This Week In Running: October 2, 2017

This Week in Running Justin Mock TWIRThe North American summer is done, and we flip the calendar to fall with The Bear 100 Mile and not one, but two kinds of ‘spartans,’ one of the Spartathlon variety and another of the obstacle-racing sort. Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more!

The Bear 100 Mile – Logan, Utah

Men

Jeff Browning did what Jeff Browning does. Browning executed an immediate in/out of the mile-76 aid station to overtake long-time leader Mark Hammond. Browning then opened a huge gap over the remaining miles toward The Bear 100 Mile finish in Idaho. He finished in 18:28, the race’s third-best time ever. At age 46, Browning remains one of the sport’s most consistent 100-mile runners. Earlier this summer, he was fourth at the Western States 100 and then was 20th at UTMB just a month ago.

Hammond was forced to exit the race at mile 85, for reasons unknown, and Lars Kjerengtroen would finish second in 19:28. Luke Jay edged Timothy Olson for fourth, 19:36 and 19:38.

Women

Women’s winner Hannah Green kept her own big summer going. Seventh at the Hardrock 100 in July, Green won this race in 24:22. The time ranks just outside of the race’s top-10 ever.

Must like the men’s race, the women’s second-, third-, and fourth-place finishers were all closely bunched. Amie Blackham emerged first from this group, running 25:50 for second place. Kelsey Bingham was third in 25:54, and Rebecca Rick was fourth in 25:55. Fifth-place Missy Gosney was also in close contact at 26:02.

Full results.

Spartathlon – Athens, Greece

Point to point from Athens to Sparta, the historic Spartathlon stretches 246 kilometers (153 miles) in retracing the path of Pheidippides.

Men

No man has run under 22 hours except for that guy called Yiannis Kouros (Greece), who did it four times, most recently in 1990. While very close, it didn’t happen this year either. Aleksandr Sorokin (Lithuania) led the chase with a first-place 22:04. Known for his fast starts, Sorokin held on here. His time ranks fifth-best ever, behind Kouros’s 1984, 1983, 1986, and 1990 runs.

Second-place Radek Brunner (Czech Republic) improved on his 2016 bronze by going 22:49, and Nikolaos Sideridis (Greece) was third in 22:58.

2017 IAU 24-Hour World Champion Yoshihiko Ishikawa (Japan) was fourth in 23:20.

Women

Patrycja Bereznowska (Poland) is the best in the world at these extra-long races right now. Already the 24-hour world-record holder and 2017 IAU 24-Hour World Champion, Bereznowska continually moved higher into the overall rankings toward her eventual 24:47 finish, women’s win, new course record, and sixth-place overall finish. She was 20 minutes better than Nagy’s 2015 previous course best.

The women’s race continues to grow in competitiveness, and second- and third-place Zsuzsanna Maraz (Hungary) and Aleksandra Niwińska (Poland) ran 25:43 and 26:28. As recently as 2014, a 26:28 finish would’ve been a new course record.

Full results.

Birkie Trail Run Festival – Seely, Wisconsin

The lollipop-style half-marathon course at the Birkie Trail Run Festival was this year’s USATF Trail Half Marathon National Championships. The course included its biggest hill at mile 10, and then raced to a long downhill finish.

Men

As much as we celebrate longer races, it’s easy to overlook just how good Joe Gray is. The guy just doesn’t lose in the U.S., in shorter trail races. He won here in 1:10:11, exactly 40 seconds better than Justin Grunewald, a 2012 Olympic Marathon Trials qualifier. It was lucky #13 when it comes to national championships for Gray.

Joe Gray - 2017 USATF Trail Half Marathon National Championships winner

Joe Gray, 2017 USATF Trail Half Marathon National Champion. Photo: USATF Mountain Ultra Trail Running

Tyler Sigl, a similarly skilled marathoner, and now ultramarathoner, was third in 1:13:03, and presumably-still-recovering-from-CCC Hayden Hawks was fourth in 1:14:01.

Women

A decade earlier, Ashley Brasovan was a high-school cross-country national champion. In the 10 years since, she’s raced at Duke University, taken part in the 2016 Olympic Marathon Trials, and now earned a trail national championships title. Unlike the men’s race, this one wasn’t at all close. Brasovan’s 1:18:30 finish placed her seventh overall, and over five minutes in front of the next fastest woman.

