2013 Hardrock 100 Preview

Hardrock 100The 2013 Hardrock 100 starts this Friday with another quality field assembling in the grandest mountain range in the lower 48, Colorado’s San Juans. Little more than a week ago, the race was in jeopardy due to wildfires along the course, but an influx of monsoonal moisture means the race is a go. Of course, if that monsoonal flow sticks around for race day, it could be a wet and stormy one out there. Hypoxico logoOne thing’s for sure, there’s not a lot of snow along the course this year!

As usual, iRunFar will provide live coverage of the 2013 Hardrock 100. Thanks to race sponsor Hypoxico, maker of altitude training systems, for supporting our coverage of the 2013 Hardrock 100!

Women’s Preview

Darcy and Sophia Africa - 2012 Hardrock 100

Darcy Africa

No offense guys, but the race to watch at this year’s race could be the women. Last year’s women’s champ Darcy Africa (2012 pre- and post-race interviews) will be back to defend her title having spent plenty of time on the course this year. Earlier this year, she also won the shortened version of Miwok (60k) before taking second at the Squaw Peak 50 Mile in early June. [We’ve wrapped up our pre-race coverage with this pre-race interview with Darcy Africa.]

Four-time Hardrock women’s champ Diana Finkel promises to put pressure on Darcy all day. In fact, Diana had a full hour lead on Darcy when she dropped at mile 85 of last year’s Hardrock. This spring, Finkel took second at the Zane Grey 50 Mile before winning the Jemez Mountain 50 Mile in late May, breaking her own course record from 2012 by 11 minutes. Given her history at the Hardrock, you’ve got to call Finkel the favorite to win again this year. Heck, having nearly won Hardrock outright in the past… she could threaten to do so again this year.

Tracy Garneau

Tracy Garneau

Where, oh, where has Tracy Garneau been? She won Western States in 2010 and took fourth there a year later. Then, she won the HURT 100 and TNF EC Bear Mountain in the first half of 2012, but that’s it from this Canadian in the past two years. Anyone know how Tracy is fairing in the lead up to this year’s Hardrock? If she’s fit, she certainly has the talent and skill set to run well. Update: Well, we now know where Tracy isn’t… and it’s at Hardrock. She failed to check in before the 11 am Thursday deadline, so she won’t be racing this year.

Last year’s third-place woman Darla Askew has been running well again this spring with strong runs at the Gorge Waterfalls 50k (3rd), Capitol Peak 50 Mile (win), and Pocatello 50 Mile (2nd). She’s unlikely to outrun any of the three ladies already mentioned… but Hardrock’s rarely about outrunning anyone, so another podium spot is surely a possibility.

While little known outside of Utah, Sarah McCloskey (neé Evans) has been training hard and is ready to surprise on a larger stage. Last summer, McCloskey took third at the competitive Speedgoat 50k before finishing second at the Wasatch 100. I don’t think she’ll win Hardrock, but a podium seems possible if not likely.

The Betsies, Nye and Kalmeyer, are infused and intertwined with the spirit of Hardrock. While their speediest days are likely behind them, their experience and the relatively small number of women in race mean either could go top five if/when things get ugly out there.

Men’s Preview

Sebastien Chaigneau

Seb Chaigneau

While it’s hard to name a Hardrock rookie as the favorite, France’s Sebastien Chaigneau is likely just that on the men’s side. Not one to overwhelm with speed, his second (2009) and third (2011) places at TNF Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc show just how strong and patient a runner he is. [Our post-2011 UTMB and pre-2013 Hardrock 100 interviews with Seb.]

Why isn’t Karl Meltzer the favorite? Well, he just took tenth at Western States 12 days before Hardrock. That’s why. If When Karl starts, he’ll not be the same runner who’s capable of 24-hours and change at Hardrock. Not after his calf injury and so close on the heels of a strong run at States. That said, it’d be silly not to pick the Speedgoat to be in the hunt for a podium spot. [In addition to our 2013 pre-race interview with Karl, we have 2011 and 2012 pre-race interviews)

Why isn’t 2010 Hardrock champ Jared Campbell the favorite? Three words: Ronda del Cimes. Yeah, that’s right, Jared Campbell took on Andorra’s brutal 100+ mile race less than three weeks before Hardrock. Yes, Jared knows how to slog and how to recover from one, but a 33-and-a-half-hour race still has to take something out of you heading into Hardrock. Also, Campbell took 13th at last year’s Hardrock in 29:38.

