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6 days till we sprint around in a circle? 21

Jun23

Well, not really it’s a point to point 100 mile run I like to call a “track meet”.  It’s a fast one coming up, lots of fast guys and gals running from Squaw Valley to Auburn, CA on smooth singletrack thru the forest…And hopefully this year, it’ll have record temps, can we say maybe 110?  Bring on the heat, the carnage, and whatever else the running gods can muster up, cuz 2013 marks the first time I am running Western States, and I want it to be memorable.  I want it to be a freakin’ steamer…

This being my first run at Western, my personal thought on how I’ll do really does have me wondering.  Will the heat affect me? Of course, no shit.  Will the heat affect others? Of course, no shit.  Will there be carnage?  Of course, no shit.  Will I survive?  Of course, no shit.  Will I know how to manage the heat?  Of course, no shit……Ok, you get the picture.  It’s just another 100 to me.  “100 miles is not far”.

First I’ll lay out the scenario of what happens every year at a race with a high level of competition, especially at Western States.  Keep in mind again, I’m a couch athlete.  I’ve never run it, I just couldn’t get in.  I wasn’t “qualified”. 

The race starts out fast, as if it were a race to the Escarpment at the top of Squaw Valley.  2550 vertical foot rise in 4 miles, the leaders will pass this point in about 40 minutes.  A little too fast for me, I should be in about 25th ish place at this point.  Some of the “rookie 100 mile runners” with all kinds of speed will be there, Cameron Clayton, Rob Krar, Trent Briney, Jorge Maravilla, Yassine Diboun and of course Mike Morton, who always likes to take any race out quick.  A few of the experienced fast guys…..Timmy Olsen, Nick Clark, Dave Mackey, Dylan Bowman, Ian Sharman, Hal Koerner, Joe Uhan….will all be close to follow, or lead to the top of the Escarpment.  Speedgoat Karl will watch them all run over the top, probably about 5-6 minutes behind.  I like to pick off carnage later, so I’m just gonna sit back here and do my thing, enjoy the ride to Auburn and forget about “racing” to Foresthill at mile 62.  Foresthill is where the race starts anyway, so why hurry up and wait right?   I’ll say it again, it’s all about the second half.  

All the fast guys, plus a few others, will mix it up all morning, some will have bad patches, some will be looking great Michigan Bluff, some will drop.  It will get hot, some will suffer with blisters, some will have fat puffy fingers and feet.  Some will sit and eat a popsicle.   I won’t, I’ll pick up some ice and keep moving forward.  

I don’t really expect to run near the front this year, I”ve had a calf issue since the Sonoma spring track meet 50 mile. My average miles since then (per week) has been 32.  :-)  Not much eh?  But hey, I’m rested, and I’ve done this 60 other times, so it’s nothing new to me.  I hope the calf doesn’t bother me, but it’s been fine these past 3 weeks, and I’ve racked up some nice vertical and miles since about June 1.  I’m basically relying on experience…..that I have in my back pocket. 

My predictions below:

1.  Nick Clark.  I realize Timmy Olsen is certainly the man to beat hear, he’s got the number 1, but I just think it’s Clarkie’s turn.  He’s due to win a big one, and this is his big chance now.

2.  Timmy Olsen.  He’ll be close, but Clarkie will use his rugby background and push Tim off No Hands Bridge.  Timmy will hit the water, but still get out and charge to the finish in 2nd. 

3.  Dylan Bowman.  He really hasn’t had his big day at 100 miles. He had his chance last year at Run Rabbit Run, but he went out a little too  speedy….and I caught him at the start line at mile 70.  I don’t see Dylan being so bold early this time, he’ll bide his time and finish strong.

4.  Hal Koerner.  All smiles, but Hal is a bit unpredictable. When he’s on his game, he’s almost unbeatable….but he’s got my disease this  year. A bit of a foot injury and far less miles than one would expect in training.  But Hal also carries the textbook in his back pocket as I do, so his experience will shine, and he’ll get 4th. 

