Saturday, June 13, 2009

Now what?

Anton, Max and Jon are out. Scott, Hal and Dave are the prohibitive favorites. A couple other guys are banged up and a bunch of others are really, really quiet. (Jasper's been running fast and hard, Eric has been altitude training for (gulp!) a month, and Erik and Graham are, well, they're Erik and Graham!)

What's the deal? Where are we today, 13 days before the big dance? Who really has what it takes to win, to be top-5, to, in the end, get it done with a top-10 this year?

AJW

21 comments:

Joseph said...

Don't foregt some of those east coast fast guys....

FastED said...

Hey,

Am I missing something here? I don't hear anyone talking about Michael Wardian - is he injured? Auspiciously flying under the radar if he's a go. Certainly a guy to watch!

footfeathers said...

Dave M -CR
Scott J
Tsuyoshi K
Eric G
Hal K
AJW
Graham C
Mike Wolfe
Erik S
Leigh S
Nikki K


I think Dean may surprize some people too with a top 10.

-Armchair Ultrarunner Tim

Yassine Diboun said...

I really appreciate the great analysis/predictions of WS100...makes for some great reading while procrastinating.

One guy that I think has a top ten finish in him is east coaster Leigh Schmitt. Not sure if we was mentioned or not but he has been running really well.

Best wishes to all the runners and I am anxious to see how it all unfolds in this historical event.

Run Strong!

Anonymous said...

The weekend before Western, Wardian will be representing the US @ the world 100k championship. Kami will also be there, so that's why she's not running Western. Kami would be my pick to win if she ran Western. I guess representing your own country is a lot more important than Western States.

Jean Pommier said...

Thanks for rolling the dice, Andy.

FastED, like Mike W and Kami, Todd Braje will be at the World 100K. Too bad the two events conflict. With this public information, better not bet on them! ;-)

Andy, what happened with Brian Morrisson to get him off the radar? His blog indicates he is ready. And I imagine he may well team up with Scott.

Looking forward to see what the "old man" (Marco Olmo, 2-time UTMB winner will do on a course he doesn't know - Maybe he'll just go after Roger Dellor's M60-69 record). Same thing for Benoit Laval, who is still looking for a pacer.

In addition to Jasper, there are two other interesting Bay Area guys to watch: Victor Ballesteros and Chikara Omine (albeit WS rookies, and new to the distance).

And in addition to the other East Coasters mentioned, David James.

And what about Jez Bragg (UK)? Too new on this course?

In other words, even with some major contenders not toeing the start, there will be plenty to watch, making the bets even more interesting this year! Hope the webcast will be entertaining for the ones not running.

Jean.
Farther Faster

Tony Lafferty said...

What can really open up this field has been the lack of heat and the current two week weather projection on accuweather. Granted it could warm up but with lower than normal temps it could be a sizzling race.

Tony

kendraralstin said...

Oh, for god's sakes. I have to comment on Anonymous' comment. You represent yourself. And importance is relative. Clearly if you're running the Worlds 100k, that is more important to you. And if you decide WS is more important to you, then, fine. As a citizen of the U.S., I can tell you that neither person represents ME more than the other. The hard training both have done in no way elevates me beyond training I have done, decisions I have made, or things I have said. Words like 'represent' are so loaded and yet really so meaningless and so tiredly overused. When you use someone else's blog to toot your horn about...what? patriotism?... you just invite readers like me to shake their heads. I'm glad the other commenters just ignored your post. I should have, too. So back on topic: as strong as other women are on different terrain at various distances, you can't dispute that anytime Nikki has run this she's been beyond striking distance. Every time she runs it, she proves it all over again. True, other women have now knocked on her door, but that has been in races where she freely admits she has weaker areas (oh, to be weaker if that's weaker). I don't know how Nik is in terms of her recent knee problem, training, or desire to run this race, but I myself would never bet against her. Now there's someone who 'represents.' Whatever the hell that means.

Aaron said...

I just read the two pages in "Born to Run" about Scott's WS - Badwater double. I wouldn't have picked him before that, but now I don't know how I can't...

Buzz said...

You can't bet against someone who is 7 for 7. Unless Tony or Kyle are there, which they're not. But if it's not hot, his stomach stays good, and they are together with 10 miles to go ... Scott can't match Dave's strength.

Mr. Smart said...

I can't believe more people aren't mentioning Wardian. He's got the fastest leg speed of any participant, he was the 50 mile trail champion last year, he would have challenged Carpenter/Uli, etc. at the North Face 50 if he hadn't gotten lost for several miles (still finished 9th and extrapolating all of the lost time he would have been in the running for the win), he's proven himself at the 100 mile distance (Vermont, ODU), and he just had the highest finish ever for an American at the Marathon des Sables. That race proves that he can run fast for several days in a row. So the argument that the World 100K will tire him out is erroneous. Nothing tires him out. I'm not saying he's going to win, I'm just saying, to not include him in top-ten bantering is kind of silly.

