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The North Face Endurance Challenge 50 predictions. a.k.a. Speedgoat odds 12

Nov25

It has been quite some time now, since I’ve done any sort of race predictions/odds.   It is about time I step up and take a crack at “guessing” who will take home the $10,000 at this ridiculously stacked race.    Both the men’s and women’s field should be close all the way back to Ft. Barry in the Marin Headlands on Dec 7.  So….it’s off to the races for me as I hope to NOT get chicked once again.  Last time Anna got me, this time….we shall see.  So here it goes,  Ladies first:

1.  Emelie Forsberg  3-2.  Emelie has proven her dominance at distances up to 100k.  Her win at UROC showed she could hang long enough.  As long as she has still been running and not skiing entirely, I think she’ll win by 10 minutes, chick me, and go sub 7.

2.  Stephanie Howe  3-1.  Why not keep it a trend.  At UROC, Stephanie was behind Emelie.  This may play better in terms of personal strength for Stephanie.   If she’s recovered from UROC better than Emelie, ( from not running nearly as fast) she may drive home with the big prize.

3.  Anna Frost  4-1.  I’d normally put Anna higher, but I”m not sure on what kind of shape she’s in.  She’s had a slow year, but who knows, if she see’s me in front of her on that last climb again, she may just finish strong and chick me again, and catch another girl in front of me.  If she’s fit, she’s in it for sure.

4.  Cassie Scallon  5-1.  I’d say she’s in a good place in regards to territory and terrain, she can crank on this type of course, and she’ll be hunting down the podium spot if anyone else falters.

5.  Rory Bosio  6-1.  The UTMB queen/recordholder seems to be a better 100 mile runner than this quick 50.  She’ll hold her own for sure, but not quite fast enough to run top 3.

6.  Michelle Yates  7-1.  She ran well at UROC only two weeks after winning Run Rabbit Run.  If she held her fitness well without any issues over the past 6 or so weeks, she’s another girl who can make a run at the podium. 

7.  Jenn Shelton  8-1.  Jenn is the current 100 trail record holder.  What does that mean?  I’m not sure, but she is fast, and if she has a good race, she can hang with the best of em’.  She’s a little unpredictable….predictably.

8.  Joelle Vaught  10-1.  She’s better in the mountains and on more technical terrain.  But like me, we’ll both run strong to the end and mop up any carnage.

9.  Aliza Lapierre  11-1.  She probably deserves more love on these odds, but the field is thick, and someone has to be 9th.  She’ll be in the early peleton, then we’ll see what happens.

10.  Megan Kimmell, Keri Bruxvoort, Silvia Correa Jimenez, Melanie Bos, Ashley Arnold, and Jenn Benna   15-1.  Yah, I know, they can’t all have the same odds.  That’s why I”m not a bookie.  But I see all of these girls looking to crack the infamous “top ten”

Good luck Ladies, I”ll give myself about 7-1 odds for beating you all.

And now to the men, which is “hands down”. the most competitive 50 miler on earth this year…and all 45 of my previous years in existence.  It is sick.  Keep in mind this field is so strong that any one of my 20 picks has a chance, except for me, who will be fighting for 20th position overall.  I don’t think I”ll get it.  :) My worst finish ever awaits me in San Francisco.

The Mens Race:

1.  Dakota “El Presidente” Jones  3-2.  Dakota doesn’t race all that much.  This has become the standard for top performances.  My guess is “el presidente” will have to come up with a superior health care program for everyone else in this race, because he’s gonna put a hurt on this field.  I think he’s been dragging tires up some road in Boulder lately. 

 2.  Sage Canaday  4-1.  Sage will likely want some revenge from his run at UROC.  I know he expected to run a little faster there, but perhaps his “slow” time will translate to faster now.  He did just show us a video on how to run fast right?  

3.  Miguel Heras  7-4.  Miguel has won here before, he knows how to run around the Headlands swiftly.  He’ll be the fastest European to finish this year. About enough cash to pay for that plane flight.  He’ll be in the lead group until is dismantles around mile 35. 

4.  Max King  4-1.  Max certainly has the speed to run up front, and run up front he will do. The question is: will he last?  Max reminds me of Matt Carpenter, more of a specialist at shorter distances, but once in a while, he’ll nail it.  More than likely, he’ll prove me wrong and hit the podium. 

5.  Rob Krar  5-1.  He’s only this low because he ran JFK last weekend.  Although he dropped at mile 35 ish ( I think ) I’m thinking his incredible season won’t end up quite as strong as it should have.  Rob is a top contender for Ultrarunner of the Year, and if he nails this one, he nails that one too.   He’s the 3rd one in this top 5 that have amazing road marathon speed. 

6.  Jorge Maravilla  6-1.  Odds are getting tougher as we go down the list, but I just heard Jorge ran a 1:09 half marathon.  I think that means he’s a bit speedy now, and not over-raced.  Could be a good day for him, it’s also his home turf I believe. 

