2012 Speedgoat 50k Results

Speedgoat 50kThis year’s Speedgoat 50k was a scorcher with six men going under the old course record. Kilian Jornet crossed the finish first and is the winner, but the prize money will drop down to Rickey Gates (2nd – $2,500), Max King (3rd – $1,000), and Anton Krupicka (4th – $500) as Kilian repeatedly cut switchbacks, which is not allowed in American trail racing. Rickey Gates also won the $1,000 prime to the top and is credited with the course record, which is good for another $500, giving Gates a $4,000 payday! Update: You can now watch Karl give an explanation on his ruling as well as read the International Skyrunning Federation’s response.

Anna Frost (post-race interview) dominated the women’s race, winning by half an hour. She also won the $1,000 Queen of the Mountain prime for a $3,500 haul. Frost did not best Keri Nelson’s course record of 6:20. Brand new Salomon runner Kerrie Bruxvoort was second while local runners Sarah Evans and Emily Sullivan where third and fourth, respectively.

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2012 Speedgoat 50k Men’s Unofficial Results

  1. Kilian Jornet (Salomon) – 5:14:10
  2. Rickey Gates (Salomon) – 5:18:27
  3. Max King (Montrail) – 5:23:10
  4. Anton Krupicka (New Balance) – 5:23:36
  5. Thomas Lorblanchet (Salomon) – 5:38:51
  6. Philipp Reiter (Salomon) – 5:40:11
  7. Jason Schlarb (Hoka One One) – 5:44:26
  8. Dylan Bowman (Pearl Izumi) – 5:47:39
  9. Jason Loutitt (The North Face) – 5:49:10
  10. Nick Clark (Pearl Izumi) – 5:53:20

Full results.

Kilian Jornet - 2012 Speedgoat 50k

Kilian Jornet on his way to winning the Speedgoat 50k. Photo: iRunFar/Bryon Powell

2012 Speedgoat 50k Women’s Unofficial Results

  1. Anna Frost (Salomon) – 6:26:23
  2. Kerrie Bruxvoort (Salomon) 6:56:33
  3. Sarah Evans – 6:58:51
  4. Emily Sullivan – 7:10:03
  5. Denise Bourassa (Patagonia) – 7:31:54
  6. Silke Koester – 7:31:59
  7. Jen Benna – 7:34:07
  8. Mindy Campbell – 7:45:13
  9. Gina Lucrezi – 7:48:56
  10. Missy Gosney – 7:51:17

Full results.

Anna Frost - 2012 Speedgoat 50k

Anna Frost en route to winning the Speedgoat 50k. Photo: iRunFar/Bryon Powell

2012 Speedgoat 50k Articles, Race Reports, and More

Race Reports



There are 292 comments

    1. Pete

      my bad. All though hard rock seems to basically allow them to run anywhere on the downhills from the race reports i have read. sometimes no trails basically. i do admit my initial judgement may be a bit off. just sad to see the best runner on the day get hosed.

      1. David T

        Saying hardrock is closed is a bit of an exageration. Runners go down the wrong guly sometimes (the winner last year did this), they take slightly different routes down, across, and up scree slopes, etc.

  1. George Zack

    One race, two sets of rules. Sigh. Do we really need to make our sport complicated like this? Doesn't really market it well to the newcomer, does it?

    For what it is worth, I am sort of pissed at myself for not asking the course cutting question BEFORE the race so that it was clear. We saw this at Pikes before (as Galen says) and we should have been ready for it.

    Rickey won this race in my eyes. Nuthin against KJ, not xenophobia. If an American cut the course this way and beat KJ, I'd say the same thing.

    1. David T

      But how much did he cut and did Rickey cut too (see Adam's comment above)? Lots of questions still out there. I don't think I'm ready to make that kind of decision for myself.

  2. Stack

    Were any of the switchbacks in the area after the 8mi prize? Seems like KJ put on a lot of time on RG in that downhill area.

    Regardless I don't think you can/should look at how much time was cut. I think you have to follow the rules. Looking at Olympics… If someone steps inside the line too many times in the 5000 they'll get dq'd… May not save that much time or distance but it's the rules for a reason. Looking at 'kilians race' UTMB wouldn't they DQ someone for wearing the wrong pants or not carrying a cup? The rules are the rules.

