2018 Hardrock 100 Live Coverage

Hardrock 100 logoThe 2018 Hardrock 100 begins in downtown Silverton, Colorado at 6 a.m. MDT on Friday, July 20th. From there, 145 runners will have 48 hours to traverse the 100 miles and 33,000-plus feet of gain in this year’s clockwise loop back to Silverton, where they’ll kiss the rock to stop the clock.

For such a small event, there’ll be some exciting action at the front of the men’s and women’s races. We’ll be livecasting the event over on iRunFar’s Twitter feed. We’ll also be combining our Twitter feed with other possible news sources in the combined feed below.

Here are a couple resources to help you follow the race:

GU EnergyAltra logoA special thanks to Smartwool for making our coverage of the Hardrock 100 possible!

Thanks also to Altra and GU Energy Labs for their support of our Hardrock coverage.

At a race as long and remote as Hardrock, there will be time gaps between our coverage. Here are some Hardrock-related nuggets to fill your time:

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iRunFar’s Live Coverage of the 2018 Hardrock 100


MAProgress’s Runner Tracking of the 2018 Hardrock 100


2018 Hardrock 100 Recorded Start Video

Meghan Hicks

is iRunFar.com's Managing Editor, the author of 'Where the Road Ends: A Guide to Trail Running,' and a Contributing Editor at Trail Runner magazine. The converted road runner finished her first trail ultramarathon in 2006 and loves using running to visit the world's wildest places.

There are 48 comments

  1. Eleanor Leigh

    @iRunFar – more pics of the women runners! You’ve got tons of men, but let us see our kickass females out there!!!

    1. Meghan Hicks

      Eleanor,

      I hope you know that we’re doing the best we can with our coverage. We are 20 people spread over an enormously remote terrain over a very long time span in challenging conditions. Always Hardrock presents interesting logistical challenges, and always we do the very best we can to cover as much of the event as we are able. :-)

      Meghan

      1. Scott

        The irunfar team always seems to do a good job with the tough logistics. Although I don’t understand why none of the men’s finishes after Ted Mahon were reported (w/ the exception of Bryon’s). It seemed like you were consistently reporting the top 10 men all day, but then not at the finish.

        I would also like to see an interview w/ the race director about Xavier’s DQ. I read the article in the Durango Herald, but it still leaves a lot of unanswered questions.

        1. Meghan Hicks

          Scott,

          A competitive break in the men’s race emerged after about mile 66 between 6th and 7th places, and going forward from there we decided to cover men in front of that break with a couple deviations when the storyline was interesting, such as Ted Mahon’s journey to his 10th finish. It might not have been noticed, but we did the same in the women’s race, where the competitive break was between 4th and 5th places. The decision to do so was a matter of managing the massive commitments of our volunteer field crews, telling the story of the ‘front’ of the race as a whole, and endeavoring to balance our women’s and men’s coverage as appropriately (given field sizes and other logistics) as we can.

          We will have more information about Xavier Thévenard’s disqualification coming, though I can’t supply a timeline for that. I feel it’s more important to gather first-hand information from all sides of the story in a respectful-for-all way than to publish a story quickly. I hope you can understand the choice to approach this in a meted manner.

    1. zzzz

      That ruined the race for me in terms of interest in this year’s results. The rules are rules no matter what thing is just lame. They ruined the race, er “run”.

      If something is inconsequential and not meant to be cheating, discretion should be used. Kind of like how the highway patrol doesn’t pull over everyone going 1mph over the speed limit.

      1. Harry Stiles

        It’s absolutely nowhere near the same as your example. Your example argues that everyone takes aid outside of aid stations, when in fact no one does because it’s one of the primary roles of every race. And don’t try to argue that extra aid does not give an advantage.

      2. zzzz

        A better example that came to mind is all the DQs at the 2018 IAAF World Indoor Championships for inadvertent lane violations. Rather than “protecting the integrity” of the race, it did the opposite and made a mockery of the sport, as well as turned off most followers.

        This, where no material advantage was gained, deserved a warning and a explanation of the rules to his friends or crew, who problem didn’t know better. By no material advantage, I mean he had a large lead, an aid station was just ahead, and getting that ice/water would have made zero difference to the results except for the DQ. A runner should know the rules, but that’s probably not the first thing that comes to mind when you see some friends spectating. He probably took the offering by instinct with thinking about it.

