Smart Running at the Half Wit Half Marathon

La Sportiva Mountain CupIt looks like most of the top contenders in the La Sportiva Mountain Cup are either content with their current position or, more likely, are resting up for Shop to the Top next weekend. While the Half Wit Half Marathon had one of the largest fields of a Mountain Cup race this year (nearly 500 runners finished), only the two local Cup contenders – Matt Byrne and Tom Haxton – took to the East Coast trails for series points. Read on for some info on the race (we’ll keep it brief), an update on the series standings (there were big moves despite the minimal race action), and we’ll announce the winners of two pairs of La Sportiva shoes and offer up another pair in the La Sportiva giveaway.

The Race
In the men’s race, Michael Dixon (1:29:54) of New Jersey dominated. He beat two top Mountain Cup contenders by two and half and four minutes. Maybe he’ll consider giving next year’s LSMC a go. Philadelphian and series regular Matt Byrne (1:32:31) came across the line next. Third place went to Tom Haxton (1:34:07), also of Philadelphia and a contender for the cup. Daryl Weaver (1:35:08) ran well and finished fourth a minute behind Haxton. Mike Anis (1:38:15) of New Jersey rounded out the top five. Twelfth place finisher, 50 year old Jeff Hayes (1:47:36) was the top male master.

No top Mountain Cup contender showed up for the women’s race. Another Philadelphian, Helen Cheung (1:56:10), made the trek up to Reading to win the women’s race. Kristin Reed (2:02:42) was a ways back in second place. Terri Cook (2:06:35) took the final podium spot. Eve Campeau (2:18:33) of New Jersey was the top masters woman.

Full results (pdf) of the Half Wit Half Marathon are available.

La Sportiva Mountain Cup Standings
Wow, the summer and the La Sportiva Mountain Cup have flown by so fast! With the Half Wit Half history, but one of the ten series races remains. Only two open men’s Cup contenders showed up this weekend, but they both made their races count. Other Cup category standings firmed up with the lack activity.

Open Men’s
Shiloh Mielke (88 pts) remains in the lead, but he’s now within shooting distances. By picking up 19 points (17 pts for 2nd and 2 pts for beating Haxton) this weekend, Matt Byrne (77 pts) moved into second in the Mountain Cup standings just 11 points behind Mielke. Mielke would need to improve his 12 points from Barr Trail at Shop to the Top next week to add to his point total (only a racer’s top five races score in the LSMC). On the other hand, Byrne has only raced four series events and would take home all the points he earned at Shop to the Top … if he races it. With $2,500 on the line ($5,000 for first vs $2,500 for second), it would make sense to Byrne to hop on a flight to Boise next weekend! Byrne’s rise in the standings means Jason Bryant (68 pts) drops down to third place.

Tom Haxton’s 15 points from Half Wit (15 pts for 3rd place) give him 57 on the season and move him into fourth. As Haxton has only run four races, he would keep all the points he scored at Shop to the Top, while the man in the final money spot – Bryant – has run 6 races and would need to improve up his 10 points at Mount Washington or Haulin’ Aspen. That means the ball is in Haxton’s court, especially as there are likely to be many bonus points (2 points are awarded for beating each runner who was in the LSMC as of the previous day) up for grabs in Idaho.

Masters Men
Bernie Boettcher (47 pts) remains the top male master in the series, even though he dropped from fourth to fifth overall. Still, one good race from Simon Gutierrez (34 pts) or an excellent race from Matt Carpenter (24 pts) at Shop to the Top could put either of them on top.

Open Women
There are no changes in the women’s open standings this week. The top three remains:

  1. Caitlin Smith – 98 pts
  2. Megan Kimmel – 91 pts
  3. Brandy Erholtz – 50 pts

With only one race left, Megan Kimmel remains the backseat driver. Caitlin Smith still leads by 7 points, but won’t be running Shop to the Top next weekend, as she’ll be racing the TransRockies Run starting the following day. Megan has yet to run her fifth series race, so she’s take home any points she might pick up in Ketchum next weekend. As such, Megan would take home the La Sportiva Mountain Cup if she places eight or better in Shop to the Top. No brainer there.

By not running this weekend, Brandy Erholtz (50 pts) limited herself to finishing no better than third. We’d suggest that Rachel Cieslewicz (43 pts) make the drive up from Salt Lake City next weekend, as she’s still got a chance to take third place and take home $1,500 if Brandy doesn’t show.

Masters Women
Lisa Goldsmith (43 pts) is all but uncatchable at this point. She’s tied for fourth overall with Cieslewicz at the moment, but even if she were to move into third overall next weekend, Lisa would take home the master women win at its $2,000 prize leaving the third place open women’s prize available to the next woman. In theory, Laura Haefeli (21 pts) could make the trek up from Del Norte, Colorao, but she’d need to place very highly and take home some big time bonus points to catch Lisa. Lisa has only run 4 series races, so if she shows up at Shop to the Top, she’d essentially guarantee her series victory by scoring a mere handful of points.

Official Series Standings
La Sportiva has already posted Mountain Cup standings. La Sportiva Mountain Cup Contest
La Sportiva trail shoesWith two La Sportiva Mountain Cup races last weekend, we’re awarding two pairs of La Sportiva shoes this week! Brad Koenig will soon be flying up New Jersey’s mountains (go to the Delaware Water Gap and then hit Hot Dog Johnny’s!) in a pair of La Sportiva Skylites for winning the
Jupiter Peak Steeplechase contest
. In a few weeks, Nick Pedatella of Boulder, Colorado will get to run around Mount Sanitas in La Sportiva’s North American home in a pair of La Sportiva Fireblades after being picked in the Haulin’ Aspen Half Marathon drawing.

La Sportiva WildcatWe think the Half Wit Half Marathon warrants giving away a final pair of La Sportiva’s Wildcats – a great shoe for hitting the trails for a long run. Want to run for hours under autumnal foliage, just leave your name and town (in the US or Canada) in a comment before we write about the final La Sportiva Mountain Cup race, the Shop to the Top, next week. As a reminder, if you enter to win the pair of Wildcats you’ll 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 Half Wit Half Marathon, 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