2017 End of Year Review and Predictions for 2018

2017 was a big year in ultrarunning. Between Jim Walmsey’s bold predictions on huge stages, the rise in popularity and performances of women road and track times, and the overall growth of the sport, these have been an interesting and fun twelve months.

Just like years past (here’s 2015 and 2016), we put our thinkin’ caps on and got together to discuss the standout performances, overall leaders, best gear, silliest trends, “Field of Dreams” matchups, and more. Trying to compare Camille and Courtney, Jim and Tim, and also guess who’ll be pushing the pace in 2018 was no easy task!

Scotty Mills “leaning” onto the track at Western with a few minutes to spare.

This year co-host Sarah Lavender Smith and I were joined by Mountain Outhouse alter ego slash race director slash filmmaker slash elite runner Jamil Coury to get a broad range of perspectives and opinions.

In terms of preparation, we considered similar categories as years past, then added a few as recommended by the Patreon crew.  The three of us decided on the categories 10 days before recording and had not seen each others answers.

Below are the categories. Feel free to respond with your answers to this difficult list.

2017 Year in Review

  1. Best Trail Performance (M/F)
  2. Best Road/Track Performance (M/F)
  3. Best Overall Year (M/F)
  4. Favorite Race of the Year
  5. Biggest Story of the Year
  6. Story of the Year that Exemplifies the Sport
  7. Most Influential Person or Thing in MUT Running
  8. Gear (Trends we like/Trends we don’t like.)
  9. Media (Trends we like/Trends we don’t like.)
  10. Personal Running Milestone of the Year.

Ultra/Trail Predictions for 2018

  1. Who will be the standout athlete (M/F)?
  2. If runners were IPO’s, who would you put money on?
  3. What do you think will be the big trend in the MUT scene?
  4. What do you hope will be the big trend in the MUT scene?
  5. What would be your dream showdown? (A few runners and a course.)
Runners (King, Bracy, Wacker, Wang) getting ready for USATF trail champs at Fourmidable 50k.

Links Mentioned:

More on Teague O’Connor

My post about cameras on the course.

Here’s Katie Grossman’s article on Guillaume Calmette’s run at Big’s Backyard Ultra.

Here’s Sarah’s interview following her run at Mauna to Mauna.

Here’s the Patreon-exclusive Zach Miller episode from February.

Here’s Myke Hermsmeyer’s Instagram site.

Here’s Jamil’s site for Araivapa Running.

Here’s a link for Sarah’s book: The Trail Runner’s Companion: A Step-by-Step Guide to Trail Running and Racing, from 5Ks to Ultras

Outro music by The Lloyd Dobbler Effect

Sarah and Eric recording EOY episode.

Gear Review Notes:

URP Gear Editor Ben Zuehlsdorf reviewed the trends and shared his favorite items out of each category. Note: Some of these links are affiliate links and will drop a coupla nickels in the URP bucket. Should you choose to purchase this way, thank you. Every little bit helps.

Shoes mentioned in the discussion:

Salomon Sense Pro Max (review here)

HOKA ONE ONE Speed Instinct 2 (review here)

Altra Escalante (review here)

Saucony Freedom ISO

On Cloudcruiser 

Apparel mentioned in the discussion:

Patagonia Nano Air Light Hybrid

The North Face Ventrix Hoodie

Icebreaker anything

Patagonia Airshed Pullover

Gear/Tech mentioned in the discussion:

Garmin Forerunner 935

Suunto Spartan Trainer (review here)

The Naked Running Band (review here)

Salomon Adv Skin 5 Set (review here)

Katadyn Befree Water Filter With Hydrapak 0.6L Collapsible Flask


Episode Sponsored by: Castle Peak 100k

Looks like a fun profile, eh? If you’re looking for a challenging, mountainous, and fun point to point 100k in Lake Tahoe, be sure to check out Castle Peak 100 presented by Salomon. This is a tough course and would be an excellent trainer for a 100 miler. Register for the race and you’ll be getting superb, experienced race management and a breathtaking course, courtesy of Mother Nature. Kickass finish line food, beer by Alibi Ale Works, and lots of support make this race a must do for endurance trail runners. Race date: Aug 18, 2018. Registration is open now.
Don’t wait until next summer to regret not signing up!

Castle Peak 100k

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