Desert Solstice 100 Mile and 24 Hour Track Invitational: 2015
The Desert Solstice 100 Mile and 24 Hour Track Invitational is an event put on by Aravaipa Running, which targets fast times. As the name implies, it is on a track, which at first thought probably seems boring at best and inhumane at worst. So why?
When I first contemplated doing a track ultra, I dug into the history of it a bit. The first man I came across was Don Ritchie, a badass of epic proportions. For those unfamiliar, the man held the 100-mile world best for 25 years with a time of 11:30:51. More astonishing was the way he did it. I won't get thick into the details, but the man split a 4:53:28 for 50 miles and 6:10:20 for 100 kilometers in shorter races of the same nature. Let me say that again. The man split a 4:53:28 for 50 miles and 6:10:20 for 100k!!! You can read detailed information on Don Ritchie on this website. This led to an intrigue that eventually had me looking into other flatlander greats such as Bruce Fordyce, Frank Bozanich, Yannis Kouros, Rae Clark, Oleg Kharitonov, and many more. I eventually ended on an article written about the current world-best performance of 11:28:03. This quote sums up what it must have been like to be at the Crystal Palace in London in 2002, when that record was set after a latest-race battle between Russians Oleg Kharitonov and Denis Jalybin:
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