Over 900 runners took on one of the toughest endurance trail runs in the USA this weekend as part of Speedgoat Mountain Races by UTMB, with victory for David Sinclair (USA) in the men’s 50km race and Addie Bracy (USA) in the women’s category, as well as hundreds of personal victories with 2 Running Stones the reward for all those who completed the notorious 50km and 28km races.
After crossing the finish line at the stunning Snowbird Ski Resort in Utah, David Sinclair was thrilled to take back his title, having previously won in 2018 and just missing out in 2021.
“It is just an awesome atmosphere and probably the hardest 50km race in the Western US. I love the mountain and had to come back for the competition and the beautiful course. Beautiful but brutal!”, he said.
Sinclair also posted the fourth fastest time in Speedgoat history, showing his fine form so far this season after also finishing a strong second at his 100km debut at the Canyons Endurance Runs by UTMB in April.
Erik Sorenson (USA) and Michelino Sunseri (USA) battled it out for the remaining podium positions, with Sorenson finishing just 28 seconds ahead of Sunseri for second place with a time of 5:15:54.
Another incredible performance was that of Addie Bracy (USA) who took home the women’s title after crossing the line in 6:19:56. Speaking about the course, she said, “I loved the section in the middle with the sun coming up and the wildflowers were just amazing but honestly, the whole race was absolutely beautiful!”
Jennifer Lichter (USA) finished second in 6:52:07, with Lindsey McDonald (USA) taking the third spot in 6:55:27. For Lichter, it was a mentally challenging day but one that ended full of gratitude and success.
“I accidentally took a wrong turn and missed a checkpoint. I was upset at first and was debating whether to continue but a lovely guy that I was running with helped me change my mindset and encouraged me to finish with honor. I focused on being grateful for a healthy body and challenged myself to see what it could do here and now. I am so glad I finished, and I am so happy I stuck with it!”
In the 28km race, Zane Fields (USA) took the win in the men’s field, completing his longest race in the process after being encouraged to sign-up by a friend also taking part. As a former Nordic Skier who is now part of the USA Biathlon Team, the 25-year-old looked to be in his element on the climbs.
Another self-proclaimed climbing lover is Tabor Scholl (Hemming) who won the women’s field in 3:27:07 before heading back out to support her husband in the 50km race the following day. Hillary Allen (USA) chose to go one step further, opting for two races in one weekend as part of the 2-day challenge at Speedgoat Mountain Races by UTMB and as part of her training for UTMB Mont Blanc.
Finishing in an incredible second place in the 28km race after a close battle with Scholl, Allen was forced to go slower than planned in the 50km race but enjoyed sharing the miles with the amazing trail running community.
Speaking about the race, Allen said, “I first raced here in 2014 and then went on to win it in 2015. A lot has happened since I was last here as I had a bad accident and have been recovering for a while, but it feels so good to be back.”
“I am racing UTMB Mont Blanc which is my goal race. I chose the two-day challenge at the Speedgoat Mountain Race because I wanted some big vertical climbing days, some good terrain and this race is just perfect – it is amazing!”
In the 11km race, it was an unforgettable weekend for winner Ruairi Moynihan (USA). Having originally come to spectate and support his friends in the 50km race, Moynihan couldn’t resist taking on the beautiful mountain trails himself.
Meanwhile, the female winner Amanda Basham (USA) enjoyed a return to racing in the unique Wasatch mountains. Having taking part in the 50km race twice previously, Basham was back in 2022 for the shorter race after recently welcoming another member to the Basham family.
“I had my second child three months ago so the 50km race was a little too much but the type of vert and the views that you get in the 11km race is still so awesome. I am so excited to be back racing. Running life pre-kids and post-kids has been very different so I am just so glad that I can still be part of it and bring my family along for the experience too!”
The 15th anniversary edition of the race proved to be a huge success, also celebrating its first year as part of the UTMB World Series. For Race Director, Karl Metzler it was a special weekend as he saw the race grow to another level.
“It is great way for me to leave my legacy out here. I have been running ultras for 25 years and it is cool to see the event accelerate. It has also been great to the sport grow from very small to the UTMB World Series which to me is the Tour de France of ultra-running. It is cool to see people getting out there and that this race has been part of it!”
The next – and final - chance to collect Running Stones in North America in 2023 is in October with a brand-new event, Puerto Vallarta by UTMB. Next up on the calendar is the UTMB Mont-Blanc, where 10,000 runners will gather for the pinnacle of the trail running year for an adventure across France, Italy and Switzerland.
The full results from Speedgoat by UTMB will be available shortly here.