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Ann Trason's Succesor?
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Micah Ward
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2002 4:55 am    Post subject: Ann Trason's Succesor? Reply with quote

Even though Ann is 42 yoa she still dominates women's ultramarathons. But there could be a succesor on the horizon.

Anthea Schmid of Colorado is only 30 and has made an impressive debut this year. She ran her first two 50 milers this year and set new course records in both. She also ran her debut 100 miler at the Leadville 100 in Colorado and not only did she win she finished 5th overall. A Trason like result. She also became only the second woman to finish Leadville in under 20 hours and of course the other woman is you know who.

It will be interesting to watch Schmid's development.
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Dan
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2002 12:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds like a definite possible successor. I have a hard time relating to a segment of the sport where 30 is considered a young up and comer... Smile

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2002 2:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I actually think it's kind of nice it gives guys like myself hope, if I wanted to become a top notch distance runner, I'd need to start seriously training almost immediatly inorder to have any time at all where I'm both very highly trained and at my prime age wise. That would mean putting off a career and reducing a persons prime earning years. Where as with ultras you can develope slower and can still be top notch well into your 40's. Leting you get yourself on the right track career wise before you venture off to try and be all you can be. And with ultras after all you don't get crazy enough to try them until your almost 30 anyway, besides your not born with that kind of insanity it takes a while to develope! Wink
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Dan
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2002 3:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
your not born with that kind of insanity it takes a while to develope!

Yeah, that'll recruit people to the sport!! Laughing

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2002 4:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Your right of coarse, but does anyone here care to debate the fact that in order to run 100 miles or more non-stop just for the heck of it you need to be at least a little... touched in the head? Wink
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2002 4:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not touching the Devil's Advocate role in that debate... Thumbs Down

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Micah Ward
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2002 5:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It has been said that it takes an idiot to run a marathon, but it takes a special kind of idiot to run an ultramarathon. Razz
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2002 5:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Heres a quote I found that goes well with that theme.

"If any psychologist will take the troubel to trace out the history of each of our prominent pedestrians he will discover that a very large portion of them have been subject to some form of madness."

Quoted by Sir Adolphe Abrahams (1961)
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Micah Ward
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 24, 2002 11:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Western States 2003 is still 6 months away but something interesting is in the works. The lottery results are posted on the WS 100 website and Anthea Schmid is listed. Now IF everyone stays healthy and IF she and Trason make it to the starting line injury free, could this be the year someone finally beats Ann?

Stay tuned...I'll give updates on both as the new year's competition starts.
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Dan
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 08, 2003 9:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Today's RW Online has a Feature Story ranking of the top ultra runners of last year, and you know who is strangely absent from the women's list. Micah, what gives?

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Micah Ward
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 08, 2003 3:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Several things of note here.

All the women listed are international runners who did not race in the US and the guys who made the list are more in tune with international races than US races. And I am NOT suggesting anti-US bias here. Trason simply did not compete internationally last year and I do not know how those guys rate our domestic races against the international races.

All had exceptional performances. However, two of them were recognized for their performances in the Comrades Marathon which Trason did not run last year but which she has won the only two times she has run it.

All of the women who were recognized for their 100K times ran slower than Trason's 100k PR.

The two who were recognized for their 24 and 48 hour performances did run exceptional races that bested Trason's pr's, but how do you compare those efforts to a 100 mile trail run, which is Trason's specialty. I would love to see them come to California and go head to head at WS.

That top 10 is a list of outstanding runners with outstanding performances. Ann's best performances rank right up there with them and in the past she has beat at least one of those on the list, Maria Bak, in head to head competition at Comrades.

What did Trason do last year? Won Western States, won the Arkansas Traveller 100 mile, won the Miwok 100K (the toughest trail 100K in the US) and was the overall winner in a 50K with better than average male competition. And those were her only races.

So how do you compare WS 100 and a trail 100K to those international races? I don't know. But Trason has been chosen #1 by those same guys in years past and I guess they just figured she was not top 10 in the world this year.

OK, I don't have a problem with that.
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 09, 2003 5:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another quick thought. Even though Trason continues to win every race she enters here in the US she is 42 and no longer at her peak. With the emergence of Anthea Schmid and the performance of Luann Park at last years WS it is only a matter of time before someone beats her. This could be the year. But I will be suprised if we ever see another female to dominate the way Ann did in her prime.
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Dan
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 09, 2003 9:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Seems to me that someone long considered one of, if not the, best who still competes in top domestic races and does not lose should garner top-10 respect...

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Micah Ward
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 12, 2003 11:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would agree with you, but I am trying hard not to be too critical of the list since I do have such a strong pro-Trason bias. This is a good example of how hard it is to compare ultra performances.

How do you compare the relative performances of such diverse competitions as 100 mile trail races, 24 hour track races and 100K road races? Is an 18 hour performance at WS better than 120 miles in 24 hours on the track or does breaking 7:30 at 100K top the list? Very, very subjective. Confused

Of course, Trason could be the victim of her own success. The year she had in 2002 would be a great year for anyone else but it is pretty average by her standards. Still, I would have to say that until someone beats Trason I would keep her in the top 10.
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 12, 2003 11:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think there are only two ways to compare things of that sort:

1) Head to head competition.

2) Statistically compare the difficulty of various courses over time. Any new event or changed course gets dinged for year-end ranking valuation until its accuracy can be guaged. Them's the breaks.

If an athlete up for ranking consideration cannot be placed based on either of those criteria, then too bad. Without either #1 and/or #2, you simply cannot compare such diverse competitions, so why even bother? Lay down the ranking guidelines and you can bet that any events and athletes who care for the rankings will play by those rules.

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