7.  Jason Schlarb  13-7.  As I mentioned in the beginning of this post.  The field is sick, it would be extremely rare for Jason to be ranked 7th here, he could win it too, and be the richest Ultrarunner in 2014.  He won the Run Rabbit Run 100 this year in record time.  If he gets some shoes, he’ll be ready to rip another one. 

8.  Ryan Sandes  7-1.  I would suspect Ryan to be super eager to run fast.  After having to bow out of Western States, I’d be willing to bet he’s hungrier than anyone else in the field. He’ll be in that select group at mile 35. After that, I have no idea. 

9. Cameron Clayton  8-1.  I know he’ll go out fast, but will he last?  He’s due, the last race I heard of Cameron running was Western States.  I’m sure he’s hungry, just like Ryan.  And I doubt he’ll be leaning up against a tree at mile 47.  :-)

10.  Rickey Gates  9-1.  Sometimes unpredictable at a race like this, if he has a good day, he’s as fast as the rest of em’.  If not, I might pass him. 

11.  Dylan Bowman  10-1.  Dylan is way low on this list, I must have missed him. Remember what I said earlier Dylan…anyone in this top 20 could win this race.  Dylan is in the top 20.  He hasn’t raced since his ankle injury in Chamonix, so he is also hungry to run well. 

12.  Hal Koerner  11-1. Don’t women run faster after pregnancy?  Hal will have to take some of that speed from Carly to hang up front.  Is he recovered from winning another 100 at Javelina?  Probably.  He’ll either be top 6 or back in the pack with us old guys.  Or be the first one to the cooler.  

13.  Dave Mackey  12-1. Dave told me he has no chance here. I wouldn’t necessarily say that, but like me, we are all getting older and slower.  Problem is, Dave is not slow, he’s fast, he just has to keep that stomach from jacking out on him. If it goes well, he’ll race hard till he drops, and run alot closer than 13th.

14.  Francois D’haene  13-1.  He’s won on the big stage in the slop at UTMB a few years back, if this one is sloppy again, I’d put him much higher on the list.  The Speedgoat weather odds have told me it will be nice this time.  He’ll be in the top 15 any way we look at it. 

15.  Mike Wolfe  14-1.  Really, Wolfeman 15th.  He may just win it.  He’s won it before and could be the second person to win twice. I know I”m rooting for him.  I’d assume his legs are no longer “slow” after Hal and Mike took down the JMT record this past summer. 

16.  Jez Bragg  15-1.  I haven’t seen where Jez has raced this year, so I”m a bit confused on his fitness.  But…he’s in the top 20, and we now know what that means. 

17.   Adam Campbell  16-1.  He was 3rd here I believe, last year?  I’m guessing, as I am guessing on all of this, but he’s another one of those guys that can float on fast terrain.  Yup, he’s in the lead peleton too. 

18.  Gary Gellin  17-1.  He’ll finish alone in 18th, unless he turns off that beeper. :-)

19.  Ryan Ghelfi  18-1.  Still in the top 20….he’s showed real promise and he’s due for a real breakthrough race. Top 5 if he has a great day. 

20.  Mike Foote  20-1.  Foote slips into the top 20, but I don’t think he has a chance to win, he’s better at 100s, just like the guy below.

21.  Speedgoat Karl  25-1.  Everyone ahead of me would have to get lost for AT LEAST an hour if I have a chance. Maybe I’ll get sneaky and start early and switch some ribbons. 

22.  Matt Flaherty  26-1.  He could easily prove me wrong, but he just smoked JFK in tough conditions, he’ll be a bit tired…I think. 

23. Mike Wardian  27-1.  I can see myself creeping up on Iron Mike late in the race.  His back to back marathons and stellar 3rd place, sub 6 hour JFK, has to take a toll on him right…probably not.  The man is bomber and he’ll push it till he can’t push it anymore. 

24.  Brian Tinder  30-1.  I”m getting to the end of my list.  Brian is fast, he’ll be in the mix too.  As well as…

25.  Jeremy Wolf, Jason Wolfe, Chris Vargo,  Martin Gaffuri, and David Riddle.  All 5 of these guys could run top 5 on a good day.  There are a slew of others in the elite field that can/may crack top 20. 

That field is ridiculous…as I mentioned before.  I just hope I can finish. 

And what’s up with this “pacer” thing.  Anyone in the elite field running with a pacer….should NOT be eligible for $$.. c’mon people, you can run 50 miles alone.   :-)  

Who’s missing?   

Tim Olson is in South America…..I’d do that too if I had a chance.

Anton Krupicka….he’s in Hollywood.  :-)

Scott Jurek….he could sell some more books if he shows up. I”d love to see Scott race here.

And my last shameless attempt at promoting a product….IF you like coffee, order up some Speedgoat Karl’s 100 Mile Blend here, it’s a great stocking stuffer.

Speedgoat 50k entry goes online January 1, at 7am MST. Don’t miss out, it’ll fill fast.