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. Brett

    Interesting. Having run American races before, Kilian had to know the race rules did he not?

    Way to go Rickey! And AK, to hang with the World's Mountain Running Champ from last year, 2:15 marathoner, on 'just' a 50k course…he is back!

    1. David T

      He has not run a Skyrunning race here in the US. Western States is a very different race. Skyrunning is still primarily at Euro sport were they allow switchback cutting. Same thing happend at Pikes a while back with a similar decision.

  2. UltraNewbie

    If you cut switchbacks, then you are by definition cutting the course short. So how does one win, if they don't run the full distance? And is it really 'race legal' to cut switchbacks in some non-US races?

    Don't get me wrong, I think Killian is an amazing athlete – I'm just trying to understand how he didn't get DQ.

    1. Mark T

      Great question. Looking forward to the replies.

      I'm a Big fan of Kilian and hope this does not become a Kilian bashing thread. Thanks..

    2. Galen

      The same thing happened at the Pikes Peak Marathon back in 2004 when it was part of the Skyrunning world series. The first person to cross the finish line, Augusti Roc, cut switchbacks on the way down. He was disqualified from the the official race results, but was awarded the winning points in the Skyrunning standings (which has different rules). Seemed like a reasonable way to handle it.

      I'm sure Killian will reconsider his strategy at Pikes Peak in a few weeks.

      1. Galen

        I should add that running the direct route down the mountain is totally normal in Europe, so this is probably a case of Killian not realizing the local rules.

  3. Tony Mollica

    Wow what a stacked men's field! I read somewhere else that six men came in under the previous course record? I guess it's five know with Killian's DQ. I can't imagine that he would violate the rules on purpose. Obviously he knew that many people would be watching him as he is an amazingly talented runner. Congratulations to Rickey and the others!

    No surprise that Anna won the woman's race! Congratulations to her!

    Congratulations to all of the runners who had the guts to take on such a challenging course! You all deserve kudos!

  4. Chris Hanes

    Americans seem to have a history of crying about Europeans cutting switchbacks in Ultraracing…It's just not the way it is in Europe, no one is nitpicking about silly things like that. 'Oooh OOoh look he cheated he cut the course short by 100ft' or 'oooh oooh someones crew was 30 meters outside the designated crew area!' – The question is, who 'won' the race, and then who was the 'fastest' runner out there today. The Americans aren't faster, but hey, we can get 'em on a technicality! 'Merica!

    1. David T

      you are of course correct when it comes to the different rules used in MUT running in the US vs. Euro. But i don't think we need to take the "Euros are faster than the Americans" line. We did that last year. Its an old and tired discussion (if you can call it that). Anyway there were a bunch of American runners in the top 10, if you didn't notice.

      Congrats to all the runners and to karl for putting on a steller race.

    2. Brett

      Chris, Kilian 'repeatedly' cut switchbacks and only won by 4 minutes. How are you so confident the Americans weren't faster today? Are you just trying to get a rise out of people? Go somewhere else to do that – we all have immense respect for Kilian over here.

    3. John Copeland

      Doesn't seem like much of a debate to be had here, Chris. Runners run the course. If you want the victory, play the game.

    4. Bish

      Not to mention the environmental impact. I don't know Speedgoat, but cutting switchbacks in a lot of areas of Colorado would cause ecological damage. Also, the Forest Service is very particular about even passing in MTB races (such as the Baily Hundo) on single track, because of the potential impact. That may be a little extreme, but the ability of race directors to use public lands depends on racers following rules about trail use. As such, it's a simple matter of respect for the race organizers who put these races on.

      Kilian is a good guy and he obviously didn't know, but to "whine" about "American whining" is misguided and excludes knowledge of how public lands are used in America.

      1. paul

        Right on Bish. I was wondering how many snowbird nest killian cleaned out. It is a serious problem in BC races as well. I have seen the winners of just one race destroy the natural drainage of the trail.

        There is a reason why they don't hand out cardboard at the peaks.

  5. StevenB

    Thanks Chris for putting all of us American's in our place. It's billed as a 50k race not a quickest to the finish. I've run enough races and read enough race instructions and I've never thought the course maps were just a suggestion.

    1. David T

      It is different in Euro. Switchback cutting is allowed there and specifically in the Skyraces in Euro. Its called an "open course" and, though not as popular, there are some open course races in the US too.

    1. David T

      Reviewed the rules on the Speedgoat site and no where does it say anything about it being a closed or open course. Or anything to the effect that runners can't cut switchbacks, etc. Since this is now a skyrunning event, that should be made clear.

      That said, I was not at the pre-race briefing and have not seen the course packets or other communications to the runners. Nevertheless, the website does need to include that info.

  6. Scott

    I gotta say that's a pretty weird outcome. Kilian isn't eligible for prize money…but still won. That doesn't make sense. If he isn't eligible for prize money…then he won no prize right? So he violated a rule and was out of the money. How do you still win the race…while also being disqualified for certain rewards for the win…but still being declared winner?

    Do the top 4 finishers get to vote on what the outcome is? I have to think that cutting switchbacks could easily account for a 4-5-10 minute lead… so I then really start to think "well had he not cut switchbacks I wonder how close Kilian's time would have been to Gates',to King's, to Krupicka's.

    Not trying to bash or inflame this anymore just kinda boggled by this.

  7. Chris Hanes

    Apologies. Certainly having pride in ones country, in an international competition, is just silly, right? Might as well not even have Olympics! No one ever gets a little upset at refs for making a bad call, right? I don't see anything wrong with rooting for a specific ultrarunner, ultrunning team, or country in Ultrarunning.

    1. Scott

      I don't think he was voicing any problem with national pride but I assume he is responding to your comments being veiled insults disguised as generalities.

  8. Michael

    I personaly think it doesn't matter if he did or not. I mean he won with 4min difference, al by cutting some corners? No, he also would have won without doing it. If he would have know he was cheating he wouldn't have done it. Some of the replies her are just short-minded. If he's better then he is so. When he loses, he really gives credit to the winner (Transvulcania).

  9. Jonathan

    I don't understand this either. No $ but still wins? How can you race and not follow the course marking which is stated in the Skyrunning rules?

  10. Michele

    As a former park ranger and someone who still does trail work we have switchbacks there for a reason. Trails have been closed to everyone because of cutting the switchbacks-thus no one gets to enjoy them. I will take off my ranger hat now and say great race to everyone.

