What a way to kick off the 2010 La Sportiva Mountain Cup! A huge field of more than 700 trail runners were graced with warmth and sunshine for 15 kilometers (between 9 and 10 miles) of fun on one of the series’ flattest courses. When we say fun, we mean it. The course has mud, some folks race in pig snouts, the race application compares the event to a mobile home, there is an “alternative beverage” aid station, and a live band plays afterward. The folks from Reading, PA’s Pagoda Pacers AC sure know how to add extra entertainment to the inherent excitement of trail running. Of course, there was also a world-class trail race going on!
As will be our custom this season, 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.
Despite unseasonably warm conditions for Southeastern Pennsylvania, both the men’s and women’s course records fell at this year’s Mt. Penn Mudfest. Such has become the norm at most events’ inauguration into the La Sportiva Mountain Cup.
Last year’s overall Mountain Cup champion, Matt Byrne started where he left off – in the lead. He and local runner Karl Savage took off from the gun and held the lead for the first four miles. That’s where Ryan Woods of Boone, North Carolina passed the pair. Philadelphian Byrne pressed Woods for most of the race, but the newcomer held on to the lead through the tape. Woods set a new course record in 56:46 with Byrne (57:10) also breaking the old course record. Savage (1:01:53) crossed the line in third ahead of Jason Bryant (time n/a) of North Carolina, who placed third overall in last year’s cup standings. Defending Mudfest champion Tadd Morris (1:03:23) finished fifth to earn top master honors.
Looking ahead to the full series, we’ll share that Ryan Woods is planning on competing for the series win. We’ll assume that both Matt Byrne and Jason Bryant plan on doing the same. Speaking of Jason, he’s already had quite the spring with a huge win at the Mount Mitchell Challenge and a course record at the Bel Monte 50 mile.
There was a sense of déjà vu in the women’s race. Last year, Megan Kimmell of Silverton, Colorado won four of the five Mountain Cup races she entered en route to winning the series. Kimmel again descended from the heights of Silverton to lead the race from wire to wire. She set the course record in a time of 1:11:08.
Another series regular from last year, Rachel Cieslewicz of Salt Lake City, went out in second, but was passed by Mendy Taylor of High Falls, NY within the first mile. Taylor wouldn’t put too much distance on Cieslewicz; however, the pair held their positions finishing, respectively, in times of 1:13:40 and 1:14:38. Local runner Heidi Pernia was the fastest female master with her time of 1:20:06. Pernia was the sixth woman overall.
We’ll confirm that both Megan and Rachel will be making a go for the Mountain Cup again this year. We look forward to seeing what other women join them in their quest!
Full results (pdf) of the Mt. Penn Mudfest are available.
La Sportiva Mountain Cup Standings
Alright, we’ll admit that an update on the Mountain Cup standings wouldn’t be all that exciting at this point, so we’ll skip them this time. However, we wanted to let you know that we’ll be including a full analysis of LSMC standings after each future race and assure you that these standing updates will get exciting once we hit Jemez Mountain, Rock2Rock, and beyond!
We’ll also 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. Masters points are awarded as part of the open scoring. Take a look at the official scoring rules if you like.
iRunFar.com La Sportiva Mountain Cup Contest
If we were running at a mudfest, we know which La Sportiva shoe we’d want on our feet – the Crosslite. (iRF review) These neutral, lightweight shoes are heavily nubbed giving you sick traction in the sloppiest of conditions. Looking to tear up the trail in the Crosslite at one of the nine remaining LSMC races? Simply 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 Jemez Mountain in Los Alamos, New Mexico on May 22nd. As a reminder, if you enter to win the Crosslite 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.
One of last year’s grand prize winners, Cindy from Canmore, won’t be able to race in any of this year’s Mountain Cup races. In an act of kindness, she offered to give her entry to a deserving trail runner. We called for applicants in our series preview article with Cindy to award the entry to whomever she felt most deserving. We’ll let her explain:
Wow. Tough decision. I am the chick who won the La Sportiva Grand Prize last year and unfortunately can’t use the race entry. I asked Bryon if we could give it away to a deserving soul. This is where you came in: as much as I would enjoy sharing a beer with Anthony – if you’re ever in the Banff area, drop me a note and I’ll buy you a beer. I would have loved to hear Michael attempt to say his name backwards, especially if it was after a beer or three – same offer if you’re ever ‘up here’ in God’s country. JC, you were a runner-up – the whole ‘crawl to the top’ thing brought back SO many fond memories……Bill, you are an inspiration! I have no doubt of your deserving the entry but somehow, I think you’ll run it with or without it! As a consolation, I’ll try to get you on Oprah. Jon, because of your big heart and sportsmanship, I will buy you an entire PITCHER of beer when you come for a visit.
That leaves Patrick… you win! I know how it feels to not be able to run a coveted race due to cash. (I have been trying for years to get to California to check out your trails.) You’re trained, you’re ready, you’re excited and… you’re broke. I feel for ya. Take the entry with my blessing and let me know how you did.
Thanks, Bryon, for letting us do this – you get a pitcher of beer, too. To everyone: I live in a trail running mecca, so the offers for beer stand, along with suggestions for kick ass trails and races (Canmore Challenge, Moose Mountain, the infamous Powderface); drop me a note if you’re ever up this way!