    2. Unjustrules

      Harrison, do you think they would have DQ’d a normal runner, back of the pack, for that? Also, someone pointed out an instance on an old “run steep get high” video (2015 I think) where jamil coury takes a swig of beer from a spectator. Is hardrock now obligated to go back and revoke his finish? Rules are rules and fair is fair, right?

      1. Harrison Fluman

        I do think they would DQ a “normal” runner. He received aid two miles up from Ouray. I don’t see the debate here.

  2. Fin

    Beyond harsh decision to DQ, Xavier for taking ice water agree with comment above total ruined the “interest”
    I can see a time penalty but really sad on sending him off really lame hardrock you suck

    1. Bob

      Agree, this ruined the event for me. There is also obviously way more to this story. Anyone who has been to Hardrock knows there are not many pure “spectators” there; practically everyone there is a sponsor, friends or family of one of the runners.

      The person that went to the Hardrock authorities to get the DQ for Xavier was most likely a member of the crew from one of the other runners or connected to one of the sponsors. This story will get really interesting if we find out it was a member of Jeff Browning’s crew or someone connected with Altra that made the DQ happen.

      iRunFar, what exactly happened? Who reported Xavier and what evidence was there?

    2. Bob

      Agree, this ruined the event for me. There is also obviously way more to this story. Anyone who has been to Hardrock knows there are not many pure “spectators” there; practically everyone there is a sponsor, friends or family of one of the runners. The person that went to the Hardrock authorities to get the DQ for Xavier was most likely a member of the crew from one of the other runners or connected to one of the sponsors. This story will get really interesting if we find out it was a member of Jeff Browning’s crew or someone connected with Altra that made the DQ happen. iRunFar, what exactly happened? Who reported Xavier and what evidence was there?

  3. 50k

    I hope the person who complained like a spoilt little brat is really “proud”! Xavier was leading from start to finish with massive lead! I am sorry to say but lot of trail events are starting to becoming anal like road/track events. The spirit of trail running is getting diluted.

    Bit of common sense, at least decide later and not make the decision during the race. If I was Xavier I would never come back to Hardrock. Personally for me the European runners make the event interesting.

    “France’s Xavier Thevenard has been disqualified from the Hardrock 100. He was only 15 miles from the finish when the announcement was made Saturday morning.”

  4. 50k

    “The Hardrock 100 adventure, this race which made me dream so much,” Thévenard wrote, “ends for my pacer and friend Bengi Girondel and me at Cunningham after 145 km of race, while we were going to run the loop in less than 24 hours!!!! I don’t contest the facts, but this (organization’s) decision is, according to me, a little bit cruel …”

  5. Hardrules

    Totally agree with comments above. A time penalty would have been sufficient. This was an extreme measure taken by amateurs. Xavier wasn’t caught using PEDs, or getting a helicopter shortcut. They should have use some better judgment on this one.
    Good job Irunfar for the coverage as usual. Thanks.

    1. Patrick

      Totally agree that a warning or time penalty would’ve been sufficient. It’s supposed to be a run, not a race, and the directors seem happy to use their own discretion when it comes to who gets in. We’ve all read about the sense of community and the support that fellow runners at Hardrock show each other, but this feels like the opposite.

  6. Emily

    Hardrock 100 on crews: “Finally, runners are not allowed to accept aid between aid stations. Any runner who takes aid where they should not may be disqualified.” The first sentence blatantly states that runners are not allowed to take aid between stations, so even if Xavier didn’t know for sure if he’d be disqualified for doing so, he’s still ignoring (or was unaware of) the rule. Seems risky. While the second sentence may be vague, when combined with the first sentence, it’s pretty clear that you’re not supposed to do it, and if you do, you’re risking a possible DQ. It’s a huge disappointment, but I don’t think it should have been a surprise. Tough call and maybe harsh, but certainly fair. And on another note, if the crew truly were there just as spectators to cheer him on, it doesn’t seem necessary that they would have ice and water with them ready to hand over.

  7. Dean G

    Interesting debate…

    While the penalty might seem harsh to some, what “time” penalty do you think is fair to someone who gets ice and water on a very hot day in the middle of 100 miles? 4 hours? 30 minutes? I can think of several major races where running out of water, or getting over-heated, has led to elite runners hitting their own personal walls, losing hours, or even dropping out. I’m not saying this would have happened to Xavier, but I think “just getting a little water” can actually be quite a big deal. This is likely why they are so clear on the rules. How would we all feel about getting a rain slicker from your crew at a meeting point on the road two miles outside Ouray? Or maybe a shoe change? How about a gel or two? We’ve probably all run out of water at some point – and I think we all know it can be a game changer.

