This 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.
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.
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.
- Ryan Woods (La Sportiva) – 1:35:22 – Course Record (race report)
- Jared Scott (Inov-8) – 1:35:42
- Rob Krar – 1:35:53
- Jason Bryant (La Sportiva) – 1:43:31 (race report)
- Chris McWatters – 1:46:39
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.
- Alison Bryant (La Sportiva) – 2:02:16
- Christina Bauer – 2:08:45
- Jessica Layton – 2:24:16
- Victoria Webster – 2:24:32
- Laura Dugan – 2:28:01
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)
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.
- Christina Bauer – 51 points from three races (17 pts from Hell’s Hills for second)
- Gina Lucrezi – 50 pts from three races (Did not race Hell’s Hills)
- Alison Bryant – 42 pts from two races (22 pts from Hell’s Hills; 20 pts for winning and 2 bonus pts for beating Bauer)
- Maria Dalzot – 22 pts from one race (Did not race Hell’s Hills)
- Heidi Rentz – 20 pts from 0ne race (Did not race Hell’s Hills)
iRunFar.com La Sportiva Mountain Cup Contest
Ben Bucklin of Spokane, Washington, you won yourself a pair of La Sportiva Quantums from our Hillbilly Half giveaway. Contact us to claim your prize.
Next 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!