2016 Desert Solstice – Women’s Preview

This weekend elite runners from across the country (and world) will meet for a showdown  the desert. Aravaipa Running’s 6th annual Desert Solstice Invitational is an event whose participants are selected by invitation or qualification only. On Saturday at 8:00 am PST, 27 athletes will toe the line and give it their all on a 400 meter all-weather track located at Central High School in Phoenix. Some will run for 100 miles; others will run for 24 hours.

Many of the runners this year are vying for a spot on the coveted 2017 US National 24 Hour Team which requires minimum 140 miles for men and 125 miles for women within a 24 hour time span. In addition they will be chasing national and world records on a track with a reputation for speed.  41 National Records and 10 World Records have been set at Desert Solstice. The weather forecast calls for near perfect conditions: a high of 68 and a low of 45 under clear skies.

Below are athletes reviews from Melia Coury and Joe Fejes (who is also competing in this year’s race). They are listed in order of Joe’s predicted finishes.

But as we all know, anything can happen on race day.

1531797_10207100733690046_63116872756778301_o

1) Melanie Rabb (36) DS Veteran; 100 mile: 15:17 (DS); 24 PR 136.95;  Melanie is currently 5th for U.S. National 24 Hour Running Team standards for 2017 worlds qualification.  Melanie ran a 15:17 100 mile at Desert Solstice last year and currently holds a personal best of 136.95 miles over 24 hours. “Prime Time” Rabb form Texas is crazy fast and capable of 145+

14203131_10103675206867940_5553476350524973424_n

(2) Courtney Dauwalter (33) DS Veteran; 100 mile: 16:17 (DS); 24 PR 135.7; Denver, Colorado resident, Courtney is 6th on the current U.S. National 24 Hour Running Team rankings for 2017 worlds selection with her 135.7 miles at FANS 24 hour this June. Courtney also holds a 100-mile PR of 16:17. Earlier this year she recently set a new overall course record for Javelina Jundred 100K in 8:48:25! She won 6 out of her last 7 races including Run Rabbit Run 100 and a positive trend usually means great things ahead…

11875224_10205918378130950_6187257702761850596_o

(3) Laurie Dymond (51); 100 mile: n/a but 135.5 in the 24.  Laurie currently holds the 7th and 8th best 24 hour performances in the U.S. National 24 Hour Running Team qualifying standards for 2017 worlds and has a 24 hour PR of 135.5.  She was 3rd at 2015 JFK 50 miler with 7:27.  She should flirt with 140 miles if stars align, making the trip from Chambersville, Pennsylvania very worthwhile. 

14066433_10205495264816138_8833764571647785150_o

(4) Gina Slaby (35); 100 mile: 17:34 (Lumberjack) in addition to a 18:05 @ Vermont 100. She has won the Hurt 100 with 27:06 and Capitol Reef 100 miler.

12973053_10206805104634769_5558566459585142733_o

(5) Whitney Richman (36); 100 mile: 17: 13 (Umstead). Richmond, Virginia resident has the leg speed potential for 140 in her 24 hour debut. She ran to a 2nd place finish at Umstead 100 in April in a qualifying time of 17:13:21. She will be attempting to meet the standard for the U.S. National 24 Hour Running Team .

(6) Jennifer Lockrem (40) DS Veteran; 100 mile: 17:48 (Hennepin). Local Phoenix gal ready for a big day. Has sufficient horsepower—18:27 Umstead bodes well. In 2015 she won the Hennepin Hundred in 17:48:37 and more recently placed second at Des Planes River Trail 50 Miler in 7:53:35.

15039573_10211254479740564_7050273296439992558_o

(7) Adela Salt (43) 100 mile: 21:32; 116.53 24 PR; Second female at Javelina Jundred; 7:22 50 mile in 2007. Del will be looking to make the British Athletics National 24 Hour Team. She has been tearing up the trails in Arizona since moving to the area last year and is now part of the Aravaipa Running Racing Team. Her running resume includes being the British 100K and 50K champion in 2007 along with a bronze at the inaugural World Trail Running Championship and recently a 100-mile PR of 16:53 at the 2015/2016 Across the Years.

12310637_924052881016091_4982432306591953496_n

(8) Chavet Breslin (34) DSRookie; 100 mile: unknown; 120.7 24 PR; This Marathon Maniac and ultrarunner, from Denver, Colorado had a breakout performance at recent Northcoast 24 National Championships with 2nd place finish. Look for another PR on the fast red track at Desert Solstice. She placed third at Across The Years 24 Hour last year with a total of 110 miles.

