Competition: Can You Feel It Spreading?

With the two big 100-mile lotteries in the rearview mirror and the respective fields taking shape for the big summer 100’s one thing stands out for me, the competition is dispersing across the landscape and I am not sure what to think about it.

Western States has eight women and eight men from last year’s top-10 returning. A few top names got in via the lottery but many others were shut out. Interestingly, in two days after the lottery, several runners appeared on the entrants list that had not been entered in the lottery.  A few of them were top-10 runners from 2011 and a couple others may have earned slots through Special Consideration which had the net effect of strengthening the field.  Additionally, there are quite a few spots to be had in the Montrail Ultra Cup races but aside from the field at Bandera I don’t see a top-10’er coming out of Sonoma, Leona, or Ice Age. Those races are just too close to the Big Dance to allow anyone to adequately recover for a serious run at the front. So, in general, the current Western States field looks to be a bit shallower than in past years and that is mostly because of…

Hardrock!

This year the lottery Gods were looking down fondly on some of the top American runners in this lottery and, as such, many of the top runners in the US will be toeing the line in Silverton come July. Assuming everyone stays healthy this will be far and away the most competitive race in Hardrock history. But, will it be the top race of the summer? I am not sure, Western States will still claim its fair share of the top guys/gals and with most of the Europeans essentially shut out, unless the Hardrock organizers completely change their ethos and cave, there will not be another Salomon invasion of this race in 2012. Good or bad, I just don’t see Dale, Blake or the Board letting that happen. So this field is essentially set, up to about #30 on the waitlist.

Which brings us to Leadville. Anyone, of course, can get into this one as long as their money’s green and they can stomach the aid station food. Perhaps this will be the year, given that Hardrock and Western States are lacking some top American and international runners, that someone could take a stab at Carpenter’s course record. The competition here seems to be slowly moving beyond the Front Range and a few out-of-staters have even cracked the top-5 in the last couple years. It’s hard to say at this point but one thing’s for sure, this will turn out to be quite a race, in spite of itself.

Next, there’s UTMB. This is an event that has clearly become World Championship caliber. And, with Europe’s loose wilderness ethic and the openness of the course a couple thousand people can get in and usually do. So, in that context, it’s a biggie. But, the race is in Europe and it is at the end of August. For some, Chamonix is an attraction and for others it is a deterrent. But, given the way this season is lining up, it could be the race we’re all watching. And, if any Americans make the trip over, they can do some serious damage control.

But wait, now there’s a $100,000 purse on the line at a new little 100 mile race in Steamboat Springs in September. (iRF article) Could someone recover from a win at Western States or Hardrock and win this one too? How about the injured folks? Could they capitalize on the summer’s carnage and take the big payday after they’ve recovered and the leaves start to change? Time will tell, of course, but it’s looking to be more and more difficult to bring all the best runners all together in one place at one time to hammer it out. This cash purse could be the last best chance we’ve got.

Maybe that’s good and maybe that’s not.

From where I sit we have arrived at an interesting intersection. Coming from one direction is the desire on the part of the fans of the sport and, to some extent, from the runners, as well, to see a pure championship event that pits all the best runners against one another at one time. From the other direction are the organizers of the events themselves who, while they may have an interest in some kind of championship and may even want their event to lay claim to such a championship, are mainly interested in the success of their own, particular event. In the case of Western States, Hardrock, Leadvllle, UTMB, and, now, Run Rabbit Run, we know the race organizers are as diverse as the sport itself. And, in the end, it is perpetuating the beauty and simplicity of the sport that I hope all these organizers have in common.

So, alas, as we settle ourselves in for a long winter’s night and look back on 2011 it is also quite intriguing to look ahead. If I were a betting man, as complex and didactic as the conversations about 2011 UROY have been, I can only imagine how much fun the 2012 conversation will be. And, we haven’t even started!

Bottoms Up!

