Last year, we had the opportunity to watch Ian Sharman demolish a stellar field with an astonishing 12hr44min performance. With five consistent 20 mile laps (2:29, 2:25, 2:29, 2:35, and 2:46), he beat Anton Krupicka by 34 minutes. Will he be able to do it again? This year will be slightly different for me. After watching the race unfold on Ultralive.net in 2011, I will be toeing the line against Ian and others. Here are my predictions. None of these are hard and fast. It is just what I think could happen. Who knows? #5 could finish #1, although I wouldn’t put money on that!
1. Ian Sharman: No explanation needed. Although, I don’t think he will come close to his course record. The field isn’t as strong as it was in 2011. Prediction: 13:20.
2. Karl Meltzer: Again…no explanation needed, but I will give one. Karl finished 4th last year in 14:27. This also appears to be Karl’s PR at the 100 mile distance, which isn’t too shabby for a 44 year old. There isn’t enough elevation on this course for Karl to use all of his skills. Prediction: 14:30ish
3. Jay Aldous: He might as well be named Jack Pilla. This 50 year old just ran a 50+ age-group world record in 13:52 at the Desert Solstice 100 Mile (on the track). This followed a phenomenal 3rd place at Javelina, a 1st at Pony Express, and a 2nd at Burning River. This gentleman is on fire and could give Ian and Karl a good challenge. Prediction: 14:45.
4. Oswaldo Lopez: He’s a strong runner. He finally broke through with a nice sub 24hr win at Badwater after 2 consecutive 2nd place finishes. He also has some fast 50M and 50K times, but doesn’t have any fast 100’s. Prediction: Sub-15
5. Joshua Finger: Yeah…that’s right. I am putting myself up here in the top 5. With a recent 6:33 at Tussey Mountainback 50M and a marathon PR in the 2:30's, watch out. The one downfall is my first 100 mile completed at Vermont in 2011, in a paltry 21:19 (walked last 15 miles), I will bounce back on a relatively flat course and break 15 hours. How far under? Who knows? Prediction: Sub-15
6. Josh Katzman: I only put Josh out of the top 5 because he has no 100 mile experience. He finished extremely close to Mike Dixon at Vermont 50 mile and grabbed a WS100 ticket. He more recently took 1st at Stone Cat Ale 50 mile. He does have a 12 hour victory to speak of at the Race Around the Lake, running 80 miles. He can definitely keep a fast pace on a flat paved course, but how will that translate to Rocky’s rooty trails?
7. Dan Vega: We know he can beat the Speedgoat. He did that at Antelope Island 100 Mile with a 15:31. He also has a 2nd at Leadville back in ’05, but that was 6 years ago. Dan will definitely run strong and could make it into the top 5.
8. Scott Eppelman: Ran fast here before and can do it again.
9. Tony Clark: An overall 3rd place finish in 2010.10. A handful of others could have really good days. There are many others out there with experience at Huntsville State park including: Bill Sutherland, Brooks Williams, Francisco Garza, Eric Herzog, Luis Guerrero, Nathan Echols, Neal Lucas, Peter Vrolijk, and Wade Barrett. Robert Shaw and Drew Burnett could have good showings as well.