Beyond this there were two other performances this past weekend by Montrail team mates of mine that were also hugely impressive. Ellie Greenwood also at American River and Andy Henshaw at the Mad City 100k.
Impressive performances are so common nowadays in ultrarunning that I sometimes feel immune to them. I will hear of a performance that someone has had and, even though they may have set a course record in a 20 year old race I will more or less take the news as though it were expected. Records are being broken so often that in many races I think course records are expected. There are of course still performances which really jump out and scream for attention and surprise. Of the dozen or so of these that I've been aware of in the past year I think that 3 or 4 of them belong to Ellie Greenwood. I've come to expect her to do great things just about every time she runs, but she was able to really catch my attention again this weekend. She ran 6:25, finishing 7th overall in a field of about 800 runners! Only some women by the name of Ann Trason has ever run this race faster (and correct me if I'm wrong but I believe the course has changed since the years that Ann ran it). I thought maybe, just maybe, on a great day Ellie could run 6:30 on that course, but when I got a message from her the day before the race saying that her hip has been bothering her a bit I didn't imagine she was going to do it on this day. Turns out she ran even 5 minutes faster than 6:30. Western States this year will be her first 100 miler. It's hard to expect an eye popping performance in anyone's first 100 miler, but one would have to be crazy not to at least allow for the possibility that she may do something really special on that day.
Andy's performance at Mad City may have been just as impressive. With the possible exception of Sharman at Rocky Raccoon I think this is the men's performance of the year so far (and Ellie's AR is likely the women's performance of the year so far). He ran 6:47, almost a full 10 minutes faster than Wardian's course record there! Certainly didn't see that one coming.
Team Montrail is looking stronger at the front of the pack than ever. Also a shout out to new Montrail runner Ryan Burch who finished 5th at American River in a stout time of 6:09. Super impressive for a Colorado mountain guy.