Dani Moreno and Amber Kranz were second and third in 1:23:40 and 1:28:59, respectively.

Full results.

Ashley Brasovan - 2017 USATF Trail Half Marathon National Championships winner

Ashley Brasovan, 2017 USATF Trail Half Marathon National Champion. Photo: USATF Mountain Ultra Trail Running

Other Races and Runs

Kilimanjaro FKT

Fernanda Maciel (Brazil, but living in Spain) pushed her way up 5,895-meter (19,341-foot) Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest peak, in 7:08. It was a new FKT, bettering a 2015 8:32 climb by Anne-Marie Flammersfeld (Germany, but living in Switzerland). Maciel also bettered Flammersfeld’s round-trip time, going 10:06 to the previous 12:58. For perspective, Karl Egloff (Switzerland, but living in Ecuador) holds the men’s records at 4:56 and 6:42.

Grand Canyon Rim to Rim FKT

This doesn’t happen often, but a Jim Walmsley record went down. Tim Freriks is reported to have covered a Grand Canyon single crossing in 2:39:38, seven-plus minutes better than the previous best of 2:46:08, which Walmsley set last fall on his way to his R2R2R double-crossing record.

The Bear Chase 50 Mile

Eyesight back following temporary vision loss at the Run Rabbit Run 100 MileCourtney Dauwalter was the overall winner at her local The Bear Chase 50 Mile race in 6:36. Full results.

Fuxian Lake Highland Ultra

With the 2017 IAU 50k World Championships, expected to be in Doha, Qatar cancelled, China’s Fuxian Lake Highland Ultra was a pseudo fill-in. I eyed the results at one point this weekend, but they’ve since disappeared. Nao Kazami (Japan) reportedly won the men’s race in 3:06, and Dominika Stelmach (Poland) won the women’s 50k in 3:32.

Ultra Gobi 

Oww! Ultra Gobi goes more than 400k (in excess of 248 miles), non-stop, self-navigated, and self-supported through the southern Gobi in western China. Though limited to just 50 entrants, it did include a number of world-class runners. Early results show that Dan Lawson (U.K.) set a new course record in two days, 22 hours. Does anyone know how the women’s race is panning out? Full results (when available).

Yeti 100 Mile

Held on a rails-to-trails route in Virginia, the Yeti 100 Mile turned three. Olivier Leblond celebrated with a big course record, going for 14:04. He was a three-plus hour winner. Women’s winner Crystal Hutchings also scored a new course best, running 19:51. Full results.

Overlook Endurance Runs 50k 

In Auburn, California, at the Overlook Endurance Runs 50kJacob Huston successfully defended his 2016 crown. Huston ran 3:38, finishing seven minutes up on Bob Shebest. Women’s winner Gabrielle Maudiere ran 4:31. Full results.

Spartan Race World Championship

Cody Moat, remember him? It’s been a few years, but he had some early ultrarunning success before turning to full-time obstacle-course racing. At California’s Squaw Valley, Moat finished the 16-mile, 40-obstacle course just ahead of Jon Albon (U.K.). Moat won a $15,000 cash money award. Ryan Woods was sixth. In the women’s race, Lindsay Webster (Canada) won and took home the cash. Occasional ultrarunner Amelia Boone was 11th. Full results.

Stump Jump 50k

Upset alert! John Wiygul edged Patrick Reagan to win Tennessee’s Stump Jump 50k, 5:15 to 5:16. The two were officially 50 seconds apart, and this was after Reagan lost a 30-minute lead at mile 25 after being led off course by a spectator. Reagan’s day totaled 35 miles. Women’s winner Emily Ansick dipped under the six-hour mark in 5:59. Full results.

Next Weekend – Flagstaff Sky Race 55k – Flagstaff, Arizona

Each of the VK, 39k, and 55k distances as part of the Flagstaff Sky Race will mark the end of the 2017 U.S. Skyrunner Series, now in its fourth year.

With VK men’s leader JP Donovan not presently entered, Mike Popejoy looks poised to jump to take the series crown with a strong race here. The women’s rankings look to finish as a cluster. Morgan ArritolaKim NedeauKristen Renshaw, and Laura Orgué all have 100 points, and none are currently expected to race in Flagstaff.

