Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Male Ultra Performance of the Year

Following up on yesterday's post here is my top-5 list for the men. In a year of many, many amazing performances this was a challenging list to make:

1. Geoff Roes Wasatch
2. Anton Krupicka White River
3. Karl Meltzer Hardrock
4. Hal Koerner Western States
5. Ulli Steidl NF San Francisco



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

Since other performances also typically get votes for reasons other than just the fastest times (ie John DeWalt finishing Hardrock 100 at age 73), here are several others of note:
* David James - 13:06:52 at the 100 mile mark of the North Coast 24 hour (USATF Certifier was present, so its a certified 100 mile time).
River 50, Course Record 6:32
* Keith Wood - Pikes Peak Double at age 80 (13.3 mile Ascent Sat, 26.2 mile Marathon Sun), beat 1/3 of the other doublers even
* John DeWalt - Hardrock 100 finisher at age 73
* Geoff Roes - course record 20:28 at HURT 100
* Geoff Roes - course record 6:27 at Mountain Masochist 50
* Greg Crowther - 5:50 at JFK 50, less than 4 minutes off course record (made tougher by how old and large the race is)
* Josh Cox - American record 50k 2:47 despite two bathroom breaks and throwing up six times
* Erik Skaggs - course record 9:11 at USATF 100k trail national championships, Where's Waldo 100k

Because nearly every race is significantly different in course profile, altitude, entry rules (lottery, points system, etc.), I don't know how in the world anybody ever finds a way to try and measure these equally to stack rack them.

Thomas said...

You're trying to make up to Geoff and Anton after chiding them for their DNFs?

AJW said...


No, I am not. In my view those are the two best runs of the year. I was at WF and Geoff ran an incredible race there not only beating Karl but also the very strong Course Record that had been set by Kyle Skaggs. As for Anton's White River, pretty much everyone thought that Ulli's CR was unbeatable and Anton broke it by running a perfectly executed race.

Speedgoat Karl said...

Pretty good line-up AJW! You are right, there are so many performances to look at. A few that don't count. This is directed to Brett:

Although DJ ran 13:06 for 100 miles, it was NOT a 100 mile race, therefore he ran 119 miles in 24 hours and went out too fast. Yah, it's impressive, but the fact that some "USATF certifier" was there means nothing.

The USATF is not a governing body of ultrarunning. They like to think they are, but some rules they've "created" in the past make no sense, giving them no credibility with me. (not that I'm anyone, I'm just another guy)

I even think Josh Cox's performance was the same thing, he ran a marathon and tacked on mileage? what the hell is that? It means nothing, yah, impressive, but big deal.

Althought Kieth Wood was certainly impressive with Pikes Peak, it's not an ultra.

John DeWalt, yah incredible, and John is the first person that would say, "no big deal". I my eyes completing HR at 73 is sick.

Roes should get some more love for Masochist and HURT, both of those were great days too.

Although Crowther's time was stellar, still not the record, but certainly impressive.

My Hardrock: Had Kyle not blow the world away the previous year, I would have won this silly vote. Impressive, but I'll say it now, room for improvement.

Erik Skaggs, another winner, but not really too many runners to compare it too, so it's a tough one to measure. Still awesome!

Joe Kulak said...

I have to take a slight European veiw on this and am biased towards ultra's over 40 miles. Yes a 50K is techncially an ultra but not by much (18%). Great performance though.

Performances on the races are tough to guage. I vote Geoff's Wasatch as it was a significant CR on a record that was considered storng and tested. Anton's White River is a close 2nd.

Joe Kulak

Eric Charette said...

* Geoff Roes - course record 6:27 at Mountain Masochist 50

Dave Mackey said...

Time speaks volumes.

Anything with deep history behind it.. Greg Crowther JFK and the guy who was 2nd behind him.. 50 year old race

MMTR 50; Geoff Roes time is best in almost 30 year history.. beat my CR by 20 minutes.

Don't know about the other 00's as I havent run them. But Anton's CR at WR holds water, even though the race isnt that old.

Geoff said...

i think it's interesting how certain performances gain traction as being "impressive" while others just don't seem to for whatever reason. i was very proud of my race at wasatch but i think that my run at mountain masochist was probably a better performance. by the numbers they were almost identical as far as percentage that my time was below previous course record time. i think mountain masochist was a better performance though because i think that there have been more top runners over the last several years to take a stab at that race. that is to say that i think the previous course record was more solid at mountain masochist then at wasatch.

this said though, neither one of these was as impressive as uli's run last month, which for whatever reason hasn't gained nearly as much traction as i would expect. maybe in that case it's, as dave mentioned, it's because the race is so new.

AJW said...


Excellent point on events with deep history. I continue to believe that Jim O'Brien's 1989 CR at AC is incredible. Over the years Ben, Jorge and, recently, Hal have run incredible races there and the record persists. I'd love to see you, Geoff, Scott or Anton take a shot at that some year (that is, assuming the race course isn't burned beyond recognition!)

Rogue Valley Runners said...

I guess you have to ask yourself, how plausible are these times. Personally, I was pretty blown away when I heard about Masochist. It deserves grand recognition but I don't know if the race itself commands it. It 's been around a long time I know.

The Wasatch time of 18 hours is impressive and I think it's highlighted by the fact that the average runner at Wasatch hopes to run 30 hours. So 18 hours and change is sick (Cheetah buckles = 15). If you run 16 hours at States that seems pretty impressive but then a large majority are searching for 24 hour buckles(72 this year). The disparity then in completion times is telling. Thus, does that make it more impressive than any other race, perhaps because comparing it to the competition or to ones own ability the Wasatch time seems sooo skewed.

All these races have history though, I can only deem the TNF's validity on the fact that not a lot of participants have covered the course. We have seen the elites there. At least a handful of rested and peaked ones.

And I don't know what to make of what happened down in Silverton this year.

Tony's WR was my pick, because I was there and it was perfectly executed but Uli didn't get performance of the year for it when he set it so...........

Food for thought.......


Brett said...


Yea I know I know about Dave and Cox...but I don't really care what you call them - 180 miles in 7 days, whatever...but over 13 hours and 6 minutes Dave covered 100 miles....and over 2 hours 47 minutes Josh Cox covered 50k.

'What the hell was that?' Well I think Josh wanted a fast 50k course, and so the easiest thing was just to extend that particular marathon. He had it measured, had witnesses, a clock, and everything.

So I don't know what the rules are technically for something qualifying for an 'ultra performance of the year' but covering those distances in those times is pretty stout. How many people in the history of our country have gone faster ever - EVER? Nobody in Josh's case, just a couple in Dave's case.

Speedgoat Karl said...

Brett, on the "whats the hell is that" comment actually refers to the USATF saying it's ok to add on some distance to a race of a different distance. That, I think is lame. The fact the Josh ran that time is different, I think that's freakin' fast!

Dave James: Ditto above, how can a distance be certified if that's not the race?

That's what I'm getting at, not the fact that he ran 13:06 for 100, that's freakin' fast too, then to throw on his Javelina within a month later is just as impressive to me.

The USATF is looking to "capture" credibility of records when they really have no credibility in the ultra world.....different in the track world.

Obviously I don't agree with the USATF for some reason. :-)