"There's only one hard and fast rule in running: sometimes you have to run one hard and fast."

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Voyageur Pregame Show

The men's race at Voyageur always comes down to who signs up at the last minute, so there's no point trying to predict who'll win. The women's race is the one to watch this year, anyway. Here's the players:

Helen Lavin - Odds on favorite to win. She won last year, she's in shape, she's been running well and she seems to have focused on this race in particular. She could be the first woman to crack the 8 hour barrier.

Julie Treder - More experienced than Helen and I think more talented, Julie could win this race if it's one she wants badly enough. She'd be the favorite if Helen didn't have experience on the course.

Kim Martin - Kim's been sort of flying under the radar since she moved to Minnesota from Ohio, but she is fast and tough and will be under 9 hours. How far under 9 is anyone's guess.

Tracy Hoeg - The darkest of dark horses in the race, she's done only one 50 miler and that on flat ground, but some people turn out to be born to race these things and she may be one of them.

Lisa Trainor - Lisa's the best hill runner - male or female - I know, but I don't know that she's ever run further than a marathon and her busy life outside running makes me wonder if she's ready for this. If she is ready, watch out! Just checked: Lisa won this race in 2003!

Kat Yarger - Kat runs this every year and always about 9:30. This year will be no exception.

Val Shuster - Val's been cutting off a few minutes every race, so she'll be under 10, maybe 9:45.

Julie Berg - Julie's been doing speedwork and hasn't been racing as much as in the past. I think she's going to surprise herself with a PR at the distance (9:58). I recently teased her that the Gnarly Bandit Challenge is a guy's thing; I'd like to publicly state that, if I can do it (and that's a big big if), she could do it in high heels and with the time she'd beat me by in each race, she could bake a cake from scratch.

April Cole - The last I checked, April hadn't signed up. She's done it the past two years in just over 9 hours. If she ever gets serious about it, she'd be challenging for the win. Another not signed up to watch for is Rochelle Wirth. And, if Kim Holak shows, all bets are off.

Kami Holtz - I always seem to underestimate Kami, but she should be a solid 4th or 5th place.

As for me, I've been sick all week with allergies and haven't run since Saturday. I seem to have a choice between hives and swollen eyes or medicines that make me tired and dehydrated. If I feel okay Saturday, the challenge will be to beat Bob Triplett and Jeff Mallach, which I think would give me an insurmountable lead in the Fab 5 Fifties series. If everything goes perfectly (and when has it ever?) I could run as fast as 9:30, but expect to be just under 10... I have to beat Julie Berg someday, right?

And if anyone going to the race knows Harry Sloan, please introduce me to him. He won the first ultra I ever ran in 1982.


Glaven Q. Heisenberg said...

Wait. You don't even mention my chances? If for no other reason than to dismiss them with a "Pfffttt! Riiiigght!"

Is it because of my hideous, misshapen face?

You're in no position to judge ME, Mr. Hives-and-swollen-eyes!

You can be so spiteful, Steve Quick! And yet I CRAVE being ranked by you.

Good luck to all racers! Hope your allergies go away in time, SQ!

Kel said...

With cooler temps and dry weather, I'm predicting a course record. By whom is anybody's guess ;)

Heck, the second and third place finishers may even beat the current record (gasp)!

I'd go cheer you all on, but I'll be running the Grand Island Marathon on an island in Lake Superior this weekend :)

Kel said...

Oh! I forgot to mention - perhaps your allergies will finally allow for a proper taper and you'll blow everyone else's doors off!

Matt Aro said...

Steve, we've never met but I enjoy following your blog. I know Harry Sloan quite well; if I see him there, I'll be sure to introduce you to him. Take care.

wildknits said...

Ah Kel - it has been raining here off and on all week, this after a month of no rain. They are still predicting a chance of rain Saturday, but cool temps (nder 70 last I checked).

So, the clay in the powelines could be good fun depending on what we get for weather tomorrow.

See you at Jay Cooke Steve!!

Helen said...

No pressure eh?

The cooler temps will help - but I'm worried about muddy power lines and wet grass slowing things down so I doubt we'll see a course record... but I for one will be trying my best :)

This was my fav race last year but as you pointed out a while back all good races end up being favourites right?

SteveQ said...

Couple of updates: I just blew out my knee getting out of a chair (!), so now I'm just hoping to be able to finish... and, after 1.2 inch hail and four hail storms in as many days, I'm just hoping for no hail on the course. Maybe the hail will kill whatever is making me sick.

I looked up Julie Treder's old races. She usually runs marathons in 3:30-3:35, so I probably overestimated her abilities.

Runningdoctor said...

Steve, you are making my wife nervous. I love it.

Jean said...

Steve, I hope you are feeling better. Stay safe out there, and I hope you have a good race!