Americans Canaday, McLaughlin Win Pikes Peak Ascent

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McLaughlin leads US women to a podium sweep at the World Mountain Running Association World Long Distance Challenge

The US women sweep the podium. Photo by Nancy Hobbs

Sage Canaday’s first foray into the Mountain/Ultra/Trail racing world was his surprise victory at the Mount Washington Road Race in 2012.

There must be something about running uphill for Canaday, 28, of Boulder, Colorado, who added another such title at the Pikes Peak Ascent Saturday. He covered the approximately 13.3-mile course to the top of Pikes Peak outside Colorado Springs in 2:10:03, 44 seconds ahead of Eritrea’s Azerya Weldemariam.

But, whereas in 2012 Canaday was competing for a spot on a US team, Saturday he was representing his country in the World Mountain Running Association (WMRA) World Long Distance Challenge, where 17 countries were represented in the men’s competition and 10 were represented in the women’s.

Thanks to Canaday and teammates Andy Wacker, also of Boulder, and Eric Blake, of West Hartford, Connecticut, who placed third and fourth, respectively, the US men won the team gold with a combined top-three time of 6:33:58. The Italian men earned silver with a time of 6:55:36 and Germany took bronze with 7:13:11.

Just as impressive, if not more so, were the US women, who swept the top three spots in the women’s competition. Colorado Springs’ own Allie McLaughlin, crowned US Mountain Running Champion earlier this year, defended her home turf to win the Ascent in 2:33:42.

Ketchum, Idaho’s Morgan Arritola and Shannon Payne, also of Colorado Springs, placed second and third, respectively for a combined top-three time of 7:49:49. Italy also won silver in the women’s competition with a combined time of 8:36:48 and Slovenia took third with a time of 8:54:35.

Complete team results of the WMRA World Long Distance Challenge can be found here.

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