  8. Nick

    Page 4 of the runner’s manual is incredibly clear, “Finally, runners are not allowed to accept aid between aid stations. Any runner who takes aid where they should not may be disqualified.”

    A reporter for the Durango Herald has provided some of the backstory (https://durangoherald.com/articles/232849), and his Twitter feed also has further comments (https://twitter.com/jlivi2, e.g. https://twitter.com/jlivi2/status/1020673497490571265). There was photographic evidence, which according to John, is fairly cut-and-dry. Race management talked to Xavier and his crew at an aid station before Cunningham (possibly Sherman?) to get their side of the story, and they denied giving aid outside of Ouray. Later, at Cunningham, management again talked to Xavier and his crew and this time they admitted to giving him aid. This timeline is what I’ve been able to piece together from the reporter’s feed and story. It may be wrong, the story may evolve in the future, but I think it’s worth understanding the situation before rushing to judgement like so many have.

    So, for those asking “why did it take so long?”, it sounds like it’s in part because it took a while for race management to get notified, after which they went with Xavier’s story at mile 71. Something changed between there and mile 91 – possibly the photo – at which point race management talked to Xavier again.

    The rules are crystal clear on receiving aid outside of aid stations. And it’s not just some silly rule and an obsession with rules that led us here. It may have caused the race to violate part of their permit, and it gives one competitor an extra advantage over others. It was a hot day, you bet some ice and extra water would help on the way up a big climb. Even if Xavier claims he only took a sip and a little ice, the fact that there is any question at all about how much extra help he received already mars the event and damages the integrity of everyone else’s run.

    My impression: race management didn’t rush to judgment, they took in all information and gave Xavier the benefit of the doubt, but they had to make the decision once the facts were in. It sucks for Xavier, but it’s one of the few major rules of American races. Contravening it runs counter to the ideal of a fair race and threatens the integrity of the event.

  9. BobKedsky

    Disqualification of Xavier was disproportionate! Why he was disqualified and not given other penalty? It puts race director /organisers in a bad light and creates uneasy questions about their intentions. We all agree Xavier is better runner and almost destroyed the race! Jeff’s “win” was made insignificant and will not be remembered as true win.(As much as i like what he represents and great runner he is)

  10. Sam

    Xavier 21:20 at mile 90. Disqualified for “a sip of water and handful of ice”. I can’t think of a more minor thing to disqualify someone for. There is the “law” (race rules) and there is just enforcement of the “law” with appropriate penalties based on the severity of the infarction not just an infarction alone. Was this action by hardrock a just application of the law? Would you send a teenager to prison for smoking a joint? Would you strip a major international athlete of an important win for a sip of water? Would you kick out a “normal” runner from hardrock for the same thing? Poor sportsmanship on hardrocks part especially for what is a “run” and not a “race.”

  11. DIRTY XL

    It wasn’t because he had “a sip of water and a handful of ice”. It was because he met his crew on the trail between aid stations.

  12. Nils

    If you read Xaviers Facebook, it was not really in between aid stations. They had just left an aid station where they had filled up on water when they met their girlfriends and stopped for a chatt and whithout given it much of thought had some water when offered.
    Is that really a violation that call for a DQ?

  13. b

    The whole DQ issue seems much simpler if one looks at it from the RDs perspective.They have to think about the integrity of the race short and long term. You simply cannot let that go, so there’s two options. 1; Time penalty and set a precedent that elite runners can receive aid wherever they want as long as they pay a time penalty. 2: DQ Xavier which puts a cloud over Jeff Browns win, but upholds the integrity of the race long term. There was no good solution. And to those opining that the RD should have made the call sooner, I think we can all appreciate the need to collect facts, think it over, build consensus and make the best(still brutal) call. I hope the organizers figure out how this happened, language barrier etc., and fix it.

  14. michalb

    What a shame it was ruined by the DQ – inappropriate in my view, and I can see it’s not only my point of view.

    No question Xavier did break a rule, but does it have to equal DQ? As I see it, it’s just as if a HBP in baseball (or say, a foul play in football/soccer) resulted in awarding the win to the opposite team. Sounds ridiculous? Yes it does. And I think this is just what happened here.

