Mountain Cup & USATF Showdown at Nueces

2011 La Sportiva Mountain CupThis weekend, the La Sportiva Mountain Cup traveled down to Texas to make its Lone Star State debut at the Nueces 25k, one of four Nueces Endurance Trail Run races held on Saturday. To make things even more exciting, the Nueces 50 mile was the USATF trail 50 mile championship, so we’ll talk a bit more about a Mountain Cup sister race that usual.

That means after starting off with our LSMC race coverage we’ll take a look at USATF trail 50 mile championships. After taking a pass on the Mountain Cup standings (results weren’t available when we wrote this… and it’s early in the season), we’ll move on to our La Sportiva shoe giveaway contest before calling for your comments and finishing up with the full La Sportiva Mountain Cup schedule.

The Race
Women’s Race
The women’s race was the one to watch in this installment of the Mountain Cup. Meghan Kimmell nearly won the race outright. Kimmell, a La Sportiva runner and 2010 Mountain Cup champ, was reportedly worried heading into the race as she lives up in snowy Silverton, Colorado and has run all of 60 miles this season. That obviously wasn’t a problem as she set a new course record.

Former local runner Melanie Fryar battled for second with Rachel Cieslewicz, a Mountain Cup competitor as well as a Newton and Xterra runner. Three minutes behind Kimmel, Fryer won that battle by two minutes as well as the La Sportiva Standout Award from RD Joe Pursaitis. Cieslewicz took home third along with 15 valuable Mountain Cup points, which puts her in the lead for the 2011 series. You can read more about her race here.

  1. Megan Kimmell – 2:00:27
  2. Melanie Fryar – 2:02:11
  3. Rachel Cieslewicz -2:05:18
  4. Rachel Hector – 2:20:38
  5. Pauline Hernandez – 2:23:46
Rachel Cieslewicz Megan Kimmell Nueces 25k

Megan Kimmell (first) and Rachel Cieslewicz (third) after the Nueces 25k. Photo courtesy of Rachel Cieslewicz.

Men’s Race [Updated]
The men’s results were slower to trickle in from the Texas sticks, but the full results are now up. The winner, Waylon Calabrese of Texas set the course record.

  1. Waylon Calabrese – 1:59:12
  2. Justin Gonzalez – 2:01:20
  3. Chris Chancey – 2:02:33
  4. Brandon Gerard – 2:05:05
  5. Christopher Whelchel – 2:09:03
        1. Liza Howard – 8:09:59
        2. Parvaneh Moayedi – 10:13:38
        3. Jameelah Abdul-RAhim Mujaahid – 11:41:34

    Full Results
    Full results are now available.

    La Sportiva Mountain Cup Standings
    As we don’t have full results we can’t update the Mountain Cup standings, so we’ll take this opportunity to remind you that series results are based on a runner’s top five scoring races. In each race, points are awarded to the top 15 runners of each gender. The top five runners receive 20, 17, 15, 13, and 11 points, respectively. The sixth through fifteenth place runners receive points descending from 10 points for sixth place to 1 point for the final scoring runner. A runner will also receive 2 bonus points for beating another runner who ranked in the series’ top 10 going into the race. You can take a look at the official scoring rules by going to the Mountain Cup website and clicking on the About tab.

    Nueces 50 Mile, the 2011 USATF Trail 50 Mile National Championships
    To give you some perspective on the course, we’ll share Dave James’ take:

    The Nueces course was harder than Bandera 100k course (the 2011 USATF trail 100k championship), more rocks and Joe (RD) marked some sections that were not really trails which made for slow going. It was windy at the 6 a.m. start. Sunrise was about 7 a.m., so the first 30 minutes were very dark and strange. The day was sunny with some clouds, windy on the ridge tops. The course was three loops and very well marked, but slow because of all the little rocks. There were also two water crossings and two suspension bridges each lap.

    On the men’s side, Chris Kollar, a former 1500 meter specialist at NC State (who allegedly had never raced over 10k), took out the pace on the first of the three 16.7 mile loops, running it in less than 2 hours. James rolled through the first rocky, rolling lap in 2:04 in second place. James reports that after going out to hard on the first lap he “was toast after that and had a hard time.” Jason Schlarb rolled by James at the start of the third lap and sped away to win in 6:28:26. James hung on to finish second in 6:43:24, just ahead of Jason Bryant (a frequent Mountain Cup competitor). Bryant (race reportschedule) ran a much more controlled 2:15 first lap en route to a 6:51:35. Steven Moore (7:00:07) and Jack Pilla (7:01:01) rounded out the top five. In a comment, Moore shared, “Jason B., Jack P., and I ran together for much of the day and had a great time.” Full men’s results are found here.

