For the third-straight year, the La Sportiva Mountain Cup went to the unforgiving trails of central Pennsylvania’s Rothrock Trail Challenge. On race day, competitors took on 18 miles of rock-strewn (or, perhaps, rock-hewn) trails that were slickened by torrential overnight rains. Like last year, racers were at least treated to spectacular weather on race day. Cool temps, low humidity, and a nice breeze kept things fresh.
Before moving on, I’d like to make two side notes. First, the finish line spread at Rothrock is, in my mind, unrivaled by any trail race I’ve ever attended. Fresh pizzas, hoagies (known as “subs” by the less fortunate who’ve never had a true hoagie), pulled-pork BBQ, three beers on tap, tons of soda, and a Scheetz truck with hot and blended beverages, not to mention a DJ… which led to some “interesting” karaoke. Second, it was in that atmosphere Saturday afternoon that I yet again got to feel like part of the La Sportiva Mountain Cup family. Despite a variety of sponsor affiliations, the top runners and La Sportiva’s representatives once again hung out. After eight races in this year’s Mountain Cup and, for most of these runners, many seasons competing against once another for the Cup, there’s a pleasant familiarity to it all. After a few minutes or a few hours of racing, the competition ends, guards are let down, and the friendships blossom. Thanks again to La Sportiva and the athletes for letting me into the family two or three times a year.
We’ll begin our LSMC race coverage by filling you in on how the race played out. Next, we’ll give you an update on the Mountain Cup standings. We’ll then move on to our weekly giveaway contest(s) before calling for your comments and finishing up with the full La Sportiva Mountain Cup schedule.
Local Jacob Loverich bested all comers for the third straight year at Rothrock, despite the race bringing top talent competing for the cup each year. This year, Jason Bryant proved to be Jacob’s biggest competition, sticking with him on the climbs and sometimes catching him on the downhills. But Jason couldn’t stick with Jacob whenever the course flattened out on the ridges. Stephen Hennigar of New Hampshire was 10 minutes back of Bryant in third, while two locals Jeff Smucker and David Lister battled each other to the line to take fourth and fifth another two minutes back.
- Jacob Loverich – 2:39:03
- Jason Bryant (La Sportiva) – 2:42:34 (race report)
- Stephen Hennigar – 2:52:48
- Jeff Smucker – 2:54:28
- David Lister – 2:54:33
Megan Kimmel is making another play for this year’s Mountain Cup and looked dominant in her third LSMC race of the year. She was sixth overall and nearly 20 minutes faster than the next female finisher despite insisting on the course’s difficulty. Local Ashley Moyer took second 18 minutes and change behind Kimmel. Mountain Cup contenders Gina Lucrezi and Alison Bryant weren’t far back or far apart in third and fourth. Another local, Alicia Revitsky, was fifth only three minutes back of Bryant.
- Megan Kimmel (Asics) – 3:01:18
- Ashley Moyer – 3:19:54
- Gina Lucrezi – 3:22:53
- Alison Bryant (La Sportiva) – 3:25:31
- Alicia Revitsky – 3:28:27
La Sportiva Mountain Cup Standings
There were no significant changes in the men’s Mountain Cup standings this week other than Jason Bryant moving closer to the top four runners while maintaining his fifth place position.
With two races left in the series, Rob Krar’s lead is untouchable according to Ryan Woods. Woods doesn’t plan to race again this Mountain Cup season, although word is that Krar will. Personally, if I were Krar, I’d stay at home and not give Jared Scott (third) or Matt Byrne (fourth) the shot at additional bonus points, which they need in order to catch Krar. It’s likely that Scott will race again in pursuit of a now dormant Woods with Byrne likely two race twice more, going after both Scott and Woods ahead of him. Bryant is also likely two race again, although all the runners ahead of him can hold him off with one more finish.
- 1 – Robert Krar – 108 points from five races (Did not race Rothrock)
- 2 – Ryan Woods – 102 pts from five(+) races (Did not race Rothrock)
- 3 – Jared Scott – 82 pts from four races (Did not race Rothrock)
- 4 – Matt Byrne – 62 pts from three races (Did not race Rothrock)
- 5 – Jason Bryant – 60 pts from four races (17 pts for second at Rothrock)
Unlike the men, the women’s Mountain Cup standings were sent head over heels by this weekend’s race. Previous leader Christina Bauer dropped all the way two fourth with Alison Bryant taking over the lead position despite finishing fourth. In winning her third straight Mountain Cup race, Megan Kimmel moves into second… and looks unstoppable in her quest to continue her streak of winning her fifth-straight Mountain Cup series. Gina Lucrezi stayed in third despite all the movement around her. In fifth, Shari Marshall did not to move a spot this weekend.
Bryant, Lucrezi, and Bauer should have a battle to the finish for second as all three have run four races and only a runner’s top five point-getting races score. There’s bound to be some strategy between these women in choosing whether to race Barr Trail, Jupiter Peak Steeplechase, or both. Opportunities to win (or give up) bonus points will have to be taken into account.
- Alison Bryant – 76 points from four races (13 pts for fourth at Rothrock)
- Megan Kimmel – 70 pts from three races (24 pts from Rothrock, 20 pts for winning and 2 bonus pts each for beating Bryant and Lucrezi)
- Gina Lucrezi – 67 pts from four scoring races (17 pts from Rothrock, 15 pts for third and 2 bonus pts for beating Bryant)
- Christina Bauer – 66 pts from four races (Did not race Rothrock)
- Shari Marshall – 26 pts from two races race (Did not race Rothrock)
iRunFar.com La Sportiva Mountain Cup Contest
Jeff Pelky of Seattle, Washington, you won yourself a pair of La Sportiva Skylite 2.0 from our Jemez Half Marathon giveaway. Contact us to claim your prize. (Given you live in Seattle, we’re happy to hook you up with the grippier C-Lite 2.0, instead. ;-) )
With the ridiculous rocks of Rothrock, I’d have wanted a pair of La Sportiva Quantums and their cushy, yet grippy Morphodynamic outsole/midsole package. Want to try a pair of the La Sportiva Quantums? Well, to win a pair, just 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 the Barr Trail Mountain Race in Colorado on July 15. As a reminder, if you enter to win the Quantums, 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 Rothrock Trail Challenge this weekend, please leave a comment letting everyone know how you did and what you think about the race. Past racers are invited to comment, too!