The Rothrock Challenge is not hyperbolically named race. It IS a challenge. I ran it last year… or, rather, started and made it as far as the first aid station before calling it a day. That’s never happened anywhere else before or since. Last year, brutally hot weather made the supremely rocky course even more humbling than usual. This year, runners were at least able test themselves against the course in near perfect weather for trail running. Well, except for the last few finishers who were treated to a thunderstorm.
As with last year, the La Sportiva Mountain Cup included Rothrock. Big-time series competitors often dominate Mountain Cup events, but just like last year, locals stole the show at Rothrock.
After kicking things off with our LSMC race coverage, we’ll take a look at the Mountain Cup standings. Next, 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.
In a special treat, all of the top three men from last year’s Rothrock Challenge returned for a rematch this year. Jacob Loverich, Jason Bryant, and Matt Byrne slugged it out early, with numerous position changes and the three runners essentially together eight miles into the 19 mile race. However, history repeated itself as Loverich pulled away from the other two to win in 2:37:35, which is nearly 10 minutes faster than his winning time last year. Byrne (2:40:05) finished second with Bryant (2:45:27) coming in third in a reversal of the La Sportiva teammates’ 2010 positions.
Men’s Top Five
- Jacob Loverich – 2:37:35
- Matt Byrne – 2:40:05
- Jason Bryant – 2:45:27
- Jesse Johnson – 2:56:49
- Alan Evans – 2:58:09
Meira Minard of nearby State College bested her Mountain Cup competition for the second straight year in 3:11:50. She was ninth overall. Ashley Moyer (3:21:29) finished 10 minutes behind Minard, while Mountain Cup competitor Alison Bryant (3:29:38) took 17 minutes off her 2010 time to finish third. Caitlin Strahota (3:39:57) was fourth less than a minute ahead of Annette Bednosky (3:40:53). Bednosky, who is competing for the Mountain Cup this year, was trying “not to race,” while still picking up some series points. Here’s her race report.
Women’s Top Five
- Meira Minard – 3:11:50
- Ashley Moyer – 3:21:29
- Alison Bryant – 3:29:38
- Caitlin Strahota – 3:39:57
- Annette Bednosky – 3:40:53
Full Results and Additional Reports
Full results are available.
With his third place finish at Rothrock, Jason Bryant moved from third to second in the Mountain Cup standings; however, it must be noted that he’s run at least one more race than all the other top competitors. With only five races counting toward the series total, Bryant only has one more big point jump left. That said, he can continue to add points with a sixth or seventh race by replacing an earlier lower scoring race. It only took two races for Matt Byrne to move into fifth place in the standings. Look for both Bryant and Byrne to run more than one of the remaining series races.
Still, Ryan Woods remains the leader on the course and also has the best overall position to win the Cup. Overall, I see numerous place changes among the men in the final three races. Stay tuned!
- Ryan Woods – 64 points (3 races – Did not race the Rothrock Challenge)
- Jason Bryant – 58 pts (4 races – 15 pts from the Rothrock Challenge)
- Bernie Boettcher – 51 pts (3 races – Did not race the Rothrock Challenge)
- Jared Scott – 39 pts (2 scoring races – Did not race the Rothrock Challenge)
- Matt Byrne – 38 pts (2 races – 19 pts from the Rothrock Challenge)
Alison Bryant closed the gap on Annette Bednosky, but Bednosky retained fourth place in the Mountain Cup standings.
Megan Kimmel still looks unbeatable. Provided she can get to two more races, I’ll pick Ashley Arnold for second. I think she could even take second with just one more race. That leaves one heck of a fight for third through fifth between Rachel Cieslewicz, Bednosky, and Bryant.
- Megan Kimmel – 91 points (4 races – Did not race the Rothrock Challenge)
- Rachel Cieslewicz – 58 pts (4 races – Did not race the Rothrock Challenge)
- Ashley Arnold – 57 pts (3 races – Did not race the Rothrock Challenge)
- Annette Bednosky – 46 pts (3 races – 11 pts the Rothrock Challenge)
- Alison Bryant – 45 pts (3 races – 17 pts from the Rothrock Challenge)
Official Mountain Cup standings can be found here.
At Rothrock, I’d want the rock-grippingest shoes I could find. Having tested the La Sportiva Electron (iRF review) on Yosemite’s wet granite slabs last year, I know they and rocks work like velcro together. With that in mind, you’ve got a chance to win yourself a pair!
If you’d like to win and try out the Electrons yourself? Simply leave your name and town (in the US or Canada) in a comment before we write about the next Mountain Cup race, the Vail Hill Climb on July 3rd. As a reminder, if you enter to win the Electrons 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.