40k a year seems like plenty incentive.
Many of the top speedy guys that move up from the roads and track to ultra-trails over the years have debuted well. Aside from not eating enough and bonking, they can usually take down some records by a few minutes here and there. That is as soon as they start of the sport.
If Jim was really super talented at 50 to 100 miles one would think that he would of run a little bit better over his last two years in ultras. Even if not training as much or being serious. Also is his track times at shorter distances, which fade in endurance ability from the mile to the 10km, are much better than anything he has done in cross country. He also doesn't come from a road marathoner's background.
Jim ran a 40 minute PB at Lake Sonoma 50 as a one year improvement (6:41 in 2015 to 6:00 this year).
Jim ran a 26 minute PB at JFK, a race he has run the past two prior years. That is a 31 second/mile improvement on his average mile pace in one year for this race. At the more elite level those are some seriously big gains in a really short time span.
When Jim started ultras in 2014 he was chicked by Anna Frost in a 50k. He then ran the 2014 JFK50 in 5:56, a pace well over 7-min/mile.
It wasn't until mid 2016 that Jim even made it on the radar of ultra running fans and suddenly got some attention from ultra-trail media outlets as well as sponsorship.
I too think this guy is on PEDS unfortunately.
if you follow his strava he posts the most whacky stuff, if he is this good legit, i think he should drop the ultra crap and just move over to the marathon, a lot of his miles today were 5:3x-5:4x, he split a 2:38 marathon while running 50 miles in harsh terrain, this guy could be a 2:10 marathoner if he applied himself.
It used to be my hunch that anyone with this type of rapid improvement has to be on the gas, but I just don't see enough money to be made here for someone to give Walmsley a legit drug program.
Remember, PEDs aren't as simple as taking an EPO gummy with your morning orange juice. They have to be done the right way to even work, and that requires some legit medical supervision. I have a hard time believing a company would pay a doctor enough money to risk his career so he could unethically prescribe and or/oversee an ultra runner's cocktail of drugs. All for what - so a few sponsors can get a bit of extra exposure? So Walmsley can clear 40k for the year?