Run Rabbit Run 2013 – Race Preview

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Run rabbit, run rabbit

Run! Run! Run!

Run rabbit, run rabbit

Run! Run! Run!

Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang!

Goes the farmer’s gun

Run rabbit, run rabbit

Run! Run! Run!

 

The 2nd Annual Run Rabbit Run 100 Mile Endurance Run, held in the terrific little town of Steamboat Springs, Colorado. The race starts on Friday, September 13, 2013 at midday

I cant help but hear ‘Speedgoat’ Karl Meltzer in my head… jogging along allowing all the fast guys to shoot of in search of the $10,000 first prize and singing the song aloud. It happened last year (not singing the song, but allowing the others to shoot off) and look what happened. One-by-one they fell by the wayside and the old goat himself reeled them in and schooled them all on how to run a 100-miles. Karl should know; he has won enough.

Once again he is playing down his chances of winning the 2013 edition RRR. In last weeks Talk Ultra (Ep43) we discussed at length his form and reading between the lines, I know he is ready. He wasn’t ready at Western States early in 2012 due to niggles and still pulled out 10th, however just a few weeks later, just like Seb Chaigneau at TNFUTMB, the exertions of a tough 100 at WSER took its toll and he dropped from Hardrock 100.

Karl, with his own race done and dusted, the Speedgoat 50k, he finally found some down time and concentrated on getting fit and healthy for the RRR and for Karl, there’s nothing quite like a $10,000 purse to motivate him… ask his wife, she got a new bathroom out of the race last year! (Or was it a kitchen?)

©copyright .iancorless.com.P1010198

Joe Grant also had a troublesome Hardrock 100 and although he was super motivated to top the podium he just didn’t have the right day. It may very well have been his early season Iditarod still making demands on his body or ultimately, it may have just been a bad day! However, he seems to have got his head in a great place and certainly his recent trip to Europe as support and crew for Anton Krupicka has given him a new lease of life and all those mountain miles may well transfer to something special at RRR.

Ever present force over the 100k distance, Dave Mackey will hope to bring that speed to RRR and pull off a win at 100-miles. Although he has had some good 100 performances, notably 2nd at WSER, he has never quite hit the nail on the head like he has done over the shorter 100k-distance. He nearly rectified this at San Diego 100 earlier this year but unfortunately that went pear-shaped due to course errors. He is due a win!

Jason Schlarb I am pretty sure will be looking to put the record straight at RRR this year after a great start to the 2012 race that went completely problematic and frustrating due to going off course. For me, he is the dark horse of the favourites and don’t be surprised if he leads early on but manages to hold on!

Timothy Olson, TNFUTMB ©iancorless.com

Timothy Olson, TNFUTMB ©iancorless.com

Timothy Olson gets my final mention. Yes, I am mentioning Timothy last. Not because I don’t think he can win but you have to consider his season and because just the other week he placed 4th at TNFUTMB. I am pretty sure the $10,000 first prize is the attraction here and that has to be a motivating factor. However, he dug deep at TNFUTMB and used all his physical and mental reserves to reach the line. It could go either way for Timothy at RRR. Irrespective of what happens, he has had a great year with results at Tarawera, Transvulcania La Palma and of course, the defense of his WSER crown.

Behind this front five is a group of runners just waiting for the opportunity to steal the carrot from the other Rabbits. Keep an eye on Jeff Browning, Jason Loutitt, and if Dave James is in a good place, he may well push the others for the podium.

Nikki Kimball, La Palma ©iancorless.com

Nikki Kimball, La Palma ©iancorless.com

The ladies race is potentially a little more open than the men’s race however; it does have some key names that stick out. In particular a rejuvenated and in-form Nikki Kimball. I interviewed Nikki after her incredible 2nd place at the 2013 Western States and for sure, she has found a new balance. She is racing less and when she races, she wants to perform. Her lining up at RRR can only mean one thing!

Darcy Africa is another hot ‘fave’ for the RRR crown coming from another great win at Hardrock 100. She is consistent over the longer distances as her 2012 season shows. Without doubt she will be pushing the pace at the front here!

I predicted Cassie Scallon would have a great race at WSER based on her performances over shorter distances and her natural speed. However, the big dance didn’t go well and she is untested at 100-miles. I still think we will see her rectify the situation in Steamboat Springs and contend for a podium place at least.

One-to-watch goes to Jennifer Benna. She ran a great 100 earlier this year and then went to Transvulcania La Palma but pulled out early saying things just didn’t feel right. WSER didn’t go well either so redemption is required at RRR.