AJW

AJW Taproom’s Beer of the Week
This week’s Beer of the Week is Scott Jaime’s favorite – Sculpin IPA from Ballast Point Brewing and Spirits. And, I gotta say, it’s one of the best I’ve ever had (even if it is from Southern California :) ).

Go out and get one of these. Better on tap but good just about anywhere, anytime…

Call for Comments (from Bryon)

  • Which 100 miler(s) are you most excited to follow in 2012?
  • Which 100 miler do you think will have the best set of runners going for the win? Will a different race have the deepest field of top runners?
  • Do you think 2012 will start a trend toward additional “dilution” of competition at 100s? Do you wish that the top 100 mile runners were congregating at a smaller set of races? What are some ways to bring the top competition together?
Andy Jones-Wilkins: finished in the top 10 men at the Western States 100 7-straight times. He's sponsored by Patagonia and Drymax socks and is iRunFar's editorialist.

View Comments (112)

  • I know this has been re-hashed again and again and it will probably never happen, but in an ideal world what I think would be really cool would be...

    1. Either via the USATF or IAAF hold a "true" trail 100 mile U.S. and World Championships with Gold, Silver, Bronze awarded just like the U.S. and World T&F Championships, even a sort of "Diamond League" for the highest scoring performers in some predetermined race/event series. Ok, I know there already is a USATF "trail championships" but Burning River 100? Please! It's a paper championship at best. No series trail runners are going to be racing there. It's time we admit that it's the big marquee races that are the defacto trail championships. So with that it like to see...

    2. Use WS100, Hardrock, Wasatch, Leadville, UTMB, etc... as the venues for future World Championship Trail 100 Mile evnets... they'd rotate on an annual basis.

    Short of prize money, the prestige of winning an actual Gold, Silver, Bronze medal from a sanctioned and legitimate (not a paper) World Championship would in my mind draw out the competition. I mean what elite ultrarunner hasn't watched the Olympics or World Championships and not wondered what it'd be like to be competing on the world stage?

    Yeah it's a pipe dream, but as mainstream as ultras are slowly becoming and with the growing running boon perhaps this is the time to really try and push for more recognition of our sport to the USATF and IAAF and Olympics? Nobody said it would be easy!

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  • WS, HR etc. can't ever be the "world championship" because they don't let in elite athletes because they are elite. RD's have to change that policy...and they won't. Done. It won't happen with those races. We needed a new one, and it's in Steamboat and at the perfect time of year. UROC and NF50 are icing on the cake for more added competition at shorter races. Steamboat will not be labeled a "championship race", it's just the Steamboat 100, and it happens to have lots of cash in the pot (hopefully). If it becomes a championship, we'll find that out in a few years.

    The USATF or IAAF should not be involved, simply because they don't have any clue on what ultrarunning is, why have a governing body that has no real interest in ultrarunning. "sanctioning of a race" is just a way to put their name on it. IF USATF and IAAF made the rules, it just wouldn't work. Each race should have it's on flare and own sanction...sanctioned by the RD.

    AJW is right, there is alot of spreading around of elite runners, but I see that because there is not real draw to travel across the country to race for a buckle or whatever. Hopefully Steamboat will draw all the top guys an gals on a good solid course, (I personally would like to see it tougher), and all the comp will be there. Is it called a championship? NO, it's the Steamboat 100 and happens to have alot of cash in the pot. UROC and NF50 will be great followups. More and more races will have cash, and once that happens, it'll just keep spreading the money around, which is good for the sport as a whole..in my humble opinion.

    It's impossible to use WS and HR as the defacto because of old school RD's, but that's the way they want it, so let it be. Steamboat will be the big dance.

    WS could have their day too if they wanted, problem is, a few get in through the lottery, many faster guys and gals get shut out and if they really want to run WS, they have to qualify through an Ultra cup race, not even a 100 miles? Montrail has essentially started a monopoly on how the elite field gets picked. Not so sure if that's good or bad, but they have a good gig going on that idea.

