T.A.O. Set To Deliver T.K.O.

The Hardrock 100 starts tomorrow at 6am MDT. As I’ve pointed out in other posts, it is a stacked field this year! Due to time constraints, my elite preview is limited to two gentleman and two ladies. This is certainly not meant to disparage any athletes in the field (it will be interesting to see if I picked the correct men/women to highlight).

Timothy Olson

timolsonhumphryspeak

Timothy skipped Western States so he could focus on Hardrock. He is an interesting case, because when he races, he is good – but when he zeroes in on a race, he is great. Most years, he would be a no-brainer for a top spot. But this isn’t most years.

Western States and Hardrock are apples and oranges. However, Timothy did very well at UTMB in 2013 (4th) and Transgrancanaria in 2014 (3rd, and only two minutes behind Julien Chorier). He has demonstrated the ability to hold a lead and he has put on some amazing late charges.

Timothy can’t be called an underdog – he’s obviously too good. But isn’t everyone an underdog when Kilian Jornet is racing?

Prediction: 1st place. Hardrock was meant for Timothy Olson. He is the nicest, coolest badass you will come across. I’m not sure how he’s going to do it, but he will find a way to win this race.

“I’m more intimidated by the mountains than by Kilian.” – T.O.

Kilian Jornet

photo credit: iRunFar

photo credit: iRunFar

A packed calendar will slow down most racers, no matter how good you are. This is not the case with Kilian Jornet. In fact, he seems to just get better!

Since May, he has raced Transvulcania and Zegama. He was then off to Alaska to set a FKT before heading back to Europe to win the vertical kilometer and marathon at the Skyrunning World Championships.

Kilian is amazing. However, he can be beat. It doesn’t happen often, but it is possible. With that being said, the entire field has their work cut out for them.

Prediction: 1st place 3rd place. I think Kilian will finish behind Timothy and Seb Chaigneau (who is being paced by Scott Jurek). There is some tricky navigation on the course (that will be done at night) and Kilian has spent the least time there of anyone. This course is so technical and challenging that I think experience/familiarity will trump skills.

Diana Finkel

Diana Kissing the Hardrock in 2011 photo credit: Durango Herald

Diana Kissing the Hardrock
photo credit: Durango Herald

Diana Finkel owns this course. She ran 27:18 in 2009, and in 2010, she was the overall leader for almost 90 miles. She won again in 2011 before dropping in 2012 and 2013. However, as iRunFar pointed out, she was running hard last year and may have been going for the overall win.

The overall win will not be an option this year (she can thank Kilian et al. for that). Diana will be able to run a more conservative race, focusing on Darcy, and perhaps, the course record.

Prediction: 1st place. Without the option of an overall win, the pressure will be off and Diana will be able to run to victory in 28 hours or so.

Darcy Piceu Africa

Darcy Piceu Africa photo credit: Fredrik Marmsater

Darcy Piceu Africa
photo credit: Fredrik Marmsater

Darcy certainly isn’t going to let Diana run away with it! She has run close to 29 hours and will probably break it this year. If Diana falters, Darcy will definitely be there to take the win.

This is a very cool video – I highly recommend it!

Darcy Kissing the Hardrock

Darcy Kissing the Hardrock
photo credit: Durango Herald

Prediction: 2nd place and a solid sub-29 hour performance.

Check out the following Hardrock 100 previews:

iRunFar

Karl Meltzer

Ian Corless (Talk Ultra)

Anton Krupicka

Be sure to check out iRunFar for live coverage of the race.

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3 Responses to T.A.O. Set To Deliver T.K.O.

  1. Rachel B says:

    Thanks for the video! Darcy is a pretty inspiring woman. Can’t wait to see how this plays out

  2. Can’t watch the video at work but looking forward to do it at home!!! xoxo

  3. was asked by a friend last weekend to pace her at hard rock because one of her pacers backed out due to injury. had to pass and will probably hate myself one day for it! going to be a great race!

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