Start training now….. cuz’ it’s gonna hurt!
What else would you expect from Speedgoat Karl Meltzer. In 1989, Karl moved to Utah and in his own words became a ‘ski bum’. But in 1990 he started to run and in 1996 he became an ultra runner. To date he has 55 race wins, 47 of them in ultras. He has won Hardrock 100 5 times, Wasatch 100 6 times, Massannutten 100 3 times and in addition to this he has run the Appalachian Trail, 2176 miles in 54 days, 21 hrs and 12 min and recently, in 2010, he did the Red Bull Human Express running from CA to St Joseph, MO a distance of 2064 miles in 40 days. So, he likes races that are tough, long or a combination of both.
Speedgoat 50k is no different. What it lacks in distance it makes up for in severity and vertical gain.
This race consists of 11,420′ of total climbing. With the whole race taking place above 7600′, with the majority above 9200′. Karl is proud when he says:
“it is the most technical race east and west of Snowbird Ski Resort.”
Rocky, Rooty, snowy, very steep hills, even steeper descents all over nasty, wet rocky terrain. If you like a fast 50k, this race is NOT for you. Needless to say, there is nothing easy about it. If you enjoy tough races, this race is for you.
The 2012 edition of the Speedgoat 50k is now part of the new Skyrunning Ultra Skymarathon Series. The first race in the series was the 80km Transvulcania La Palma in the Canaries, won by Dakota Jones in the mens race and Anna Frost in the ladies race.
Ultra SkyMarathon® Series
*SPAIN: TRANSVULCANIA ULTRA MARATHON – La Palma – May 12
USA: Speedgoat 50K – Snowbird, Utah – July 28
ITALY: Trofeo Kima UltraSkyMarathon® – Valmasino, Sondrio – August 26
SPAIN: Cavalls del Vent – Cadi-Moixeró Natural Park – Pyrenees – September 29
FRANCE: La Course des Templiers – Millau, Grands Causses – October 28
The addition of Skyrunning to the Speedgoat 50K means that it’s profile for this year will be greatly increased. When I spoke to Karl, his excitement was palatable:
“I’m stoked, the race is gonna be sick. We have a stacked field and in the mens race it is almost impossible to predict who will triumph the field it is so competitive. Anton Krupicka is using this race as his ‘comeback’ after a long lay off, last years winner Nick Clark will toe the line and from Europe we have Thomas Lorblanchet from France, young star Philipp Reiter and of course the ‘king’ himself, Kilian Jornet from Spain. In the ladies race we have a great field but it’s less deep than the mens and providing that Frosty (Anna Frost) is fit and well she is the out and out favourite but Nikki Kimball will be hot on her heels”
Karl also added;
“This year we are proud to announce a $10,000 prize purse, with a few extra $1000 for incentive bonuses on the mountain. Top 3 runners will recieve the cash awards.”
So as Karl has pointed out this is a stacked field. But who will win the race and can the course record of 5:43:20 set by Kevin Shilling set in 2010 be taken down… certainly one would think that if the record is going to fall, this may very well be the year!
Anton Krupicka has been racking up his training and made the decision not to race at Hardock and make sure that his recovery from injury was more controlled. Speedgoat 50k is his first race in 18 months and one has to assume that if he is turning up, he is turning up to race!
Kilian Jornet missed Western States after a tragedy during one of his ‘Summits‘ attempts but returned to racing form with a Vertical K win at Mont Blanc and then a win in the Mont Blanc Marathon. He was then in Spain for the Kilian Classic and then this coming weekend, 20-22nd July he will be racing in Italy at the Skyrunning Dolomites race. The Speedgoat will certainly suit Kilian.
Nick Clark had seemed a little despondent with his racing form in early 2012. He had expressed to me on several occasions that he just wan’t ‘firing’ on all cylinders. Particularly his race in Zegama made him re think. But re think he did and once again turned up at Western States and came away with a podium place. Nick has won the Speedgoat before and holds the third fastest time on the course at 5:46:38. You can never rule Nick out.
Max King is not an ultra runner as such but he is a mountain runner and on paper is the fastest marathon runner at the race. Max also had a disappointing race at Zegama but the 50k distance and this course may very well play into his hands.
Joe Grant has previously run the Speedgoat race and holds one of the fastest top 10 times with 6:12:15 (almost half an hour slower than Nick) but in 2012 he has increased strength and has excellent form. However, Speedgoat falls just 2 weeks after Hardrock 100 and after a superb 2nd place at that super tough 100 miler one has to ask if Joe will have recovered to be able to ‘race’ at Speedgoat.
Jason Loutitt is a top mountain runner and has placed 2nd at the IAU Ultra Trail Championships, has won Hurt 100 and is quick over the marathon distance. All these elements make him a real contender for the Speedgoat title.
We said this field was stacked and from Europe we have Thomas Lorblanchet and Philipp Reiter, both of these runners raced at Transvulcania La Palma and placed well. Philipp in particular has won several races and most recently was victorious at the Salomon 4 Trails. The fifth fastest time ever recorded at Speedgoat was set by Erik Storheim with 6:08:42 in 2009 he has race experience and along with Nick Pedatella they may prove to be the dark horse outsiders.
Anna Frost is the out and out favourite after a stunning run at the Transvulcania La Palma, she not only obliterated the ladies record but made big inroads to the overall results and nearly creep into the top 10 overall. However, she has recently posted on her blog “Currently placing a question mark over this race with fatigued legs still keeping my two feet on the ground.” so we are unsure if she will race…
Nikki Kimball is back on form! No doubt. She showed some real emotion on the finish line of the Transvulcania La Palma with a stunning 3rd place and then pre Zegama with tired legs I asked her how she intended to race “I’m gonna kick ass!” and she did placing in the top 10. Her most recent top 5 at Western States in 18:31 is a further indication that she will be turning up at Speedgoat to run and race hard.
Meghan Arbogast is fast! Certainly she is more suited to the flatter, fast courses and she excels on the road. She placed 10th lady at Western States in 19:45. Meghan will be up at the front of the ladies race and the shorter distance may well play into her speed hands!
A fight for the podium may very well come from Julie Bryan who has had two wins in 2012, admittedly over shorter terrain and more notably Kerrie Bruxvoort who has won 3 50k races; Golden Gate Dirty Thirty, Greenland Trail and Mesquite Canyon. My outsider would be Bethany Lewis.
You can hear pre race chat and post race chat with race director, Karl Meltzer in a Meltzer Moment on Talk Ultra. Episode 14 will be released on Friday July 27th with pre race chat and episode 15 released on Friday August 10th will have analysis, results and hopefully some interviews from the race. Shows are available on iTunes and Libsyn
Race Website HERE
Skyrunning (ISF) HERE