This Week In Running: August 29, 2016

This Week in Running Justin Mock TWIRThe USATF 50k Trail National Championships, held at the Tamalpa Headlands 50k, and all things UTMB make up the bulk of this week’s highlights. We also take a look at next weekend’s The Rut races.

Tamalpa Headlands 50k – Muir Beach, California

Men

Second at this year’s Miwok 100, Flagstaff-based Cody Reed continued his hot streak. Reed’s 3:43 finish was worth $1,200 and the USATF 50k Trail National Championships win. He crossed the line 36 seconds ahead of David Roche. Both were just about six minutes off of Andy Wacker’s course record from last year’s race. Reed, who ran at Northern Arizona University, appears to be undefeated two races into his short ultra career.

Cody Reed - 2016 Tamalpa Headlands 50k Champion

Cody Reed, 2016 Tamalpa Headlands 50k Champion. Photo: Tamalpa Headlands 50k

Ultimately finishing fourth, it was Scott Trummer who first made a move. Relatively new to ultras, Trummer did run 1:07 at this year’s San Francisco Half Marathon. Six miles into the race, he jumped the pace and held an almost minute lead at mile 10.

Reed, Roche, and Tim Freriks worked to cover the gap and collected Trummer near mile 20.

While Reed would hold off Roche, Trummer would go to fourth and Freriks, competing in his second ultra following a runner-up finish at this year’s Lake Sonoma 50 Mile, went backward to an eighth-place finish.

Building to the Ultra-Trail Mt. Fuji race, Dylan Bowman moved through the field in the race’s second half, leapfrogging from eighth to third with 3:48 on the clock.

The full top-10 list includes both familiar names and newcomers.

1 – Cody Reed – 3:43
2 – David Roche – 3:44
3 – Dylan Bowman – 3:48
4 – Scott Trummer – 3:50
5 – Alex Varner – 3:55
6 – Patrick Parsel – 3:59
7 – Brian Gillis – 4:01
8 – Tim Freriks – 4:09
9 – Eric Senseman – 4:09
10 – Jorge Maravilla – 4:17

Women

Whether despite a busted upper lip or because of it, Megan Roche was all smiles at the finish. She overcame what must have been at least one bad fall to finish in 4:20, winning the national championships and $1,200 in prize money, but also a $2,000 course-record bonus. As with second-place Kasie Enman, both finished inside of Kami Semick’s decade-old 4:25 best. Enman recorded a 4:23 mark.

Megan Roche - 2016 Tamalpa Headlands 50k Champion

Megan Roche, 2016 Tamalpa Headlands 50k Champion. Photo: Tamalpa Headlands 50k

Roche gained her ultimate lead near halfway, after overtaking Camille Herron, who dropped from the race near mile 24.

Defending champion Caitlin Smith was third in 4:34.

Even moreso than the men’s race, the women’s top 10 was marked by a number of new-to-this-column names.

1 – Megan Roche – 4:20
2 – Kasie Enman – 4:23
3 – Caitlin Smith – 4:34
4 – Lindsay Tollefson – 4:39
5 – Angela Tieri – 4:40
6 – Emily Peterson – 4:41
7 – Claire Bernard – 4:47
8 – Laura Tabor – 4:53
9 – Kristyn Kadala – 4:55
10 – Tracie Akerhielm – 4:58

Full results.

The next USATF mountain, ultra, trail nation championships is the September 17 USATF 24-hour National Championships, to be held in Ohio at the NorthCoast 24-hour Endurance Run.

UTMB – Chamonix, France

iRunFar was on hand with all-day and all-night coverage of the pilgrimage around Mont Blanc. The team has also separately covered the race dynamics leading to victory by Ludovic Pommeret and Caroline Chaverot, both of France, in 22:00 and 25:15.

Men

Despite winning this year’s MaXi-Race and finishing 5th at last year’s IAU Trail World Championships, Pommeret was perhaps a surprise winner. When longtime leader Zach Miller ran into trouble late in the race, Pommeret surged to the lead and built it to a 26-minute cushion at the finish.

