Episode 77 of Talk Ultra – It’s our Christmas Special. Ian and Speedgoat Karl Meltzer discuss 2014 and some of our highlights.
We have in depth interviews with Ellie Greenwood, Max King, Joe Grant and .Grant Maughan.
We wish you all a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. We thank you for your continued support and look forward to joining you on your ultra journeys in 2015. – Ian & Karl
YOU CAN READ A REVIEW OF 2014 HERE
In the show we mentioned Kilian Jornet’s attempt at a FKT on Aconcagua. Kilian did it! You can read all about his Summit of My Life HERE
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Dakota Jones and Reese Ruland after months of planning had the inaugural ‘Telluride Mountain Run and Vertical Climb’ at the weekend. Dakota, inspired by his experiences attending Skyrunning races hopes to bring some of the Skyrunning ethos to this Telluride race and by the sounds of it, both he and Reese have a great platform from which to build on for the future.
Here is a summary from:
Telluride Daily Planet, By Heather Sackett, Associate Editor – full article HERE
“Sixty-six people toed the starting line Saturday for the 40-mile loop through some of the most beautiful and rugged terrain surrounding Telluride. Fifty-six runners — just nine of them women — finished the race. Paul Hamilton, of Fort Collins, won the day with a blistering time of 6:53, almost an hour faster than second place finisher Bobby Kenney of Wheat Ridge. Kenney finished in 7:50:29. Andrew Hahn of Albuquerque, N.M, took third just seconds behind, with a time of 7:50:52.”
“Salt Lake City’s Bethany Lewis claimed the women’s title with a time of 8:10. Darcy Africa of Boulder was second in 8:43 and Sandi Nypaver of Nederland took third in 9:10. Finishers were rewarded with a pint glass, hot chocolate, soup and beer.”
Also, Ellie Greenwood returning from injury writes about her experiences in her blog : HERE
You can get additional information, results and photos on the official Facebook page HERE
About the race:
The Telluride Mountain Run is a 40 mile race in the San Juan Mountains above Telluride, Colorado. With minimal aid, runners will navigate old mining roads, singletrack and alpine tundra over mountain passes at more than 13,000 ft. T-rad is extremely difficult, and the front of the race is highly competitive. But the focus of the race is on the experience: the burn of high elevation, the striking colors of the mountain environment, and the reward of finishing right where you started.
The Vertical Hill Climb is consists of:
- Length: Eight Miles. Four up, four down.
- Vertical gain: 4000 ft.
- Participant Cap: 150
I will be catching up with Dakota Jones for a chat about his first event, how the experience panned out and what the plans are for the future.
Race website : HERE
Episode 37 of Talk Ultra: Rob Krar talks to us about his running history, hiw incredible Rim-to-Rim-to-Rim run and what his expectations are for Western States. Holly Rush talks marathon running and Comrades. Ellie Greenwood makes a guest appearance for Talk Training and provides an insight into running injuries. Nick Clark joins us for a reguar slot as he attempts the ‘Grand Slam’ of ultra running. We have the news, a year in the life of, and we find out: You know you are an ultra runner when… ?
I started running as a fun runner when I was at University but didn’t start formally training until 2005 when I met my coach and now husband martin rush. I had a break through run at London Marathon improving my time by 10 minutes. Since then I have run over 20 marathons all over the world and been lucky enough to represent Great Britain and England 6 times, something that I never dreamt I would do as a non-exercising beer swilling student. I wouldn’t say i am the most talented or natural runner but I think I have plenty of endurance and just love the feeling that running and training gives me. In between training I work full time doing sports massage and working in my local deli. I have been struggling with a painful hamstring for over 2 years now and after 2 failed injections I am now backing off my training to receive intensive treatment for 2 months so that I might be able to run pain free again. Fingers crossed!.As well as talking about all things running I will most probably ramble on about my two other passions – food and my training partner Mr Mole (the dog).
