Hardrock is finally here!
So how is it gonna pan out? Well, the race will be interesting, with a few of the top guns bailing before the start, it gives the potential of early carnage….not so good. I would rather see a faster field go out early and ruin themselves so this old man can mop of their mess. Will that happen? Probably not, but look for a fast start, one that I won’t be a part of. I’m old and slow now. Who’s the favorite? Dakota of course, is anyone gonna stick with him? good question, probably not, but this ain’t no track meet, it’s a mental race, and we race at 4mph…..pretty slow, which means lots of guys and gals can run that fast, but for how long. “100 miles is not far” Predictions below:
1. Dakota Jones 2-1. He finished second last year, felt like shit, and probably has alot of it figured out by now, at least he thinks he does. He’s acclimated, been mimicking Kyle Skaggs living in Silverton for the past 6 weeks or so. He should do real well, and we’ll all be chasing him. The only thing holding Dakota back is he hasn’t really nailed a 100 yet. He is certainly due to nail one. Will he? that remains to be seen.
2. Hal Koerner 3-1. Hal ran about 31 and change on his first attempt at Hardrock, I remember passing him in Mendota Basin, while he stared into the darkness. I had just done a shot of Tequila, then proceeded to win the race in 28 something. This time Hal won’t make any mistakes, so look for him to be on Dakota’s heels all day, pushing each other to potentially blow…..(good for me). it’s a race, remember?
3. Joe Grant 4-1. He just needs to stay on course. If he does that, he’ll be on Dakota’s heels too. He is one of the best climbers, and probable the best descender in the field, so we’ll see if those little shoes he has don’t get ripped like they did at Zane Grey, forcing him to drop. Joe could definately win it.
4. Speedgoat Karl 5 5 time winner, but getting older. The last two years have been tough on me, in 2010, I wussed out. In 2011, I hurt my back and had to drop at Chapman, mile 81. This year? If I don’t finish, I won’t be automatic any more….I’ll finish the damn thing, and if anyone blows later, my slower start will pay dividends when I sweep up carnage, starting in Sherman. My big goal is to break my time of 26:39, my personal best in this direction. I ran that in 2001. It would be cool to come back 11 years later and run just as fast……I could at least show some longevity in this silly sport.
5. Scott Jaime 7-1. He’s due, he can certainly run a fast Hardrock around 26, but I see that as his limit, (like mine) I doubt he’ll take a nappy-pooh at Grouse this time, and I know if he is, I won’t be joining him this time.
6. Nick Pedatella 8-1. Like myself, better at 100s than any other distance, he’s due to throw down a sub 27.
7. Jared Campbell 10-1. Jared is a previous winner in a mid 27 range, and he’s a great mountain runner. If his belly holds tough, another guy to run sub 27. His past experience winning also gives him confidence to stay in touch near the front. My guess is Jared and I will be close all day.
8. Tim Parr 12-1. He’s won Leadballs at altitude before, so he can run up high. He tends to go out fast, a recipe for disaster at Hardrock, if he controls himself early, he’ll have a much better finish.
9. Jonathan Basham 13-1. Great mult-day runner, which I would say is his strength. If he’s acclimated from VA? it’ll serve him better. I would be Jonathan will take it out somewhat conservatively, then have a great finish.
10. Tim Long 15-1. Tim has had a great breakthrough season in my eyes, so he’s a bit of a mystery. My suggestion to him is to simply be patient and let it all fall into place.
So that’s the top 10 men. Others that have a chance at going under 30 hours: Brett Gosney, Harry Harcrow, Donnie Haubert, Christian Johnson, Adam Wilcox, and James Varner.
My two cents on all this: Seems like to me, all the guys on here have “pacers”. Yes, this is a legal thing to do, but they will be assisted with lights at night. I won’t, I like to handicap myself.
The women only get 3 predictions, cuz’ it’s a 3 women race:
1. Diana Finkel 2-1. Diana at Hardrock, is “almost” unbeatable. But not quite. Darcy almost caught her last year, so I expect Diana to maybe eat a few more gels and food this year to get her over that last climb into Silverton. Diana’s only problems the last two years, are really slowing the last 15. If she does that again, I would think Darcy is gonna reel her in, or perhaps Krissy will be hot on here tail too.
2. Darcy Africa 3-1. She almost caught Diana last year, this year, I doubt she’ll let her get that far out in front, but of course, this is Hardrock, and who knows. Darcy is very capable of hanging in there for a sub 28 run too, but we’ll see if her foot? is ok. I think that’s the issue, if any. She’s coming off a CR at Bighorn on July 16th.
3. Krissy Moehl 7-2. So close to putting her up higher, she ran Great at Western in the mid 18’s. If she’s recovered, look out, she could now be coming into form.
The rest of the women won’t make the podium unless one of these three get lost or drops.
I’m still sitting her in SLC, perhaps I’ll go get my shit together to run this weekend. Any suggestions?