5.  Mike Morton.  Many would ask “why”?  #5.  He should be a higher favorite.  Mike has certainly thrown down sick times at 100 miles, even back to back weekends early this year. But, he hasn’t’ been in the mix with ANY competition.  He’ll need to find that happy medium this time of when to run hard, and when not to.  He certainly seems like the man to beat in the heat, and it sounds like his training has gone well, but all that big training can sometimes lead to late race tiredness, especially later in the race. But what the hell do I know, I’m just honored to run with Mike, even if it’s only gonna be about 100 yards off the start line.

5b.  Dave Mackey.  So the questions was…How could you leave out Dave Mackey?  His response…When do you think I”ll drop?  Well, I did forget Dave Mackey somehow.  His question should be When do you think I’ll drop you Karl?  Karl’s answer……about the excarpment.   Dave and Mike will duke it out for old man award, but there’s also the possibility it’s Dave’s turn to win a big 100 too.  He’s in it to win it, don’t let him fool ya.  Shit, that takes me out of the top 10.  

6.  Ian Sharman.  Sometimes unpredictable, but he’s fast as shit at 100…hard to call

7.  Jorge Maravilla.  The happy man from Calfornia.  I would think in this race, he should keep his game face on (with a smile of course) and keep his chatting to a minimum, it might just be the difference in a few places with this field. 

8.  Nick Pedatella.  Yup, Nick Pedatella.  He’s a mountain runner, but Nick is one of the best 100 mile runners in this field. He’s always solid to the finish, and with the amount of carnage we’re gonna see, he and I will be mopping it up. 

9.  Rob Krar.  Another guy who could easily be predicted to run closer to the front. He’s super fast, but this is his 100 mile debut, so we’ll all see how he handles the last 30. 

10.  Speedgoat Karl.  Gotta get myself in the top 10.  Karl has been upping his miles now to average 32 miles per week since mid April.  He thinks it’s enough.  Cuz’ if I don’t run top 10 this year, It’ll likely be my first and last 100.  Expect me to not lose a position in the field after Robinson Flat….at least that’s my personal goal….move forward. 

11.  Cameron Clayton.  He’s got the right attitude of going out with the front and hanging on, but “the rabbit rarely wins”, and he’ll easily qualify at some 50 next year if he doesn’t make top 10 here. 

12,  Joe Uhan…. Sleeper for top 3.   Seems as though he should be higher in my predictions, and yah, he should, but I forgot him….sorry Joe. :-)  he could run top 3 easy. Maybe not easy, but he can.

13.  Yassine Diboun.  He’s a speedy one,  but I see him going out a bit too quick and slowing near the final 30. Kinda of a mystery to me at 100 miles. 

14.  Andy Jones-Wilkins.  He’ll likely pickup carnage later with me, but this time he’ll run out of real estate, but he’s a legend at WS, he’ll be all smiles and have more fun than most of us. 

15.  Scott Wolfe.  He’ll slip in there for 15th….

The rest:

Josh Finger, Lon Freeman, Jacob Rydman, Paul Terranova, Dan Vega, Dan Barger.  All these guys could run top 10.  

The ladies:  I don’t know the ladies as well, so I’ll just throw in my two cents…..worth about half a penny.  

1.  Rory Bosio.  She finished high here before, and it seems after reading some silly blogs, that she’s the favorite without Ellie starting.

1b.   Amy Sproston.  I missed Amy when looking at the starters list….sorry Amy. :-)  No doubt in my mind Amy is not a contender to win it. She’s got some bigtime experience, seems to run super well when it counts.  yah…she’s in the hunt.  

2.  Cassie Scallon.  She’s also a favorite, provided here hamstring doesn’t bother her after  her run in NY a few weeks ago. 

