I’ll be out the Wasatch 100 on Friday and Saturday. I’m not sure when I’ll catch up with the race, but there will likely updates from Lamb’s Canyon (mid race) and almost certainly from the finish. There could be more from Big Mountain (mile 40ish) and Brighton (mile 75), as well. The easiest way for me to post in race updates is on Twitter. If you already have a Twitter account, you can follow me @iRunFar . If you’re not already on Twitter, you can sign up and then follow iRunFar. I suspect that @TheMattHart will be Twittering about the race, too. When we aren’t Twittering, Matt and I will be pacing Mandy Hosford (#155); me from Lambs Canyon (mile 53) to Brighton (mile 76) and Matt from Brighton to the finish. The race website should be providing runner updates throughout the race. Who do you think will win? [Update: A few race day notes below the fold.]
[Update: just after noon on 9/11] It’s a beautiful bluebird day in Salt Lake City. No need for the runners to worry about thunder storms. However, it’s already warm in the sun at noon. Temps should top out near 90F in SLC today. Everyone save the back of the back will bake on the exposed stretch from Big Mountain (mile 39) to Lambs Canyon (mile 53). The “Serengeti” climbing out of the Alexander Ridge (mile 47) should be particularly unenjoyable this year.
Through Big Mountain, the men’s race is shaking out to be a two man race. Returning champion Geoff Roes of Alaska is setting the pace (and course record pace at that) with a 12 minute lead on Mr. Wasatch, Karl Meltzer. Karl knows this course better than any top runner, so the race is far from over. Two-time defending Western States champ Hal Koerner was with Karl until a short while ago. Looks like it’s tough for Hal to race just two weeks after finishing the 6-day, 100+ mile GORE-TEX TransRockies Run. Will he finish? Josh Brimhall was close to the leaders early, but now appears out of contention for the lead.
The women are either smoking or smoking something. Five-time and returning champ Betsy Nye is setting a blistering pace. By my calculation, she’s on pace to run two hours faster than her fastest previous Wasatch (25:26) and 15 minutes up on her mile 28 split from last year when she ran the 25:26. That said, she knows what she’s doing and is going for the Royal Order of the Crimson Cheetah and needs to run under 24 hour to do so. Second place woman, Mandy Hosford has run Wasatch once before (34:05), but that was 5 years ago when she was primarily a climber. This is a whole nother Mandy… one who won the Wasatch Speedgoat 50k this July. It looks like she’s racing Betsy, which means she’s racing the clock for sub-24 hours, as well.
[Update: 2 p.m. MDT 9/11] With the temperatures heating up (up to 86F – temps will be an issues), the top two positions remain the same in both the men’s and women’s races. At Alexander Ridge (mile 47), Geoff Roes continues to lead and now has a quarter hour on La Sportiva’s Karl Meltzer. That said, both are flying. Roes is 14 minutes up on Kyle Skaggs’s 2006 course record pace while Karl is only a minute off that pace. Remember, Karl is a great second half runner and I can’t imagine that anyone has run the final 27 miles in from Brighton faster than Karl’s 5:10 back in 2005. For reference, Kyle Skaggs ran that same stretch in 5:38 when he set the course record and Geoff Roes ran the section in 5:22 last year. Josh Brimhall was the third man through Alexander Ridge 40 minutes behind Geoff. Back at Big Mountain (mile 39), John Anderson (came in with Josh) and Jay Aldous were in fourth and fifth with Hal falling back to sixth.
Also at Big Mountain, Betsy has added to her lead and is now 14 minutes up on Mandy. Betsy is now 19 minutes up on Krissy’s 2004 splits and is 20 minutes up own splits from last year. Jane Larkindale is sitting in the women’s third spot.
Time for Andy Jones-Wilkins to pick me up and whisk me off to Lambs Canyon. I’ll be pacing Mandy Hosford from there in a few hours. I should be on Twitter for at least another hour and a half. After that, remember to follow @TheMattHart. I should be back on Twitter before midnight MDT.