Love them or hate them, road ultra marathons come no bigger or better than the ‘Ultimate Human Race’, Comrades. This year is an ‘up’ run. Starting on the coast in Durban, the course stretches 86.96km to Pietermaritzburg at 670m above sea level. Over 19,000 runners will test themselves over the ‘Big Five’; Cowies Hill, Fields Hill, Botha’s Hill, Inchanga and Polly Shorts. From the base of the first hill, Cowies, to the top of Botha’s Hill you climb 502 meters in the space of only 22 kilometers. Any seasoned ‘Comrade’ will tell you this translates into a lot of climbing. The first half of the ‘up’ is challenging, it needs to be respected and paced, any early exuberance will be paid for dearly later on in the day.
But before the release of the gun, the atmosphere at the start is to be savored. It will burn and impression onto your heart that you will never forget. As darkness encompasses every runner the sounds of ‘Shosholoza’ a Ndebele folk song that originated in Zimbabwe fills the air. Although not the national anthem, the song is so popular in South African culture that it is often referred to as South Africa’s second national anthem. As the final words are sung (translated):
You are running away
You are running away on those mountains
train from South Africa
‘Chariots of Fire’ theme starts and with it the nerves and goose bumps increase. It is an incredible moment. The recorded ‘cockcrow’ of Max Trimborn adds to the sense of occasion and history and then with the sound of a horn you re released. Magical.
Episode 8 – Comrades Special – A show decicated to the Comrades Ultra Marathon in South Africa. We have interviews with Bruce Fordyce, Ellie Greenwood, Steve Williams, Caspar Greeff, Nicolaas Claassen and Zola Budd. In addition we bring you news and results from around the world, our current favourite blogs, Talk Training with the Ten Commandments of Ultra Running a Meltzer Moment with Speedgoat Karl and of course up and coming races.
The 2013 race
Ludwick Mamabolo won the 87th Comrades Marathon and as such is the favorite for this years race… however, the defending champion is not without controversy, he tested positive for a banned substance at last year’s race, after almost a year of legal wrangling, was recently found not guilty because of ‘technical irregularities’ in the testing procedure and has therefore been awarded his prize money and his title.
Eight of last year’s ten male gold medalists will toe the starting line again. However, Leonid Shvetsov, who won in 07 and 08 setting course record times is injured, and Lephetesang Adoro tested positive for a banned substance, so they will not join the 2013 race. Triple champion Stephen Muzhingi raced in the last ‘up’ run and without doubt will be one-to-watch this year.
Mamabolo won the race last year in 5:31:03 but his participation this year is clouded in controversy. In 2010 Mambolo participated in his first Comrades and then finished second behind Stephen Muzhingi. Will this be the result for the 2013 edition?
My hot tip for the race and a relative dark horse is Jonas Buud from Sweden. Jonas is a fast man over the 100km distance and as he proved at the 2012 TNFUTMB he can run hills too. Jonas ran 6:28:57 at the IAU World 100km Championships in Seregano last year and previously he has finished second on three occasions; 2009, 2010 and 2012. He is not new to Comrades; in 2011 he had an excellent run and finished fourth in an incredible time of 5:42. He has openly said that Comrades in 2013 is his primary focus. Watch this space!
Of course Bongmusa Mthembu and Leboko Noto are also toeing the line, they placed second and third respectively in 2012 and of course they bring speed and experience to the race. In addition, Mambo, Kelehe, Moshiywa and Sosibo also obtained ‘Gold’ in last years race… it is a stacked and experienced field.
David Gatebe, won the Two Oceans at his first attempt in 3:08:54 and without doubt will come to Comrades with high hopes and aspirations. Mthandazo Qhina, second at Two Oceans in 3:10:02 also joins Gatebe to add some spice to the Comrades mix.
