|Montana runners ascending Lone Peak in the Rut Vertical Kilometer. See this and 200 more Myke Hermsmeyer images from the weekend over at MTC's Facebook. Credit: Myke Hermsmeyer|
Here are a few recent happenings in the world of Montana trail running::
The Rut: Runners Edge pulled off another world class event this year and plenty of athletes put forth some exceptional performances in all distances. The race was as tough as ever, so the old saying "to finish is to win" rings especially true. Congratulations to all finishers! And while we didn't have a Montana champion, we actually came pretty close in both the men's and women's 50K with Missoula's Kristina Pattison taking fourth overall and Whitefish native and longtime Missoula resident Matt Shryock of Anchorage, Alaska, finishing 3rd. A unique part of this year's event is that it served as a qualifying race for the U.S. Mountain Running Team at the long distance world championships. The top two Americans in the 50K earned spots on the team, which means that Kristina and Matt earned the opportunity to represent Team USA. Read more about that here. And if you want to relive the joy of this event or get a better sense of what it entailed, check out Myke Hermsmeyer's Montana Trail Crew Rut Facebook Gallery Myke did an amazing job and must have covered more vertical than the racers to get all of these stunning shots. Thanks Myke!
Mount Helena Run: On Saturday, the 40th edition of this 7ish mile race up and down Mount Helena drew a talented field. Michael Kaiser took the win followed by Jesse Zentz and Greg Friedman. Amy Friedman took the win among women followed by Ashley Basten and Debbie Gibson. Full results here.
Big Bear Stampede: Liza Faeber and Sam Read took the wins in their respective divisions of this second year trail run in Gardiner. Faeber was followed by Janene Wilkey and Tanya Smith rounded out the podium. Ford Smith took second among the men and Bret De Young finished 3rd. Full results.
Tyler Bucklin Wins Grand Slam of Ultrarunning: Tyler Bucklin, a Conrad middle school teacher and member of the Bucklin family that is a ubiquitous presence at Montana ultras, finished the Wasatch Front 100 on Saturday to earn a total time of 94:16, a full three hours up on his closest competitor. Bucklin is the first Grand Slam Champ from Montana and appears to be the first Montana runner to finish the Grand Slam. For those unfamiliar with the Grand Slam, it involves running the following 100s in a single summer: Western States, Vermont Trail, Leadville Trail, and Wasatch Front. More info on the Grand Slam here. Nice work Tyler.
Also of note in this year's Wasatch Front 100 was a strong performance by Bozeman's David Ayala finishing 4th overall in a time of 22:29.
Mountain Monday: We're back to our standard route up Sentinel via Smokejumper and down the face. We'll roll at a conversational pace and take about 1.5 hours to cover the 9ish miles and 2,000 vertical of ascent. If you're interested in joining us for some, or all, of this weekly tradition meet us at noon on Mondays at the Clark Fork trout statues below the Higgins Ave Bridge.