Friday, August 5, 2011

Howl at the Moon Race Predictions

The Howl at the Moon 8-Hour race is 8 days away (August 13).  Time to see how I compare to the other 309 entrants (that does not count walker division).  It's not easy making predictions.  Some of this year's entrants may not even show up and race, others may show up, but drop out, and then there are people running the race for the first time and there isn't data available from past races (to predict their finish placing).  I figure I'll do my best at predicting the future.  Things have a way of evening out: if 5 people I predict to beat me don't, there are likely 5 others that will end up beating me.  My relative ranking is thus preserved...if I get any of this correct! 

In all honesty, I am prepared better than last year, but not as well trained as I had hoped. Still, I should do OK.  Maybe even well.  Not great, but above average for me.  In fact, I think I'll place in the top 10%--that would place me among the top 31 finishers.  Let's be generous and say I will finish in 30th place!  Here are the 29 people that will beat me (in rank order):

1. Brandon Janosky
2. Tim Collins
3. Tommy Doias
4. Scott Colford
5. Mike Crowder
6. Mike Wendell
7. Chris Friedman
8. Steve Jones
9. Mark Bowman
10. Matthew Condron
11. Janet Stroud
12. Carl Benton
13. Dorn Peddy
14. Jennifer Eichelberger
15. Paul Wilkerson 
16. Brandon Smith
17. Kathleen Yarger
18. Chad Braun
19. Daphne Donald
20. Don Frichtl 
21. Nancy McCarty
22. Ryan Krows
23. Andrea Stack
24. Brian Kuhn
25. Mike Gossman
26. Curtis Wilson
27. Travis Sheets
28. Gary Davidson
29. Jeff Fago
30. CHRIS the Blogger!

I'm not sure about that group of buffalo from 20-24.  Odd to have them all together--that order could easily get jumbled. Cuz Don is old, but has too much experience to count out. Nancy is always solid. Ryan has run well all year. Andrea just had a nice marathon last weekend. And the Dawg is coming up from Austin to make an appearance. I wish them all well. I'll be chasing them for 8 hours. 

Running division places #31 - #309 = you lose!  All walkers = you lose.
I'm not including total miles since that is very dependent on race-day weather. The winner could have over 60 miles...or barely break 50.

Let the wagering begin!  Trash talk optional. 

No matter what happens, there are a few Buffalo friends that deserve mention...I will whip the Fat Kid. I will conquer Democratic Tom. I will trounce Glowstick. I will batter IP. I will stick it to Legendary. I will defeat the Science Guy. I will wrangle Cougar Bait. I will dirty-up Mr Clean.

For me, I'm most curious about a few "novice" Howl runners:

Matthew Condron
Brandon Smith
Ryan Krows
Jeff Fago

All of them have the potential to rock this race...and I have them all beating me.  Condron could place in the top 5 (I have him 10th). Smith could easily be top 10...but everything would have to come together (I have him 16th). Krows ran last year, but intentionally stopped early.  He could surprise me and break the top 20 (I have him 22nd), but he could fade and fall behind even me! Fago is newer to ultras, but he's been getting in better training than me. We'll duke it out and see if we can each stay top 30 like I've predicted.

My sentimental favorite is Tim Collins. He's experienced and he's got this race in his blood.  Tim trains like a madman in the Michigan summer heat. He could pull out an overall victory.  Go Buffalo!

My nightmare is being beaten by Christine Crawford in the walker division!  It's possible. She's an awesome runner...and can probably log a LOT of miles walking.

NOTE: For those that don't remember my rant on July 6th, check out that related Howl at the Moon blog post too. It's a classic.


Tracy Thomas said...

Hmmmmmm...we'll see about that!

Chris said...

Hey Tracy,

I thought you were injured! All bets off with a healthy and injury-free TT! ;-)

TC said...

The top guys are are a who's who of last years event, I will need it to be HOT (mid 90's) for me to go that high, I'm grinning ear to ear just looking at those names.
Did you put that as your Goal (top 30)? I think I might have actually put Top 5, I know that's a weird goal.

Chris what is your plan for food? How will you carry water? What do you want to go through 1st lap in? Where you want to be at 4 hours? or are you thinking 2 hours? And the question every year you should ask yourself, what is the fastest you can run that last 1/2 mile in - after killing yourself for the last 7.9 hours? These are questions I ask myself, but doesn't everyone?
But really what are you going to wear? clothes/hat and shoe(s)?

Chris said...


I don't even remember my goal--I usually put 40 miles.

My food/drink plan is to carry a water bottle (probably with diluted sports drink) in a hand-held strap, take s-caps every 30-60 minutes depending on heat, grab quick pretzels/chips/bananas every aid station, and I'll have clif bars in my car.

Have no split time goals since the weather may make those unusable. The day before (when we know the weather) I'll come up with basic 2-4-6 hour goals. I struggle from 5-6 hours, then get a rush with less than 2 hours to go! Those last few 1/2s are awesome.

Shoes will be minimalist--NB Minimus, Mizuno Revolver flat, etc.

Jeff F said...

Interesting...I think Chris is sandbagging us.

Chris said...

Jeff F,

Sandbagging? I thought 30th place was pretty darn good! I'd be happy with that finish. Can I do better? Don't know. And I have no idea how many miles I might pile up. Depends on the weather. You and the others are going to have a great day at Howl...hopefully I will too. But there is only one winner and only 30 that can fit in the top 30 spots! Top 10% is excellent in ANY race. Let's get this done!