Cool, California, March 9. Max King shattered the course record at the 24th annual Way Too Cool 50K, which traditionally kicks off the busy northern California ultra racing season. King pulled away from Chris Vargo and Leor Pantilat midway through the race and pulled away steadily for a dramatic 3:08:50 course record, more than 9 minutes clear of Uli Steidl’s 2003 course record, which was set on a slightly shorter and slightly more difficult course. Vargo finished second, nearly 10 minutes back.
The women’s race was equally dramatic as 51-year-old legend Meghan Arbogast overcame a four-minute deficit in the last five miles and passed a struggling Rory Bosio with a half mile to go for the win. A record 859 starters tested the course on a perfect racing day, with temperatures at about 40F at the start, warming to low 60s by mid-afternoon.
1. Max King, 33, Bend, OR, 3:08:50 (course record, old record 3:18:17 by Uli Steidl, 2003)
2. Chris Vargo, 31, Colorado Springs, CO, 3:18:44
3. Leor Pantilat, 28, San Carlos, CA, 3:21:51
4. Galen Burrell, 33, Mill Valley, CA 3:26:01
5. Chris Eckman, 35, San Francisco, CA, 3:33:31
1. Meghan Arbogast, 51, Corvallis, OR, 4:06:46
2. Rory Bosio, 28, Soda Springs, CA, 4:07:38
3. Jennifer Pfeifer, 41, El Dorado, CA, 4:14:10
4. Danielle Windemann, 30, Vacaville, CA, 4:17:46
5. Tera Dube, 40, San Luis Obispo, CA, 4:25:18
Photos: Above, Leor Pantilat leads Chris Vargo and Max King at mile 7 (John Medinger photo)
Above, Meghan Arbogast crosses a meadow in the bright sunshine (John Medinger photo)