The second annual Pass Mountain Trail Runs will feature 50 Kilometer, 26 Kilometer and 11 Kilometer race distances on trails within Usery Mountain Regional Park and the Tonto National Forest. This is the only race in the DRT Series that ventures outside of the regional park system and onto Forest Service land. The views from atop the saddle on the Pass Mountain Trail are quite spectacular, with the Goldfield Mountains spreading out to the east towards the Superstitions, and views of the Salt River to the north.
While the 11K features little elevation gain (with the exception of going over Cat Peaks), the 26K and 50K courses will conquer an 800 foot climb up and over the Pass Mountain Trail. 50 K runners will make a second trip up and over Pass Mountain before heading into the finish.
50 Kilometer Race
The three DRT Ultra Series points leaders in the women’s field will all be running this weekend (Deb Hamberlin, Margaret Dehesse, and Carin Schmidt) along with last year’s Pass Mountain 50K winner Paulette Zillmer. Paulette is coming off a win at the Bootlegger 50K near Las Vegas two weeks ago and will be looking for her first win in this year’s DRT Series.
In the men’s field, several of our top runners will be sitting on the sidelines since they just ran the Javelina Jundred this past weekend. Keep an eye out for Michael Smith and Scott Bajer who both raced well at last month’s Cave Creek Thriller along with Rhet Stinson who placed 3rd at last year’s McDowell Mountain Frenzy 50K. Michael Carson, the DRT Ultra Series points leader will be out volunteering at the Meridian Aid Station, taking the week off after his first 100 mile finish at the Javelina Jundred!
26 Kilometer Race
The women’s race should be a close race down to the wire, as Lauren Besenfelder (winner of this year’s San Tan Scramble 25K and Coldwater Rumble 18K) goes up against Ivana Jourdan (winner of last season’s Mesquite Canyon 1/2 and McDowell Mountain Frenzy 10 Mile). These ladies went head to head at last year’s McDowell Mountain Frenzy 10 mile, with Ivana edging out Lauren by just 11 seconds! Michelle Patuto, the current leader of the DRT Trail Series will also be racing.
Paul Kramer who was edged out in the closing feet of the Cave Creek Thriller may be able to breathe a bit easier since Bret Sarnquist (who won the Thriller) ran the Javelina Jundred this past weekend (finishing 8th in 18:21). David Santiago who finished 6th at the Thriller will also be back for Pass Mountain.
11 Kilometer Race
Lisa Raykowski who placed 1st at last month’s Thriller and 2nd at last yea’rs Pass Mountain 10 Mile, will be running along with Amy Boodry who placed 2nd at last year’s Pass Mountain 9 K.
The men’s race should be close again, with Tim Merritt leading the pack after his win at the Thriller 10K, but he’ll have to contend with Bryan Dunn of Fountain Hills who won last year’s Frenzy 10 Mile. John Borrego should be close behind for 3rd place.
We will be broadcasting via our “Ultracast” on race day featuring instant results and a webcam of the finish line.
Jamil Coury founded Aravaipa Running in 2009 to share and pursue his passion of long distance running in the mountains. In addition to creating and directing trail and ultra running events with Aravaipa Running, he has run over 45 ultra marathons since 2005.