Sky Classic leader Timmy Parr is among the Flagstaff entrants, and should do enough to maintain that lead. Look for Tayte Pollman to take the men’s race win, however. Similarly, series-leader Taylor Nowlin is also registered and counted on a women’s race frontrunner.

Although already holding three scoring races, Sky Ultra leader Morgan Elliott could improve his low-ranking mark. He is entered in Flagstaff, but even without a strong race, looks unreachable in the series. Likewise, Amanda Pevoteaux leads the series and is registered for Flagstaff, but, barring a late entry from a would-be challenger, looks to have the series win secured.

Full entrant list.

Other Trail and Ultra News

Petro Mamu Doping Sanction

The World Mountain Running Association held their traditional short-course championships, the World Mountain Running Championships, on July 30 of this year, and the World Mountain Running Long Distance Championships a week later, both in Premana, Italy. Petro Mamu (Eritrea), who has been on the global mountain-running circuit for years, finished fifth in the earlier event, and then won individual gold over the long course.

On September 27, last week, the IAAF released an updated list of athletes with new doping sanctions, and that list included Mamu, noting that he failed an in-competition drug test at the long-distance championships, and was given a nine-month suspension. A day later, on September 28, new WMRA president Jonathan Wyatt (New Zealand) and the WMRA Council announced that Mamu had failed a post-race drug test at both races, testing positive for a banned asthma medication. I’ve searched, and the purported asthma drug in question, Fenoterol, does not appear to be widely associated with earlier bans.

Mamu’s admission and cooperation with the IAAF yielded him a ban reduction, from two years to nine months, leaving him eligible for next year’s WMRA championship events. His results from July 30 onward this year should be scrubbed with disqualifications, including his two WMRA championships results and his fourth-place finish at this year’s Sierre-Zinal, among others. In its press release, the WMRA gave its opinion of Mamu’s shortened ban, “It is the feeling of the WMRA, that while we appreciate Mamu’s cooperation regarding this case, the sentence does not act as enough of a deterrent. As the ban now stands, Mamu will be eligible to compete at the World Championships and World Cup in 2018.”

Call for Comments

We’ve been all over the world, but know there’s more out there and would love for our readers to add to the column in the comments field below. Thanks!

[Editor’s Note: Columnist Justin Mock and editor Meghan Hicks spend many hours per week compiling this article, and often doing so well ahead of races posting their results online–that is, by combing social media. We simply cannot cover all the trail and ultra races that take place each week, so we do our best to provide results of the most competitive races as well as a spectrum of additional events from around the world. Please feel absolutely welcome to leave comments with the results of races not covered in this article, and to leave additional information about the races from which we have shared results. Thank you for your understanding.]

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 26 comments

  1. Andrew

    I think it is amazing what Jeff Browning achieves

    I am a family man the wrong side of 40 with two kids – it is achievements like Jeff’s that inspire me in my running.

    Killian et al are amazing runnings but Bronco Billy is my inspiration

    1. Tanner

      Seriously. I’m 35 and Browning just stokes my fire. I hope I can be half as strong as he is when I’m that age. I’ll be wearing different glasses though. Definitely different glasses.

  2. Thomas

    I guess Tim Olson was third, he wrote
    Timothy Olson Yup, unfortunately Luke took a wrong turn with 3miles to go, cutting out mileage and the last climb. I believe the Bear 100 Mile Endurance Run will adjust the results accordingly.
    Take Care Thomas

    1. JJ

      Yeah, I had a bit of confusion there myself at the French Hollow TH. The gpx file I downloaded from the Bear website has you going straight down to the highway, even the map on the back of prior year’s shirts shows it going that way (Loveland Dr.). There was a white pickup parked in front of the blue “wrong way ribbon”, if some spectators hadn’t been yelling “go left!!” I would’ve done the same.

    1. Rich

      Here’s my best attempt at a brief preview of next weekend’s US 50m road championships on the challenging Tussey Mountainback course (dirt roads and 5500 ft of gain).

      It should be quite the battle on the men’s side between Chris Raulli (2017 US 50m trail champ at Cayuga Trails, 3:04 50k PR), David Roche (well-known coach and 50k trail ace), Joel Frost-Tift (5th at Bandera 2017, 1st at American River 2014), and C. Fred Joslyn (member of 2016 US 50k world team).

      On the women’s side, it is currently looking like a two-woman race between the trail speedster, Megan Roche, and the long-distance specialist, Kathleen Cusick (1st at Eastern States, Vermont, and Massanutten in 2017).

