Zach Bitter And Group Contributed by Kevin Morris

World-record holder Zach Bitter (second from right) joined in the Rim Runners weekly trail run in Payson on Wednesday, Aug. 28. Pictured are (from left to right): Kevin Morris, Mike Bruns, Charlie Cox, Honey Albrecht, Elizabeth Shaw, Chad Lammers, Zach Bitter and Gary Haynes.

How long would you need to recover from a 100-mile run?

Well, a group of Payson area runners found out how long a world-class endurance runner takes to recover from a grueling race when he joined them on their weekly trail run.

Zach Bitter joined the Rim Runners for their weekly trail run on Aug. 28 just four days after a record performance. It was just a three-mile run off Cypress Trail on Trail 200 at the end of Phoenix Street, so no big deal for Bitter, who set two world records on Aug. 24.

The Phoenix resident is an Altra Shoe representative and was in town to visit the Rim Runners store, located at 807 S. Beeline Highway. Store manager Honey Albrecht arranged for Bitter to join the group for their 5:30 p.m. run after his record-setting performance in the Six Days in the Dome event in Wisconsin.

The 33-year-old American 100-mile record holder added a pair of world records in the event. He ran 100 miles in 11 hours 19 minutes and 13 seconds on an indoor track in Milwaukee, topping the 11:40:55 that earned him the American record in 2013. He broke the world record of 11:28.03 set by Russian Oleg Kharitonov in 2002.

But he didn’t stop at the 100-mile mark. No, Bitter kept running to break his own world record for distance in a 12-hour race. He ran 104.88 miles, according to Albrecht.

It thrilled Albrecht that such an elite athlete joined her group for their weekly run.

“I thought it was great,” Albrecht said. “We were just really honored that he took the time to do that, especially so soon after that race.

“I had this set up for him to come up here because he already had the American record. Then he broke the world record, which was perfect timing.”

She said Bitter, a Wisconsin native, told her it was his first run since his record-breaking performance.

“He said he felt pretty good,” Albrecht said. “Running with us is easy compared to what he does. He’s very fast.”

Albrecht said as many as 17 take part in the weekly run, but only seven joined Bitter on this one.

“We have anywhere from six to 17,” she said. “It was a smaller group because it’s warmer and since school started some people are taking their kids to soccer or whatever. We have more when it’s cooler.”

Rim Runners is a sponsor of next month’s Boulders 10-Kilometer Run.

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