Let us start with some info about next week: Anyone wishing to follow me and the whole race itself can go to the link below: My bib number is 280. You can follow all of the runners here as well as a live blog cast once the race starts. Images of each runner will be posted as well.
Live WebCast and Tracking of Western States Runners
This field is stacked this year with some very good elite men including masters runners. The womens field I am thinking is a bit more wide open..Cut to the chase here are my men's and women's predicted winners and two sleepers---
Mens-Hal Koerner, Women-Devon Crosby-Helms
Sleepers: Men-Erik Skaden Women-Rory Bosio
There is so much new talent arriving on the line that in the end for the men experience will play out. Not to say that Geoff,Anton, or Killian will falter. Many of these folks major victories came with wide time margins..not a lot of stacked field hanging on to push all the way...So I side with course experience to bring in the men..That is why Erik is my men's sleeper he is running well this season and can bring in one final push you never know. For the women...Devon just seems to be the one here for me though Nikki Kimbell will force the issue now that Anita is out. Rory is my sleeper I have scene her run alone on the WS trails..that takes strength and her effort seems minimal as she climbs these trails...Her first time at 100 but I feel she will crack the top 10 with ease....
What about me...As the race gets closer I have been calm but so many things happening at work make it hard to focus on what I really want to get complete..That is all the logistics,crew assignments..getting the drop bags ready. Finalize my vision for split times on the course. The taper has been minimal running to date a stagecoach run, gym elliptical to warm up and heading to the sauna. The sauna has been hard on me with about 30minutes being the amount of time I can stand. Next weekends temps don't look like 100 yet but I am not taking any chances..Today will be one last Sauna...My legs will be really fresh for the day.
The start will be key getting to Robinson Flat in one piece after going through the snow, slush, trails which maybe streams cause of runoff, the starting altitude, Being safe and sane. Prep the mind for the major push from Robinson down to Swinging bridge..save the quads, cool off and climb steady up to Devils Thumb, Recover well and get to Michigan Bluff...don't worry about the time it takes to climb here....Recover out of MB and enjoy the work to Foresthill and pick up my pacer and see my crew and family. I hope to have some light as we begin the trek to Rucky Chucky. I am guessing boats to cross the river and to be there about the time folks will be piling out of a bar on Saturday Night..ie 1-2am...The river to Hwy 49 will be hard and low energy till the sun comes up..at 49 I pick up another pacer and we take it to the barn. I suspect I maybe walking a lot from Nohands but I want to enjoy this with my pacer and then take it to the track...Goal finish time a wide finish 27-28.5 hours...8am-9:30am.
It will be painfull, enjoyable and a lifetime achievement. Thanks for following during this last 6months. It seems so short in this training cycle...
Maybe a short note once I hit squaw valley etc...Take Care...Tony