It’s safe to say that this year’s Sinister 7 has the fastest, most accomplished field in its history. That being said, it’s time to get our ultra geek hats on and start geeking out. Let’s make some predictions shall we?
I’ve compiled a list of what I believe are the top runners on July 5th soloing the 100M journey over 5687m of trail goodness called Sinister 7. Now keep in mind, there is always some young unknown that shows up on race day and knocks it out of the park. Sometimes racers fly under the radar and one big race will announce their presence. Off hand I can think of a few in that position that are running this year. But this list is made up of the seven men and women that, in my opinion, I think it’s safe to say will have big days barring in mind injury, epic fails or running off course. You’ll notice as well that I’m not placing these runners in order from one to seven. That takes all the fun out of it…that’s for you to do. Another reason I’m not predicting the placing order is I’m putting myself in the list. I hope you don’t think this is an arrogant move on my part but I do believe I have a place in the top seven. So, here it is, ladies first:
Michelle Barton (Laguna Niguel, CA): A quick click on ultrasignup and you’ll see that Michelle runs fast, races a lot and obviously recovers well from race to race. Specializing in 50K/50M races (and winning most of them) Michelle has a knack for carrying speed over tricky terrain. After last year’s win at the Javelina Jundred100K in 9:50 she is an obvious force to be reckoned with at Sinister7.
Dennene Huntley (Edmonton, AB): A strong downhill runner with great speed on roll sections, Dennene has the strength and definitely the attitude of a seasoned ultra marathoner. A three time podium finisher at the Canadian Death Race, momma told me never bet against a 9:04 100Ker.
Tracy Garneau (Jasper, AB): A legend in our sport Tracy won Western States in 2010 with a time of 19:01. She returned the next year and ran 39 minutes faster but found herself in 4th place. She has won the HURT100M 3 times and has won the TNF50K proving not only does she have crazy endurance, she also has incredible speed.
Deb Russell (Calgary, AB): For the past few years I followed (aka stalked) Deb on Strava and I have to tell you, this girl is the real deal! She climbs like a beast, descends like a gazelle. Deb had some bad luck at last years S7 with a fall and eventual DNF. Placing 2nd at Sun Mountain50M earlier this year, Deb looks raring to go.
Naomi Humenny (Kimberley, BC): Naomi is consistently placing in the top 10. She DNF’d at S7 in 2012 enroute to winning the Fatdog70M so she may have been using the S7 as training. Having a strong race at the mountainous Fatdog sets her up for a great finish at S7.
Abi Moore (Fernie, BC): The hometown fave and reigning 2012 and 2013 S7 champ, Abi has stood on the podium at every ultra she has competed at. Some say that Abi has just got started. The sky is the limit for this gritty runner.
Joanne Schmidt (Calgary, AB): Already claiming a victory at Blackfoot50M in May Joanne is looking in fine form. Finishing in 5th at S7 in 2012 Joanne knows this course well and will look to improve this year.
And now for the boys:
Oleg Tabelev (Calgary, AB): With a 2nd in 2010, 3rd in 2011 and a 1st in 2012 Oleg has shown time and time again his dominance on the S7 course. Starting the 2014 season with wins at both the Frozen ass50K and Elk Beaver100K Oleg is a stone cold killer who’ll always make you check your rear view mirror.
Hal Koerner (Ashland, OR): OMG!!! When checking ultrasignup I found this ‘little’ resume: 1st 2006 Angeles Crest 100M, 1st 2007 Western States 100M, 1st 2008 Angeles Crest 100M, 1st 2009 Western States 100M, 1st 2010 Lake Sonoma 50M, 1st 2011 Javelina Jundred 100M, 1st 2011 Rocky Raccoon 100M, 1st 2011 Hardrock 100M, 1st 2013 Javelina Jundred 100M. Shut the front door! While your at it go to the back door and shut that too!
Vincent Bouchard (Edmonton, AB): Finishing 3rd at last year’s S7 and winning the Blackfoot100K that same year Vincent (in my opinion) is sooo close to breaking out from his cage. Look for a strong leg 6 from this up and comer.
Carl Pryce (Calgary, AB): The list of podium finishes is too long for these skinny, old fingers to type. Mostly sticking to Alberta ultras Carl has been a dominant force in the Alberta Ultra Series since 2007. If you notice an animal rip past you up a steep hill its most likely a Carloileus Prycianus.
Joe Huising (Edmonton, AB): This bad mamma jamma gets better year after year. With a 2nd place finish at S7 in 2012, a 1st place finish at the Lost Soul100M in 2012 and a 3rd place finish at the Canadian Death Race last year it’s obvious Joe is amongst the leaders in every race.
Dave Proctor (Black Diamond, AB): It’s kinda weird writing about yourself. I’ve been on a roll since 2012 winning 5 out of 6 ultras I’ve completed including 2012 Blackfoot100K, 2013 ElkBeaver100K, 2013 Lost Soul100M and just recently the 2014 Blackfoot100K. I feel a steady improvement and look forward to testing myself at S7.