The main cast:
Mark Brotherton as Obi One Kanobi
Jim Howard as Luke Sywalker
Jim King (okay, he has a much more prominent role but...) Lando Calrusian (the guy you love to hate or hate to love...) Pretty similar hairdo too, right?
Bjorg Austerheim-Smith as Princess Lea
So who is my favorite? Easy. Just like in Star Wars, I like the wise-cracking over confident Rae Clark who plays, of course, Han Solo! He's got some great quotes in a couple of the movies, predicting the demise of Jim King going out too fast and his entourage of Dolphin shorts clad groupies is well, awesome. And, while he never won the race, he did come in second and is just the bad ass, tough as nails runner that I look up to.
So, while researching him a little bit, I found that I definitely agreed with a lot of his training back in the day including the often overlooked (in my opinion) practice of strength training. Rae wasn't a waif runner and was durable on the trails and the road. In a 2009 interview with Peter Lubbers, he was asked specifically about this.
Peter Lubbers: What was your secret to success? What sort of training did you do to get ready?
Rae Clark: I specifically attribute my success to two things: Strength and Hill training.
First, strength training is important so that you can keep your running form in the later miles. I feel this is a critical element that is often overlooked. In ultras, it is more important that raw speed. You could run a 2:20 marathon, but that would not necessarily mean that you could do any better in ultra runs [Note: Rae's best marathon time was 2:28]. Upper body and core strength is critically important so that your body does not collapse 40 or 50 miles into the race. The longer you can remain upright and focused the better. You don't have to be a body builder though--Just working out with light weights and your own weight (push-ups and sit-ups) is all you need.
Second, it is important to train in the hills if you're going to run in the hills. I don't mean short hill repeats, but long mountain miles. Tahoe is at altitude, so it is important to get some altitude training in, too. I loved mountain climbing, so I would go for long runs in the mountains. For example, on weekends I would run 30 to 35 miles on the trails in Yosemite. To break it up I would climb Half Dome, or some other mountain. I loved doing that and it gave me the base I needed for the long-distance races.
The full interview is here.
On the personal front, I'm getting excited for this lingering crappy weather to melt and get back to the trails that I love. Way Too Cool was great shock therapy for me and has motivated me to clean up my "winter style" eating, strengthen up my body, and get back to the hills to get ready for the races that I definitely put the most emphasis on.....100's. Hope everyone's trails are slowly melting off!