Many have already called this year’s race one of the most competitive fields in NZ ultra running history. http://runlongergeek.wordpress.com/2012/02/22/vibram-tarawera-ultra-marathon-2012/
I will not repeat these front of pack calls, but focus on the performance of the 4 MEC associates running this year.
Ron “the” King
+ Knows how to keep moving amidst the hurt (veteran of all day bike rides, rode NZ on a fixie in a fortnight)
+ Excellent pre-event training mileage
- Peak week of around 140km
- Nailed a 69km, 10hr offroad beast in late Feb
+ Has trained specifically for this event (focussed, and representative training)
– Untested at the distance
Predicted: 15-25th, 11-12.5hrs
90% chance of finishing
Jake “Rocky” Parsons
+ Very determined, and realistic in his goals (he WILL finish)
+ Has run 50% of the course before
+ Fittest he has been in his life
– Small background in endurance sports
– Recent toe infection and time off training, on-going knee ache
Predicted: 11-12hrs, place 2/3rds in men’s 85km
70% chance of finishing
Michael “The Rev” Hale
+ In good shape, lots of strength in the legs and core
+ 2 successful Tarawera 85kms
+ Good result at Coastal Challenge 2012 a fortnight ago (4th, 3:21)
– Training build-up interrupted by R) ITB flare. The only two runs over 4hrs resulted in a walk-heavy finish.
Predicted: 18-30th, 11-13hrs or “the walkout finish” – 17hrs.
60% chance of finishing
Shaun “RunningBeast” Collins
+ Veteran of many ultra length events
+ Recently set the Hillary Trail (72km) solo FKT (~10.5hrs)
– Recent sinus infection
Predicted: 15-30th, 11-13hrs
80% chance of finishing
So, there it is. A little bit blurry, I know. If you forced me to call it, I would say the odds are that Ron does 11hrs, Shaun and Jake 11.5 and Michael 12.5. But as we know in an ultra, it can play out very differently. It will be fun seeing what happens, that is for certain.