Wow, this year’s La Sportiva Mountain Cup has flown by! Four plus months felt like a blink of an eye… and an avalanche of free La Sportiva shoes. This year’s Mountain Cup finale, the Taos Up and Over, was run on Saturday in Taos Ski Valley, New Mexico. This race is NOT your garden variety 10k! Nope, you START at 9,207′ to climb another 2,612′ in the first 3 miles before plummeting the same amount in the next three miles and change. I, for one, wanted supplemental oxygen on the way up and a hang glider on the way down! Heck, the elevation profile is too good to not include it below.
We’ll begin our LSMC race coverage by giving you the scoop on how the race went. We’ll then move on to final Mountain Cup standings and our giveaway contest (Fireblades) before calling for your comments.
Bernie Boettcher notched his second La Sportiva Mountain Cup race win of the season by running up and over the mountain in 54:21. He was also the master’s winner. Jason Bryant, another series competitor, easily took second, but was well behind Bernie in 57:08. Mike Rahmer took third in 1:02:10 just ahead of Jason Taylor, who ran 1:02:15. Rounding out the top five was Thomas Fritsch in 1:06:39. Here’s an interview with Bernie from after the race.
I happened to run 1:09:30, which I think was good for 12th overall and 8th man. I’m not quite sure. I walked all but maybe a third of the mile on the climb, which my Garmin pegged at 2,345 feet in 2.86 miles. I’m glad I had a pair of Black Diamond’s forthcoming Z-Poles Ultra trekking poles with me out there. I picked up some places quickly on the steep, technical descent just after the peak.
Rachael Cieslewicz made it to the top of the mountain in first, only to be passed by Susan Nuzum and Alison Bryant on technical sections early in the descent. She never gave up. Bryant suffered with some heel blisters on the steep downhill and was the first to be passed with maybe half a mile to go. Cieslewicz pressed on to catch Susan just before the finish. She won in 1:06:42 to Nuzum’s 1:06:46. Nuzum was the masters winner. Bryant came in third in 1:07:12.
Full results of the Taos Up and Over are not yet posted.
It should surprise no one that Meghan Kimmel repeated as this year’s La Sportiva Mountain Cup women’s champ. Her 93 points going into the weekend made her untouchable and the winner of $5,000. Rachel Cieslewicz’s victory over LSMC Top 10 women, Alison Bryant and Susan Nuzum, gave her 24 points on the day and 76 points on the season. Bryant picked up 15 points on the day, but that wasn’t enough to hold of Cieslewicz, who improved upon last year’s third place in the Mountain Cup with second overall in series this year to give her a $2,500 pay day. Bryant ended up in third overall with 74 points, which is good for $1,500.
Here are iRunFar’s Unofficial Standings:
- Megan Kimmell – 93 points
- Rachel Cieslewicz – 76 points
- Alison Bryant – 74 points
- Laura Haefeli – 45 points
- Susan Nuzum – 40 points
It turns out that fourth and fifth in the overall Mountain Cup standings are one and two in the masters standings. That makes Laura Haefeli this year’s women masters champ ($2,000) and Susan Nuzum the runner up ($1,000). Lisa Goldsmith was third to take home $500.
Our congratulations go to Ryan Woods for becoming the new men’s La Sportiva Mountain Cup winner and the $5,000 it brings with it. Neither Woods nor runner-up Matt Byrne ($2,500) had to race this weekend to hold their positions. Bernie Boettcher’s win over Jason Bryant switched their positions in the overall standings. However, as Boettcher will take home more cash as the master’s champion, he is removed from the open prize list. That means Bryant will still take home the $1,500 prize for the third place overall male.
Here are our unofficial series tallies:
- Ryan Woods – 106 points
- Matt Byrne – 96 points
- Bernie Boettcher – 84 points
- Jason Bryant – 82 points
- Ryan Hafer – 50 points
Bernie Boettcher keeps his LSMC masters championship streak alive again this year to take home $2,000. Matt Carpenter was second ($1,000) and Tadd Morris third ($500).
iRunFar.com La Sportiva Mountain Cup Contest
Now on to this year’s most exciting contest section. We’re naming the winners of four different pairs of La Sportiva shoes. We also offer up one final pair of shoes as well as one last chance to enter to win the iRunFar.com La Sportiva Mountain Cup giveaway grand prize.
This week winners are:
- La Sportiva Skylite – Scott (of iKeepRunning.com) of Pullman, WA
- La Sportiva Crossover GTX – William Ward of Murfreesboro, TN.
- La Sportiva Wildcat – Chris Taft of Easthampton, MA.
- La Sportiva Fireblade – Chris Freet of Honesdale, PA.
I brought a pair of Crosslites to Taos and they served me well. Besides, these are easily the most frequently worn by the La Sportiva Mountain Running team in races. Therefore, we think it’s fitting to make them the final individual prize in the series.
To enter the contest, simply leave your name and town (in the US or Canada) in a comment before 5 pm on Wednesday, September 1. 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.