As per usual, Comrades will be a highly competitive race and a surprise may very well come at any time. The depth of the field goes way back. However, Comrades is not just about the front of the race… it is the ‘Ultimate Human Race’ for a reason and as such, the vast majority of the 19000+ participants are just ‘ordinary joes’ like you and I. It is what makes this race so special. The support, the roadside parties, the crowds and the everyday runners testing themselves.
One of those ‘joes’ is nine-time winner Bruce Fordyce, who will not be running his 31st Comrades. He posted on backabuddy last year that his 30th, would be his last.
Four-time champion Alan Robb will return. Robb is one of three men who will attempt their 40th completion of this iconic race.
It is impossible to talk about Comrades and the ladies race without mentioning Elena and Oleysa Nurgalieva. Affectionately known as the ‘The Twins’ or ‘The Russian Twins’ they have dominated the race in the last 10 years. Elena has won the race seven times and her sister, Oleysa two times. The only break in this tradition came in 2005 when Tatyana Zhirkova won the race. Comrades is the home of the twins but Two Oceans did not go well for them and one has to question if they are arriving for the ‘up’ run in the best form.
Unfortunately, the anticipated battle and potential ‘break’ of the Russian stranglehold on the race coming from Ellie Greenwood is not going to happen. Ellie is out of the race with injury. Certainly from a British perspective I was really hoping that Ellie would return this year and move up from second to top the podium.
Another notable ‘Brit’ not at the race is Lizzy Hawker. Lizzy had injury over the Christmas period and has recently done a personal adventure in Nepal; she then followed this with a multistage race in the same area but just a couple of weekends ago she pulled out of a 24h race. She is now focusing on the 100m Ronda del Cims in Andorra, late June.
Americans Devon Yanko (previously Crosby-Helms) who has placed fifth in 2012 and Kami Semick, who was third in 2011 are not running. This in my opinion leaves the door open for Brit, Joasia Zakrzewski.
Jo had an incredible 2011 race. I remember it well, I was stood next to her on the start line. By the time we both reached the finish, she was showered, changed, fed and relaxing. Not only did she surprise herself but the whole of the female field at Comrades. She followed this incredible performance in 2012 with fourth place overall in a time of 6:33:41. My hot tip for the podium and without doubt a potential winner of the race. C’mon Jo! (Excuse the British bias)
Marina Zhalybina has a remarkable record at Comrades. She was third in her first attempt in 1999. She has finished the race twelve times and has always placed in the top ten.
Charne Bosman had a great run at Two Oceans. She is new to ultra but she has won the South African marathon and I guess she is the SA hope!
Without doubt, the ladies race this year is less stacked. Melanie Van Rooyen, Kerry Koen and Julanie Basson all return from 2012 and all three obtained gold medals.
Ultimately I see the ladies race as a battle between ‘The Twins’, Zhalybina and Zakrzewski with Bosman as an outsider.
Last but not least, we had all hoped to see Zola Budd (Pieterse) toe the line. She ran her first Comrades in 2012 and finished in 8:06. This year she was returning with a year of knowledge and without doubt she was going for ‘Silver’ and a sub 7:30 run, however, just yesterday she withdrew from the race on doctors orders. Unfortunately she has the flu.
First to last, the Comrades Ultra Marathon is an incredible race. It stirs the emotions and it mobilises a population. Come Sunday morning as Chariots of Fire fade and the sound of the cockerel crows I will be glued to my laptop screen with a tear in my eye… I have only run this iconic race once. It left a lasting impression and one that I would love to repeat.
I will be back one day.
Episode 35 – It’s all about Transvulcania! We have a special co host, Anna Frost or ‘Frosty’ as she is affectionately known. We have post race interviews with the men’s winner, Kilian Jornet. The ladies winner, Emelie Forsberg. We catch up with 3rd place, Sage Canaday, 4th place, Timothy Olson, 7th place, Cameron Clayton and top 50 runner, Dave James. In addition to all the Transvulcania excitement we have a blog, 15 minutes of fame with Robbie Britton, Talk Training, up and coming races and of course the news.
