Saturday, September 19, 2009

Best 100 Miler of the Year so far - Male Division

The results are in and Geoff Roes' Wasatch was the resounding winner. Karl and Hal with their performances at HRH and WS respectively showed that the "old guard" is not completely dead but clearly, Geoff's methodical dismantling of the WF Course Record turned heads.

I am not sure if there is another 100 miler on the fall schedule that will result in a better performance but I am curious about what the readers of this blog think about the sub-100 mile performances so far this year and how they compare to Geoff's run. A few that come immediately to mind are Erik's Waldo, Anton's White River and Max's American River. And, I am sure there are others. Of course, all this begs the question, does anyone even care about any distance under 100 miles anymore?

Hope you're all enjoying the Equinox season!


Ted Nunes said...

Isn't Paul Dewitt running Javelina? I have NO idea what kind of fitness he's in... but if he's sharp, couldn't he put in a sub-15 hr time on that course?

Olga said...

Eric Skagg's Waldo?

Unknown said...

I know the 50 mile distance is a whole different animal than a 100 miler, but as far as sub 100 milers go, Jeff Kozak's 7:06 at the Bishop 50 miler in May seems noteworthy.

Josh Brimhall ran 10:35 in Bishop's Inaugural 100K.

I couldn't get into the Bishop 50's website to confirm the winning times in the Bishop 50 mile races in 2007 and 2008, but I think Jeff broke the record set in 2008, which had broken the previous course record there set by him in 2007, by 18 or so minutes.

It was a hot day, around 97-100 degrees. It wasn't a cool, breezy, easy day in Bishop on 5/16/09.

In other news, a few of hours ago, I got an e-mail that the AC100 will be on August 28th in 2010, and that:

"All runners that were in the 2009 AC100 race will automatically be entered into the 2010 AC100 race."

Ken Hamada sent the e-mail at around 10:14PM Saturday night, around the time, I asssume, that this year's winner would have been closing in on Millard Campground on his/her way to the finish line.

All this past day has been a little strange, imagining where one might have been on the AC100 course at different times of the day, had there been no Station Fire and the race not been cancelled.

Kurt said...

Yes the 100 mile is epic but what some of those people are running for 50k 50 mile and 100k is so sick !! In my mind running is running, it's all cool with me. Once more time nice summer of running dude. You did great.

Dan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dan said...

I am amazed that the voters on your poll did not give more credit to Geoffs HURT run. That is a ridiculous time to throw down on such a hard course.

Also Zachs Gingerich's 15 hour run at Kettle 100 is amazing. He is from the midwest so he does not get much respect. I think he has won more races than any other ultrarunner this year and also took 3rd at Badwater wearing a pair of racing flats without any socks. That is just ridiculous!!


Geoff said...

in regard to the poll results i think people remember what is most fresh in their minds. i had a great run last week but if the order of western, hardrock, and wasatch were reversed i suspect their would be a direct reversal in the results of this poll. the field at western and the anticipation leading up to that race makes what hal did entirely awesome. in some ways i think that whoever had walked away victorious at western this year, regardless of their time, deserves performance of the year just because of all the hype and anticipation leading up to that race. and karl's hardrock i think deserves at least as much attention or more than what i did last week. take away kyle's superhuman performance there last year and what karl did this year would be widely recognized as the p.o.y. right now. imo

as far as performances under 100: do they still have races under 100? just kidding... kind of :) there have been some great ones but i think it's a bit like comparing apples to oranges.

Unknown said...

Andy - Did you really vote for yourself in your own poll??

Joshua Brimhall said...

Great. We now are developing an entire subset of ultrarunners that believe the 100 mile distance is the defacto ultra distance of worthiness.

I try real hard to avoid the banter on the blogs, but this caught my attention. Geoff and Karl have certainly dominated the 100 mile distance this year. However, as previous posters have stated, there have been some incredible performances in the "sub" 100 mile distances.

I clearly have a lot to learn regarding the 100 mile distance. With two finishes out of five starts, I'll be the first to admit I've got some work to do. But to marginalize the "shorter" stuff is slightly unfair. I, (and I assume many others), can attest to the fact that an "all out" 50k or 50 mile can be just as difficult if not more so than an equitable 100 mile race.

