Karl Takes Home the Cash
100-mile master Karl Meltzer uses his ultrarunning wisdom to outlast a stacked men’s field; Lizzy Hawker dominates the women’s race at Run Rabbit Run
Photo by Matt Trappe
Karl Meltzer says it frankly: he never expected to come out on top at the inaugural Run Rabbit Run 100 in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, last weekend.
“I did not think I would be in contention to win. I was only hoping to run top five and win the masters’ division,” says Meltzer, of Sandy, Utah. “But when I was only a few minutes back through 40 [miles], I knew I was in the race to win, so I stayed on my game plan and it went perfect. This race has long downhills and my strategy was to take those easy.”
He would be pleasantly surprised. Late in the race, Meltzer flew past several early leaders from the stacked men’s field, including 2012 Western States champion, Timothy Olson, and 2011 The North Face Endurance Challenge 50-Mile Championship San Francisco winner, Mike Wolfe, to win in 19:16:02.
““[At mile 69], my legs felt fresh and ready to race,” he says. “One-hundred-mile races start at mile 70. I had no bad patches, which is usually what it takes to win a race like this."
That was not the case for Lizzy Hawker, who injured her knee in a hard fall early in the race but nonetheless led the contest from start to finish.
“Unfortunately, from [the fall] onwards, I really had to then just focus on dealing with the pain, rather than being able to enjoy racing,” says Hawker, who currently resides in Scuol, Switzerland. “At no point in the race did I think I had a lock on the win. I knew I had some lead, but in a 100-mile race it is so easy to lose time on just one climb or descent.”
The women’s elite field would only see four runners finish (prize money was reserved for the top five in the elite, or “Hares,” race). Several elite men and women dropped for a variety of factors, including injury and difficulty following course markings.