    The Speedgoat 100 will happen Rob, hang in there.....

    The cash purse is the last chance we've got to get all the big boys and girls to race, and at 100 miles, all variables come into play. reality is what it is, money talks, bullshit walks. I'm running for the money, even if I have no chance.

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    • The USATF 'Championship' sanction and their 'involvement' is the kiss of death to any event.

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    • Yeah, it's a shame but $$$ is about the only thing left to draw the cream of the crop to one place. That's why I'd say "ideally" when I'm talking about some sort of National/International "sanctioning" and recognition. To crown a real US and WORLD Champion with GOLD, SILVER and BRONZE medals would be the ideal. But yes, short of that it's gotta to be the $$$ that draws 'em in.

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      • While I agree that there needs to be some changes with how USATF deals with ultra championships, Bandera seems to have a pretty strong field for next year. Assigning USATF championships to races that are committed to increasing competition and support athletes is key, but the bidding process can sometimes prevent this from happening. RD's have enough to work on without putting together a bid.

        The MUT council includes several experienced and well respected ultrarunners to not have a clue.

        http://www.usatf.org/about/directory/info.asp?par...

        You surely don't need USATF or IAAF to have a big competitive race, but I've never seen a non-organized running championship that has the level of international competition as the the IAAF races.

        I do remember reading a lot of complaining after UTMB the past two years, much more so than what I've heard for IAU/IAAF races.

        The level of athlete support at the IAU/IAAF races is far above any other ultra that I can think of. UROC is going in that direction, though.

        The thing with prize money is that it doesn't help runners who can't afford to depend on winning a good deal of money to attend the race (travel, race fees, housing). Having a deep prize structure will help, but this will not have the same effect as the organization and support involved in IAU/IAAF championships.

        I'd be really interested in hearing comparisons from runners who have competed at big US and international ultras as well as USATF and IAU/IAAF events.

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  • Didactic? You writer types sure look in the dusty corners of dictionaries for words:)

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  • what we really need is for there to be a formula... first, we need to divide the runners into different "conferences."

    then, we'll have a series of polls, written by runners and coaches and media that rank the runners from 1-25.

    then, we'll get several computers to take into account all sorts of variables like elevation gain, altitude, strength of competition, etc. these computers will rank the runners, too.

    these rankings will go up and down throughout the year, according to wins, losses, etc.

    then, we'll come up with a way to combine the human polls and the computer rankings to find out who the top 2 runners are and then we'll have them race together, head to head, in a 2 person race. and, let's make this race weeks and weeks after the regular season is over.

    this system is working SO WELL for college football... you know, really keeping the sport "pure," i think ultra-running should just adopt it wholesale.

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    • Hahahahahahah!!!!

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  • Quick update, I saw on Facebook that Jez Bragg registered for WS last night. So, if someone can just call Tsuyoshi and tell him to sign up will have all 10 men on the list. Still two women to go to get last year's 10.

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    • I can fill in for Kaburaki if needed.

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      • Me too...

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        • Schlarb you're fast enough to run yourself in... plus, I don't think your hair will be long enough to pull of being Kaburaki.... then again, I'm not fast enough to pull off being Kaburaki. You win! :-)

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  • Great article, AJW. While I am not quite ready for the likes of the premiere races you listed, I was wondering what your perception of the Angeles Crest 100 is. Do you or anyone else have any thoughts about this race?

    Speedgoat Karl, is your 100-miler happening this year?

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    • Did AC once years ago,thought it was very well run,gj Hal and Ken,really diverse course,fair amount of downhills,of course i bonked(thats a given)but as i crested last Mt top and saw the lights of Pasadena,(i,m used to small cities),i remarked to the runner next to me how huge the city looked,he laughed and said,"that's only a small part of it!".

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  • AJW,

    How good do you feel about Hardrock starting "30 deep" on the wait list?

