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

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