The Barr Trail Mountain Race is a return event from the 2009 La Sportiva Mountain Cup, but having this as a repeat race is the furthest thing from boring. First off, the event is run on Pikes Peak, the center of the US mountain racing scene. (With this race, the Pikes Peak Ascent, and the Pikes Peak Marathon, we’d love to hear someone argue otherwise.) Second, Matt Carpenter was beat at a race on Pikes Peak. Third, new course records were set in both the men’s and women’s races. That often happens when a local race is added to the Mountain Cup for the first time, but that’s not the case here.
We’ll begin our LSMC race coverage by giving you the scoop on how the race went. Next, we’ll give you an update on the Mountain Cup standings. We’ll then move on to our giveaway contest (Crosslite-y goodness) before calling for your comments and finishing up with the full La Sportiva Mountain Cup schedule.
As alluded to above,this was a burner of a race with records all around. Not only were the men’s and women’s overall course records broken, but five more age group records were set on the day. In all, 339 runners covered the race’s 12.575 miles under the strictly enforced three and a half hour cut off. That’s not bad when you consider the race climbs 3,630′ to 10,200′ in the race’s first 6.3 miles!
Matt Carpenter owns Pikes Peak… or at least he has. In addition to countless victories at the Pikes Peaks Ascent and/or Marathon, he’d won the Barr Trail Mountain Race eight of the nine times he’d run it. His only loss was to Paul Low in 2003. Since then, he’d reeled off six straight wins. He also had the course record in 1:29:33 from the 2007 race, which stood as the only sub-1:30 time until Saturday.
While Ryan Hafer of Colorado Springs is only 24, he’s no newbie to this race. Going into this year he’d finished it four times. In three of those races, he’d lost only to Carpenter, but with an improving trend. Carpenter edged him by 3:56 in 2004 when Hafer was an 18 year old(!), 1:38 in 2006, and 1:12 in 2007. Last year, Hafer ran by far his slowest time at the event (1:35:20), which allowed Alex Nichols, another youngster (then 24) from Colorado Springs, to push Hafer back to third.
All three men would line up for battle again this year with world class mountain runner Rickey Gates (not long after setting a Half Dome fastest known time in Yosemite) and LSMC regulars Bernie Boetthcher and Michael Selig in the mix. Ah, but Hafer would finally have his day. In the end, the race wasn’t close. He won by more than six minutes in 1:29:05. In fact, his 6 minute and 24 second margin of victory missed being the largest ever margin of victory in the race’s eleven runnings by only 4 seconds. (Carpenter won by 6:28 over Greg Ausperger in 2000, the race’s inaugural year.)
While Hafer may have won by a big margin, second through seventh places would span a mere 62 seconds. What a race! Although he didn’t set a course record, Gates (1:35:29) crossed the line in second and is now one of only three people, along with Hafer and Low, to best Matt Carpenter at the Barr Trail Mountain Race. Carpenter took home third in 1:35:46, which was a course record in the 45-49 age group and enough for the master’s win. Alex Nichols dropped back to fourth this year with a time of 1:36:13 with Peter Maksimow (1:36:19) of Colorado Springs just 6 seconds further back in fifth. Boettcher (1:36:26) of Silt, Colorado was second master and sixth overall, while Daryn Parker (1:36:31) of Manitou Springs closed out the trail traffic jam in seventh.
In covering a series and a half of the La Sportiva Mountain Cup, we’ve come to expect a win… or close to it when we see the names of Brandy Erholtz, Laura Haefeli, Megan Kimmel, or Caitlin Smith. Well, this weekend the first three showed up for Barr Trail and only one would come home with the win. That’d be Erholtz. She’s also set a new course record, just like last year when she broke Haefali’s record from the 2008 race. Erholtz of Bailey, Colorado blazed the course in 1:47:57, more than a minute under her then-record time of 1:49:08 from last year. She remains the only woman to break 1:50 on the course.
Haefeli of Del Norte, Colorado would have to “settle” for second, the masters win, and the master’s record with a time of 1:50:32. She also earned a 16 second personal best. Last year’s LSMC women’s champ, Kimmel (1:56:13) of Silverton, Colorado dropped from second last year to third this year as she ran six minutes off her pace from last year. Coming from Nederland, Colorado, Lisa Marie Goldsmith, who won the race in 2006 and 2007, set a 45-49 age group record while finishing fourth overall in 1:59:12. Goldsmith, last year’s LSMC women’s masters champ, was second master at this year’s race. Finishing out the top five was Amanda Ewing of Colorado Springs in 2:00:13.
