A Race to the Wire at Taos Up and Over 10k

iRunFar covers the Taos Up and Over, the final race in the 2010 La Sportiva Mountain Cup.

By on August 23, 2010 | 58 comments

La Sportiva Mountain Cup 2010Wow, this year’s La Sportiva Mountain Cup has flown by! Four plus months felt like a blink of an eye… and an avalanche of free La Sportiva shoes. This year’s Mountain Cup finale, the Taos Up and Over, was run on Saturday in Taos Ski Valley, New Mexico. This race is NOT your garden variety 10k! Nope, you START at 9,207′ to climb another 2,612′ in the first 3 miles before plummeting the same amount in the next three miles and change. I, for one, wanted supplemental oxygen on the way up and a hang glider on the way down! Heck, the elevation profile is too good to not include it below.

Taos Up and Over elevation profile

We’ll begin our LSMC race coverage by giving you the scoop on how the race went. We’ll then move on to final Mountain Cup standings and our giveaway contest (Fireblades) before calling for your comments.

The Race
Men’s Race

Bernie Boettcher notched his second La Sportiva Mountain Cup race win of the season by running up and over the mountain in 54:21. He was also the master’s winner. Jason Bryant, another series competitor, easily took second, but was well behind Bernie in 57:08. Mike Rahmer took third in 1:02:10 just ahead of Jason Taylor, who ran 1:02:15. Rounding out the top five was Thomas Fritsch in 1:06:39. Here’s an interview with Bernie from after the race.

I happened to run 1:09:30, which I think was good for 12th overall and 8th man. I’m not quite sure. I walked all but maybe a third of the mile on the climb, which my Garmin pegged at 2,345 feet in 2.86 miles. I’m glad I had a pair of Black Diamond’s forthcoming Z-Poles Ultra trekking poles with me out there. I picked up some places quickly on the steep, technical descent just after the peak.

Women’s Race
Rachael Cieslewicz made it to the top of the mountain in first, only to be passed by Susan Nuzum and Alison Bryant on technical sections early in the descent. She never gave up. Bryant suffered with some heel blisters on the steep downhill and was the first to be passed with maybe half a mile to go. Cieslewicz pressed on to catch Susan just before the finish. She won in 1:06:42 to Nuzum’s 1:06:46. Nuzum was the masters winner. Bryant came in third in 1:07:12.

Full Results
Full results of the Taos Up and Over are not yet posted.

La Sportiva Mountain Cup Standings
Below are the final LSMC standings per out reckoning.

It should surprise no one that Meghan Kimmel repeated as this year’s La Sportiva Mountain Cup women’s champ. Her 93 points going into the weekend made her untouchable and the winner of $5,000. Rachel Cieslewicz’s victory over LSMC Top 10 women, Alison Bryant and Susan Nuzum, gave her 24 points on the day and 76 points on the season. Bryant picked up 15 points on the day, but that wasn’t enough to hold of Cieslewicz, who improved upon last year’s third place in the Mountain Cup with second overall in series this year to give her a $2,500 pay day. Bryant ended up in third overall with 74 points, which is good for $1,500.

Here are iRunFar’s Unofficial Standings:

  1. Megan Kimmell – 93 points
  2. Rachel Cieslewicz – 76 points
  3. Alison Bryant – 74 points
  4. Laura Haefeli – 45 points
  5. Susan Nuzum – 40 points

Women Masters
It turns out that fourth and fifth in the overall Mountain Cup standings are one and two in the masters standings. That makes Laura Haefeli this year’s women masters champ ($2,000) and Susan Nuzum the runner up ($1,000). Lisa Goldsmith was third to take home $500.

Our congratulations go to Ryan Woods for becoming the new men’s La Sportiva Mountain Cup winner and the $5,000 it brings with it. Neither Woods nor runner-up Matt Byrne ($2,500) had to race this weekend to hold their positions. Bernie Boettcher’s win over Jason Bryant switched their positions in the overall standings. However, as Boettcher will take home more cash as the master’s champion, he is removed from the open prize list. That means Bryant will still take home the $1,500 prize for the third place overall male.

Here are our unofficial series tallies:

  1. Ryan Woods – 106 points
  2. Matt Byrne – 96 points
  3. Bernie Boettcher – 84 points
  4. Jason Bryant – 82 points
  5. Ryan Hafer – 50 points

Men’s Masters
Bernie Boettcher keeps his LSMC masters championship streak alive again this year to take home $2,000. Matt Carpenter was second ($1,000) and Tadd Morris third ($500).

Official Standings
The official LSMC standings will be available here (pdf). In case you are interested, here’s a link to the official scoring rules.


Alison Jason Bryant

The first couple of the La Sportiva Mountain Cup, Alison and Jason Bryant.

iRunFar.com La Sportiva Mountain Cup Contest
La Sportiva logoNow on to this year’s most exciting contest section. We’re naming the winners of four different pairs of La Sportiva shoes. We also offer up one final pair of shoes as well as one last chance to enter to win the iRunFar.com La Sportiva Mountain Cup giveaway grand prize.

This week winners are:

  • La Sportiva Skylite – Scott (of iKeepRunning.com) of Pullman, WA
  • La Sportiva Crossover GTX – William Ward of Murfreesboro, TN.
  • La Sportiva Wildcat – Chris Taft of Easthampton, MA.
  • La Sportiva Fireblade – Chris Freet of Honesdale, PA.

I brought a pair of Crosslites to Taos and they served me well. Besides, these are easily the most frequently worn by the La Sportiva Mountain Running team in races. Therefore, we think it’s fitting to make them the final individual prize in the series.

To enter the contest, simply leave your name and town (in the US or Canada) in a comment before 5 pm on Wednesday, September 1. As a reminder, if you enter to win the Crosslites, you’ll also automatically be eligible to win the grand prize at the end of August.

Call for Comments
If you ran the Taos Up and Over, please leave a comment letting everyone know how you did and what you think about the race. Past racers are invited to comment, too!

Bryon Powell

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