    1. Tyler

      I don't know where Killian cut the switchbacks, but the most logical place would have been a boulder field where the Snowbird management has made a "path/trail" for their pampered guests, i.e. no erosion issues there. They went both up and down this sections. It was about 400 vertical feet and has about 8 switchbacks to make the grade almost runnable for these guys.

      1. Patrick

        Kilian est le meilleur point à la ligne c'est tout vous supporter pas cette etat de fait alors vous inventé des regles bidons conraire à tous sens de la montagne. Faites des marthons en ville c'est le mieux que vous savez faire et encore ….

    1. Alain

      Thanks for posting! I especially like the pics where Tony K is chasing Max King at mile 28. Couldn't have been much more than a 10-15 second difference between the two at that point. Amazing stuff.

  11. Sam W

    I was at multiple places on the course. Killian was totally relaxed and in control. Light on his feet. Puzzling on cutting switchbacks. Ingrained to run the most efficient line?

  12. Donna

    I think a big point being missed is the pre-race brief specifies to follow flags. Which keeps you on course, unless you get misguided and accidentally go off course which happens often. But it is not intended. The outcome "is what it is". Derogatory and negative thinking doesn't change it. They all worked pretty darn hard to get to the finish, some just followed the flags. I also would have thunk that a Euro runner would have looked into this before starting the race but it's still the outcome. They did great and Karl puts on a great race.

  13. Thomas

    Bryon, love the sight. I would love to hear from the officials. The euro rules and our standard rules both have their merits, but the split decision seems to bring in too much deception. As long as money is not the primary concern for the racer, they can run under different rules.

  14. Dean G

    An honest mistake – a compromise based on precedent – and the guys 2-4 get the cash.

    Seems deftly handled to me.

    Plus now Kilian won't do that at Pikes Peak.

    Thanks to Bryon and iRunFar for the coverage – including some live streaming at points on the course.

    It was great!

  15. mikek

    The rules are confusing… If this is a skyrunning race, one would think you would run under the sanctioned rules (why different from country to country?). Even if there was a pre-race briefing stating the explicit DIFFERENCES in the rules, was it done in Catalan or French? I think not. Good decision by the RD/judges on registering the skyrunning points (win) to KJ, but the prize money to the folks who ran the race per "local" rules.

    1. paul

      Its Area to Area — for environmental reasons ( preservation of species in some places and erosion in others….) The environmental reasons are clearly defined on the SpeedGoat50 website.

  16. Mackey

    Possibly an honest mistake on Kilian's part, but that doesn't matter. He broke a significant course rule and should be DQ'd or DQ himself.

  17. Alex from New Haven

    An example of an American race with an open course is the "Dipsea" in California which is the oldest and most popular trail race in the US (100+years). There are several places on the course where you can choose which way to go and locals know lots of little secrets that save 10 seconds here and 20 seconds there. It is a style of race mostly used in A to B races or base to peak and back races.

    Bottom line is you need to know and follow the rules of whatever competition you are in assuming everyone was informed of the style of the race. Another issue is language. I know KJ's English has improved quite a bit, but conversation is different that technical detail in a briefing. Solomon needs to make sure their top athletes understand the rules and their handlers/managers should double check w/translation to avoid these kinds of situations. Clearly KJ was the strongest today, but rules need to be followed.

  18. Dean G

    Lost in all this…

    An AMAZING RUN BY RICKEY GATES…. 2nd, 1st… whatever… That time is outstanding. Undoubtedly, the new sleek look saved him minutes… Do you hear that, Anton?


      1. Dean G

        So Kilian won the Skyrunning event (which allows switchback cutting provided you stay on the marked course)

        And Rickey won the "US" version.


  19. Bill Ahlers

    Ah …its a pretty important part of racing to know whether or not you can make your own trail. He's not dumb even if he plays dumb. I am a Kilian fan too and there is no way he was 1st place, whats right is right. Now if he had blown Gates out maybe he could retain 1st but it was 4 minutes. There should be clear rules for the top 3 money spots. If there is no money then its just bragging rights and who cares. Having said that, cutting switchbacks isn't always the easiest to do and it takes balls to do it. Give him credit for having the strength to bust straight up the mountain.

  20. John

    This is lamest thing I've ever heard! Either DQ him or drop it. Saying he finished first, gets the skyrunning points and not giving him the prize money is RIDICULOUS! Totally spineless! I read the rules on the speedgoat site and see no mention of this. Being a skyrunning event, it seems reasonable that the same rules would apply here as in other events.

  21. Neil

    There is very little logic to this decision – either he should be disqualified or be given 1st place.

    It is in my opinion weak management to make this compromise. I cannot imagine any of the runners being comfortable with the decision.

    I would have expected better things from a race that purports to be the top 50K in the US and looking for recognition on the world circuit.

    As an attorney Byron i would be interested in you honest opinion.

  22. David T

    I reviewed the rules on the Speedgoat site and no where does it say anything about it being a closed or open course. Or anything to the effect that runners can’t cut switchbacks, etc. Since this is now a skyrunning event (which are generally run on open courses), that should be made clear.

    That said, I was not at the pre-race briefing and have not seen the course packets or other communications to the runners. Nevertheless, the website does need to include that info.

  23. jenn

    You want Bryon's opinion on this, as an attorney?! Seriously?! Speedgoat is doubling as a Skyrunning Series race this year. Following the general Skyrunning rules, Kilian won that side of the race. He gets the points. The race rules for Speedgoat don't allow cutting switchbacks, and they're upholding those rules for everything but the Skyrunning portion of the race. Messy, yes. But also logical. And definitely not requiring an attorney to weigh in. The one positive to this whole brouhaha is that US rules re switchbacks are gaining some extra publicity. In addition to being able to 'watch' some amazing running, of course! Looking forward to Kilian taking on Pikes!

    1. Martin

      okay. so what happens if the next year's winner does the same thing?:)

      I say, give that amazing boy his money. Keeping the course record makes sense, the money thing and the two winners don't.

  24. Bushwacker

    Nice work Anton on your return to racing. Yes, 50k is a little short for you. Rickey is so underrated, since he doesn't show up on the American 100 mile scene. Good to see a CU Buff kick butt.

  25. Bryon Powell

    Hey everyone,

    Some good lively debate is great… and there's certainly room to debate this one. I'll just encourage y'all to do so with the utmost respect for one another.