Full Results and Other Reports
- Official results from the 2010 Barr Trail Mountain Race are available.
- Video interview with Ryan Hafer by Tim Bergsten
- Nick Clark (12th) reported on the race, which he ran only three weeks after placing fourth at the Western States 100.
- George Zack (20th) also posted his race report over the weekend. Zack’s report including links to the following three photo sources.
- Photos by Bethany Garner (from the start and lower part of the “Ws” switchbacks)
- Photos by Chris Alstrin (from the upper part of the “Ws”)
- Photos by John Garner (from the awards ceremony)
- Photo by Jerilee Bennett of The Gazette (photos from around the course)
Things are heating up in the women’s side of the La Sportiva Mountain Cup. To start, there’s a new leader, Megan Kimmel, last year’s Mountain Cup champion. Laura Haefeli’s second place catapulted her into third overall. Rachel Cieslewicz did not have the race she was hoping for (9th) due to a hip injury, but she added points to her fourth place in the standings. Brandy Erholtz needed only one race, her win at Barr Trail, to move into fifth.
There are five races left in this year’s Mountain Cup, but only two weekends left during which races will be held. As all of the top ladies have at least two scoring races left (a runner’s five best race scores count toward the series total), the eventual winner will likely either need to double the weekend of August 7 and 8 or race once that weekend and race again at the series finale, the Up and Over 10k in Taos, New Mexico on August 21.
Here are iRunFar’s Unofficial Standings:
- Megan Kimmell – 54 pts in 3 races (17 pts at Barr Trail including 2 bonus pts for beating Cieslewicz)
- Alison Bryant – 46 pts in 3 races (Did not run Barr Trail)
- Laura Haefeli – 45 pts in 2 races (21 pts at Barr Trail including 4 bonus pts for beating Kimmel and Cieslewicz)
- Rachel Cieslewicz – 35 pts in 3 races (7 pts at Barr Trail)
- Brandy Erholtz – 26 pts in 1 race (26 pts at Barr Trail including 4 bonus pts for beating Kimmel and Cieslewicz)
All three top Mountain Cup men took the weekend off… and all three stayed put at the top of the standings. Count on each of these fellas to run at least one of the four Mountain Cup races being run August 7th and 8th. Michael Selig didn’t have his best race (10th), but his six points added to his hold on fourth place. In finishing his second Mountain Cup race, Bernie Boettcher used his two bonus points from beating Selig to overtake Jacob Loverich by one point for fifth position.
Unlike the women’s side, two men – Matt Byrne and Jason Bryant – have already run four races, meaning only one more race will count before they’ll need to start displacing lower scoring races. Ryan Woods, Selig, Boettcher can all more or less race to their heart’s content. Keep in mind that both Bryant and Boettcher doubled up Mountain Cup races on same weekend of August 8th last year when both ran a Jupiter Peak/Mount Ashland double.
Here are iRunFar’s Unofficial Standings:
- Matt Byrne – 79 pts in 4 races (Did not run Barr Trail)
- Ryan Woods – 63 pts in 3 races (Did not run Barr Trail)
- Jason Bryant – 62 pts in 4 races (Did not run Barr Trail)
- Michael Selig – 36 pts in 3 races (6 pts at Barr Trail)
- Bernie Boettcher – 29 pts in 2 races (12 pts at Barr Trail including 2 bonus pts for beating Selig)
iRunFar.com La Sportiva Mountain Cup Contest
It’s been a long time since we offered up a pair La Sportiva Fireblades (iRF Fireblade review) in the Rothrock Trail Challenge article, but we’ve not forgotten. Out of more then 80 entries Henry Bickerstaff of Alva, Oklahoma is the lucky winner. Henry, we hope you enjoy your new Fireblades.
We’ve never been to Pikes Peak nor do we know what folks were wearing out there on Saturday, but we’d have brought our La Sportiva Crosslites (iRF Crosslite review). They’re a great choice for pretty much any non-ultra trail race. (Some folks wear even them for ultras, too!) Now you can win yourself a pair of Crosslites.
To enter the contest, simply leave your name and town (in the US or Canada) in a comment before we report on the Jupiter Peak Steeplechase (Bryon Powell of iRunFar will be there), the Squaw Valley Mountain Run, or the Mount Ashland Hill Climb, all of which will be run on Saturday, August 7th. As a reminder, if you enter to win the Crosslites, you’ll also automatically be eligible to win the grand prize at the end of August. Read up on the iRunFar.com La Sportiva Mountain Cup giveaway grand prize.