On Saturday, Dec. 3, 2011, the Marin Headlands played host to more than just a beautiful Northern California landscape known for great hiking and beautiful views. The North Face Endurance Challenge Championship 50-mile course brought in several of the top names in ultrarunning including Montrail athletes Dakota Jones, Geoff Roes, Ellie Greenwood and Joelle Vaught. Jones ran an incredible race that culminated in a second place finish (6:21:51) and, on the women’s side, Greenwood and Vaught ran impressive races that earned them second (7:07:24) and third place (7.40:46) respectively.
A 5 a.m. start turned into a beautiful day for racing with clear blue sky, sunshine, a cool breeze, ocean views, elite competition and great success for Team Montrail. Despite a few pains going into the race and a nagging hamstring in the second half, Greenwood finished second for the women with a time of 7 hours 7 minutes and 24 seconds. “It was disappointing not to have my usual finishing kick but I am more than happy with my time and placing. It was a great race to cap off a great year on the trails,” said Greenwood, who was making her North Face Endurance Challenge debut.
Teammate Vaught, who placed fourth last year, finished third with a time of 7 hours 40 minutes and 46 seconds. She recounted, “This race is one of my favorites with the tough climbs and amazing views. I am excited about my third place finish in such a strong field. It was certainly a great day with perfect weather, awesome trails and the best competition!
On the men’s side, Jones ended up second overall with a time of 6 hours 21 minutes 51 seconds. Jones and Mike Wolfe, who placed first, broke away from the group around mile 39. “It was an incredible race, the level of competition was so high,” said Jones. “Mike and I were so well matched, it was so intense for so long – it was a lot of fun.” Read more about his thoughts and reactions to the race on his blog. Jones stopped by the office on Monday to celebrate his second place finish and his 21st birthday with a slice of cake.
Roes, who placed second in the race the past two years, was hit with low energy at mile 25 so he slowed a bit to take in more calories and water but wasn’t able to get back in contention for the win. He ended up in fifth place with a time of 6 hours 46 minutes 18 seconds. “In the end it was a fun day of running and I made the best of not having as much pep in the second half of the race as I had hoped, but it was certainly disappointing to not have the opportunity to battle with the leaders to the very end,“ said Roes. Read more about his thoughts and experience during the race on his blog. Overall a great day of racing for Team Montrail and good way to finish up the 2011 season.
1. Anna Frost – 6:56:07
2. Ellie Greenwood – 7:07:24
3. Joelle Vaught – 7:40:46
4. Krissy Moehl – 7:47:01
5. Tyler Stewart – 8:00:52
1. Mike Wolfe – 6:19:04
2. Dakota Jones – 6:21:51
3. Adam Campbell – 6:34:35
4. Tim Olsen – 6:38:54
5. Geoff Roes – 6:46:18