  26. Kilian

    Hi all!

    sorry for my english…I'm happy for today, not for the victory or not, just because I feel good and I enjoy the race, we live not of victories but of emotions!!

    so, surely this race is just the opposite of last week end race in Dolomites, there really technical race, here almost road race, the level was also different… In all races I run I follow sky running rules, marks are to mark the route not where we need to put the feeds (see this video in dolomites, in minute 2 we can see than sky running is also to be strong at looking the fastest way in technical and terrain conditions http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rIYvnEY3r6A ) , is because I like to trace than I run in mountain races and not in road races…I knows than mountain running culture is really different in Europe than in US..

    some points:

    1) In website rules is not a point: need to follow the marks steep by steep, so I use sky running rules.

    2) the race was so flat and no logical track, the most logical line is to be in front in some parts

    3) I cut in sections of the race: up & down at the end of 1st uphill, where is rocky and at the forest of the 6th downhill, when we cross the people coming up…

    4) I try to don't cut corners in next US races…but is hard to don't think and just run following…

    Enjoy the mountains!

    Kilian Jornet

  27. Martin

    I'd say they should put the switchback thing in the rules for the next time. The earth Kilian lives on is obviously kinda flat.

  28. Jason M

    If he knew this rule beforehand, it's cheating. Period. If he didn't know, then he deserves the money. It's pretty cut and dry.

  29. Scott

    Seems like this is situation not too unlike USATF championship races "won" by a guy or gal who isn't a registered USATF member. A non-member may win the race, but the highest finishing member receives the "USATF Champion" title and prize money.

  30. Guy C.

    At Karl's site there is one rule mentioned regarding the course:

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

    Assuming this race is for more than runners from Colorado, Utah, etc. (who know the routine) it would be easy for someone accustomed to international skyracing to read that rule and deduce that one can cut switchbacks as long as it does not involve stepping on "revegetated" areas.

    It's an international skyrace, not a provincial trail run.

    Unless the course rules were spelled out at a pre-race briefing, the victory, cash and CR should be Killian's. But, as many have pointed out, at least he will know the rule for his CR attempt at Pike's.

  31. jen

    either way, i was there and he was warned several times during the race to stop cutting switchbacks and he continued to do so.

  32. Dan Gates

    Wow seems like a lot of you don't have much to do on a Saturday. Im assuming most of you were not there so i will tell you what i saw. The switchback cutting resulted in minimal time differences. Ricky and Jornet were within 5 minutes or so of each other the whole time. With out the course cutting it would have come down to maybe a 2-3 minute difference at the finish line.

    If any of the top 3-4 runners were bothered by Karl's decision of awarding two first place awards, they did not show it. All I saw from them was a lot of hugs and high fives. I think his desicion makes a lot of sense, kilian had an amazing performance today and deserves the points for his sky running series. However Ricky Gates ran an insane race today and followed the designated course. Thus I think rewarding this effort with the prize money is fair. Max and AK also did amazingly well. For me it was awesome to see all four of them on the podium together. After all it is trail running for gods sake, please don't try to turn it into some lame armchair quarter backing bullshit. Also for whoever said the sg50k is the "top 50k in the us" you are mistaken. The catch phrase is "toughest 50k in the us". That may or may not be true, but I think it is pretty awesome to see a small homegrown race attract this type of attention. It seemed like all the runners had a good time running through the wildflowers and eating pizza together at the finish. After all isn't that the point of doing all of this?

    End rant :)

  33. Mark T

    Have really enjoyed the ensuing commentary.

    I bet no one is more disappointed then Kilian himself.

    There is no doubt Kilian's future races will have all i's dotted and T's crossed.

    It's just running and we will all move on.

    Those top 10 guys, gals included, are all stupid fast……

    Bryon's post-race interview should be enlightening(if he engages in said topic?)

  34. jenn

    @Neil, sorry, can't reply directly since I'm on my phone. I think it makes sense in this wacky situation. You disagree. Ok! I actually wasn't going to comment, except for the whole 'opinion as an attorney' thing. I don't imagine that this is going to happen again – I suspect that (assuming Speedgoat gets the Skyrunning nod again) Karl's going to be doing a tap dance onstage in the future, making extra sure folks know that the race rules are a bit more strict than general Skyrunning rules, and that folks who cut switchbacks would be DQ'd. Ok, maybe not literally tap-dancing – tho Bryon, if he does, could you catch it for the website?!

    But bottom line: nice to see some great runners doing their thing today. I suspect there's more angst here in the comment section than there is among the runners themselves! Happy running!

    1. Neil

      jenn, thanks – no problem – i just see it a little differently – but i also respect others opinions on this also.

      I agree, i think it will be dealt prior to the race next year

  35. Kev

    it was nice seeing the live stream of the finish! Real fun seeing tony and king come in so close together! killian strolling across like it was a morning jog made me laugh. That guy is amazing. Karl better watch out, someone's going to go under 5 hours in the next couple years at this rate.

  36. Pete

    Funny that Kar is such a stickler since he is such a hardrock guy that allows more freedom like Killian did today. It really isnt a big deal. I honestly hope karl is not allowed to run another race under the sky running logo. This is a scam at best. All respect lost for the speedgoat 50k

    1. Comp.Noob

      Think Karl had his hands shackled some by Skyrunning rules,otherwise,knowing him,doubt he would have made any deal out of honest mistake by Killian,and i doubt very much some switchback cutting gave him the race by 4 min.,probably a min. or less.

  37. Jodi

    First of all, Congrats to everyone who raced today. Impressive stuff!

    Secondly, although I don't live in a mountainous area, I'm quite positive that cutting switchbacks is steeper and more physically demanding, so would Kilian really have gained much advantage?

    Thank you iRunfar for the great coverage once again!!

  38. Adam OKeefe

    Wow. I've just read all the comments on here and not one points out something that I, and others, witnessed today. Rickey Gates made a large shortcutting move on the road just before the Baldy ascent, despite people yelling at him to stay on the road. He ignored (or possibly didn't hear) the yelling and continued on his way. I only saw this one transgression, but for me it raises the question: How many shortcuts does one have to take before there is punishment at the finish line? I feel it would be in bad faith to let this slide without mention while Kilian is saddled with all the blame. Further to the point, I also witnessed others shortcutting switchbacks (clearly marked with orange flags) out there today. There you have it.

    1. Brian Vanderheiden

      If everyone ran with a GoPro there would be no problem….or maybe Karl can rent a helicopter next year to follow the leaders.

