MANITOU SPRINGS, Colorado -- At today’s running of the 11th Annual WMRA World Long Distance Challenge at the Pikes Peak Ascent, Team USA led the way with a one-two-three sweep in the women’s division for a combined finish of 7:49:49 with Allie McLaughlin posting one of the fastest times on record at 2:33:42. Teammate Morgan Arritola (third place at the 2012 World Mountain Running Championships) finished second, and this year’s Mount Washington Road Race winner Shannon Payne finished third.
On the men’s side, Sage Canaday raced to victory in 2:10:03 to lead USA to the gold medal with a combined time of 6:33:58. His teammates Andy Wacker and Eric Blake, last year’s Pikes Peak Ascent Champion), both ran under 2:13.
Early in the race, Wacker led taking the pace out at brisk 5:40 in the first mile which was on a paved roadway. His second mile, after reaching the trail, was 7:40 and his third slowed to over nine minutes as the steeper sections of the trail were reached. Wacker led for much of the way and was not overtaken until the final mile when Eritrean Azera Teklay took the lead. Canaday, running in third from the three-mile to the finish mark, ran a smart race from start to finish and passed Wacker 3/4 mile from the finish and Teklay, 1/2 mile from the finish.
McLaughlin, who recently won the USA Mountain Running Championships, was leading the race as each of the splits was called in to officials. Payne ran a solid second place for much of the race while Arritola took the race out conservatively and didn’t make it into the top three until Barr Camp, the halfway point. Between Barr Camp and A-Frame (3 miles to the finish), Arritola overtook Payne and went on to finish second.
Complete results are available on the official Pikes Peak Ascent website.
Recap compiled by USMRT