Friday, 20 January 2012

Rocky Raccoon preparation and all things UTMB

Today the lottery for the 103-mile Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc and the other related races posted results and there's less of the top male North American talent going over (only just), probably due to so many running Hardrock 100 and Run Rabbit Run 100, although the women seem to be crossing the pond with a strong group to go for that podium. Will be interesting to see how all these runners do against the locals and Brits (the ones who still live in Europe).

Here's a list of notable North American residents running UTMB and I apologize for missing names - this is from a quick scan on the UTMB website based on my own ability to recognize names.

Meghan Arboghast
Rory Bosio
Helen Cospolich
Krissy Moehl
Amy Sproston
Tracy Garneau
Ellie Greenwood

Scott Dunlap
Mike Foote
Topher Gaylord
Neal Gorman
Dave Mackey
Mike Wardian
Adam Campbell
Gary Robbins

I'll be running the shorter Courmayeur-Champex-Chamonix (CCC) 61-miler to not overload my season and to still enjoy the fun of the whole set of events. Plenty of friends will be out there from England so I'm looking forward to it and just hope there's a bit more sun than last year.

In the build up to UTMB, I'm lucky enough to have persuaded Krissy Moehl (the female course record holder, amongst other accolades) to join the All-Star Running team and we'll be hosting a UTMB training camp around the entire UTMB route from 26th May to 2nd June. Should be a great experience for everyone involved as we cover the 103 miles over five days and get to hang out in Chamonix too. More details here.

But right now my focus is on Rocky Raccoon 100 and seeing if that 12:44 course record is breakable. I've had some time off over Christmas and since then have been working on my speed, since that's the thing that's dropped off over the past year. Plenty of half marathons on the treadmill including a few under my best road time, so these should pay off as I look forward to the final two weeks of tapering. I chat about it more in the Ultrarunner Podcast show that is out today on itunes and here.

This is about the point last year when the Rocky Raccoon entrants list exploded with fast 100-mile racers, but it doesn't look like it'll happen again. At the least I know Karl Meltzer and Oswaldo Lopez (Badwater winner last year) will be really pushing the pace and running amazing times and Liza Howard will beat any of the men who can't run sub-15 hours.


  1. Good luck at RR, Ian. Just wondering, what is your half marathon PR? I'm aiming for a fast 100 time at Umstead and would be curious the speed workouts you do. My bread and butter speedwork is 16 miles with 10 of them in an hour.

  2. My best half was the first half to the Santa Rosa marathon in 2010, in 1:15 flat, but I generally can't go faster than that so it's good to clock off times a few minutes below on the treadmill for training (which makes them about equivalent to my road times).

  3. That's interesting you have a 1:15 PR (in a half), since your marathon is 2:32.

    Anyways, go kick your CR in Texas.

  4. I don't think Rickey Gates has registered for UTMB 2012, if you meant the 22-yo Canadian Death Race 2011 winner. There is a Rick Gates in the VH2 (M50) category.

  5. Look forward to seeing you fly around the Rocky course in a couple of weeks. We're running the Park Road Aid Station at mile 15.6 of the 20-mile loop - if you have any special requests, we're happy to oblige!

  6. Trail Plodder - I'll adjust it. The super fast one doesn't look like he's in his 50s...

  7. Ian....I find that utterly amazing. I guess we all have different talents, yours being running fast for very long periods of time (sometimes in costumes!). I, myself have a 1:13 half marathon PR, 2:38 marathon PR, and will only be hoping to run somewhere south of 15 hours at Rocky Raccoon. You, my friend, are a MACHINE! I look forward to toeing the line with ya.