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2015 Rocky Raccoon 100: Men’s Fast Tread Preview

[If you haven’t already, be sure to check out our main 2015 Rocky Raccoon 100 Preview Article which contains many more pine needle textured musings and additional useful and insightful goodies. Plus info on live streaming race coverage throughout the day!]

rr100mpre

2015 marks the second consecutive year that Rocky Raccoon 100 has hosted the USATF 100 Mile Trail Championships which includes a $4,000 cash purse split between the women and men.

Over 300 men are ready to lace up the tread for this 100 mile scamper with 68 participating in the USATF Trail Championship.

If the tread owned by the current 100 mile fastest trail finish (12:44:33 – 2011) in North America shows up, and he set the record at that same venue, the hat tip has to go to him as the guy looking to set the pace at the front of the weekend’s race. Ian Sharman of California is that guy!

After a second place, 13:38 Rocky finish in 2014, he is ready to get after it yet again. In case you were wondering why Ian is not on the USATF championship list, he is not a U.S. Citizen so is ineligible to participate in that aspect of the race.

While Ian may be at the pointy-end of the of the race favorites list, there are a number of guys looking forward to the chase.

Paul Terranova of Texas is lacing them up for his first Rocky track race after earning a return trip back to Western States 100 with his recent Bandera 100k performance.

Our top returning finishers from Rocky 2014 behind Ian are Steve Speirs of Virgina who finished fourth, and Joshua Finger of Pennsylvania sixth. Steve is also ineligible for USATF awards.

Others sure to be in the mix include Nathan Leehman of North Carolina who finished second in 2013 and Peter Hogg of Indiana who knocked out a 14:25 100 at Burning River (dating back to 2013, what does that mean today?).

There will be a pretty good sized group aiming for a top 10 finish. Mile 60, the race begins.

Our Men

(Most of this list is from parsing the USATF 100 mile championship list and any other names I may have recognized. This is not an all-inclusive list by any means so please share names and any interesting results in the comment link below. Danke!)

To add some fun and get to know our runners a little bit, I asked the following question:

If you could listen to only one song at the start of the fourth or fifth loop of the Rocky 100, what would it be?

You can see their responses below. 🙂

(Credit: Lynn Ballard)

(Credit: Lynn Ballard)

Ian Sharman (CA) – Altra

2014 Highlights

  • Leadville 100 3rd – 16:41
  • Western States 100 6th – 15:47

Rocky Raccoon 100 Experience

  • 2014 – 13:38 2nd
  • 2011 – 12:44:33 1st *course record

4/5th Loop Tune of Choice

Fancy by Iggy Azalea.

[If you can catch him, you will have to ask him why. :)]


Steve Speirs (VA) – Injinji Performance Toesocksstevespeirsrr10015pre

2014 Highlights

  • 24 The Hard Way 24hrs 1st – 110 Miles
  • Western States 100 72nd – 22:54
  • North Face Washington DC 50 3rd – 7:21

Rocky Raccoon 100 Experience

  • 2014 – 15:26 4th

4/5th Loop Tune of Choice

Probably something 80s…How about Suffer Well by Depeche Mode.


joshfingerrr10015

Credit: Otto Lam

Joshua Finger (PA)

2014 Highlights

  • Grindstone 100 10th – 22:04
  • Vermont 100 4th – 16:26

Rocky Raccoon 100 Experience

  • 2014 – 15:49 6th
  • 2012 – 16:13

4/5th Loop Tune of Choice

Never Gonna Stop –  The combination of the hardness of the song and its message really work when you are pushing beyond limits!


Paul Terranova (TX) – HOKA ONE ONEpaultbd153qs

2014 Highlights

  • 2015 Bandera 100k 2nd – 8:39
  • Mountain Masochist 50M 1st – 7:20
  • Run Rabbit Run 100M Hare 9th – 21:05
  • Western States 100M 13th – 17:26

4/5th Loop Tune of Choice

I’ll be plugging into Meredith’s mp3 for loop 3 so it could range from Call Me Maybe to Timber. There’s no telling!!!


Nathan Leehman (NC) – INKnBURN Elite Teamnathanleehmanrr10015pre

2014 Highlights

  • Superior 100 3rd – 23:26
  • Taho Rim 100 10th – 22:31
  • Zumbro 100 1st – 20:30

Rocky Raccoon 100 Experience

  • 2013 – 16:02 2nd

4/5th Loop Tune of Choice

Pearl Jam’s Alive. Yes, it’s a slow beat and would probably mess with my cadence. No, it probably wouldn’t do much for pumping me up, either. But that song is just SO gritty, and the first half of lap 5 is just a pure push. Once you get to the halfway point between DamNations you can smell the barn, but when you head out of the turnaround for the last time…well, it’s good just to get a reminder that others are pushing just as hard as I am. Plus, I’d get to let out a yell late in the song, and that’s always good for morale!


Peter Hogg (IN)peterhrr100pre

2013* Highlights

  • North Face SF 50 14th – 7:00
  • Burning River 100 1st – 14:25

4/5th Loop Tune of Choice

I’d probably listen to Flaws by Bastille just because I like their music right now.