Krupicka and Skaggs specifically deserve POY considerations for their respective efforts this summer. Ultimately, my respect goes to those that have the range to be competitive at all distances, versus those that "specialize" in their preferred distance.

That being said, we all run for our own personal reasons and should continue to do so without sole concern of one magazines "votes."

AJW said...


You raise and excellent point. So, in the interest of space and time here is my question...

Who is this year's most versatile ultrarunner? Who has shown the ability to perform at every distance and established themselves as the best?

The answer may need to wait for a few months as the 100 mile guys turn toward the shorties.

Burt said...

Going beyond 100 miles:
DeWayne Satterfield's 3 day, 18 hour performance in the Last Annual Vol-State Run across TN in July is worthy of mention for POY.

80+ miles a day for 3.75 days, over hilly roads, in the heat and humidity of summer is one stellar run.

One of many great runs this year to date in the UR community.

Michael Alfred said...

"Of course, all this begs the question, does anyone even care about any distance under 100 miles anymore?"

Oh come on AJW, no need for gratuitous obnoxiousness. Plenty of opportunities to be obnoxious in the normal course of business.

Joshua Brimhall said...


Our sport is unique in that we have quite a few runners, both male and female, that have the ability to be competitive at the 50k distance and the 100 mile distance. It's something that is becoming more of a rarity at the elite sub-marathon distances. I hesitate to label anyone as the most versatile runner out there, because as I previously stated, we all run the races we run for a variety of reasons.

I only commented because I lament the attitude that longer is necessarily more difficult. Obviously, given my recent performances at the 100 mile distance, longer is harder for me. But, from a purely difficulty in training standpoint, my belief is that it takes more effort to be versatile than to specialize.

You are correct in that it may be interesting to see what some of the "longer" guys/gals can do in the fall/winter "shorter" races. Will they even bother, or have they become so adept at running 100 miles that it is easier to make the statement that the shorter "sprints" are irrelevant?

Joshua Brimhall said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rogue Valley Runners said...


"we're not worthy, we're not worthy."

I do believe that wayne and garth could only have been talking about the 100 mile distance.

Now, as far as shorter and in the fall are you alluding to a fast time at JFK? Say sub 6?

Let the betting begin. And cheers to the subset.


GZ said...

Most versatile across the ultra distances? Put Parr's name in the hat ... Leadville, Moab 50K+, AR50, NFEC50, Sage Burner 50K and then add in non ultras like - Cheyenne Canon, PPA, Imogene, WMRC.

I feel that lumping 50ks and 100s as "ultras" is analogous to calling the 800m and the 10k middle distance. Sure - running. Definitely different on a lot of fronts though.

Anonymous said...

I think one of the most consistent guys in training and racing everything from 50k to multi days is Scott Jaime.

Also, Mackey is a monster at 50k, 50 mile, 100k, and (has shown) 100 mile, plus snow shoe racing, adventure racing, 5ks, 10ks, and speed climbing/scrambling.

Always funny that whatever distance someone is good at he/she considers other distances insignificant.

Speedgoat Karl said...

I agree with Geoff, "what's fresh in the mind" is what people remember. Noone remembers Geoff's HURT. I remember it, and I can say it was as good as his Wasatch and my Hardrock. 20:28 at HURT is sick. It just comes at the time of year noone really notices.

Dewitt at Javelina? Paul is certainly one to challenge the record of mine. He can crush it if he runs textbook. We'll see how it pans out.

The season is not over yet either. Just because it's September doesn't mean there aren't any races left.....there are lots left!

Dave Mackey said...

To say someone is the best ultrarunner is like saying that Usain Bolt is a better runner than Haile Gebrsellasie; they excel at two completely different beasts, efforts, distances entirely. Much as the 100 milers do have their little specialty so do the 50 K runners.

AJW Re: "does anyone care about any races under 100 miles?" Let's leave narrow-minded comments like that for blogs like "let's run". Your blog is well is above that level.

