World Cup Stage 12/13: Broken Arrow
In what may be the biggest weekend ever for the World Cup, we’re bringing you four events this week. Two are in Palisades Tahoe, California, USA, and two are in Zumaia, in the Basque Country in the north of Spain. Here's our preview for rounds 12 and 13 of the World Cup at Broken Arrow!
Broken Arrow VK
First up it's the Broken Arrow VK on Friday October 1st, taking place at 11am local time. This is the second of three short uphill races in this year's World Cup and the 954m of ascent comes over 6.8km on the course, topping out at the summit at just over 2,700m. The runners will head up through tree cover, out onto rock and slabs and end up on a stunning ridge via the infamous 'Stairway to Heaven' ladder.
Runners will face a pretty ‘straight up’ start as it climbs steadily for around 3.5km. Then there’s a short respite for around a kilometre, but then it gets steeper still for the relentless climb to the summit, including the bolted handline and ladder!
There is a hugely exciting field assembled for the short uphill race. In the women’s race we will see Hillary Allen, who excels over a wide range of distances and was 2nd in the 2018 VK. Allie McLaughlin won Pikes Peak Ascent and was 2nd in the Marathon this year. They’ll be joined by Jennifer Schmidt, who won the 11k race at Broken Arrow in 2019 and Lindsay Webster, winner of the 26k race the same year. Anna Frost will also be running, and it will be great to see an athlete who’s achieved as much as her on the start line again.
We’re sure to see an equally exciting men’s race. Max King, who was 2nd in this year’s USATF Mountain Running Championships, will be one to watch, as will Andy Wacker, the 2019 NCAC Mountain Running Champion. David Sinclair, who memorably took on both the classic and long distance races in the 2019 World Mountain Running Championships in Patagonia, finishing 12th and 10th, will be a tough competitor . Ryan Ghelfi, who was 4th in the VK here in 2019, is also expected to do well.
There is huge depth to the men’s and women’s fields, so we’ve just highlighted a few runners here.
Broken Arrow Skyrace
The 26k race takes place on Sunday 3rd October, with the action kicking off at 7am local time. This is our fifth long mountain race out of six in this year’s World Cup (with number six taking place on the same day at Zumaia Flysch).
The Skyrace takes in some of the most famous terrain in this area. From the start it climbs up, with only short respites, for just over the first half of the race, from the valley floor at 1890m all the way up to the summit at 2700m. The runners climb via the KT-22 summit, then they descend via the famous Emigrant Pass (2667m), with a slight up again to Julia Million Memorial aid station, then it’s 5k downhill to the finish.
We’ll be seeing a lot of the runners from the VK taking part in the 26k race as well. Athletes doubling up include Hillary Allen, Anna Frost, David Sinclair, Max King and Andy Wacker.
In addition there are some really exciting runners in the 26k. For the women Kimber Mattox, who was 3rd in the USATF Mountain Running Championships, will be toeing the line. As will Kelly Wolf, who has a string of impressive wins to her name, from half marathon distance up to the big global ultras. And for the men the hot favourite must be Joseph Gray, our reigning World Mountain Running Champion at the classic distance, who was yet again crowned USATF Mountain Running champion this year. But he will face stiff competition from a top men’s field, which as well as the runners mentioned above will include athletes like Sam Sahli, 2nd in the 26k in 2019, Darren Thomas, 5th at this year’s Pike’s Peak and with a string of wins at half marathon distance, and Jared Hixon, 4th in the 11k race here in 2019.
Again, both fields are very deep, so we’ve just highlighted a few runners. You can see the full start lists at: https://ultrasignup.com/m_entrants_event.aspx?did=81287
Follow live at: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCkiqAYQkbwGHtsx165Iay4Q
Live broadcasts, aerial footage and athlete commentary.
VK 11am Friday October 1
26k 7am Sunday October 3