Mike Wolfe on his way to the win. Photo by Everett Russell
On Saturday, May 11, nearly 500 runners lined up for the 13th annual Don't Fence Me in Trail Run 30K, 12K and 5K races in Helena, Montana. The 30K race was the fifth (out of 10 races) in the La Sportiva Mountain Cup.
The day began cool, with light cloud cover and forecast highs of 80. Right off, racers met a steep pavement uphill through the edge of Helena, before working into the trail network surrounding the city. Lung-busting switchbacks took them to the summit of Mount Ascension.
Mike Wolfe, 35, of Missoula, Montana, established an early lead over Justin Ricks, 33, of Colorado Springs, Colorado, and Jeremy Wolf, 33, of Missoula, Montana, and didn't look back over the next 18 miles, finishing a few minutes off the previous course record at 2:12.05. After a short wrong turn, Ricks found himself in a battle with Wolf, eventually opening a slight gap over and taking second in 2:18.15, 30 seconds ahead of Wolf. In the men's Mountain Cup, Ricks' second-place performance puts him in second place behind Jordan McDougal and ahead of Matthew Byrne.
On the women's front, Megan Kimmel, 29, of Silverton, Colorado, further established her Mountain Cup dominance, opening up a 21-minute gap over the second-place female finisher, Montanan Anya Weschler, 26. Kimmel's 2:37.17 was a bit slower than her personal goal of sub-2:35, but over 13 minutes faster than her time last year. Kimmel easily leads the women's Mountain Cup over Melanie Fryar and Alicia Shay.
On May 25, the Mountain Cup heads to Los Alamos, New Mexico, for the Jemez Half Marathon.
Find results at http://competitivetiming.com/results/2013DFMITR30O.