Cross posted from the swamp
The USA men have a really strong team - If they are all healthy they are one of the favorites for gold
The women also have a strong team - They will be in teh mix for gold and are a favorite to medal
The women are decidedly more "Mature" than the men - With the exception of 1st timer and young woman from WI - Cassie Scallon. Holder of both the 50k and 50M women's course records at my favorite ultra - Glacial 50.
Additional runners for the men
Additional runners for the women
I believe how it works is the 1st 6 is the USA men's and women's team. Only their scoring will count for the team titles. The individual titles and the Masters team titles can be won by a combination of the 1st 6 and or additional runners. The 100k typically is open to at large entrants also - Why is this important? The top 10 in the world race - Weather on team USA or not get auto qualified to next years 100k team USA for the World Championship. Take Devon Crosby Helms - If she finishes in the top 10 at this WC100k - She will be on 2013 team USA automatically.
The above is to the best of my knowledge - If I am flawed please correct me.
If you look at the teams on paper (men) - Japan, Italy and USA all look pretty even with France just a notch below.
My fear for USA is I am sure Wardian raced something hard the last 2-3 weekends in a row and I have not hear hike nore hair about Andy Henshaw in a long time. If these 2 guys are on their A game, I would give the nod to USA. If not it becomes a free-for-all.
On the ladies side - Russia, Japan, Iltaly and USA all look tough. Only the top 3 times count, so the USAs depth is a little offset by the other top teams having 2 really good runners.
Overall I think its hard to have everyone hit a solid race, so I am hopeful the USAs depth both on the mens and ladies side tips the race their way for top podium finish. But as we found out in the ladies race last year - Anything can happen as Devon Crosby-Helms (A road beast) uncharacteristically crashed and burned when she was a hopeful for the individual gold.
News, Views and Reviews: April 12th 201236 Countries and 222 athletes. Looks like the 26th 100km IAU World and European Championships will be very exciting. The championship race will take place on April 22nd 2012 in Seregno, Italy. April 21st will be quite a busy day with the IAU Congress & Elections, Officials & Athletes Media Conference, Technical Meeting and Opening Ceremony. Yes - They have a parade of Nations and opening ceremony -
Live updates are suppose to be here:http://www.iau-ultramarathon.org/
Race starts @ 8:00am in Italy = 1:00am CST on Sunday