Transvulcania La Palma – La Palma
- Kilian Jornet – 6:54:09 NEW COURSE RECORD*
- Luis Alberto Hernando – 6:58:31 (*beat the old course record)
- Sage Canaday – 7:09:57
- Timothy Olson – 7:11:53
- Patrick Bringer – 7:17:19
- Emelie Forsberg – 8:13:22
- Nuria Picas – 8:19:30
- Uxue Fraile – 8:44:48
- Nathalie Mauclair – 8:46:14
- Emilie Lecomte – 10:14:05
Ellie Greenwood pulls out of Comrades!
Quad Rock 50
Josh Arthur (Crested Butte, Colo.) pushed his win streak to three. Arthur kicked up and down 12,000 feet of climbing and descent in 7:44, finishing 4 minutes off the course record. Paul Hamilton (Fort Collins, Colo.), racing his second ultra, tagged the line at 7:50 for runner-up honors. Defending champ Ryan Burch (Fort Collins, Colo.) atoned for a disappointing Lake Sonoma finish with a third-place 8:00
Kerrie Bruxvoort pushed the women’s course record way down to 9:24. Becky Wheeler (Casper, Wyo.) was second in 9:42 and Kris Klotzbach third, for the second straight year.
Ice Age 50
Cassie Scallon at Ice Age, she trashed a course record that had stood since 1995 by 17 minutes, finishing the 50-mile race in 6:48. Last month she won the Lake Sonoma 50 in course-record fashion too. Fave for Western States? Denise Bourassa (Bend, Ore.), last year’s Ice Age winner, was second in 7:53, 67 minutes behind Scallon. Lee Conner was third in 8:36.
David Riddle (Cincinnati, Ohio) dominated the men’s race in 5:56, the race’s third-fastest time ever and only 3 minutes off Andy Jones’ record from 1988. Brian Condon (Madison, Wis.), a 2:30 marathoner, had an incredibly successful 50-mile debut with a second-place 6:07. Zach Bitter (Marinette, Wis.), last year’s U.S. 50-mile trail champ, was third in 6:08
Grand Canyon Rim to Rim to Rim
Rob Krar 36-year-old pharmacist blasted across the Grand Canyon and back — 42 miles — in 6:21, shattering Dakota Jones’ former fastest known time by a whopping 32 minutes. Krar’s time is mind-boggling for its gap on everyone else, on a well-tested 42-mile trail. Prior to Krar’s attempt, only three men, DakotaJones, Anton Krupicka, and Dave Mackey have finished in less than 7 hours.
IAU 24 hours – Steenbergen in the Netherlands
Jon Olsen (USA) took top honours in the men’s race. He ran a distance of 269.675km leading the way. John Dennis (USA) finished in 2nd place running a distance of 262.734km followed by Florian Reus (GER) running 259.939km.
In the women’s race, Mami Kudo (JPN) won the gold medal with a distance of 252.205km. Sabrina Little (USA) finished in 2nd place running 244.669km followed by Suzanna Bon (USA) who ran 236.228km.
Malvern Hills Ultra
Two races 85m which only two finished!
Andy Arnold in 26hr 9 min and Tommy Houghton in 26hr 49m
The 52 mile even had more finishers…
Darryl Carter 7:47, Kevin McMillan 8:46 and Toby Courage 8:50
Louise Staples was 1st lady in 10:24
“I knew before leaving that my Lake Sonoma course record had been broken. Sage Canaday had tattooed my splits onto his arm and run several minutes faster than my time from last year. I called him to congratulate him on the effort, but inside a deep bitterness was brewing that I knew would have to be satisfied someday, most likely violently. So you can imagine my surprise upon learning that both my Grand Canyon double crossing record AND my Transvulcania record had been broken in the span of a week (Rob Krar – 6:21:47 at the GC; K-dog – 6:54:09 at TV). With those records went my few claims to success in the ultrarunning world, and with those claims went my credibility as an athlete. I felt lost. After much thought I realized that my only recourse would be to do what any self-respecting loser would do: deny the point of the records at all and deride the people who put stock in them.”