UTMB 2016 - Ludovic Pommeret

Ludovic Pommeret winning the 2016 UTMB. Photo: iRunFar/Bryon Powell

Lithuanian star Gediminas Grinius was second in 22:26, and just four minutes back, Tim Tollefson had the race of his life–to this point–with a third-place 22:30. Tollefson was second in the undercard race last year, the CCC, but this third-place result here came against decidedly more competition.

Last year’s third-place finisher at UTMBDavid Laney, was fourth this year in 22:41, evidencing a strong bounce back from the Western States 100.

The lead group was closely bunched and Spain’s Javi Dominguez trailed Laney by just three minutes in fifth.

UTMB was exceptionally deep and I’m always curious how the full previewed roster did. In that vein, a roll call is included below.

6 – Zach Miller (U.S.) – 22:54
7 – Sébastien Camus (France) – 23:12
8 – Julien Chorier (France) – 23:13
9 – Giulio Ornati (Italy) – 23:25
10 – Juan Maria Jimenez Llorens (Spain) – 23:27
12 – Francisco Javier Rodriguez Bodas  (Spain) – 23:50
13 – Victor Bernad Blasco (Spain) – 23:53
14 – Armanda Jorge Teixeira (Portugal) – 24:22
16 – Masatoshi Obara (Japan) – 24:39
17 – Paul Giblin (U.K.) – 25:03
19 – Damian Hall (U.K.) – 25:12
20 – Ryan Smith (U.K.) – 25:37
23 – Bertrand Collomb-Patton (France) – 25:56
24 – Sangé Sherpa (Nepal) – 26:12
31 – Florian Becker (France) – 26:49
39 – Takashi Doi (Japan) – 28:02
42 – Michael Wardian (U.S.) – 28:14
48 – Nicola Bassi (Italy) – 28:15
70 – Henrik Westerlin (Denmark) – 29:32
78 – Jez Bragg (U.K.) – 30:02
118 – Kazufumi Ose (Japan) – 32:11
172 – Jordi Bes (Spain) – 33:53
235 – Brian Rusiecki (U.S.) – 35:40

The always long UTMB drop list included:

Fabien Antolinos (France)
Alavaro Rodriguez Barreiro
(Spain)
Tòfol Castanyer (Spain)
Ivan Geronazzo
(Italy)
Simon Grimstrup
(Denmark)
Miguel Heras
(Spain)
Didrik Hermansen
(Norway)
Luis Alberto Hernando
(Spain)
Ryan Kaiser
(U.S.)
Arnaud Lejeune
(France)
Thomas Lorblanchet
(France)
Stephan Hugenschmidt
(Germany)
David Jeker (Canada)
Zdenek Kriz (Czech Republic)
Alexandre Mayer
(France)
Shunsuke Okunomiya
(Japan)
Diego Pazos
(Switzerland)
Gerard Morales Ramirez
(Spain)
Ryan Sandes
(South Africa)
Jason Schlarb (U.S.)
Francesc Solé
(Spain)
Quentin Stephan
(France)
Andy Symonds
(U.K.)
John Tidd (U.S.)

Aurelien Collet (France) did not start the race.

Women 

Frontrunning Chaverot and Andrea Huser of Switzerland produced the closest women’s finish in UTMB history. Just seven minutes separated the pair, 25:15 to 25:22, though Chaverot retained her lead throughout the race’s duration. The two would finish nearly two hours ahead of third-place Uxue Fraile (Spain), who finished in 27:10.

