Below-freezing temperatures at the Malibu, California starting line, blustery winds on the first ridgeline, stunner ocean views, eventual warm sun, and the unceasing hills of the Santa Monica Mountains served as palette and playground for today’s Sean O’Brien 50 Mile. For men’s and women’s winners Dylan Bowman and Cassie Scallon, this landscape also served as perfect proving grounds for their early-season fitness.
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 Sean O’Brien 50 Mile Live Coverage page.
As usual, we’ll be updating this article with additional results as well as links to Sean O’Brien 50 Mile-related articles, photo galleries, and race reports.
Thanks to UltraAspire for sponsoring iRunFar’s coverage of the race.
2014 Sean O’Brien 50 Mile Men’s Race
Call them a herd of wild horses, a barreling steam train, or a pack of wolves on the prowl–call ’em anything you want–but the first half of most men’s ultramarathon races these days is almost always dictated by a massive group of dudes hauling. Today’s race was no different. In the early miles, guys like Mike Aish, Chris Vargo, Dylan Bowman, Josh Arthur, Mike Wolfe, and Dominic Grossman all ran within a couple minutes of each other for almost a marathon.
By the 50k point, it was a three-man race, as Dylan Bowman, Mike Aish, and Chris Vargo had made a significant gap on the rest of the crew. Just a short seven miles later, Dylan rolled into the mile 38 aid station with an almost-five-minute lead over Mike Aish. Dylan’s lead increased to nine minutes at mile 43 and 14 minutes at the finish line. Talk about killing it. Check that off as some February success for DBo.
Mike Aish told us in his pre-race interview that he was racing for a Western States spot since the race is a Montrail Ultra Cup race, and he got his wish today despite the fact that he also said he hadn’t run more than 20 miles in quite some time. He may have lapsed behind Dylan in the final miles, but his strength and fitness was good enough to keep him in front of everyone else.
Mike Wolfe might just be on 50-mile rampage! After a sixth place at the stacked The North Face Endurance Challenge 50 Mile in December, he rolled through today’s 50-mile race just as solidly, finishing third. He, too, gets to run Western States if he so desires, punching that ticket via the Montrail Ultra Cup. He’s a brand-new dad just a couple weeks ago, so we’re guessing this performance was run on far-too-little sleep. (Congrats on dad-hood, by the way, Mike!)
Three Western States 100 slots were available today. Chris Price also indicated in his pre-race interview with us that he was hungry for one. Since winner Dylan Bowman already has a spot, the third entry rolled down to fourth-place finisher Chris. A smart race played from start to finish yielded Price that ticket.
Local Dominic Grossman seems to have run one of the day’s smartest races. He went out pretty hard, then eased off the gas in the middle of the race, then picked off a bit of carnage here and there while running to the finish with (and finishing just behind) other local Chris Price. William Tarantino is a new name, at least to us. He turned up in the top-10 men somewhere around the halfway point and stayed there. Does this mean we have another new fast guy in town? Josh Arthur, Timothy Olson, Jesse Haynes, and Gerad Dean rounded out the top 10. Timothy Olson said he was taking the race easy, and Jesse and Gerad finished off quite a fine showing for the local chaps in the men’s top 10.
2014 Sean O’Brien 50 Mile Men’s Results
- Dylan Bowman (Pearl Izumi) – 6:23:17
- Mike Aish (Mizuno) – 6:37:34 (pre-race interview)
- Mike Wolfe (The North Face) – 6:57:15
- Chris Price (Hoke One One) – 7:02:38 (pre-race interview)
- Dominic Grossman (New Balance) – 7:02:39
- William Tarantino – 7:04:16
- Josh Arthur (Altra) – 7:23:43 (pre-race interview)
- Timothy Olson (The North Face) – 7:26:55
- Jesse Haynes (INKnBURN) – 7:29:50
- Gerad Dean (Sunsweet) – 7:37:10
2014 Sean O’Brien 50 Mile Women’s Race
There’s not another way to call it: today’s women’s race was the Cassie Scallon Show. At every aid station from start to finish, Cassie arrived as first woman, slowly, surely creating a deeper and deeper dent in the rest of the women’s field. Looking calm and collected, she’d built a more-than-30-minute lead by the 50k point, a 48-minute lead by mile 43, and a 58-minute lead by the finish line. She said in her pre-race interview with us that she hadn’t run much since the TNFEC50 in December. It sure pays to be fresh!
Sally McRae said in her pre-race interview with iRunFar that she planned to run aggressively, going for a coveted Western States 100 slot that’s given away as part of the Montrail Ultra Cup. She seemed to beat to the rhythm of her own drum all day. She was never too far ahead of the chasing women behind her, but she also never wavered. She’s going to States!
Beyond Cassie and Sally, who basically held their positions from start to finish, the rest of the top 10 was a moving matrix of ladies. Early on, 53-year-old Luanne Park was running stunningly, just inside or beyond the podium. And runners like Denise Bourassa lingered near the back of the top 10 first, then moved up in the later paces of the race. There seemed to be one constant among the rest of this change, Meghan Arbogast, who stayed pretty close to the same position all day. When all that shifting was said and done, it was Denise Bourassa who finished her day the soonest, rounding out the women’s podium.
Tera Dube had a pretty stellar day. Since Denise Bourassa already had a Western States entry, Tera earned hers with the third-entry roll-down as she finished in fourth place. Bree Lambert finished fifth, Luanne Park in sixth, and Meghan Arbogast in seventh. It should be noted that Luanne is 53 and Meghan is 52, so their combined age is 105 years! Luanne noted this herself at the finish line, in happiness over their respective performances. Caroline Boller finished eighth, Skye Colclough ninth, and Francesca Conte 10th.
2014 Sean O’Brien 50 Mile Women’s Results
- Cassie Scallon (Salomon) – 7:38:16 (pre-race interview)
- Sally McRae (Nike) – 8:36:25 (pre-race interview)
- Denise Bourassa (Patagonia) – 8:42:57
- Tera Dube – 8:43:15
- Bree Lambert – 8:53:02
- Luanne Park – 9:02:23
- Meghan Arbogast (SCOTT) – 9:03:19
- Caroline Boller – 9:37:13
- Skye Colclough – 9:39:19
- Francesca Conte – 9:55:15
2014 Sean O’Brien 50 Mile Articles, Race Reports, and More
Articles and Photo Galleries
- Billy Yang’s video (focus on profiling top runners)
- Keshav Dahiya’s video (20-minutes profiling the race)
- Dylan Bowman (men’s winner)
Mike Aish (2nd man)[broken link to blogpost “Setting Bar” removed]
- Denise Bourassa (3rd woman)
- Chris Price (4th man)
- Dominic Grossman (5th man)
- Meghan Arbogast (7th woman)
- Timothy Olson (8th man)
Thank you to all of the iRunFar friends and volunteers who brought Sean O’Brien’s live coverage alive, including Anthony Forsyth, Dave Gollom and his friend Kyle, Greg Lanctot, and Andy Noise! Thank you also to our CoverItLive moderators Travis Trampe, Aaron Marks, Tom Caughlin, Andrew Swistak, and David Boudreau.