Thursday, June 11, 2009

A Look at the Bighorn Field

I had a bit of spare time yesterday, so decided to take a look through the list of registered runners for the Bighorn 100 (yeah, I know: need to get a life). I didn't recognize too many names so decided to do a bit of stalking by way of the Athlinks database. Here's what I've come up with in terms of competition and characters. First the guys I know or know of:

1. Karl Meltzer. Have to put him first on the list as he's probably one of, if not the, best-known and respected 100 milers in the country. After his victory at the Massanutten 100 on the east coast last month, I believe he has succeeded in winning at least one 100 miler every year for the last 10 years: definitely the guy to beat. In addition, he holds the course record at Bighorn (20:12), and according to notes on his website, it sounds like he's in fine fettle and ready to run hard.

2. John Anderson. He beat me at the Collegiate Peaks 50 by five minutes in early May (five minutes off Anton K's CR), he has 100-mile experience and an impressive set of results from '08. From running, racing and chatting with him at Buena Vista, I know he's in good form and well trained.

3. Harry Harcrow. Met Harry in Buena Vista too. I think I got about two sentences in during our half-hour conversation. This guy can talk. He's also a very experienced 100 miler and has gone sub-20 at Leadville (19:33) at least once in addition to finishing runner up to Anton K in '07. Third at Bighorn in '07. I doubt he'll win, but I wouldn't bet against him finishing top three.

4. Bryan Goding. A Fort Collins local and good friend. Bryan set the course record at the Wyoming Double Marathon a couple of weeks back (bettering Hal Koerner's long-standing mark) and seems to be running strong. He hasn't beaten me in a while, but this will be his fourth 100 after strong finishes at Leadville and Bighorn last year, and Leadville in '07. He is Mr. Consistency with his pacing and will pick off anyone dropping off the pace from the front.

On his way to setting the RMDM record

5. Pete Stevenson. Another Fort Collins'ite and friend. Pete ran the Vermont 100 last year in 22 hours or so, and had a good run at the Ghost Town 38.5 in New Mexico early in the year. He's been laying low on the racing front since then, but I happen to know he's put in a very solid block of training, is in good form and ready to race.

Pete on far left

6. Tim Long. Seems he picked up a bit of a knee issue in the last few weeks, but from last blog post sounds like he'll run. Won Ghost Town 38.5, beating Andy Jones Wilkins by five seconds earlier in the year

Now some of those that I don't know, but look like they could be in the running based on previous results:

1. Phil Shaw. Third at Tahoe Rim 100 in '07 (20:50). Also appears to have low-16 minute 5k leg speed, 1:15 half. Ran 21:50 at Leadville in '07; second at Cascade Crest last year (21:15).

2. Cameron Hanes. This guy appears to be something of a legend and TV personality in the bow hunting world (!). From a cursory scan of his website, it sounds like he's been training pretty hard for Bighorn and, well, looks to be tough as nails and enjoys downing bears with his bow and arrow. Pretty good credentials for running 100 miles in the mountain wilderness, I'd say. Oh, and he was third in the 50 miler last year.

As you do!

3. Trevor Hostetler. Ran a 6:36 at the Oregon Road Runners Autumn Leaves 50 miler last year. I'm assuming this is a flat course, but that's still pretty fast.

4. Sander Nelson. Came second at San Diego 100 in '07 (18:40)

5. Jesse Berwald. Fourth at Cascade Crest last year in 21:47, 1:21 half in February.

6. Hank Dart. Sixth at Coyote Two Moon 100k this year. Looks to have put in a solid block of training for BH.

That's all folks. I'm sure there are others I have overlooked, and probably some photos that don't match the person, but I can only reproduce what Google gives me. Good luck to all!


  1. Wow, that Bear picture is epic. That is Christmas Card Material for sure!

    Also, I've noticed that facial hair and ultra runners are positively correlated.

    Thus, Tim you need to grow a beard before the race.

  2. Yeah, I'm thinking I might go with orange attire next weekend, just to be on the safe side.

    Facial hair seems to be especially prevalent among Colorado ultra guys for some reason. I think we're all trying to conform to the rugged mountain-man look. Tim is simply showing his non-conformist side by shaving on a regular basis.

  3. I've got some nice sideburns going and had a good "soul patch" (as Will Ferrel calls it) but thought I looked ridiculous, so shaved it.

    Still on the fence about bh. Had a good run up s. boulder peak with the guys on thurs night but knee hurt progressively on the descent. Thinking if I walk A LOT, I should be ok. Still need a ride to Sheridan (and back) though, so that seems to be the biggest obstacle at this point.

    Good luck to you Nick. I think if you stay with Karl, you'll do great. He has such a solid, even pace that you can't go wrong staying near him.

  4. also, I think the bear pic (and killing wildlife in general) is moronic.

  5. i love the pic of goding! magazine front cover worthy for sure! i was hoping to hear about the duel between you and hanson on the long course at year? think positive thoughts with the taper/recovery-it will come together. great to see you and the fam at our wedding, ali is a riot!


  6. Brownie - Thanks, man! I'll do my best to wear down Karl for you so he's not a threat at HR.

    Tim - Any other race and you'd have your choice of seats. Just this once, I've got a full car going out with me to Sheridan. Let me know if you still can't find a ride, as there's an armada heading out from Fort Collins, so I'm sure someone has a spare seat. I'd be happy to find out for you. RE: hunting, as long as it gets eaten I have no problem; trophy hunting is a different story.

    Ryan - Thanks for a great party last weekend - and congrats again - we all had a great time, especially Alistair. I think he's going to grow up to be quite the lady's man - if he can learn to keep his pants on in public :-) That is indeed a classic shot of the bearded one!

  7. Nick,
    The beards are the Colorado version of the Oregon 'stache. Unfortunately, I won't be making it to Bighorn this year. I had a last minute change of plans that was unavoidable. I guess I'll have to pull out of these couple weeks of taper and ramp back up in hopes of getting in Hardrock. It was great meeting you up in BV even if you made my legs hurt a little more, and I've enjoyed finding your blog.
    Have fun up there--I'm pretty sure you'll surprise some folks if you run confident.

    --John Anderson

  8. John - That's too bad, I was looking forward to the rematch. I'll be pulling for you at Hardrock, if you get in. If you do, it'll add an extra element to an already strong field. Shaping up to be a bunch of talented guys who seem to be fairly equally matched - will make for good 'spectating'.

    Thanks for the advice. I'm gonna take a stab and see what happens.