Joe Grant - Hardrock 100 2011

Joe Grant

Ok, while Sebastien Chaigneau might be the favorite on paper, experience means a ton at Hardrock… which is why a fresh Joe Grant might just have the best chance of winning the race this year. Joe is this year’s top returning runner after taking second 16 minutes behind Hal Koerner in 2012. (Joe Grant and Dakota Jones post-race interview) Joe’s run at the Iditarod Trail Invitational this winter can only have made him that much tougher. Aside from a disastrous go at Transvulcania, Joe’s been laying low the past few months. [Our pre-2013 Hardrock 100 interview with Joe.]

This year’s wildcard is Chris Price of California. Last year’s Angeles Crest champ heads east to take on the steeps of the San Juans. Chris has had great success racing in California – hardly ever finishing below second, but he ain’t in SoCal any more. At the end of April, he took on the Zane Grey 50 Mile taking fourth – nearly forty minutes behind third-place runner Jamil Coury.

Like I was saying, experience counts at Hardrock and Troy Howard has a fast (26:01) second place at Hardrock to his credit back in 2009. However, over the past few months Troy ran 11th at the Quad Rock 50 Mile before taking 14th at the Golden Gate Dirty Thirty 50k. Those aren’t Hardrock podium performances.

The Coury brothers, Jamil and Nick, know both Silverton and Hardrock well. Jamil’s been racing well over the past year with wins at the Mongollon Monster 100(+) Mile and Old Pueblo 50 Mile before a third at Zane Grey. On the other hand, younger brother Nick represented the US at the 24-Hour World Championships earlier this year after running nearly 140 miles at the Desert Solstice 24 Hour last December.

Scott Jaime - 2012 Hardrock 100

Scott Jaime

If there’s a quiet spirit of Hardrock it’s Scott Jaime. In a small race filled with big personalities, you’re most likely to notice Fast Eddy for his ever present smile somewhere along the sidelines. On the experience front, Jaime has five top-ten Hardrock finishes, including a second (2008) and fourth (2009). He’s lined up for four 50 milers in the past four months in the lead up to Hardrock winning the Antelope Island Buffalo Run (6:24), taking ninth at Zane Grey and fifth at the PCT 50, and, um, not running as well at Jemez Mountain.

Ted Mahon was fifth at last year’s Hardrock and, as such, is the second highest placing returnee from last year. We can’t find a result for Ted since his seventh place at last September’s The Bear 100. Ted, how’s it going?

Adam Hewey wins plenty of local races in the Pacific Northwest without ever really taking a big one. That said, his resume is plenty impressive. He was second at last year’s San Diego 100 in 17:54 after finish second at the Cascade Crest 100 a year earlier in 19:05. Hewey’s also taken sixth at Hardrock in 2010 in just under 31 hours.

Last year’s 9th man, Jason Poole is back again in 2013. He squeaked under 29 hours last year (28:57).

Other Men Who Could Surprise:

  • Matt Hart – We’d have Hart listed above, but he’s currently fifth on the previously-run wait list… so the surprise would be him getting in.
  • Mick Jurynec

Call for Comments

  • Who do you think will come out on top in the men’s and women’s races?
  • Who’d we miss in our preview?
  • Any info on runners who’ve raced infrequently of late?

There are 41 comments

      1. Tahoe Pete

        there is so such thing as a 100% podium at hr healthy or unhealthy. Way to many variables. I am sure Chris is a great runner but lets be real.

    1. KenZ

      That is so very very cool. Could you say a bit more about the data- is it using finish data from just 2011 race, or every counterclockwise HR ever? If the latter, would be pretty simple to also add +/- standard dev times on there, so that if you're shooting for, say, a 30 hour finish, your goal time to Pole Creek would be 4:30, with a high/low stdev bracket range of 4:17-4:43. (I'm making those numbers up, but you get the idea).

      I did that sort of thing, manually, for my upcoming race using the last 4 years of split data for runners with finishes in a certain range (e.g. 30-32 hours finish time, I broke out each check point with an average and std-/std+). It was a pain in the rear!

  1. NickP

    Jaime and I took the more 'scenic' route at Jemez…and then drank beer at the aid stations. I wouldn't put any weight on that race.

      1. Anonymous

        PBR (37) and some home brew (47) courtesy of Steve Pero. Steve's beer was delish, a pilsner that was oh so cold!