The Ultra distance races selected in 2012 were held in the following countries: Andorra, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Réunion, Italy, Spain, USA. The ranking is based on the best three results of the year – or two results, plus one from 2011, taking into account the top 15 men’s and 10 women’s results in each race.
The athletes are listed in alphabetical order according to their nationality.
Antolinos Fabien, Bringer Patrick, Buffard Sebastien, Camus Sebastien, Chaigneau Sebastien, Chorier Julien, Clavery Erik, Court Sylvain, Curien Yann, D’Haene Francois, Durand Maxime, Gault Emanuel, Guillon Antoine, Lanne Michel, Le Saux Christophe, Lejeune Arnaud, Lorblanchet Thomas, Martin Nicolas, Pasero Mikael, Pianet Nicolas, Rancon Julien
Conway Terry, Symonds Andy, Sharman Ian, Grant Joe (?)
Cavallo Giuliano, Dapit Fulvio
Kaburaki Tsuyoshi, Yamamoto Kenichi
Sherpa Dachhiri Dawa
Sa Carlos, Teixeira Armando Jorge
Bes Jordi, Castanyer Tofol, Jornet Kilian, Karrera Iker, Heras Miguel, Merillas Manuel, Perez Lopez Oscar, Sanchez Sebas
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Bowman Dylan, Clark Nicholas, Clayton Cameron, Foote Michael, Gates Rickey, Grant Joe, Jaime Scott, Jones Dakota, King Maxwell, Koerner Hal, Krupicka Anton, Mackey Dave, Maravilla Jorge, Meltzer Karl, Olson Timothy, Pedatella Nicholas, Tidd John, Tiernan Zeke, Wolfe Mike
Chastel Veronique, Combarieu Maud, Favre Corinne, Gobert Maud, Herry Karine, Lecomte Emilie, Martin Sandra, Motto Ros Sandrine, Valero Anne
Bottger Julia, Calmbach Andrea
Hawker Elisabeth, Greenwod Ellie
Canepa Francesca, Fori Katia
Fraile Uxue, Iruretagoyena Leire, Martinez Nerea, Picas Nuria, Roca Emma
Africa Darcy, Bosio Rory, Bruxvoort Kerrie, Claridge Rhonda, Howe Stephanie, Howard Elizabeth, Kimball Nikki, Lewis Tina, Moehl Kristin, Nordell Ashley
Updated January 16, 2013
Registration opens today. Will you be toeing the line (for the Ultra Race of Champions) on September 28th in Breckenridge?
The season closing race for the Ultra Skyrunning Championships. Of course it’s some 9 months away. But as the race fills up and you are made aware of ‘who’ is taking part in this race, you don’t want to look back and think… I wish I had entered in January!
Vail, Colorado, January 15th, 2013 – Registration for the Ultra Race of Champions, the Championship for the sport of ultra distance running is set to open on January 15th 2013 at 12 noon mountain standard time (MST), or 2pm eastern standard time (EST) at http://www.ultraroc.com. The date for the 2013 Ultra Race of Champions will be September 28th.
“We are very excited,”
says J. Russell Gill III, Ultra Race of Champions Event Director and Bad to the Bone Endurance Sports CEO.
“A lot of work goes into making this event possible, and it will be thrilling to see it all come together on race day. With UROC as the Skyrunner® World Series Ultra Final, I cannot wait to see how to field shapes up this year. We have already been getting inquiries from several top runners, whose names are right now top secret. After we open registration and as we confirm some of the elite athletes, we will be posting them regularly on the race website and on Facebook.”
“UROC is open to everyone,”
says Francesca Conte, Ultra Race of Champions President,
“and I am very excited to see what kind of response we get from the international audience, particularly from Europe. The International Skyrunning® Federation has been promoting the event as the Series final for months, and a lot of our Facebook Likes have been from Europe”.
