Woods and Bryant Victorious at Hell’s Hills 25k

2012 La Sportiva Mountain CupThis past Saturday, the La Sportiva Mountain Cup headed down to Texas for the Hell’s Hills races, in particular the 25k race in this multi-distance trail running festival that drew 600 runners between the four distances. Those who chose the 10k and 25k … and the fastest 50k runners lucked out as the Texas sun heated the course to the upper 80s by afternoon.

Following an out-and-back course designed for mountain bikes, the 25k racers found themselves zigzagging back and forth on tightly winding trails, rich with wildflowers and prickly pears. The course was all trail with a few sections of 4-wheel drive road connecting the gaps between single track.

At each Mountain Cup race, La Sportiva partners with the race directors to select someone in a series race for the “Standout Award.” Tejas Trails, the race organization, and La Sportiva voted Chris McWatters, a Texas local who has been a huge help in growing the local running scene. He is a camp councilor at Camp Eagle, the race site for the Nueces Endurance Runs and has been a major part of the growth and success of Tejas Trails. He also placed fifth overall in Saturday’s 25K. For this, McWatters received a gift package from La Sportiva and their Mountain Cup partners.

Chris McWatters Hell's Hills

Chris McWatters with his prize pack.

We’ll 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

Ryan Woods Hells Hills 2012

A victorious Ryan Woods.

Newly-signed La Sportiva team member Ryan Woods made his new sponsor proud by edging out Jared Scott, who’s also finished second at the previous Mountain Cup race in Washington state. These two have been in many tight battles and this time Woods was a scant 20 seconds faster. Robert Krar didn’t let Woods or Scott focus on their own battle as he finished only 31 seconds behind Woods to round out an incredible three-man race. Mountain Cup veteran Jason Bryant took fourth on the day, eight minutes behind the lead pack. Chris McWatters, the top local runner, rounded out the top five another three minutes behind Bryant.

  1. Ryan Woods (La Sportiva) – 1:35:22 – Course Record (race report)
  2. Jared Scott (Inov-8) – 1:35:42
  3. Rob Krar – 1:35:53
  4. Jason Bryant (La Sportiva) – 1:43:31 (race report)
  5. Chris McWatters – 1:46:39

Women’s Race
Alison Bryant made her trip from North Carolina worth it by taking home the win in convincing fashion. Fellow La Sportiva Mountain Cup competitor Christina Bauer finished eight minutes back to take second. Two Texans battled hard for third with Jessica Layton edging out Victoria Webster by 16 seconds. Another Texan, Laura Dugan, rounded out the top five another three and a half minutes back.

  1. Alison Bryant (La Sportiva) – 2:02:16
  2. Christina Bauer – 2:08:45
  3. Jessica Layton – 2:24:16
  4. Victoria Webster – 2:24:32
  5. Laura Dugan – 2:28:01

Full Results

Results from all four Hell’s Hills distances.

La Sportiva Mountain Cup Standings

The only man in the top five of the Mountain Cup rankings not to change positions is the current leader Ryan Woods. Not only did he win Hell’s Hills, but he collected two bonus points for beating each of the three other men in the race who were in the series top ten going in to the event. Jared Scott moved up from third to second overall with his second place performance, while Rob Krar equalled Scott’s move in going from fourth to third in the series rankings. Krar had previously stated that his job would prevent him from enough LSMC races to be competitive for the Cup, but it looks like he’s in for the long haul. Jason Bryant moved into a fourth-place tie with Matt Byrne, who ranked second in the points total going into the race. All that said, Woods has already run four scoring races and all the other top five men except Byrne has run three races. Byrne, having only run two races, effectively has one extra race in which he can earn points. Regardless, we can’t wait to see how the second half of this year’s Mountain Cup shakes out.

  • 1 – Ryan Woods – 83 points from four races (26 points from Hell’s Hills; 20 points for winning and 6 bonus pts for beating Scott, Krar, and Bryant)
  • 2 – Jared Scott – 60 pts from three races (21 pts from Hell’s Hills; 17 pts for second and 4 bonus pts for beating Krar and Bryant)
  • 3 – Rob Krar – 54 pts from three races (17 pts from Hell’s Hills; 15 pts for third and 2 bonus pts for Bryant)
  • T-4 – Jason Bryant – 43 pts from three races (13 pts from Hell’s Hills for fourth)
  • T-4 – Matt Byrne – 43 pts from two races (Did not race Hell’s Hills)
Jared Scott Ryan Woods Hells Hills

Jared Scott (left in white) and Ryan Woods (right in yellow) after a tight battle at Hell's Hills.

