On a surprisingly busy weekend of racing, it was the USATF Trail Marathon National Championships at the Moab Trail Marathon that brought out the stars. That race and several others are highlighted in this week’s column.
Moab Trail Marathon – Moab, Utah
Mario Mendoza and Megan Kimmel earned national-championship wins in Moab. Racing over technical red-rock trails, Mendoza finished in 3:04, two minutes better than his runner-up time from last year, and Kimmel repeated as women’s champ in 3:27, just three seconds off her 2014 result.
Mendoza has won previous national championships, but never against a class like this. He was chased by four current U.S. Mountain Running Team members, a pair of current U.S. Skyrunner Series winners, and the race’s defending champion. Mendoza won a $400 cash prize as the national champion, and his 3:04 is two minutes off Dakota Jones’s course record set in last year’s race.
Leading the train of chasers, Joe Gray was second in 3:09. Mendoza and Gray experienced various challenges in the race’s first 23-ish miles, namely through brief route-finding issues on the slickrock sections and Mendoza temporarily losing his shoe in a creek crossing. This left the pair basically together at the 5k-to-go mark. Mendoza hammered the final 5k while Gray looked a little worse for the wear when he returned from the final miles, though he held on for a strong second.
Tayte Pollman, a current University of Portland freshman and member of the U.S. Mountain Running Junior Team, was third in 3:11.
Deeper results include defending champ Jones, who ran outside the top 10 for close to the race’s first half and who eventually moved up to fourth in 3:13, and U.S. Skyrunner Series regulars Art Degraw and Josh Arthur in fifth and sixth at 3:16 and 3:18, respectively.
The list of recognizable names doesn’t stop there. U.S. Mountain Running Team member JP Donovan was 11th and ski-mountaineering ace J. Marshall Thomson was 13th. Longs Peak and Grand Teton FKT-holder Andy Anderson was 15th, U.S. Mountain Running Team member Josh Eberly was 21st, and U.S. Skyrunner Series Sky champion Timmy Parr ran to 24th place.
Women’s winner Kimmel continued her stellar 2015 and ran unchallenged by everyone else, gapping second place by 10 minutes and the rest of the field by more than a half hour. Kimmel’s closest challenger was Stevie Kremer in second, who looked strong but not her usually sharp self.
Behind Kimmel’s 3:27 and Kremer’s 3:38, Anna Mae Flynn dipped under the four-hour mark with a 3:59 third-place finish.
The next six women do not appear to be USATF members, a requirement for placing in a USATF national championship, making for what must have been an odd disparity between race results and national-championship results.
Nevertheless, it was Denise McHale in fourth at 4:02 and Kristen Loensethagen that was fifth in 4:16.
In the accompanying half marathon, Nicholas Turco, part of the state-championship Durango (Colorado) High School cross-country team, was victorious in 1:29. Cameron Smith and Justin Ricks ran 1:32 and 1:38 for second and third, respectively.
Less than five minutes separated the first seven women, and 124 seconds separated the first three. Up front, though, it was Ashley Carruth in 1:54:36. She was tailed by Kasuga Watabe and Rose Kemp in 1:55:59 and 1:56:40.
Mountain Masochist 50 Mile Trail Run – Lynchburg, Virginia
Paul Terranova repeated as men’s champ, finishing the point-to-point race through the Blue Ridge Mountains in 7:27, and Bethany Patterson, last year’s runner-up, won the women’s race in 8:28.
Terranova was exactly five minutes ahead of second-place Jonathan Ryder, and Brian Rusiecki was third in 7:46.
In the race’s 33rd year, women’s winner Patterson earned her 10th finish, and won in come-from-behind fashion. Patterson trailed Amy Ostrofe for nearly the full race before making a late move and pulling away on the downhill finish stretch. Patterson’s 8:28 topped Ostrofe’s 8:34. Hannah Bright was third in 9:19.
Silver Falls Trail Runs – Silverton, Oregon
The weekend-long event included a number of races around Oregon’s Silver Falls State Park. In the 50k, Michael Traeger edged Alec Denes for the men’s win, 4:31:15 to 4:32:56. The women’s race was even closer with Ann Ciaverella, Amy Duba, and Allison Duba running 5:01:20, 5:02:37, and 5:02:39.
Nathan Robinson and Heather Bashor won the marathon in 3:37:02 and 4:14:17, and in the half marathon it was Ryan Kaiser and Maggie Harkins on top in 1:15:52 and 1:31:30.
Ray Miller 50/50 – Malibu, California
In the longest of the race’s four distances, it was Megan Chamoun who finished first overall in the 100k at 10:30.
Uldis Liepins and Kelley Puckett won the 50-mile race in 8:17 and 11:34, and in the 50k it was Chris Gilbert and Emma Delira earning the win in 4:03 and 5:03.
In Oregon’s Lithia Loop Trail Marathon, both the men’s and women’s winners finished unchallenged. Ryan Bak outran the rest of the field by about 10 minutes, finishing in 2:40:38, and Becka Kem ran 3:28:17, some 22 minutes ahead of the next woman. Full results.
Zach Miller and Michele Yates took part in Brazil’s RockyMan event, a race that also included mountain biking, surfing, and skating disciplines. Their team finished fifth of 19. More familiar faces took spots on Canada’s team, which included Gary Robbins, Mike Murphy, and Anne-Marie Madden, and which finished seventh. One more familiar trail face was France’s Julien Rancon on Team France, who is best known for his third place at the 2013 IAU Trail World Championships. Full results.
Sage Canaday ran 1:06:34 for 13th place at the Big Sur Half Marathon. Full results.
In North Carolina at the Croatan 24-hour Ultramarathon, race winners Val Nunes and Karen Jackson totaled 118 and 96 miles, respectively. Full results.
Dominick Layfield raced his third 100 miler in the last two months, and earned a win at the Rio del Lago 100 Mile in California. Layfield finished the course in the Sierra Nevada foothills in 17:07. Erika Lindland, also the race’s 2013 winner, topped the women’s field in 19:24, but ended up in the hospital afterward with high CPK levels and some rehydration needs. She is okay, though. Full results.
Alabama’s Pinhoti 100 Mile goes point-to-point through the Talladega National Forest, and it was Sam Reed and Natalie Pickett on top in 18:30 and 21:59, respectively. Full results.
The Bobcat Trail Marathon takes place in Ohio’s Burr Oak State Park. Michael Owen and Amanda Debevc were race winners with 3:36 and 4:19 on the clock. Full results.
Scott Traer was nearly an hour better than everyone else at the Stone Cat 50 Mile in Massachusetts. He won the men’s race in 6:18 and Claire Gadrow was the women’s victor in 8:34. Full results.
New men’s and women’s course records were set at the Georgia Sky to Summit 50k. Jason Parks and Emily Ansick now top the record books with 4:39 and 5:55 marks. Full results (when available).
Call for Comments
Lots of “other” races filled this week’s column, but surely that’s not all. What other races deserve a mention? Share some more results or new information from races mentioned in the comments section.