Today some 350 runners take on 11,000 ft. of climbing/descending from Snowbird park in Utah up and over and down Mt. Baldy. The majority of this running will be done above 9,000 ft, more than enough to qualify for a ‘Skyrace’ (above 6,600ft and 30deg incline). The best will do it in just over 5 hours. As I write Sage Canaday is leading the men with 2:23 elapsed at 15.5mi, max King and Tony Krupicka are 3min back. Live coverage here (irunfar.com).
The Speedgoat 50k is ultra-running legend Karl Melitzer’s race, and was first run in 2007– Melitzer was dubbed the Speedgoat in the 90s for his mad sprints up and down Pike’s Peak. The Speedgoat had this to say about his race:
“I’ve always wanted a race of my own. Bring some of my fast friends into it. Give away some prizes. Drink some beer. Eat some pizza…I’m at a point in my career where it’s kinda cool to have my own baby. Give something back to the running community. I make it difficult, and I do some weird things. I want it to be unique. If people don’t like it, then it’s, like, whatever.” -Melitzer at Trailrunner mag.
Fuck ya. The more I follow ultrarunning the more awesome these guys get.
Last year Killian Jornet, probably the best runner in the world, won the Speedgoat in a course record 5:14, but was DQd because he cut some switchbacks. Apparently this is allowed in European races, but not in American ones. Melitzer noted that Jornet was super cool and gracious about the whole misunderstanding. Melitzer is also, of course super cool and gracious.
Some pics from twitter (links and huge pic below):
Irunfar.com’s Speedgoat 50k coverage here. Bryon Powell does an amazing job organizing coverage for these races where there is often no official real-time tracking and certainly no media. He sends crews out to the aid stations for pics and reports.
TrailRunnerMag’s interview with Melitzer- a good story on the race and the Speedgoat himself.
A pretty good description of the course, from SLC Samurai.
Follow along with #SG50k on twitter.