Saturday, September 25, 2010

Can Running Win It Again?

Over the next few weeks as we run up to Iron Cross we're going to try to take a look at some of the folks primed for this year's edition.  We got the word in that Newville native and all round super nice fella Josh Beck, owner of the Appalachian Running Co in downtown Carlisle, is in for this year's Iron Cross.  Josh, despite living so close and being a fixture in the endurance sports community in the region for a bit now is making his first attempt at IC.  Keeping Josh from putting the hurt on folks at IC in the past has been an aversion to the technical bits on the course which he has seemingly put to bed.  I can't wait to see what he pulls off.

Josh has some incredible results on his resume from early years as a runner to a time spent racing road bikes on the pro team and with events like the Philly Pro Championship under his wheels.  Over the past five years or so the focus has been on ultra distance multi-sport events.  Google him if you like.  Some might call him nuts.  I might agree.  But whatever you call him the results speak for themselves.

Now, I haven't followed Josh's career over the past couple years too closely, but some very recent successes including setting the run course record at the Savageman Tri, which holds the reputation as the hardest Tri anywhere and making an impressive effort at the Louisville Iron Man coming from hundreds back out of the water to 6th overall show he's ready for the on and off the bike bits of IC.

What will be interesting to watch is how Josh plays the race tactically and whether he's able to use that bike/run strength to overcome the disadvantage he'll likely face on the Lippencote descent and the sinuous singletrack in the last hour of the race (unless he's been out getting that dialed!).  If Josh is within a minute or two at the bottom of Lippencote his power on the flat roads and slight grades leading to the Wigwam run will likely bring him back up to the front and set up a show down on Wigwam and to the finish.  If he's off the front at that point; look out.

Rob Jebb showed us several years ago that a super strong runner with who can keep the race close into Wigwam  has the possibility to open up a big enough gap to hold it to the finish.  Josh looks like he's primed to run that fast, but can he keep it close enough on Lippencote to be able to make that move or will he need to use that fancy footwork to pull back those who rip Lipp?  We shall soon find out.

Anyone know if Josh has been out figuring out the Lippencote line?