Perfect Weather for Red Hot Moab Trail Races

2012 La Sportiva Mountain CupOn Saturday, hundreds of runners headed to the red rock desert of southern Utah to test themselves at the Red Hot Moab 33k and 55k trail races. The 55k has long been a key early race for Intermountain West ultrarunners, while the 33k received a fresh infusion of talent this year upon being named the 2012 La Sportiva Mountain Cup’s second race of this year’s series.

I can offer a personal perspective on this year’s races as I made the trek south from Park City to Moab, Utah for the second year in a row. To begin, the weather for this year’s Red Hot Moab races was simply spectacular. Near freezing temps quickly rose into the low fifties in windless conditions under bluebird skies.

Jared Scott Rob Krar Red hot Moab 2012

Jared Scott (right, finished second), Ryan Woods (hidden behind Scott, third), and Rob Krar (left, winner) taking it out hard at the 2012 Red Hot Moab 33k. Photo: iRunFar/Bryon Powell

Short-sleeve shirts easily outnumbered puffy jackets at the finish, which is important as folks typically hang out at the finish for hours. A minor injury caused me to (wisely) scratch from the 33k on race morning resulting in my hanging out at the finish for 7 hours. I was never without a circle of entertaining trail runners with whom to enjoy the great weather and festive atmosphere.

Speaking of the atmosphere, race director Chris Martinez, a long-time river guide, ensures that everyone who’s capable of having fun will have fun at his races. There’s a DJ spinning tunes, bread bowls overflowing with vegetarian soup, plenty of drink options (including a variety of adult options brought by friends of the race), a strong presence from sponsors La Sportiva and UltrAspire, and both shade and seating options. Of course, most folks are seen walking around catching up with friends post-race or exploring the red rock of the finishing area, including a sweet set of dinosaur tracks only a 100 yards away. Once the races are all wrapped up the event quickly shifts to Moab’s cornerstone, Eddie McStiff’s, for a well-attended post-race party.

In summary, if the solid weather and ridiculously beautiful course through and on southern Utah’s red rock isn’t enough to get you to the event and you can’t be lured by some hot early season competition, you should still come down to the Red Hot Moab for one heck of a good time.

Our custom this season will be to 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.

The Race
Men’s Race

The three top men’s finishers loved southern Utah’s slickrock enough to take an eight-minute diversion midrace to see some “bonus” slickrock. That diversion came after they threw down 5:20 miles on the doubletrack in the race’s early going. Even a quarter mile into the race, Jared Scott had himself, Ryan Woods, and Rob Krar breathing hard as they climbed a small rise.

Rob Krar Red Hot Moab 33k 2012

Rob Krar about to win the 2012 Red Hot Moab 33k. Photo: iRunFar/Bryon Powell

In the end, the fastest guys re-passed anyone who’d gained an advantage during their off-course exploration. Rob Krar of Flagstaff, Arizona won a tight contest in a course record 2:17:45. Last year’s Mountain Cup champ Jared Scott captured a bunch of early-season points by finishing second just a minute behind Krar. Scott’s fellow Inov-8 teammate and Mountain Cup regular Ryan Woods paid for not running his own race early by falling off the pace into third by the finish. In fourth and fifth place were 49-year-old Bernie Boettcher and 55-year-old Kevin Tuck, who were only a minute and two minutes, respectively, behind Woods, who was third overall in last year’s Mountain Cup final standings.

  1. Rob Krar – 2:17:45 – Course Record
  2. Jared Scott (Inov-8) – 2:18:51
  3. Ryan Woods (Inov-8) – 2:22:07
  4. Bernie Boettcher (La Sportiva) – 2:23:14
  5. Kevin Tuck – 2:24:23

Women’s Race
The women’s race featured a wealth of new faces to the Mountain Cup. Moab-local Heidi Rentz won the women’s race (and was eighth overall) in 2:46:17. Christina Bauer and Shari Marshall finished second and third, two and a half and five and a half minutes behind Rentz respectively, while fourth place woman Jennifer McCarthy finished just a minute and change behind Marshall. Mountain running specialist Gina Lucrezi jumped up to her longest race to date and learned some important lessons in pacing en route to finishing fifth.

  1. Heidi Rentz – 2:46:17
  2. Christina Bauer – 2:48:48
  3. Shari Marshall – 2:51:58
  4. Jennifer McCarthy – 2:53:20
  5. Gina Lucrezi (Inov-8) – 2:57:08

Full Results
Full 33k results.

Bonus: Full 55k results.

La Sportiva Mountain Cup Standings


Ryan Woods may have only finished third at Red Hot Moab, but he jumps out into an early Mountain Cup lead having been the only competitor to run both series races this year. Last year’s series champ Jared Scott moved onto the rankings by placing second and earning two bonus points for beating Woods, who sat in the series top ten prior (leader, in fact) to the race. Winner Rob Krar moves into second overall in the Mountain Cup on the strength of his win and two bonus points; however, his work schedule won’t allow him to make a play for the series this year. Perennial series competitor Bernie Boettcher picked up his first series points of the year with his fourth place finish on Saturday.

