Roes shatters 100-miler mark

June 26, 2010 

Geoff Roes of Douglas has developed into one of the nation's most accomplished ultra-marathon runners and Saturday he delivered another astonishing race record.

Roes, 34, not only won his debut in the prestigious Western States 100-Mile Endurance Run, he obliterated the race record by more than 30 minutes.

Roes covered the 100.2-mile race through California's historic gold country from Squaw Valley to Auburn in 15 hours, 7 minutes, 4 seconds. That slashed 30:37 off the previous record set by seven-time Western States winner Scott Jurek in 2004, when he clocked 15:36:27.

The first sentence Roes wrote Tuesday in his final blog entry detailing his pre-race preparation -- "Western States looks to be falling into place nicely,'' he wrote -- looks prescient, if typically understated.

Smashing records has practically become Roes' standard performance the last couple years.

Last year, he won three 100-mile races in course-record fashion, won a 50-miler with a course record and seized the Crow Pass Crossing marathon-length backcountry race from near Girdwood to the Eagle River Nature Center in yet another record time. Both Roes and previous Crow Pass record-holder Eric Strabel became the first runners to crack the three-hour barrier -- Roes clocked 2:57:12 to top Strabel (2:58:30), and both men trashed Strabel's 2006 mark of 3:05:18.

Roes was voted UltraRunning Magazine's North American ultra-marathoner of the year and was awarded its performance of the year for his record run in the Wasatch Front 100-Miler in Utah.

Earlier this year, Roes won 50-milers in New York and California and finished third in a 50-kilometer (31-mile) race in California.

Roes needed to run a record time Saturday to prevail in a race that features about 18,000 feet of elevation gain and about 23,000 of descent because Anton Krupicka, 26, of Boulder, Colo., also smashed Jurek's 2004 mark. Krupicka, a two-time champion of the Leadville 100-Miler in Colorado, finished second in 15:13:53.

About 44 miles into Saturday's race, Roes ran in the lead with Krupicka and Spain's Kilman Jorget Burgada, 22, the three-time defending Skyrunning world champion. Roes' two rivals edged ahead of him over the next 34 miles and built a 15-minute cushion on him through Mile 78. From there, Burgada began to fade -- he finished third in 16:04:49, nearly an hour behind Roes -- and Roes slowly cut into Krupicka's advantage.

At a checkpoint 90 miles into the race run primarily on mountain trails and fire roads, Roes owned a one-minute lead over Krupicka and held that advantage for nearly four miles before pulling away to win by nearly seven minutes.

Roes averaged 9:03 per mile to Krupicka's 9:07.

The victory earned Roes more glory in the ultra-running community and, undoubtedly, satisfaction, but no money. The top man and woman in the race have their names engraved on a perpetual trophy and are awarded a bronze Western States Cougar Trophy. All who finish in less than 24 hours receive a hand-made silver Western States Endurance Run belt buckle, and those who finish under 30 hours receive a hand-made bronze belt buckle.

According to the race schedule Roes maintains on his blog -- -- he will defend his title and record at Crow Pass on July 24. Strabel has said he is training hard for another duel with Roes.

Find Doyle Woody's blog at or call him at 257-4335.

Anchorage Daily News is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service