Finally, last years 2nd place at RRR, Rhonda Claridge returns and with another solid performance at Hardrock 100 she will be looking to move one place higher and take home the $10,000 pot.

Jeez, I missed Pam Smith. Thanks Speedgoat. For sure, Pam Smith coming from winning the 2013 Western States changes the dynamic of RRR and she will be gunning for the win. Of course Pam will be the one who all the ladies will be watching. Her main priority will be ‘chicking’ Speedgoat again though and of course taking the big bucks!

 Links

  • Race Line up is here if you’d like to point out any contenders for the podium.
  • Race website here
  • Course description here
  • Athlete tracking here

 

Jury of Appeal ?

Events that arose in the recent Speedgoat 50k seem to have opened a can of worms! Is racing and applying race rules so difficult?

Let’s face it, in the ultra world on a course of say 100 miles, how will it ever be possible to ensure a runner abides by the rules?

At Speedgoat 50k confusion arose over the difference between ‘trail’ racing rules for the US and Skyrunning rules. Had RD Karl Meltzer stipulated a race rule pre race that corners ‘must not be cut’ then I guess we would have clearly had a DQ for Kilian. Under the circumstances Karl made, in my opinion, the best decision possible. End of story! Moving forward RD’s will learn from this and ensure that rules are clear before a race begins.

Taken from The Examiner
For this year’s 57th running of the Pikes Peak Ascent and Marathon to be held the weekend of August 18-19, the Pikes Peak Marathon, Inc., board of directors has announced that a three-member jury of appeals will be in place to review and handle any race day issues affecting runners to include visible course cutting, unsportsmanlike conduct, and the awarding of prizes and prize money.

“Even though rules and regulations at the Pikes Peak events are very specific, there is always a chance that runners misinterpret them. We want to provide a forum whereby any course infractions can be reviewed and considered thoughtfully and thoroughly before a runner is disqualified from the event,” said Pikes Peak Marathon, Inc., President Ron Ilgen.

Although the inclusion of a jury of appeals is not groundbreaking, for instance the World Mountain Running Championships includes in their regulations a requirement that a jury of appeals be appointed, the majority of mountain and trail running events do not have an appointed jury.

USA Track & Field (USATF), the National Governing Body for track and field, long-distance running and race walking in the United States, has several published documents regarding meet personnel, referees, and jury of appeals for events they administer or sanction. Although mountain and trail running falls under the umbrella of long distance running, many of the events staged in the U.S. are not sanctioned by USATF and therefore operate with their own rules, regulations, or guidelines.

As more prize money is introduced into trail and mountain running events, there is more at stake than just a finisher medal.

As Ilgen states, “With athletes vying for a share of an increased prize purse this year, (it was announced last month that $54,000 is up for grabs at Pikes Peak), we want to insure that rules are adhered to and everyone in the race is competing on a level playing field.”

Just a few weeks ago, the Speedgoat 50K had an issue with a top runner reported to have cut the course. Without a jury in place, race director Karl Meltzer had to make a tough decision affecting the outcome of the race and the awarding of prize money. It was a ‘live and learn’ experience and something Meltzer doesn’t want to repeat in the future. He agreed that a referee in place at the event would have made the decision a lot easier.

Some of the items that could be addressed by the jury of appeals at the Pikes Peak Ascent and Marathon include visible course cutting – either noticed by race officials who will be stationed throughout the course, or by other athletes in the race. This constitutes grounds for disqualification. Issues on marathon day related to an athlete hampering another athlete’s progress on race day related to an uphill runner not yielding to the faster downhill runner – possible grounds for disqualification. Unsportsmanlike conduct will not be tolerated and is possible grounds for disqualification. Runners may take aid at specified aid stations, or take aid from supporters along the trail, or carry their own aid. However, taking oxygen prior to the completion of the race (even if medically necessary), is grounds for disqualification.

The Pikes Peak festivities kick off Thursday, August 16, at 1:00 p.m. with a press conference and reception for media and athletes. This event is open to the public and will be held at Manitou Springs City Hall. On Friday, August 17, the expo and packet pickup opens in Memorial Park in Manitou Springs at 9:00 a.m.

The Pikes Peak Ascent start time for the first wave of runners is 7:00 a.m. on Saturday, August 18, with the second wave heading up the mountain at 7:30 a.m.. The culminating event, the Pikes Peak Marathon, will start at 7:00 a.m. on Sunday, August 19. Follow the Pikes Peak races as they unfold on Twitter @runpikespeak.