    2. Comp.Noob

      Growing pains for a burgeoning international sport,as ambassador,Bryon needs to review tapes and make final decisions,the buck stops with him!

  39. Pete

    I should say if Karl said something at the pre race meeting then I take back everything i said. If not though then Karl is fully at fault for this debacle.

  40. TheBaldEnglishTeache

    As someone who ran the SG50k, all I saw, both before and after the race, were a group of great runners enjoying a day in the mountains. I mean, SIX runners came in under the previous record! That is insane!

    It's easy to play the "Yeah, but what about…" game. Rather than spending my time debating who-did- what or if the decision was the correct choice, I'd rather focus on the incredible race that took place.

    Regardless of what you think of the decision, I think all the runners, and Karl himself for putting together such a great race, deserve a big shout out.

    There's my "Can't we all get along?" comment for the day. I'm off to ice my legs…

  41. stephenJ

    Well the joke at the finish line for us slow guys was the Kilian may have run faster, but we ran farther. But, I guess Kilian truly is king, and the rules don't apply to him.

  42. matt connors

    I am all for preserving nests or moss or whatever, but did you count the number of backhoes on the course? Just pointing out the irony that we did run that race primarily on a ski resort. Ski resorts absolutely trash mountain sides. Don't get me wrong, I love to ski, just sayin'.

    1. Jared T.

      Agreed. I was amazed at the beauty of some of the scenery today, but always feel a bit of a bummer when a ski lift is in almost every view. However, kudos for Snowbird for helping to put this crazy race on. I'm also assuming that they get a percentage of the entry fees.

    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.

  43. 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.

  44. 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

  45. 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.

  46. 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.

  47. 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

  48. 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. ;-)

  49. 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.

  50. 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.

  51. 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.

  52. 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.

  53. 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.

  54. 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.

  55. 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.

  56. 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.

  57. 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

  58. 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.

  59. 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.

  60. 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.

  61. 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.

  62. the runner

    Running is running. And Killian ran fast, along with the rest of the gang. Let's not suck the life out of our organic sport.

  63. 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.

  64. 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.

  65. 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.

  66. 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.


  67. 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.

  68. 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.

  69. 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.

  70. 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.

  71. 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.

  72. 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.

  73. 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.

  74. 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.

  75. 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.

  76. 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.

  77. 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.

  78. 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.

  79. 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.

  80. 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?

  81. 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.

  82. 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.

  83. the runner

    I'm with snurfer, and I didn't think this was a Major League sport. I guess it's adios to the grassroots that keeps trail running real.

  84. Speedgoatkarl

    Because in Skyrunning, it is allowed to cut switchbacks, and that's how they do things, I did not disqualify KJ for cutting them, it's how the Skyracing people are allowed to race.

    I don't allow that here, but let it slide this year, because in my course rules section, it does not say cutting switchbacks is not allowed, (it was the first thing I checked before Killian even finished) It is assumed here in the US that it is not allowed, in Europe, that's not so. If I had that in my rules I would have DQ'd him totally,but it wasn't, so I let him run to the finish, then make a decision. When I heard he was told he's not supposed to cut switchbacks, around mile 20, he continued to do so on his final descent. He knew, he cheated, therefore, he can't win the money in my race, but can still take points for the Skyrunning World series, cuz' in their rules, he didn't cheat.

    It was treated like two seperate races. Follow my course, you win the cash, run for points in a world series and can win the series.

    All in all, it was a very hard decision to make, my race was flawless this year in terms of efficiency and control. Then I had to deal with this, it kinda ruined my day. :-) -Karl

    We could break a record with comments…..Now go run!

    1. emmanuel

      Hi all,

      I'm french, and I like to follow races in other countries, it is a way to discover different landscapes, spirits, … and work my english ! So big thanks to IRunFar.

      Then should Kilian be disqualified or not ? my feelings are mixed, the situation and rules were so confused… First, I agree with people saying runners have to stay on the lane when it exists, it seems natural for me and I would like this to be the rule for any races, even in sky running series.

      I'm not shocked with Kilian being disqualified, but I find the word "Cheater" about him a bit strong. In my opinion, and I hope it is true, Kilian was more an ignorant than a cheater. During the race, did he really understand the situation and the critisms about the cut ? I imagine myself at his place, I can read and write english quite well I hope, but listening and really understanding english native speaking people, besides running (and fast !), is another matter ! I am not sure I could, especially if complicated words like "switchback" and "snowbird" were used (I have yet to understand what snowbird really is, a plant or an animal ?). So I'm doubtful Kilian could.

      1. chad

        Cheater does seem like a strong word especially since when I race I can never make out what people on the sideline are yelling and I'm a native English speaker.

        1. Speedgoatkarl

          Cheater may be a little harsh. Fair enough, I could have used a differnt word, but it ultimately comes down to him knowing he was not supposed to cut switchbacks, and was told during the race from a "source". I will not reveal the name. If he stopped doing it after that, my decision may have been different.

          1. Roger Soto

            You are assuming he heard it and you are assuming he understood it. You are also giving this "source" complete confidence, something you might do but others may not… (I don't have any clue who the source is).

            Also, I think the word cheater is not just harsh, it plain inappropiate to apply to someone who has SHOWN and PROOF many times how much of a straightforward and honest person he is. And, honestly, I think he has also proved he doesn't need to cheat at all to win anyone in any type of race, and even in different sports.

            That said, I personally think all this was just a huge misunderstanding and there were no bad intentions on any side. Just be carefull with the wording, as someone may also use the words "jealousy" and "revenge" from the other side of the discussion (and don't get me wrong, those would be as inapprotiate as the cheating one)

            1. Roger Soto

              Re-reading my comment maybe it was a bit harsh also, it's just that I see in some comments (not in yours Karl) a bit of unrevelled anger towards Kilian that I can't understand, specially seeing the respect and love he has shown towards ultrarunning in general, and in particular to the US ultrarunning scene.

              Anyway, let's leave this.

              Karl, you are a heck of a runner and RD, keep it up! And hopefully we'll see another Human Express endeavour which I did really enjoy!

              And Bryon and iRunFar's team, as always, amazing coverage and many thanks for your effort!