3.  Jenn Benna.  She’s tough, she proved that at Zion, but does she have enough speed for this one…..we shall see.

3b.  Aliza Lapierre. Yup, I missed her too, she’s had some impressive  results, we’ll see if I can guess her spot.

4.  Meghan Arboghast.  Don’t let her age fool you, she’s as fast as the rest.  :-) 

5.  Joelle Vaught.  She’ claims to be more of a mountain runner, and I agree, but she’s tough, very tough, and has been running well.  She may qualify as the sleeper.

6.  Kerrie Bruxvoort.  Another girl I don’t really know much about, but she did quite well at the Speedgoat 50k…that’s enough for me to put her 6th

7.  Nikki Kimball.  She’ll slip into the top 10. She’s won here before, and is also super tough, and she’s due, for all I know, she may just run away with it. I’d love to see her do that. 

8.  Emily Harrison.  The speediest of the bunch, but being her debut 100, I see her being a bit cautious early to save her 2:35 marathon speed….which will mean just about nothing after 80 miles.  But hey, she’s got a cool guy pacing her….Some guy named Torrence. 

9.  Denise Bourasso.  yup, just another girl that cranks along.  She’ll run top 10. 

10.  Ashley Nordell.  A smart 100 mile runner, one who will mop up carnage all the way from Michigan Bluff to the end. Possibly top 3 if she really nails it. 

So there you have it, the Speedgoat predictions for the 2013 Track Meet.  

I really see the womens race as being epic, noone really stands out to run away.  The mens race is a bit more predictable, at least a few of the guys named in the top 15 above will be in the mix to win. 

I supposed I’ll be the only guy out there without “help” from a pacer.  So for anyone who bumps into me at the “meeting”  before the race, please don’t ask who’s “pacing me”, you might get a smart ass remark, something like……”Pacers are for runners who don’t have confidence in doing things on their own”.  OR, “pacers are mules”. 

Although one would ask why would I not have a pacer?  Because I don’t need one.   See you in Squaw….as AJW always says, it’s gonna be a heater of a race for sure.

 

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21 Comments

  1. Markus says:

    Always entertaining to read your predictions. And I love your comment about pacing. If I would make the rules: Pacing shouldn’t be allowed after your first 100 miler.

  2. AJ Johnson says:

    Good luck at WS this year. Looking forward to “watching” you duel it out on that course. Wish I was there to see it all first hand but I didn’t get in again. Oh well. BTW, still running in the Hokas you suggested and tell people I am “Hokarized!” Kick ASS!!

  3. MarkT says:

    It’s States-Mas! Ole St.Nick for win ah… Gotta agree.. It’s his time. Nice odds.. Give-um hell. Good luck..

  4. Tropical John says:

    Nikki Kimball runs very well in the heat. She’ll be near the front for sure. Ditto Amy Sproston. No way both aren’t top 5.

    But I like your pick on Clarkie.

  5. Jon A says:

    Agree on the Clarkie. I’ll definitely be following from home and hoping there’s enough carnage for you to break top 5! Only guy I’m surprised to not see on your lists Mackey.

  6. CJ says:

    You have Dan Barger in there twice…I’d say those are pretty good odds :-)

  7. Aaron Spurlock says:

    I can’t wait to see how you do at the track meet. Seems like those who underestimate the Goat end up getting schooled. I will be cheering for ya.

    With all due respect, I gotta wonder where you personally draw the line as far as outside help? Pacers can certainly be an advantage but so can crew, drop bags, etc. Studies have shown that music can help reduce the perception of fatigue and pain, as well. I guess I don’t see the difference as long as you get it done under your own power.

