The Jupiter Peak Steeplechase is another repeat event in the La Sportiva Mountain Cup and with good reason – it’s one of the best mountain races out there. As a testament to that fact, this weekend’s race marks the third time I’ve run the event and I’m already looking forward to running it again in the future. Given that I attended the event and that there were FOUR Mountain Cup races this past weekend, this LSMC report will differ a bit from its standard format.
We’ll begin our LSMC race coverage by giving you the scoop on how the race went, including video interviews with Megan Kimmel, Rachel Cieslewicz, and Jonathan Lantz. We’ll then move on to our giveaway contest (Skylites!) before calling for your comments and finishing up with the full La Sportiva Mountain Cup schedule. We won’t update the Mountain Cup standings in this article; rather, we’ll include them in one of the later updates once we have results from all four races.
This year’s Jupiter Peak Steeplechase would go to two series regulars who also ran the race last year, but first a bit about the race. It’s pretty simple format in that it’s up for nearly 7 miles and 3,000 feet to an elevation of 10,000 feet, followed by a 3/4 mile run across saddle, before 7+ mile descent back down to 7,000 feet.
Bernie Boettcher improved on his third place finish from last year’s race to win this year. He worked his way up from an early fifth position into the lead before running away from the rest of the field. He won in 1:52:12, more than 5 minutes ahead of second place, David Derkacs (1:57:31). Bernie’s time would have also won the race last year, although the course was shortened this year as a result of a move in the finishing location. Kevin Tuck (2:02:36) was another 5 minutes back in third. It’s worth noting that Bernie, 47, and Kevin, 54, are masters runners. Sebe Ziesler of Park City was fourth in 2:02:40… only 4 seconds behind Tuck. Kevin Smith was fifth in 2:03:57.
A couple other names and facts worth mentioning. First off, seven of the first ten runners live in either Park City or nearby Salt Lake City. Two of those were Kevin Schilling (9th – 2:07:26), who should be in the mix to win the Wasatch 100 next month, and Hardrock champ Jared Campbell (2:22:45 – 33rd man). Some of iRF longest tenured readers may remember the name Martin Gaffuri, my TransRockies partner in 2008. On Saturday, he rounded out the top 10 in 2:07:43. For you shoe geeks, with the Outdoor Retailer show wrapping up the day before the race, two shoe company presidents ran the race – La Sportiva’s own Jonathan Lantz and Nicolas Mermoud (2:04:29) of Hoka One One, who placed sixth overall.
Megan Kimmel led from the gun to repeat as the Jupiter Peak Steeplechase women’s champion. She ran 2:12:45, which was just a few seconds off her time from last year. The race puts her in a good position to repeat as the women’s Mountain Cup series champ, as well. Series regular and Salt Lake City resident Rachel Cieslewicz improved on her third place finish of last year by following Kimmel across the line. Cieslewicz also improved her time by more than 8 minutes from last year by running 2:16:27. Holly Merriman took third in 2:23:41. While each of the first three women were 30 years of age, 49-year-old Julia Holland took fourth overall and first master in 2:25:36. Keely Coxon, 23 of Washingon state, rounded out the top five in 2:28:34.
We think it’s worth noting that Trail Runner Magazine editor Elinor Fish placed eight in 2:31:32. Jupiter Peak was her final long run before she attempts her first 100 miler in two weeks at the Leadville 100. Best of luck Elinor!
Interview with Megan Kimmel
Interview with Rachel Cieslewicz
Full Results and Other Reports
- Official men’s results from the 2010 Jupiter Peak Steeplechase are available.
- So, too, are the full women’s results
iRunFar.com La Sportiva Mountain Cup Contest
Many pairs of Crosslites were seen on the way to and from Jupiter Peak last weekend. Holly from North Vancouver, BC could be among that crowd next year as she’s won herself a pair. Congrats, Holly.
I ran in the La Sportiva Skylite (iRF Skylite review), so that’s our prize for the Jupiter Peak contest. Light and low to the ground, these were all the shoe I needed to get up and down the mountain.
To enter the contest, simply leave your name and town (in the US or Canada) in a comment before we report on the Taos Ski Valley Up and Over 10k being run August 21. As a reminder, if you enter to win the Skylites, you’ll also automatically be eligible to win the grand prize at the end of August. Read up on the iRunFar.com La Sportiva Mountain Cup giveaway grand prize.