Mt. Madonna Challenge takes it up a notch with RRCA title for 30K race

Runners take off at the start of the 40th annual Mt. Madonna Challenge Aug. 22.

Entering its 41st year of existence, the Bill Flodberg Mt. Madonna Challenge added a unique challenge this year to continue to add something new for runners of the race set to run Aug. 20.
Along with the 6, 12 and 18K runs, organizers teamed up once again with the Road Runners Club of America to offer a state championship race. This will be 30 kilometers run along the 6 and 12K courses.
This will be a feather in South Valley Running Club’s cap as the organization will host the run for the 10th time.
“We’re pretty excited,” said Race Director Rahul Maharaj. “This is South Valley Running Club’s 10th year doing it. This is the 41st year of the race, but the 10-year-mark for us. We’re really excited as an organization.”
The event is named for Bill Flodberg, who died in 2009 at age 75. Flodberg was an avid runner, who raced into his 70s and wrote the “Running Man” column for several years in the Dispatch. He coached cross country at Gavilan and was one of the founders of the Gavilan Joggers and Striders Running Club. He also helped direct the Mt. Madonna Challenge before his passing.
Race-day registration begins at 7 a.m. with the races kicking off at 8 a.m. on Aug. 20.
The RRCA championship is new for the 30K course, but not new to the Mt. Madonna Challenge.
“We hosted a 12K championship three years ago for Road Runners,” Maharaj said.
Maharaj said signups are right on par with where they were at this point last year, but said he is expecting 50 to 60 raceday signups.
But those registering between now and Aug. 1 will save $5 on registration. Participants in the 6K can sign up for $40 up to $70 for
the 30K.
All prices go down $5 if you opt out of a race shirt. Shirts were only guaranteed before July 1, but Maharaj said thanks to some sponsorships from local businesses more shirts are available.
He said it is not a 100 percent guarantee that shirts will be available for everyone, but said people can still request shirts.
Money from the signups go directly to scholarships for cross country and track and field runners.
“It’s amazing to see the hard work come full circle,” Maharaj said.
The course will kick off from its traditional starting point at the Sprig Lake Picnic Area and will follow the normal routes used over the years.
The 6 and 12K courses are different, but do eventually overlap.
The 18K course combines the 6 and 12K and the 30K course adds a second lap of the 12K to the 18K.
Maharaj said organizers take great care in lining out the individual courses, color coding the different tracks.
He said there is some trouble that creeps up because hikers who use the trails and don’t know what the markers are for or animals might move the tags.
Maharaj said the organizers—who are all triathletes or ultra runners—know the importance of a properly marked course and take great care to make sure no one will
get lost.
For the first time this year, runners through third place will receive medals. In past years, first and second places were awarded medals.
For more information or to register, visit/home-main-menu/mt-madonna-challenge/

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