2014 TNF EC 50 Mile Championships Results

The North Face Endurance Challenge - TNFECThe 2014 The North Face Endurance Challenge 50 Mile Championships took place today in the California’s Marin Headlands. It was Magdalena Boulet (post-race interview) and Sage Canaday (post-race interview) who took home big victories and, perhaps, even bigger $10,000 paychecks.

In addition to this article, you can find our full play-by-play of the race as well as a collection of our pre-race interviews and preview on our TNF 50 live coverage page.

As usual, we’ll be updating this article with additional results as well as links to TNF 50-related articles, photo galleries, and race reports.

Ps. To get all the latest ultra news from iRunFar.com, subscribe via RSS or email.

2014 TNF EC 50 Mile Men’s Race

You know, Sage Canaday (pre-race interview) generally makes our sport look easy. He wins or lands on the podium at almost every race he runs and, while he always looks focused and determined, he also seems to always look cool and in control. But today, in the last 10 miles of the race, we saw a different Sage. Face straining, arms and hips driving with ferocity, and an expression so concentrated he couldn’t make eye contact with anything but the ground ahead. I think he was only a couple heartbeats per minute away from foaming at the mouth!

An absolutely enormous men’s pack held tight until somewhere around mile 20, something like 30 or 40 guys at mile 11 and 15-ish guys and mile 20 close together, leading out the race. In that pack was Sage, who emerged at its front somewhere before 18 miles. At the next aid station, at around mile 23, Sage had gapped all the men by a minute. From there on out, he was a man ablaze. Little by little his chasers were mostly whittled away, but not by big gaps, just seconds here and there. There was one guy who wasn’t going settle for second without a really good fight, and that was Dakota Jones (pre-race and post-race interviews). From mile 23 through mile 45, Dakota hovered within a minute of Sage, and even passing him briefly at mile 38. It seems like Sage went to the well to stay in front of Dakota and the rest of the field, working it for his $10,000 winner’s payout.

Sage Canaday - 2014 TNF EC 50 - finish

Sage Canaday smiling about his win at the 2014 TNF EC 50. Photo: iRunFar/Bryon Powell

Dakota, on the other hand, seemed to be the cool, collected, and smooth one all day. Make no mistake, we’re sure he was putting serious effort into his race, it’s just that he looked a little more calm in doing so. Dakota and his long-lasting relationship with this race, including a previous second place, earned his second second this year.

Dakota Jones - 2014 TNF EC 50 - Cardiac 2

Dakota Jones returning to Cardiac Aid Station, mile 35, in second place. Photo: iRunFar/Bryon Powell

While the local Marin County men brought it with three finishes in the top 10, it was Alex Varner (post-race interview) who ran the fastest, looking absolutely strong from gun to tape. He was the guy who we pegged would pick someone off if Sage or Dakota blew later in the race. Unfortunately for Alex, neither of them did. But fortunately for Alex, his performance was significantly stronger than any of the dudes behind him. The final podium spot in a race as competitive as the men’s field: a huge, huge day for Alex.

Alex Varner - Jorge Maravilla - Dylan Bowman - Tim Tollefson - 2014 TNF EC 50 - finish

Alex Varner and Tim Tollefson celebrate top-10 finishes with Jorge Maravilla and Dylan Bowman in the background. Photo: iRunFar/Bryon Powell

I’m not going to lie, Tòfol Castanyer didn’t look so good after the 50k mark. His stride looked solid and efficient, but his breathing was ragged and fast in comparison to the runners around him. Nevertheless, he seemed non-bothered, holding that fourth-place position, which he stepped into at somewhere around the race’s halfway point, through the finish. Dylan Bowman (pre-race interview) said he was going to go to the proverbial pain cave to earn his race, and we heard that, at times, he wasn’t feeling perfect on course. Despite this, he stayed strong all day for his second fifth-place finish. Ricky Lightfoot finished sixth, Jorge Maravilla seventh, Tim Tollefson eighth, Michael Aish ninth, and Timothy Olson 10th (pre-race interview).

As a demonstration of the men’s field depth for this race, have a look below at places 11 through 20 and the fact that was under an hour’s different between first and 20th place. What a race!

2014 TNF EC 50 Mile Men’s Results

  1. Sage Canaday (Hoka One One) – 6:07:52 (pre-race and post-race interviews)
  2. Dakota Jones (Montrail) – 6:12:20 (pre-race and post-race interviews)
  3. Alex Varner (Nike) – 6:14:06 (post-race interview)
  4. Tòfol Castanyer (Salomon) – 6:21:13
  5. Dylan Bowman (The North Face) – 6:23:48 (pre-race interview)
  6. Ricky Lightfoot (Salomon) – 6:27:34
  7. Jorge Maravilla (Salomon) – 6:28:28
  8. Tim Tollefson (Nike Running) – 6:28:47
  9. Michael Aish (Mizuno) – 6:39:10
  10. Timothy Olson (The North Face) – 6:42:54 (pre-race interview)
  11. Zach Miller (Nike) – 6:44:22
  12. Rob Krar (The North Face) – 6:46:10 (pre-race interview)
  13. Mike Foote (The North Face) – 6:48:41
  14. David Jeker – 6:49:51
  15. Ivan Medina – 6:50:23
  16. Michel Lanne (Salomon) – 6:53:25
  17. Daniel Kraft (Nike) – 6:55:16
  18. Ryan Ghelfi (Nike) – 6:58:49
  19. Christopher DeNucci – 7:01:18
  20. Austin Johnson  7:01:52

Full results.

