This weekend, the 2012 La Sportiva Mountain Cup got underway at the 21st Uwharrie Mountain Run in the mountains of North Carolina. While the event hosts three distances – 8, 20, and 40 miles – the Mountain Cup focuses on the 20-mile race.
Last year’s Cup also started with Uwharrie after a night of heavy rains. This year, the race began precip-free before a light drizzle fell later in the race. That said, word is that there were plenty of sections with 6-inch-deep mud to go along with numerous creek crossings. Add in lots of rocks under leaf litter on a course that’s nearly all singletrack and you get plenty of battle wounds.
Our custom this season will be to begin our LSMC race coverage by filling you in on how the race played out. Next, we’ll give you an update on the Mountain Cup standings. We’ll then move on to our weekly giveaway contest(s) before calling for your comments and finishing up with the full La Sportiva Mountain Cup schedule. We don’t yet have photos from Uwharrie, but we’ll add them in as soon as we get them.
Well, this year’s Mountain Cup began just as last year’s… at least on the men’s side with Inov-8’s Ryan Woods taking the win again. In doing so, he managed to break his course record from last year by 14 seconds. That win might not have happened but for eventual fifth place finisher David Roche taking a wrong turn while he had a four-and-a-half minute lead. Patrick Reaves took second, four and a half minutes behind Woods.
Third place finisher Jason Bryant improved one place and six minutes over last year with Scott Williams again one spot behind Bryant. Last year, Bryant beat Williams by over four minutes, but this year’s margin was a mere second. In truth, the two ran together with Williams forgoing a late battle as he knew Bryant is once again competing in the series while he will not be.
- Ryan Woods – 2:23:02 – Course Record (a Mountain Cup regular and Inov-8 runner)
- Patrick Reaves – 2:26:30
- Jason Bryant (report) – 2:31:37 (a Mountain Cup regular and La Sportiva runner)
- Scott Williams – 2:31:38
- David Roche – 2:36:45
[Ps. Congrats to buddy Mike Mason on winning the 40 miler and to Jon Allen for his strong second place showing behind Mason.]
The women’s race was necessarily a big change over last year as none of last year’s top three returned, including Mountain Cup regular Rachel Cieslewicz, who’ll be concentrating on cycling rather than trail running this year.
Another series regular, Alison Bryant, did head to Uwharrie this year after being sidelined from last year’s race by an injury. Running healthy this year, La Sportiva’s Bryant won by nearly 16 minutes. Last year’s fourth place finisher, Jessica Durant, was this year’s runner up. She was followed closely by Mila Harris and Theresa Crowgey, who were both within two minutes of Durant at the finish. Leigh Adams finished another couple minute back to round out the top five.
- Alison Bryant – 3:06:49
- Jessica Durant – 3:22:46
- Mila Harris – 3:27:50
- Therea Crowgey – 3:28:25
- Leigh Adams – 3:33:13
As has become our tradition, were’ skipping our usual standing’s update for the inaugural 2012 La Sportiva Mountain Cup race, because at this point, the rankings mirror the results exactly. However, we wanted to let you know that we’ll be including a full analysis of LSMC standings after each future race and assure you that these standing updates will get exciting as the series proceeds!
We’ll also take this opportunity to remind you that series results are based on a runner’s top five scoring races. In each race, points are awarded to the top 10 runners of each gender. The top five runners receive 20, 17, 15, 13, and 11 points, respectively. The sixth through fifteenth place runners receive points descending from 10 points for sixth place to 6 points for the final scoring runner. A runner will also receive 2 bonus points for beating another runner who ranked in the series’ top 10 going into the race. You can take a look at the official scoring rules by going to the Mountain Cup website and clicking on the About tab.
One update for this year’s Mountain Cup is the removal of the master’s category. The same total $25,000 purse now spreads 5 deep among the men and women as follows:
iRunFar.com La Sportiva Mountain Cup Contest
If I were racing a muddy 20-mile trail race, I’d be pulling the La Sportiva Crosslite 2.0 off my shoe rack. It’s heavily lugged like its predecessor while sitting on an even more stable platform that’s great for longer races.
Looking to tear up the trail in the Crosslite 2.0 at one of the nine remaining LSMC races? Simply leave your name and town (in the US or Canada) in a comment before we write about the next Mountain Cup race to be run at Red Hot Moab 33k on February 18. As a reminder, if you enter to win the Crosslite 2.0, you’ll also automatically be eligible to win the grand prize – any three pairs of La Sportiva trail shoes and some sweet Sportiva schwag at the end of August.
Call for Comments
If you ran any of the Uwharrie Mountain Run races, please leave a comment letting everyone know how you did and what you think about the race. Past racers are invited to comment, too!