10631157_760115204065110_864119769845275553_o

(9) Dennene Huntley (39) DS Veteran; 100 mile: 18:22 (D3); 120 24 Hr PR; Dennene is an experienced runner on the world stage representing Canada on 100k and 24 hour teams. Rumors of solid training and peaking; Should crack the 120 mile barrier and PR. Dennene will be joined by fellow Canadian, Charlotte Vasarhelyi, in a bid to make the Canadian 24 hour team. #watchout

13063169_10209683226466230_4261094323986983730_o

(10) April Ritter (47); DS Rookie; 100 mile: 23:43 Nanny Goat; 114 24 PR;  Fast track, elite field and ideal conditions will lead to PR for this California ultrarunner. She finished 40 miles during a 6 Hour race earlier this year and also won the overall race. She also won the Nanny Goat 24 Hour.

10320370_761428317221861_6009957699252776532_n

(11) Charlotte Vasarhelyi (40); DS Veteran; 100 mile 18:20 (WC in France); 119 24 HR PR; Canada’s favorite multi-day specialist. She is also an experienced trail runner but looking forward to “some time back on the track”. Earlier this year she ran 160 miles in just 48 hours and 228 in 72 hours. This past August, she set a self-supported record at the Ontario Bruce Trail race (905 km). The last time she was on the Desert Solstice track she completed 114 miles in the 24 hour time period.

14333016_10154437055953808_933866487231158647_n

(12) Kristina Pham (44) DS Veteran; 100 mile unknown; 24 hour unknown. Kristina is a sub 100 miler specialist so a 24 hour performance at DS unlikely. She is on the Aravaipa Running Racing Team and is a 2:53 marathoner with a 6:55 50-Mile split at Across the Years in 2014. She will be going after some specific national and world age group records.

Advertisements

2016 Desert Solstice – Men’s Preview

This weekend elite runners from across the country (and world) will meet for a showdown  the desert. Aravaipa Running’s 6th annual Desert Solstice Invitational is an event whose participants are selected by invitation or qualification only. On Saturday at 8:00 am PST, 27 athletes will toe the line and give it their all on a 400 meter all-weather track located at Central High School in Phoenix. Some will run for 100 miles; others will run for 24 hours.

Many of the runners this year are vying for a spot on the coveted 2017 US National 24 Hour Team which requires minimum 140 miles for men and 125 miles for women within a 24 hour time span. In addition they will be chasing national and world records on a track with a reputation for speed.  41 National Records and 10 World Records have been set at Desert Solstice. The weather forecast calls for near perfect conditions: a high of 68 and a low of 45 under clear skies.

Below are athletes reviews from Melia Coury and Joe Fejes (who is also competing in this year’s race). They are listed in order of Joe’s predicted finishes.

But as we all know, anything can happen on race day.

11008617_10152893816443719_1963393173100018788_o

(1) John Cash (43) 100 mile PR 14:25 (DS); 154.51 24 PR. Hailing from Washington, Missouri, John set his 100-mile & 24-hour PR at the 2014 Desert Solstice: 14:25 and 154.6 miles respectively. That performance landed him on the 2015 USA National Team that competed in Italy. Earlier this year he ran an 84.4 mile 12 hour and ran second to Greg Armstrong at the Vol State 500k with an impressive performance.  Teamed with crew chief, Meghan McCarrick, they are a tough combination and John is among the race favorites.

998483_1399960216944735_1866670452_n

(2) Anders Tysk (44) DS Veteran; 100 mile PR 15:38 (DS); 152.95 24 PR. Anders is from Sweden and making he return to DS.  In 2014 he ran a 15:38:50 for his 100 mile mark and then went on to finish 152 miles in the 24 hour time period. He is a brilliant runner-robotic steady pace from start to finish. If healthy he will repeat or better his 152 PR.       11/9 UPDATE: WILL NOT RUN DS 2016

 

12983176_993563560698684_3452648491124293742_o

(3) Olaf Wasternack (36) DS Rookie; 100 mile PR 18:44 (Pinhoti); 140.85 24 PR. Olaf completed 140 miles at NorthCoast 24 Hour Endurance Run in 2015. He has also won 6 marathons this year, two of which were on trails. Olaf has sufficient torque to put up a big number. His last 24 hour race at Northcoast 24 National Championship was a bust which means Olaf is redemption ready and could have an incredible day.  11/9 UPDATE: WILL NOT RUN DS 2016

14556627_10154109577613983_2318116156822733181_o

(4) Bob Hearn (51) DS Veteran; 100 mile PR 15:55; 149.24 24 PR. Bob is currently sitting at 4th on the U.S. National 24 Hour Running Team rankings for 2017 selection with his American Age Group Record performance of 149.24 last year at Desert Solstice. EArlier this year, we became one of a handful of Americans to post a sub 30 hour time in Spartathlon, the 153.4-mile race from Athens to Sparta.  Watch out – he could be looking to improve on his 200K & 24 hour age group records. The most disciplined runner in the field, we expect Bob to challenge for a top spot in the race and break into the 150s.

