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2 Anchorage women claim titles in Montana races

  • Author: Beth Bragg
  • Updated: August 31, 2019
  • Published August 31, 2019

Anchorage women set the pace in two high-altitude mountain races this weekend at The Rut, an annual mountain running festival in Big Sky, Montana.

Ann Spencer won Saturday’s 28-kilometer race, and Emma Tarbath won Friday’s vertical kilometer race.

Two more Alaskans racked up top-five finishes. Najeeby Quinn took fourth place in the women’s 28K and Lars Arneson finished fifth in the

men’s 28K.

A fifth turned in top-25 efforts in both races — Chris Kirk followed his 19th-place showing in the vertical kilometer with a 25th-place finish in the 28K.

Spencer, 22, led for much of the women’s 28K and widened her lead on the descent of Big Sky’s Lone Peak.

The 17.6-mile race tested racers with 7,800 feet of elevation gain while running at altitude. The low point was at 7,500 feet; the high point was at 11,666 feet.

Spencer held a 78-second lead over runnerup Emmiliese Von Clemm at the Lone Peak summit. She beat Von Clemm to the finish line by nearly six minutes.

Spencer, 24, placed 15th overall and was the only woman to break the four-hour mark. She clocked 3:59:34.

Quinn, 40, was fourth in 4:28:55. There were 159 finishers in the women’s race, and nearly as many who did not finish.

In the men’s competition, David Sinclair of Vermont triumphed in 3:11:53. Kirk’s time was 4:28:45.

Competition began Friday with the vertical kilometer, an all-uphill race with a kilometer of vertical gain over the course of three kilometers.

Tarbath passed Von Clemm on her way to the summit to win in 59:05. Von Clemm placed second in the field of 86 runners in 59:43.

The men’s victory went to Jeff Rome of Colorado in 49:31:46. Arneson was fifth in 51:14 and Kirk was 19th in 58:52.

The race series wraps up Sunday with two races, a 50K and an 11K.