UTMB 2016 - Caroline Chaverot

Caroline Chaverot running in the lead at La Fouly (110km). Photo: iRunFar/Sergi Colomé

Reviewing the full previewed list of top entrants reveals the below results:

4 – Juliette Blanchet (France) – 27:37
5 – Magdalena Boulet (U.S.) – 28:18
6 – Jasmin Paris (U.K.) – 28:34
7 – Ildiko Wemescher (Hungary) – 29:13
8 – Kaori Niwa (Japan) – 29:17
9 – Denise Zimmerman (Switzerland) – 31:00
10 – Sophie Grant (U.K.) – 31:53
12 – Nicky Spinks (U.K.) – 32:32
14 – Silke Koester (U.S.) – 33:00
15 – Marie McNaughton (New Zealand) – 33:56
21 – Angels Llobera Vicens (Spain) – 35:03
23 – Aliza Lapierre (U.S.) – 35:40
27 – Becky Nixon (U.K.) – 36:51
38 – Sarah Willis (U.S.) – 38:52
40 – Amy Rusiecki (U.S.) – 39:49

Drops among the previewed women’s field included:

Ester Alves (Portugal)
Gemma Arenas (Spain)
Federica Boifava (Italy)
Rory Bosio (USA)
Francesca Canepa (Italy)
Pui-Yan ‘Wyan’ Chow (Hong Kong)
Cristina Bes Ginesta (Spain)
Sally McRae (U.S.)
Jone Urkizu Mendiola (Spain)
Luciana Moretti (Argentina)
Helene Ogi (Switzerland)
Lucinda Santos Sousa (Portugal)
Amy Sproston (USA)
Alissa St. Laurent (Canada)
Janessa Taylor (U.S.)

Neither Emelie Lecomte (France) nor Kerrie Wlad (U.S.) started the race.

Full results.

Other UTMB Races – Chamonix, France

In addition to the marquee 105-mile UTMB race, several lesser-known events fill what is a massive celebration of trail running in Chamonix.

The 101k CCC was won by Michel Lanne (France) in 12:10, five minutes ahead of Ruy Ueda (Japan). Mimmi Kotka (Sweden) gained the women’s victory in 13:42, 27 minutes better than second-place Jo Meek (U.K.).

Slightly longer, the TDS stretched to 119k but over more technical terrain than the CCC. Pau Capell (Spain), Yeray Duran (Spain), and Franco Colle (Italy) filled the men’s podium with 14:45, 15:14, and 15:32 finish times, respectively. Delphine Avenier (France) led the women with an 18:46 winning time with Meredith Edwards (U.S.) took second 13 minutes back.

Previous UTMB winner Xavier Thévenard (France) won the 55k OCC race with 5:28 on the clock. Marathon des Sables sensation Rachid El Morabity (Morocco) was second, 15 minutes back. Mercedes Arcos (Spain) cruised to the front of the women’s field in 6:54.

Full results.

Cascade Crest 100 Mile – Easton, Washington

Repeating as men’s champ, Jesse Lang ran 18:38, 15 minutes back of his 2015 finish time and the race’s sixth-fastest time ever. Scott Traer dipped under the 19-hour mark with a second-place 18:59 and Paul Terranova was third in 20:18.

Longtime fan favorite Krissy Moehl gained another 100-mile win in the women’s race, finishing in 22:22. It is believed to be Moehl’s first win at the distance since 2011, and the time ranks seventh on the race’s all-time chart. Jennifer Love and Robin Watkins were second and third in 23:28 and 23:47, respectively.

Full results (when available).

Trofeo Kima – Sondrio, Italy

The 52k race, part of the Skyrunning World Series ‘Extreme’ category, packs in an incredible 4,200 meters (almost 14,000 feet) of elevation gain and loss while crossing seven passes. Nepalese runner Bhim Gurung and Sweden’s Emelie Forsberg each mastered the uber-technical off-trail track.

Emelie Forsberg - 2016 Trofeo Kima Champion

Emelie Forsberg, 2016 Trofeo Kima Champion. Photo: Skyrunning World Series

Gurung finished in 6:10, edging out Italy’s Marco de Gasperi by a little less than two minutes. Both finished inside of Kilian Jornet’s previous course best.

