Thursday, June 2, 2011

WS Men's Race - Prognostication

It's about that time. A bit of commentary on the 2011 WS100 mens field.

Sadly, Anton made it official yesterday on his blog that injury will force him to the sidelines this year. That is, of course, a bummer for those of us WS fans but for fans of the mountain runs coming later in the summer it means we should get prepared for a Course Record assault (possibly Leadville?) later in the summer. Scanning the entrants list in my head here are some of the contenders:

1. From last year's top-10 -- Roes, Jornet, Clark, Redpath, Sharman, Jones-Wilkins, Barger
2. Additions from 2009's top-10 - Bragg, Kaburagi
3. Addition from 2007's top-10 - Jae-Duk Sim
4. Proven WS100 veterans - Koerner, Mackey, Skaden, Cooper
5. Proven 100 mile guys looking for a break-out WS finish - Wolfe, T. Olson, Jaime, Braje, Freeman, Olmstead, Taylor, Foote
6. Some familiar names with tricks up their sleeves -- Thornley, Kulak
7. MUC qualifiers - Loutitt, Arnstein

OK, there are 26 guys, who am I missing?

And, how do you think this field stacks up to the 2010 field?

In my opinion, as a fan and "second-5" guy, it seems about as deep but the absence of three of last year's top-1o guys is noteworthy (in addition to Anton's injury, I understand Gary broke his foot and Zach has chosen to run Bighorn) as is the addition of some big established names (Bragg, Kaburagi, Mackey, Wolfe, etc...)

With 23 days to go I would imagine everyone's training is at a fever pitch. Here's to everyone getting to the line healthy.

Finally, here's my top-5:

1. Roes
2. Koerner
3. Clark
4. Wolfe
5. Bragg

What's yours?


Justin Mock said...

A few others to add to the list -

Ryan Burch
Bill Fanselow
Shaun Pope
Dave James

Jeff said...

My pick is Kilian. I think he's gunning for this one after finishing third last year - and he definitely has the talent.
1. Jornet
2. Roes
3. Clark
4. Sharman
5. Wolfe

brownie said...

1. Clark
2. Roes
3. Jornet
4. Sharman
5. Jaime
6. AJW
7. John Cassidy

I'm pacing Cassidy, so watch your back if he's anywhere near you...

Footfeathers said...

1. Kilian
2. Nick C
3. Geoff
4. Ryan Burch
5. Hal

Brett said...

While its hard to pick against some of the best closers in the business (Roes, undefeated at 100 miles, Nick Clark...)...didn't Kilian run the race without carrying fluids? It forced him into strange pace surges and ultimately lying down in streams from cramps didn't it? And he still held off Nick Clark on the home stretch.

Journet, Clark, Roes, Koerner, Wolfe. But ain't this sport grand, nobody really knows...a lot can happen in 100 miles.

Unknown said...


Pete said...

1) Clark with a course record
5) Burch
Call me bias but I'm only rooting for my home team:-)
Of course you'll be in the top 10 - probably with a PR. But does it matter what exact place? You'll get it done.

Nathan Jackson said...

No reason to pick against Geoff until he proves he can actually lose a 100-miler.

David Henry said...

I would agree with some others here that Kilian is going to be hunting for the win this year. Did you intentionally leave him out of the top five AJW? Can't see Kilian not getting top 5 unless he has to DNF. Not sure on all the top five, but Kilian, Roes and Koerner are going to be up there.

GZ said...

Tough tough list to pick. Crap, all ultras are tough to pick given you never know what happens on race day, but two questions for you AJW -

1.) why no love for KJ in the top five given he was third last year? and related ...
2.) who are your second five?

AJW said...

Great comments everyone. A few replies:

-Can't believe I forgot Burch. Solid top-10 contender for sure
-Didn't know James was in. Knowing he is, we'll see if he can turn his flatland speed to the hills. Living in AZ certainly means he's heat trained.
-Jornet. I left him out of the top-10 mainly because I just don't know what to think of him. Certainly he ran great last year but he also ended the race with brown pee. I think he could win, or drop. There, I said it.
-And GZ, interesting question about the "Second 5". To be honest, I am not quite sure, but I think it will be a pretty heated race in those places. And, depending on which course they choose to go with through the High Country it could take sub-17 to crack the top-10.

Derrick said...

1. Killian
2. Roes
3. Clark
4. Mackey
5. Hal

Scott Dunlap said...

That's a damn good pool. It's gonna be a great one!

I was just up in Tahoe, and there's LOTS of snow. In fact, Squaw will be open for skiing on July 4th. Perhaps that gives the mountain guys an extra boost.

My guess is that Journet repeats his performance of matching a front runner until he blows, but still makes Top 5. Mackey will cruise it in to lock in the Montrail Cup. Results:

1) Roes
2) Wolfe
3) Koerner
4) Journet
5) Clark
4) Mackey
5) Journet

Rob said...

1. Clark
2. Roes
3. Mackey
4. Jornet
5. Koerner
6. Wolfe
7. Sharman
8. Burch
9. Bragg
10. Ellie Greenwood
11. AJW

AJW gets chicked on the track but still gets M10. And, of course, at least 2 of these top 11 will DNF.

aka Moogy said...