Unknown said...

This is a different topic, but I read Joshua's comment, "Krupicka and Skaggs specifically deserve POY". Honestly, have no idea what POY is and haven't followed Skaggs enough to know what he has in common with Krupicka, but I doubt its quitting. I've read Krupicka's justification for quitting in Leadville and I think it is very weak, "Anything that begins with more than a fifteen in front is a failure" or something like that. Imagine a 25 or 30 hour runner going out with the same attitude - "If I don't make it in 25 hours then its a failure". Krupicka is going to be an icon, but shit, we'll all be quitting if we follow that logic!

Anonymous said...

I think there may have been more to Anton's dnf than just time. Having to stop to spray paint the woods every 10 mins from symptoms of giardia would get old for anyone. Regardless, everyone has personal standards and motivation to run and finish races. Why does it matter that someone wants to quit during a race? I don't recall Anton ever judging anyone for performance or lack thereof in a race. I think the worse I've read on his blog is that he was "rankled" by a comment made by Wardian in White River, referencing a comment Mike made to him earlier in the race. So, I don't think he (or anyone, really) needs to be judged for choosing to stop, walk, quit, or win an event.

Unknown said...

"Why does it matter that someone wants to quit during a race?"
It matters alot. If someone has to quit because they are injured and can't make it that's one thing. Justifying that it doesn't meet a standard when there is, I believe, 16 hours to cover the 23 miles. Not impressed. It's disrespectful to the race and the other runners. Again, are we all going to start quitting when we don't get what we want? Who has big balls? Matt Carpenter walking it in a few years ago. BIG BALLS.

Craig Thornley said...

You go, Sandy. I agree with you. Quitting because you're not running up to your personal standards is disrespectful. However, it looks like Anton had some serious issues that led to his DNF.

AJW said...

Gotta agree with Sandy and Craig. There are lots of good reasons to quit in 100 milers but not running up to expectations is not one of them. The late Dave Terry often said, "One of the most important things about running 100's is being able to adjust expectations constantly." Come to think of it, that's a pretty good skill to have in life.

GZ said...

Am I the only one a bit confused by the last turn of this thread? I don't think anyone was suggesting that AK's DNF at Leadville was worthy of the POY. I think his name came up in that "contest" in American River.

So Sandy - I am not sure you can put up the amount of balls, wait ... BALLS someone has and the POY always in the same conversation.

Did Matt demonstrate balls, wait ... BALLS, by walking it in? Absolutely. Did he demonstrate balls, wait ... BALLS by setting the CR the next year? Absolutely.

But you are implying that AK did not demonstrate balls ... wait, BALLS (which is PUSSY?) by not walking it in?

I am not sure if that is what you are implying or not. I might be reading in between the blog lines incorrectly. Am I reading that right?

Anton said...

Sandy, Craig, Andy:

Interesting little banter here. Against my better judgement, I'm diving in. Although, like George, I fail to see what my DNFing at Leadville has to do with my run at White River, I am somewhat intrigued by what seems to be the line of reasoning being presented.

If I'm understanding you all, it would seem that the general consensus is that each of you, if you had been in my shoes, would not have dropped at Leadville this year. Fine. I can understand that. I completely allow that. What my feeble mind is failing to understand is WHY exactly that even matters to you. Because I don't fit into some revered tradition/paradigm of the gritty, never-say-die ultrarunner? Because I somehow disrespected my fellow runners and the race itself?

Here's what I think:
1) Each runner defines his or her own experience and hews to that definition in whatever way he or she sees fit. FOR ME, long-distance mountain running is ultimately an intensely individual and personal experience and I would NEVER project my personal expectations and opinions onto another runner. Why? Because we're all different, and we all do this stuff for different reasons. Why should I be so presumptuous and self-centered as to think that what I do is even relevant to what my fellow runners want to do? If there's anything that my running has taught me over the years, it's a little bit of humility.

2) I can agree with the "disrespect" issue if I were racing a different race under different circumstances. First, I paid $300 to run Leadville this year, which is as much or substantially more than everyone else paid. I was given zero favors. Second, Leadville is not a race that fills. Essentially, if you pay the fee and have a pulse, you're in.

