Byrne and Lucrezi Scorch the Hills at the Hillbilly Half Marathon
Saturday saw over 200 runners take part in the Hillbilly Half Marathon as the 2012 La Sportiva Mountain Cup traveled to Olympia, Washington to race through the Capitol State Forest. The race organizers claim that the Hillbilly is the toughest half marathon in Washington State with its big sister, the Mountain Marathon, claiming the same title for the marathon distance.
La Sportiva’s Marketing Director who ran the Hillbilly Half describes the course as follows:
The first mile and a half was a 4 wheel drive/fire road. And wet, but no puddles. The rest of the course in the half was filled with puddles filled with slush and mud. There was no way you could get through the course with dry feet wearing regular trail shoes. A lot of runners tried to keep their feet dry/er the first couple miles and then started to say the hell with it and got their feet wet running through the puddles. I embraced the puddles and just ran straight through them all and picked up about 10-15 places and a few minutes vs other runners overall, I think. There were times when I was running through so many slush puddles that my feet started to go numb. Typically, it only lasted 3-5 minutes though. The race was pretty much up or down, there was very little in terms of flat surface to run on, so your legs couldn’t get into a rhythm except for slugging uphill.
At each Mountain Cup race, La Sportiva partners with the race directors to select someone in a series race for the “Standout Award.” Guerilla Running and La Sportiva voted on Wendy Neidig for this award. Neidig (41) of Centralia, Washington is new to trail running and Saturday’s race was not only her first trail race, but her first ever half marathon. A regular in Guerilla Running training runs, Neidig has sprinted into the spirit of mixing community values with the life-changing benefits running can bring. For this, Neidig received a gift package from La Sportiva and their partners.
We’ll begin our LSMC race coverage by filling you in on how the race played out. Next, we’ll give you an update on the Mountain Cup standings. We’ll then move on to our weekly giveaway contest(s) before calling for your comments and finishing up with the full La Sportiva Mountain Cup schedule.
Matt Byrne will face stiff competition for the overall Mountain Cup, but he didn’t see that competition on Saturday despite two past Mountain Cup race winners – Jared Scott and Rob Krar – running the race. Byrne won by over three minutes and set a nearly 10 minute course record in the process. Scott and Krar had a much tighter race for second with Scott besting his fellow Arizonan by less than 40 seconds. The top four men all went under the existing course record.
- Matt Byrne (La Sportiva) – 1:26:28 – Course Record
- Jared Scott (Inov-8) – 1:29:38
- Rob Krar – 1:30:16
- Weston Ferguson – 1:33:35
- Josh Klimex – 1:38:10
Gina Lucrezi led the women’s race from wire-t0-wire, setting a course record in the process. There was good separation between Lucrezi and second place woman Christina Bauer. Indeed, there was solid separation between each woman back through fifth place.
- Gina Lucrezi (Inov-8) – 1:49:27 – Course Record
- Christina Bauer – 1:56:56
- Sarah Kjorstad – 2:02:58
- Monica Lloyd – 2:07:36
- Heidi Oksendhal-Byers – 2:11:40
[Shout out to friends of iRunFar Sean Meissner and Cassie Scallon on winning the men’s and women’s races in the Mountain Marathon.]
La Sportiva Mountain Cup Standings
Neither of the two Mountain Cup leaders through three races ran the Hillbilly Half. Ryan Woods managed to hold onto his lead… with a cushion, while Jason Bryant fell from second to fifth as he raced and placed third at the USATF 50-mile trail championship instead. Matt Woods played the bonus point game well at the Hillbilly Half, taking home four bonus points in addition to 20 points for winning, which boosted him from a fourth place tie with Jared Scott to second overall for the series. Scott earned 17 points for second and two bonus points for beating Rob Krar, moving him into third in the Mountain Cup standings. Krar made a surprise appearance at his second Mountain Cup race, but still fell from third to fourth as Byrne and Scott bested him on the day.
- Ryan Woods – 57 points from three races (Did not race the Hillbilly Half)
- Matt Byrne – 43 pts from two races (24 pts from the Hillbilly Half; 20 pts for winning and 4 bonus pts for beating Jared Scott and Rob Krar)
- Jared Scott – 39 pts from two races (19 pts from the Hillbilly Half; 17 pts for second and 2 bonus pts for beating Krar)
- Rob Krar – 37 pts from two races (15 pts from the Hillbilly Half for third)
- Jason Bryant – 30 pts from two races (Did not race the Hillbilly Half)
Gina Lucrezi keeps adding to her La Sportiva Mountain Cup lead by racing a slew of early-season races. Her 22 points from the Hillbilly Half give her a 16-point lead in the series. Christina Bauer moves into second for the series as the only other woman to earn points in multiple Mountain Cup races this season.
- 1 – Gina Lucrezi – 50 points from three races (22 points from the Hillbilly Half; 20 pts from the win and 2 bonus pts for beating Christina Bauer)
- 2 – Christina Bauer – 34 pts from two races (17 pts from Hillbilly Half for second)
- 3 – Maria Dalzot – 22 pts from one race (Did not race the Hillbilly Half)
- T-4 – Alison Bryant & Heidi Rentz – 20 pts from 0ne race (Neither raced the Hillbilly Half)
iRunFar.com La Sportiva Mountain Cup Contest
Erin McDougall of Brighton, Ontario you won yourself a pair of La Sportiva Wildcats from our Ugly Mudder giveaway. Contact us to claim your prize.
Next up on the giveaway list, the La Sportiva Quantum. The Quantum features the cushy Morphodynamic outsole/midsole combo with a racing, slip-lasted upper. Folks would have enjoyed the Quantum over the Hillbilly Half’s 13 miles.
Want to try a pair of the Quantums? Well, to win a pair, just leave your name and town (in the US or Canada) in a comment before we write about the next Mountain Cup race to be run at the Hells Hills 25k in Texas on April 7. As a reminder, if you enter to win the Wildcats, you’ll also automatically be eligible to win the grand prize – any three pairs of La Sportiva trail shoes and some sweet Sportiva schwag at the end of August.
Call for Comments
If you ran the Hillbilly Half Marathon (or the Mountain Marathon) this weekend, please leave a comment letting everyone know how you did and what you think about the race. Past racers are invited to comment, too.