    • karlmeltzer says:

      Aaron, yes, crew can be a help as well. But….how many people have a “pacer” with no crew? Probably not one person. I have one crew person, my wonderful wife, and she has less than aid stations have, so I don’t see where I would have an advantage with a crew person. Personally, I’d be fine with no crew. As far as music….it is legal, so if someone else enjoys dancing in the woods as I do, they should have music.
      For me, to have a pacer is a disadvantage (for me). I like to run alone, I train alone, I tune out the world. A pacer just yacks and is not a motivator, but more of extra baggage. At WS, most of the front guys don’t get much of an advantage of a pacer with lights, other races such as Hardrock where we all go thru a full night….that’s an advantage. I just like to run it alone, bottom line.
      And if you really want to dig into it, isn’t taking ibuprofen an advantage, or someone taking a zofran for nausea?
      This isn’t what the post was about, I just wish pacers weren’t allowed, but all else fair game, cuz’ it’s too easy to “cheat” when out on the trail. And I”m not saying anyone is cheating, not at all, just saying that if said runner maybe drops a gel wrapper and the pacer picks it up…..that’s muling, cuz’ i know if I drop something, my sore tired legs don’t want to bend over and pick something up. We saw some things happen in that film too…..
      It’s all mumbo jumbo, and because there is no money on the line here, who cares what people do, I don’t care. It’s just another 100 miler as far as I’m concerned.

      • Aaron Spurlock says:

        I’m not disagreeing with you. Some of my best performances have been without a pacer and some with a pacer so I am a terrible judge either way. Just wondering about your take on the matter I suppose.

        I will be “watching” and cheering for you to pick up the carnage. Best of luck!

  8. David B says:

    Aliza Lapierre might be a woman to watch. She’s run well here before and should be ready to run again.

  9. Mackey says:

    Great predictions.. but Krar will win Where do you think I will drop?

    • marco says:

      exactly what I was thinking when I didn’t see Mackey on the top ten or top fifteen for that matter.

    • Ian Sharman says:

      No Mackey in the top 15? Plus you won’t be the only one without a pacer – they mainly help with keeping the cougars at bay anyway and I can’t see that being an issue.

  10. Kim says:

    I think Amy Sproston has a good chance of pulling off the win.

  11. Monaco says:

    Karl, love the predictions. I know you like to just “do your own thing” and all but for god’s sake— School these guys (or most of em) on the second half and punish that bad boy! An epic finish will be perfect timing for that book (more like instruction manual) down the line that were all waiting for;)

  12. Gerell says:

    Classic,third person talking…and to leave mackey off the top ten….and great question as to where he will drop…maybe you need a pacer to help writing your predictions:)

  13. Billy says:

    Ha to Mackey’s comment. Yeah, how could you leave Dave out Karl?

    My prediction’s for Krar to take it too. Or blow up royally. But the dude has too much (natural) talent.

    Great write up as always SG. See you in Snowbird.

  14. Seth Wold says:

    Thanks for the predictions. That is a list of some of the nicest runners I have ever met. I wish them all the best of luck. Cheers!

  15. karlmeltzer says:

    Gerrell, yah, I should have a pacer for my blog posts. Hey, could you open this gel wrapper while I type this mumbo jumbo? Or….could you fill my water bottle for me, it’s in the kitchen…..:-)

    Sorry Dave, and Aliza Lapierre too. I almost missed Tim Olsen. I threw my two cents in on the predictions…Anything else I missed?

    • Gerell says:

      Good reply…good luck out there Sat…ironically I’ll be pacing,and will be cheering you all on..BTW I paced Nicola Gildersleeve at states a few years ago,her first 100 mile race,and she finished a strong 11th…keep an eye out for her breaking into the top ten.

  16. Hi Karl: I agree with most of your predictions. I’m curious as to why Mike Morton’s described as one of the “rookie 100 mile runners,” since he’s already done Western twice (DNF’d in ’96, won in ’97) and many other ultras of the 100M and 24H variety. Also, keep an eye on Leila DeGrave, a fast girl from Evergreen, Colorado. She was one of the top girls at Run Rabbit Run.’

    Good luck this weekend! You will surely mop up a lot of carnage.

    Wyatt