Western States 100 is back in action, and it’ll be a heater!

June 17 2012, 3:47 pm

It’s always hot right?  Competition and temps make this race the most watched event of 100 miles.  Once again this year, the men’s and women’s field’s are strong as ever.  As usual, the race will end up being about 10 guys and gals at Foresthill.  Some will blow early, some will surprise us.  What do I think is gonna happen?  I guess you’ll have to keep reading…..The Speedgoat Odds are back.  Enjoy the ride.

1.  Killian Jornet  2-1.  It’s fair to say Killian has always been the favorite with his past win at WS and his incredible running career at such a young age.  Unfortunately, I’ve just heard of a tragedy on his “mountains of my life” project.  His partner Stephane Brosse fell to his ultimate demise above Argientiere while traversing the Mt. Blanc ridge, the first piece of Killian’s journey.  Not cool.  Killian has to be quite distraught right now.We would all like to see Killian move on, but right now, it’s fair to say he may stay in Spain and France a little longer than planned. Our hearts go out to Stephane’s family, the crew, the whole shabang on the other side of the pond.   If you make it Killian….Win it for Stephane, I’m sure he’d want you to kill it. 

1a.  Ryan Sandes…about 3-1 also.  Not sure how I missed Ryan.  I totally knew he was running….whoops.  I also missed Kaburaki.  Geez. Am I blind now too?   We’ve just heard that Killian will not make it to WS, which certainly changes the dynamics of the lead pack.  Sandes and Kaburaki will also be up front.  Will Kaburaki break is awesome Masters record?  Good question. 

2.  Mike Wolfe  3-1.  Right behind Killian last year, the Wolfeman is always solid, always runs hard, and with a year’s experience behind him at this track meet, he’s sure to give it all he had to stay close. 

3.  Dave Mackey  4-1.  Dave is certainly due to win a big 100 mile.  One race that has eluded his illustrious career.  He’s run WS twice, both times in mid to low 16’s.  Pretty darn fast.  If he finally has a good day for all the 100, he can run 15:30 too. 

4.  Nick Clark  5-1.  Nick, being one of the strongest US ultrarunners in recent years, is also waiting for that “big” win.  He did win Wasatch in 20:20 a few years back,with a 40 minute detour, so he’s got it in him, his time at WS last year wasn’t far off the Wolfeman either.  Nick will run to win, will he?  who knows, but he’s due, just like Mac Daddy. 

4b.  Tsuyoshi Kaburaki  about 5-1.  Another guy I missed for top 10.  He’s been here a few times, has run low 16.  Getting a little older like this guy, but still, he’s pretty fast.

5.  Dylan Bowman  6-1.  Dylan is still a rookie on this stage.  As fast as he is,100 miles is alot different, especially when it’s hot, so for me to put him 5th….yah….he’s fast and has had a great early season.

6.  Tim Olson  7-1.  Tim has had a great early season.  Won Bandera ahead of Mackey,and has been fast as everyone else in all his other races. He’s probably rested again after over-racing a bit, so he’s really a man to watch.  Another guy definately in the race to win.

7.  David Riddle  8-1.  Being his first 100, he’ll have to stick to his own gameplan to run his best race.  He broke Clifton’s old record at JFK, so we all know he’s got wheels.  His only demise is he can’t run too many training runs uphill or downhill where he lives. His 5th place at Quadrock a month ago was a quick awakening to pounding downhills.  He held up pretty well, we’ll see how he holds up for the extra 50.  If he nails it…..look out.

8.  Jez Bragg  9-1.  Has placed well here before.  It hasn’t seemed like he’s raced alot lately, so if he’s been training well, he should be rested and ready to repeat his UTMB performance of a few years ago…..which he won.

9.  Mike Wardian  10-1.  Iron Mike, as we all know him, is at his best at some of the shorter distances, but with his fast wheels, who knows, he may team up with Mr. Riddle and show some of the western mountain runners, that eastern trail runners can hang too. He’s another guy that could totally run away if he has his day.  

10.  Jorge Marvilla  12-1.  He’s my mystery man.  He’s been real fast all spring, and if he just runs and doesn’t think about the whole deal, he’s gonna do well too.  

Others:  (because this post would last forever)  Any of these guys below could very well run top 10.  Above is just how I pick em’. 

Ryan Burch,  Zach Bitter,  Graham Cooper (7th last year),  Tom Crawford,  Yassine Dibboun (sp?),  Neal Gorman,  John Olsen,  Erik Skaden…and probably 20 more I don’t know.

The ladies:

1.  Ellie Greenwood  3-2. She certainly has her hands full, but she’s proven she can beat em’ all at any distance.  And….she won last year and is not afraid of bears.

2.  Lizzy Hawker  2-1.  Lizzy typically goes out faster than most other girls, and is one of em’ that can hold it all the way to Auburn. Lizzy and Ellie should really lead the way after Green Gate.  

3.  Nikki Kimball  4-1.  Results speak for themselves, and Nikki has more experience than anyone else at WS. If her head is in it, she’ll be in it too.

4.  Pam Smith  5-1. Pam is probably the most underrated of all the ladies, and has done well on smooth courses, if she hangs tough, she’s my sleeper.

5.  Kami Semick  6-1. I really don’t know what Kami has been up to, but if she’s fit, she’s due for a 100 mile victory.  After last year running real close to the front, she had a chance….until the bears.

6.  Joelle Vaught  7-1.  Ran great at the Pocatello 50, so she’s pretty primed. Her only demise is she’s a better mountain runner, this race is hardly a “real mountain race”. Just not enough vertical climb to suit her.  

7.  Krissy Moehl  9-1. Sometimes I think Krissy gets a little too “focused”.  If she can just go run for fun, she can run sub 19 and will be in the race.  She runs smart, so we probably won’t see her in front following Lizzy, but Krissy knows how to run far.  

8.  Liza Howard   10-1.  She’s super fast on flatter terrain. She almost chicked me at Rocky Raccoon. 🙂  And if she has a smiley day as she usually does, she can hang with the best of em’.

9.  Rory Bosio  11-1.  5th last year, so she should in reality be higher here, but this year I feel is stiffer with a bit more experience ahead of her.  She can easily run top 3 with a good race.

10.  Meghan Arboghast  12-1. If she recovered smart from the World 100k Championships, where she placed 4th?  3rd?  (remember off the cuff odds) 🙂  She’s got great WS experience, and should be able to shut me up putting her 10th.  Let’s also not forget….she’s got a real cool coach.  🙂  

Other ladies who should also be in the top 10:

Aliza Lapierre (6th last year),  Ashley Nordell.

Bryon Powell has all the pre-race interviews and stuff like that, over at Irunfar.   check that out after you read a bit more of pertinent info below. 

We will have a Speedgoat 50k update after the track meet is over.  One thing included in that update is the closing of the “waitlist” on June 30th, so if you haven’t entered the toughest 50k in the US yet, and you think you might be around for some punishment. I recommend you get on the waitlist now.  It does move pretty quick from here on out. 

Killian…..hang in there man…do what’s right.