2012 TNF EC 50 Mile Championship Results

The North Face Endurance Challenge 2012This race in a couple words: wet, a bit confusing, and wicked fast.

On Thursday night before Saturday’s race, The North Face Endurance Challenge Championships race administration announced a course change due to a Pineapple Express’ impending arrival, a nickname for the occasional but very wet weather systems that roll off the Pacific Ocean, to ensure athlete safety and logistical preparedness. The resulting course was composed of a 23-ish mile figure eight with a couple, small out-and-backs that was repeated twice.

Sheeting rain falling in the inch-per-hour-or-more range, blustery winds, and temperatures hovering in the 50s Fahrenheit greeted runners at the starting line. As the morning progressed, the wind calmed but the rain picked up before tapering into just clouds as the lead men and women finished.

The course, which was to be run twice by the 50-mile race and once each by the associated and simultaneous 50K and marathon races, became quickly mucked up and slick. Some runners, both at the front and the back of the pack, suffered navigation issues that added both challenge and confusion on the day. [Update: Adam Campbell, Sage Canaday and Jason Wolfe share their stories and thoughts of going off course while leading during the race.]

When all was said and done, Spaniard Miguel Heras (post-race interview) and Swede (living in Norway) Emelie Forsberg (post-race interview) were bothered not by water, mud, or the new course and emerged as men’s and women’s champions. They each take home a hefty $10,000 prize.

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 Mile Live Coverage page.

The bottom of this article includes links to TNF EC 50 Mile-related articles, photo galleries, and race reports.

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2012 TNF EC 50 Mile Men’s Race

As you can imagine when about three dozen highly talented men come together at a big-prize-money race, a massive group of dudes shot off the start line and kept on rolling. A couple of that group’s rabbits would suffer some time off course or the consequences of accidentally cutting the course (Sage Canaday, Adam Campbell, Jason Wolfe, Timmy Parr, and Mike Foote as examples), while others just plain couldn’t hang with the jet-speed pace. In the end, it was the guys who raced steadily, strongly, and perhaps most carefully who emerged on the money-bearing podium: Miguel Heras in first (winning $10,000), François d’Haene in second (winning $4,000), and Cameron Clayton in third (winning $1,000).

Miguel Heras - 2012 TNF 50 Mile

Miguel Heras wins the 2012 The North Face Endurance Challenge 50 Mile Championships.
Photo: Brett Rivers, San Francisco Running Company

2012 TNF EC 50 Mile Men’s Results

Cameron Clayton - 2012 TNF 50 Mile

Cameron Clayton after taking third.
Photo: iRunFar/Bryon Powell

  1. Miguel Heras (Salomon) – 5:33:16 (pre-race & post-race interviews)
  2. François d’Haene (Salomon) – 5:46:42 (pre-race & post-race interviews)
  3. Cameron Clayton – 5:47:14
  4. Adam Campbell (Arc’teryx, Salomon) – 5:53:35
  5. Alex Nichols (Inov-8) – 5:55:20
  6. Jason Wolfe (Run Flagstaff) – 6:01:50
  7. Dylan Bowman (Pearl Izumi) – 6:02:56
  8. Sylvain Court (Adidas) – 6:05:47
  9. Gary Gellin (Inov-8) – 6:06:41
  10. Shaun Martin – 6:07:17
  11. Mike Wolfe (The North Face) – 6:09:48
  12. Christopher Kollar – 6:13:46
  13. Ryan Ghelfi – 6:14:02
  14. Greg Vollet (Salomon) – 6:17:25
  15. Dave Mackey (Hoka One One) – 6:17:50
  16. Jorge Maravilla (Salomon) – 6:20:58
  17. Chris Vargo – 6:23:39
  18. Justin Ricks – 6:24:11
  19. Leigh Schmitt (The North Face) – 6:25:49
  20. Hal Koerner (The North Face) – 6:26:26

Full results.

2012 TNF EC 50 Mile Women’s Race

Maud Gobert set a hot and heavy pace for the women for the race’s first half while the rest of the elite ladies spread out into a chase train behind her, intermixed with the men. All day, Emelie Forsberg and Stephanie Howe lingered close, apparently waiting for their chance to pounce. With about 10 miles to go, Forsberg had forged herself a 2:30 lead with Gobert and Howe fighting for second and third. At the finish, Forsberg stayed strong and won by a margin of two minutes over Howe and seven minutes over Gobert. Forsberg takes $10,000, Howe $4,000, and Gobert $1,000 as payday for their efforts.

Emelie Forsberg - 2012 TNF 50 win

Emelie Forsberg wins the 2012 The North Face Endurance Challenge 50 Mile Championships.
Photo: Brett Rivers, San Francisco Running Company

2012 TNF EC 50 Mile Women’s Results

  1. Emelie Forsberg (Salomon) – 6:39:18 (pre-race & post-race interviews and race report)
  2. Stephanie Howe (The North Face) – 6:41:36 (post-race interview and race report)
  3. Maud Gobert (Adidas) – 6:46:13
  4. Caitlin Smith (Salomon) – 7:05:00
  5. Silvia Serafini (Salomon) – 7:12:02
  6. Tina Lewis (Salomon) – 7:13:30
  7. Brandy Erholtz (New Balance) – 7:14:50
  8. Krissy Moehl (Patagonia, UltrAspire) – 7:19:27
  9. Bethany Lewis (UltrAspire) – 7:20:02
  10. Lizzy Hawker (The North Face) – 7:26:44
  11. Sandi Nypaver – 7:28:06
  12. Megan Laib – 7:32:13
  13. Joelle Vaught (Montrail) – 7:34:54
  14. Jennifer Pfeifer – 7:37:24
  15. Stacey Cleveland – 7:38:21
  16. Christina Clark – 7:49:01
  17. Rory Bosio (The North Face) – 7:51:01
  18. Helen Cospolich (The North Face) – 7:55:39
  19. Erica Namba – 7:57:08
  20. Candice Burt (Salomon) – 8:00:59

Full results.

Stephanie Howe - 2012 TNF EC 50 Mile

Stephanie Howe racing the TNF 50.
Photo: Brett Rivers, San Francisco Running Company

2012 TNF EC 50 Mile Articles, Race Reports, and More

Articles and Photo Galleries

Race Reports

Last update: December 10, 11 pm MST

Meghan Hicks

is the Managing Editor of iRunFar and the author of 'Where the Road Ends: A Guide to Trail Running.' The converted road runner finished her first trail ultramarathon in 2006 and loves using running to visit the world's wildest places.