          2. Jordi

            hehe just as emmanuel says, i bet he didn't understand that person, otherwise he would have stopped cutting those things called "switchbacks"… It's actually funny to picture kilian thinking 'what did this man mean?… not allowed what? switch-what? what was exactly the meaning of 'allowed' anyway… hahah

    2. Anom

      …"When I heard he was told he’s not supposed to cut switchbacks, around mile 20, he continued to do so on his final descent…" BUT WHO TOLD IT!!! So, someone told you something that it is supposed to be part of the unwritten rules and you EXPECT runners to trust!!!!

      1. Bryon Powell

        I don't think the person needs to be named. I know who told Kilian and it's someone he should trust to a very high degree. It was not a random person or even a random volunteer on the course.

        1. Justin

          If it aint writen it aint so.

          If it was not in the rules it was Karl's fault.

          Sorry, rules cannot be told for the first time and then enforced during a race.

          I don't care if it was Karl himself who told Kilian during the race.

          1. Justin

            And I will add that it was NOT in the rules.

            This was Karl's oversight and he has had to learn a hard lesson. But I'm sure the lesson has been learned.

          2. Bryon Powell

            I disagree that if it's not written, it ain't so. For the past millenia (at least), common law has supplemented civil code throughout the countries that adhere to an English legal system. Under that system, a standard need not be published as a law or posted publicly to have the full force of the law. There are countless other contexts in which the same principle applies. Indeed, "laws" certainly predate the written word as mores and customs. In the US, it is our custom and ethic not to cut switchbacks in races. This difference between American and continental European trail customs is very well know in the US and, given previous controversy on big stages regarding the issue of switchback cutting by Europeans in American races, I suspect that the relevant people would at least be aware of the issue. Regardless of awareness, ignorance of the law (written or not) is no defense.

            Yes, Karl now knows that it would have been better for everyone had he explicitly published the rule on his website, but that doesn't mean the rule did not exist before the race.

            1. Justin

              But that same arguement could be used in the opposite way. Because it was a Skyrace and there was no writen rule saying that cutting was not allowed one could reasonably assume that it was.

  85. Speedy

    I have photos of the Baldy cut and Rickey staying on course. Not sure about any of the others. Great run by both and the others regardless.

    1. Dave Klein

      I checked the flyover course map and it looks like the course follows the traditional ridgeline up baldy, however the event course was clearly marked to the west don't know where Kilian went. We straightlined the screeslope below the road to Prove last year when it was on snow, up and down, but that was the marked course I think.

      Thats to bad for Kilian and we probably need to clarify things in the US. It's on the runner to know the customs/rules of the land, we don't cut trails in the US for environmental reasons I'm surprised that is not true in Europe. That being said Carl's judgment seems more than fair.

      Back when they ran the Rowdy Run to the top of Hidden Peak it was stated 'first to the top wins' with an emphasis on Rowdy, three of us decided to take 'em up on that. We asked at the the starting line "if it was really 'first to the top wins' and were told yes. I was first up with the fasted time to the top and what would have been a course record – except it wasn't because it did not count. We cut the course and a lot of distance. That was fair.

  86. Roger

    Can't believe the amount of fanboying and hating going on around this outcome. Even on the other side of the world, this has been a fairly hot topic on forums/Facebook/etc.

    Karl did a great job bringing together a really exciting field where a fast race was guaranteed and there was no certain prediction of the final 5. In itself that's an achievement when so often even major ultras with fields of 400 have relatively predictable podiums. And it was a racer's race – tough course, fast front end, sweet purse.

    Course improvisation and taking fastest lines is also exciting, so what do you do? I've never heard any Race Director relish the prospect of cutting or penalising a runner, even when it's as clear a case as a runner missing the cutoffs on course.

    It would have been a sad compromise both to reach and to hear for Karl and Kilian respectively, but it's not sad for the sport that trail ultra is having to make some big decisions akin to working through growing pains.

    It looked like a great event, and surely Anton Krupicka's return to competitive form after a challenging 18 months is the most exciting headline in all of this.

  87. Davide

    I did the check in at UTMB next to Kilian: he had each single item requested from race rules. Same goes for Geoff Roes, which had an even smaller pack probably. I witnessed firsthand they had EVERYTHING.

    Great race and terrific performances, by the way.

      1. Davide

        Yup, but I keep hearing how Kilian (and the rest of the elite) could have stocked everything in such a small pack: it is possible, actually, expecially if you're crewed.

        But you're right, anybody could have discarded something once on the way: it is just an assumption but it's definitely possible.

  88. Phillip Lowry

    Majo, la ley es la ley, y por tu conducto ya nos escrudina aun mas el gobierno federal. Debes comunicarselo al mundo y al gobierno federal y estatal por dejar tu "victoria" y hacerte "DQ". Eso seria un acto de valor y de caballero, y seria un sacrificio por el deporte. Hay otras leyes que aplican y tienes la obligacion de cononcerlas. La ignorancia no se minima la culpabilidad, pero bueno, parece que en esta caso la ignorancia no esta. Por la pinta se parece.

  89. Phillip Lowry

    Let's just shut down ultrarunning on public land. That's what this thread is demonstrating. The defenders of Kilian are in DENIAL.

    THERE IS NO DEBATE. It was illegal. I am so pissed off with where some of you are going with this that I am starting to see why there are haters of our sport in the federal government. Those of you defending Kilian are no better than the SUVers who drive across meadows. Yup. "It's public land, I can do what I want!"

    Keep it up. You'll shut us down.

    But who is "us" anyway? If people give any more credence to this thread than I might as well spare us a slow death caused by the transformation of the sport into a lawless free-for-all. I'll just call my fellow federal government attorney who is the forest service solicitor and he can push this down to the district rangers, and soon, most western ultras, including the beloved Western States, will be history.

    Holy. Freak.

    1. chad

      You have to cut someone a little slack if they don't know it is illegal. Now he knows and I'm sure he will never make the same mistake again. Lesson learned on Kilian's end and I'm sure Karl will make things clear on his end so this never happens again.

      1. Phillip Lowry

        Chad, I have been trying cases a long time. I don't find that argument credible. Not after what happened on Pike's. I already posted to Kilian, in Castellano (I lived in Spain for two years) that the proper thing to do would be to forfeit. This would go a long way to help forest officials who are defending us from their more radical colleagues. To understand my frustration, right now I am an Army lawyer in Afghanistan. My colleagues work for months and years to build trust, and then some Joe burns a Koran. Poof. Literally. All that work–shot.

