2012 Western States 100 Group Think Predictions

Western States 100 logoFor the fourth straight year, we’ve tabulated and taken a look at all the votes cast in our Western States 100 prediction contest. In the past, these “group think” predictions have generally been better than individual pickers. So, if you’re looking for a solid relative ranking of this year’s Western States 100 competitors, look no further.

How the Group Think Predictions Work
Back to the predictions. Below, we attempt to apply a hive-mentality approach to see how the men’s and women’s fields play out when the collective thoughts of nearly 453 contest participants are accumulated. In addition to showing how many picks the top runners received for each place, we ranked the runners by MVP-style voting (i.e., 8 points for first, 7 points for second, and so on). Both the men’s and women’s tables show all WS runners who accumulated 10 or more points. Read on to see how the masses predicted the outcome for the Big Dance this weekend as well as some iRunFar analysis of those predictions and commentary on the race.

The Just Rewards
Montrail logoThanks again to all who participated in the contest! We hope you run away from it with a pair of Montrail trail shoes and some Mountain Hardwear apparel. Oh, and best of luck to all the runners the weekend. Remember to follow us on Twitter to receive updates on the leaders throughout the day.

2012 Western States 100 Men’s Field

2012 Western States 100 Group Think - men

Interesting Men’s Field Notes

  • With the most total points as well as the most votes to finish first, second, and third, Mike Wolfe is the iRunFar readers’ pick to win this year’s Western States 100.
  • While there is good separation between them, the total points as well as the votes to finish top three suggest the public thinks four guys – Wolfe, Ryan Sandes, Nick Clark, and Timothy Olson – have a best chance to reach the podium this weekend.
  • The number of men receiving 10 or more points – 28 – was the same exact number as last year. Overall, 71 men received at least one selection, down from 78 last year.
  • [Sadly, there are only so many hours in the day, and this is where my analysis ends for now. Time to get two hours of sleep before waking to cover the race. – Bryon]

2012 Western States 100 Women’s Field

2012 Western States 100 womens group think analysis

Call for Comments

  • So what do you all think about the group prediction?
  • How would you change your picks based on what you know now?
  • Want to make any of your predictions public? If so, leave a comment!
  • Any statisticians want to dive into this?

There are 11 comments

  1. dogrunner

    Group wisdom is certainly better than any guesses I would make, but I bet there is some serious non-independence in this collation. What I mean is, we all read the same insightful prospectus provided by a knowledgeable commentator, right here at iRF! That would make the group think thing just a big magnifying glass :)

    I am definitely looking forward to your race coverage though!!!

    1. Danny

      I agree to some extent that this isn't a pure hive mind but is heavily influenced by iRF. I definitely got a lot of my information from iRF's previews and interviews. Then again I'd like to think that I had a bit of original thought in there as well. For example, the cool forecast means faster running, and faster running led me to predict Ian Sharman (6th) and Mike Wardian (8th) higher than the groupthink. I was happy to see my top 3 men and top 5 women match exactly.

      I really wanted to find a spot in my 8 for Mackey but just couldn't make room with all that talent. That may have been my biggest mistake if groupthink is right.

      Men: Wolfe, Sandes, Clark, Bragg, Olson, Sharman, Kaburaki, Wardian.

      Women: Greenwood, Hawker, Kimball, Semick, Bosio, Smith, Vaught, Arbogast.

  2. Andy Mc Breen

    I believe that Western States experience or number of runs on course and Mother Nature will be instrumental factors in Tomorrows outcome. Not to mention type of terrain experience, For Example, Technical mountain trails as apposed to flat road speed performance. It will be very exciting to view all the runners' action through i run far. Thank You very much for doing a great job bringing the sport We love to new heights.

  3. Alex from New Haven

    Ellie on 100% of ballots and all but 7 have her on the podium… But between her US races, Comrades and her open talk about Ann Trason… who's going to bet against her?

    People are starting to realize that Wolfe is a really damn good runner… I bet he didn't expect to start the race as the "favorite".

    Sands is obviously "good" but how good? It's so hard to peg him against known quantities…

    Seems like Hawker and possibly Kami have been/are(?) hurt/dinged up… so they could either podium or DNF where as I think others on the women's side are more stable choices at 5-10…

  4. Danny

    By my math the groupthink ended up with 4 points for the men (WOW!!!) including nailing Sandes, Clark, and Bowman in 2nd, 3rd, and 7th respectively. Other scoring runners are Olson (4th, finished 1st) and Mackey (5th, finished 4th). These predictions give 11 points for the women, quite a bit further off the pace with only Greenwood pinned correctly. Sproston gets 1 point (7th, finished 8th), Kimball and Bosio each get 3 (3rd and 5th, finished 6th and 2nd), and any one of Hawker (2nd, finished 6th), Arbogast (6th, finished 10th), and Moehl (8th, finished 4th) add the final 4 points.

    That's 15 points total, but I find the 4 for men very impressive. Besides Kaburaki (DNS) and Semick (DNF), the highest scoring runners were Wolfe with 17 (1st, finished 18th) and Bragg with 9 (6th, finished 15th). Both masters winners were predicted correctly. We'll see how these scores stack up against all of our individual entries. Congrats to all runners, organizers, volunteers, supporters, and the iRF team for the wonderful coverage.

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