Thursday, June 23, 2011

My WS100 Turd

Last year I posted about this race; I was psyched. And I was right about my pick (And about the twilight comment with regards to Jurek. I can't believe I actually took the time to explain that to GZ. Jesus).

I'm not sure what to make of this year. I had a good read on how 2010 would play-out. Funny to think that many of those guys (the top 4) were WS100 virgins. That made it even more of a gamble. If I was a betting man, I would have done okay.

This year is different. I feel less excitement from some of these top runners. From reading blogs, I think it was Roes and Clark who have expressed less excitement and more a kind of sense of obligation to run it again though this was an undertone certainly. I'm sure there's some excitement on their part. For Roes, he's defending champ and probably had a blast last year. For Clark, I would bet he wants to take another big stab at it since he was pretty close to really shocking the world (outside of CO). But I don't sense the giddiness. The recent video of Roes and his girlfriend along with his recent posts on his blog solidify his lack of real excitement. Again, sure he's stoked to run the race, but I don't sense the butterflies. If you compete, and you don't feel butterflies, go back to bed.

Anton, of course, is out.

Hal is running, but I sense last year he, despite the ankle injury, realized on some level, how tough these newbies are, how difficult it would be to win with this kind of star quality in the race. As a two-time winner and veteran of the event, he's probably always got the end of June circled on his calendar. For him, it might be like a family summer getaway. I bet he's excited.

The fifth of my "Gimme Five" post last year is the Spaniard. I nailed that pick too. I said we wouldn't be surprised if he won, nor if he peed coffee at the finish. A little too much glitter for me.

So, last year I nailed it. Roes for the win, Anton to run really smart and maybe win, Clark as a dark horse, Hal not healthy enough, and then Kilian just too unpredictable and flashy.

As for this year, I ought to pick Roes. I have liked his story, his voice and his running style. But something tells me he's not ready to do this. Apparently, he's been fighting a cold and lacks the heat training. That along with his tangible indifference makes a fan a little indifferent, too.

Clark seems poised for a solid race. Sure, he's a favorite. But I think considering Roes could run really well (and win again) and Kilian is really hungry, I say Clark is still somewhat of a dark horse. I'm certainly rooting for him to win. No question. That's my heart picking.

Hal, I'm afraid, is just out-classed here. I would love to see him throw-down and show people who's the boss, the real veteran of this race. I still think that was pretty nails how he, according to people on the course in 2009, blew-up the race going characteristically hard off the front.

I am rooting for Hal and Nick. Maybe they hold hands crossing the finish line.

But I think Kilian is the guy. The way Roes and Krupicka described him sprinting out front, up a very steep climb nonetheless, makes anyone think this is just his race to win or lose, especially since he's a year older here. So in his case I don't sens the excitement either. He's here to claim what he thinks is his. He has unfinished business.

But I say this mainly because I don't think Roes has prepared for this thing (I hope I'm terribly wrong). And I think Kilian (as well as a 100% Roes) out classes the rest of the field.

Would it be cool to see Ryan Burch, or Jez Bragg, or Ian Sharman do some damage and even win? Absolutely.

But I think this is just a reshuffling of the podium with a new face, maybe two, to keep things interesting.

Oh, and this makes me a little uncomfortable.
Is anyone paying attention to this frightening development!


  1. I agree. Kilian ran through the Pyrnees last year before WS. 2 days before WS he ran 26 miles up and down through the streets of San Francisco. And he carried no water during WS itself. He had to lay down in creeks a couple times during the race. And still at the end he was able to hold off Nick Clark....HOLDING OFF NICK CLARK.

    Kilian may not win this year, but he'll be doing quite a few things better than he did last year. He has the passion and he has all the media spotlight, which pours on more pressure to win.

  2. I agree. I almost want to say that last year was so epic because all 4 (roes, Tony, kilian, and Clark) were first timers so that added a find of added charm to the show-down, level playing field along with a child-like excitement (kilian's here!). This year, however, it's all about kilian and unfinished business. I imagine there's a little embarrassment from last year. He's MOTIVATED.

    Having said that, if roes wins, wow!
    And if Clark wins, brilliant!

    Good stuff, Brett!

  3. Just listened to irunfar's 6/24 interview with roes in squaw. To add to the cold he's recovering from, and the lack of specific heat training for states, he said he's most likely over-trained. Ha ha ha ha. This in an act, a game of sandbag.