Leo Viret was third in 6:15 and pre-race favorite Tom Owens of the U.K. was fifth. Owens, by virtue of his earlier win at Norway’s Tromso Skyrace, retained the Skyrunning Extreme series lead.

Forsberg’s 7:49 finish rests 13 minutes back of Núria Picas’s course record, though a win is certainly a win. First this same weekend at CCC a year ago, New Zealand’s Ruth Croft was second 17 minutes in arrears.

Italy’s Emanuela Brizio was third in 8:21.

Full results (when available).

The next Skyrunning World Series race is next weekend’s The Rut races, and the next Extreme Skyrunning race is the Salomon Glen Coe Skyline run in the U.K. on September 18.

Bhim Gurung - 2016 Trofeo Kima Champion

Bhim Gurung, 2016 Trofeo Kima Champion. Photo: Skyrunning World Series

Other Races and Runs

For the second time in as many weeks, Andy Wacker finished immediately behind Joe Gray. At the Breckenridge, Colorado Breck Crest Half Marathon, Gray finished in 1:34 to edge Wacker by eight seconds. Maija Zimmerman won the women’s race in 2:11. In the marathon, Mario Macias finished in 3:19 to beat out Josh Arthur by 70 seconds. Maria Petzold won the women’s race in 4:18. Full results.

In Italy, Cesar Costa (Portugal) outgunned Jonathan Wyatt (New Zealand) to win the World Mountain Running Masters Championships. It wasn’t year clear who won the women’s race. Though the true championship was limited to athletes age 35 and over, Bernard Dematteis and Antonella Confortola, both of Italy, won the open race. Full results (when available).

 Next Weekend – The Rut – Big Sky, Montana

Three of the weekend’s races–the Vertical K, the 28k, and the 50k, all spread across three days–are included in this year’s Skyrunner World Series. iRunFar will preview the 28k separately, and also be on hand with live coverage of that race.

Vertical K

Friday’s Vertical K races from the Big Sky Resort up Lone Peak, gaining 3,632 feet in just over three miles, and finishing at 11,166 feet. Prize money starts at $500 and goes 10 deep. The women’s field reads as more competitive than the men’s at present, though perhaps some entrants in the longer distances will decide to double down.

Men

  • Ondrej Fejfar (Czech Republic) – 1:07 half marathon in 2015
  • Chris Mocko – 7th at 2016 Western States 100
  • Luke Nelson – 4th at 2016 Whiteface Sky Race
  • Brendan Trimboli – 1st at 2016 Squamish 50k

Women

  • Sarah Bard – 2nd at 2016 Ultravasan
  • Yngvild Kaspersen (Norway) – 2nd at 2016 Mount Marathon, 3rd at 2015 Rut Vertical K
  • Corrine Malcolm – 1st at 2016 Cayuga Trails 50 Mile
  • Laura Orgué (Spain) – 3rd at 2016 Pikes Peak Ascent, 1st at 2015 Rut Vertical K

Fejfar, Mocko, and Nelson, and women’s competitors Kaspersen and Orgue will each double back for the 28k, and Mocko will go for the triple and race all three distances.

50k

The long course gains 10,500 feet of elevation on its track around the resort’s technical terrain. Prize money will match that of the 28k Sky race with a $5,500 purse being split amongst the top-10 finishers.

Men

  • Mike Aish – 2nd at 2016 Leadville Silver Rush 50 Mile
  • Michael Barlow – 3rd at 2016 Aspen Backcountry Marathon
  • Noah Brautigam – 3rd at 2016 Power of Four 50k
  • Jason Delaney – 13th at 2014 Rut 50k
  • Morgan Elliott – 1st at 2016 Power of Four 50k
  • Paddy O’Leary – 1st at 2016 Canyons 100k
  • Matias Saari – 1st at 2016 Angel Creek 50 Mile
  • Matt Shryock – 3rd at 2015 Rut 50k

Chris Vargo is on the entrants list but not racing.

