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Home & Current News   Old News (pre 2008)

Wanderers Climb to Greater Heights This Summer

While most of the Wanderers have been working on their tans around pool side, two members were strapping on the crampons to do some very serious mountain running this summer. Wanderers' mountain running ace Bob Zock logged more than 9,000 feet in elevation in the 14th annual Matanuska Peak Challenge in Alaska.

The 14-mile race features running up not one, but two mountains. A special bonus in this year's race was temperatures in the 80's.

"This one was tough," alluded Bob in his field report. Establishing himself firmly as the Lance Armstrong of the Wanderers, Bob provided the following review of the race. "The toughest parts were the fast descents through talus and loose boulder fields – for 9,000 feet."

The Anchorage Daily News summed up the experience best in the headline of its race report --- "Only Marquis de Sade Could Enjoy This Race."

Bob completed the course in 4:33:28 to finish 22nd in an elite field of 52.

Earlier in the summer, Jennifer Martin ran the grueling Double Dipsea race outside of San Francisco. The race because of its grueling conditions and beautiful course is considered one of the top trail runs in the country. The 13.7 mile course includes running up Mt. Tam twice for a total elevation gain of more than 4,500 feet. Jennifer completed the race in a very impressive 2:35:14 and finished 13th out of 49 women in the 40-50 age bracket.

"Not too bad!" Jennifer observed in her field notes sent to Wanderers headquarters. "I think the speedwork helped," she added referring to the Wanderer track workouts on Wednesday evenings.

Jennifer, having gotten the Double Dipsea out of her system, will now be concentrating on the flats as she prepares for the Steamtown Marathon in October.

Bob had already demonstrated to the Wanderers his mountain running skills at the Reach the Beach Relay last fall when he scorched the field on the opening leg of the race up Bretton Woods Mountain. His performance actually put the Wanderers out in front of the race, an advantage which was quickly frittered away.

But the Matanuska Peak Challenge was a totally different matter. First there was the warmup segment of the race up 3,720 foot Lazy Mountain followed by the run up 6,119 Matanuska Peak. Both of these mountains were at "Hors de Classification" inclines. Bob prepped for the race by competing in runs up Whiteface Mountain in New York, Kearsarge Mountain in New Hampshire, and Killington Mountain in Vermont earlier in the summer.

Bob completed his outdoor experience in Alaska by also hiking around Mt. Alyeska and sleeping in a tool shed.

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