If I were running a race where I had either A) been granted a competitive or compensated entry, or B) been running a race that fills and I was taking a spot that dozens of other runners would gladly have accepted, then I can understand the issue of disrespect. Given those two unique conditions at Leadville (no comp, not filling), I believe that I need zero justification for DNFing. If you're truly interested, however, let's go running together sometime and we can hash it out maybe.

However, FOR ME, running a 100 mile race is not always a sacred undertaking. And it's absolutely fine if it is for some other folks. Running, period, to me, is sacred. But you're not always going to be able to convince me of the alleged intrinsic holiness of a specific event.

Finally, I'm seriously interested, do you guys apply Kant's categorical imperative as rigorously to other spheres of your lives as you do to the act of DNFing an ultramarathon? I was unaware that DNFing was a moral act.


AJW said...


Thanks for commenting. However, I think you may have misinterpreted my comment. While, I personally, was bummed you dropped at Leadville this year because I really wanted to see the CR go down, I was not under the impression you dropped as a result of not meeting your expectations. Rather, and correct me if I am wrong, you dropped due to severe cramping in your legs and sodium depletion. When I made my comment about dropping due to not meeting expectations I was, in fact, thinking of some specific runners (for instance, the guy who once dropped at Mile 90something when he was passed and was no longer going to win) but you were not one of them.

And, I have no idea how your White River run became conflated with your Leadville run.

Craig Thornley said...


You sure read a lot into my comment. I thought I was actually "defending" your DNF at Leadville to Sandy but you apparently didn't read it that way.

My comment was about sportsmanship and respect for our fellow competitors and the race.

Maybe because I'm an old man and have competed in races for 31 years, I have a different perspective. Ultras, specifically 100 milers, are not completely isolated personal experiences for me. Maybe they are for you. I think about my competitors, the race organizers, my crew, pacers, and the race itself. I think about the runners who have run the race in previous years. Dropping out because I'm not running sub-19 or whatever my goal may be for a race, would be disrespecting all of the above. As an example, when my friend and training partner passed me at mile 92 this year at WS how would he have felt if I dropped out at mile 93? No, I wasn't running what I had hoped or thought I could. Should I quit? I was taught pretty early in life that good sportsmanship includes finishing if for no other reason than to respect my fellow competitor.

Perhaps I'm just old fashioned.

Anton said...


You are right; I did misinterpret your (and possibly Craig's) comment. And while I ultimately dropped because of what you said (cramping quads, etc.), I was mostly responding to the judgement that I had a full 16hr to cover 22 miles and therefore should've continued (I was, afterall, still covering flat ground at the rate of 1.5 mies per hour or so). I guess I'm just not that noble. Good luck with that mile attempt!


P.S. Chad Ricklefs, Sugar Loafin' inbound, 2001, is who/what you are thinking of...and yes, in that case, that does seem pretty disrespectful to Steve Peterson. However, just ask Duncan or Tim, my case had long been sealed before they came trotting past and I sincerely congratulated them both on their performances afterwards.

AJW said...


Just one more comment: When I got to Treeline Inbound this year my 9 year old son Logan (who, by the way, idolizes you) told me that he saw you walking on the pavement to Fish Hatchery. He was visibly bummed about this and told me he thought you "never walked in a race." I, myself, was hurting a bit there and I told him, "even the best have to walk sometimes." At the time, of course, I didn't know how bad it was. Hope all is well!

Unknown said...

And my last comment . . . It's not immoral to DNF. Again, if you were injured and left it at that, we get it. Sub-16 will be awesome and I'm sure you will do it. With that, did you know that you can run Leadville any time, any day of the week, living up to only your own expectations and not paying a cent? When you come out on race day, quit if you get injured, don't justify it.

Geoff said...

wow, i had no idea that there's a common sentiment out there that in running a race one owes finishing that race to anyone else. that's great (and potentially a really beautiful thing - if for the right reasons) if one personally feels that way but to project that onto, and to expect that of others is really confusing to me. when i race i feel myself often getting through the low points by thinking of all the people i know who are rooting for me to succeed, and sometimes i push on only because of my respect for them. but never have i, or never will i feel like i somehow owe it to others to finish that race, and certainly not to complete strangers. that's just odd to me.