    Other interesting take aways from this, he said he's stronger than last year (when asked about a possible sub 15), and that all year his focus has been more on UTMB. That WS100 is a kind of warm-up. Hmmmmmmm.

    I think roes is F ing with us! And that UTMB is going to be EPIC!

  4. I'm a huge Roes fan, but I hope KJ wins WS. First because I like him and second it sets up an even bigger battle at UTMB, where I'll be pulling for Roes. I have a thing for top athletes winning on other top athletes soil.
    I'll never count Nick C out of any race, he continues to make bigger improvements than any other ultra runner out there.

  5. I like that take on this, Rick. Winning on the rival's soil is great drama. Glad to see some running on your end. I just gotta get this knee of mine healed. I am itching to go!

  6. This one is really hard for me to pick. Geoff always has a cold (seriously). Chatting with him the day before WS last year I couldn't believe how shitty he sounded. Then I realized he always sounds that way (including yesterday on the phone).

    Geoff doesn't deliberately sand-bag (unlike Dave, lord knows), he is just completely honest with the things that he thinks are affecting him. The difference is that those things actually just don't matter with Geoff. And for all his laid-back-unconcern vibe (which honestly isn't just a ploy; it's just Geoff being honest Geoff), he will absolutely bring it like a caged animal tomorrow during the race.

    It's going to be extremely close between Geoff and Kilian, but I give the edge to Geoff over the last 20 miles again because Kilian has been running himself ragged all week. Last week was 35hr (!) with 56,000' of vertical (?!?!?!?!) and this week he ran 3hrs in the heat on Tuesday, 2h30 in the heat on Wednesday, and Geoff said he was just running around in the heat yesterday down in Auburn. Even I learned my lesson about not tapering years ago.

    Rest of the top five will be Hal and Nick (not sure what order), with Mike Wolfe taking the five-spot. Geoff and Kilian just slightly outclass these guys and it will be a fight to the death for podium between Nick and Hal as both are maybe the toughest guys I know.

    Oh yeah, Geoff and Kilian both sub-15. The snow isn't slow at all (it stays hard and compacted early in the morning for the front runners), and the road snow route is definitely fast.

  7. Wow, did not know that about Kilian. The boy just loves to run doesn't he? When he turns 16 and gets a driver's license, maybe he'll stop running all over the place right before big races.

  8. Tony, I hunted around on Kilian and found some of his recent workouts and posted them here:

    Just the last 3 I found from Tues/Wed/Thurs this week were 77 miles. Shiite! That close to WS???

  9. Well fart, actually, now that I understand the site more, my distances are incorrect. I actually don’t see the distances anywhere I can easily find…but 7 hours+ over the previous 3 days is correct as best I can tell. 7 hours of running Tues/Wed/Thurs before WS? lol

  10. shifting back to the original slap ... okay, maybe Jurek ain't the hundred mile speedster he used to be, but last I checked the dude set the AR at 24 hours LAST YEAR, was in conversations as a player at UTMB, and is gunning for the AR at 24 hours this year. I can't call that a twilight.

  11. I can't imagine running 167 miles over an entire week, much less inside of just 1 day.

  12. Geoff does seem sick all the time (diet).
    I feel nick is at another level this year. Three-way steady run through 70, then the the level keeps going up until people pop. Nick will run until his legs fall off. I just can't see anyone beating kilian (other than kilian). 7 hours of easy running the week of a race isn't ideal for many folks but probably works fine for kj. He's going to drill this race.

  13. Brilliant! We have podium insight, so the discourse takes a big turn. Thanks, Anton for dropping by and sharing those gems. Not sure what's worse: my read on Geoff and Kilian, Anton's injury with tomorrow and UTMB on the horizon, or Kilian's white jump suit. And if Kilian is in fact continuing to make such poor race decisions (taper/hydration), then the race will certainly be affected. I like your call, Anton. Geoff's experience has to play a HUGE factor. Hell, he's undefeated. There.

    Just listened to Mr. Clark's interview. Love it. Go Nick. Go!

    Hey, GZ: slap.

  14. Tim, remember last year Roes was running ~7 min miles late. I don't know. Let's just sit back and let it ride.

    Have a great Mt. Evans outing.

  15. KJ's "taper" might seem silly, but I think it's important to question if this is the norm for him. It's probably a little late now, but perhaps some research on a typical taper for him might show the same "silly" taper before he killed it somewhere else?