Five members of the Board of Directors of Growlers Gulch Racing have gone out on a very shaky limb to predict the top finishers and times at the 2010 GG5K.
Keep in mind that this group is not the smartest. I was forced to rely on them because they do nothing at work and – for that reason – are available 24/7 to respond. Please note that I am a less-than-roud member of this motley crew.
Participants were asked only to predict the top five, so the names do not reflect the order of finish.
As a point of reference, Mike Van Hoose won the ’09 GG5K with a time of 3:41. Five riders broke the four-hour barrier.
Ryan McMaster predicted that Al Hansen, Cage Aaron, Mike Van Hoose, Eric Loney, and Lance Brigman will finish in the top five, with Susan Martin and Denise Livingston in a close battle for the women’s crown. McMaster sees himself, Darrell Jamieson, and Thomas Mueller as dark horses with a chance to break into the top five. He also believes that Sam Loney and Tonya Breedlove both have the potential to win the women’s division.
“If it’s dry and if there are no leg cramps, I think the winner can rack up a 3:30,” McMaster said. “If it rains, it will be a dear-god-just-let-me-finish situation with the winner being more in the 4:30 range.”
McMaster also believes that 6 to 8 riders have a good chance of breaking the four-hour barrier. “A lot will depend on how well people’s equipment holds up.”
J. LeMonds tabbed Van Hoose, Brigman, Aaron, McMaster, and Loney for the top five spots, with Hansen, Jamieson, Mueller, Bob Stanton, and newcomer Brent Wallace also having a legit shot at winning.
“There’s a rumor that Cage has gears,” LeMonds said. “If that’s true, he’s going to be very difficult to beat.
LeMonds selected Martin as the favorite in the women’s division, but also sees Livingston as a serious contender. He believes that Martin and Livingston both have a chance to finish in the top ten overall.
“This is a strong field,” the feeble, old dude said. “If it’s dry, I think we could have as many as 10 to 12 riders come in under four hours, with the winner really pushing that 3:30 mark. If it’s wet, I’m predicting that it will add about 45 minutes to everyone’s times and that no one will make it through the ride without being on the ground multiple times.”
As for his own finish? “I’ve studied the list of riders carefully and still haven’t found anyone I can beat. Lord knows I would never wish a bad crash or a severe mechanical on anyone.”
Thomas Mueller agreed that Hansen, Loney, Van Hoose, Aaron, and Brigman will top the list and predicted that the 62-year-old Brigman has the best chance to dethrone Van Hoose. Mueller thinks it will be tough for anyone to best Van Hoose’s 2010 mark of 3:41 and sees the winning time at 4:10 if the conditions are sloppy.
“I think this is the year that Lance reclaims his title (Brigman won the 5K in ’06 and ’07),” Mueller said. “If he doesn’t burn himself down by racing in a time trial the day before, he has the ability to outride anyone.”
Mueller picked McMaster, former Killer Burrito Andy Crump, Jamieson, and Rob Larsen as dark horse candidates and said that Livingtson, Martin, Sam Loney, and Breedlove will all have strong rides.
“One other thing to think about when considering a winner,” Mueller said. “Who is best at fixing a mechanical?”
Jeff Muldoon selected Hansen, Loney, Van Hoose, Aaron, and Brigman, with Jamieson, Wallace, McMaster, Mueller, and Crump as the dark horses.
He tabbed Martin as the favorite for the women’s title but gives Livingston a chance, “especially if it’s dry.”
Muldoon sees 3:30 as a real possibility for the winner if conditions are good. “If we get bad weather, add an hour.”
D. LeMonds picked the same top five as Muldoon, with Wallace, Jamieson, Mueller, McMaster, and Aaron Althaeuser as the dark horses. He scoffed at Muldoon’s suggestion that Crump should be included.
“Andy’s got too much bad Burrito history,” LeMonds said. “His fitness is good, but the karma is all wrong.”
He rated the women’s division a toss-up, giving Martin the edge in wet conditions and Livingston the nod if it’s dry.
He expects at least 7 riders to come in under four hours if the tread is sterling. If it’s not, he sees only the winner breaking the four-hour mark.