    To give an example from ultra trail running, in this year’s Marathon des Sables, Natalia Sedykh (a former winner) was found to be missing a part of mandatory equipment of some kind. Broke the rules? She did. Did it merit a DQ? I don’t think so. And the MdS organizers seemed to think the same as they handed her a 1 hour time penalty. Still, then-leading and eventual winner, Magda Boulet, said afterwards that she “wanted to be sure that if I were to win the overall race, it was important that the margin of victory was more than Natalia’s one-hour time penalty. I didn’t want to win because of the penalty”. That’s true sportsmanship. I’m sad to say that the Hardrock organizers didn’t demonstrate it this year.

    I really feel for Xavier, I hope that if he decides to come back to Hardrock one day, he wins it leaving no doubts. And I have to feel for Jeff Browning too, as he knows well that he wasn’t the best runner on that day. Such a “victory” cannot taste good.

  15. Maggie

    For everyone to discuss the “clouding” of Browning’s win while ignoring the taint that Xavier’s win would have had over decades of Hardrock history surprises me.

  16. syl pascale

    Very harsh, the rule states may be disqualified, C’mon man, ice water in a brutal run like this…..what if he filled up his bottle in a stream between aid stations????, same thing……don’t turn this epic race into a rule infested event like many of the stupid marathons now with 50000 entrants. Poor guy comes over from Europe and gets DQ’ed when he would have won the event. Maybe a time penalty if anything for this situation.

  17. Dean G

    “Near the Bear Creek Trail, which is closed to the public, Xavier was spotted stopped at his crew car with its hatchback open.”

    If you don’t DQ that – I’m not sure what you do DQ.

    It’s a bummer – but I’m afraid even if it were innocent – which I’m sure it was – it is 100 percent against the rules. And the penalty per the rules is DQ.

    1. michalb

      The rules don’t state that the penalty is DQ. It’s instead stated “Any runner who takes aid where they should not MAY BE disqualified” (capitals mine). That’s a big difference.
      Returning to examples from other sports disciplines, a football/soccer player MAY BE given a red card (=sent off from the game) for a foul play, but does that mean that it is the penalty for EVERY foul play? Of course not. A baseball manager MAY BE ejected from the game for arguing umpire’s decision, but do umpires eject managers for EVERY argument? Same answer here. No two infractions are the same, and it’s not right to always give the maximum penalty for each one. You can major and lesser violations of the same rule. And in case of Xavier he accepted some water from his friends just after he filled at the aid station. Not a major infraction deserving DQ in my book.

  18. Doug D

    Penalty would have been more appropriate. Impossible to completely enforce a rule like this and it did seem accidental. A strict dq may seem to be “fair”, but I suspect many others have violated this very rule on many occasions at many 100s, including hardrock… A simple example could be another runner or pacer offering a runner a gu, a salt, or a splash of water.. Sure, it violates the book, but it is within the ethos of what is normal in ultrarunning…. I think the distinction is clear between intentional “major” cheating and unintentional minor violation…. I do understand how much H20 can help, so in the future, a harsh penalty should prove to be enough. I would reccomend a 4 hour penalty as it would typically eliminate the chance of winning but also allow the runner to finish respectively…………………………… Here is a thought experiment. If a runner is running the hardrock 100, and they find a gu on the ground, should they pick it up and eat it, or should they leave it on the ground? What about a lost bottle of water?

    1. Zak

      Yeah, “another runner or pacer offering a runner a gu,” is the same as your crew car meeting you in the middle of the race? If that’s even analogous to you, you need to get a grip.

  19. Jakuchu

    “The world needs to see Bryon Powell’s post-race interview with irunfar’s Meghan Hicks! Pleeeease!”

    Pretty pleeease!!!

  20. dude

    Seems arbitrary. The “rules” are actually stated as “guidelines,” and include other prohibitions like “no whining” “enjoy yourself,” and “you must kiss the hardrock.” I’m sure many runners broke one or more of these “guidelines.” Not to mention that in almost every 100 miler I’ve run I’ve seen runners give or offer each other aid in some form or another. I’m sure hardrock is no different.
    Hard to imagine irunfar will be critical of this decision for a few obvious reasons.

  21. n

    Xavier is an experienced ultrarunner and not receiving aid between aid stations is not a unique rule. Therefore I come to the conclusion that when one breaks a rule in a race, trivial or not, that they are not respecting the race and therefore disciplinary action should be taken. Now as to what action should be taken seems pretty clear to me. If the rules say that DQ is a possibility then why would you say well lets just give a time penalty.

    The point is Xavier knew that receiving aid between aid stations was against the rules and he decided to do it do it anyway.

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