entrant list for the Fruita Spring Desert Ultra recently posted, and the event just two weeks away, I thought I'd post a couple of thoughts about the competition and the race. And what a race. This is one of the more scenic 50 milers, and it marks the beginning of the Colorado ultra season. Best of all, the singletrack on the Kokopelli trail is about as sweet as it gets.
Went out for a run with Ryan B. yesterday up in Horsetooth. We were wading through some pretty deep stuff in places. The Mill Creek trail was calf to knee deep most of the way, with drifts up to waist deep. Most of the run was through the trees, so thankfully the wind wasn't too much of a factor. Although we only went 16 miles or so, it felt like a much harder workout.
Anyway, Ryan says he's shooting for a sub-eight-hour finish, which is pretty much in line with my goals. He's beaten me three out of the four times we've raced, so I'll be looking to redress the balance in Fruita, but don't fancy my chances. Last year's Leadville 100 winner, Duncan Callahan is also on the start list, fresh off his win at the Moab 100 last weekend. I believe he has the course record (7:41), so he's definitely the guy to beat. Keri Nelson is also on the start list, and will no doubt be in the running for a place.
Bryan Goding's name is not on the list, but I know he's registered. He's a strong and steady runner who'll eat up anyone dropping off the pace from the front. I think he was third last year and he has run some strong times in the past at Fruita. A couple of other names not on the list that might show up include last year's winner and permanent fixture, Allen Belshaw; guest speaker, fastpacker extraordinaire and second at Leadville in '08, Andrew Skurka; and I wouldn't be at all surprised if recent returnee to Colorado, Anton Krupicka, toes the line for an early season test of pace in preparation for the big showdown at Western States in June.
No matter who shows up, this race is a ton of fun and the views from the rim high above the Colorado are just breathtaking. Bring on the desert!