    Olga Varlamova reports in a comment, “The early leader of 50M had dropped after second loop, which he finished together with Dave and Jason.”

    Neuces USATF Trail 50 mile national championship

    The Nueces course is remote. Photo courtesy of Rachel Cieslewicz.

    It’s no surprise that the women’s race was a one woman affair. Liza Howard dominated, even though she wasn’t fresh (in the past two months she’s won the USATF trail 100k national championship and the Rocky Raccoon 100 mile) and things didn’t go quite as planned. We’ll not commandeer any of Liza’s words as we think you should go check out her always humorous blog. Here’s her Nueces 50 mile race report.

    Here are the top three women (only three women finished):

    iRunFar.com La Sportiva Mountain Cup Contest
    La Sportiva logoBack in February we offered up a pair of La Sportiva Crosslites in our Uwharrie Mountain Run race report and now it’s time to announce their winner – Jacob W. of Sante Fe, New Mexico! Congrats, Jacob.

    La Sportiva RaptorGiven the rocks and longer distance of the Nueces 25k (and with a nod to its 50 mile kin) we’re offering up a pair of La Sportiva’s Raptors (iRF review), a technical trail shoe with a sticky rubber outsole that’s perfect for gripping rocky terrain. Want to clutch a pair of your own talon-like Raptors? Simply leave your name and town (in the US or Canada) in a comment before we write about the next Mountain Cup race, the Bel Monte Endurance Run 25k on March 26 in Sherando Lake, Virginia. As a reminder, if you enter to win the Raptors 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.

    Call for Comments
    If you ran any of the Nueces Endurance Trail Runs, please leave a comment letting everyone know how you did and what you think about the race. Past racers are invited to comment, too!

    The La Sportiva Mountain Cup

    [Thanks to Rachel Cieslewicz, Dave James, and Ian Achey for providing information for this article.]

There are 76 comments

  1. Matt Smith

    Looking forward to more complete race reports from Nueces as they come in – congrats to all the top finishers in the various races. The Rothrock Challenge is the only LSMC race I could possibly run this year, if you can call Rothrock 'running'…

    Matt Smith

    Chatham, NY

  2. olga

    Melanie Fryer is a former (yet very proud) local runner who now resides in CO, but comes to visit family and friends often. She is also a member of National 100k team and a Team Traverse. First 4 finishers in 25k went from 1:59 up 1 minute apart. The early leader of 50M had dropped after second loop, which he finished together with Dave and Jason. He ran without a bottle – something you don't do on trails, in ultras, in Texas (even though the weather was very nice and pretty dry for the day). And it's not harder…just ask Jason Bryant! It is just a bit more technical:) Wherever your strength is.

  3. Peter

    dave james has had quite a season so far. 1st at american canyon and the coastal challenge costa rica, 2nd at bandera and nueces.

    size 11 raptors would fit my feet nice.

    peter

    harrison ny

  4. Blair

    Looks like Geoff Roes was right about Jason Schlarb being a runner to watch this year. Congrats to him and all of the other runners.

    Blair Williams

    Manchester Center, VT

  5. Todd

    Thanks I Run Far for the great race coverage that you provide. You make those of us not able to participate get a glimpse of the excitement.

    Todd S,

    San Antonio, TX

  6. Jadon Ross

    Great reporting, always look forward to having an irunfar post pop up in my blog list.

    Jadon Ross

    Kemmerer Wyoming

  7. Zag

    Results are now posted on Tejas Trails and USATF.

    Jason B, Jack P and I ran together for much of the day and had a great time.

    Jason S nailed it and David J would have been there if not for the silly rabbit that he was chasing! Thanks to all for coming to Texas for some fun in the Hill Country.

    Steven Moore

    Austin TX

  8. Alex

    For some reason I didn't notice that the Don't Fence Me In 30k was a part of the cup until this report.

    I loved that course!! Should be a great course to race on too.

    Alex J.

    Pocatello, ID

  9. Glenn S

    Bryon,

    Great coverage, as usual. Also, enjoyed reading about your PF recovery, training and racing, as I am plagued by some running and overuse injuries at the moment. But I'll be back. Would love a shot at the Raptors, they seem like a rad shoe.

    Glenn

    Telluride, CO

  10. Anonymous

    A total of 4 women finishers in the field at the 2011 USATF 50 Mile Trail National Campionships? 11 hrs 41 minutes takes the women's Bronze Medal?