    1. Stack

      Meant to include… I'm not meaning to bash kilian and I don't want him to get a rep as a cheater. A lot of us are much to far removed to prove intent and know what was going on his head. Everything in his past shows him to be a good kid with great character

  3. Comp.Noob

    From what i heard,Karl was running ahead,changing markers around,hiding,than changing them back for his buddies,just saying…..

    1. Tim

      I also heard Karl had American aid stations with energy drinks and water whereas Europeans had to sustain themselves with porta pottie water. And then at the top of Hidden Peak, there were little kids throwing rocks at Europeans whereas the Americans received red, white, and blue shaved ice.

  4. zbitter

    Well said Jenn. I don't think there are really any criminals here. Skyrunning is an entity that has rules. Speedgoat is an entity that has rules. Killian followed Skyrunning rules therefore gets no penalty from Skyrunning. Killian broke Speedgoat rules therefore gets penalized (no prize, no CR) from Speedgoat. Seems pretty cut and dry. After all, we should not sweat over this. I'm sure the gang up front today were laughing and killing a few brews after the race and not complaining about RDs, Skyrunning, and rule contradictions.

    That said, loved the race today! Felt completed entertained by the competitors and their toughness.

  5. Adam W. Chase

    It was, indeed, Kilian who wrote this. He just confirmed that with me and is sitting here in Sandy, UT, from where he posted it earlier today.

    Karl made a tough call and handled it with tremendous diplomacy, speaking with the top runners and getting a general read for the situation, weighing the various factors and circumstances before reaching his decision. As the discussion on this thread makes clear, this is not a cut-and-dry matter. What is clear, however, is that Kilian will be fully instructed on the rules governing the Pikes Peak Marathon.

    Adam W. Chase, Salomon US Brand Ambassador

  6. Peter Andersson

    I think Kilian ran in a more American way than the Americans, surely taking the shortest route from point A (say the top of a mountain) to point B (say the low at the next valley) feels more American than European, much in the same way that Downhill feels more American and less sissy than Slalom. ;-)

  7. Sergio Minder

    Did nobody tell kilian not to cut switchback while he did it? Obiviously someone saw him doing it. I think it's rather unfair. To me it looks a bit as if the US just didnt want him to win.

    1. JimM

      While it may not have been said directly I believe Karl said that we needed to stay on the marked trail at the pre-race. I think Karl showed a lot of judgement on still awarding the win to Killian and taking into account the feelings of the runners who stayed on course.

      As far as America not wanting Killian to win not a chance he is just as admired and respected by the ultra running community in America as he is in Europe. The excitement that surrounded him being here was off the charts and it was amazing to see all the people who made the trek to the top of Hidden Peak to see him and the other amazing runners.

  8. Phil Jeremy

    As a euro runner, I often cut switchbacks and on many occasions have fallen or nearly twisted and ankle in an unseen hole. Its scary on a steep downhill and is often easier to follow the trail but if you can do it like KJ then its got to be quicker.It can feel quicker uphill but takes up more energy. On a seperate note when I do it in a race I always feel its sort of wrong even though others are doing it. So all in all I'm kind of six of one and half a dozen of the other on the whole thing. Best just to make the rules clear at the start.

  9. Buzz

    Exactly – simple stuff – better to learn the lesson here than at PP- wish his managers had been paying more attention so they could have prevented this.

  10. Buzz

    An exact repeat of 2004 Pikes Peak Marathon, from what happened, why it happened, and how it was resolved (I'm sure Karl based his decision on that precedent).

    Super simple stuff – have to follow the rules of whatever contest you're in – it's your responsibility – if you don't, you're out.

          1. Brian

            All runner did have water bottles. Most of the elites carried 6-8 oz bottles and tucked them into the back of their shorts.

