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This year it’s flooded, but not with H2O. 25


The Lake Sonoma 50 mile will easily be the most competitive “early season” 50 mile.  The field is stacked deep.  John Medinger over at Ultrarunning Mag has assembled a stout list of trail runners, racing for some fine brew at the finish line.   It’s sure to be nuts up front.  A peleton may even form, something we rarely see in Ultrarunning.  Of course, it’ll be men up front, but the women’s field should not be overlooked either.  Although  it’s not nearly as deep as the men, it’s deep enough to make it a great competition.  Although, I’m not sure if there will be any beer left for the ladies with all these boys in front.  

It’s been a while, but here goes my odds:

Men’s Race:

1.  Dave Mackey  3-1.  It’s his turn to come out on top.  It’s been what, one race since he hasn’t won something?  He doesn’t lose many at this distance, and this course should suit him just fine.  He gets redemption on Tim Olson after Bandera. 

2.  Jorge Marvilla  7-2.  One of those guys not many know all that well, including me, but he beat the other Jorge at Ray Miller and ran a fast time. So.Cal runners typically are in great form this time of year, cuz’ of the weather,  Jorge would be one of them. 

3.  Tim Olson  4-1.  I’m thinking he’ll hang tough throughout, but this time, Dave and Jorge are gonna get away. 

4.  Nick Clark  9-2.  He’s been running too much :-)  I think he’ll be fast, but not 100% sharp.  However, not being 100% for Nick, he’s still in it for a podium spot if one of the other 3 doesn’t have their day.

5. Dakota Jones  5-1.  He’s a climber now,or a runner, or a mountaineer.  Not sure what kind of shape he’s in, and to put him 5th is kinda crazy.  Either way, he and all these other guys will all be close.  He could also win it, so we’ll see. 

6.  Hal Koerner  11-2.  He’s gonna be wearing the #1, with a bullseye on his back.  Someone will hit it and slow him down.  I would personally love to see Hal repeat though, he’s probably one of the most underrated ultrarunners on the planet.  

7.  Gary Gellin  6-1. Gary smoked Way Too Cool,so we all know his speed exists.  His experience is a little behind most of the guys up front (not by much) but I see him hanging for a while, then fallling off around 40 after his comfort zone expires. 

8.  Leigh Schmitt  7-1.  We don’t hear about Leigh all that much over the winter,but he’s local around Sonoma and knows all the routes now, so with his course knowledge and local flair, he’ll be close. 

9.  Joe Uhan  8-1.  Joe was real close at Bandera, and in theory should be closer up top.  This race will be a great test for him with real comp, he’s the sleeper to win it in my books.  He’s got it in him. 

10.  Mike Foote  9-1.  Another guy just off the pace of the peleton.  Mike is a bit better at the “real distance” (100 miles), but he’s got speed and talent too, he’ll make top 10 for sure. 

11.  Scott Jaime  12-1.  A fan favorite…..:-)  

12.  Jeff Browning  13-1.  Bronco Billy was hacking up some lung butter on Friday while we ran 24 at Zion National Park, and he was on the tail end of the cold, but if it’s still there, it’ll be tough to hang near the front. If it’s gone, he’s top 6.  Giddyup Buddy!

13.  Jon Olsen  14-1.  Better at 100s,  ran 13 and a little change at Rocky Road 100 in February,  but we’ll see if he likes to go out real fast.

14.  Phil Kochik  16-1.  Hoping to relive some of his speed he had 5 years ago.  :-)  

15.  Dan Olmstead  17-1.  Another guy that could easily run top 5 if he nails it. 

16.  Dan Barger and Mark Hartell  20-1.  Both are speedy,but have their hands fuller than full in this field.  

Others…..I’m sure there will be a few mystery men in the field, there always is. 


1.  Joelle Vaught  5-2.  The uglier the course is, the better she’ll do. I have heard that the singletrack can be quite narrow.  This is good for Joelle so the other road based girls slow down some.

2.  Tyler Stewart  3-1.  I”m picking her only on her good run at Way Too Cool.  She obviously has speed, but that tight singletrack is gonna slow her a bit compared to Joelle.  WTC singletrack is a highway comparing the two. 

3.  Krissy Moehl  4-1.  She’s definately a quick one, but not sure how competitive her mind is all the time. I’d love to see her win this one and shut me up. 

4.  Stephanie Howe  5-1.  Another fast girl that recently won Gorges 50k. I ldon’t know her, but obviously she’s got some speed, we’ll see.

5.  Darcy Africa  7-1. I believe Darcy has been dealing with some foot issues for a while, so her fitness could be a little low right now.  It’s early and  she’s a real mountain runner, I expect her to be more up front later in the season.

The rest of the ladies:   Rory Bosio, Caren Spore, Jen Pfiefer, Kiera Henninger, Susan Brozik, and Denise Bourasso

Keep in mind folks, the Speedgoat 50k now has 73 spots left, expect it to fill quickly from here.  THE PRIZE PURSE IS NOW $10,000!   So if you’re fast, time to come run a real mountain race and earn your Red Bull Wings. 

Speedgoatkarl’s 100 mile blend is still roasting over in Indiana, it’s tasty coffee, now soon to be available in 3lb bags for all you coffee junkies.  This will help with shipping costs too. 