        1. Justin

          Why should we assume Kilian had any knowledge of what happend at Pikes? That seems like a huge stretch. As a lawyer you know that such things need to be specified in the rules. They were not. Karl has admitted that. With no such rule specified it seems reasonable to Kilian to assume that the general Skyrunning rules would apply.

          BTW – Thank you so much for your service. I can't imagine what it must be like to be doing what you are doing. You have my gratitude and my respect. My best wished for a safe return.

    2. guest

      I agree except it seems the fault is Karl's for not putting it more clearly in the written race rules nor emphasizing it at pre-race meetings. He pretty much admits this allowed for the possibility that KJ was following other Skyrace rules and thus made him have to think 2x about a full out DQ. I do not sense anyone here suggesting that it a good thing to allow or overlook cutting switbacks as a general policy in races or beyond. Next year will be very different I am sure and other RD's can learn from this as well.

  90. Anom

    Hey SpeedGoat organizers, you are crappy, more runners did the switchbacks, Rickey included… Kilian vente para Europa…

  91. Yeti

    I can accept that Killian did not understand the rules and an honest mistake is worth forgiving. BUT…Karl stated Killian was seen cutting switchbacks and told to stop but continued to do so later on in the race. That's not confusion anymore, that's flat out cheating. He was knowingly breaking the rules after he was warned. In my opinion, a DQ and an explanation from Killian why he continued to cut switchbacks AFTER he was told to stop are certainly in order.

    1. Anom

      No, the rules must be written not told during the race in the middle of the downhill… remember, Kilian is the man who said "More kilometers, more fun" and these guys said that he did switchbacks like a poor runner…

      1. Justin

        Agreed. Karl cannot rely of some volunteer or anyone else yelling out NEW rules when the race is underway. No reason Kilian or anyone else should believe them or understand what they are saying.

        I say NEW because they were not included in the official races rules.

        Karl's fault, period.

  92. MtUnpaved

    Here's my 2 cents;

    * It was an excellent and exciting race to follow on IRunfar, Thanks Bryon & Crew.

    * It was disheartening to see the bashing going on about some of the runners during the race. We as a group should be better than that.

    * Karl had to make a very hard decision but based on what he has said and what I have read it seems that he tried to be fair with all parties involved.

    It's always easier to cast judgement when your NOT the one forced to make the hard decisions.

  93. Phillip Lowry

    Ja, gehst du dort. Wir, die Amerikaner, sind zu unhoflich und nie lernen die Sprache von Europa. Und, leider, wir nie euer Rechte lernen. Y eso, mis majos europeos, es la verdad. Bien sur, n'est pas? Io credo che si. Isso e uma vergonca, e verdade.

    1. Jordi

      Phillip, it wasn't 'stop' the word he didn't understand, was it? or are you suggesting that that mysterious but trustful person told him to actually stop?. That would shed light on things indeed ;)

  94. Chris

    Let's not talk about the time saved when cutting switchbacks, but the damage that does to our natural environment. I hate to see anyone cutting trails anywhere. It causes erosion and the hard work our volunteers put into trail building is taken out. As runners we need to be ambassadors to trail use. Please do NOT cut any trails to get there faster.

  95. David T

    "Was allowed" I mean. Depending on assumed knowledge is a dangerous thing as this case highlights. Especially true as races become more international. You just cannot assume that everyone has the same knowledge when you are cross international boundaries.

  96. David T

    Sorry, Justin. I meant "you mean" and I don't mean to assume that I know what you are talking about but it just seemed like you did not finish your thought. It seemed like it was making some sense and I agree with it. Although I do get Bryon's point (he kind of knows what he it talking about being an attorney and all)

  97. JimS

    "Let's just shut down ultrarunning on public land…" what the heck??? I'm sure you're familiar with the area, no doubt more than I am. You do realize it's a ski area with big towers and that the runners pass by massive new concrete foundations and big holes obviously dug by big machines, don't you? Let's keep a little perspective here. Tis isn't an undisturbed wilderness area.

    1. Phillip Lowry

      This is not a wilderness debate. Our worst resource degradation caused by trail cutting occurs in the urban interface, not wilderness. It is a huge problem for the FS. For them this whole thing is about the same as poaching a moose and the guide telling the fish cop, "Hey, he didn't know the law." It really pisses the government off. So, their reaction is, "Well, we have to put up with the ski resorts, but we certainly aren't going to allow foot races with all the crap they pull." BTW–much of the Speedgoat traverses public land, and many Utah resorts lease from the FS. Please don't morph the facts to fit an ethos not shared by those in power.

      1. JimS

        "…about the same as poaching a moose…" Isn't this another bit of an exaggeration? I'm not making this a "wilderness debate, just trying to keep some sort f realistic perspective here.

        "please don't morph the facts…" and what is equating the FS attitude toward poaching wildife with cutting a switchback? is this really true? You know it's not.

  98. Mt.Mutt

    Stress easy Phillip?Please don't call all your higher up friends to shut down races,we should all agree on your view,no debates,so that we all can get along,beers are on me.

  99. JimS

    Yeah, I was wondering if Killian was the only one who cut any switchbacks, and how much and how often this occurred, both by Killian and by any other runners.

  100. jenn

    Wow, this thread really blew up! Re Kilian, actually I didn't notice much 'unrevelled anger' toward him at all. A few grumpy folks, but most confused about what happened and/or defending the need to stay on the trail. He's quite liked and respected on this side of the pond, from what I can tell. Can we just chalk this up as a learning experience and move on? He and other runners now know about switchbacks in North America, and Karl and other race directors now know they have to be absolutely explicit about such things. I have a crew instruction manual that gets longer every year, as I cope with things that happened the previous season – sometimes its because some entirely new issue has cropped up, but others its because I've thought something has been unmistakably clear, and then find out it isn't! Can we just drink a toast to the universality of human fallibility, and head out for a run? Cheers, everyone!

    1. Anonymous

      " I have a crew instruction manual that gets longer every year, as I cope with things that happened the previous season…" yes, you are admitting that the problem is not the runner but the instructions, no problem thanks for the race anyway, but leave the award and the money to Kilian.

    2. Roger Soto

      Jenn, I really hope so, as in this (mine, the EU one) side of the pond we also do admire quite a lot of your amazing runners, AK, Scott J, Geoff Roes, Timmy Olson, Dajota J., The Man Koerner (I think what he did last year in UTMB is THE most amazing performance of any top-dog I have ever seen, stick to a bad day and carry on! No surrender! Just like we, mid-back of the packers do -or try to do- every race!). I wouldn't like this amazing sport of ours to be dirtied by some stupid nationalist/continental crap, real life has enough of that!!

