One of the things ultrarunning has lacked for so long is really good commentary on all that's going on in the sport. Ultrarunning Magazine is a wonderful resource for following race results, etc., but it really doesn't provide much hard-hitting analysis of what's happening in the sport, such as the current dominance of Team Salomon, which has pulled off huge wins in the biggest 100-milers in the world this year: Western States (Kilian Jornet), Hardrock 100 (Julien Chorier), Leadville 100 (Ryan Sandes), and most recently Mont Blanc (Kilian, once again). The domination from Team Salomon has been breath-taking and it's introduced a new model the sport's never seen--team-based racing kind of like what you'd see in professional cycling with domestiques.
Anyway, I don't want to get off track here. The point is that you can read about all of this and much more on a new website called Inside Trail. If you love ultrarunning and are looking for thoughtful but hard-hitting analysis, cool interviews with some of the sport's biggest stars, and wrap-ups of the premier races, then Inside Trail is required reading. Check it out now by clicking here. It's daily reading for me. Maybe for you, too?
Props to Tim and Matt for putting blood, sweat and tears into this labor of love, which, for ultrarunning junkies like me, is really good stuff.
|Hal ripping off a 16:24 at the 2009 Western States 100.|
I'm thinking about what I want to do for the rest of the year. Options include the Moab Marathon, a trail race, in November and/or the Las Vegas or California International (Sacarmento) marathons in early December. The next time I step foot on a road marathon course, it will be to once again try to lower my PR, which is 2:58. I simply cannot at this point in my Leadville recovery, while I'm nursing a sore knee, know whether or not I can put in what it takes to PR in early December (lots of track work, etc.). Which means the Moab Marathon and maybe a few other trail races look promising.
Actually, part of me wants to do the Bear 100 in September, but I have a huge scheduling conflict that weekend, which means Bear isn't possible. Probably for the better. But Bear is on my radar, as is Wasatch.
I'm also thinking about 2012. A spring marathon PR effort is definitely in the cards--maybe a return to to the Eisenhower Marathon in April. I'm also definitely returning to the Leadville 100 in August to once again gun for a sub-20-hour time. I'll also do the Leadville Trail Marathon (June 30 or July 7?), as always. It looks like the Jemez 50-mile course was pretty much destroyed by wildfires earlier this summer, which profoundly saddens me because it's such a beautiful area. That means a return to Jemez in 2012 may not happen at all, or, best-case scenario, the course will be different. So Jemez is doubtful for me. Which means I might enter the San Juan Solstice (6/23), said to be the toughest 50-miler in the nation, though many give that honor to Jemez. San Juan might be a little too close timing-wise to Leadville. We'll see.
The wildcard in all of this is whether or not I get into the Western States 100. I plan to enter the lottery and realize the odds are stacked against me. I think the chances of getting selected for the 2011 race were around 10%. If by some miracle I do get into Western States, my schedule will likely focus on three big races in 2012: Marathon PR in the spring, Western States in June, and Leadville in August.
It's all very fluid right now.