Serpie success at Rocky Raccoon 100 miler

Serpentine's Ian Sharman wins the Rocky Raccoon 100 miler in a new course record of 12.44.  He follows this up by breaking the Guinness world record for the fastest marathon dressed as auperhero (Spiderman).

Ian Sharman wins the Rocky Raccoon 100 miler in a new course record of 12.44 (that's 7.38 per mile for 100 miles just in case you were trying to work it out!). See race report from below

When an arctic front brought single-digit temperatures and snow all the way to the Texas-Mexico border this week, the Lone Star state probably thought that severe weather would be the only thing breaking records. That is, until 395 ultrarunners descended upon Huntsville State Park in east-central Texas for the 2011 running of the Rocky Raccoon 100.

At the dark 6 a.m. start, runners shivered in the frosty 25 degree Fahrenheit air. After days of not knowing how the weather and course conditions would play out because of abnormal winter weather, dawn soon revealed bluebird skies and Huntsville State Park’s quintessential fast trails. The weather remained perfect for running, topping out at just under 60 degrees Fahrenheit, and runners reported ideal trail conditions all day long.

This is to say that perfect conditions existed for the setting of a new course record, so meet the man who did just that: Ian Sharman dominated an elite-laden field with a blistering and untouchable pace, finishing in 12:44:33. For anyone who is keeping count, that’s 7:38 minute/mile pace for an entire 100 miles! Prior to Sharman’s superhuman Saturday performance, Eric Clifton held the Rocky Raccoon 100 course record at 13:16:02, set in 1996. A few runners since then have edged near the course record, including Jorge Pacheco and Anton Krupicka.

But on this February 5th, 2011, Sharman didn’t just toy with the record, he destroyed it. Sharman, a British national living in San Jose, California, is not new to elite-level endurance running. In 2010, as an example, Sharman finished the Comrades Marathon, the famous 56-mile road race in South Africa, in 6:01:13 for 23rd place. Sharman revealed on his blog just a few days ago that he’s just signed for sponsorship with The North Face. Going into the race, Sharman played either coy or truly unknowing of his ability for the day. In a comment on his blog, he said, “The plan is to see how close I can get to 8 minute miling, which would be 13:20. But with the mileage I’ve recently been doing, who knows? It’s all about the last 40 miles, especially the last 20. Sub 14 would still be good.”

If you’re wondering what was going through Sharman’s head beyond this snippet of goal-setting commentary, stay tuned because we’re interviewing the guy just as soon as he recovers a little. It appears that the 2011 Rocky Raccoon 100 is just the beginning of a very full season of racing for Sharman.

Look for him at the starting line of some uber-competitive races in 2011, including the American River 50, Miwok 100k, Comrades Marathon, Western States 100, and The North Face Endurance Challenge Championships, among a huge slew of road marathons. [Update: iRunFar now has a report from Ian's pacers and crew.]

Here is the run-down of the 2011 Rocky Raccoon 100 top 5 finishers: 1. Ian Sharman – 12:44:33 2. Anton Krupicka – 13:18:52 3. Hal Koerner – 13:26:19 4. Karl Meltzer – 14:27:20 5. Liza Howard – 15:33:09

Submitted: 8 February 2011