Monthly Archives: June 2011

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Western States 100 Preview

It’s just a few days away from the Western States 100; a very big event in the ultra calendar. Don’t know about you but we think this year’s race is shaping up to be an exciting event. Very strong male and female contenders are racing; with the added complication that course has been re-routed this year due to significant snowfall.  A map of the changes can be found here.

Here is our preview of the runners and predictions for the male and female top 5.

Geoff Roes from the USA had a rough start to last year’s race, and was in fact 15 minutes behind with 22 miles to go. However, he found another gear (maybe 2 or 3!) late in the race, taking the lead with 12 miles left and then blasted his way new course record of 15:07. He’s got to be the favourite this year again, for that reason and because he still remains undefeated over 100 miles.

Anton Krupicka, also from the USA, was a mere 6 minutes behind him in what would have been a course record too. Sadly Tony has just been injured (quite a nasty one if you read his blog) and has obviously declared himself out. We would have placed Tony 2nd in this year’s race again, had he been running.

Another big US hope is twice winner Hal Koerner. Hal won in 2007 and 2009 (there was no race in 2008 due to forest fires). Hal won in 16:24 in 2009. He’s going to have to go faster to keep up with Roes if this year’s pace is anything like last years.

Nick Clark from the USA, a relative unknown before last year’s event had a closely fought battle with Kilian last year and finished just a couple of minutes behind him in 4th. I’m sure he’s looking forward to the showdown this weekend. Mike Wolfe from the USA came 2nd in last year’s UTMB and is looking to make a bigger name for himself this weekend.

Overseas competitors; Salomon Runner Killian Jornet Burgada, the 23 year old ultra running ‘rockstar’ from Spain came 3rd in last year’s event, and by all accounts had a very tough time in the latter stages. Here is his reflection on last year and lessons learned. So, he’ll be better prepared this year you’d think. He’s coming off the back of a record time win in the Australia North face 100. I don’t think he’ll be an hour off the pace this year (last year he finished 3rd in 16:04), but I’m not sure he can win it if Roes performs like he did last year.

From the UK, North Face runner Jez Bragg took an impressive 3rd in the 2009 event, in a time of 16:54. Clearly the 2010 pace was significantly faster that 2009, so Jez will have to hit top form to take 3rd place this year. Don’t bet against it, but competition this year is tough. Jez has just won notoriously tough UK event “The Fellsman” in a record time.

Also from the UK and very much up there with Jez is Ian Sharman, newly sponsored by North face too, who has recently won the 2011 Rocky Raccoon 100 in February a record (and hugely impressive) 12:44 beating Tony Krupicka into a shock second place. He’s also run a recent 2:33 in the Phoenix marathon. He took 8th spot in last year’s WS100 and but he’s obviously on fire right now, so I think he’ll make a huge improvement on last year’s time. He more recently had a disappointing race (by his standards) in the South Africa Comrades ultra, some 20 minutes off his best of 6:01. That said, we will make a daring predication and say he’ll beat Jez for UK honours, and could even get up there in the top 5 this year if he performs on the day.

So, our prediction:

1. Roes

2. Jornet

3. Clark

4. Sharman

5. Koerner

As far as the Women’s race is concerned then Tracy Garneau is favourite to retain her title after her debut win last year in 19:01. Meghan Arbogast is always a strong competitor and came 2nd last year. She’ll be hard on Tracy’s heels this year. Anita Ortiz won in 2009 but had an injury that kept her out last year. It’ll be interesting to see if she’s fully recovered.

Three time champion Nikki Kimball finished 3rd last year and is sure to be up there again. Other contenders are Canadian Ellie Greenwood, coming off the back of a win in the AR-50. She could find a spot amongst the USA ladies. Also Kami Semick (USA) finished in second in the AR-50 had a good race in this year’s Comrades, finishing 4th in 6:26, will be one to watch as well.

Women’s’ prediction is a tougher call, but here are our thoughts:

1. Tracy Garneau

2. Meghan Arbogast

3. Nikki Kimball

4. Ellie Greenwood

5. Anita Ortiz

Anything can happen in 100 miles, so head over to the official website for more details, the latest news and to pick up links to the live results and webcasts once the race gets underway on Saturday 25th June.

Beyond Marathon wish all the best to everyone taking part.


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In 2018, a race where you start anywhere you like, as long as you reach the finish within 24 hours. ...

Convergence - Summer

June 9, 2018, 12:00pm - June 10, 2018, 6:00am

It’s game time. In this game, you will gamble on your own fitness and ability. You know where the finish line is, but you are not following a fixed course; you “make” your own course. You tell no one else where you intend to start from. That way you are blind-betting against everyone as to from how far away you will start, and thus, how high you will eventually rank. Those who travel the furthest, rank highest. However, if you don’t reach the finish line you don’t get a medal, so gamble wisely…. The premise is simple. You can start from anywhere you want, at midday. You then have 24 hours to ‘converge’ on the central finish line in order to claim your award. You make your own route. You can start any distance from the finish line, but the further away you start, the better your award (should you make it to the finish). All distances are measured “as the crow flies” from the finish. For all those challenging this is where it gets even more interesting. The people who rank highest are those who travel from the furthest away. You are under no obligation to tell anyone where you are starting, so you are all blind-betting against each other! You won’t know where anyone starts from until the GPS tracking link goes live at midday. Even then, will those who started far away make the finish line on time? Of course if you start 100 miles away and miss the finish line cut-off, then you don’t get a medal. Oh, the cruelty. The Crow will be watching all of those Converging, using the miracle of Race Drone event tracking technology. The Crow will judge how far the shadows have run, and reward them with the right medal on the line. If you travel from 30 miles away or fewer, we’ll email you a certificate only. Venture from further away (30 to 60 miles) and claim a Silver Convergence, 60 to 90 miles and you’ll take Gold. If you come from 90 miles or more away (As the crow flies), then you’ll claim the Black Convergence medal. There is a little more to tell you. You can Converge only on foot. The Crow knows how fast you travel You can Converge solo for 24 hours, either female or male If you are scared of the dark, you can converge for 24 hours as a pair You will be given no advice on where to run, or hide You make your own route. Use any means you wish to wayfind You obviously can’t use private land or anything illegal (motorways etc). Your route choice is your own choice and risk. We recommend strongly that you stay off A-roads, or roads that have no pavement There are no checkpoints. Use your wit and guile to feed yourself. Call for your mother if you must The World will keep an eye on you from afar using tracking technology Have more questions? The wise old bird has the answers Feel ready to take your first steps into a darker world? Register Here

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