Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Closest I'll Come To Making A Prediction About This Weekend

On the surface the race in Marin this weekend looks a lot like Western States. When you look at most of the pre-race chatter about the men's race the talk is dominated by a "Big 4." The strange thing is how similar the "Big 4" are to what they were at Western States. In each case you have a 2 time former race champion (Koerner and Steidl), a foreign phenom (Jornet and Wyatt), and then Tony and I playing the part of Tony and I.

This is all on the surface though. Below the surface there are 2 major differences between this one and Western States. The largest of these being that it still remains to be seen how many of these "Big 4" actually toe the line on race day. Rumors are flying and it's seeming more and more likely that it will be fewer than 4. The other major difference is the strength of the runners behind these four. To take nothing away from any of the top level runners that ran Western States this year, it was much more clear at Western States that one of "the 4" was almost certain to win the race.

This weekend is much different than that though. Even if these four that are being talked about the most all show up it's not a given that one of us will walk away with the $10k. Mackey, Skaggs, Lundstrom, Heras, Mallarde, Bragg (to name just a few) could all contend for the win.

In my mind Dave should be included with Tony, Uli, Jonathan, and I as part of a big 5. He has probably won more 50 mile trail races than the rest of us combined and has more experience/knowledge on the trails in Marin than any of us. I think some people are uncertain as to what kind of shape he is in right now since he hasn't raced much in the past 18 months. I've run with Dave enough in the past two months to know that his current fitness is not at all in question.

Beyond these guys I've named there are at least a dozen other runners who could have a good day and claw their way onto a podium spot (especially if some of the front guys don't start or don't finish).

Western States was a very competitive race for sure but the depth of the elite runner's in this race is (in my mind) at least double what it was at WS. Many of the top runners will not finish, but there are so many strong runners toeing the line that there are likely to be guys finishing out of the top 10 who are used to battling for the win in most every race they run. It doesn't get any more exciting than that. I just hope that none of the rumors I'm hearing are true and everyone is there and ready to race Saturday.

36 comments:

Bryon Powell said...

Best of luck out in the Headlands, Geoff. I look forward to seeing you out there.

As for rumors, I can confirm that Jonathan Wyatt won't be running. (I've got a list of some confirmed withdrawals on iRunFar.) As for the race, there'll definitely be a good crowd running with you, Tony, and Uli... at least early in the race.

Have fun with the competition. I know you do.

Kovas Palubinskas said...

Best of luck - should be a great race if the field is as stacked as promised. I'm hoping to run this race next year, so looking forward to reading your views post-race.

Speedgoat Karl said...

Good luck this weekend man! I'd love to be there to watch it all shake down. I'm rooting for ya, then we'll see if you can run another 50 the next day..:-)

Have fun out there, run smart!

Jeff said...

Also, a lot of those top runners that might have DNF'd Western States are far more likely to finish a 50 miler strong. It's sure to be an exciting last 10 miles or so.

Good luck out there, Geoff!

GZ said...

Saw you today coming off Green. Damn it was windy up there. All the best this weekend.

Billy said...

Good luck Geoff. Will be surprised if you, tony, Killian or Uli doesn't grab top honors. But hey - anything can happen come race day.

Andrew said...

you probably already knew this but Anton just dropped.

he just posted it in his latest blog entry.

Dominic said...

and wyatt..

http://www.facebook.com/notes/salomon-running/interview-with-jonathan-wyatt-and-kasia-zajac-before-the-north-face-endurance-ch/465076916673

Collin said...

I think it's down to you and Mackey now that Tony is out. Uli doesn't seem to be in top shape, but Mackey does. I'm really curious to see how it turns out with you guys! I just wish they had some better coverage. :(

Anonymous said...

I'm surprised that you quote Mallarde as a contender but do not include Lorblanchet in the list...

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

Good luck Geoff. I'll be following closely from over here in the UK; therefore my money's on Jez. Good running!

Anonymous said...

Hi Geoff. First of all good luck and run for you this weekend.
Just tell the guys that Miguel Heras is running too. He´s having a great year and is really fit.... keep an eye on him!!!!!

Saludos

DavidP

Fixated on the Trail said...

And lets not forget about Dakota Jones in the picture. This "kid" may only be 19 but he will be in the mix.

Shawn said...

Geoff, wish I was going to be out there for this with dad. You always have a way of rising to the occasion when the competition is tough. Run a smart race and best of luck.