Several factors contribute to the appeal of the race. As the ultra running championship, the race attracts most of the elite runners from the USA. As the Skyrunner® World Series Ultra Final, the race will now attract an even larger international field, and many of the best European athletes. The spectacular backdrop of the Colorado Rockies and the point to point course from Breckenridge to Frisco, to Copper Mountain, to Minturn and to finish in Vail Village is a big draw for runners of all backgrounds passionate about running in the mountains. Lastly, the Vail name is nationally and internationally recognized as a summer destination location. The point to point course is contingent upon US Forest Service permit approval.
Runners will be able to register beginning on January 15th, 2013 at www.ultraroc.com
So what you waiting for….
Episode 25 – MERRY CHRISTMAS. A super stacked festive show with some incredible stars of 2012. Our show includes interviews with Ellie Greenwood, Timoth Olson, Western States RD Craig Thornley, Ryan Sandes and Lizzy Hawker. We announce the winners of ‘A Year inthe life of…’. Talk Training is about heart rate training and Karl, Ian Sharman and myself review the year. Merry Christmas to you all and thank you for making 2012 a great year!
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Merry Christmas everybody and we would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your fantastic support in 2012. The Talk Ultra community is nothing without all of you.
Here is to a fantastic 2013 !
00:00:00 Intro and hold your breath….. a Christmas jingle from Ian
00:02:40 Show start
00:11:40 Ellie Greenwood talks about an incredible 2012 season and what lies in store for 2013
00:32:50 Back to the show
00:38:30 Craig Thornley is the new RD for Western States. He takes the reigns in 2013 and in our interview we discuss the iconic 100 miler
01:05:58 Back to the show.
01:09:36 Timothy Olson discusses setting that CR at Western States and how life has had to adapt to the birth of his first child.
01:28:25 Ryan Sandes tells us about a superb 2012 and how he has become one of the premier ultra runners in the world.
01:48:20 ‘A Year in the life of….’ we announce the winners!
01:51:30 A quick chat with the female winner – A Year in the life of…
01:56:20 A quick chat with the male winner – A Year in the life of…
02:22:40 Blog – Joe Grant – Alpine Works
02:23:50 Talk Training with Marc Laithwaite – Hear Rate Training
02:51:12 An interview with Lizzy Hawker… Lizzy needs no introduction. In 2012 she won UTMB for the 5th time, won Run Rabbit Run and then set a CR at Spartathlon, all within a few weeks. We discuss her career and what makes her tick.
03:19:28 A Meltzer Moment with Speedgoat Karl
03:21:40 Up and Coming Races
Just when you thought it was the end of the season and then low and behold a 50 miler rears its head on the calendar with a stacked field, yes, The North Face Endurance 50 mile Challenge presented by Gore-Tex. The race takes place in the Marin Headlands, north of San Francisco.
*update 27/11/12 Looks like the weather is going to play a major factor this weekend with a weather front coming in. This always shakes things up and you can expect this to influence the overall results considerably.
Talk Ultra interviewee Mike Wolfe is returning to the race he won last year. Mike has had a mixed 2012 so he is going to be looking for a good performance here. He told me that training had gone well and that he is in good shape. Great to hear.
Good friend of Wolfepaw is Mike Foote. Footey placed 9th last year but after a great performance at UTMB (3rd), Bighorn 100 and the recent TNF EC in Chile I am sure he will be fired up for this race.
The last time I spoke to Tony Krupicka he told me he was running the race and that he was running to win. This was on the back of his 2nd place at Cavalls del Vent. I am well aware that Tony has been training well but I am not sure if he will be present on the start? I will update as soon as I know. *update 27/11/12 Tony has stated on his blog that he will not be racing.
Sage Canaday is without doubt a potential winner for the race and I originally missed him as he was not on my start list, He set a course record at White River 50 (incredible run) and ran very strong at UROC to finish behind Max King. We also can’t rule out Dave Mackey. Dave performs consistently well at 100k and was 4th at Western States. He races a little less than others so you can be sure if he toes the line it is to run hard.