2014 TNF EC 50 Mile Women’s Race

Oh wow! Magdalena Boulet (pre-race interview) and Megan Kimmel (pre-race and post-race interviews) put on an amazing show! The pair, who finished first and second respectively, ran within a minute of each other for more than 50k. Seemingly working each other, by mile 14 the pair started to put little dents of time on the rest of the women’s field, separating themselves and engaging in their own duel.

In Magda’s debut ultramarathon here last year, where she finished second, she looked, at times, wide-eyed and a little timid about the scene. But today Magda had a different attitude: it was the eye of the tiger, all business in the front AND the back, all grit and speed, from start to finish. By mile 6 and basically from then forward, Magda set the pace and, it seems, called the race shots. Only once did we see a little deviation from Magda’s apparent confidence when she told us around mile 35 that she was worried because Megan was so close behind. But never did she physically falter, and her strength showed even more as she used the last quarter of the race to pull away from even Megan, too.

Magda Boulet - 2014 TNF EC 50 - finish

Magda Boulet crosses the finish in first with her son. Photo: iRunFar/Bryon Powell

Megan, who has been twice foiled by the challenges of this race in a DNF in 2012 and finishing off her potential here last year, really nailed her race this time. The only thing she couldn’t match on the day was Magda’s late-race power, as she, too, stayed separate from the rest of the women’s field. As a shorter-distance trail runner with a mountain focus, I can’t help but wonder what Megan’s going to do with her trail ultrarunning talent, given that she pretty much nailed this race.

Megan Kimmel - 2014 TNF EC 50 - course

Meghan Kimmel racing in second at Stinson Beach. Photo: iRunFar/Meghan Hicks

Early on, until after mile 11, Stephanie Howe (pre-race and post-race interviews) ran within seconds of both Magda and Megan, but she soon seemed to fall into a proverbial no-woman’s land, a good chunk of time behind the front two and a good chunk of time in front of the rest of the field. Even though she ran with no nearby female company, her performance was solid from start to finish and she earned the final spot on the podium while battling a head cold through the race.

Stephanie Howe - 2014 TNF EC 50 - finish

Stephanie Howe smiling about her third-place performance at the TNF EC 50. Photo: iRunFar/Bryon Powell

Fourth-place finisher Anne-Marie Madden was there all day, right from the very start, hovering in fourth and fifth place. By mile 23, she found her way to fourth position and stayed there. Caroline Boller, on the other hand, didn’t find her way into the top five until later in the race, after spending the first half of the race in the back half of the women’s top 10. Former track and road star Alicia Shay (pre-race interview) debuted at 50 miles strongly with her sixth-place finish, former high-school track star Julia Stamps-Mallon took seventh, Helene Michaux took eighth, Amanda Brown was ninth, and Kristina Pattison was 10th. 

2014 TNF EC 50 Mile Women’s Results

  1. Magdalena Boulet (Hoka One One) – 7:08:09 (pre-race and post-race interviews)
  2. Megan Kimmel (ASICS) – 7:17:20 (pre-race and post-race interviews)
  3. Stephanie Howe (The North Face) – 7:28:48 (pre-race and post-race interviews)
  4. Anne-Marie Madden (Arc’teryx) – 8:03:16
  5. Caroline Boller – 8:07:07
  6. Alicia Shay (Nike Running) – 8:21:05 (pre-race interview)
  7. Julia Stamps-Mallon (Brooks) – 8:24:28
  8. Helene Michaux – 8:25:52
  9. Amanda Basham – 8:26:55
  10. Kristina Pattison (Hammer Nutrition) – 8:33:39
  11. Susan Barrows – 8:34:22
  12. Michelle Clarke – 8:37:45
  13. Davina Kaile – 8:37:50
  14. Melanie Bos (The North Face) – 8:39:00
  15. Christi Nowak – 8:39:06
  16. Ashley Laird – 8:45:31
  17. Kami Semick (The North Face) – 8:47:24 (pre-race interview)
  18. Kelsie Clausen (The North Face) – 8:57:03
  19. Luanne Park – 9:01:07
  20. Angela Tieri – 9:05:32

Full results.