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  • I'm pretty positive your wrong about no top 10er coming from Ice Age ;)

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    • Come on... any hints at who that might be? :-)

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  • Jason, would love to see you sneak in through a MUC race. This course suits your strengths well.

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    • I hope Kaburaki signs up. It would be great to have the entire men's 2011 top-10 back. It'd be the first time in awhile.

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  • On the UROY list

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    • If you're talking about AJW's UROY list, all four men and women are already in States.

      That said, someone like Flaherty could hit Ice Age and, possibly, run top ten at WS100.... then again, it's a big leap (not impossible) to top 10 there as a first time 100 mile runner given the wicked depth there these days.

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    • What UROY list?

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  • Seeing Kilian on the WS start list, can't help but wonder if he has the CR in mind this time around? Hey, with the snow in the high country extremely mild compared to last year currently and with forecasters predicting La Nina being more mild compared to previous years, at the very least, Robinson Flat should be in the cards this year (hoping for Lyon/Red Star too). And if Kilian does run PPM as planned, what an impressive double that would be if he won both. Even though I won't be on the start line in Squaw, I'm looking forward again to this years race.

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    • Jacob, the thing is that the snow courses are MUCH faster than the non-snow courses and I'm pretty sure that the snow doesn't slow someone like Kilian down much. (Heck, I think I ran the first 15 miles faster because of the snow this year.) If (and it's a HUGE if), he could run under Roes' time on a non-snow course you're talking about the best trail ultra performance during my decade in the sport.... and, most likely, ever.

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      • I agree. Joe Uhan and I ran from Squaw to Michigan Bluff on Oct. 22nd of this year (via Lyon and Red Star) and he commented the same thing, the snow course was much faster (with lethargic legs, it took us 7+hrs to get to Rob. Flat! ha). Granted, Granite Chief/Lyon/RS are so beat up from a combo of lack of trail maintenance & being pummeled by the elements over the past few years, but yeah, it would be unreal for sure.

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        • If the organizers are able to get us back on the real course (for the first time since 2009!) everyone will be happy and some of the giddiness about these record times in 2010-11 should wane.

          That said, the course from Last Chance to the Finish remains unchanged and Geoff and Anton nailed that in 2010. Kilian and Mike ran it well in 2011 but not in top-10 ever kind of times. The truth is, until we return to the real course we really won't know how stout the 2010 Geoff/Anton times are.

          Here's hoping we can get there in 2012! And not take the boats across the river either!

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  • I gotz no problem with RRR, but I can't believe all this 100 grrrr talk with no real scheme for 100 grrr other than they're open for it.I mean the landscape has changed for corporate sponsorship ( they now have their own races for this reason. ) Its a lot of money and everyone has been so free to hype it thus far. I mean I won't even get a $12.50 buckle?

    Probably not the right post to comment on but??!!

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    • have patience Hal, the 100 g's will happen... ok, maybe not all of it, but most of it. hope you'll be there to be a part of it.

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  • I may very well be wrong. However, historically, it's been all but impossible to come back from a hard effort so close to the race and pull off a top-10 at WS. Some folks have had good WS races after good Miwok's but most have admitted that they either sandbagged a bit at Miwok or were not 100% recovered by WS. With Ice Age in mid-May (traditionally a week later than Miwok) and WS taking place at the earliest date possible for the race I believe it would make a full recovery from Ice Age even more difficult. Of course, if a weak field assembles at Ice Age and a runner can cherry pick a top-2 without an full-on effort that I may, indeed, be proven wrong. But, until that happens I am sticking with my notion that a top-10'er will not come from Ice Age.

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    • If I'm remembering right in 2010 Meghan won Ice Age and then got top ten at WS.

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    • 2nd place men at each of the last two WS ran really fast times at Miwok. also 4 of this year's top 10 men at WS ran Miwok. miwok and WS are 7 weeks apart. i really don't think a race that far out has much of a negative effect on most runners.

