As races go, the Hardrock 100 has anticipation and attention way beyond its relatively diminutive size – less than 150 runners will toe the line in 2017! However, as those who have run the race confirm, Colorado’s San Juan Mountains and the Hardrock 100 route is something to embrace. If proof were needed, Kilian Jornet has run and won the race three times and he will be back again in 2017. For Kilian, the course is tough, beautiful, offers a challenge but maybe more importantly, it’s low-key. He can turn up, walk around, race and have little of the media and fan frenzy he would get in Europe, irrespective of the size of the race. Kilian’s Salomon teammate Anna Frost also confirms that this area of the USA is something pretty darn special – so much so she currently calls Durango her home.
It’s a high altitude race, with much of the race taking place above 3000m and the high point coming around 4200m. In total, the runners climb and over 10.000m whilst covering 100 challenging miles.
Last year, Anna Frost topped the ladies podium and Jason Schlarb and Kilian Jornet were the joint male winners, all three therefore are guaranteed an entry for 2017 and all three have confirmed participation but Anna Frost is still unsure if she will toe the line – more on that later.
It’s a constant frustration for me that we never see a fully stacked field at Hardrock. Don’t get me wrong, there is always plenty of class up at the front but it often feels that the winner will come from a small and select group of 4 or 5 runners. I think we all know that so many top elite runners would love to toe the line but the Hardrock lottery is against them – I guess it does add some charm and anticipation to the race.
I don’t think we will see Kilian Jornet hold hands this year but I do anticipate he will spend much of the race in the company of 1 or 2 runners until beyond the midway point – it’s a big day out for Kilian in an awesome place and he enjoys the company. Of course, he may be enticed by setting a super fast time? If he does, then we can expect him to hit the front alone maybe somewhere around half-way, if not, he may take the race by the horns in the final quarter. Whatever he decides, Kilian will win barring an accident.
Jason Schlarb has dined out on crossing the line at the 2016 Hardrock for one year and who can blame him. He has done something that so few can do, keep up with the Catalan. Earlier this year Jason raced The Coastal Challenge in Costa Rica with a solid run and then he recently placed just inside the top-10 at Transvulcania. For the last month or so he’s been in the San Juans preparing and it’s fair to assume he will be ready for battle.
Iker Karrera is an interesting addition to the 2017 line-up and after being a ‘one-to-watch’ at so many races in 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015, I can’t help but feel Iker’s been a little awol for the last 18-months and that leaves a question mark. Iker on his day is one of the best there is, especially at long distance races with loads of vert – he won Tor des Geants in 2013 for example. If he has the form that provided him with 2nd at UTMB in 2014 then we have an interesting race on our hands.
Karl Meltzer has won Hardrock five times and he’s back. He will be the first to admit he doesn’t have the speed to keep up with Kilian but Speedgoat is a fox. He appears to have recovered well post his Appalachian Trail FKT and he’s been sensible by not rushing things. He won Zane Grey 50 which prompted me and Speedgoat to confirm, ‘there is life in the old dog yet!’ If he’s feeling good, he has the long game to put on a great race and few can keep up with Speedgoat’s hiking pace – an essential skill for Hardrock. The AT HERE
Mike Foote is another mystery for this years race. Not that I or you have to question who he is, the question is more about his form? Ever since he did his FKT project with Mike Wolfe, Foote seems to have raced a little on the back burner. Having said that, mountain races are his thing and he has a long list of impressive results at UTMB and he has been 2nd at Hardrock. He will start slow and then move up making up places and time in the final third.
Nick Pedatella was 4th at Hardrock in 2012 but I know little of his current form. Experience alone and a top-5 performance in the past makes him someone to make a note of.
Adam Campbell was 3rd at Hardrock in 2015 and 2014. As many of you will know, Adam was wiped out of 2016 with a near death accident. Read HERE. No pressure on Adam in 2017 and I’ll make no guesses or predictions, to see Adam toe the line will be a wonderful sight and one that he and many of us thought would not happen. Read HERE
Mr Hardrock, Joe Grant, is back again! The lottery gods love Joe and Joe loves Hardrock. He placed 2nd in 2012 and in many respects, that podium place set Joe up for the runner who he is today. I say runner, but I feel Joe goes beyond the tag of ultra-runner and I see him more of an adventurer. He’s taken on some huge challenges over the years, examples coming with the Iditarod, his Colorado 14ers FKT and expeditions via bike. Pretty sure Joe will treat Hardrock as another awesome adventure in the mountains and if things go well, we can see him in or around the top-5.
