MaXi-Race – Annecy, France
The big MaXi-Race trail festival had several different distances totaling 7,500 runners from 46 different countries. The longest race and a new race at the event was 110k in distance with 7,000 meters (23,000 feet) of elevation gain, all while ringing Lake Annecy after a 1:30 a.m. Saturday morning start.
From 45k on, François D’haene (France) was simply out of reach. He finished in 12:55, nearly 40 minutes better than second-place Max King (USA). Second at the Yading Skyrun earlier this month and first at April’s Madeira Island Ultra-Trail, D’haene is doing everything right ahead of the big UTMB showdown later this year.
King’s runner-up finish came in 13:34, comfortably holding off third-place Cedric Celarier (France) by some 17 minutes. The field was not particularly full of familiar names, though Sam McCutcheon (New Zealand) was fourth in 15:02.
In accompanying 85k race, French runners swept each of the first six finish positions. Sébastien Spehler, Michel Lanne, and Aurelien Patoz made up the podium with 8:47, 8:56, and 9:18 results.
Last time out, Caroline Chaverot (France) scratched from Transvulcania. Before that, she dropped at Transgrancanaria. She again looked like the world’s best here, though, and was fifth overall in 15:08, way ahead of every other woman.
Just two weeks after finishing sixth at Transvulcania, serial racer Andrea Huser (Switzerland) ran 16:19 for second here. Francesca Canepa (Italy) was third in 17:04, Courtney Dauwalter (USA) was fourth in 17:19, and Stephanie Case (Canada) was fifth in 18:41.
Top ladies in the accompanying 85k were Perrine Tramoni (France), Lisa Borzani (Italy), and Katie Kaars Sijpestiejn (U.K.) with 10:50, 11:05, and 11:59 finishes.
Zegama-Aizkorri Marathon – Zegama, Spain
iRunFar was on site at the Zegama-Aizkorri Marathon, and has separately provided deeper race commentary. The team was able to witness both new men’s and women’s course records in the race’s long history. This year’s race was again part of the Skyrunner World Series.
Two days after winning the Vertical K, Stian Angermund-Vik (Norway) proved that his speed isn’t limited to climbing. Angermund-Vik’s 3:45 outmanned the world-class field and clipped over three minutes from Kilian Jornet’s previous course best that dated to 2014.
Marco de Gasperi (Italy) turned back the clock for his fastest-ever run here, finishing second in 3:48. Marc Lauenstein (Switzerland) was third in 3:53.
Emanuela Brizio‘s 4:38 course best had stood for the better part of a decade. Local runner Maite Maiora (Spain) ruled the day, though, and now rules the record books, too. Much like in the men’s race, both Maiora’s winning 4:34 and second-place Silvia Rampazzo‘s 4:37 was inside of the previous course best. Sheila Avilés (Spain) trailed the Italian runner-up by six minutes.
The next Skyrunner World Series event is next weekend’s Ultra Skymarathon Madeira race in the Sky Ultra category.
Other Races and Runs
Portland, Oregon’s popular Forest Park hosted 50k and half-marathon races. Dustin Franta and Julia Webb won the half marathon in 1:24 and 1:36. Reed Breuer and Pam Smith won the 50k in 3:47 and 4:22. Full results.
Serial marathoner Thomas Rivers Puzey ran 2:28 to finish third at the Calgary Marathon. Brother Jacob Puzey ran 3:10 to win the race’s accompanying 50k event. Ailsa MacDonald won the women’s 50k in 3:30. Full results.
To celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary, the marathon held a one-off 150-kilometer race, the Confederation 150. Albertra’s Dave Proctor won overall in 12:18:42, while Jessica Laird was first home for the women in 15:34:22. Full results.
Kilian Jornet went to the summit of Mount Everest for a second time thus season, according to his Summits of My Life team, arriving to the summit on the afternoon of May 28 local time. This time he reached the summit in a reported 17 hours, having started at Advanced Base Camp, located at 6,500 meters altitude, below Everest’s 8,848-meter summit. This marks his second summit of the mountain in under six days, as he topped out the first time at midnight on the night of May 21 to 22. In both cases, he reports that he did not use supplemental oxygen or fixed ropes, and that he used Everest’s North Face route from the Tibet side of the mountain.