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      • and don't forget nick clark's 3rd place finish at hardrock. some runners bounce back super quick.

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  • Ben, just curious, what trail races are IAAF races?

    I know USATF races get the "title's" cuz the RD's put their race in as a bid, it's unfortunate USATF can't be the one that decides what race they should be.

    Noone complained about UTMB, mother nature was just angry...very angry. :-)

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    • The 50 mile trail race is IAU, but the IAU is basically the IAAF for ultras. All the details are handled by the IAU. The IAU 100k and 24 hrs are recognized by the IAAF, and so is the WMRA Championship. It doesn't really matter which organzization is doing the organizing. Mountain runners considered the WMRA Trophy a world championship before it was recognized by the IAAF.

      Many people are on the same page as you on the what I refer to as the backwards nature of the bidding process. The reality is that the races are doing most of the work of creating the championship, and some of that work requires extra money. For a new or smaller race, winning a USATF title may help increase field sizes are attract sponsors, but these incentives are not relevant to big, successful races (where everyone would want to go for a championship). It's just more work. The current bidding process also can result in odd annual schedules, like this year.

      USATF should make the bidding process easier for RD's, and approach races to encourage them to bid. They had success at White River, and Bandera looks like it is going in the same direction.

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  • No Speedgoat 100 this year, but more likely in 2013

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  • I love AC100. It was my first 100 miler back in 2000 and I've run it four times. It's a classic point to point course, it's got old school organization, the views are amazing during the first 70 miles, and the timing is good for Summer training. Downside is it can be hot and the last 25 miles are enough to pucker up even the toughest runners out there

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    • Is this the first year AC is in July? I am going to do it if Hardocks wait list denies me.

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  • I think 30 deep is almost a guarantee and 45-50 is more likely. With the lottery happening two months earlier this year I think attrition off the start list will be greater than it's been in the past.

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    • i'll second AJW's prediction. hardrock waiting list will go at least into the 40s and quite possibly 50s

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      • If you guys are right the Icepick ales are on me in July.

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  • Some of the elite ultra runners might want to be careful what they wish for. Bring money into the sport and it just might attract some real elite runners.

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    • How do you know that the guys that are currently at the top of the sport are not "real elite" runners? This debate has been going on and on here but I'm still sure that it takes a different kind of talent to do well at a mountain 100 than a flat 26.2.

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      • I'm sure Kenyans can't run in mountains.

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        • Kenyans, Ethiopians, Chinese, Americans, Spaniards and everyone in between can run in the mountains. Thing is, if I were Kenyan, and could run a 2:08 marathon. I"d stick with that, and win many of the "smaller" marathons, like LA, Houston, stuff like that. Kenyans, just haven't ventured into ultras yet, when they do, we know they'll be good, but where are they? Let's see it, bring em' on. I may get smoked, but who cares, it'll still be fun right?

          Don't say we americans aren't good when you are comparing to others that don't exist. Running 100 miles is alot different than 26.2, especially on technical singletrack.

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          • First off I didn't mean any disrespect to the elite ultra runners. Saying "real elite" was the wrong choice of words. It seems lately that all the talk has been about competition and money. I just wondered if the elites thought about who may be attracted to ultras if money comes into the sport. It's just too bad that money has to be the thing that will bring the best competition together. Money is the root of all evil.

            It's cool that you are ready to take on all comers,Karl! You're an insporation for sure.