Women

  • Hillary Allen – 5th at 2016 Transvulcania, 2nd at 2015 Rut 50k
  • Ashley Erba – 1st at 2015 Flagstaff Skyrace (also registered for 28k)
  • Ida Nilsson – 1st at 2016 Transvulcania
  • Kristina Pattison – 4th at 2015 Rut 50k
  • Alicia Shay – 4th at 2016 Transvulcania
  • Denali Strabel – 3rd at 2016 Mount Marathon
  • Martina Valmassoi (Italy) – 3rd at 2016 Rut 50k
  • Anne Wheatly – 8th at 2016 Speedgoat 50k
  • Sarah Woerner – 4th at 2016 Broken Arrow Skyrace

Full entrant list.

Call for Comments

  • It’s nothing new, but what opinions exist as to the high number of drops from UTMB, as compared to say, the Hardrock 100?
  • We overloaded on each of the UTMB races, and would love to hear about some of the lesser-known events that took place this weekend. Share what you saw in the comments field.
Justin Mock

overcame years of disappointment to finally win a burro race in 2014. He has also run as fast as 2:29 for the marathon and finished as high as fourth in the Pikes Peak Marathon. He also writes for Running Times.

There are 11 comments

  1. Grant Nicolaus

    Huge props to Meredith Edwards getting 2nd at TDS even with the tiny mention in the article. Top American finisher!!!

  2. Ben

    I chalk up the difference in finisher rates between Hardrock and UTMB mostly due the type of racer starting each. Hardrock starters are probably more experienced at the 100 mile distance (and on arguably tougher courses) as compared to UTMB starters given their respective lottery systems. The overwhelming energy at the start of UTMB probably also causes a few extra drops as well I would hypothesize.
    However, to even start either race takes a lot of courage and should be celebrated.

      1. Brett-SC

        From what I hear, he is approximately on record pace. By mileage splits at halfway, he is slightly behind what you would expect, but the southern half is apparently more runnable than the first. I read somewhere (IIRC) that he was something like 12 miles behind Jurek’s splits (since they are going in opposite directions, I’m not sure how that was fairly calculated though). The last post I saw of his logbook had yesterday’s mileage at 53. If he starts knocking out 55-60 mile days in Virginia, then it looks like he’ll be close to the record. All this is from other stuff I read earlier this morning. It was on the internet, so it must be true. :)

  3. Alex

    UTMB had 1088 drops and 1468 finishers. Which, if my math is correct (BIG if) is a 57% finisher rate. Hardrock had 112 finishers and 40 drops. Again, assuming correct math is a 73% finisher rate. That’s a big gap. It would be interesting to try and compare “Elite” drop rates in both races.
    My guess would be that attitude plays into this difference. UTMB’s gates to entry for an elite are much easier than at Hardrock, so perhaps the Elite field is more prone to DNF’ing if they’re not having a great day, rather than at Hardrock where the next opportunity to race might not come for a while (not to mention the fact that it is easier to get in once one has a finish at Hardrock than if one is in the “Never” pool). Not a critique of Elites DNFing, rather just commenting at how perhaps knowing you can run the race next year without too much hassle eases the difficulty of accepting a DNF.
    That being said, other factors could have contributed to the high drop % this year at UTMB, such as extreme heat for the Alps, and what I heard were crazy rain & thunderstorms when most everyone but the men’s top 10 was still on course.

    1. Steven Moore

      I ran (and finished) UTMB this year. It was pretty dang toasty all night Friday and all day Saturday, and I live in Texas! I was hoping for a cool evening in the Alps but it never came. Anyway, a counter to your point is that it takes significant effort and expense to get to UTMB and I would think that would be a big deterrent to a DNF if one actually needs help with that. Gonna travel that far and invest all that time and money to DNF just because it’s not your day? I was looking for 28hrs and got 32. It was harder than I thought and didn’t play to my strengths. Still a blast and I’m glad I went (and finished!).

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