Other names to watch to be in and around the top-10 are: Mike Wardian, Coury brothers (Jamil and Nick), Grant Guise and Scott Jaime.
Anna Frost has won the race the last 2-years and who would want to bet against her? Frosty when in form is unstoppable and when she is not in form, she can often dig deeper than any other runner I know. I was with Frosty in Costa Rica (Read HERE) and spending much time chatting – I was well aware that she was switching into a new phase of her life. At Zegama-Aizkorri she participated but was way off the top-10 and at Ultra SkyMarathon Madeira she dropped. All things considered, I think Frosty’s prep for this years Hardrock is behind where she would like it to be and therefore she has three choices: 1. She will run because she loves the course and wants to irrespective of placing. 2. She will think that she can win it and be mentally prepared for the pain that will be required or 3. She’s over it and can’t get herself set up for the physical and mental challenge it will bring. Of course, the only descent thing to do was ask Frosty… “I’m doing Hardrock! It’s been a mental and physical battle this year but one I am winning right now. Definitely not on competitive form but I am doing HR because I love it! ….I’ll get it done! It deserves that.” So. it looks like it’s no1.
Caroline Chaverot is probably putting the fear of god in the ladies’ competition. In 2016 this French lady was unstoppable and for me was the stand out runner, male or female, in 2016. The depth of here ability incredible, her range (long or short) her skill (fast or mountainous) was unmatched. 2017 kicked off with a rough patch and an early withdrawal from Transgrancanaria, what followed was some quiet time away and then boom, she was back with victory at Maxi-Race Annecy and most recently, Lavaredo. Her victory at UTMB last year sets her up perfectly for Hardrock and I think she will win the race.
Nathalie Mauclair, also from France, can’t be ruled out of the podium places but her recent form seems a little below recent years. She was 2nd at Marathon des Sables earlier this year. Her record at Diagonale des Fous, champion in 2013 and 2014, is the best indicator of success in the San Juans.
The wild card goes to local girl, Hannah Green who has been training her butt off and is super strong and young. She may lack experience but has heart and if she can hold on and manage herself she could do it and be up on the podium. (Hot tip from Frosty)
Three time winner Darcy Piceu (formerly Africa) gave Frosty a battle in 2015 with a really strong run – Frosty triumphed with a late surge. Missing the race last year, it’s fair to assume that Darcy will be fired up for a great run. She has the experience, no question, not sure she has the speed of an in form Frost, Chaverot or Mauclair.
Darla Askew is the last prime contender for a win and podium – she’s placed 2nd before and that is backed up with two 3rd places.
Ones to watch – Jamie Frink, Betsy Kalmeyer, Tina Ure and Rachel Bucklin.
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Ian & Speedgoat
In just 30-days, the 2015 multi-day The Coastal Challenge will get underway. It’s an exciting prospect! We recently announced the female top runners – ANNA FROST, NIKKI KIMBALL, SAMANTHA GASH and VERONICA BRAVO. Today we announce the men’s field:
SPEEDGOAT KARL MELTZER
IAIN DON WAUCHOPE
Race director, Rodrigo Carazo and the TCC team have once again excelled in providing a top quality elite line up making The Coastal Challenge the ‘must-do’ multi-day stage race in the world.
The ‘TCC’ is a supported race. Each day base camp is moved ahead and awaits the runner’s arrival at the finish. Equipment is kept to a minimum allowing runners to travel light and fast.
Karl Meltzer (Hoka One One/ Red Bull) affectionately known as Speedgoat needs to introduction to the ultra world. He is Mr Ultra Running. A professional runner since 1999, Speedgoat has won more 100-mile races than any other runner on the planet. Ironically, he says he has never run a multi-stage race but he has completed the Appalachian Trail and the Pony Express Trail.