            1. Anonymous

              …so you personnaly check everyone of them (doubtful)… do you seriously think that Kilian has all the mandatory equipment in his back-pack when he crosses the line at utmb ? (doubtful)

        1. Sam Winebaum

          I know Anna had a bottle, one of the Salomon soft flasks as I talked to her after the race , she pull it out and we talked to me about it, saying as it emptied you roll it up to squeeze the last water out. I

      1. Buzz

        Thank you David; my presumption was incorrect. Maybe that's why Karl is calling him the Winner while taking away the Prizes, while at the PPM the Italian was DQ'd in the race but retained his Skyrunner Points.

        Regardless, it's silly to have this happen twice … RD's need to be clear.

  11. chad

    Kilian discussed this in his comment earlier. He only cut twice. He won by over 4 minutes which is a good gap in a 50k race. Also, Rickey cut too. Kilian was the best man on the mountain that day and deserves the Skyrunning points.

    Also, the Speedgoat rules do not indicate that runners can't cut.

  12. Fernando Najera Baez

    First off, congratulations to all the runners for completing Karls amazing 50K, it is certainly one of the toughest 50K's presently. I saw the runners go by on "live stream." Thank you Bryon and iRunFar staff race for making the course so accessible, it was the next best thing to being there in person. Im a trail runner first, and an ultra fan second. :D With that said, this was an exciting race from the very beginning! Felicidades Kilian! Corriste supremamente, estoy muy contento que ganaste! Also, congratulations to Ricky Gates, who ran dominantly from the very beginning; good sign of great things to come from him. Max King made a definate redemtion statement from Zegama, he will be be a reckoning force in the near future for sure. And congrats to Anton K! What a great way to begin anew the racing season after a long standing injury. From my observation, Tony was only getting stronger as the distance progressed! Max was forced to run to the max in the last minutes. All these guys are great guys, dont believe for one minute, one would intentionally jeopardize the win or worse, cheat a running buddy! Great race! And from one ultra fan to another Bryon, great coverage!!! :D

    1. Peggy

      "Men need to be reminded that women exist." Eleanor Roosevelt. How about a few props for the talented female runners' accomplishments… without controversy, I might point out.

  13. Speedgoat fan

    It has been said that he only cut twice, I saw him do it twice after first climb. Then he was warned and yet I saw him do it again going up and down Mt Baldy. In one place I watched Rickey take the appropriate flag line and it took him more than 30 seconds longer. I think the ruling was fair and a DQ would have been fair as well.

  14. Frank

    I wonder how much time he saved? Does anyone have a guess on time saved? 4 minutes? Even when I am training the trail is there to stay on the trail.. that is the point..

    the only time i leave the trail is to take a short cut because it is a bad day.. i am out of energy or a tree is chasing after me.. No need for a rule.. is there a rule that says I can't use a horse? Or my bike for that matter…

    Most important thanks to Irunfar.. great coverage all year.. you guys rock.

  15. Toby

    There is either a "course" or there isn't. If there is a course defined then the course needs to be followed. If the course is purposefully cut then the runner is not running the DISTANCE that all the other runners are racing. The two key points to me are a willful intent to leave the course and the fact that the race is 50K so the runners are to all run the same distance. What is the point of defining the distance of the race if the runners can in effect not all run the same distance?

    If it is an A to B and get there however you get there then fine, its a free for all and get after it. But if the organizers take the time to mark and define a course so that a certain distance is to be run then this is not an open question. This was not an afternoon with friends out in the sunshine. This was an event packed with serious, talented and sponsored athletes competing. If I was a top 5 finisher I'd be a little miffed.

        1. Josh White

          Why is it difficult to understand or respect that the rules are slightly different here in the US, Maurik? Asking someone to follow the rules is not a sign of disrespect.

          1. Anonymous

            Not telling them the rules, then penalizing them for not following the 'rules'…IS a sign of disrespect. Especially when you're trying to put together a world class, international event.

            1. Anonymous

              Last year the we were told pretty clearly to stay on the marked trail. I think the website states that pretty clearly as well

  16. dogrunner

    Great race, great performances and great coverage (thanks Bryon)!