Also I heard Lepinski is coming out for the race... I wish I was coming just to see what kind of trouble we could get into. GOOD LUCK BRO!!!

Michelle said...

Geoff,
Best of luck this weekend! I so wish I was there with you and Dad. Try to go get some Sol Food while you're there. That was an awesome place. Tell Trish and Uli I said hello and Brian too! Love you freak!

Anonymous said...

DavidP,
I hope Heras does a better performance than Real Madrid did two days ago against Barcelona.
Barcelona 5-Madrid 0
Best of luck to M Heras.
For Geoff: Gas a Tope!!!
Girona, Spain.

footfeathers said...

Geoff,
Have a solid and fun day out there Saturday. I have a feeling you and Dave will be running alone over the last 10 miles to the finish. Either one of you could nab the win and both of you deserve it.
Tim

Eric B said...

Good Luck Geoff !!

Sheri said...

Good luck Geoff... As your other siblings have said- I also wish I was going to be there. Glad Dad is going to be there... wish you the best of luck, and have fun. Love ya.

Collin said...

Good luck tomorrow. I'm curious to see how it plays out with you and the recently superhuman Mackey. Also, make sure you don't let Chris Lundstrom get too close near the finish. The guy has some mean speed and the extra year of trails will make him dangerous. :) For anyone that wants to follow the race live, Solomon Footwear said on their facebook page that they'll be covering things tomorrow (presumably by FB, but probably also twitter).

Footfeathers said...

"recently super human"?
Mackey's been dominating ultras and trails for 8 years.

Anonymous said...

So, how can we follow the race live? If anyone has a link please post. Thank you.

michelle said...

irunfar.com
There are twitter feeds on the right side of the page.

michelle said...

If you go directly to http://twitter.com/#!/iRunFar you get a more up to the minute version.

Thank you Bryon Powell!
Fantastic job

sharon said...

To Bryon Powell - you did a wonderful job updating this race - North Face should be ashamed of their coverage. It really would be nice if they at least tried to cover the race. I am sure thankful for you - it is rough sitting at home wondering what your loved one is doing. My husband is at the race and I still follow your updates during the whole race.

Thanks again

michelle said...

Congrats on a great race Geoff. You had the world on the edge of their seats yet again! The iRunFar tweets kept me biting my nails and Mom stuttering the whole time.

michelle said...

Congrats on a great race Geoff. You had the world on the edge of their seats yet again! The iRunFar tweets kept me biting my nails and Mom stuttering the whole time.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations for Mr. Heras.
As I said he´s really fit, amazing year and getting better and better every dat.
Lot of hard work and high class runner. He really deserve it.
And for Girona´s anonymous.... fortunately Heras is much better than any football club, including Barcelona jajajaja!!!!
Enjoy it!! It´s just football!!!

Saludos from Spain

David

Mom said...

Congratulations to #1 in my book - you are a first class son and I am very proud of you - you ran a great race and had us on pins and needles - I can't take too many of these races - tell Bryon Powell thanks for another wonderful day of coverage. Have fun with dad the rest of the time he is there and drive safely back to Colorado - I love you -

Mom

Deb said...

Great race Geoff! There is a cool pic of you and Dakota running across a narrow bridge not too long before he fell back a bit.
Here's hoping the rest of the 6(!!)Juneau-ites have great races today, too! This ultra-running thing is starting to be a down-right trend around here...due in no small part to you.

Deb said...

Oh..the picture is on the Salomon facebook page. Check it out.

Anonymous said...

Amazing year Geoff.
Congratulations for this awesome race.
I agree with your mom. Drive care and enjoy the trip.

Saludos

DavidP

Anonymous said...

DavidP,
si desde luego tiene mas merito Miguel que todo el F.C Bacelona juntos.
Good job Geof!
Eres una locomotora Miguel! Vapor a tope!!!
Un saludo desde USA!!
Girona, Spain.

Collin said...

Footfeathers, yeah, he's been dominant for awhile, but hsi Firetrails performance is head and shoulders above anything else he's done. In any case, congrats to Geoff for a great race! This will probably go down as the only time that Geoff (with his exceptional closing speed) got beat out in the last few miles. In any case, great run, and the $4000 is still really nice I'm sure.

Betsy Fischer said...

Congratulations on another exciting race, Geoff. I kept tabs on you this morning instead of going skiing (actually it's blowing 30 mph and raining so not a hard decision). We are so proud of you - not only your running ability but your attitude towards ultra racing and competition. You are a class act.