The Woodmonster turns forty this week. The infamous, mile-long hill that caps the grueling middle section of the Dick Houston Memorial Woodminster Cross Country Race is legendary for its ability to bring a pack of trail runners to a creep. But shortly after the first runners crest the west ridge of Redwood Regional Park on Sunday, the East Bay's Triple Crown Trail Challenge will have a new set of winners. After last month's Tilden Tough Ten and the June 5 Lake Chabot Trail Challenge, Holly Starr seems virtually unbeatable among women older than fifty, and Juli Morse-Stump leads her nearest competitor by more than three minutes in the under-fifty age group. Meanwhile, Joe Schieffer holds a seemingly secure 5:40 lead over the second-fastest "senior" man. Barring an upset, the only contested race seems to be the one between overall leader David Monk and runner-up Christopher Phipps, whose times are only 1:17 apart.
Although it serves as the conclusion of the Triple Crown, the beautiful and challenging Woodminster course also is open to runners who didn't compete in either of the two earlier races. Starts times are staggered by age and gender, which means that twentysomething women and sixtysomething men are just as likely to cross the finish line at about the same time. Active.com or 510-523-2647. -- Stephen Buel
Out of their Liga
Something funny about the team name "Real Salt Lake." It doesn't exactly fit. "Real" somehow seems to belong more to a soccer football equipo that plays its games in a place called Bernabeu and has players named Ronaldo, Figo, Zidane, Owen, and Beckham. A place where an actual king comes to watch the game. Alas, Salt Lake City is not that place. And yet the Utah pro soccer team is sitting contentedly in the middle of the pack in the MLS West, more or less chasing FC Dallas and the LA Galaxy with help from veterans Eddie Pope and Clint Mathis and forward Jason Kreis -- Major League Soccer's all-time goal scorer. Real Salt Lake visits Spartan Stadium in San Jose this Saturday evening (7 p.m.) to tangle with the Earthquakes, who have been spinning their wheels a bit in this transition season. SanJose.Earthquakes.mlsnet.com -- Kelly Vance
Culture Spy - April 20, 9:52 AM
Culture Spy - April 13, 12:18 PM