Cayuga Trails 50 is rapidly approaching. This year, the race will be held on July 21st. Once again, the race will play host to USATF 50-Mile Trail Championships.
Past years have included Sage, Magda, Vargo, Matt Flaherty, Tyler Sigl, Mario Mendoza, Jared Burdick, Amanda Basham, Corrine Malcolm, Sabrina Little, Laura Kline, Krissy Moehl and many others. This year, the field is shaping up a bit differently. The date change coupled with a plethora of other races has thinned things out a bit at the top. With that being said, there are many fantastic runners (including the male course record holder and the fifth fastest female), and it should be another great race. Here are a few names to watch in the field:
The Women’s Elite Field
Sabrina is a Cayuga veteran. She was 2nd in 2016 and 3rd in 2017. This year, she won Rocky Raccoon with an impressive time of 15:23. If she’s still that fit, she will be tough to beat on a course that she knows well.
Ellie is a local speedster. Last year, she took 2nd at the Cayuga Marathon. This year, she has won the Naked Prussian 50 and Many on the Genny (40 miles). If she races well, she will certainly be near the front.
Sarah is a bit of a wildcard. I don’t think Cayuga necessarily plays into her strengths. With that being said, she’s having a great year. Sarah was 2nd at UROC in May and she finished 8th at the Broken Arrow Skyrace in June. I’d be surprised if she didn’t finish top 3.
Kelsey was 4th at Cayuga last year. Since that time, she has racked up some legit results including 5th at Hellgate and 2nd at Massanutten. She’s definitely top 5 material if she still has something left in her legs.
Shandra is coming to Ithaca all the way from Texas (as is Sabrina). She had some solid results in 2017 including 7th at Bandera and 2nd at Rocky Raccoon. She’s run under 8 hours for 50 miles, and she will likely find herself in the top 10.
Jonnah is coming from Wisconsin to represent the Midwest. She has only raced one ultra this year, second place at Ice Age. Jonnah has also run under 8 hours for 50 miles, and she should also find herself somewhere in the top 10.
Anna was 13th at Cayuga in 2015 and 8th at Cayuga in 2017. Her results are consistent and solid. I think she can improve on that 8th place finish from last year.
The Men’s Elite Field
Tyler won Cayuga in 2016 in an unbelievable course record time of 6:44. He was also 3rd in 2015 in 7:08. Earlier this year, he won UROC. If he is healthy, he will be nearly impossible to beat.
As far as I can tell, Michael has only run two ultras. However, he put up a quick 50k and a quick 50-miler so I suspect he has top-10 potential.
Kyle is interesting – he has some really impressive results at the Pikes Peak Marathon including a 4:24 just last year. However, it hasn’t quite translated to Cayuga where he has run 9:28 and 9:24, respectively. If he can bring some of that Pikes Peak magic to Cayuga, he’ll improve his time considerably.
Josh is a speedy northeast guy that you’re just as likely to bump into on the track as the trail. This year, he was second at Naked Prussian. I think he’ll probably crack the top ten, and he may be the top Master’s finisher.
Jason Mintz (that’s me!)
It’s my blog, I can do whatever I want! I’ve run the 50-miler at Cayuga three times, placing 16th, 13th and 15th amongst the fellas. In this year’s field, I can probably crack the top 10 with a decent race. After a rocky start to the year, my last two races have been solid.
Zach is fairly new to ultrarunning but he’s quick. This is his first 50-miler, but I think he’s probably top-10 material.
I’m going to boldly pick the top three women and men – because who needs enemies when you’ve got friends like me?!
1) Sabrina Little
2) Sarah Keyes
3) Ellie Pell
1) Tyler Sigl
2) Josh Finger
3) Me 🙂
The full entrant list is available here.
Keep your eye out for late entrants – looking at you Brian Rusiecki and Ben Nephew.
The weather could be a factor. It’s going to be sunny and in the 80s. That could be good or it could be bad depending upon the humidity.
Finally, here is a quick shoutout to Robert Seltzer – he has run (and finished) the race every single year, and he will be going for another finish this year.
Who did I miss in the preview?
Any predictions of your own?
The men’s field has added a couple of studs:
Patrick is only 21 years old, but don’t be fooled, he’s got some fantastic experience. Last fall, he went 13:50 for 100 miles. Patrick will give Tyler Sigl some company up front, and he adds a bit of depth to the men’s field that was previously lacking. Last fall, Patrick was on URP, and you can check it out here.
What can you really say about Daven? Mr. Consistent. About a month ago, Daven was third at the Mohican 100. Will his legs be 100%? Maybe. If they are, I think he’ll find his way onto the podium. If not, he’s still a likely top-ten finisher.
Clock is ticking – anyone else want to throw down on Saturday?