1. Jornet
2. Clark
3. Roes
4. Koerner
5. Loutitt

AJW said...

Scott, Killian with two finishes. Maybe he'll pace himself.

And Rob, good one. And, I'll take getting chicked and top-10 men any day. Who from your top-11 will drop?

Rob said...

Just the law of averages that a couple people either blow up going for the win or just have a bad day. Could be anyone (except AJW).

Patrick Thurber said...

1. Jornet
2. Clark
3. Roes
4. Koerner
5. Mackey

Kurt said...

1) Killian
2) Roes
3) Hal

Jon Allen said...

1. Roes
2. Jornet
3. Clark
4. Mackey
5. Foote
6. Loutitt
7. Koerner
8. Bragg
9. Redpath
10. We'll keep your streak going, AJW

Jon Allen said...

I like Scott's picks. 7 in the top 5, with Kilian taking 4th and 5th place (and somehow 2 guys sneak in between him).

Dan said...

Kilian to win, and not by a small margin either... 30 mins plus.

GMack said...

I’m terrible at making race predictions, but here goes... Geoff and Killian will be tied for 1st entering the track in Auburn for a sprint finish. Geoff takes it by a whisker, literally, as Salomon seems to expect stricter grooming standards for its athletes than Montrail. Onlookers will be reminded of the end of the movie Talladega Nights, mostly because of Killian's resemblance to the Borat actor. Soon after, Nick Clark crosses the finish line in good form.

1. Geoff
2. Borat
3. Nick

AJW said...

The snow at Squaw is really big, I heard they were skiing in 18 inches of pow on Sunday. It'll be interesting to see what they do with the course and that could have a significant outcome on these predictions. I'm guessing they'll go even tamer than last year with lots of roads and pavement in the early part meaning an even bigger advantage to the "runners" over the "mountains". They just seem to be going that way these days with the masses needing aid every 3-4 miles. Not a bad thing, just the truth. Two years in a row with no Lyons Ridge or Red Star Ridge would be a bummer. As "epic" as last year's race was it had nothing on the course Morton torched in 1997. Global warming?

Alex McDaniel said...

1. It Roes FTW until someone proves they can beat him.
2. Nick C
3. I think Kilian is the most talented, but he is over-raced and Salomon is burning him out with all his commitments. And it's not clear he's going to do specific training. Get's 3rd again on mercurial talent.
4. Mackey
5. Sharman

Alex McDaniel said...

Just read Mackey's blog... claiming he just needs to finish to win MUC and will "chill". So what then, only top 10? But I'll take him off my list and go:

1. Roes 2. Clark 3. Jornet 4. Sharman 5. Hal

wells2123 said...

1.) Koerner
2.) Roes
3.) Wolfe
4.) Mackey
5.) Jornet

Got to give the 2 time champ nod..

johnmichael said...

I'm seeing an' epic battle' between geoff and killian, though as many have said, anything can happen in 100 miles. However, geoff has been unbeatable so far (in 100's) and I'd imagine that killian will be gunning for a win and racing smarter after getting so dehydrated last year. I'd put those two at 1 and 2, with nick and hal close behind.

Gary Vale said...

Don't under estimate Koerner. Here is my top 5:

1. Koerner
2. Roes
3. Jornet
4. Clark
5. Sharman

Go Hal!

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

Sorry, bad formatting, posting again:

A jizzle whizzle manizzle:

"Jornet. I left him out of the top-10 mainly because I just don't know what to think of him. Certainly he ran great last year but he also ended the race with brown pee. I think he could win, or drop. There, I said it."

Yup. Is he so over trained that its anybody's guess? I just think he's such a talent - last year he ran a marathon around the streets of San Francisco 2 days before the race, didn't carry any fluids (had to lay down in streams, peed brown at the end), but still fought Nick Clark so hard in the final miles that he made Nick's pacer with 2h29m marathon speed dry heave.

Also, do you think the WS organization cares at all about some folks' starting up of the UROC?

Speedgoat Karl said...

I won't put up my thoughts for another week or two. All I gotta say right now is Mackey will be in it, no way is he gonna lay back, he won't be able to. And Killian will learn from his mistake last year, guaranteed. Geoff...9 in a row would be astounding.

I guess those are a few thoughts. Don't count out Halomatic either.

Odds are coming soon.

Dan said...

Kilian over-raced?!?!?! You all know that he ski's at International level for 6 months of the year. I bet he's looking at that snow licking his lips.

Davide Grazielli said...

Kilian is very talented, he is young, but a quick learner: he won't repeat the same mistake twice.

In my opinion it will be Roes and Kilian batllin'it out, with a possible late surge by Hal Koerner. Sharman and Clark right behind. AJW top ten.

Joe Kleffner said...

1. Montrail
2. Solomon
3. Pearl Izumi
4. Hoka
5. North Face

Michael Owen said...

no one picking Kaburaki

Dave Mackey said...

Who cares about a bunch of hairy smelly dudes.. sweaty ladies are way more fun to think about.

Pam Smith