Thursday, July 25, 2013

2013 Burning River 100 Mile Men’s Preview—    USATF National Championship

Not to be overshadowed by the Speedgoat 50K this weekend, the USATF 100 Mile National Championships will take place on Saturday in Ohio at the Burning River 100Mile (  The competition will heat up as the humidity reaches 90-100% with relatively low temperatures in the 80’s.  With over $10,000 in prize money and $1250 going to the winner, we can expect some fast times from some fast people.  A quick review of the entrant list yielded my list of top contenders.  If there is anyone that I missed, please let me know.  Good luck to you all!
Todd Braje:  My coach and 3-time USATF National Champion has experience on this course and can definitely run in the heat and humidity.  He is my pick to take this championship back!
Zach Bitter:  This youngster is quick.  He ran a fast 50M at Tussey last year for the win in 5:35, 2 minutes off of Wardians course record.  He had the fastest 50M time of anybody in 2011 with a 5:25 and a pretty decent 100M debut with a respectable 2012 Western States in 16:53.
Michael Wardian:  Mike needs no introduction.  He is fast.  There is no doubt about that.  The question is whether he is in shape following his injury last year.  His times have been improving.  He can definitely be dangerous at the 50k and 50M distances.  Will this be his breakthrough at the 100M distance?  I heard from a bird that Mike is running Speedgoat on Saturday.
Chris Kollar:  Chris is a force to be reckoned with.  After jumping onto the ultrarunning scene in 2011, he has run some amazing times, including a win and a course record at The Bear 100, a blazing-fast win a the Gorge Waterfalls 50km in 3:22, and a runner-up finish to Mike Wolfe at Pocatello 50M.  But, this is a flat and fast 100M with east coast heat and humidity.
Shaun Pope:  Shaun has been doing pretty well at the shorter distances and broke through last year at Oil Creek 100M with a strong 17:26.
Jim Sweeney:  Jim is relatively unknown to the ultrarunning community west of the Mississippi, but let me tell ya, he’s got some speed.  Although his Umstead 100M winning time wasn’t all that blazing in 15:21, he did run 14:14 in the previous year and did run a decent JFK 50M in 6:15.
Michael Owen:  Michael finished 3rd back in 2011 with 16:26, which was a really humid year.  It may be a tough podium to make.
Howard Nippert:  Howard has been silent in the results over the past couple years.  He did record a pretty fast 50M at Tussey Mountainback 50M to win the 2010 Masters National Championship in 6:07, but hasn’t done much since then.
Mark Godale:  Mark’s last race, according to Ultrasignup, was from the 2011 Tussey Mountainback with a 6:21 (he beat me that year).  He is as tough as they come.  Look for Mark and Howard to duke it out for the Master’s win.


Dave James would have made the race even more interesting, considering he is the 2011 and 2012 Defending 100M National Champion, however, he tells me that his racing on August 3rd for Team USA at the WMRA Long Distance Mountain Running World Challenge.  GO GET 'EM!!

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