    Personally I don't care who won, I just enjoy watching (vicariously) the great performances in amazing venues. Kilian is the closest human I've ever seen to a mountain goat, and he does not hide his primary motivation – enjoying the mountains in his own way. I think that so much focus on "the race," as opposed to the activity itself, is one of the downsides of making anything a sport. People take it sooo seriously, and this is not even the olympics:) I share any environmental concerns, but beyond that, it is just play (to quote DJ – it's just running). If I am not running, I enjoy watching or reading about running in cool places, and seeing the limits of human performance stretched. Great runs by all the top runners, men and women. Other races on challenging courses are just as captivating. As long as it is really exploration of human capabilities (and not PED-inflated), and as long as the place remains intact for future inspiration, the race aspect is just a sideshow.

    1. Wyatt Hornsby

      "I share any environmental concerns."

      It would appear you don't share said environmental concerns, or else you'd condemn switchback cutting in alpine environments. Willfully cutting switchbacks in the high country is destructive to delicate nature. Sorry, but it is.

  17. Danni

    My $.02, which is admittedly somewhat repetitive, is that at least where I live a race would never again be permitted by USFS if runners were purposefully cutting switchbacks. I don't think people appreciate that it's not a given that races will be allowed to take place in beautiful locations year after year. Where I live (Montana) there is vocal opposition to permitting organized sporting events on USFS lands and crap like this (cutting switchbacks and people suggesting "open courses" are acceptable on courses like Hardrock which is in designated wilderness) is nothing but fodder for the opposition. The sport of trail running as a whole needs to carefully respect public lands if it has any chance of enduring. It shouldn't have to be in the rules that you don't cut switchbacks, just like it shouldn't have to be in the rules that you don't drop your empty gel packets on the trail. No doubt the ethic is different in Europe – doesn't mean it is the same here or even that it should be.

    1. Tim

      Very true. What's being lost in this is that switchback trails and road have been created in part for erosion control. Cutting switchbacks defeats the very reason these are created. These are public lands managed by land managers who are very sensitive to how they are being used. While ski areas and E&P drilling through leases provide substantial revenue for land managers, ultra trail races do not, and as such, following the rules set forth allows races to happen in the future.

      Kilian didn't know and he's a good one, so I don't fault him. I am suprised at the Euro sensitivity on this issue. Just like everything in life, not knowing is certainly a mitigant, but it doesn't preclude responsibility. Karl's decision balances this well. If Rickey did the same, then he should pay the consequences as well.

  18. Sean Cunniff

    Cutting switchbacks is bad because it is bad for the wild places where we run. To do so is entirely at-odds with the prevailing wilderness ethic in the United States. Running in the wilds is a privilege and if we trample wherever we like we are destroying the very places we purport to love. I don't get the Euro's ethic, but I wish they would leave it over there. Karl's decision reinforces that showing complete disregard for the natural environment is not appropriate in the United States.

  19. Mike Place

    I was at the race. I was one of only a handful of people to actually get a good view of the leaders coming down through Mineral Basin.

    I don't have any strong opinions about prize money versus first-versus-second place, but I can tell you this:

    The Wasatch is one of the highest-pressure ecological system anywhere in the world. About a million people live within a 30-minute drive of very sensitive high-alpine mountain terrain.

    There were around 300 starters in this race. If every one of them had chosen a direct line through the high alpine meadows up there, it would have been the last time the Snowbird ever granted a permit for the trail race in the area again — guaranteed.

    To extend that, if 300 people blew through the middle of a high-alpine meadow _public_ land, it would have been the last time a trail race permit was granted for the Wasatch-Cache National Forest land — guaranteed.

    I don't know what rules are like elsewhere in the world, but anybody who has ever directed a race in the U.S. can tell you — it's a privilege to be able to use the land we do for the sport we love.

    I understand that this was just a case of a handful of people potentially cutting the course, but Karl absolutely made the right call. If he had essentially condoned taking a direct route over sensitive areas simply because big money was at stake, it would have set a precedent in U.S. trail racing that would had the potential to do serious damage.

    I couldn't be prouder of Karl and the Speedgoat 50K for making the right call.

    1. Anonymous

      You'd think if it was that important, and with all the international competitors, as a race director, you'd want to stress the importance of that, you know…as a courtesy? Perhaps, in the rules?