      1. Ryan

        I believe this is David and Megan Roche’s 50 mile debut. Both are fast, and this is a fast course, so I’m pretty excited to see how they fair at the distance.

  3. Larson

    Hi Justin,

    Here are some information of Fuxian Lake Highland Ultra and Ultra Gobi in China.

    Men’s top-3 of Fuxian Lake Highland Ultra:
    1. Nao Kazami (Japan) 3:06
    2. Calum James Neff (Canada) 3:18
    3. Victor Martrelletti (Unknown) 3:19

    The top-3 of Ultra Gobi (No full results yet.) :
    1. Daniel Lawson (UK) 70:51:45
    2. Nicola Bassi (Italy) 80:41:38
    3. Nathan Craig Montague (UK) 82:59:58

  4. Luke Jay

    Thomas you are wrong…I didn’t miss any miles. unfortunately I did a little extra distance, I missed and turn at the very end and then backtracked to get back on course…that’s when Lars passed me and I was able to hold on to third. We had a great tight race 2nd-4th.

  5. Sportin' Life

    FYI, Ann Trason handed over the reigns of the Overlook Endurance Runs to Canyons Endurance Runs RD Chaz Sheya earlier this year.

  6. Ben Psaila

    Remigio Huaman Quispe (Peru) and Anna-Marie Watson (UK) took out the inaugural Half Marathon Des Sables in Fuertaventura (Canary Islands, Spain). Particularly impressive from Anna-Marie Watson as she has gone from racing to 7th on a cold/wet UTMB to winning in dessert conditions in just 4 weeks!

  7. SteelTownRunner

    A little disappointed Sparatathlon wasn’t reported in more depth. Cooler temps this year surely led to faster times.

    Sorokin led the race wire to wire in his outstanding run. It was the first year to have 3 runners under 23 hours, or 24 hours for that matter… or even have two runners accomplish that feat. The last time the mens race had that close a finish had the great Patrick Macke run an impressive 23:08, only to lose to an even greater Kouros, who ran an incredible 20:29.

    In the womens race, Katalin Nagy’s two 25+ hour finishes at Spartathlon were akin to Rory Bosio’s top 10 at UTMB several years ago, yet it went with less fan fare. There were whispers of when we might see a woman run with the kind of dominance we haven’t seen since Kouros, save for Kilian. We appear to (have been) be in the middle the of a golden age of ~24hr running for women globally.

    With that background, winner Patrycja Bereznowska, the first woman to run past 160 miles in 24 hours, led a strong pack of three runners under 26:30 – a mark that would have set the CR just a few years ago. 160 miles for 24 hours is a benchmark for women that Ann Trason threw out close to 30 years ago. I look forward to seeing top runners push each other to greater heights.

    As far as “extra long” races go, it remains to be seen how Bereznowska would do in a race spanning longer than a day.

  8. Bob Hearn

    Re the Spartathlon results, it should be noted that the weather this year was by all accounts the best ever, with highs in the low 70s and a tailwind. More typically it is in the 90s. I suspect it will be a long time before we see another finish close to 22 hours. But on the women’s side, when Nagy returns next year, I would not be surprised to see her retake the CR — she set it 2015, which was a hot year. Meanwhile Bereznowska will have had the course experience from this year to potentially run an even better race, apart from the weather advantage. It should be very exciting.

    Also, the top US finisher this year was 48-hour AR holder Phil McCarthy, finishing in 29th place with 28:41. Floridian Andrei Nana racked up an impressive fifth consecutive finish (in a race with, historically, about a 40% finish rate) with his 32:53.

    1. Bob Hearn

      One more note about Spartathlon: Sorokin’s 22:04 displaces Scott Jurek’s position as second-fastest Spartathlete ever, behind Kouros. Jurek won in 2006, 2007, and 2008. His 22:20 from 2008 now leaves him as third fastest.

  9. SteelTownRunner

    ***edit to my post***

    2015 also saw three men run under 24 hours (though none ran under 23 hours that year) in an exciting race with Florian Reus, Dan Lawson, and Kim Hanson all running between 23:17 and 23:55.

  10. bob

    You are not on the WRONG side of 40!!! Hell, my best times in a number of race distances are my fastest, and I’m on the other side of 50, my friend. You have much to look forward to!

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