Late last July, I headed over to the west side of the Wasatch Crest to run in Karl Meltzer’s Speedgoat 50k. Karl bills the race as the “Toughest 50k in the US” and I’ve yet to see anything that comes close. My own Speedgoat performance, in what was my final UTMB tune-up, solidified that opinion. Endless, huge up-and-downs (11,420′ of climbing), seemingly rocky hell on the only flat sections (I enjoyed this section.), and the mental beatdown that accompanies such terrain. The beautiful high Wasatch terrain (The race must average 9,000′ in elevation.), excellent organization, and supply of PBR at the finish helped offset the trauma.
Seriously, Karl puts on a great race for everyone with a little something for the top runners. There’s a guaranteed $3,000 prize purse – 1st $1,000, 2nd $400, 3rd $100 – and a $500 course-record bonus… and you’d better believe that Karl will do whatever he can to put more bread on the line. Last year, the race saw the likes of Nick Clark, Joe Grant, Nick Pedatella, Ben and Bethany Lewis, and Becky Wheeler. This year the field once again promises to be primo with an entrants such as Max King, Nick Clark, Timothy Olson, Ben Lewis, and Becky Wheeler. Update: Less than a week after I published this article, Kilian Jornet added his name to the mix.
Recently, the International Skyrunning Federation named Speedgoat one of five races in the Federation’s inaugural Ultra SkyMarathon Series. That ought to bring in some more talent… maybe even some from overseas.
Back to the rest of us. Not only does Karl put on a great race, he brings on a slew of sponsors that shower us with schwag. By the time things wrapped up at the finish last year, 131 of 202 starters walked away with prizes. Pretty incredible, huh?
If you’re looking to run Speedgoat this year, entry is now open. The race starts July 28 at 6:30 am MDT at Snowbird Resort in Utah’s Little Cottonwood. You will be challenged!
Call for Comments
- If you’ve run Speedgoat, share your thoughts and memories.
- If you’re thinking about running Speedgoat this year, what’s drawing you to the race?