Paul Charteris said...

I'm going to agree with both footfeathers and Jean Pommier on this one.

I'd add Dan Olmstead in to footfeathers' list also.

Jean is correct to mention the Bay Area bad-asses. Another one is Lon Freeman who has been putting on some miles on the WS Trail these past few weeks. He's either not been running much or has been in secret stealth mode so it's anybody's guess what sort of shape he's in.

Jez Bragg has already has pretty good course knowledge, he should not see too many surprises on race day.

Kaburaki Tsuyoshi certainly seems to be a phenomenal talent. I predict he'll be in the top 3 to RF, if he remains in the top 10 to the finish, he's obviously the real deal.

I am most excited to see how Marco Olmo does. I can envisage him running a pretty even race, not going out too fast in the high country like the young speedsters. This may well work in his favor, despite an almost complete lack of course knowledge.

I will clean-up the New Zealand division handily :-)

Cheers, PC

t said...

The times from 2006 are misleading. If you look at the top 10 finishers from 2005 that reurned to 2006, they were all 2 - 3 hours slower due to the heat. This makes Graham Cooper and Brin Morrison's times in the low to mid 16's on a normal heat day at WS.
My top 5 picks are:
1 - Scott Jurek
2 - Dave Mackey
3 - Hal Koerner
4 - Graham Cooper
5 - Erik Skaden

AJW said...

Gotta agree with t on the times from 2006. I went into the race that year severely undertrained due to an injury that had me out of commission from April 28 to June 1st so I figured I was in 18:15 shape and with the heat ended up 6th with a 20:06. Amazingly, only 4 people (5 if you count Brian) broke 20 that year.

Then, looking at 2007 you see that the changes on the course affected some splits (Hal's 4:30 to RF was 15 minutes faster than Morton's and Jurek's due to the shorter trip up the Escarpment and a couple other little things)and the rest of the times were pretty normal.

That said, another thing unusual about 2007 was that even though it was not a hot year there were quite a few fast starters who faltered between Foresthill and ALT. Just in that section alone I moved from 9th to 5th place and then grabbed another spot just before No Hands.

Looking at this year's race, I am doubtful that any of t's top-5 will falter between Foresthill and ALT. In fact, if those five guys are within 15 minutes of eachother at Foresthill it will be a great battle. I, of course, am also interested in places 6-10 as it looks like this year there could be some great battles there as well.

FastED said...

I think Buzz and FF are onto something with Mackey. Scott can't match Dave's leg speed if they're close in the end. Reports are that Mackey is as fit as he's ever been! Is that possible?? Fitter than fit??

Another one to watch is Josh Brimhall - dood can fly if he keeps his stomach in check. Josh also likes to fly under the radar so I'll leave it at that.

Man Oh Man I can't wait to watch on my computer.

AJW - is there any way you could carry one of those hand held video camera? If not then go get the Masters record eh!

Geoff said...

Smart, if wardian races both and finishes top ten at western that will be impressive, and not out of the realm of possibility, but certainly not where i'm putting my money when there are so many other fast guys who will be fresh and focused.

my top 5 predictions would be pretty much the same as tim's. although i think they will all be close and could shake out in any order. when the dust settles though i see dave m. pulling away a bit and winning by 20+ minutes. i've raced against all 5 of these guys in the past year and dave's the only one who made me feel like it didn't matter what i may have had on that particular day, there was no way i could have stayed with him. not that this really means anything, but what more do we have to base these predictions on if not our personal experiences. it's fun to pretend we know what we're talking about though.

good luck to everyone running. starting to get a bit bummed that i won't be joining you all... and a bit relieved as i'm getting a bit stressed just thinking about "watching" it online.

Anonymous said...

Geoff, you are an amazing talent. The thing I think is odd about Jurek is that he only "races" (one?!?) a couple races a year.

Even though he enters Way too cool, or Miwok, etc.... he never peaks until his desired race.

I have no idea what I'm talking about...

The funny thing is... I'm sure all of these predictions wont even shape up come race day...

It WILL be that... Oh... that guy! Why didn't I think about him... Kind of like Hal Koerner and his 18hr AC100.
So who has some Impressive 2008 100 mile times?
Does that correlate to potential 2009 fitness?

Jureks Spartathlon comes to mind.

ted

Dom Repta said...

Top 5 Men
Jurek
Omine
Mackey
Koerner
Cooper

Women-I don't know 5
Kimbal
Moehl
Abs

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