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    • be careful what they wish for? in my mind the best thing that could come of more big money races would be if more top level runners from around the world were drawn into the sport of mountain ultra running. to me that's the biggest appeal of big money races. It's not about wanting to win money, but wanting to run against the field of runners that might be attracted to a big money race. It's happened already to a lesser degree at the NF50 where there seems to be a few sub 2:20 marathoners who show up each year. If an even bigger prize race brought in sub 2:10 marathoners that'd be even more exciting.

      as to the question of whether they'd dominate the race or not? if the example that's been set by the sub 2:20 guys at NF is any indication, then certainly some folks would fare better than others, but it doesn't appear likely that very many would outrun the current top level 100 mile mountain runners. I'm sure there are several sub 2:10 marathoners out there who could be very strong 100 mile mountain runners, but for every one of them there are probably several who would struggle mightily. then again, until any of them actually give it a try it's all kind of just silly speculation.

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      • Before NF 50 2010 had you heard of Miguel Heras? I had not heard of him,that's not saying much, because outside the U.S.A. I don't pay much attention to runners. It seems to me though that a lot of people had not. The point is the money will bring more attention to ultras,which will bring more guys like Miguel to come collect. That's just one guy.

        One of the other things that comes with money is cheating (doping). Bringing that into the sport might be something to think about. I will never be elite,but one of the things I've loved about the sport of Ultrarunning is that it's pure. Sadly,that may change.

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        • This is ridiculous. Money is the "root of all evil". Come on, I get up to work every day and make money, I also swam Div I in college and didn't make jack sh$$ even though that was my life- training 5hrs a day for years. I will never make money doing ultra's but I sure as heck think people at the top of the field should. There is nothing wrong with it and they deserve it.

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          • Yeah,it's ridiculous that money is the root of all evil. What motivates 99% of crime?

            I never said the top of the field didn't deserve money. I just said be careful what you wish for.

            Thanks for letting us know that you were a Div 1 swimmer, bet you don't get to bring that up much.

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  • in terms of the original post i think AJW raises some good points. are the top races getting spread too thin because there seems to be so many of them now? As much as this seems like it is likely to happen it certainly hasn't been the case and doesn't seem like it'll be the case in 2012. to me WS looks as solid as ever with almost everyone back from the past couple years. HR - likely the strongest field ever. leadville remains to be seen, but i've heard some big names who have it on their radar. RRR already has 4 or 5 of the top 100 milers in the country on board. UROC has doubled their prize money and will likely be as strong or stronger than last year. Add to this the fact that kilian is planning to spend most of his summer training/racing in the states and I feel like 2012 will have even more races with impressively deep fields than the last few years. I do agree that there are more and more very high profile races each year, but I also think there are significantly more runners pushing themselves to compete at the front of the pack and attempting to do so several times each year. almost all of the top runners are racing 5+ big races a year so you can easily have 8 or 10 races each year with a huge amount of top level competition. just think about how many races there were this year that probably had their deepest field ever: Bandera, Rocky Racoon, Chuckanut, Miwok, WS, Hardrock, UTMB, UROC, NF (to name a few). on the surface is seems like with so many high profile races that competition should be getting spread thin, but in reality it seems to me like the opposite is happening.

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    • Geoff is right, extremely competitive elite fields have remained constant or increased as the number of races has increased. As popularity of ultra running increases, the overall number of ultra runners increases. A percentage of these new additions will start out at or over time rise to the elite level.

      Certainly an exciting time to be in the sport and a fan of the sport.

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      • I wonder what happens when the Born To Run 'bubble' bursts?

        As to the elites of the sport, its a very small group that dominates the above mentioned races. How interested is the general public in these people and the sport itself (and for how long)? How much revenue does their racing actually generate for the sponsors and advertisers (admittedly, sponsoring these athletes is certainly a bargain at this point ... it is not NASCAR)? What happens to the these money races when the sponsors take their money elsewhere (if that money shows up at all) or when they decide they can cut out the middleman and simply put on their own event (or dictate the terms).

        A bit on a tangent to the discussion, I am watching with interest how the PCTR fiasco plays out in California. An over-ambitious race schedule with too little help; a competing company spun off and offering much the same races after the original organizers went their separate ways (competing with other organizers offering the same distances at virtually the same venues); a whole lot of unhappy customers voicing their dissatisfaction over cancelled races quite publicly on Facebook ... yet, they have a company PCTR racing team. Seems like one should take care of the 'paying customers' first. I hope it all works out.

