2010 La Sportiva Mountain Cup Preview!

iRunFar previews the 2010 La Sportiva Mountain Cup, a series of 10 mountainous trail races held across the US from April through August.

By on March 31, 2010 | Comments

La Sportiva Mountain Cup 2010Trail runners, spring is here and summer will be here before we know it. That means many of the best mountain runners in the United States are working hard to prepare for the 2010 La Sportiva Mountain Cup. After covering the 10-race series last year, we’re confident that it’s the most competitive sub-marathon trail running series in North America. We’re also covering the La Sportiva Mountain Cup again this year and couldn’t be more excited about it! [Keep reading for a free race entry!]

We hope to provide the same great coverage we did last. As a bonus we’ll be attend three of the races in person – the RothRock Challenge 30k (June 5, State College, PA); the Jupiter Peak Steeplechase – 16 miles (August 7, Park City, UT), and likely either the Barr Trail Mountain Race – 12 miles (July 18, Manitou Springs, CO) or the Up and Over 10k (August 21, Taos, NM).

La Sportiva Mountain Cup
What is the La Sportiva Mountain Cup anyway? We’re glad you asked! Aside from being the most competitive “short” trail run race series in North America, it’s a 10-race mountain trail race series. Unlike last year when the series included the Mount Washington Road Race, this year’s series is exclusively trails. Some events are straight up a mountain. Other races require runners to catapult themselves up the slopes before bolting back down. Competitors for the Mountain Cup will be scored on their five best races, but more on that later. First, the full La Sportiva Mountain Cup schedule:

[Note: The first two races, the Mt. Penn Mudfest and Jemez Mountain Half Marathon, are already full at the time of publication.]

La Sportiva, GORE-TEX®, and Fleet Feet Sports Boulder have reunited again this year to offer sick prize money ($25,000!!) that should once again insure heated competition through the spring and summer. At the end of the Mountain Cup, the top open man and women in the series will each bring home $5,000, while the top masters runners will bag $2,000 apiece for their age-defying efforts. Second and third place open runners will win $2,500 and $1,500, respectively. The prize money is rounded out by $1,000 and $500 awards for the second and third place masters runners of each gender.

New this year, Outside Magazine will be joining the La Sportiva Mountain Cup as the media sponsor… so the LSMC winners may get a little more recognition to go along with their prize money.

We’ve heard that both of last year’s LSMC overall winners – Megan Kimmel and Matt Byrne – will be returning to defend their championships from the expected onslaught of top mountain runners.

So how does one win the LSMC? Score more cumulative points in any five Mountain Cup races than anyone else. Points are awarded 15 deep in each gender in each race with 20, 17, 15, 13, and 11 points earned for each of the top five places with the next 10 places garnering from 10 points down to 1 point for 15th place. All races are scored equally regardless of distance or difficulty. However, to reflect the varying level of competition at different races, the series will award two bonus points to a runner for each competitor they beat who was in the top 10 overall Mountain Cup rankings on the day prior to the race. Masters points are scored along with all runners of a gender regardless of age. The masters Mountain Cup winners will be determined by summing the points each master runner earned in his or her five best LSMC efforts.

Here’s the official explanation of LSMC scoring.

La Sportiva Mountain Cup competitive runners

Some of the top scorers from the 2009 LSMC cooling down after the Jupiter Peak Steeplechase.

iRunFar Giveaways Galore!
Hey folks, listen up. We’re giving great stuff away for free. Hmm… what to give away first? Ah, something that would be perfect for any one of the 10 La Sportiva Mountain Cup races – a free entry into the winner’s choice of races.

Free La Sportiva Mountain Cup Race Entry
Who get’s the free entry? The most deserving person. That’s pretty open, huh? Well, if you think you deserve a free LSMC race entry, leave a comment letting us know why! (Also leave you’re name and town in the comment. We need to identify the winner, right?) Leave your comment by 5 p.m. PDT on Friday, April 3 after which Ms. C, a LSMC grand prize giveaway winner from last year, will pick the entrant she deems to be the most deserving.

[NOTE: The first two LSMC races – Mt. Penn Mudfest and Jemez Mountain Half Marathon – are already full. Therefore, the free entry can be used at any of the other series races.]

La Sportiva Shoes
La Sportiva logoWhat would make an exciting trail running series even more exciting? We Could give away a pair of free La Sportiva Shoes to iRunFar readers for every race! That’s right, throughout the Mountain Cup, we’ll be offering a pair of sweet La Sportiva shoes with every race result we publish. To win, all you need to do is leave your name and town in a comment on an LSMC race result article before we publish the results of the next LSMC race (see schedule above). [Shoe giveaway entries should be on subsequent LSMC race result posts, not this preview. The first race result post will go up following the series debut at the Mt. Penn Mudfest on April 3.] The contest is open to US and Canadian residents.

iRunFar/La Sportiva Mountain Cup Giveaway Grand Prize
The La Sportiva Mountain Cup has an overall winner and so should iRunFar! That’s why anyone who enters one of the weekly contests will be eligible for a sweet grand prize package. We’ve yet to finalize the grand prize, but at a minimum it will include:

  • 3 pairs of La Sportiva trail shoes;
  • An entry to a 2011 La Sportiva Mountain Cup race of the winner’s choosing; and
  • La Sportiva swag.

Just as in the Mountain Cup, the more contests you enter, the better your chance of winning the overall prize. However, there’s no five race cap on iRunFar – you’ll get one ticket in the grand prize drawing for each previous contest you entered.

Finish Line
Let us know if you plan on running any of the Mountain Cup races or if you’ve run any of the races in the past.

That’s it for now. We hope you follow iRunFar and the La Sportiva Mountain Cup!

[Disclosure: La Sportiva provides support iRunFar and will be providing support to help us attend LSMC races. However, we find the LSMC exciting enough that we covered the series last year without any agreed support. LS later helped us attend the Jupiter Peak Steeplechase.]

Bryon Powell

Bryon Powell is the Founding Editor of iRunFar. He’s been writing about trail running, ultrarunning, and running gear for more than 15 years. Aside from iRunFar, he’s authored the books Relentless Forward Progress: A Guide to Running Ultramarathons and Where the Road Ends: A Guide to Trail Running, been a contributing editor at Trail Runner magazine, written for publications including Outside, Sierra, and Running Times, and coached ultrarunners of all abilities. Based in Silverton, Colorado, Bryon is an avid trail runner and ultrarunner who competes in events from the Hardrock 100 Mile just out his front door to races long and short around the world, that is, when he’s not fly fishing or tending to his garden.