Justin Hayes (TN)justinhayesrr10015

2014 Highlights

  • Land Between the Lakes 50 6th – 8:14
  • Cummins Falls Marathon 2nd – 3:08

4/5th Loop Tune of Choice

My one song would be The Elk Hunt on the Last of the Mohicans sound track. It is an epic song that invokes the running-for-survival imagery from the movies opening scene. I find it very uplifting and motivating.


Joe Smoker (IN) Joe_smokerrr10015pre

2014 Highlights

  • Tunnel Hill 50 6:41
  • Mohican 100 23:34

4/5th Loop Tune of Choice

I’d want something I love, with a heavy beat and great music. I’ll pick 21st Century Schizoid Man  by King Crimson.


Thomas Orf (TX)Orf_Familyrr10015pre

2014 Highlights

  • Brazos Bend 100 2nd – 15:55
  • Big Cedar 100 2nd – 23:10

Rocky Raccoon 100 Experience

  • 2014 – 19:18

4/5th Loop Tune of Choice

Song Good To Be Alive by Jason Gray.  After seven years of almost non-stop hard running and training, even to this very day, when I finish just a six mile weekday run, I’m still in awe and so thankful that my legs had another day.  I thank God each day for the gift of my legs and I don’t take this for granted.  But more important than the running, 2014 and this song has spoken to me and to take this “Good to be alive” attitude into every aspect of my life: husband, father, and friend.  Life is short, so make every minute count and when I’m hurting at mile 60 or 80, you’ll find me still very thankful!!!


Matthew Urbanski (WA)

2014 Highlights

  • Run Rabbit Run 100 14th – 25:07
  • White River 50 4th – 7:15

Nick Seymour (OK)NickSeymourrr10015pre

2014 Highlights

  • Arkansas Traveller 100 5th – 19:29
  • War Eagle 50k 2nd – 4:32

4/5th Loop Tune of Choice

Eminem’s Cinderella Man or Linkin Park’s Bleed it Out. Both would get the adrenaline going so I’d be prepped to seize the moment and face those mental demons we all battle going into the last 20 miles.


Matt Zmolek (TX)

2014 Highlights

  • Brazos Bend 100 4th – 16:33
  • Big Cedar 100 1st – 22:35
  • Cactus Rose 100 4th – 24:11

Rocky Raccoon 100 Experience

  • 2014 – 17:00
  • 2013 – 17:22

Matt Smith (TX)mattsmithbd15

2014 Highlights

  • Wild Hare 50 1st – 7:23
  • Cactus Rose 50 1st – 8:03
  • Leadville 100 22nd – 21:53

Rocky Raccoon 100 Experience

  • 2014 – 18:20

Ryan Loehding (TX) – Texas Beef Teamryanloehdingrr10015pre

2014 Highlights

  • Cowtown 50k 5th – 3:44

Rocky Raccoon 100 Experience

  • 2014 – 19:20

4/5th Loop Tune of Choice

The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner – Iron Maiden. No doubt about it. My wife, Jennifer, is planning to pace me the last loop this year so I should not be lonely, but it is still a great song for those dark hours.


Charles Humphrey III (NC)

2014 Highlights

  • Hallucination 100 11th – 21:55

Tom Dmukauskas (MA)

2014 Highlights

  • TARC Fells Trail Ultra 40 5th – 8:37
  • Hampshire 50 1st – 8:35
  • TARC 50 2nd – 9:02

Sam Skeels (MI)

2014 Highlights

  • The HUGG 50k 3rd – 3:50
  • Western States 100 58th – 22:01

Lindsay Hamoudi  (CA)

2014 Highlights

  • North Face Utah 50 12th – 8:58
  • West Highland Way 95 5th – 17:31

Matthew Curtis (CO)

Update: Not running per our conversation. (unofficial)

2014 Highlights

  • Western States 100 23rd – 18:56
  • Vermont 100 10th – 17:41
  • Leadville 100 13th – 20:38
  • Wasatch Front 100 28th – 25:37

Nicholas Balbach (IN)

Update: Not running per our conversation. (unofficial)

2014 Highlights

  • First day of Winter 50k 1st – 3:50
  • Tunnel Hill 50 2nd – 6:38

How about for the men…

Who are we missing?

Your surprise race performance prediction?

Be active – Feel the buzz!

David – EnduranceBuzz.com

About the author

David Hanenburg David Hanenburg is the passionate dirt-lovin' creator of Endurance Buzz and has been playing in the endurance sports world since 2000 after knockin' the dust off of his Trek 950 hardtail thanks to a friend asking to go ride some local dirt. In 2007 he ran his first ultra on the trails and fell in love with the sport and its people. For more information on David's endurance sports journey, check out the About page.

One Response to “2015 Rocky Raccoon 100: Men’s Fast Tread Preview”

  1. on 28 Jan 2015 at 5:46 pm Steve Speirs

    How about James Elson from the UK? Plenty of Rocky Raccoon 100 experience and a list of ultra finishes as long as your arm.

    http://www.centurionrunning.com/team-cr/