As we draw 2014 to a close, we thought it would be remiss after our year in review to not add some thoughts as to what we think might happen in 2015 in the ultra running scene, both at home in Australia, but on a global scale too. As I started to rack my brain, a number of thoughts popped into my head, some serious, some not so serious. So I thought, why not have a mix of the two? The trick for you, our readers is to work out which ones are serious and which ones aren’t… it shouldn’t be too hard, I have a bit of a warped brain! However it is all meant in good humour and should be taken with a pinch of salt and a dose of self-deprecation, because the moment we lose the ability to take the mickey out of ourselves is the moment things get too serious and precious.
So without further ado, we present our top ten predictions for 2015, and who knows, maybe even some of the stupid ones will come true!
1.) A US male will win UTMB
But it’s not as easy as that. To do this, we predict that Colorado and Catalonia will separate from their respective countries and form a new nation, Cololonia. Kilian Jornet becomes the inaugural head of State and returns to run UTMB to take the crown for his new country, with the US claiming half a win for their new-found leader and head of State.
2.) The Bogong to Hotham record goes
After a 19 year wait and countless attempts by a Scotsman residing in Tassie, the long-standing Andy Kromar record finally goes next month in the Victorian Alps. Back when men were men and hydration meant drinking out of creeks with a straw, while nutrition was a beer at the end of the race, Andy set a mark that destroyed everything around it for nearly 20 years. Sub 2:20 marathon runners have tried and failed to break this record, which shows just how strong a runner Andy was back in ’96 when he claimed the triple crown of Aussie ultra running.
3.) Hoka and Vibram announce joint merger
In a move that beggars belief, the maker of clown shoes joins forces with the manufacturer that has kept physios in business to make a new shoe that adjusts the height with each stride. Mayhem ensues as runners aren’t sure what age groups they’re running in due to the constantly adjusting heights of people in the race, causing mass DNF rates worldwide, along with a new medical condition associated with ultra running, post-race height dysfunctional disorder.
4.) A Southern Hemisphere runner wins Barkley
Don’t ask me how I know this, I just do. Only problem is that he’s got to get accepted into the race first. If he finishes second, there’s a good chance he’ll finish last too – if that situation arises, I’ve advised him to quietly DNF himself out of respect to the Barkley ethos. Win or DNF.
5.) Skyrunning and UTWT join forces
Don’t be silly!
6.) Kilian breaks the Everest speed ascent record
The King of Vert continues to dominate and pioneer our sport, pushing boundaries of human endeavour. He’s just polished of the highest mountain in the Southern Hemisphere, Aconcagua, next is the big daddy in the Himalayas. It’s all or nothing with this guy.
7.) Reebok sponsors UTMB and makes everyone wear their running shoes
In a move akin to the World Douchebag Championships, Reebok signs a deal with UTWT and enforce a rule that everyone has to wear their trainers. Despite protests, the race goes ahead and the shoes prove so diabolical that people switch to the new Hoka/Vibram shoes mid races. Everyone is disqualified, trail running ceases to exist and a new sport, ‘running trails’, is invented.
8.) A big named runner gets done for drugs
Sad, but true. We’re kidding ourselves if we think our sport is unaffected by drug cheats. As the stakes become higher and commercialisation hits harder, its only a matter of time before someone gets too greedy and a little stupid – the biggest question however is how those who govern our sport will react – here’s hoping they don’t do a UCI and try to brush it under the carpet for the best part of twenty years. I’m sure there are a few runners out there now sweating bricks after a big race after mistiming the amount of time the crap needs to wash out of their system.
9.) An Aussie podiums at WSER100 or UTMB
In 2015 we will have one of our homegrown on the podium at one of these two global top races for the first time ever. I have an inkling as to whom it could be, it’s whether or not he’s going to race it this year or not. Failing that, an imposter from another country will run for Australia under the guise of permanent residency and claim the podium. Heck, the editor of this website is a Pommy pretending to be Australian!
10.) Someone will run GNW 100 miler, turn around and run back
This is a trend that happens on a regular basis in the US, with many doing the Badwater double, but it hasn’t quite caught on yet here. Mainly because to be frank, no-one can be faffed to do it and because it’s a bloody long way to run back after slogging your guts out for 175kms. But still, there are a few crazies out there that salivate at the thought of this type of adventure. It just needs someone to be the first to do it.
That concludes our list of ten predictions for the year ahead, a humourous look at some silly and not so silly things that will probably never happen, but I’m sure have kept you entertained in the lead up to the holiday season.