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        • I was thinking about all that money purse yesterday, granted that post is long behind now. I wonder what companies would contribute as much as 90k to make up close to what advertised, and why would they want to. the big shoe companies like Montrail and North Face have their own races/series, Salomon and La Sportiva are Euro companies, so is Inov8, Perl Izumi is not that popular in trail shoe world...and from their stand point (not only shoe, any trail-related company that might be expected to step in), if the race is won by someone other than the guy/gal wearing/eating/drinking/using otherwise their product, how would they write off that inot their budget and why would they hope it'll bring them new customers? Of course most of us are aware that it's not the shoe that a champion makes but rather the initial talent that get cultivated (and company may help that cultivation process by rpoviding the means for training and racing), but really, if Kilian wears Salomon yet Roes wears Montrail and Karl is all for Hoka...what the f&*^ shall I wear to win? Anyhow, just playing devil's advocate on how to bring that much money into competition. While I do see the ultrarunning develops into something attracting the sponsors and paying off money to top runners at many venues, it is probably from business stand point will be a few (or even many) various races with not much of a pay off (North Face type of prize in mind). I don't see anything wrong with it either. Just saying. Kind of wondering why some top runners hope to make a pay-day off the race - if you are a business person, why would you put your money on the line?

          As for PCTR, that is sad, and yes, paying customers absolutely have to come first. I don't live in CA and don't follow the details, but did hear bits and pieces. Sometimes it is the strongest survives, sometimes it is "lets merge and forget the differences", accomodate schedules and divide with runners in mind. Hope it all settles in. So far everybody's loosing - business owners and customers alike.

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          • I added to this the other thread, but if WS pays its RD 55k and spends 25-30k on research, I don't have a hard time believing RRR100 could generate 100k for prize money with a less limited field size than WS. I would also guess that the course that is not as expensive to set up as WS. Is the corporate sponsorship of WS at a level that is unattainable by other races? If RRR100 can get the same level of corporate sponsorship and double the field, they could charge half of what WS charges for entry and generate 80k of prize money if the RD doesn't take a salary and don't spend any funds on research. I'm sure there are excercise physiology labs that would love the opportunity to gather data at a top level ultra.

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          • why do they do research anyway? I really hope that WS doesn't spend "entry fee money" on research. We know it's not healthy to run 100 miles in 100 degree weather, no shit...:-)

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          • "if Kilian wears Salomon yet Roes wears Montrail and Karl is all for Hoka…what the f&*^ shall I wear to win?"

            Olga, you should wear what works on your foot, not what others display

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          • I know that, Karl, I am a big girl:) I am just making this example for the sake of questioning possible motives of companies shedding BIG bucks to a race (the emphasis is on big, they've been shedding money to promote races all along, thank you very much!).

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        • Great point Sunny. I think the whole running community is thriving of some book that in my opinion is one of the worst things that has happened to running. I mean how can you trust a book about running written by a guy how can't even run, just tip toes around at 12min pace??? Either way when the boom dies as all booms do. What then??? A lot of "pro" ultra runners will be out of jobs, a lot of races will have weak fields, and a lot of people with have one(or a few) stupid looking pair of shoes in there closet.

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        • TheBorn to Run Bubble has burst in the form of a Hoka.....:-)

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    • If Killian plans to spend time in the states this summer, we gotta get him to Speedgoat....:-)

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        • I got the chance to watch Kourous run in the States (at Olander way back when). I definitely will treat myself to a KJ viewing (greatest trail run ever?).

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          • At least I can spell his name right: Kouros.

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  • A great example of just one of the things I love about ultrarunning -- plenty of hours on the trail to hone our acerbic sense of humor (and purist elitism).

    Touché

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