  1. Ryan Woods – 35 points in two races (15 pts at Red Hot for 3rd)
  2. Rob Krar – 22 pts in one race (22 pts at Red Hot – 20 pts for the win and 2 bonus pts for beating Woods)
  3. Jared Scott – 19 pts in one race (19 pts at Red Hot – 17 pts for 2nd and 2 bonus pts for beating Woods)
  4. Patrick Reaves – 19 pts in one race (Did not race Red Hot)
  5. Jason Bryant – 15 pts in one race (Did not race Red Hot)
Bernie Boettcher 2012 Red Hot Moab

Bernie Boettcher about to pick up his first La Sportiva Mountain Cup points of the season. Photo: iRunFar/Bryon Powell


No woman has yet run two series races, so the series standings are a simple combining the placings from the first two races. Of the top six women in the series standings at the moment, we only know of one – Alison Bryant – who’ll be going for the series this year.

Women, there are $12,500 to be doled out to the top five women in the series… so get racing!

  • T-1 – Alison Bryant & Heidi Rentz – 20 points
  • T-3 – Jessica Durrant & Christina Bauer – 17 pts
  • T-5 – Mila Harris & Shari Marshall – 15 pts La Sportiva Mountain Cup Contest
La Sportiva logoTracy K of Los Alamos, New Mexico, you won yourself a pair of La Sportiva Crosslite 2.0s from our Uwharrie La Sportiva giveaway. Contact us to claim your prize.

La Spoortiva Vertical KBefore bowing out, I’d planned to wear La Sportiva’s brand new Vertical K’s (review) on the desert slickrock. Having taken the Vertical K out for a short session on the rock playground at the finish, I can confirm that the ultralight, rock-gripping, cushioned package would have been killer out there.

Want to try a pair of the Vertical K? 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 Reading’s Ugly Mud next weekend on February 26. As a reminder, if you enter to win the Vertical K, 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 either of the Red Hot Moab races 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.

Given that all I saw of the course on a gorgeous day was the start and finish, I’d love for some of the racers to link to some of their photos from the event.

The La Sportiva Mountain Cup

Bonus Pic

Karl Meltzer Red Hot Moab 55k 2012

Karl Meltzer about to finish third at the 2012 Red Hot Moab 55k. Photo: iRunFar/Bryon Powell

There are 169 comments

  1. David

    From the photo it looks like Karl Meltzer is wear the Bondi B's. I just got a pair of the Evo B trail and prefer the fit to the Bondi's. The Bondi's (2011 version) are 45 grams lighter (size 12); however, the extra weight likely comes from the reinforced outsole tread – a tradeoff I'll take considering my forefoot outsole wore out on my Bondi's after about 100 miles of road use.

    Either way, love the photo of Meltzer bombing a downhill in his Hoka's!

  2. Stewart Caldwell

    Nice report! I look forward to hearing about the rest of the series and (hopefully) winning a pair of new shoes!

    Stewart Caldwell

    Fayetteville, WV

  3. Glenn Steckler

    From personal experience, having run the race 3 times, it is easy to get off course, I have done it each race. It is not that the course it pourly marked it's just that everything looks the same out there. And inevitably, other racers will follow you, which made me feel bad each time. The Red Hot is a great challenging race that makes you train early and stay in shape during the winter. A real motivator. And also my first ever Ultra. I hope to see you there next year, coming back from knee surgury at the moment.

    Glenn Steckler

    Telluride, CO

    1. Bryon Powell

      Jared Scott, who was leading the pack when they went off course, was quick to point out at the finish how well the course was marked. Chris flags the heck out of the course. However, if you lose focus for event a minute – which is easy to do while trying to navigate the slickrock – it's easy to start veering in the wrong direction.

      Heal up quick, Glenn.

  4. Andy

    Love the red Moab moonscape — it's been years since I've been but the images stay etched forever. Great coverage. And a pair of Vertical Ks would be great too …

    Andy Meisler

    West Hartford, CT

  5. Bish

    Ran it twice. Once in 08 in perfect weather and once during the 2010, which basically should have been a snowshoe race/mud race. Guess which time was faster? Great race. Tim in Denver

  6. Seamus Foy

    Seamus Foy

    Quincy, MA

    I hope the Red Hot is the same weekend next year. I'm a teacher, and February Vacation is a perfect opportunity to get out there! Utah is beautiful!

  7. Reid Landes

    Great picture of Karl's right ankle turning on the rocky landing. Mine would've caved. And thanks for the write-up of the run.

    Little Rock, AR

  8. Stanislav C.

    I like La Sportivas! I used La Sportiva products for the last 15+ years – hiking boots, climbing shoes, and more recently trail running shoes.

    Looking forward trying Vertical K.

    Stanislav C.

    Redmond, WA

  9. Sonja

    I ran the 55K on Saturday and let me say, I just love this race. The combo of the flag hunting on the slick rock with the fast jeep road sections make for such a rewarding course. Aid station #4 is the bomb and you can't believe a jeep can make it ALL THE WAY UP THERE! The views, when you have the wherewithal to look at them are super rad!

    It was a great day, beautiful day. Thanks for the coverage of the shorter race, it was fun to read about how that one went down since I was in the longer race.

    :) Sonja

  10. Andrew Pace

    In colder climes, just want to say congrats to Dave Johnston for his running victory in the Susitna 100 in AK & to Dustin Madden for his first place finish in the Little Su 50K!

    A. Pace

    Denali Park, AK

  11. Dan

    Despite being less than two hours from reading, pa……I won't (but should) be running the ugly mudder. maybe if i had a sweet pair of new shoes.

    Dan Kane

    Mechanicsburg Pa

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