2014 TNF EC 50 Mile Articles, Race Reports, and More

Articles and Photo Galleries

Race Reports

Thank You

A big thank you to our field help Ellie Greenwood, Eric Senseman, Kim Wrinkle, and Patrick McKenna. And another thank you to our office help Aliza Lapierre, Travis Trampe, and Aaron Marks. Their time and talent brought the race alive!

Meghan Hicks

is iRunFar.com’s Senior Editor, the author of ‘Where the Road Ends: A Guide to Trail Running,’ and a Contributing Editor at Trail Runner magazine. The converted road runner finished her first ultramarathon in 2006 and loves using running to visit the world’s wildest places. For more information on Meghan and her adventures, please visit her personal website.

There are 28 comments

    1. @ajschirackjr

      He had a pretty rough section in the middle of the race, I passed him and he was walking. I was glad to see he got things fixed up and powered in for a solid finish. I think he was in about 30th when he passed me surprisingly.

  1. iRunFar - Bryon

    Howdy EE,
    Your comments are quite welcome. However, I'd like to advise you that adding gratuitous promotional links at the end of comments is seen as spammy by the community and is unlikely to shed a positive light on your hard work (as evidenced by your IntenseDebate reputation score).

    Sincerely,
    Bryon

    Ps. I followed the advice I'm giving you in that I never engaged in link spamming in building iRunFar.

    1. exploringendurance

      Promptly deleted and will refrain from doing so in the future Bryon. That being said, you and your team (including Kim Wrinkle) provided great coverage for the ultrarunning community throughout the event. Great job.

  2. nfvolunteer

    I had a very negative experience this weekend at the NF race. I was a volunteer directing traffic, and many folks felt entitled to drop off or park right at the start line. That, of course, was impossible. As a volunteer who gave up my entire weekend to help the racers, I was very disappointed to be yelled at and have arguments over where a participant can park. After about 5 years volunteering at the race, I have decided that I will no longer be going back next year. I'm sure that most of the folks reading irunfar are not the ones that this message should be directed to, but please be aware that volunteers make it possible for you to run these races. Following their instructions with a smile is the proper way to behave… you are not the one special person who can park right next to the start line.

  3. 420now

    Also the amount of gel wrappers etc on that beautiful trail was disgusting. I was on the UTMB & OCC course and what a difference. The Euro's do not litter.

    1. @mackeydave

      Maybe I missed something, but the amount of litter was much less this weekend than what is seen in European (or elsewhere). I disagree that Euros do not litter, at least where I've raced in Europe.
      Great coverage Byron and Megan! Good to see Ellie Greenwood running about helping you out there.

    2. @ajschirackjr

      Also, realize that when you have 1500 people on a trail, even if a small percentage don't ad here to the littering policy its going to add up quickly. Don't group everyone in the race into the littering group.

  4. memanderson

    Sage Canaday (Go Cornell!) is one classy pro. He may've had "an expression so concentrated he couldn’t make eye contact with anything but the ground ahead," but he had the grace to wish midpack runners well, as he went FLYING by-this is not expected, he has a job to do, so that made it all the more incredible. Tellin' my kids all about him!

  5. @undefined

    Here are the TNF50 unofficial mens team scores if you scored it top 3 from each team, xc style scoring. Close battle!

    1st – Salomon Running 17 pts: 4-Tofol Castanyer 6-Ricky Lightfoot 7-Jorge Maravilla
    2nd – Nike Trail Running 22 pts: 3-Alex Varner 8-Tim Tollefson 11-Zach Miller
    3rd – The North Face 27 pts: 5-Dylan Bowman 10-Tim Olson 12-Rob Krar

  6. Ben_Nephew

    You could include Dakota on the Salomon squad, he was wearing their shoes, and I consider that the critical aspect of this type of team race. I don't imagine Tofol, Ricky, and Jorge train together much.

  7. pwerhane

    Hey Ben,

    I wouldn't include Dakota on the Salomon squad as he is a Montrail sponsored athlete. He has the freedom to wear whatever footwear he wants as we saw in the race.

    I agree that Tofol, Ricky and Jorge dont train together much (if at all), but they are all Salomon sponsored athletes and being the top 3 Salomon athletes that day made them the scorers for Team Salomon.

  8. Ben_Nephew

    I know Dakota is sponsored by Montrail. Montrail is a shoe company, what is the point of being on a shoe company team when you don't wear their shoes? Most of the company teams do not train together, may not even be from the same country, so it is the shoes or company products that create the team. This is a good example of how creating some sort of team race based on corporate sponsor might not be ideal. I've competed in plenty of races with my fellow inov-8 teammates, and it is always fun when we do well, but it doesn't compare to wearing a singlet with USA on it at an official international championship, or even with my local CMS team at a national championship.

    1. @amysproston

      I'd have to agree with Ben on this one. So, a company is paying you all to wear their gear (or not wear it)? Seems to me the company with the biggest pockets would win. They are, eventually, going to entice more of the best athletes their way. How exciting or interesting is that? Oh boy–big business wins again. Yippee!!

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