Montrail Ultra Cup 2015 Recap

Montrail Ultra Cup 2015 Recap

The culminating race of the Montrail Ultra Cup is going to be epic! There are so many scenarios that could play out that would affect the final standings and grand champions of the 2015 Montrail Ultra Cup (MUC) you could almost get dizzy going around and around all the possible outcomes.

Montrail Ultra Cup

On the men’s side, it looks like almost everyone in the current top 10 of the MUC will be toeing the line. With less than nine points separating 1st and 10th, and ten points going to anyone who finishes this final race, the difference could come right down to gutting it out and finishing versus not.

Caroline Boller
Caroline Boller

The women’s side isn’t quite the open battle it is for the men; something significant would have to happen for Caroline Boller not to walk away with the hardware. That being said, we all know that there’s a lot that can happen in a 100-mile race and as long as there is a chance, it’s far from over. Oh, and did we mention, this culminating race just so happens to be the Western States 100!? How do you make the most epic race of the year even more epic!? Add in the drama of the Montrail Ultra Cup Championship being on the line!

Now, a quick recap to how we got here…

The 2015 Montrail Ultra Cup kicked off back in January down in Texas with the Bandera 100k. As always, the team at Tejas Trails put on an amazing event. David Laney (8:35:46), Paul Terranova (8:39:44), and young gun (and current MUC leader) Jared Hazen (8:47:55) went first, second, third. – Jared Hazen, just 19 years old came back to finish third in the Lake Sonoma 50-miler as well! We’re excited to see how he’ll tackle the 100 miles of Western States this year, but if his 14th place from last year is any indication he’ll be in the hunt. On the women’s side Aliza Lapierre was the first female at Bandera (7th overall, 10:17:15), followed by Nicole Studer (9th overall, 10:22:46), Caroline Boller (11th overall, 10:39:38), and Leslie Howlett (17th overall, 11:49:23).

Next up was the Sean O’Brien 100k in Malibu, California – If you’re gonna do a 100k, I can think of a lot worse places to do one, and Keira Henninger puts on a heck of an event. Ryan Smith took the top spot in 8:41:41 with Seth Swanson in second (8:57:06). In the women’s race, Magdalena Boulet was the first female (7th overall, 9:51:27). Luanne Park finished as the 4th female (24th overall, 11:35:07) and Denise Fleming-Williams was the 21st female finisher (79th overall, 15:32:18) (more on the significance of Denise’s performance below).

Seth Swanson
Seth Swanson

The third stop of the 2015 Montrail Ultra Cup was an event new to the MUC – Aravaipa Running’s Black Canyon 100k. Ford Smith and Dave Mackey finished 1-2 with just about 90 seconds separating the two after 8 and a half hours of running! – Ford Smith, another young gun (only 18!), finished in 8:31:48 and Dave Mackey (8:33:27). Dave Mackey unfortunately won’t be running WS due to a very scary accident he had while on a training run in CO just a few weeks ago. We wish him a very speedy recovery and our thoughts are with him. Caroline Boller came back after finishing as the 3rd female at the Bandera 100k just over a month earlier to be the top female at the Black Canyon 100k! Caroline was 10th overall in a time of 10:06:31. Katie Desplinter was the 4th female across the line (18th overall, 11:54:55), Leslie Howlett was 11th female (44th overall, 14:19:19) and Denise Fleming-Williams came back from running the Sean O’Brien 100k 8 days earlier to finishing as 12th female (45th overall, 14:25:05)!

Another new event on the MUC calendar, the beautiful and breathtaking Gorge Waterfalls 100k was up next. Rainshadow Running has a knack for putting together awe inspiring and punishing courses and this was no different. New-comer Justin Houck crushed the previous course record by almost 30 minutes, finishing first in 9:22:57. Christopher Denucci was 2nd in 9:49:18, ALSO under the previous record. Michelle Yates cruised to the women’s victory in a time of 11:03:05 finishing 15th overall and nearly an hour faster than the previous course record. Shout out to Montrail’s Joelle Vaught (2nd female, 19th overall, 11:10:56 almost 50 minutes under the previous CR) who will be representing at Western States this year! And Denise Fleming-Williams was at it again! – 36th female in 15:40:07.

The final race in the Montrail Ultra Cup series before the culmination at Western States was Tropical John’s long standing Lake Sonoma 50-miler. We saw a lot of repeat racers in this one. Alex Varner punched his ticket to Western States by winning in 6:09:39. Jared Hazen (3rd), Seth Swanson (6th), and Paul Terranova (19th) all were making their second appearance in the MUC series, not coincidentally leaving them as the top three in the MUC standings going into Western States. The women’s race saw Stephanie Howe take the top spot in 7:08:23 (12th overall). Luanne Park (20th female) and Katie Desplinter (21st female) were running their second race of the MUC and Denise Fleming-Williams finished her 4th 50+ mile race in just over two months (Unfortunately only the top three results count towards the MUC points total). We have to give a shout out to Denise. It’s most likely that she won’t finish in the top 3 in the MUC standings as she’s not registered for WS100, but what a busy 3 months of great work! Finishing three 100ks and a 50-miler! – Awesome!

Jared Hazen, followed by Rob Krar, at 2015 Lake Sonoma.
Jared Hazen, followed by Rob Krar, at 2015 Lake Sonoma.

There you have it, the 2015 Montrail Ultra Cup recap. Next up, the grand-daddy of them all…What everybody has been waiting for…Only 3-weeks away… Western States 100! Who will have their name added to the Cup and join the ranks of previous MUC Champions and all time MUT legends like Scott Jurek, Nikki Kimball, Mehan Arbogast, and Timothy Olson to name a few?!

Follow Montrail on Facebook and Twitter for live updates throughout WS100 and the MUC standings.



Men’s Standings
Runner Bandera 100k Sean O’Brien 100k Black Canyon 100k Gorge Waterfalls 100k Lake Sonoma 50m Western States 100m Grand Total
1 Jared Hazen 12.1770 10.9432 23.1202
2 Seth Swanson 14.1713 6.9104 21.0817
3 Paul Terranova 14.1924 5.8315 20.0239
4 David Laney 17.2000 17.2000
4 Ryan Smith 17.2000 17.2000
4 Ford Smith 17.2000 17.2000
4 Justin Houck 17.2000 17.2000
8 Alex Varner 16.0000 16.0000
9 Dave Mackey 14.1968 14.1968
10 Christopher Denucci 14.1553 14.1553


Women’s Standings
  Runner Bandera 100k Sean O’Brien 100k Black Canyon 100k Gorge Waterfalls 100k Lake Sonoma 50m Western States 100m Grand Total
1 Caroline Boller 12.1650 17.2000 29.3650
2 Denise Fleming-Williams 6.8344 6.9011 6.9053 5.6686 20.6408
3 Aliza Lapierre 17.2000 17.2000
3 Magdalena Boulet 17.2000 17.2000
3 Michele Yates 17.2000 17.2000
6 Stephanie Howe 16.0000 16.0000
7 Luanne Park 10.0509 5.7654 15.8162
8 Katie Desplinter 10.0484 5.7645 15.8129
9 Leslie Howlett 8.0701 6.9058 14.9759
10 Nicole Studer 14.1911 14.1911


Recap written by Eron Osterhaus, Sr. Brand Manager – Montrail.

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