|Nice kick Ruperto.|
photo by Dom Grossman
After watching the LA Marathon I must admit I was pretty inspired. Friends achieving goals, not quite reaching goals but keeping their heads high, friends appreciating their health and ability to run 26 miles for fun. Kate Martini-Freeman running sub 3hrs for 10th woman overall? Wow. 49 year old Ruperto Romero (pictured above) running a PR of 2:47, dannnnnnng. Loved how the local news interviewed him afterwards as he stood there in his Angeles Crest 100 t-shirt as he professed his goal of winning it this year. I got to know him a little better last year during our day of trail work before the race. What a nice, hardworking, cool guy. He has been on the podium in each of the last three years at AC and he seems to be the Benjamin Buttons of running. Watch out Jorge & Dominic =)
OLD GOATS PREDICTIONS:
Men: Winning Time 7:00's to 7:10's (yes that'll be a new CR)
1) Jorge Pachecho - after recently running with him up around Mt. Wilson, and not being able to keep up with him on the climbs on the Mt. Disappointment 50k course, I've got to give him the nod for the W. Last year at this race he wasn't his normal chivo loco self. This year he's bringing his A game and will dominate.
2-4) Jesse Haynes, Dominic Grossman and myself - Jesse recently recovered from an injury and is fresher and healthier than he's been in a long time. He was sandbagging a bit when we were hanging out last, but you can't fool me Muppet!
|Jesse sporting his new aviator sunglasses.|
|With his loving handler.|
Dom has been looking pretty spry out on some recent training runs, but his taper was a little shorter than optimal IMHO (but what do I know?). He was out on the LAM course running people towards the finish, snapping pictures, getting all inspired 'n' stuff. I have no doubt he will have his best Old Goats performance ever this year.
As for me... I dunno. I don't feel great, have a couple minor issues I'm dealing with. I don't feel horrible either. I'm going to attempt to shave my facial hair like Jesse's in attempt to synergize our Wolfpack souls. Maybe looking similar, like the Solomon guys, will help us run up front together and win, like the Solomon guys.
|I'm not going to wear white spandex though, gotta draw the line somewhere.|
5-8) Chris Zurbuch, Elan Lieber, Evgeniy Sklaynskiy, Peter Cross - Chris & Elan both ran well at the Bandit 50k in February. Evgeniy ran well at Ray Miller 50k last month as well, especially considering that he went crashing into the bushes at mile 3 and ran the rest of the race with a busted and bloody nose. Peter 'frosty fingers' Cross has been putting in a lot of training on the snowy days, post-holing is good for ya, he's gonna do well this year.
**Unfortunately, Fabrice Hardel and James Walsh have dropped out of the race. Both of them would definitely be pushing the pace and running FTW. Sad to see them pulling out, heal quickly fellas.
Women: Winning Time: 8:45 (yes another CR)
1&2) Keira Henninger (handler pictured above) and Margaret Nelson - Margaret has definitely proven how speedy she is lately in a handful of races - including winning Baz's 21k and the Bandit 50k on CONSECUTIVE DAYS . Keira is known for doing well on mountainous courses, the more elevation gain the better and she has really been working on increasing her speed lately. I've seen firsthand that she's faster than she's been in a long time... maybe ever? She knows this course as good as anyone. She knows how to pace herself. Gonna be close.
2-)Maggie Beach - always runs solidly.
4-8) Nicole Matera, Liz Onufor, Cory Hoffman, Susan Rice.
I haven't run down in these parts as much as I did last year, so I haven't seen my OC & SD ultrarunning families enough lately. Really looking forward to seeing a bunch of familiar faces and hanging out at the finish of another one of Steve Harvey's well run events.
Looks like low temperature will be around 50 and high 80. I think this means it will likely be a little warmer than last year... can anyone confirm or refute this?