Yes indeed. There are so many good runners out there which were or are superior to the over hyped US Superstars.
It's a toss-up between Walmsley, Canaday, and Hawks.
Personally, I believe that the greatest ultrarunner of all time is Jim Walmsley
-50 mile record (4:50:07)
-Lots of potential upcoming, hes only 36 which is young for an ultrarunner
-I love this guys strava
Interested to see what you guys think
How is Don Ritchie not getting a mention here.
His range from winning races like the Two Bridges (36 miler with top class competition) and the London to Brighton (53/4 miler with against top class competition through world records at 40 (3:53 and 3:54) - 100 miles on road and track (11:30 and 11:51) to setting a then record for JOGLE.
Dons 6:10 100km was an astounding performance. That said he frequently clocked times in the Brighton that equate to well under 5 hours for 50 miles. He did his first sub 7 hour 100km was in 1978 and his last in 1992.
His 24 hour best of 268km came in 1991, 13 years after his 11:30 100 miles and if the event had been his focus at his absolute peak there is no doubt he could have gone substantially further.
So whilst Kouros still holds the 24 hour record, I don't think that's necessarily the most valid factor. Don's 100km mark was only beaten last year, and then on the favourable Lake Saroma coure and by only 66 seconds. There are far more top class runners attempting 100km than 24 hour races.
40 years ago in an age before nutrition, with awful shoes, string vests and no sponsorship Don Ritchie was clocking times that would scare the life out the current crop of ultra runners.
Don Ritchie, absolutely. Your last point about doing this all 40 years ago, essentially the stone age. Took a lot of balls and ignorance, to pull off what he did. Ignorance, in the most respectful way mind you. It was a different world 40 years ago, people thought it was crazy to run a marathon, let alone anything "ultra."
We think, you want to stir up the pot.
Kouros won the first Spartathlon at the age of 27. He ran his last significant world record when he was almost 50 in 2005.
And didn't Walmsley got beaten by a Japanese runner at the Hoka 100k thing by like 35 minutes.
Walmsley is a very good 50 mile runner. That's it.
I’m slightly biased what with Cavin Woodward being my dad, but even I would put Don Ritchie, Yiannis Kouros, Bruce Fordyce, Jos Naylor and Leonid Santalov above him.
Just read the article interviewing Kouros crew. I also briefly had the honor (more like his towel boy, actually) of crewing him. Truly a career highlight.
Kouros was way ahead at Colac 6-Day in 2000. He would never recognize me as the novice whom he lapped repeatedly 12 years before in his 1000-mile WR (where it equally appeared that far more was possible).
I introduced myself to his crew and, with typical grace, they relayed my statement to Yiannis. He actually stopped briefly & apologized for not recognizing me, asked how I was fairing, etc.
Unexpectedly, to make amends (!), they asked would I do them a favor & drive him to the local rec center so he could “loosen up” swimming laps, a legendary characteristic of his!
Well, it was just as I’d always heard, etc. What an honor!
What I remember most, was that he graciously asked my opinion of his effort! Colac was in slightly worse condition than a cow pasture after torrential rains, and the win was assured, but it had certainly hindered him. I noted his 48-hour split, which was phenomenal. He humbly stated that unfortunately it was not a 48-hour race.
ANYONE else, I might have offered an opinion, such as “Poor conditions,” etc.
“You haven’t lost a step,” was all I could say.
I'll go with Ann Trason, and probably Scott Jurek. In terms of pure talent I would have to go with Uli Steidl.