No doubt this will be the toughest “odds” I’ve ever done. Picking the winners of this great race is certainly gambling. The heat plays a huge factor. A few WS rookies up front stand out as big overall favorites, but it’s a long way from Squaw to Auburn, and anything can happen. Some of the fast men and women will drop, that’s a given. Let’s hope it’s real close at the end..I call it the “Track Meet”, wouldn’t it be cool if the last 300 meters decided the race? I guess I’m dreaming. Good Luck to all!!
Bear with me as I’m working on my site!
This just heard through the grapevine…$2000 TO MALE/FEMALE WHO BREAKS THE FASTEST TIME!
Thanks Pearl Izumi for showing the race directors prize money should be handed out with that cool trophy! What makes this even better, is PI is not even a sponsor…..
1. Hal Koerner 3-1. Hal being the previous champ two years in a row, certainly gets the nod. He’s held off some of the best in the business before, why not again. His experience at WS should play a huge factor as many of the fast guys near the front haven’t felt what it’s like to run 100 miles when it’s 100 degrees. Look for Koerner to be fearless while he drags the others along at the front. 2. Geoff Roes 7-2. Although Geoff doesn’t have the heat experience as Hal, he does bring the most casual attitude to the start line. If Geoff doesn’t get involved with all the hype, runs his own race, and runs smarter than everyone else, he may be one of the rare WS virgins to take home that Cougar trophy, along with some other little prize. He could be the only undefeated 100 mile runner to reach 10 wins without a loss. I think WS would be 9, but he’s got Mt. Blanc later too. 3. Anton Krupicka 4-1. He’s had his best training ever, claims to be ready to rip. If he doesn’t think “record” and focuses on “winning instead”, he’ll be right there when the end is near. 4) Tsuyoshi Kaburaki 9-2. Smoked it last year, and coming back for a second chance means alot, he’s super fast, and although none of us really know how strong he is right now, chances are if he’s fit, he’ll run real smart too. 5) Jez Bragg 5-1. Jez ran 3rd last year, enough said. Like Kaburaki, we really don’t know, but experience is big here. He’ll be in it. 6) Nick Clark 6-1. Nick has been quick all year, was real fast at Jemez in a hot race. He’s kinda the sleeper here. If he plays it smart, he’ll do his best. He doesn’t quite have the 100 mile experience yet, but he can hang for a long time if he wants too….we’ll see. 7) Killian Jornet 7-1. If Killian pulls it off, well, his “quest” will be complete. I think he’ll come in strong, but not fast enough, due to his tour across the Pyrenees. Multi-day adventures make us slower, at least for a little while. Hopefully for us spectators, he’ll be in the mix when Auburn approaches. I just think he’ll have slow legs. 8) Josh Brimhall 10-1. Josh can hang, bottom line, he’s due to run a good, solid 100. He’ll have a little score to settle with the course, after last year’s stumble. 9) Erik Skaden 12-1. He know this one well, and as experience counts, thats in his back pocket. He just has to keep it together. 10) Rod Bien 14-1. Great race at Miwok, he gets the last spot for the following year. If he runs well from Green Gate in, he’ll move forward. So those are my top 10. The rest in the order I think they’ll finish: 11) Zach Miller 12) Gary Robbins 13) Andy Jones-Wilkins 14) Leigh Schmitt…Sleeper to win. 15) Troy Howard 16) Victor Ballesteros 17) Nick Lewis 18) Ian Torrence…sleeper for top 10 19) Phil Kochik 20) Andrew Henshaw 21) Dan Barger 22) Glen Redpath 23) Mike Arnstein 24) Todd Walker 25) Brian Vandenburg
And the ladies:
I believe Anita is out, she would be #1 if she were to start. The ladies race is gonna be a great one too, I’m sure a few will slip into the men’s top 20. This race will be close!1) Nikki Kimball 2-1. Previous champ a few times, gets the nod and will be tough to beat if she’s fit. Hopefully she’s feeling good and is ready to race. 2) Meghan Arboghast 3-1. She’s been close, she’s been running well, this could be her year. Experience counts. 3) Joelle Vaught 4-1. Joelle always shows up and runs well, this year will be no exception. Definately fast enough to win it. If she stays in the mix late, it’ll be a classic 3 woman race. 4) Tracy Garneau 6-1. Canada (I think) has been tough this year, look for her to represent. 5) Devon Crosby-Helms 8-1. Better at shorter distances, but could surprise us all if she’s still running strong after Foresthill. She probably has more speed than most men…and women. 6) Annette Bednosky 10-1. The hope from the east, she generally dominates her region, and is certainly fast enough to hang….we’ll see. 7) Jenny Capel 12-1. She’s been there done that, she’ll crack top 10 with a little room to spare….did I say experience counts? 8) Bev-Abbs 14-1. Did I say experience counts? top 10 no problem. 9) Becky Wheeler 15-1. She was pretty fast at the Speedgoat 50k, that’s enough for me to put her in the top 10. Hopefully her legs are speedy on the WS track. 10) Suzanna Bon 17-1. Kind of a sleeper, she’s a tough runner, but I think she’s better when terrain is tough, she’ll still slip in to the top 10. 11) Tamsin Anstay 12) Angela Shartel 13) Connie Gardner…she’s the overall sleeper 14) Caren Spore 15) Jill Perry 16) Julie Fingar 17) Liz Vitalis Every one of these ladies could finish anywhere….so many variables.
After reading through all that mumbo jumbo about my predictions, read just a little more about what’s next for me:
I’m proud to announce that Krissy Moehl and Matt Hart will be crewing me for the entire run on the Pony Express Trail. It’s hard to beat a combination like that! The experience of these two will certainly help me make it to Missouri by the time the snow starts flying. I’ll be starting on or around September 15! 1840 miles on a mail route, my own route through the mountains. I’ll be on alot of dirt road, but plan on making a few diversions to hit some wilderness too, as long as I make the necessary stops. With the help of Ted Meyer on the “detail” end of things, it’s sure to be interesting to watch me run halfway across the US. Our tracking device is being created at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology! Something tells me it’s gonna work this time!!
The Corral is full at the Speedgoat 50k, plan on entering early next year to get in the toughest 50k on earth. Remember this year it closed early June! Please don’t ask to enter over our limit, but check back on July 12. On that date, I’ll announce if there are any spots available….be ready on the 12th! First come-first served, and there won’t be many spots.