216599_1351894648-1291

(5) Greg Soutiea (32) DS Rookie; 100 mile PR (16:53 @ Run Around the World). Greg has two great 24 hour performances this year. The first at 3 Days at the Fair- 24 Hour he completed 123 miles. Then at the Run Around the World 24 Hour he finished 130 miles under terribly hot temps. He has the potential for 150+ at DS and a podium spot.

14425384_10210104487150571_417997110890703441_o

(6) Joshua Finger (43) 100 mile PR 15:49 (Rocky Raccoon); In 2015 Joshua finish 152 miles in 24 hours at Dawn 2 Dusk 2 Dawn Ultra. Earlier this year he completed a 50 mile race in 6:38:03. He possesses sufficient leg speed to surpass 146 miles. Has struggled past couple of 24s but his could be the race to turn things around.

1395358_855981550364_1494143612_n

(7) David Huss (35) DS Rookie; 100 mile PR is 16:41 (Umstead in 2015); David, from Seattle WA, finished the Woodstock Festival 100 mile earlier this year, in 20:40:16. Look for a surprise 24 hour debut. Umstead 100 time is faster than the likes of Riopel, Worts, Gardner and Armstrong.

14384087_1922903274604024_1938108940_n

(8) Andrew Snope (30) DS Rookie; 100 mile PR unknown but has 136.98 PR barefoot Guinness Record on the track. He ran a 24-hour 136.98-mile barefoot run at Six Days in the Dome in 2014 broke the previous barefoot record by 5.55 miles. Andrew recently won the Fort Clinch 100 in a new course record of 16:54:41. He also won the screwed division (unsupported) at the Vol State 500k earlier this year.

14656372_10209662061241634_8828174060227166914_n

(9) Ed Ettinghausen (54) DS Veteran; 100 mile PR 14:50 (DS 2013); 144.62 24 PR. No doubt with is the Jester in the above photo with Pete Kostelnick and Bob Hearn. Ed ran the first edition of this race in 2010.  In 2013 Ed ran his PR 14:50 100-Mile during Desert Solstice on his way to setting a 24-hour PR of 144 miles.  Can Ed repeat 2013 magic?  He’s on a roll already for 2016 with records in the 1,000 KM and 10-Day, so we shall see….

10683741_10204512594868193_8764817492677776868_o

(10) Joe Fejes (50) DS Veteran; 100 mile PR 14:41 (DS 2012); 156.62 24 PR. Joe is currently sitting at 5th on the U.S. National 24 Hour Running Team list for 2017 qualification with  145.582 Miles (234.291Km)  at Dia de los Muertos, Lillington, NC on 10/24/2015 . In his own words, “Weight & fitness level may trump experience and past performance”. We will see ….

543394_10151567883661394_381834222_n

(11) Thomas Podell (37) DS Rookie; 100 mile PR 15:54 (Long Beach 100 set last year); 122 24 PR. No activity in 2016. 130 seems feasible goal for debut based on 100 speed. He has a long history of strong 100 and 100+ mile races.

13879382_10157214315005134_7472359072012247010_n

(12) Padraig Mullins (35) DS Veteran; 100 mile PR: 17:08 (DS in 2013); 125.69 24 PR. 135+ is a strong possibility. In August of this year he completed 52 miles in just 8 hours; a new PR for his 100 mile time may be on the horizon.

15349557_1442405909120683_1454013580999328473_n

(13) John Ticer (60) DS Veteran; 100 mile PR: 16:35 (2004 Javelina Jundred). 122 24 PR at the NorthCoast 24 Hour Endurance Run in 2010. John has been an ultrarunner since early 80s. He will likely challenge 60-64 age group AR.

silver-city-50k-michael-lebowitz

(14) Jay Aldous (55); DS Veteran; 100 mile PR: 13:52. 50-54 WR age group. 24 hour hasn’t been DS goal but he will be eyeing some American age group records with the main goal of a World Best in the 100 mile 55-59 age group (currently 15:14:35 set back in 1934). We believe this is a real possibility. Jay has gone on to set a 100-mile PR of 13:52 (at Desert Solstice in 2011) which is a standing World Best age group performance.  In 1980 Jay ran the Western States Endurance Run on a whim where he ran a sub-24 at age 18. Since then,  he has seen success in everything from technical mountain 100s to the track.

14889955_1144741102248396_8340987408849502859_o

(15) Zach Bitter (30); DS Veteran; 100 mile PR: 11:40 (2015 DS). Currently, the fastest 100 mile runner on the Planet. He recently set a new course record at Javelina Jundred 100 mile in 13:30:28 on a record hot day in the desert. In 2014 he was the National Champion for the 100 kilometer distance and has represented Team USA at the World Championship multiple times. He will challenge 100 mile WR if fully recovered from recent 100k WC performance. 24 hour hasn’t been Zach’s DS goal.  11/9 UPDATE: WILL NOT RUN DS 2016