Ultramarathon Daily News, Tue, Dec 13

Ultramarathon Daily News – Tuesday, December 13

Ian posts a wrap up of the trail, sky running, and ultramarathon stories from the last twelve months.  I’ll be recording the URP Year in Review and Look Forward next week…stay tuned.

Have you been up at night wondering what killed an English explorer in the Arctic over 170 years ago?  Worry no more! It was apparently a zinc deficiency.

Nike is planning on having a few guys go sub 2 next Spring (on a non-sanctioned course with sketchy doping controls.)

On that, I pretty much agree with Mario’s analysis and opinion on the matter. What draws me to the sport (any distance) is the racing aspect. The strategy of a competition combined with physical fitness and mental strength are what fascinates me more than a time trial.  Is part of my opinion clouded by my distaste for Nike’s questionable ethical standards? Sure, and of course the scientific side of me is intrigued by the thought of humans clicking off 26 consecutive 4:35 miles.  Anxious to see how this all pans out.

Here’s Toni Reavis’ take.

I look forward to this each week: Mountain Outhouse with JamJam.  “Dale’s picks” seem spot on.  You?  

Good stuff: Eight steps for your best ultramarathon and trail running off season.

…speaking of an off season.  When is that? Media and elite-wise there’s a slight break between TNF and Bandera in early January, but what would you consider the MUT “off season”?

Race report from a very, very cold looking Hellgate 100k-ish.

Good stuff: Advice from a PCT thru hiker. Sounds a  lot like ultramarathon advice.

So what’s it like to run through the Grand Canyon?

Thank You!  I had a ton of responses to my request for reviewers. I can’t get back to everyone, but thanks so much for the links, resumes, clip sheets, and offers for beer.  I’ve already reached out to those who’ll be gear testing the shoes and clothes.  Thank You.

They call them “Thermoball Traction Mule IIs“, I call them puffy slippers.  Warm and comfy, these are great for mornings and recoveries, and what the hell, I wear them when I run errands too. (NFI)

Wyatt reflects on a pretty harrowing section of his run at Western States.


Over the next week or so, I’ll be publishing my votes for top ultramarathon runners and performances of the year.  The votes are being tabulated and will appear on the ultrarunning magazine website and mag later this month.  First up…Top Male Ultrarunner.  Below are some of the guidelines set forth by Tropical John Medinger and the committee:

Try to be as analytical as you can; this is about rewarding performances โ€“ and is not a popularity contest!  

…As always, we find ourselves comparing apples and oranges…How does a fast 50K stack up against a stellar 6-day run?  A fast road time vs. a tough mountain run? We each have our own biases, that is why there are about 30 people voting.  All are veteran observers of the sport and have a good idea of what constitutes excellence.

Some very general guidelines: 

Runner of the Year should encompass the runnerโ€™s full body of work for the entire year. One great race can be identified in the voting for Best Performance. 

first emphasis should be on performances in significantly competitive events where a number of elite runners are competing (major 100-milers, World Cup events, highly competitive shorter races such as The North Face Challenge, Lake Sonoma, Bandera, Speedgoat, et al.). We are more impressed with stellar performances in elite competitions than a fast time at Uncle Peteโ€™s Fat Ass 50. 

Look, too, at head to head competition, where they exist. If Runner A beats Runner B every time, it is pretty hard to put Runner B ahead of Runner A in the rankings.

FKTs. A note on FKTs, of which there were several this year. After considerable discussion, there is a consensus (ok, not unanimous, but a consensus nonetheless) that these performances should not be considered as part of the process since they are essentially individual time trials and not races. We do note that the FKTs have captured the imagination of the running public (and ours as well). UR plans to do an extensive summary of all 2016 FKTs in the spring, giving these athletes their due.

So with those  guidelines, I spent a fair amount of time pouring over names, results, times, and stats while trying to compare so many different runners both objectively and subjectively. I’ve switched names back and forth, deleted names, added new ones, and switched them back, finally settling on the list below.

MALE ULTRA RUNNER OF THE YEAR

  1. Jim Walmsley
  2. Jeff Browning
  3. Zach Miller
  4. Brian Rusiecki
  5. Pete Kostelnick
  6. Hayden Hawks
  7. Ian Sharman
  8. David Roche
  9. Mike Wardian
  10. Karl Meltzer

It’s a funky mix of fellas with a wide range of accomplishments. Newbies, veterans, road, mountain, and everything in between.  Feel free to comment on by choices and tell me that I’m nuts.

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