        1. Roger Soto

          That's exactly what I was talking about!! :-)

          This is our sport: run until you can't run more, then drink! hehehe (and in iRunFar we have both, plenty of ideas for running long and plenty of beer suggestion thanks to AJW!)

  101. MS

    Wow, lots of pent up energy here! … Hopefully it's just from too much tapering …. if so, I'm looking forward to seeing all the fast times in the near future!

    Thanks Bryon! Great entertainment pre, during and post race …

    Awesome event Karl! … hope to make it next year to see the field of amazing runners! Can I take a ski lift to the top?

  102. Phillip Lowry

    Thanks, Justin. With a good's night rest I am more reflective, but consider: do we now have to have a book of rules for our races? The rules list get longer every year because of one dude who is stupid. This sport has been spared long rule books. I see the end of an era, of our innocence. And it sucks.

  103. Mountain Lover

    I agree!!

    But I love nature even more than you, because I hate seeing trails of any kind on mountains. Humans should stay off completely! Let nature live. Let the mountains live without human impact! I don't see how cutting a permanent trail through a mountain is any better than a few people (or a hundred people…whatever) going 'off trail.'

    1. Chris

      I am torn on this as well. I believe in responsible use of our wild places. Keep a certain amount free of human impact and manage a certain amount for us to enjoy. (the percentage is up for debate ;)

      We protect and promote natural spaces because we've experienced them. If we take away that experience, we will ultimately lose the passion.

  104. Chris

    Looks like some cultural differences here. Perhaps even within the US.

    Rule 1 for me: Stay on the trail. Do not skirt around mud. Run through it. Do not run around puddles, run through them. Only go to the edge to pass or be passed. NEVER cut a trail. That defeats the purpose.

    I live in one of the most beautiful places in the world, so we are very passionate about keeping it that way. I am sure many feel the same. We do not mean to come off as angry.

    1. Scott

      I think the "don't cut the trail; save nature" argument is getting a bit silly.

      Of course we want to 'protect' nature and be ambassadors of the mountain, but let's not fool ourselves: we've built hundreds of thousands of miles of trail through our wildernesses…and that's not to mention the millions of miles of roads we've built through our national forests.

      Certainly cutting a switchback, going off trail to poop, or walking around a mud puddle are hysterically insignificant compared to the permanent damage done by all the trails we've built.

      We've made the choice as a nation that access – however limited – to these wild places is more important to us than actually keeping humans from walking on a delicate flower. Yes, I'm an advocate of the 'don't do more damage to the mountain than necessary' mindset, but let's try to keep things in perspective. :)

  105. Nicole W

    I'm new to ultrarunning and not very knowledgeable on race sanctioning and course certification, but maybe that's the direction ultrarunning needs to head if the sport is going to continue its growth trajectory ?

    1. Speedgoatkarl

      Nicole, sanctioning is pretty much a joke because in trail races, such as the Speedgoat, noone "wheel measures" any course. WE make the route on trails, folks follow em'. the Speedgoat was "sanctioned" by the USATF, but it's not like they come out and check on it, they just take the check for insurance…..because they sanctioned it. It's a crazy circle. :-)

      My course is certified….by me, that's about it.

  106. Roger Soto

    Phillip, who is the stupid one?? I do respect Byron and the work he puts on this website too much to really type what my gut tells me to, so I'll just say: in around 250 comments yours are the only ones are not adding any value to the discussion, please be respectful.

  107. Drew

    If you were fast and someone wanted to pay for your equipment and race fee, you wouldn't let them? of course you would.

    1. Aaron

      I'm not sure I would. I don't even like wearing clothes with obvious logos. Taking a sponsorship would be too much like whoring myself out. I've done enough of that in my life to know how dirty if feels.

    2. Guest

      I am sure most of us would jump at that, but one who has not is Mike Morton, winner of Badwater and one who has run three 13:xx 100 milers and 163 miles in 24-hours over the last year. In the podcast below he talks about turning down sponsorship so that he can run the races when and where he wants to run them. Morton is old school and an absolute beast of a runner.


      1. Dave

        "Whoring"… umm a little dramatic, Aaron?

        Having been sponsored for awhile, I have never felt pressure from sponsors to run any particular race or any unreasonable expectations. It is almost without exception a mutually beneficial relationship and feel honored to have such excellent positive support from sponsors.

  108. Chris

    I do not accept the argument that since we've already put trails and roads through our national forests and wilderness areas we are fine to cut trails, widen trails and do what we want. That simply doesn't hold water in my book.

    Pouring a barrell of oil in your backyard is insignificant compared to the amount of oil the Exxon Valdez dumped, right?

    Why do you need to cut a switchback? Why do you need to walk around muddy areas?

    Utterly and very respectfully! I think this is a great discussion for trail runners to have.

    1. Van Horn

      You forget about the 2010 Gulf oil spill already? Sheesh. Cutting a few switchbacks is not going to cause any damage. (If a moose is on the trail, I am going to cut a freaking switcback.)That is not the issue here. It is that Kilian ran a few feet shorter than everyone else. Boo hoo. Karl's decision is absolutely correct.

      1. Chris

        Sorry to see you lower the discourse. People have gotten to used to seeing politicians debate. Here are a couple of good groups out trying to do the right thing.

        http://www.backcountryattitude.com/switchbacks.hthttps://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/willamette/recreation/?cid=fseprd536796 http://www.trailrunner.com/news/trail_etiquette.h

        That's it from me. I'll just continue to think one is lazy if they cut switchbacks or trails and think one is a roadie if they are hopping off trail to avoid mud.

  109. Adam W. Chase

    Bryon, not to be snarky here, but ISF is a European organization and they tend to follow the rule of law established by that little French dude who kicked ass over there a long time ago. Having had to pass the Louisiana bar, I became familiar with the Napoleonic Code and, since this is essentially a jurisdictional controversy, if we apply those principles to our Speedgoat situation, I believe we arrive at the decision stated by Marino Giacometti in his support for Karl's resolution. In the future, of course, we'll adopt the rule of law of another little dude:

    "I am the Lorax. I speak for the trees. I speak for the trees, for the trees have no tongues. And I'm asking you sir, at the top of my lungs – stay on the marked trail without fail."