In 2006, Speedgoat won 6 100-mile races and the award Ultra Runner of the Year! A strong and fierce competitor, Speedgoat is one of the most respected ultra athletes in the world and his presence at the 2015 The Coastal Challenge is a great honour.
Joe Grant (Arc’teryx, inov-8, Buff) is a Brit who grew up in France who now lives in the USA. A passionate writer and photographer, he has gained a reputation as an adventurer. He has a passion for moving fast and light over long distances and although he has never run a multiple day race, he has experienced epic races such as the Iditarod and Tor des Geants.
Placing 2nd at the 2012 Hardrock 100 is almost certainly a highlight in his career, however, he is a man who is all about experiencing a race in it’s entirety. “I see my life as a continuum of experience, perpetually in motion, changing and becoming, a confluence of ideas, people and places. The happenings of the past feed into each other, shaping who I am today, not as static, separate events to check off a list or rungs on a ladder of accomplishments and failures, but rather as small parts of a whole that make for the totality of my experience.”
Joe is excited about travelling to Costa Rica and experiencing a new place and environment. He also relishes the opportunity to toe the line against some great competition.
Iain Don Wauchope (The North Face SA) recently won the Salomon SkyRun in South Africa. He covered the 100km course in a blistering time of 12-hours and 8-minutes; a new course record. (Ryan Sandes set the old course record.)
Residing in South Africa, Iain has a history in adventure racing and therefore the TCC will be an exciting opportunity for him to test his multi-day skills over a new format and in a new location.
A multiple victor of the iconic OTTER race, Iain is considered to be one of the best ultra, trail and mountain runners in South Africa. “I am not getting any younger and the opportunity to race in Costa Rica against such a quality field is a dream come true.”
Interviews with all three men to follow – watch this space.
Read about the ladies field HERE
Enter the race in the UK HERE
Enter the race outside the UK HERE
Hardrock 100 once again created buzz and excitement with its draw on Saturday December 6th.
Two runners had guaranteed entry for 2015 – 2014 victors, Kilian Jornet and Darcy Piceau.
The 2014 edition was arguably one of the most anticipated races on the calendar with a quality line up and ultimately a world-class performance and display by Kilian Jornet not only winning the race but also smashing the old course record.
Hardrock 100 alternates its course each year and therefore Kilian confirmed that he would back in 2015.
So, the 2015 lottery was important. Who would be drawn that could potentially give Kilian a run for his money?
I had 4-5 names in mind that I would love to see toe the line and I am pleased to say three have been drawn.
- Anton Krupicka
- Iker Karrera
- Mike Foote
The addition of Francois d’Haene would have made the race extremely exciting; unfortunately the luck of the draw did not go in the way of Francois.
Adam Campbell made the cut joining Troy Howard, Chris Price, Scott Jaime and a whole string of top-5 potential finishers. So, the 2015 Hardrock 100 may not be quite the field we had in 2014 but if Krupicka, Karrera, Foote and Campbell are all 100% then we are in for an exciting race.
The ladies race for years has played 2nd fiddle to the men’s race and it has had a very familiar format with Darcy Piceau coming from behind (usually 2nd place) to take overall victory. No disrespect to Darcy, she can only race who is in the race!
Anna Frost is drawn along with Meghan Hicks. I have to say, the ladies field potentially has a race on its hands and Frosty is going to relish this opportunity to race in the San Juan Mountains, it has been on the ‘bucket-list’ for some time and her recent victory at Bear 100 has set her up perfectly for the race. Meghan won MDS and recently battled demons at Tor des Geants for a finish proving she has all the mental strength needed for Hardrock podium place.
Darla Askew, Betsy Kahlmeyer, Suzanne Lewis and Leah Fein add depth to the ladies field.
Waitlisted runners with a chance of running:
- Joe Grant
- Karl Meltzer
- Jason Schlarb
- Diana Finkel
- Bethany Lewis
Hardrock is as much about who didn’t get in as those that did… the list is endless but some notables are:
- Nick Clark
- Francois d’Haene
- Nick Hollon
- Travis Macy
- Luke Nelson
- Timothy Olson
- Gary Robbins
- Carlos Sa
- Ian Sharman
- Rory Bosio
- Kerrie Bruxvoort
- Francesca Canepa
- Candice Burt
- Jenn Shelton
The course ©hardrock100
The HARDROCK 100 is a mountain run that passes through some of the most beautiful and rugged mountains in the world.
