Guest Post by Tim Twietmeyer
Hey folks, thanks for the insights on the course change question. The reason I ask is not some kind of indictment of Cool or Julie as that was a great event and we need more race directors like Julie willing to pour their heart and soul into race management (she’s also a friend). One reason I like to see what people are thinking is that WS has had a few course changes in its history. One in 85, then in 86, then 2002, then in 2006. The first two to get a 100-mile course. The third for the Star Fire damage and the last to include new trail and get the trail off some privately-held land. We try NOT to change that course and I think we have our best course right now – most amount of single-track, least amount of fireroad. It might be the slowest course due to the single-track, but certainly the best yet (IMHO).
Lot’s to chew on about courses and times and such. I’ve often wanted to see Scott Jurek and Mike Morton square-off at WS based on their course record times, Scott on the Star Fire course and Mike on the traditional course. Their times were within three minutes of each other. All I know is that I chased Mike all day in 97 and was hoping I might be able to get close to him. It became obvious that it was his day and his race when I felt pretty good about myself running a 2:32 split on Cal Loop, only to lose 14 minutes to him as he ran a 2:18. OUCH!
If the thought of running a 2:18 on Cal Loop after 100k on the trail makes you hurt while sitting on your couch, consider this – Jim Howard dropped a 56-minute split on Jim King from 49 to the finish to win in 83 (by 33 seconds). You could drop me off fresh at 49 right now and I couldn’t run a 56 to the finish. Probably the most impressive split of all time on the WS course, although the 2:18 by Morton on Cal Loop is certainly in the discussion. To put it in perspective, Morton and Jurek both ran 1:03 to the finish during their course record runs and Tom Johnson a 1:06 on his course record run. Seems that Howard’s 2:20 marathon speed came in handy after 95 miles.