WMRA: MOUNTAIN RUNNING WORLD CUP: BROKEN ARROW SKYRACE, THE WORLD CUP ARRIVES AMERICA
The second round of the 2019 World Cup goes to America crossing the Atlantic for the first time, arriving in the snow covered Sierra Nevada Mountains of California. Just West of Lake Tahoe, the race will take place in historic Olympic Valley; home to the 1960 Winter Olympic Games and starting line of the famous Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run. The elite field is stacked with World Champions, National Champions, OCR Champions & Olympians from 6 countries.
The Kenian Lucy Wambui and the Scottish Andrew Douglas lead the ranking after their victories in Short-Race Annecy
MOUNTAIN RUNNING WORLD CUP 2019: Broken Arrow Skyrace (26km/D+970)
Broken Arrow Skyrace represents a unique style of European-inspired mountain running characterized by off-trail scrambling, steep terrain, and massive amounts of vertical gain and loss. The majority of this takes place above 6,000 feet – above treeline – and consists of five iconic distances, each distance showcasing the beauty of Lake Tahoe, “The Jewel of the Sierra Nevada.”
The 26K Broken Arrow Skyrace which will be the second stage of the Mountain Running World Cup 2019, will start Sunday morning at 7:00 AM local time at the Squaw Valley Ski Resort. The 26 km takes place on a course of exceptional beauty and difficulty with over 1600 meters of vertical climbing (D+) and passes near the iconic Emigrant Pass located 2600 meters above sea level. The famous “stairway to heaven ladder” will be the highest point of the race at over 2700 meters above sea level. A number of American elite runners will toe the start line on Sunday including those with exceptional results at world championships, national championships and other well known races like Western States, UTMB, North Face 50, JFK 50, White River 50 and more.
In addition to these local stars, a number of high profile International mountain runners will join the field including Scotland’s Andrew Douglas (GBR) who won the first World Cup race last month in France and is aiming to raise the World Cup trophy at the last event this October.
Here we have some details about the course: “The course for the Broken Arrow 26k starts from the European arch in front of Coffeebar in the heart of the Squaw Valley Village. After the start runners head through the Village and east up single track trails along the Western States trail toward CA Highway 89. This relatively smooth 3.25 mile section may be the fastest and most runnable section of the course. The course stays in the woods and turns back westward for ~2.6 miles, climbing ~1200 ft. along more single track trails and beautiful two-track ski area access roads to the top of Snow King. Runners then travel back down a ~1 mile steep ~730 ft. descent to the Easy Street aid station below KT-22. At this point runners are 6 miles into the race. The north facing parts of Snow King may still have some areas of snow on the descent into Easy Street. Out of the Easy Street aid station, runners climb up the KT-22 road for about 1.4 miles and ~1150 ft. There will assuredly be snow on the upper half of this climb. From the top of KT-22 ski lift the course follows a two-track trail down along the ridge. The views here are stunning as they stretch out over the Granite Chief Wilderness to the west and Squaw Valley to the east. After descending the ridge from the KT-22 ski lift runners traverse for one mile and 1,000 feet of vertical gain along a mix of open single track across the saddle between KT-22 and Squaw Peak. At this point is one of the more challenging and spectacular climbs on the course as runners ascend up steep trails to the top of the Headwall lift. At this point, the climb scrambles up the ridge line between the top of the Headwall Lift and the top of Squaw Peak. It is here that the course traverses an exposed rocky ridge to the “Stairway to Heaven” ladder. It has craggy views and steep drop offs on either side. It represents one of the most iconic sections of running/scrambling in the entire race and is the high point of the race at approximately 9,000-feet. Runners then descend and traverse about 1200 ft. in ~ 2.5 miles from the top of Squaw Peak down into Shirley Basin. Along the way, runners will pass through the Siberia Aid Station at mile 8.85. The Shirley Canyon sections is always the the snowiest section of the course. From the bottom of Shirley Basin the runners climb another snowy ~550 vertical ft. in about .9 miles back up to the High Camp Aid Station at mile 11.75. From High Camp, racers descend back down the Thunder Mountain single track to the finish line at the KT Sun Deck.”
There will be 4 additional races during the weekend a kids run, a Vertical Kilometer of Friday, and a 52 km and 11 km on Saturday, with over 1000 hearty runners participating across all 5 events.
2011 World Mountain Running Champion Kasie Enman (USA) is recently back from the Trail World Championships in Portugal and will be vying for the win against 2010 Winter Olympian Morgan Arritola (USA) and 2017 Obstacle Course Racing (OCR) World Champion Lindsay Webster (CAN).
Other favorites for the men’s win joining Andrew will be 2016 World Mountain Running Champion Joseph Gray (USA) and 2001 World Mountain Running Championship runner-up Emanuele Manzi (ITA).
Let’s go for the list of some of the top runners to watch in the 26 km World Cup event.