Unknown said...

Happens all the time to high performers in other sports.


Yes, they get paid, and most ultrarunners don't, but that's beside the point.

Some people are always going to look up to and "expect" certain things, from high performers in any sport.

May not be right, but you may find that it sometimes comes with territory.

Craig Thornley said...

I'm finding this to be a rather bizarre discussion. At the risk of having you both read too much into these questions, Geoff and Anton:

1. Did you guys play organized team sports in school? Did you run on cross country teams or track teams?

2. Do you guys give back to the sport of ultrarunning? i.e. have you directed races, swept, worked aid stations, coached or advised other runners?

I'm not passing judgement, I'm just trying to figure out how come we apparently feel so differently about this.

Geoff said...

that would be a yes to both questions for me. if i were still racing as part of a team as i did in school, wherein my performances effected other's results I would of course feel like i owed it to them to finish if at all possible. as a solo racer though i just don't see it. i can certainly see pushing through a bad race out of regard and respect and appreciation for other people who have helped you get to where you're at. but i think the idea of owing it to other people to finish is a bit dramatic... and a bit greedy and pretentious for those who feel that this is owed to them.

Michael Alfred said...

I'm feeling a bit disrespected by the fact that neither AJW or Thornley routinely bash course records and dust the competition at any distance from 50k to 100 miles, like Krupicka and Roes. Is anyone else feeling a little disrespected?

Unknown said...

Hi, Mr. Jones-Wilkins. I enjoy your blog, first comment from me.


I am feeling disrespected that you choose to remain anonymous while others comment on here under a name. I don't believe that the discussion or comments have anything to do with one's ability to run fast or break course records. Am I reading this wrong?

I remember an earlier comment you made on this blog back in the Spring of 2009 where you boasted about putting up ten thousands dollars if one of your chosen runners did not win Western States. Tell us, have you made good on that payment?


Ezra Hanson

Michael Alfred said...

Haha. Ezra, you are funny. You also seem to have selectively forgotten that no one stepped up to the plate to take the bet. I guess $10k is a bit too rich.

Ok maybe disrespect is a bit too strong of a word. You may have a point there. But I certainly think it's immoral that AJW is somewhat uncompetitive at anything short of 100 miles. That shouldn't take anything away from his status as the consistency god. But his performances short of 100 miles are sacreligious and immoral.

Michael Alfred said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

I don't know about the morality of DNFing, but I agree with Geoff that ultimately everything comes down to a commitment to ones self.

While acknowledging those that have helped us along the way, it is ultimately our own efforts that gets us to the finish line or gives up along the way.

Anonymous said...

Are we seriously talking about morality in regards to running? Socrates would laugh at you and chuck another grape in his mouth.

Jasper Halekas said...

I have had some bitter arguments with good friends on the trail about "when is it appropriate to DNF?". My feeling is that, at any race, at any distance, there are appropriate reasons to drop. Injury, sickness, loss of higher brain function, etc. But I have absolutely no sympathy for dropping only because you are not meeting your own expectations, or to "save yourself" for another race, and I don't care whether it is a 5k or a marathon or a 100 miler. Just to be clear, I'm not at all suggesting that Tony or anyone else who has commented on this post has done that. But if they had, I would lose a great deal of respect for them. I think it disrespects the race and your competitors to do so.

Back to the subject of the post, Geoff's Wasatch is hands down the best 100-miler of the year. To break the record by that much, on a course that so many greats have run, is phenomenal.

Sub-100 POY in my book is Anton's White River. Similarly phenomenal because of how many great runners have taken a crack at the course.


Unknown said...

@ jhalekas

I think your comment about says it all. Thank you for posting it.

Michael Alfred said...

Thank you footfeathers for saying it like it is. I was really enjoying the comments until people started throwing around words like "disrespect" and "immoral". I even puked and thought I was in a 100 miler.