Mecurial Mountain Running at Jupiter Peak Steeplechase

La Sportiva Mountain Cup 2010The 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.

2010 Jupiter Peak Steeplechase

Start of the 2010 Jupiter Peak Steeplechase. Photo by Giulia Delladio.

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.

The Race
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.

Men’s Race

Bernie Boettcher 2010 Jupiter Peak Steeplechase

Bernie Boettcher after winning the 2010 Jupiter Peak Steeplechase. Photo by Giulia Delladio.

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.

Women’s Race
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.

Holly Merriman Megan Kimmel Rachel Cieslewicz

Holly Merriman (3rd), Megan Kimmel (1st), Rachel Cieslewicz (2nd) after the 2010 Jupiter Peak Steeplechase. Photo by Giulia Delladio.

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 Jonathan Lantz, President of La Sportiva, About the Mountain Cup

Interview with Megan Kimmel

Interview with Rachel Cieslewicz

Full Results and Other Reports

La Sportiva Mountain Cup Standings
As noted above, we’re not including the overall standings quite yet. Come back in a day or two to see them. La Sportiva Mountain Cup Contest
La Sportiva logoMany 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 La Sportiva Mountain Cup giveaway grand prize.

Call for Comments
If you ran the Jupiter Peak Steeplechase, 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 2010 Jupiter Peak Steeplechase

The author after running the 2010 Jupiter Peak Steeplechase. Photo by Giulia Delladio.

There are 114 comments

    1. Bryon Powell

      Thanks, Patrick. It was rough for me. I ran close to three minutes faster on a course that was a couple (5?) minutes longer last year. I wanted to drop literally 1.37 miles into the race even though I went out conservatively. I guess that's what happens when you run 25-35 miles a week while avoiding hills for 8 months! :-) Even after the climb it was tough for me. I couldn't cruise the lightly rolling descent early on the way down and actually stopped to walk around mile 11. My legs were fine, I just didn't want to run. Fortunately, Jared Campbell got me running again. I'll be looking for some redemption the next time I run it!

  1. Brandon Rodgers

    Byron-your dedication to the sport we love serves as a great diversion when riding my desk 8hrs a day.

    Brandon Rodgers

    Los Osos, CA

  2. Rachel Cieslewicz

    Bryon! It was so great to see you again, as always. Thank you for all of your help and support. Thank you for so graciously sharing your passions and talents with our awesome trail running community!

  3. Kevin

    I've GOT to go West! Well, and get my butt back out on the trails after WAY too many distractions over the past month or so… More solid reports making me want to be out racing!

    Thanks Bryon!



  4. Matt Smith

    Another great repoort – your web site makes me wonder if I should renew my subscriptions to Ultrarunning and Trail Running magazines…

    Matt Smith

    Chatham, NY

  5. Brad K

    Thanks for another great race review. Sounds like a great time out there.

    Crosslites are a shoe I have always wanted to try out… please put my name into the hat.

    Brad Koenig

    Cherry Hill, NJ

  6. John C.

    I've been fortunate to be a local and have run the race at least six times (i lost count years ago). Mountain Trails Foundation has done an excellent job each year with the race and La Sportiva was a great sponsor. The race is always fun.

  7. Matt

    It was good to meet you Bryon. That is one of my top favorite courses. One thing you forget to mention in your report was that the weather was perfect this year.

    Matt Ricks

    Bountiful, UT

  8. Jonathan

    Hi Bryon

    Thanks for a great report. Great time at Eldora this year. They changed the finish to the course so it traversed some of the lakes around the cross country trails and then snaked it's way through some cool single track sections. I ran the Jupiter Peak race and made the 8 hour drive and felt horrible. I woke my 9 year old son up the next morning and asked if he wanted to run the race (mainly so i could run slow). He asked, "Are there uphills?" and I said "Yes", and he jumped out of bed and off we went. It was his first trail race and he finished in around 1:08 I believe and got 3rd in his age group of under 19!

    1. Bryon Powell

      Jonathan, Great seeing you at Jupiter Peak. You had me looking over my shoulder the whole descent… though I didn't have to think about doubling. I'll get to do that in a week and a half when I run the Taos Up and Over in the morning and then drive to Leadville to pace someone for 20 mile in the 100 miler.

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