Mountain Cup & USATF Showdown at Nueces

iRunFar covers the USATF trail 50 mile national championship and the Nueces 25k, the second race in the 2011 La Sportiva Mountain Cup.

By on March 7, 2011 | Comments

2011 La Sportiva Mountain CupThis weekend, the La Sportiva Mountain Cup traveled down to Texas to make its Lone Star State debut at the Nueces 25k, one of four Nueces Endurance Trail Run races held on Saturday. To make things even more exciting, the Nueces 50 mile was the USATF trail 50 mile championship, so we’ll talk a bit more about a Mountain Cup sister race that usual.

That means after starting off with our LSMC race coverage we’ll take a look at USATF trail 50 mile championships. After taking a pass on the Mountain Cup standings (results weren’t available when we wrote this… and it’s early in the season), we’ll move on to our La Sportiva shoe giveaway contest before calling for your comments and finishing up with the full La Sportiva Mountain Cup schedule.

The Race
Women’s Race
The women’s race was the one to watch in this installment of the Mountain Cup. Meghan Kimmell nearly won the race outright. Kimmell, a La Sportiva runner and 2010 Mountain Cup champ, was reportedly worried heading into the race as she lives up in snowy Silverton, Colorado and has run all of 60 miles this season. That obviously wasn’t a problem as she set a new course record.

Former local runner Melanie Fryar battled for second with Rachel Cieslewicz, a Mountain Cup competitor as well as a Newton and Xterra runner. Three minutes behind Kimmel, Fryer won that battle by two minutes as well as the La Sportiva Standout Award from RD Joe Pursaitis. Cieslewicz took home third along with 15 valuable Mountain Cup points, which puts her in the lead for the 2011 series. You can read more about her race here.

  1. Megan Kimmell – 2:00:27
  2. Melanie Fryar – 2:02:11
  3. Rachel Cieslewicz -2:05:18
  4. Rachel Hector – 2:20:38
  5. Pauline Hernandez – 2:23:46
Rachel Cieslewicz Megan Kimmell Nueces 25k

Megan Kimmell (first) and Rachel Cieslewicz (third) after the Nueces 25k. Photo courtesy of Rachel Cieslewicz.

Men’s Race [Updated]
The men’s results were slower to trickle in from the Texas sticks, but the full results are now up. The winner, Waylon Calabrese of Texas set the course record.

  1. Waylon Calabrese – 1:59:12
  2. Justin Gonzalez – 2:01:20
  3. Chris Chancey – 2:02:33
  4. Brandon Gerard – 2:05:05
  5. Christopher Whelchel – 2:09:03
        1. Liza Howard – 8:09:59
        2. Parvaneh Moayedi – 10:13:38
        3. Jameelah Abdul-RAhim Mujaahid – 11:41:34

    Full Results
    Full results are now available.

    La Sportiva Mountain Cup Standings
    As we don’t have full results we can’t update the Mountain Cup standings, so we’ll take this opportunity to remind you that series results are based on a runner’s top five scoring races. In each race, points are awarded to the top 15 runners of each gender. The top five runners receive 20, 17, 15, 13, and 11 points, respectively. The sixth through fifteenth place runners receive points descending from 10 points for sixth place to 1 point for the final scoring runner. A runner will also receive 2 bonus points for beating another runner who ranked in the series’ top 10 going into the race. You can take a look at the official scoring rules by going to the Mountain Cup website and clicking on the About tab.

    Nueces 50 Mile, the 2011 USATF Trail 50 Mile National Championships
    To give you some perspective on the course, we’ll share Dave James’ take:

    The Nueces course was harder than Bandera 100k course (the 2011 USATF trail 100k championship), more rocks and Joe (RD) marked some sections that were not really trails which made for slow going. It was windy at the 6 a.m. start. Sunrise was about 7 a.m., so the first 30 minutes were very dark and strange. The day was sunny with some clouds, windy on the ridge tops. The course was three loops and very well marked, but slow because of all the little rocks. There were also two water crossings and two suspension bridges each lap.

    On the men’s side, Chris Kollar, a former 1500 meter specialist at NC State (who allegedly had never raced over 10k), took out the pace on the first of the three 16.7 mile loops, running it in less than 2 hours. James rolled through the first rocky, rolling lap in 2:04 in second place. James reports that after going out to hard on the first lap he “was toast after that and had a hard time.” Jason Schlarb rolled by James at the start of the third lap and sped away to win in 6:28:26. James hung on to finish second in 6:43:24, just ahead of Jason Bryant (a frequent Mountain Cup competitor). Bryant (race reportschedule) ran a much more controlled 2:15 first lap en route to a 6:51:35. Steven Moore (7:00:07) and Jack Pilla (7:01:01) rounded out the top five. In a comment, Moore shared, “Jason B., Jack P., and I ran together for much of the day and had a great time.” Full men’s results are found here.

    Olga Varlamova reports in a comment, “The early leader of 50M had dropped after second loop, which he finished together with Dave and Jason.”

    Neuces USATF Trail 50 mile national championship

    The Nueces course is remote. Photo courtesy of Rachel Cieslewicz.

    It’s no surprise that the women’s race was a one woman affair. Liza Howard dominated, even though she wasn’t fresh (in the past two months she’s won the USATF trail 100k national championship and the Rocky Raccoon 100 mile) and things didn’t go quite as planned. We’ll not commandeer any of Liza’s words as we think you should go check out her always humorous blog. Here’s her Nueces 50 mile race report.

    Here are the top three women (only three women finished): La Sportiva Mountain Cup Contest
    La Sportiva logoBack in February we offered up a pair of La Sportiva Crosslites in our Uwharrie Mountain Run race report and now it’s time to announce their winner – Jacob W. of Sante Fe, New Mexico! Congrats, Jacob.

    La Sportiva RaptorGiven the rocks and longer distance of the Nueces 25k (and with a nod to its 50 mile kin) we’re offering up a pair of La Sportiva’s Raptors (iRF review), a technical trail shoe with a sticky rubber outsole that’s perfect for gripping rocky terrain. Want to clutch a pair of your own talon-like Raptors? Simply leave your name and town (in the US or Canada) in a comment before we write about the next Mountain Cup race, the Bel Monte Endurance Run 25k on March 26 in Sherando Lake, Virginia. As a reminder, if you enter to win the Raptors 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 any of the Nueces Endurance Trail Runs, please leave a comment letting everyone know how you did and what you think about the race. Past racers are invited to comment, too!

    The La Sportiva Mountain Cup

    [Thanks to Rachel Cieslewicz, Dave James, and Ian Achey for providing information for this article.]

Bryon Powell

Bryon Powell is the Founding Editor of iRunFar. He’s been writing about trail running, ultrarunning, and running gear for more than 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.