Monday, September 5 is the Labor Day holiday in the U.S., and that marks the unofficial end of American summer. I know how I feel about that, and it’s not good! The holiday also means The Rut mountain runs in Montana though, and we’ve got some racing from the World Mountain Running Association among others too.
Vertical and Trofeo Nasego – Casto, Italy
The vertical kilometer went up over some 4.3 kilometers, and pre-race favorites Andrea Mayr (Austria) and Patrick Kipngeno (Kenya) were again victorious. Mayr has long dominated uphill races, here and elsewhere, and Kipngeno has been nearly unbeatable in World Mountain Running Association (WMRA) World Cup races this year.
Mayr was nine seconds behind her own 2019 course record, finishing in 38:48. Monica Florea (Romania) was second in 41:22, and Valentina Belotti (Italy) ran 42:18 for third.
Lauren Gregory was the first American finisher in eighth at 44:28.
For the men, Kipngeno’s run was closer and he only broke second-place Zak Hanna (Ireland) late, but also broke a 2019 course record in the process. Kipngeno’s win came in 33:47, and Hanna chased to second in 34:21. Philemon Kiriago (Kenya) was third in 35:01. The top four men all finished under the previous course best.
A day later, for the 21st Trofeo Nasego race, not much changed. Andrea Mayr and Patrick Kipngeno were again supreme.
Mayr finished in 1:47, three minutes better than Joyce Njeru (Kenya). Njeru, who had dominated the WMRA World Cup to this point, finished in 1:50. Lauren Gregory, like Mayr doubling back from a day prior, was third in 1:51.
Kipngeno took the men’s win in 1:30, almost a full minute better than countryman and runner-up Kiriago. Petro Mamu (Eritrea) was third in 1:35.
[In 2017, Mamu failed two doping tests, after both the World Mountain Running Championships and the World Long Distance Mountain Running Championships. He was given a nine-month ban starting in September of 2017 by the IAAF for testing positive for fenoterol.]
The Rut Mountain Runs – Big Sky, Montana
The Rut had three days of mountain fun, and a chance to go up 11,167-foot Lone Peak on three straight days.
Lone Peak Vertical Kilometer
The Friday kickoff race climbed over 1,000 meters in just less than five kilometers of distance. From the summit, runners take the Lone Peak tram back down.
Not even close! Anna Gibson was wayyyy out front, or above, in 53:54. Second- and third-place Marilee Woyth and Emily Kipp finished in 1:02:04 and 1:09:04.
The men’s race was perhaps not as close as expected too, and David Sinclair put over three minutes on Cam Smith. Smith earlier this summer won the Broken Arrow Vertical Kilometer ahead of Sinclair. Here, though, Sinclair finished in 47:19 to Smith’s 50:28. Tyler Veerman was third in 51:10.
The Rut 28k
The 28k (17.4 miles) was the weekend’s middle race, and it climbed 7,800 feet with a trip up and down Lone Peak.
Bailey Kowalczyk blew the women’s race open with a 3:47 run. That was almost a minute per mile better than everyone else. Second-place Ruby Lindquist was there in 4:01, and third-place Emily Allison finished in 4:22.
Second a day earlier, Cam Smith came back and won the mid-distance race in 3:10. U.S. Mountain Running Team member Eli Hemming finished in 3:15 for second, and Ryan Becker took third in 3:23.
The Rut 50k
And so the 50k closed the weekend, and gained 10,500 feet on its course with one last trip up and down Lone Peak.
Jennifer Lichter championed the women in 6:14. Evie Tate and Sarah Keyes pushed each other to 6:42 and 6:45 second- and third-place runs.
David Sinclair was back, and back in front too. He won the men’s race in 5:04, cutting five minutes from Kilian Jornet‘s course record that had stood since 2014. Sinclair was in front from the jump, and had a huge lead by the time he hit the high point summit. Drew Coco was second in 6:01 and Gabe Joyes ran 6:10 for third.
World Masters Mountain Running Championships – Clonmel, Ireland
Held annually since 1998, the race is open to runners ages 35 to 79 years and attracted over 700 competitors. This year’s race went 10.5k into the Comeragh Mountains.
The races were split by age, with younger runners racing a longer course than more senior runners. Awards are given separately for the different age categories, but on the long course the fastest overall were Victoria Wilkinson (U.K., W40) in 53:17, Kate Purcell (Ireland, W35) in 53:52, and Laura McDonnell (Ireland, W35) in 54:14.
The first American finisher was 11th woman overall Kathryn O’Regan (W35) in 57:44.
It was again British and Irish first over the line in the men’s race. Thomas Roach (U.K., M40) led Andrew Douglas (U.K., M35), 42:00 to 43:07, and John Kinsella (Ireland, M40) was third home in 46:59.
The top American runner was 15th-place Chris Grauch (M45) in 49:03.
Call for Comments
- If summer’s done, that was one to remember! For me, it was about a lot of fun travel, Athens to Aspen. What were your highlights?
- Or can we just pretend that summer’s still going? What did you get up to, racing-wise, this weekend?