My boss is out there, says the trails are in terrific shape.
Have to agree that Xavier is the most underrated runner on the planet and doesn't get the attention of the likes of Kilian and Francois, but he's handled both of them quite easily in the past. He's had a quiet year, but yes is the heavy favorite.
I'm not sure Zach Miller will ever finish UTMB again. His body is damaged potentially beyond the point of repair. Reminds me of Geoff Roes or Krupicka. Just after 10-12 hours of hard running, hard terrain, old injuries creep up and he becomes exposed, whereas Xavier continues to moved fluidly.
Looking forward to Tollefson moving up a spot. He works hard.
Which race is Hayden Hawks in? I think he's the future, although I'm concerned about his footwear choice. No zero-drop athlete has ever held up on these trails and in this race to win. Too much trauma to soleus and calves. Salomon and HOKA are minimum 4mm drop.