    –Another little dude, Adam W. Chase, President of the American Trail Running Association

    1. Bryon Powell

      Not snarky at all. Guess we have to break out the conflict of laws textbook to see which set governs. ;-)

      My primary point was that rules or governing principles need not always be written.

  110. Adam W. Chase

    Don't go pulling an Erie v. Tompkins on me, Honor Goat. I've got the Lorax on my side and he can be rather vicious when provoked.

  111. Mary Ellen

    This is a pretty basic thought process, but all runners in a race should run the same course. It would never cross my mind to lop off a piece of trail. It would be cheating, and I personally would not feel good about myself if I did that. I think KJ is an awesome athlete, and perhaps he still would have won, but since he did not stay on course, all you can say is that he ran fast, and he certainly did not officially beat the also very fast second place runner who did stay on course.

  112. Andrew

    Wow, that's a strange attitude. I run orienteering races all summer, and even put on an orienteering meet once a year. I live in the US. So going by your rule for yourself, you must think orienteering competitors are bad people because we run mostly off trails in natural areas?

    As a member of an O-club, we even try to slow the construction of new trails in our orienteering areas/maps and make public comments requesting leaving untrailed natural areas, especially on terrain that is good for orienteering, because trails break up good orienteering areas and make it difficult or impossible to set up the more advanced courses. We do this so we can run off trail! We must be bad people…

    1. Chris

      Orienteering is a great sport Andrew. There is no one-size fits all thing here. The difference here is that a well used trail that has more people travelling on it. If you cut that trail, more people cut it, thereby creating a negative impact.

      With orienteering you have a small number of people going through new areas: OK

      In trail running you have hundreds or thousands of runners/hikers per year and once a new shortcut starts, it gets used over and over: NOT OK

      I've no problem with exploring the woods. But when there is a congo line of people trampling through, stay on trail…

      One other negative impact of shortcutting is that you lose trail flow. Wanna see the impact of people not caring? Walnut Creek Park in Austin. Great park but the trails are what I call a spaghetti bowl.

      Hope this helps explain my position here. It's a complicated issue and not black and white….

  113. Stevie Ray

    Here's what I don't understand.

    It has been repeated in various places that switchback cutting is a-ok in Skyrunning events. And that this was (sort of?) a Skyrunning event. And that there might be more Skyrunning events in the states.

    How in the wide, wide world of sports did the USFS, Parks Service, and whoever else permit this event where cutting switchbacks is sanctioned? And why are we wanting more of this??

    Whether JK knew or not, should have done it or not, won or not, got DQed or not, yes, ok… but… I don't get it.

    I am 110% sure this thing wouldn't have gotten permitted and similar events won't if switchback cutting is encouraged. At least not in a place like that.

    1. Chris

      Time for more wilderness areas. If ultrarunning continues to move toward 'skyrunning', I see us losing a lot more access to trail races. Let's be sure to follow the guidelines of proper trail use or else. Being a former mountain biker, I can tell you that we will lose if we take the attitude that we can do whatever we want.

      I envision race limitations so that even the smallest of trail races are hard to get into. I envision the park service cutting access to santioned races if we allow this.

      I used to think trail runners were THE stewards of the trails and friends of the Forest Service….hmmm….starting to wonder….

  114. James

    Bizarre. Seems that the unnamed person is Ricky Gates. Would explain the strange coverage here as well as the lack of post race interviews with the men.

  115. Andrew

    I'm mainly calling you out on your "NEVER cut a trail" statement that is too absolute. Like you are finally saying now, it's not black and white. Circumstances matter a lot, and I would agree that in many circumstances staying on the trail is the best policy.

    In orienteering you can have thousands of people in a single running through the woods in an event – witness the big night-O events in other countries(see youtube). My local club even gets up to 120+ people out for some of our weekly events when there is good weather.

    "Wanna see the impact of people not caring? Walnut Creek Park in Austin. Great park but the trails are what I call a spaghetti bowl." I don't know of this place, but it sounds, at least in part, like the trails were poorly designed (or not designed). It's not like people behave on other trails, but suddenly don't for that particular park.

  116. Chris

    I'd give you a dollar for those thoughts! I feel the exact same way. If we start looking the other way on this or allowing it, we will lose our races. Most races are already capped to minimize impact to the environment. If this community starts thinking they can do whatever they want, things will change. We trail runners need to be Advocates for proper trail use. I am totally dismayed by those who think cutting switchbacks is OK. Those are the attitudes that will hurt our sport.

  117. Speedgoatkarl

    Chris, all races here in the US will be like "local rules" in golf. Follow our route, or you lose. I wouldn't worry about losing permits because some ONE guy cut a course.

    Sanctioning, essentially means nothing, it's just a way to make races "official", which also means nothing. :-)

    1. Chris

      Thanks Karl. First, you did the RIGHT thing and I respect the heck out of you. I was speaking in terms of 'if' we as a communicty accept course cutting as OK. I've seen quite a few people say cutting switchbacks is no big deal. I am worried that a flippant attitude by runners will hurt our sport. Many parks limit the number of participants and one local park that allows races has told the organizers that ANY litter found on the course will result in the park closing to future races…

  118. amg

    A lot of people here throwing in their two cents: "He cheated", "No he didn't", "He should've been DQ'ed", "The rules were unclear" etc etc. It seems that we, the general public, dont have all the facts, and nor should we. The race director had to make a decision, and he did, and everyone should respect that. Lessons learned. Move on.

    I can't imagine how sick Karl must've felt being put in the position he was in. The effort to organise any event is immense, and to have that soured would suck big time. The displeasure etc exhibited by some of the commentors here is trivial compared to that.

  119. Anonimous

    I don't understand why he wasn't DQ'ed?

    Lesser runners are often DQ'ed from events and they just come back next year to clear the record. And these DQs that I speak of are after 10, 15 and 20 hours of running.

    It makes me and others wonder how much time this Spain guy "cuts" off the clock at UT Mont Blanc via switchbacks. Are those record times and finishes 'manufacturered'?

    Up for debate.

  120. Danni

    I think it is the responsibility of every participant in event to know the rules, and thus think a DQ would have been correct.

    Having said that, I also know the RD job is difficult, and this particular RD has more than earned the highest respect from me – not just in his own running ability, but the way he has conducted himself in races and challenges – and all that is enough for me to respect his decision without further question.

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