    2. lone peak

      I agree with everything you said, except I wouldn't have minded either if they gave Killian first place and the price and a very constructive open warning so now everybody knows. Like you said it was only a handful of people at most, and I'll add my biggest point which it was obviously unintentional, a once in a lifetime confluence of lack of knowledge between governing bodies. This isn't going to happen again, whether one like to think punishment will guarantee it or no punishment will mean the hordes of evil hikers will take it as a permission to destroy. Fear of future alpine destruction is totally legitamate concern for in general but its a far stretch to talk about this snafu in that context at all.

  20. Sam Winebaum

    I posted some pictures and video from the race here: http://samwinebaum.blogspot.com/2012/07/2012-spee…. In one, at the Tunnel aid station I think I captured Killian reaching for one of those Salomon soft flasks to refill. And for Bryon Powell fans I have a fun shot of the intrepid editor with tripod carrying assistant in tow running down to the tunnel aid station. Thanks Bryon and Team for your outstanding reporting. Seeing you in action with multiple iPhones, radios, and clipboards squinting into the screens in the sun was quite the sight to see, this time in person at this race. For sure hats off to Karl M. He was everywhere on the course. Dragooned me into helping mark the cat track down from Hidden Peak to the tunnel. I followed the course down towards the finish and everything was super well marked.

  21. Nate

    The first rule on the Speedgoat site:

    No stepping on any revegetated areas, Snowbird is very pristine and violating this policy could affect the future of this race.

    1. Tom

      Well that wording is not clear in its interpretation, it assumes you know what are and what are not 'revegetated areas'. A problem compounded if you do not have english has your first languauge.

  22. Josh White


    He can't just follow skyrunning rules. The US Forest Service is rather strict about the environment. If Karl allows course cutting, then that would mean no Speedgoat next year. It's not Karl's land. He can't just do whatever he wants.

  23. Wyatt Hornsby

    What I find most disturbing is people cutting switchbacks across potentially pristine, delicate mountain tundra. It takes years for damagaed tundra to come back. Maybe nothing was damaged by the switchback cutting at yesterday's race–I wasn't there so I don't know. But,in general, switchbacks are there for a reason and should NEVER be cut.


  24. Craig

    Eventually I think we can assume Killian will speak to the reasons for what he did. He's classy enough to take responsibility for his own race, I don't think we need to speculate and point fingers. Also, Karl is as good and professional a race director as you will find on this planet. He wants what's best for his race, the course, and its participants. I'm sure the decision he made was appropriate and everyone involved agreed (I would assume even Killian did). Until Karl or Killian speak on their own behalf speculating and talking down at either party is out of line.

    What stands out most to me about this race was Anna's performance. She came in run-down and in her own words "under-trained" for this distance. And look what she did? It's absolutely incredible. Go Frosty!

        1. Craig

          And somehow I missed those older comments. Weird. It's funny that is how Killian put that because I had someone asking me about this whole thing yesterday and my perspective was that "he was probably following Sky Running/Racing rules", which I'm familiar with. Bottom line is Killian is a class act and was acting on his own judgement. Awesome race overall. Wish I could have run.

  25. mark

    Locally it's understood that you have to stay on trail, racing or not. From that perspective, locals understand there's a rule to not cut the course. We know how hard it is to get permitting from the NFS and we're scared of losing our privileges for races and trail usage. Karl takes his privileges very seriously. An example, at the race briefing he made us all verbally take an oath to not set foot in the streams. We are drinking that water up there in 24 hours.

    I'm sure KJ and any others who cut just don't understand this. I can't imagine they'd disrespect Karl, snowbird or the NFS.

  26. Anonymous

    We all love the mountains, and that's why we go run in them. In a race situation, with 150, 300, 2500 participants, do we really need a rule that says you need to follow the path, in any mountain whatsoever… it's call common sense. Love the mountain ?, well respect it, protect' it, period. You want an example (extreme) ? Deforestation of the Mont Ventoux led to its looks (lunar moon, no vegetation on top).

    That said, Kilian is still King and i'm sure he will follow the future written rules (or verbal), and he will win anyways.

