Or you could just use the fact that he has already finished Badwater in 23:52:55.
Or you could just use the fact that he has already finished Badwater in 23:52:55.
Until Ashley runs a 100 mile race where she is a) rested; b) pushed by competition; c) not sick; and d) on a terrain that suits her, we cannot know what she is capable for 100 miles. The Pony Express 100 where she ran 17:26:
a) Four weeks prior she ran a 2:44 marathon. Less than two weeks prior she ran a 2:39 marathon. Five days prior she recorded for iFit at the Chicago marathon — jogging & walking, but still covered the distance. If she was trying to run fast at Pony Express, this is probably not the ideal way to do it.
b) She ran the Pony Express 100 to qualify for Badwater. Her goal time was <17:30. She won outright by ~2-1/2 hours. There’s no reason to run fast when the nearest runner is hours behind and you’re just trying to qualify for Badwater.
c) She stated that she was in physical pain starting at 30 miles. She had blood in urine and stool much of the event and experienced a lot of nausea. But she finished anyway in order to qualify for Badwater.
d) Ashley has said in a podcast (after the Bear 100) that she runs very slowly downhills on the trails. Something to the effect that she tiptoes down the trails and that she prefers the uphills. She is much faster on the roads and since Badwater is a road race, that suites her strength.
Hopefully, one day she’ll run a non-technical 100 with rest and competition to see how fast she can go. But for Badwater, she was pushing hard from the start to see if she could get the female record and break 24 hours. Ivan Penalba, on the other hand, was running more conservative from the start: “I didn't have any specific position or time in mind, I just wanted to get to know the circuit and not go overboard, because any slight excess could ruin the test.” He was also seen power-hiking a climb that Ashley was running. He was clearly faster than her on the flats and downhills.
I think it’s important to take more than just the time into context. After all, the first three 100+ races for Jim Walmsley were: 18:45; DNF; 20:11. For Courtney Dauwalter it was DNF; ~24hrs; 29:16.
These are all great points. I think the issue is still that people seem to be taking her and her crew at their word, and ignoring multiple people's sightings of an unauthorized vehicle on the course, seen near her van at least once. Did those people all hallucinate the same thing?
I can see taking her at her word if there wasn't the past behavior, particularly trying to claim a legit run at the Snow Canyon Half until other runners (rightly) kicked up a fuss. She did not outright confess to what happened/self-DQ, which I find troubling as it potentially set a precedent for thinking this type of unethical maneuvering is OK if you can get away with it. That well-documented incident opened the door, for me, to believe what the person on FB—a Utah-based ultrarunner, not an anonymous troll—said about their friend's experience running behind her in the 55K race.
As others have said here, people who may have seen things seem to feel pressured to keep quiet so they can continue to be invited back to Badwater. If true, that just sucks. In light of that apparent atmosphere, it's pretty noteworthy that Harvey wrote the things he did, and because of that, and his upstanding character generally, I'm certain there's more to it than just sour grapes.
Lastly, your point about Ivan power-hiking hills while she ran them: the thing is, if most of the top 10 runners felt the need to power-hike some of the hills, it's quite extraordinary that she didn't. It's not necessarily a testament to her talent that she ran all the hills (not to mention barely stopped moving for 24 hours). It could be. But her crew saying their sprinter van didn't arrive until later still does not explain the sprinter van that was seen on the course. Until someone can prove that sprinter van was a mirage, or unconnected to her or any other runner, this is going to continue to be a thing.
This might be the post of the thread.
I appreciate all of the FACTS presented here, as they add the much-needed context to all of the results.
Frankly, it makes me a little sad that the response will be something silly about "the unexplained sprinter van," which has not been tied to any wrongdoing, could not even be related to her or her team, might not exist at all, and is generally the weakest-sauce response I can imagine.
Prior to now, my only rooting interest has been to root for the facts to come out, for there to be fairness and a just process.
More recently I find myself rooting for her to run another ultra, one that is well-regulated and observed throughout*, and for her to destroy (or at least to run neck-and-neck with) these so-called legends of ultra. I mean, she ran 2:44, 2:39, set a Badwater record, and then ran 2:57 within about six weeks? Shouldn't the ultra community be welcoming her in and encouraging her?