There IS a new leader in the women’s Mountain Cup standings and it’s Christina Bauer. She may not have won Hell’s Hills, but her three-race point total gives her one more point that former leader Gina Lucrezi. On the strength of her win, Alison Bryant moved from a fourth-place tie with Heidi Rentz to sole possession of third. That in turn bumped Maria Dalzot down into fourth position. Dalzot had previously planned on competing at Hell’s Hills, but a bout of plantar fasciitis knocked her out of the action. She no longer intends to compete for the Cup. As a result, it looks like a three woman race between Bauer, Lucrezi, and Bryant… unless someone else jumps in for a late charge.

  1. Christina Bauer – 51 points from three races (17 pts from Hell’s Hills for second)
  2. Gina Lucrezi – 50 pts from three races (Did not race Hell’s Hills)
  3. Alison Bryant – 42 pts from two races (22 pts from Hell’s Hills; 20 pts for winning and 2 bonus pts for beating Bauer)
  4. Maria Dalzot – 22 pts from one race (Did not race Hell’s Hills)
  5. Heidi Rentz – 20 pts from 0ne race (Did not race Hell’s Hills)

iRunFar.com La Sportiva Mountain Cup Contest
La Sportiva logoBen Bucklin of Spokane, Washington, you won yourself a pair of La Sportiva Quantums from our Hillbilly Half giveaway. Contact us to claim your prize.

La Sportiva Skylite 2.0Next up on the giveaway list? The La Sportiva Skylite 2.0. Having been to other races put on by the Tejas Trails team, we know they show no mercy on runners… or their feet. With that in mind, the lightweight (<10 ounces) protection of the Skylight 2.0 would offer a great balance of race readiness and ready for roughness.

Want to try a pair of the Skylite 2.0? 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 the Don’t Fence Me In Trail Run in Montana on May 12. As a reminder, if you enter to win the Skylite 2.0, 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 any of the Hell’s Hills 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!

The La Sportiva Mountain Cup

There are 14 comments

  1. Ryan Parker

    Ryan Parker – Fort Myers, FL

    Might be working a few of these into my schedule next year.

    Thanks for all the hard work Bryon!

  2. Jonathan

    Jonathan French

    Katy, TX

    Ran the 50K as my first ultra and could've done better. Ran the first 15.5 mile loop in 2:45 and blew up with 10 miles to go, finishing the the race in 6:56:18. A 50K is definitely not a bit longer than a marathon and marathon pace does not work. I learned and will improve so as to be ready for Jemez 50. It was awesome seeing Ryan Woods, Jared Scott, Rob Krar, Jason Bryant fly past me a few miles from the finish of my first loop, and I started an hour earlier!!! Insane pace on that course, but was shocked to see Jason in fourth. Nice guys – thanked me for stepping off the trail so they didn't have to break pace. Joe always puts on a great race and I highly reccommend his races, especially the Captain Karl Series this summer.

  3. Jeremy

    Jeremy Humphrey

    McCall, ID.

    Sportivas…I need some approach shoes for this summer! Skylites would be nice for kicking around alpine granite scrambling routes.

  4. Jon Allen

    Always enjoy these reports, Bryon. Is it just me, or is the number of races in the La Sportiva cup growing each year?

    Jason Bryant paced me at Umstead last weekend. Very happy to see he and Alison doing well in these races. Great people.

    Simpsonville, SC.

  5. Bob Brooks

    Would love to win a pair of Skylites! I will be running the Cactus Rose in October of 2012 down in Bandera Texas…. Those shoes would be perfect for the rugged terrain.

    Bob Brooks,

    Kempner, Texas

    (near Fort Hood, Texas…Hooah!)

  6. James W

    James Wedekind

    Henderson, NV

    I used to hike in La Sportivas all the time, but haven't tried any of their running shoes yet…

  7. Garth

    I had the pleasure of meeting Ryan at a local race a few weeks ago, and he is an amazingly friendly, open, and gracious guy. I am just a second-tier masters runner, but he was very approachable and easy going. I counted it as a real pleasure to meet him, and I only felt bad that there was none among us who could even give him decent training run ;-) La Sportiva is lucky to have him as an ambassador.

    So I am pulling for him to win, and not just because he is from NC.

    -Garth in Cary, NC

  8. Steven Moore

    Ran the 50miler last year in the heat! Out there this year to volunteer and tear down the course. Great to see all the runners checking out our Texas trails!

    Steven Moore

    Austin TX

  9. Erin Henkels

    Erin Henkels

    Boone, NC

    I ran high school cross country with Ryan Woods, so it's pretty funny now to read about him. I hope he wins the cup!

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