2012 Hardrock 100 Preview

Hardrock 100The Hardrock 100 kicks off at 6 am on Friday morning with what are likely the best men’s and women’s field in the race’s history. With no snow and, fortunately, smoke-free air, the course is shaping up to be fast. If the forecast mild weather holds up, that, too, will aid the runners. Regardless, the course through the San Juan Mountains will dish out a worthy test for each runner… as will the other runners. To keep things brief (for once, and for real), here’s a look at this year’s potential Hardrock 100 winners.

Ps. We’ll be covering the race live, as usual, here. (The link will go live on Thursday.)

Potential Women’s Winners – 2012 Hardrock 100

With four straight Hardrock wins and the women’s course record (27:18:24), defending champ Diana Finkel may seem an unbeatable force, but she’s got a stiff competition. Last year, Darcy Africa finished only 19 minutes behind Finkel to finish second among the women and seventh overall. In early June, Africa won the Bighorn 100 miler after a strong return to form at Transvulcania after being hampered by the injury. If there’s another woman perfectly suited to outrace Finkel and Africa around the San Juan Mountains, it’s Krissy Moehl. Back in 2007, she won Hardrock in a time three minutes faster than Finkel’s time from last year. Just three weeks ago, Moehl set a 100-mile PR (18:29:15) in placing fourth at the Western States 100 (video interview).

Potential Men’s Winners – 2012 Hardrock 100

Around Silverton, the town that hosts Hardrock’s start and finish, Dakota Jones is the odds-on favorite. He was second last year behind Julien Chorier. Since then, he’s  finished second at last December’s TNF 50 (video interview) as well as winning both the Lake Sonoma 50 (video interview) and Transvulcania 50 (video interview) this spring. The past month, he’s been living in Silverton, putting in many long days on the course (as well as tapering). Hal Koerner is also being talked up around town and with good reason. Aside from his stellar long-term resume, he ran 13:24 at Rocky Raccoon in February and has taken his longest non-winter break from racing – three months – than he has in quite a while. That suggests he’s been focusing his energies on the San Juans. Uh, and Karl Meltzer’s won Hardrock a few times and still holds the course record in the counter-clockwise direction (24:38:02). (Note: Hardrock reverses course every other running and this year it’s being run in the clockwise direction.) This year the old goat’s blazed a 14:17 in placing second to Koerner at Rocky Raccoon and won the Antelope Island 100 in March (video interview). If one thing’s certain, someone will have to run a hell of a race to beat Karl. Joe Grant’s my dark horse for the win. With all the vert he’s been doing, I think he can go sub-26, which could nab a win if misfortune befalls those listed above.

Other Contenders for Top Three: Jared Campbell, Dominic Grossman, Scott Jaime, Nick Pedatella

Other Hardrock 100 Previews

For once, I actually kept a race preview short, so here’s another perspective.

Call for Comments

Who do you think will come out on top in the men’s and women’s races?

There are 13 comments

  1. Andrew

    Loved the hard rock build up this year. I am officially in can't wait mode. Wish I could be out there to volunteer/witness the event!

    1. Mike Place

      Agreed. Karl's 10-1 odds for Jared are way, way low. He could easily come out on top, even without carnage in the front of the field. He's just that strong.

  2. Chris P.

    I think that Nick has the ability to have a great race and be in the running up front if he puts everything together well.

    Another who I would pick as a dark horse to do really well is Jon Basham (as long as he hasn't dropped and I just don't know about it). I would think the Hardrock course would suit his strengths well.

    I'm not sure if this has ever been the case before (doubtful), but it's worth noting that there are three Barkley finishers in for Hardrock this year – Jared Campbell, Jon Basham, and Blake Wood.

    Other men who may not be mixing it up with the front runners by the time they reach Cunningham, but should still keep the race interesting are Ted Mahon, Jason Poole, Jason Koop, Tim Long, Tim Parr, and Brett Gosney.

  3. thomas redeker

    does anybody have infos about kilian, where he is supposed to run in USA the next weeks, or does he cancel all his plans ?

    Thomas

    1. johnnyroyale

      'Does he cancel all his plans'? Bit harsh, as I understand it, he only pulled out of Western States because he was mourning the loss of his friend a few days previously.

      1. Mark

        I think you might be a bit too quick to interpret the meaning in that, I think Thomas is just asking if Kilian has cancelled his plans and not trying to criticise him – forgive me if I'm wrong but looks like a language barrier to me.

        Anyway, looking forward to the interviews Bryon – always good!

    1. Andrew

      I believe those four are the additional runners that Bryon is thinking could CONTEND for the top three, not his pick for the top three

  4. Bish

    1. Dakota

    2. Joe Grant

    3. Nick P

    4. Hal

    5. Karl

    6. Timmy P

    7. Diana Finkel

    8. Darcy

    9. Scott Jaime

    10. Jared C

    Others kicking butt include Dave Wilcox and Corey Hanson. Colorado folk will kick butt. Hal used to live here, so other than Karl and Jared, CO runners Will dominate. Is Jon Basham running?

    Sorry, Colorado guys/gals will use the home court.

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