Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Montrail Ultra Cup

After such a spectacularly fun weekend at Western States, I’m finding it difficult to pull myself from my current state of recovery-bliss long enough to put together a race report. Of course, eventually I’ll collect my thoughts (and my photos) enough to share all the details. But in the meantime, I thought I’d share one of the many moments from the weekend that stand out for me.

It’s this moment right here:

After the top ten men and women finishers are honored at the Western States awards ceremony, Montrail presents awards to the top five men and women in the Montrail Ultra Cup. I was lucky enough to take 4th female.

For me, entering the Ultra Cup just made sense because I’d planned to run all these races anyway, and entry into the series was free. (Special thanks to Craig Thornley for emailing Where’s Waldo participants after the race and reminding us to sign up!)

Points series are fun because they comprise a slightly different set of elements than the individual races themselves. They can allow someone like me an opportunity to stand shoulder to shoulder with the elite women. In no way am I trying to be self-deprecating here, but if you look at my race finishes compared with those of the other 4 women, they are all much faster than me. It’s a simple fact.

Only the first three places get cash prizes (although 4th and 5th do get some sort of prize package), but I got all the award I needed just getting to stand up there with Meghan, Amy, Pam and Helen. I was totally honored to be included among such amazing and talented women, and in such a prestigious setting.

Thanks, Montrail, for sponsoring the series, and congratulations to all the participants!

Pam and Amy congratulate me. What awesome women!


  1. What a weekend!!! Talk about the cherry on top, sheesh! Way to go, Gretchen!

    Meanwhile, those other ladies are thinking, "We better watch our backs!!" :)

  2. Heck, looks like you belong up there to me. Nice job.

  3. Fantastic. And well-deserved. Congratulations.

  4. Congrats on your fabulous award and your amazing Western States race! I can't wait to hear all about it!

  5. Congrats! You ran an awesome race--can't wait to read about your experience out there. I was so excited to see your finishing time and place--great run! Recover well, and hope to see you at Waldo again?

  6. Congrats, Gretchen! A neat bonus to your awesome WS weekend, indeed!

  7. Wow. I'd say you're having the best week ever. Congratulations!!

  8. Paige - TOTAL cherry on top! I completely forgot about the series until they called us up there.

    Turi, Hank and John - Thank you thank you! :)

    Amy - It looks like you had a great day as well! Awesome! I won't make Waldo this year, but I'm already kind of missing it and thinking about heading back next year.

    Olga and Anne - Thanks!

  9. I TOLD YOU SO!!! How many miles do we have to run together before you start listening to me? If memory serves, I think I called this one back in early May.

    So, yeah - congrats on your award ... but stop pretending like you don't deserve it.

    (P.S. Have I mentioned lately how proud of you I am?)

  10. Congratulations-that's awesome!

  11. Awesome run at WS and no suprise at all on the Ultracup standings! A major congrats is in order. It was super fun to see you out there. I was sending you lots of happy legs mojo! Recover well.

  12. Congratulations! You're way too humble, though. That is a super result by ANY standard. You've had a great year! And I didn't think you could grow in stature in my eyes. Wrong.

  13. Congrats! I love the "it's just another race in the series, not the Superbowl of Ultrarunning" attitude. I also like the podium photos that show what people look like when they've had a chance to shower and change.

    Being just out of the top three... I'm thinking it's going to propel you next year.

  14. Donald - Mmm, well it may be a while yet before I actually start listening to you. Except when you're pacing me, in which case I listen and do every thing you tell me to. Thanks for being proud of me. :)

    Meredith - Thanks!

    Jen - So much fun to see you out there! I think the mojo thoughts worked. :)

    Stac - Thanks! You're making me glow. It WAS such a fun season for me!

    Steve - Thanks! While I'm not sure I have anything like a top three in me, they do get a chunk of cash ...

  15. Great job at States and the MUC. Your progression in the last few years leads me to believe you're every bit as capable as the women you shared the podium with.


  16. Congrats! Can't wait to read more about your weekend. It was so exciting watching your progress!!

  17. Freaking amazing! You rock, Gretchen!!!

    (Just returning from a week off the grid, so I missed the whole Western States hoopla on the Internet. Can't wait to read your report.....)

  18. Congratz on such a strong year Gretchen; you rock!

    Check your email, I sent you a link to some video from WS.