All predictions aside, I think I nailed this one!
Geoff Roes and Betsy Nye both came out victorious in the end. I wasn’t kidding when I said it was gonna be a burner!
While hanging out last weekend with Hal and Geoff talking about this year’s race, the three of us knew it would probably take a record to win it. We also knew it would probably be one of the three of us. Well, we were right. Two of us went under the old “fast” record of Kyle Skaggs (19:35). Geoff took it to another level breaking the record by only 65 minutes!, leaving the front of the field early at “Charlie’s Corner” at about mile 20. It was the last I saw of Geoff all day. Hal did not have his best day but still managed to squeak out 6th place. I managed to be the “chaser” all day coming in strong at 19:12. 19:12 isn’t so fast compared to 18:30! The closest I came to Geoff was in the heat at Lambs Canyon (mile 53) only 9 minutes back. I was encouraged, but Geoff soon recovered from a brief episode of a bad stomach and regained his 15 minute lead he held back at Big Mountain Pass (mile 39). Although I felt I was moving slow, I still stayed within reach at Brighton 21 minutes behind. Geoff left a comment at Brighton (mile 73.5) with my crew, Catherine Mataisz…”tell Karl I’m just warming up”. I laughed, but at the same time I was thinking the same thing. The race starts at Brighton…so here we go!
Geoff’s lead was still 21 minutes at the Ant Knolls aid station, (mile 78). I was holding my own to this point. I started to feel even better running into Pole line (81). I gained only 2 minutes, but still was actually gaining ground slowly. I didn’t expect to catch Geoff, but wanted to keep the throttle down and give it all I had. I felt great and really wanted to rally.
Soon after Pole Line a knife was inserted into my right ankle joint, from a previous rolling of that very ankle at about mile 10. I wasn’t catching Geoff no matter what, cuz’ he was on fire, but I think I could even have been under 19 hours as well without this little blade twisting around in my foot……..I dealt with it and still ran in slowly in 19:12.
The real race for the win was in the women’s field. Although I can’t say I was in the middle of it and have a close account of how it went down, but we got words at the finish that the two leading ladies (Betsy Nye and Mandy Hosford) were duking it out for the win at mile 81. Betsy was only planning on breaking 24 hours. At least that was her plan, and she was sticking to it according to her pacer Roch Horton. Mandy pulled ahead briefly after Pole LIne, only to realize it was time for her belly to go a little sour. Betsy decided to put the hammer down and ran away slowly to win by only 10 minutes at the end….sick race!
Geoff Roes now has the “Performance of the Year” hands down. 18:30 on this course is sickly fast and one for the archives. I was psyched to stay close and push Geoff to run this kind of time. It helped me go 23 minutes under the previous record as well…..I guess we nailed it sitting at the BBQ saying it was gonna take a record to win it……but only one guy gets the “Golden Skull”.
Betsy Nye notched her 6th or 7th win at Wasatch. It’s so many I’m not even sure if that’s right. It seems when we run our own race, good things happen. Let’s not take anything away from Mandy Hosford either, she put a great fight and she, as well, went a few minutes below the old record of 23:29.28.
4 RECORDS, TWO WINNERS, SICKLY FAST ON A HOT DAY!
Check full results for the Wasatch 100 here