My next race?   I jumped into the Zane Grey 50 for some “Broken Arm Redemption”. Hopefully I’ll come home in one piece this time…

And don’t forget if you’re local in Salt Lake City,  Bryon Powell will be at Black Diamond yacking about his cool new book on April 19 at 7pm.  Show up and learn something!  Get 15% of trail running gear and BYOB! yah,BYOB, even in SLC. 

Now go run!


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  1. Bryon Powell says:

    A bit of news for ya – Mike Foote is out.

  2. Fasted says:

    I love being the fan favorite! If I can crack the top 10 at this one, I am juan happy mexican!

  3. Devon says:

    Jorge Marvilla is not a SoCal runner. He is a NorCal guy, who actually lives decently close to the race.

    Also, Tyler Stewart is battling with Plantar/Foot issues, so her ability to race is questionable. I know she plans to be there, but she’s had to take a few weeks off from running completely since W2C.

  4. richard says:

    Is Leor Pantilat no longer running? I had him to compete for the win? Maybe I’m nuts and got that wrong and both fronts!

  5. karlmeltzer says:

    Leor Pantilat is out, according to Mr. Medinger.
    Didn’t know where Jorge was from, figured So. Cal. (remember I do this off the cuff) :-) Isn’t Nor Cal the same thing?
    Mike Foote, I guess is also out.
    Bummer on Tyler, but who knows, sometimes rest means alot, even if it’s a sacrafice in fitness.
    Grindstone……yes sir, gonna go back and see what kind of shape I’m in after Steamboat 3 weeks before. Should be a good one.

  6. James Brennan says:

    3.2 beer is like lemonade. Great odds and I bet it will be an awesome party at the end with this roster.

  7. Thomas Reiss says:

    Jorge also just this spring ran a 2:32 Marathon on a not easy course jogging for most parts and a 1:09 half marathon and he has shown at TRT100 last summer that he can go the distance as well. Plus he is just a great guy. I would love to see him at Sates and hope he gets a spot.

  8. […] Karl lays down his odds for this weekend’s Lake Sonoma 50. […]

  9. I love reading your odds, but NorCal and SoCal the same? I don’t know if your credibility is intact after that comment :-) NorCal is OBVIOUSLY superior. And I don’t see Young Money off the podium. Definitely a great field, though

    • Hone says:

      Terry- you are joking right? You honestly believe NorCal is SUPERIOR for trail/mountain running? BANANAS! I was also offended that Karl mentioned they were the same because it is much better down here.

      • Terry Miller says:

        Not at all, you misunderstand me. I meant that NoCal is superior in EVERY respect. Well, except crime. And pollution. And forest fires. And plastic surgery.
        For the record, as far as trails go, I live in Colorado now, so the whole state can bite me :-) But I absolutely LOVE running in trees, and redwoods are the best trees in the world, so I prefer NoCal. I will admit that criterium is subjective, and others may have different opinions. Even if they’re wrong.

  10. karlmeltzer says:

    Terry, the only Nor Cal I know if Marin Headlands. :-) So you are right, they are very different, it’s more of a joke what I said.

    True that Young Money should make the podium, but I put money on him,so I want to earn a little extra. :-)

    OK,and I do stand corrected on Jorge’s home….

    James, damn right, 3.2 beer is lemonade, I guess that’s why it’s so wonderful. Utah folks love lemonade.

  11. footfeathers says:

    Leigh has been laying down some solid training. Go Mackey!

  12. Rob says:

    Your odds don’t make any sense. Nick Clark at 9-5 has him at about 36% to win, the best you give anyone. Even if you mean 9-2 for Nick, your odds for everyone add up to way over double what they should. Your top 5 alone add up to over 1 which is impossible.

  13. karlmeltzer says:

    Rob, I have never been a bookie, can you tell? Have you been one? I just write it the way I think they will finish. I fixed Hal’s also. But in all reality, it’s all about fun. It’s illegal to gamble in Utah. If you would like to do some real gambling, go to Nevada. I hear they do the odds the right way there. :-)

  14. Rob says:

    Sorry for the critical tone. I like your blog!

  15. karlmeltzer says:

    Rob. :-) awesome, it’s not the first time I”ve been called on that. It is what it is…..either way, it’ll be a great race.

  16. Chris says:

    I’m taking Jorge Maravilla FTW. Mostly because I watched him smoke everyone (myself included) at Ray Miller 50M – which despite his time is not a “fast” course.

    The commentary on SoCal made me wonder… have you (Karl) ever run Angeles Crest 100? Doesn’t look like it. Any reason? Seems like your kind of race, and it has a longstanding CR to try and take down.

  17. karlmeltzer says:

    Chris, I’ve never run AC because of timing, and now that it’s in July, it’ll be even tougher because I put on the Speedgoat 50k during that time. I know the course is nice.

  18. Van Horn says:

    Karl- Will you put up a course map for Speedgoat on your site? I apologize if there is one up already but if there is, I can’t find it.

  19. karlmeltzer says:

    it’s coming, it’s gonna be a flyover map. A friend of mine who makes them is in the process. Cant say exactly what day it’ll be out, hopefully within two weeks tops. When there is a map, it’ll be up immediately. I”m waiting for it too now.