    1. Bryon Powell

      Nope. Only 3 womens finishers who were registered with USATF… that'd be $150 and a USATF bronze to the third place finisher. There were five women's finishers in the race. This is worse than sad, it's appalling. Sincerely, it's a shame to the USATF.

      [Mar 9 Update: I was a bit too strong in my initial judgment, so I've changed "shame on the USATF" to "shame to the USATF," as there's no question this is sad affair that further detracts from the standing of the USATF championships. That said, a good deal of the problem lays outside the USATF. I'll explain more on this soon.]

      1. Ian Sharman

        They really need to rethink things since they pick races almost at random (it seems) and don't do anything noticable to get top runners to show up, apart from some meager prize money which wouldn't cover most people's travel expenses. Either do it properly or don't bother pretending it's a national championship.

        Everybody knows that the only 50 miler that will be close to a national (or even international) championship is in San Francisco in December.

        On a separate note, does it make sense that the 50k road and 50 mile trail USATF championships were on the same weekend? These events do overlap in terms of competitors.

        1. Michael Owen

          Totally agree Ian.

          I think the fact that it changes every year (or two years) from site to site, date to date people just don't know about the USATF championships.

          Why can't the championships be the same place, same time every year. Maybe thats their new aim. But why did they take a race like Nueces that was only a year old and make a championship? Why not take an existing popular 50 miler?

        2. Speedgoat Karl

          yah, pretty pathetic with only 5 girls in that race. Like others, no offense to the ladies….you showed up!

          USATF does what they do….Just hang tight people, the BIG DANCE is coming….and it ain't gonna be in San Francisco. The NF50 is certainly the 50 mile championship race, and it's at the END of the year….kinda makes sense. The 100 mile defacto is coming.

          Joe is a great RD! Nueces looked like a great course and well organized as all of Joe's races are.

          One thing I don't understand about USATF championships…so the 100k is now complete? Mac Daddy is the champion, but we have 10 months left in 2011. Why have we seen two USATF championship races already. For most people, the season isn't even started, unless you're a freak like me.

          Bryon, I now dare you to approach USATF with an interview on their view of there championships. You put yourself in this position! Make it happen man, we're all here waiting. :-)

  11. Kelly

    While the Crosslites are my shoe of choice for ≤50k, I have been wanting to try out those La Sportiva Raptors for longer distances.

    Kelly

    Smithfield, UT

  12. Chris R.

    Byron, it would be interesting for you to interview Roy Pirrung or someone from USATF on their selection process. Maybe there is a piece of the story we aren't getting. Personally I thought Bandera was a great site for the 100k. Great variety of trails that challenges all skills, close to SA and Austin, and it is during a time of year that people are looking for a warm place to run. Nueces is beautiful and challenging but it is far to get to get to and lack of female runners was disappointing. I will say there may not ne a better RD than Joe Prusaitis.

  13. Chris R.

    Ian, that is why I wish Byron would interview USATF. Everyone bashes USATF so it would be good to get their perspective. How do they select races? What are the bidding requirements? Do they have a vision on what they hope to accomplish? How do they market (or not) to elite runners etc.?

      1. Jon Allen

        Matt Carpenter and USATF had a nice little discussion a while back somewhat on this topic: http://www.skyrunner.com/story/usatf-mc-vs-br.pdf

        It really is sad that anyone might consider it a national championship with only 3 "eligible" entrants (no offense intended to those 3). It's like if the Olympic Trials marathon only had 3 people show up, and one of them ran it in 4 hrs? I'll be interested to see what you write, Bryon.

        And throw my name in for the shoes- Greenville, SC

  14. Dave Bales

    I don't know if they make these shoes to fit my size 14's, but the grand prize would be awesome. Thanks for all the great work you do.

    Dave

    Neptune, NJ

  15. Rachel Cieslewicz

    Hey Bryon, as always a fabulous write up. It is people like you who at a grass roots level are making a difference. It is sad that USATF doesn't give the off road world much attention. Very sad. I hope soon they will wake up an realize the ever growing aspect of running in the USA they have neglected for so long and finally give to and embrace it as they do their road and track stars…

  16. Clint

    Greetings from Austria, Bryon. Frequent reader of your blog but first-time commenter. As has been echoed so many times before by the iRunFar commentariat, great articles and coverage of the ultra community.

    Cheers,

    Clint

  17. Mike D.

    As always Bryon, nice write up.

    Having only been running for a year, my trail shoe has been the Brooks Cascadia. I sure would like to give these Raptors a try, though (hint, hint)!

    Why is a championship determined at the beginning of the year and not at the end?

    Mike D.

    Casper, WY

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