July 12, 2014

Some thoughts about Hardrock

Kilian comfortably broke a record that could not be broken, joked that he was tired the last 2 kilometers, then spent some time showing the RD pictures he had taken on his phone, mid race. According to Anna Frost, one of his pacers, he had taken it very easy until mile 70 (iRunfar has the astonishing splits after this point), at which point he decided he'd rather be done sooner than later, since he was getting cold. Hence the massive course record, and the dominant win over the strongest field the race has ever seen.

Perhaps most remarkably, no one is at all surprised by this.

One gets the feeling his finishing time was basically a choice, that he could perhaps have gone substantially faster. He did say it was the best 100 mile course he's ever done, so perhaps we'll see more attempts. As the winner, he's in next year's race if he wants to be.

The question then is, assuming Kilian doesn't get hurt or lost, is their anyone who could really push him the entire way? I've got a not even remotely comprehensive listing of possibilities.

Of those that weren't racing: A healthy Heras or Krupicka, maybe; but healthy is the key word there; Krar is presently dominating runnable ultras, but Hardrock is a very different thing; Mike Foote has had success at UTMB, and is known to excel at long, patient courses, so he's perhaps another; Speaking of UTMB, you could probably grab any number of the Europeans who run well there, but never attempt anything in the states.

Of those that were: You'd have to think Timothy Olsen could run much faster if he didn't lose hours to vomiting, and then endure stomach troubles the remaining duration of the race; Dakota Jones hasn't nailed at 100 yet, but he has beaten Kilian before, and has the CR at a 50 mile race in the San Juans (previously held by Matt Carpenter); On one hand, Julien Chorier finished second this year. On the other, he basically ran a perfect race, and still wasn't close. Same could be said for the rest of the top ten, really.

Things that will not happen: Kyle Skaggs comes out of retirement, revealing that the whole farming-in-New Mexico thing was a lie, and that he's secretly been doing mountain repeats in the Himalayas; The wet dream of Let's Run comes to life, and several elite East African marathoners decide to take up mountain ultramarathoning; The Flash turns out to be real; Time travel is invented, and prime Matt Carpenter is retrieved.

Any other ideas?


  1. ideas? I think you've covered them all. when you've just set a speed record on something like Denali, among countless other mind-blowing high-intensity feats, the hardships of a crazy hundred miler through the san juan "hills" are probably viewed with a totally different perspective. once you change your perspective, maintain a respect for the course and train well perhaps anything is possible.

    1. He did say Denali was great training for HR. Probably something to that.

  2. IMO the other standout you haven't mentioned d'haene, if that's the good spelling, the French guy with the vineyard.