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Marathon National Championships - Sun Valley, Idaho

Posted by: Shannon Boffeli |August 1, 2013 2:20 AM
Marathon National Championships - Sun Valley, Idaho

Titles  Defended - Reigning Marathon National Champions Wells and Mata Win in Sun Valley

The sharp hills of Sun Valley, Idaho, played host to the 2013 Marathon National Championship and a collection of the top U.S. mountain bike racers.

For the men it was an elite group of five riders challenging for the national title. Defending champion Todd Wells (Specialized) was the favorite but he wouldn't have an easy win as recent Pro XCT winner Jeremiah Bishop (Sho-Air/Cannondale) and U23 national champion Stephen Ettinger (BMC) were eyeing the top step of the podium as well. 

Accomplished endurance racers Barry Wicks (Kona), Carl Decker (Gaint), and Alex Grant (Sho-Air/Cannondale) were also capable to taking a win.

Off the line Grant and Bishop were determined to use their status as the only teammates in the front group to their advantage. Grant drove the pace on the opening climb on a course that consisted of essentially one long climb and one long descent each 20-mile lap. 

Grant's pace shredded the field early leaving only Wells, Bishop, and Ettinger together at the top of the first climb. Sho-Air/Cannondale's plans quickly unraveled as Jeremiah Bishop flatted on the ensuing descent leaving Grant alone with Ettinger and Wells.

Toward the end of the first lap Wells moved to the front. Ettinger followed and the two put a small gap on the former leader Alex Grant.

When climbing started again on lap two, the lead duo stretched their advantage over the Sho-Air/Cannodale rider as it appeared the battle was now between the experienced champion, Wells, and the 24-year old upstart Ettinger.

Wells put his head down and cranked up the long opening climb putting time into Ettinger and staying just far enough in front that he would have clear trails on the final descent.

Once over the top and onto the final downhill there was no stopping Wells from adding another title to his vast collection. Choosing to ride a full-suspension Specialized, Wells was smooth and fast on the descents giving Ettinger no chance of catching him. 

Wells crossed the line in first with a time of 2:52:36. Ettinger followed not far behind capping off an impressive ride for the young man from Bozeman, Montana. 

Alex Grant stayed strong taking third on the day. His best finish at a national championship event. His teammate Jeremiah Bishop recovered from his flat tire enough to challenge for fourth place but ultimately couldn't overtake Carl Decker (Giant) who finished over a minute in front of the Sho-Air rider.

The top-5 finishers completed the marathon course with a scorching pace of under 3 hours.

The women's race also featured a returning champion in Pua Mata (Sho-Air/Cannondale). Mata would be looking to take her third consecutive marathon national title in Idaho. The 33-year old Sho-Air/Cannondale rider has been simply untouchable in long distance events for the past several years.

2013 would be no different as Pua Mata dominated a field that included former National Ultra Endurance Champion Amanda Carey (Stan's NoTube Elite) and Nina Baum (Stan's NoTubes Elite) who recently took the 24-hour solo national title in New Mexico.

Pua Mata conquered all in Idaho leaving no doubt who would be taking home the stars and stripes jersey. By the finish she held more than a 10-minute lead on second place.

Despite Mata's dominance the women's race proved quite exciting as second through fourth place were separated by just 5 seconds at the finish. 

Serena Gordon outsprinted Rose Grant (Sportsman & Ski Haus) to take second place and her second consecutive marathon nationals podium appearance as she finished fourth in her home town of Bend, Oregon, in 2012.

Rose Grant took third just 3 seconds in front of local Idaho racer Jana Repulski (Broken Spoke Cycling).

Elizabeth English rounded out the podium taking fifth.

Race Notes

While most riders enjoyed the Sun Valley racecourse there were some difficulties as the leaders in the pro field were forced to battle a parade of lapped amateur riders in the final miles of their race. The added traffic could have easily impacted the final outcome of the national championship podium.

Results

Pro Men

1,

Todd Wells

Specialized

2.52.36

2,

Stephen Ettinger

BMC

2.54.24

3,

Alex Grant

Sho-Air/Cannondale

2.56.36

4,

Carl Decker

Giant

2.57.20

5,

Jeremiah Bishop

Sho-Air/Cannondale

2.58.35

6,

Barry Wicks

Kona

3.02.23

7,

Richard Gorry

Whole Athlete

3.04.50

8,

Ben Bostrom

Sho-Air/Cannondale

3.05.50

9,

Bryan Dillon

Griggs Orthopedics

3.06.54

10,

Jacob Albrecht

Whole Athlete

3.07.27

11,

Kalan Beisel

Tuff Shed/Orbea

 

12,

Dana Weber

 

 

13,

Chris Jackson

 

 

14,

Ben Parsons

 

 

15,

Michael Tobin

 

 

16,

Bradford Perley

 

 

17,

Clinton Claasen

 

 

18,

Brennan Wodtil

 

 

19,

Carry Brenneman

 

 

20,

Brent Gorman

 

 

21,

Brig Brandt

 

 

22,

John Curry

 

 

23,

Cody Peterson

 

 

24,

Matt Butterfield

 

 

25,

John Nobil

 

 

26,

Brady Kappius

 

 

27,

Clint Muhlfield

 

 

28,

Justin Desilets

 

 

29,

Patrick Means

 

 

30,

Zachary Heath

 

 


Pro Women

1,

Pua Mata

Sho-Air/Cannondale

3.24.36

2,

Serena Gordon

 

3.37.42

3,

Rose Grant

Sportsman & Ski Haus

3.37.44

4,

Jana Repulski

Broken Spoke Cycling

3.37.47

5,

Elizabeth English

 

3.39.07

6,

Rachel Hadley

 

3.43.11

7,

Amanda Carey

Stanís NoTubes Elite

3.45.19

8,

Nina Baum

Stanís NoTubes Elite

3.51.10

9,

Jessica Cerra

Focus Bicycles

3.52.55

10,

Elizabeth Sampey

 

3.56.20

11,

Bethann Orton

 

3.57.12

12,

Meghan Sheridan

UtahMountainBiking.com

4.19.18

13,

Parker Tyler

 

4.46.00


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