  27. Dave

    Tough situation for Karl to be in.. and a political one at that given there are sponsors like Salomon, Hoka, and Skrunning, all of whom have invested in the sport with investments at stake. This is apparently the decision made by Karl which will rock the boat the least, and in my eye is not the correct one. If 98% percent of the field knew it was wrong to shortcut, then the 2% should have known as well. Not speaking the language and making assumptions is no excuse.

    Folks this is not the first time this has happened with Skyrunning in the US. As Buzz said it happened at Pikes Peak in 2004 with the winner "unaware" of the rules. It also happened in the late 90's at an Aspen Skyrace with elite runners who won the race. And where they are from has nothing to do with it IMO. To say an intelligent person like Kilian (or Rickey, etc) was not aware of how race rules and environmental concerns go in the US is doubtful at best.

  28. Sam Winebaum

    I never ever cut switchbacks and neither should any user of alpine trails racing or otherwise .

    This said a decent part of the race was on terrain which sees a lot of disturbance from the ski operations: jeep roads, cat tracks, densely packed snow melting quickly in spring, etc… and as result requires revegetation and erosion control efforts. Snowbird does a great job mitigating but unfortunately a good part of Snowbird is not what one might call pristine.

  29. Roger Soto

    I just think it's a bit funny how some people defend the purity of mountain running by not cutting turns, but then think it's ok to have two different pacers in a single race or 5 people crews in every aid station. In my opinion: no pacers, no crews, no cutting turns = one man vs. one mountain. And that applies to everyone, EU and the US.

    Also, if you want to apply rules, apply them all. I am pretty confident the ISF rules say clearly that all runners must carry some mandatory gear (I don't remember all, but a windproof jacket for sure) and I think none of the top dogs had one. So the real winner strictly following the rules should be the first guy in, not cutting turns, AND carrying mandatory gear.

    1. Anonymous

      …isn't what it is suppose to be, facing this physical and mental challenge all by yourself. i would never use a pacer… On the mandatory gear, at the UTMB, there's so much stuff that one trainer of Seb Chaigneau (North Face) wrote on a blog that you almost need a wheelbarrow to carry all the stuff. Would be nice for KJ to show the content of his bag at the end of this year event.

        1. Anonymous

          thanks Bryon for the info, the coverage, and the chance to have a civil debate on an important subject (trail and environment)

          1. Roger Soto

            Sure, his and all others also! I think the shirtless guys don't have many places to carry all they gear either… ;-)

            Anyways, I agree the mandatory gear is too much, so we can discuss if we agree with the rules, but here we we're discussing about agreeing to some estalbished rules.

            If you want my personal opinion, I'd like a mix of EEUU-EU rules: no pacers, no crews, no cutting swithcbaks if there's path (sometimes, especially in rocky pics, there's no path, then you choose!) and no mand gear (everyone should care for his one). Obviously that is for prof runners, for midlle-packers I see the need to establish some mandatory gear for security reasons, and I don´t see any harm on having my girlfriend carrying some extra clothes for me in case I need them! hehehe

    1. Anonymous

      Is any sports fan who voices a strong opinion? I mean, why not root for both teams during the superbowl? A bad call by a ref? well, it didn't affect me so why bother having an opinion on it… If people weren't allowed to have an opinion, criticize decisions, and/or just be plain critical of a sport, ESPN and major league sports wouldn't exist. It's just the way it is.

  30. pat

    People mentioned that cutting switchbacks is damaging to the mountainside, but…what are switchbacks other than an unnecessarily weaving route that makes more marks in the landscape rather than less? I'm not saying this to make an argument, I'm just asking. What is the purpose of switchbacks in trail design? Is it to preserve the mountainside or is it to make the grade easier to hike up or down?

    1. Guest

      I think the idea is to provide access to beautiful mountains, but limit the damage to a single, narrow path instead of allowing just about every spot of a mountain to get potentially trampled.

  31. Kevin

    The website does not say that he couldn't ride a
    motorcycle either. Some things should understood. I have tremendous respect for KJ but when he was cautioned against cutting switchbacks and continued he should've been DQ'd. This has nothing to do with US versus Euro! Karl made the right decision.