Timothy Olson would have been mentioned here but has decided not to race and run with his wife. He is keeping his powder dry for 2013. Jez Bragg is off to New Zealand and Dakota Jones is resting, so that therfeore leaves the door open…
Fast man Ian Sharman will enjoy tho terrain but just the other weekend raced well at JFK so this may spoil his chances of a top 3, however, Adam Campbell will becoming into this race relatively fresh after injury issues mid year.
Dylan Bowman has raced super hard all year with some great results. His 2nd place at Run Rabbit Run behind Speedgoat Karl and 7th at Western States should mean he will be contending at the front but will he have that turn of speed to contend with Wolfe, Foote, Sharman and Campbell?
Hal Koerner has had a stacked 2012 and performed consistently well. I see him being in the top 10 here but not at the front of the race contending for the podium.
Rickey Gates comes to this race after some super strong performances in 2012 and may very well be a dark horse. Equally Chris Kollar (he had a disappointing Western States) comes to San Fran after some really solid results at Grand Teton 50k, Ice Age 50 and the The Bear.
Francois d’Haene is coming from Europe along with his Salomon team mate, Miguel Heras and Team Manager, Greg Vollet. Francois has had a great year and just recently won the ‘Trailwalker’ with his Salomon France team mates. He has the ability but I can’t help but think it is late in the year for him… Miguel Heras is finishing off his year well after early disappointments and he will be running hard here. Greg Vollet may very well be another dark horse to move up the field and take a few runners by surprise.
The mens field is stacked and by no means have I covered everybody here but I think we will see the podium come from the above names. One other mention, Martin Cox from the UK. Look out for him.
Firstly, Frosty and Ellie Greenwood are not on the start line. Frosty needs to recover and Ellie need to rest. So that does open things up a little… if we thought the mens race was stacked, the ladies is super stacked.
Emelie Forsberg is coming over from Europe after an incredible 2012 season. Emelie would have been my top tip but I wonder if this is either one race too many or a race too late in the year? She has all the potential to win this race but I see her top 3 and not on top of the podium.
*update 27/11/12 I just had confirmation that Silvia Serafini from Salomon Carnifast will be racing. This will add some additional spice to the race. Like Emelie, Silvia is moving up distances this year and 50 miles may just be a little of her radar at the moment. But she is a fast runner and really dedicated. A star for the future for sure. She has won Skyrunnning races, won the Royal Parks Ultra in the UK and recently placed just behind Forsberg, Hawker and Picas at Templiers. She has just come back from trekking in Nepal so it will be interesting to see how she performs in this top quality field.
Lizzy Hawker will be arriving from Nepal and has arguably had a golden few months with a 5th win at UTMB, a win at Run Rabbit Run and then a win, 3rd place overall and a new CR at the iconic Spartathlon. I witnessed her run first hand at Templiers when she finished a disappointed 3rd behind Nuria Picas and loosing the sprint for 2nd to Forsberg. She will be fired up for this race and is my hot tip!
Ashley Arnold may pull something out of the bag. She has a great ultra resume with 3rd at Leadville 100 this year but has raced shorter and faster too. She may well have the speed and endurance required that will carry her to a win.
Megan Kimmel has raced the best in Europe and will come to the race keen to perform but this is a longer race than she is used too… this also apples for Brandy Erholtz. They both have potential to shake things up.
Joelle Vaught was 2nd in 2009, 3rd last year and 4th in 2010. This year she has won Waldo 100k and Lake Sanoma 50. She knows how to run in San Fran and will be keeping a close eye of Forsberg and Hawker.
Kami Semick hasn’t raced in the US in 2012. She pulled out of Comrades and Western States but recently race Trailwalker in Hong Kong. It’s difficult to say what her form is like but I know from previous conversations with her that she only races when she can win!