The course is closed. That means that runners are required to follow the specified route.
Four legs, linking the Lake City, Ouray, Telluride, and Silverton areas. The finish is in Silverton, the same location as the start. The course is 100 miles long, has a cumulative vertical gain of 33,992 feet of climb and 33,992 feet of descent for a total elevation change of 67,984 feet, and takes place at an average elevation of about 11,000 feet. The high point is 14,048 feet.
This is a test of runners against the mountains. The course is on trails as much as possible. There are 13 aid stations; major aid stations will be located in the towns with less well-equipped aid stations in between. Runners are expected to be largely self-supporting between the towns.
The course will be adequately but minimally marked so the emphasis is on staying alert and using the map and course instructions. However, you should be capable of staying on course without markers, using map, compass, and the course instructions.
The run is a salute to the toughness and perseverance of the Hardrock miners who lived and worked in the area.
How the lottery works: ©hardrock100
Each year, we are faced with the difficult problem of how to choose our starters from 1000 applicants, while still respecting the values that make Hardrock Hardrock. The Board feels that our ideal mix of runners would be about 30% first-time Hardrockers, one-quarter or so veterans (i.e. >= 5-time finishers), and up to 50% everyone else. To preserve this rough and fair mix, we have replaced our single weighted lottery with three weighted lottery pools, each with its own wait list:
- First-timers – 47 slots will be allocated to this lottery, which is for anyone who has never started a Hardrock. The intention is to increase the likelihood for applicants with many DNSs to get into the run. Modeling suggests that giving applicants 2^N tickets, where N is the number of previous DNSs, will ensure that those with the most DNSs will get in, while still giving first-time applicants a chance. “DNS” includes both those who were on the wait list and those who withdrew from either the wait list or start list. Additionally, service tickets (Aid Station Captain and/or 2 official Trail Work Days in the previous year’s event, or each 5 years’ of general volunteering for Hardrock) will each count as an additional DNS. This puts a high value on contributions made to Hardrock in your own personal time and labor. Examples: 1) a never-started applicant who applied and did not get in for 2014 has one DNS and would have 2^1=2 tickets. 2) a never-started applicant who applied and did not get in in 2013 and 2014 and was an aid station captain in 2014 has three DNSs and would have 2^3=8 tickets.
- Veterans – 35 slots will be allocated to this lottery, which is for anyone who has five or more Hardrock finishes, with the following qualification: an applicant who DNFs in two consecutive attempts beginning in 2012 will be placed into the “Everyone else” pool until they complete the run in a subsequent year. Applicants will get one ticket for each previous Hardrock finish. The number in this pool is about the same as the number of 5-time finishers bypassing the lottery in each of the past few years, and so comes close to preserving this feature.
- Everyone else – 70 slots will be allocated to this lottery, which is for anyone not in one of the previous two lotteries. The algorithm for ticket allocation will be unchanged from the current one (see below). Modeling suggests that the chances of being selected from this lottery will be better than under the current system.
Runners not selected in the first two lotteries WILL NOT be rolled over into the third lottery. If fewer than 35 “veterans” apply, the unused slots will be added to the “everyone else” pool.
A separate wait list will be maintained for each lottery. When a runner withdraws from the start list, a runner will be taken from the wait list for the lottery from which the withdrawn runner was chosen.
The previous year’s winners will continue to bypass the lottery, but they will count against the lottery pool they would have been in.
Ticket Allocation Practices For “Everyone Else” Lottery
The number of tickets an applicant has in the “everyone else” lottery will be determined as follows:
- All qualified applicants get one ticket “just for applying”.
- Applicants with 1-4 Hardrock finishes ever will get one additional ticket for each finish.
- Top-5 male and top-5 female finishers of the previous year’s race get one additional ticket each (except the winners, who are already accepted).
- Up to ONE additional ticket will be provided to any entrant from the past three years who did not start. This includes runners who were on the wait list or who withdrew from the wait list or accepted list for any reason.