  32. Ron

    Killian should have been politely DQ'ed but that would never happen because he is too revered here in the US, they would be afraid of offending him, and they'd risk future KJ appearances. Also in jeopardy would be the chance to host a future US race in the Skyrunner series. Even I know, as an amateur hack middle-of-the-packer that you can't cut switchbacks. Oh, and I do know that you *can* cut them in Euro races. If I'm aware of the differences, as a poor slob who struggles to hit race cut-off times, KJ's stateside Solomon handlers (Adam Chase where are you?) could have easily take five minutes to review the domestic trailing running rules with him.

    Karl took the soccer-Mom approach ("everyone gets a ribbon") approach but the fairer thing to do here would have been a simple no-hard-feelings DQ. Set a hard precedent otherwise we're doomed to repeat controversies like this.

  33. Danni

    The more places people walk the more vegetation is disturbed/destroyed and the more erosion occurs. Trails minimize where this occurs. A bunch of people going off trail destroys the hillside.

  34. chad

    This is Skyrace. Skyracing is generally done on open courses. So no it is not a given unless the rules say so.

    I still think that Karl made the right decision.

  35. JimS

    i was coming up the trail when Killian cut one switchback. The trail was very narrow in that section, and there were probably a half dozen of us slow folks coming up th trail between the point where he left the trail and came back onto it. i'm guessing around 100 vertical feet of steep dirt. The trail was narrow enough that It would have been impossible for him to pass the people coming up the trail without leaving the trail and i doubt that all of us on the trail would have been able to get out of the way quickly enough. He was flying. Don't know how much he cut otherwise or what the reasons were, but as far as I'm concerneddropping off the trail and avoiding possible collisions in that section was the right choice.

    Also, as far as possible damage to the vegetation, etc., let's not forget the 2 sections that were off trail where the course was more or less straight up the hill, on NO trail, just made up with a line of flags, and these were sections that everyone used, not just one runner. Personally, I thought those parts of the course were great, but they certainly allowed more destruction than what would have been caused by a few elite runners off trail.

  36. Jared Friesen

    Mount Marathon up here in Alaska has no defined course past the 1/4 mile on the road. The actual climb up the mountain is simply the way the runner chooses, as long as the turn around at the same spot at the top. However, this is rare and most races have defined trails. American's have been told that cutting switchbacks and taking otherwise other shortcuts is bad for the environment, however beyond that, in an organized race with a course then runners need to stay on the course at all times, plane and simple.

  37. EdP

    What a load of crap. We're to believe that one of the premier runners in the world doesn't know that you're not supposed to cut swithchbacks. I think it's obvious he'd have won regardles, but please give me a break. KJ is hands down one of the most amazing athletes on the planet but all you KJ apologists are a bit pathetic, sorry. You either play by the rules or you don't. I was also pretty surprised at the amount of anti TK talk being thrown around on this web-cast. It's sad that with such a quickly growing sport creating such an exciting buzz we are seeing so many "trolls" and posers posting "as if" they've done anything other than finish. Just because we toe the line with the best doesn't give any of us the right to be so critical when we're hours and hours behind them. This was a great event, with an awesome field, the best man won, end of story.

    1. art

      probably the most criticized person in the USA is the president.

      if we can't criticize our betters what else is there to live for?

  38. Wyatt Hornsby

    The best way to protect a mountain (especially in the summer when there's no snow protecting the tundra) is to have a designated route up to the summit. Switchbacks usually are part of the route. You don't want hikers and runners going wherever they please or else you risk damage to tundra. This isn't a problem really back East, where you have lower mountains. But out West damage to tundra is a problem, because it takes years, even decades, for damaged tundra to come back. To just run or hike wherever you please really shows very little care for a mountain. You stick to the route. Fortunately, many mountains out West have different routes for people of all abilities.

    1. Jake

      Actually, switchbacks, if designed right (proper grading) should allow water to flow off of them without rutting out the trail.

    2. Mt.Mutt

      Funny thing is though,now that euro style and FKT attempts for direct line peak bagging,and long ridge scrambling are becoming more popular here,more and more runners are foregoing trails and taking more direct routes up and down mts.

  39. Jared Friesen

    Karl did the right thing. If Killian, and/or other runners, start cutting switch backs at will then trails are instantly destroyed, permits not granted, trail runner disappears.

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