Friday, July 13, 2007

Here's the article on El Scorcho from the Dallas Morning News:

Plenty of interest in El Scorcho
El Scorcho will test endurance runners' tolerance for heat

Ryan Valdez planned to celebrate his 30th birthday by running 30 miles.

He and running buddy Jason Costantino, 24, figured a few people might join them for a 50K in July. The concept evolved into El Scorcho, 25K and 50K runs set for midnight Sunday in Fort Worth.

"An ultra event at midnight in the middle of July in Texas sounds pretty bizarre, but we've got a lot of interest," said Jim Newsom of the Fort Worth Running Company, which is assisting with the event.

With more than 200 runners registered, officials cut off entries.

"It's surreal," Valdez said. "It has astonished all of us involved."

Valdez and Costantino, both of Fort Worth, approached Newsom in November about an endurance run in July. Newsom told them they were crazy because of the heat.

"We rode the Hotter 'n Hell Hundred a few years ago," Valdez said of the 100-mile bike event that's held in Wichita Falls every August. "That's where the name came from. We thought this could have the same kind of appeal as the Hotter 'n Hell."

Valdez and Costantino persisted, proposing to start at midnight and run through the night. Eventually, Newsom and his son, James, agreed to help.

"So many people thrive on a challenge," James Newsom said. "It will be a challenge with the heat and humidity. You can't cool off. The heat doesn't evaporate. You get hotter and hotter."

James Newsom suggested a 5K loop through Trinity Park to keep runners in close proximity to water and first aid stations. Valdez and Costantino also endorsed Jim Newsom's idea of making the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's Team in Training program the race beneficiary. Team volunteers will help on race day.

Valdez and Costantino said they won't participate because they need to make sure the event goes smoothly. Valdez, who turns 30 Monday, completed his birthday celebration endurance run at the 50K Waco Trail Run in March.

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