LATE BREAKING: 50 degrees, light rain and NE wind to greet runners in Twin Harbors, MN at dawn. This weather could be ideal for fast times.
The GRC race team may prowl the track at Bethesda-Chevy Chase, the trails of Rock Creek Park and the C&O Canal Towpath, but it is making a name for itself in Duluth, Minn. this weekend.
Members of the team are making yet another trip to Grandma's Marathon. Previous races have included a victory in 2009's race for Chris Raabe and Jake Klim's marathon debut. Saturday morning, Sam Luff, Karl Dusen and Paul Guevara will take their shots at the Olympic Marathon Trials qualifier in the Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon. Raabe is apparently going after the marathon again, though he has already qualified for the trials.
Our intrepid trio must run under 1:05:00 to qualify- 4:57 pace.
Karl Dusen was close to that pace at the Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10 mile run in early April, a remarkable improvement over the previous few months. In December he could barely finish a 10k almost 20 seconds per mile slower than he ran at Cherry Blossom. Now he's on the doorstep of making a repeat trip to the marathon trials.
Sam Luff was close behind Dusen at Cherry Blossom, and has shown outstanding range this spring, running 14:15 a few weeks later, then 30:13 the next week. After a short racing break, he has been absolutely demolishing workouts and his debut in the half is going to be memorable.
Paul Guevara has made a name for himself in the midwest, particularly in Minnesota, and aims to follow up on his 2:21 debut at the Twin Cities Marathon last October with another fast race, a few months after being sidelined with a stress fracture. Minnesota Paul has a VO2 max higher than the U.S. trade deficit and he is an honest-to-God baller.
Any or all of these men can come back with a ticket to Houston. Check out their Twitter feed on the right side of the blog for updates. Finish times and splits will naturally be up on the blog as soon as possible because face it, we're running nerds.