to get resourceful!).
The night before I had smoked mozzarella & basil pasta for dinner…I don’t have a typical/superstitious meal…I just eat what sounds good! For breakfast before the race, I always have oatmeal mixed with some Justin’s Maple Almond Butter (need some fat for those longer races) and a strong cup of coffee. I actually ended up making my instant oatmeal with coffee because the hotel I was staying at forgot to set out hot water for tea (there were cups and tea bags everywhere but no water!), so I used coffee instead! Needless to say, I was super jittery after I ate, but maybe that was the extra jolt I needed to pull out the win!
Highlights from the race?
Firstly, the course was beautiful! Even though it snowed half of the race, the scenery was awesome! At about mile 18 I started feeling bad…not only was I physically tired, I was mentally stressed because I wasn’t sure how big my lead was and if the girl in 2nd was gaining on me. I just kept telling myself that I was only in control of my own race and that if I just kept running as fast as I could, that’s all I could ask of myself. I just kept telling myself how bad I wanted to win and that got me through the next two miles. Once I hit mile 22 I knew I was gonna win and promised myself no one was going to catch me. It’s always rewarding to experience something the way you had hoped it would come to fruition.
I am also (like Max) running in the Rogue Racer and wore that shoe in the race. It was the perfect option for this race because the conditions were snowy and icy the majority of the race. The shoes responded really well and I didn’t experience much slipping while running fast–good quality to have in a shoe when you’re racing on snow-covered frozen ground!
Learn more about Megan in the following interview, All in the Family (Megan Lund-Lizotte comes from a family of distance runners)