- Applicants who have performed special services for Hardrock may receive one or two additional tickets. We have generally set a high bar for awarding extra tickets (i.e., simply working an aid station isn’t enough), but those who worked at least two days of last year’s Trail Work Weekend will get an additional ticket. If you think you have performed a special service, please list it on the application for selection board review.
- Aid Station Captains from the previous year (only) are awarded one additional ticket.
- Long-time volunteers receive one additional ticket for each 5-year pin you have earned from the Volunteer Coordinator.
Important Changes upcoming for the 2015 Lottery
- No longer does merely starting Hardrock, regardless the year, count as qualifying.
- We will reduce the “finished any Hardrock within five years” qualification to three years.
Hardrock itself is and will be a qualifier like any other on the list, except that it counts for an extra year (three instead of two), beginning in 2015.
It is still the case that everyone in any of the lotteries has to have run a qualifier in the appropriate time period.
This is episode 64 of Talk Ultra and on this weeks show we speak with one of the Queens of ultra running, Lisa Smith Batchen. Mark Perkins talks about his win and course record at SDW100 and Ricardo Almeida gives us a minimalist perspective of running Comrades. We speak with Claus Rasmussen in about transitioning to minimalist and barefoot running. The News, a Blog, Talk Training, Up & Coming Races and Speedgoat.
- Stephan Hugenschmidt 10:36:50
- Cris Clemente 11:14:39
- Dan Doherty 11:30:26
- Anne-Marie Flammersfield 13:53:21
- Helene Ogi 15:19:27
- Elena Polyakova 15:51:22
- Mark Perkins14:03:54
- Richard La Cock 15:11:28
- David Ross 15:58:54
- Sharon Law 18:51:03
- Karen Hathaway 20:11:11
- Emily Gelder 20:11:15
- Paul Giblin 14:20:11
- Robbie Britton 14:47:48
- Matt Williamson 16:05:07
- Fiona Ross 18:54:04
- Rosie Bell 19:02:19
- Keziah Higgins
- Luke Nelson 19:10:15
- Patrick McGlade 19:39:03
- Benjamin Bucklin 20:34:20
- Missy Gosney 24:30:40
- Gwen Scott 25:54:38
- Jamie Fink 26:05:05
ASICS Xtrails – Red Bull Trail Sprinter Houffalize – 110 km | 110 kilometers | July 11, 2014 | website
ASICS Xtrails – Red Bull Trail Sprinter Houffalize – 77 km | 77 kilometers | July 11, 2014 | website
Castile and León
County Borough of Conwy
For the last two years, Skyrunning has incorporated U.S. races into its World Ultra Series, the Speedgoat 50k in 2012 and 2013, and the UROC 100k in 2013. And, just 10 days or so ago, Skyrunning announced its 2014 World Seriesand three U.S. races are included, the Speedgoat 50k and The Rut 50k in the Ultra World Series and the Lone Peak Vertical Kilometer in the Vertical World Series.
If you’re up on your social media, you’ve probably heard some rumblings about the onset of even more U.S. Skyrunning races. You might have even heard that Ian Sharman has been named the U.S. Skyrunning SeriesDirector. Today, U.S. Skyrunning announces multiple, national-level series for the U.S. which will be divided into the traditional Skyrunning disciplines: Vertical, Sky, and Ultra. What does this all actually mean? Generally speaking, it means that, if you’re from the U.S., you’ll be able to compete in Skyrunning-style races and series on your home turf. No international plane tickets needed. We’ll get to the specifics in a minute.
When asked about how and why Ian Sharman was charged with heading up the U.S. Skyrunning Series, the Executive Director and Vice President of the International Skyrunning Foundation (ISF) (Skyrunning’s governing body),Lauri van Houten, explains,
“Ian has been with us since 2012. He was at the ‘Less Cloud. More Sky’ seminar [after the 2012Transvulcania] where we presented skyrunning to a new generation and to ultrarunners who were new to the sport. He was really interested and since then was on the ISF Athletes Commission and is now also on our Management Committee as well. It was clear from the beginning that, apart from his status as a top athlete, he knows his stuff; he’s committed; he’s dynamic; he’s serious.“
READ THE FULL ARTICLE on iRunFar HERE
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?)
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 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.
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!
- 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