*We should note that the lack of control at Badwater is not her fault and it is not her job to prove her race results, any more than any other athlete. It is incumbent on the race organizers to ensure a fair race. If they failed to do so, that's on them.
You want to welcome someone with a history of doping and multiple incidents of course cutting?
I'm not a member of the ultra community, but yes.
They should welcome her in, and if they are concerned about her past issues then they can monitor her performances very closely with their own eyes and any other technogolgy available to them. Embed someone into her crew for the race if they want to. And they can instate drug testing policies as appropriate (which they should be doing anyway, if they want to be taken seriously as a sport).
If they don't want to welcome her in, why would they invite her to Badwater? Only to smear her when she did well? That makes no sense.
She got into Badwater by paying a bunch of money. Badwater probably likes the attention they get from an iFit trainer and "fast marathoner". Given her doping and course cutting past she should be banned for life IMO. They should certainly be testing her for PEDs (and other marathons too).
She might have paid a fee, but she "got into Badwater" for one reason and one reason alone: She was INVITED.
And she is subject to doping control as is any other professional triathlete and marathon runner. She did a crime and served her time. After that she is subject to the testing that is normal for her finishes, random draws and out-of-competition testing.
If ultras want to decline her entry, for whatever reason, that is up to them. But given the complete absence of evidence regarding this accusation, that would make the ultra community look like a bunch of cowards who are afraid that a triathlete/Olympic Trials marathoner will expose them for being the hobby joggers that so many believe them to be.
Once you are caught cheating and doping once you will never be beloved again. Franky I can root for a cheater.
If Badwater was going solely for getting attention from an iFit trainer and fast marathoner running, they would have went after Tommy Puzey many years back to get him to run it. Her status as an iFit trainer very likely has nothing to do with why she was invited. As for doping it has been very publicly reported it was a contaminated supplement and her suspension decreased. She was also not the only athlete with a similar suspension circumstance around that time. And she has proven herself at the Olympic Trials since then.
She also herself reported that at a 50 mile race she won that she went off course.
Which is why I put a lot of blame in this on the Race Director. Regardless of whether she ran a legitimate race or not, why do they invite people with checkered histories like this and then not go out of their way to monitor their race?
"People with checkered histories?" That describes 3/4 of ultrarunners. Walmsley got kicked out of the Air Force for cheating and a DUI. Zach Miller lives in a van. Charlie Engle went to prison. Timothy Olkson used to hang out with high-level drug dealers and got sent to jail. There's no "are you a good person?" check in ultrarunning, nor should there be.
I'm not sure if you're being intentionally obtuse or just missing the point. (Yes, those are the two options.) Nobody is suggesting taking a morality test or doing a background check or checking for references. This is a person who failed a drug test. She tried to claim a win at a race despite knowing she didn't run the course (or you could say she intentionally cut the course - but either way, she knew she didn't legitimately win the race yet was trying to claim she did). She was suspected to have cut a course at another based on live witnesses reporting where when and how they saw her at one stretch. And she self-reported that she went off course at another race that she won. Point being, especially with the drug test and half marathon incident, that she has enough of a history that was known (the Race Director said publicly they knew these things when they let her into the race) - why wouldn't you do anything to monitor that person more closely? There is no requirement to, but for the integrity of the race and her reputation - imagine if after this race when the hub-bub started if instead of saying they knew of her past history and haven't seen any hard evidence that they said yes and we went out several times specifically to check in on her to help her vouch for her performance. If I were a Race Director and someone who had failed a drug test, cut at least one course before, etc. wanted to get into my race - I would either say no or I would say yes and help provide evidence for that runner to insulate themselves against any naysayers.
Given the recent busts for SARMS, her failed drug test is looking a lot worse now. Those pesky contaminated ‘supplements’
Another solid marathon finish today just weeks after traveling for ifit Cycling filming. She is continuing to prove herself
2:42:54, first in division, second among women, 47th overall.
St. George was her first marathon at age 19, so she made it her 100th as well.
Barely sub 2:43 on a course with 2,600 feet of drop is not impressive.
nobody used the word impressive. and for all we know she just jogged it.