  2. Bohica

    Women:

    1. Diana Finkel – I'd love to see a top 5 overall.

    2. Darcy Africa – Such a steady and smart runner.

    3. Tracy Garneau – Who knows?

    4. Betsy Kahlmeyer – Vet of many HR's knows about attrition if nothing else.

    5. Someone not on this list most likely

    Men:

    1. Joe Grant – Finally gets a big one.

    2. Seb – Who knows? Could get lost and DNF or crush it and win.

    3. Jared Campbell – Can he recover from Ronda?

    4. Ted Mahon – Darkhorse to win. I'm rooting for him.

    5. Karl Meltzer – Still injured?

    I'd love to see Troy Howard do well also. Maybe he was out for training runs at Quad and the Dirty 30? He was strong in Leadman last year.

  3. Mike Place

    I'm telling you, watch out for Sarah Evans-McCloskey. Fresh off a win at Bighorn and crazy-fit, she can mix it up with Darcy and Tracy. The women's race is going to be a burner.

    1. Frank

      "Fresh off a win"… don't you mean tired from her win? Crushing a 100 mile run just 3 weeks ago eliminates her from a chance of a podium.

      1. Speedgoatkarl

        no it doesn't. :-) Sarah is very fit right now, I bump into her many times. I also ran my fastest Hardrock by over 2 hours 24:38 3 weeks after a record at Bighorn. So yes, she can hit the podium. Diana and Darcy are tough to beat, but this race is a bit different, it ain't no track meet.

        1. Frank

          I of course hope she crushes it! But just because you did it doesn't mean anyone else can. You're a freak… and I mean that with nothing but respect!

  4. Anonymous

    The Pirate (Chaigneau) is built for a race (should i say run) like Hardrock. I woyuldn't put it past him to run under 24 hours.

    Ahoy!

  5. Jen

    Come on Speedgoat and Darcy… Let's face it, WS100 was a little speed workout for Karl. Now he can go do what he does best. Darcy will run smart and has the experience! Wishing you both an awesome race. Time to Fly:)

  6. NickP

    There is actually four weeks between Bighorn and Hardrock this year (June 14 -> July 12). Either way it is probably enough time to have a good run at Hardrock. It might be rough with only two weeks though… ;-)

    If anything being a bit tired going in can be good as it forces you to run a smart(er) race. Hardrock is long and slow enough that I don't think you need to be on top form to have a good race – the length almost allows you to get away with being slightly off form if you run smart.

  7. David

    This hardrock is such like an european race. The elevation is perfect for him..

    Seb chaigneau is one of the best european trail ruNners. Hope, Seb will be the first with the race record in less than 23 hours ??

    1 Chaigneau

    2 Grant

    3 Poole

    1. FastEd

      David – the elevation or elevation "gain" is perfect for him? I can tell you that it's the elevation that is the toughest aspect of the race to overcome. If you have a small problem here, it's 10 fold compared to UTMB.

      LIke Karl said, don't kid yourself. What Kyle Skaggs laid down in 2009 is one of the stoutest records out there. I have no doubt that Seb is a very talented runner based on his results but just look what Julian C. did here a couple years ago and what he's done since and I would say Seb's time would be comparable. But that's why we line up… What IS possible?

      1. Dave T.

        i think Seb could lay down a fast time. however it wont be close to under 23 hours.
        regarding julian's time, his was very fast, however his effort was even more impressive considering the weather, the water, and the long course. dale indicated it was one of or the toughest runnings of the hr100. of course you know better than most.

  8. Tahoe Pete

    Has to be Joes year. To much experience for the pirate. Should be a great race. The womans race I think goes to Finkle who will also get 3rd overall.

  9. Franco

    You need to get an interview with Grant and Krupicka before or after this shit – do they sleep together in the truck or what?

  10. Ian Sharman

    I think Seb's such a pro in the mountains that he'll be tough to beat. Then Darcy for the women's win – didn't she run Big Horn just before last year but hasn't got that in her legs this time?

  11. Ben Lewis

    Having had a 33 hour front row seat to Jared Campbell's performance at Ronda dels Cims I can say with certainty that he will be fully capable of mixing it up at the front.

  12. Clark

    If Kyle's record is on the verge of being smashed the same way Matt Carpenter's Pikes Peak record was on the verge of being smashed last summer, I for one am not holding my breath. That said, good luck to all!

  13. sheffieldnick

    Thanks for the suggestion KenZ! It is only using the finish data from the 2011 race. It is pretty easy to build a calculator using all the counterclockwise years, to get an "average" year. More work to show those range bars that you suggest.

    Cheers

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