Run Rabbit Run starts on September 12th, and I’m really excited about this race. As I mentioned in a previous post, there is some serious prize money this year. That prize money, coupled with an awesome race, has attracted some excellent talent this year.
The men’s race includes:
Rob Krar: Obviously, Rob is the favorite. He dominated at Western States and he kicked ass at Leadville. At this point, Rob appears to be unbeatable, as long as Zach Miller isn’t around. Despite having run two 100s already this year, Rob is probably not over-raced. I expect him to pull out the win, although I don’t think it will be as “easy” as his last two endeavors.
Jacob Puzey: Jacob has been consistently fast over the last few years. However, he doesn’t have a hundred under his belt and this will be a tough first. Look for him to implement the Max King strategy – run as fast as you can for as far as you can and then hang on. Jacob will miss this year’s race because of an injury.
Jared Hazen: You’ve probably heard of this kid by now. At 18, he ran Rocky Raccoon and qualified for Western States. At Western States, he was once again impressive and took 14th overall. He probably won’t make the podium at Run Rabbit Run, but this kid is the future of American ultrarunning.
Ryan Ghelfi: Ryan Ghelfi is another 100-mile rookie. How long will he be able to stay with the lead group?
Nick Clark: Nick Clark is the opposite of a 100-mile rookie. He has done at least eight 100s just in the last couple of years. He has run the 50 at Run Rabbit Run and the race is well-suited to his abilities. I wouldn’t be shocked if Nick took a podium spot.
Zeke Tiernan: Zeke ran well at Leadville and just missed the podium. He’ll be close again at Run Rabbit Run – can he snag a top-three place?
Jeff Browning: Bronco Billy has quietly been putting together a very nice 2014. He won the Zion 100 and he was 4th at Hardrock. I think he’ll be competing with Nick and Zeke for that last podium spot.
The women’s race includes:
Nikki Kimball: Nikki came in 2nd at Run Rabbit Run last year. She knows what the race is all about and she’ll definitely be competitive.
Stephanie Howe: I’m going to reluctantly call Stephanie Howe the favorite. Now that she has run a hundred (and won), I think we have to be believers. With that being said, she seemed to be having a little trouble with her legs at Western States, and that could spell the end of her day on a more difficult Run Rabbit Run course.
Kerrie Bruxvoort: Kerrie won the 50-mile race at Run Rabbit Run last year. She hasn’t run a hundred in over a year, so her legs should be fresh. I think she will most likely take one of the podium spots – which one?
Anita Ortiz: Anita Ortiz is on a run, so to speak. She has been racing a lot this year, but mostly shorter stuff. She recently won Pikes Peak, and just before that, she won the Mt. Werner Classic. I’m guessing it has been in preparation for this. She is 50 years young, and I think she just might be able to run herself into a top-three position.
Anita also won UROC on September 6th, edging out Cassic Scallon for the win. Impressive stuff.
Darcy Piceu-Africa has entered the mix. She won Hardrock earlier this year. Look for her to run steep and get high at Run Rabbit Run!
Becky Wheeler: Becky was 4th last year at Run Rabbit Run, and she will obviously be looking to move up a couple of spots this year. She has done two 50-milers this year (won them both), but she hasn’t run a hundred since last year’s race.
Sally McRae: Sally didn’t have a great day at Western States, but I definitely wouldn’t count her out of this race!
Pam Reed: Pam took 2nd at Badwater a little over a month ago. She has been racing a lot, per usual, and while I don’t expect her to be near the front, she will likely grab a top-ten finish.
Larisa Dannis: The word on the trail is that Larisa Dannis is running. I didn’t see her on the registration list, but if she says she’s going to be there, she’s going to be there. This is pretty cool – it means almost half of the top ten from Western States has ventured over to Steamboat Springs. Larisa had some injury issues after Western States – is she back to 100%?
Run Rabbit Run is a great race in a great location and there is prize money!! I expect this race to get more and more competitive.
If you’re running, be sure to offer a congrats to Jason Schlarb, who just finished 4th at UTMB. He’ll be the aid station captain at Spring Creek Ponds Aid Station (Altra is the presenting sponsor of Run Rabbit Run).