- Morgan Arritola (USA) – 2015 World Mountain Running Championships (WMRC) 10th place, 2012 WMRC 3rd place, US Mountain Running Champion, US 1/2 Marathon Trail Champion. 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Cross Country Skiing.
- Kasie Enman (USA) – 2011 World Mountain Running Champion, 2017 World Long Distance Mountain Running Championships 2nd place, 2018 US 50 km Trail Champion, 2019 Trail World Championships 24th place.
- Lindsay Webster (CAN) – 2018 Spartan Race US Champion, 2017 Obstacle Course Racing World Champion, 2018 Whiteface Mountain Skyrace 1st place, 2018 Whiteface Mountain Skyrace VK 1st place, 2016 Whiteface Mountain Skyrace 4th place, 2015 North Face Endurance Challenge Ontario 50K 1st place.
- Rea Kolbl (SLO) – 2017 World’s Toughest Mudder Champion, 2018 Broken Arrow Skyrace 52K 2nd place, 2017 Spartan Racing US and World Elite Point Series 1st place.
- Anne-Marie Madden (CAN) – 2015 Trail World Championships 50th place, 2019 Way Too Cool 50K 3rd place, 2018 Pikes Peak Marathon 6th place.
- Christine Lundy (USA) – 2006, 2007 & 2009 World Mountain Running Championships finisher. Part of gold medal winning US team at the 2007 World Mountain Running Championships. 2009 US Mountain Running Champion.
- Kathryn Ross (USA) – 2017 Flagstaff Skyrace (39K) 1st place, 2017 Power of Four 1st place, 2019 Jemez Mountain 50K 1st place.
- Denali Strabel (USA) – 2018 Skyrunning World Championships Mamores VK 20th place, 2018 Mount Marathon Race 2nd place.
- Michelle Hummel (USA) – 2017 US Trail Marathon Championships (Moab Trail Marathon) 3rd place.
- Andrew Douglas (GBR) – 2019 Mountain Running World Cup Race #1 (Maxi-Race) 1st place, Ranked #4 in the 2018 WMRA Mountain Running athlete ranking, 2019 World Mountain Running Championships 25th place, 2018 World Mountain Running Championships 8th place, Ranked #3 in the 2018 WMRA World Cup, Winner of the 2015 WMRA World Cup.
- Joseph Gray (USA) – 2016 World Mountain Running Champion. Winner of 14 US National Championships (Mountain, Ultra, Trail and Cross Country), Member of a record 12 US teams competing at the World Mountain Running Championships. Winner of 6 NACAC Mountain Running Championships.
- Emanuele Manzi (ITA) – 2001 World Mountain Running Championship 2nd place, multiple World Mountain Running Championship team gold medals, 2017 Italian Short Trail National Champion.
- Henri Aymonod (ITA) – 2018 Vertical Fully 1st place, 2018 Italian Mountain Running Relay Championships 1st place (on team with Dematteis Twins). Henri is also an experienced Ski-Mountaineering (SkiAlp) racer.
- Fujio Miyachi (JPN) – 2018 World Mountain Running Championships 93rd place, 2017 World Mountain Running Championships 79th place, 2017 Pikes Peak Ascent 60th place.
- Ryan Atkins (CAN) – 2018 North American Obstacle Course Racing Championship (NORAM) 1st place, 2018 Spartan Ultra World Championship 1st place, 2018 Whiteface Mountain Skyrace VK 2nd place, 2016 Whiteface Mountain Skyrace 2nd place, 2016 North Face Endurance Challenge New York 50 Mile 1st place.
- Sam Sahli (USA) – 2019 Trail World Championships 61st place, 2019 US 50 km Trail Championships 2nd place. 2018 Arches 21K 1st place.
- Michael Wardian (USA) – 2014 IAU 100K World Championships 28th place, 2014 US 50 Mile Road Champion – Michael is a consistent top finisher at dozens of high profile domestic and international races including UTMB, North Face 50 Mile, Squamish 50 Mile and 50K (in the same weekend!), Tarawera 100K, Speedgoat, Eastern States 100, JFK 50 Miles, Western States, UROC, Hardrock.
- Chris Grauch (USA) – Multiple US Masters National Championships in Mountain and Trail. 2018 World Masters Mountain Running Championships 7th place (45-49).
- Ben Robinson (USA) – 2019 US 1/2 Marathon Trail Championships 2nd place, 2019 US 50 km Trail Championships 8th place, 2018 Whiteface Mountain Skyrace 2nd place, 2016 US 1/2 Marathon Trail Championships 6th place.
- Coree Woltering (USA) – 2018 US 50 km Trail Championships 19th place, 2018 Western States 100 Mile 21st place, 2018 American River 50 Mile 2nd place.
- Gus Gibbs (USA) – 2019 Lake Sonoma 50 Mile 4th place, 2019 Way Too Cool 50K 2nd place, 2018 White River 50 Mile 2nd place.
MOUNTAIN RUNNING WORLD CUP 2019: Photo Gallery by @abeldefrutos