On Saturday, December 10th, Central High School’s track in Phoenix, Arizona will again be the stage for some record breaking runs. Aravaipa Running presents the 6th annual Desert Solstice Track Invitational. This year nearly 30 talented athletes will chase after national and world records. Many of the runners this year are vying for a spot on the coveted US National 24 Hour Team which requires minimum 140 miles for men and 125 miles for women within a 24 hour time span. Previous years have seen 41 national and 10 world records on this fast 400 meter red track.
Some familiar faces to the track at Desert Solstice include:
Courtney Dauwalter, 31 years old, is 6th on the current U.S. National 24 Hour Running Team rankings for 2017 worlds selection with her 135.7 miles at FANS 24 hour this June. Courtney also holds a 100-mile PR of 16:17. Earlier this year she recently set a new overall course record for Javelina Jundred 100K in 8:48:25!
Zach Bitter, 30, set an American 100 mile of 11:40:55 (2015) and 12 hour world record of 163.785 kilometers (2013). He recently set a new course record at Javelina Jundred 100 mile in 13:30:28 on a record hot day in the desert. In 2014 he was the National Champion for the 100 kilometer distance and has represented Team USA at the World Championship.
Joe Fejes, 50, is currently sitting at 5th on the U.S. National 24 Hour Running Team list for 2017 qualification. Joe has put up some impressive miles at this track over the years including 2012 where he completed 156 miles in 24 hours!
Ed Ettinghausen, 54, ran the first edition of this race in 2010 and has been on a streak since 2013. He’s on a roll already for 2016 with records in the 1,000 KM and 10-Day. In 2013 Ed ran a 14:50 100-Mile during Desert Solstice on his way to setting a 24-hour PR of 144 miles.
Melanie Rabb, 36 years old, is currently 5th for U.S. National 24 Hour Running Team standards for 2017 worlds qualification. Melanie ran a 15:17 100 mile at Desert Solstice last year and currently holds a personal best of 136.95 miles over 24 hours.
Jay Aldous, 55, has an impressive career that stretches decades with no sign that he’s going to stop adding to his list of accolades any time soon. In 1980 Jay ran the Western States Endurance Run on a whim where he ran a sub-24 at age 18. Since then, Jay has gone on to set a 100-mile PR of 13:52 (at Desert Solstice in 2011) which is a standing World Best age group performance. He has seen success in everything from technical mountain 100s to the track. He will be eyeing some American age group records with the main goal of a World Best in the 100 mile 55-59 age group (currently 15:14:35 set back in 1934).
Kristina Pham, 44, also an Aravaipa Running Racing Team member is a 2:53 marathoner with a 6:55 50-Mile split at Across the Years in 2014. She will be going after some specific national and world age group records in December.
John Cash,43, set his 100-mile & 24-hour PR at the 2014 Desert Solstice: 14:25 and 154.6 miles respectively. Earlier this year he ran an 84.4 mile 12 hour.
Bob Hearn, 51, is currently sitting at 4th on the U.S. National 24 Hour Running Team rankings for 2017 selection with his American Age Group Record performance of 149.24 last year at Desert Solstice. He’s looking to improve on the 200K & 24 hour age group records.
Anders Tysk, 44, is returning to the track. In 2014 he ran a 15:38:50 for his 100 mile mark and then went on to finish 152 miles in the 24 hour time period.
Charlotte Vasarhelyi, 40, earlier this year she ran 160 miles in just 48 hours and 228 in 72 hours. Last time she was on the Desert Solstice track she completed 114 miles in the 24 hour time period.
John Ticer, 60, back in 2010 he reach 122 miles in 24 hours at the NorthCoast 24 Hour Endurance Run. John’s been running ultras for nearly 40 years.
Padraig Mullins, 35, in 2013 he ran a 17:08:53 time at Desert Solstice to hit his 100 miles. In August of this year he completed 52 miles in just 8 hours; a new PR for his 100 mile time may be on the horizon.
Jennifer Lockrem, 40, in 2015 she won the Hennepin Hundred in 17:48:37 and more recently placed second at Des Planes River Trail 50 Miler in 7:53:35.
Joshua Finger, 43, in 2015 he finish 152 miles in 24 hours at Dawn 2 Dusk 2 Dawn Ultra. And earlier this year he completed a 50 mile race in 6:38:03.
Dennene Huntley, 39, joined us for Desert Solstice in 2014 where she finished with 117 miles in 24 hours.
We would like to welcome some runners who are new to the Desert Solstice track:
Andrew Snope, 30, ran a 2 4-hour 136.98-mile barefoot run at Six Days in the Dome in 2014 broke the previous barefoot record by 5.55 miles and he will be going after more at Desert Solstice this December! Andrew recently won the Fort Clinch 100 in a new course record of 16:54:41.
Whitney Richman, 36, ran to a 2nd place finish at Umstead 100 in April in a qualifying time of 17:13:21. She will be attempting to meet the standard for the U.S. National 24 Hour Running Team .
Adela Salt, 43, has been tearing up our trails here in Arizona since she moved to the area last year and is now part of the Aravaipa Running Racing Team. Her running resume includes being the British 100K and 50K champion in 2007 along with a bronze at the inaugural World Trail Running Championship and recently a 100-mile PR of 16:53 at the 2015/2016 Across the Years . Del will be looking to make the British Athletics National 24 Hour Team.
Laurie Dymond, 51, currently holds the 7th and 8th best 24 hour performances in the U.S. National 24 Hour Running Team qualifying standards for 2017 worlds and has a 24 hour PR of 135.5!
Thomas Podell, 37, has a 100 Mile PR of 15:54 which he ran at Long Beach Enlightened last year. He has a long history of strong 100 and 100+ mile races.
David Huss, 32, finished the Woodstock Festival 100 mile, earlier this year, in 20:40:16. And in 2015 he finished Umstead in 16:41:59.
Olaf Wasternack, 36, completed 140 miles at NorthCoast 24 Hour Endurance Run in 2015. He has also won 6 marathons this year, two of which were on trails.
Greg Soutiea, 32, has two great 24 hour performances this year. The first at 3 Days at the Fair- 24 Hour he completed 123 miles. Then at the Run Around the World 24 Hour he finished 130 miles.
Gina Slaby, 35, has won HURT 100, Capitol Reef 100 miler, Lumberjack 100 miler, and Vermont 100 miler.
April Ritter, 47, finished 40 miles during a 6 Hour race earlier this year and also won the overall race. She also won the Nanny Goat 24 Hour by completing 114 miles.
Chavet Breslin, 34, is new to Desert Solstice but not to the Arizona running scene. She placed third at Across The Years 24 Hour last year with a total of 110 miles. Earlier this year she finished 120 miles at the NorthCoast 24 Hour Endurance Run.
Live tracking will be available on our website and social coverage will available through our Aravaipa Running channels on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter with #DesertSolstice