In one of the most difficult race formats imaginable, Canadian Karley Rempel was the first to the top at the Speedgoat Vertical Mile in Utah.
The former middle-distance runner with the University of North Carolina, now based in Colorado, won the 10.3K race at Snowbird near Salt Lake City. The Friday trail race climbs more than vertical mile (1,609m), 1,645m according to the website, and “there is no descent,” according to the race website.
“Once each runner arrives and uses the aid station, a time stamp will stop the time, and the runner will board the ski lift to the bottom of Snowbird,” reads the race description. “Once the runner reaches the base, the time will start after exiting the lift. The second climb will consist of 100 per cent of steep singletrack to the summit of Snowbird. Total time while running will then be you’re final result.”
In other words, the vertical mile involves summiting Snowbird twice, via different routes, with a trip on the chairlift back to the bottom approximately halfway through. Time on the lift is excluded from a runner’s finishing time.
Snowbird Ski Resort is located more than 2,300m above sea level.
The 24-year-old St. Catharines, Ont. native completed the race in 1:43:32, a course record by three minutes according to Ultra Signup, and joined professional Hoka One One athlete Hayden Hawks, the men’s winner in a course record of 1:16:51, as the vertical mile champions. The Speedgoat 50K, which was Saturday, is the event’s marquee distance, named after Karl “Speedgoat” Meltzer, the Appalachian Trail record holder.
Rempel finished four minutes ahead of second place’s Ana Brown. Meanwhile, Jim Walmsley, who famously attempted the shatter the course record at the Western States 100, both in 2016 and 2017, before fading or dropping out, set a new course record in the Speedgoat 50K on Saturday. He ran 5:04:55.
— Jim Walmsley (@walmsley172) July 29, 2017