Since the first summit, I was confused about what this means in the loose world of FKTs, particularly on the other side of the world and in a sport outside of what we traditionally cover with regard to FKTs. Ariella Gintzler at Trail Runner Magazine took up the cause and has organized Jornet’s efforts into the context of preexisting and relevant Mount Everest speed records. In short, it’s currently believed that Jornet’s first summit push represents an only known speed effort from Everest Base Camp near the Rombuk monastery on the mountain’s north side, at 5,100 meters altitude, to the mountain summit. It took him 26 hours to do this, and it’s thought that no one else has tried to make a fast time for this route. His second time summiting, some 17 hours after starting higher on the mountain at Advanced Base Camp on Everest’s north side, at 6,500 meters altitude, is shy of the speed record set by Christian Stangl in 2006 of 16 hours and 42 minutes. [Updated May 31 to be clear that Jornet is not the first person ever to have made the journey between Rombuk monastery and the Everest summit, but appears to be the first to have traveled this distance in a speed summit attempt]
The Summits of My Life team supplied the following quote from Jornet after his second Everest summit, “I’m so happy to have made the summit again! Today I felt good although it was really windy so it was hard to move fast. I think summiting Everest twice in one week without oxygen opens up a new realm of possibilities in alpinism and I’m really happy to have done it.”
At the same time, mountaineer Anshu Jamsenpa (India) also reportedly summited the peak twice in a single week. Her two climbs were within five days of each other–on May 16 and May 21–is believed to be a new Guinness World Record for women. She used Everest’s Southeast Ridge route on the southern Nepal side of the mountain.
At 888k (552 miles), the longest of the Infinitus races is, well, exceptionally long. Lance Parker became only the third finisher ever of this epic which takes place in Vermont. Full results. [Updated May 30 to reflect Parker as the third, not second finisher]
Bolognano-Velo Mountain Race
The 11k men’s race and 9k women’s Bolognano-Velo Mountain Race was both the Italian mountain running national championships and the first race of the 2017 World Mountain Running Association’s World Cup. Petro Mamu (Eritrea) and Valentina Belotti (Italy) were race winners in 58:11 and and 1:00:34, respectively. Full men’s and women’s results.
Next Weekend – Comrades Marathon – Durban, South Africa
Whew, how do you make sense of the 21,470-person, 250-page Comrades Marathon start list? The 92nd running of the approximately 89k race runs in the ‘up’ direction this year from Durban to Pietermaritzburg.
- Geoff Burns (USA) – 5th at 2016 IAU 100k World Championships
- Brendan Davies (Australia) – 19th at 2016 Comrades Marathon [Added May 31]
- Mike Fokorni (Zimbabwe) – 4th at 2016 Comrades Marathon
- David Gatebe (South Africa) -1st at 2016 Comrades Marathon
- Renier Grobler (South Africa) – 18th at 2015 Comrades Marathon
- Gift Kelehe (South Africa) – 1st at 2015 Comrades Marathon
- Gordon Lesetedi (South Africa) – 30th at 2015 Comrades Marathon
- Latudi Makofane (South Africa) – 10th at 2014 Comrades Marathon
- Ludwick Mamabalo (South Africa) – 1st at 2012 Comrades Marathon
- Luzuko Mdeliswa (South Africa) – 2nd at 20017 Verulam Checkout Marathon
- Harmans Mokgadi (South Africa) – 1st at 2017 Ottosdal 42k Marathon
- Claude Moshiywa (South Africa) – 1st at 2013 Comrades Marathon
- Thuso Mosiea (South Africa) – 10th at 2015 Comrades Marathon
- Bongmusa Mthembu (South Africa) – 3rd at 2016 Comrades Marathon
- Thabo Nkuna (South Africa) – 16th at Comrades Marathon
- Rufus Photo (South Africa) – 7th at 2013 Comrades Marathon
- Patrick Reagan (USA) – 3rd at 2016 IAU 100k World Championships
- Teboho Sello (South Africa) – 3rd at 2017 Two Oceans Marathon
- Vladimir Shatrov (Australia) – 2:18 at 2015 Berlin Marathon
- Steve Way (U.K.) – 4th at 2016 Ultravasan 90k
- Ann Ashworth (South Africa) – 1st at 2017 Loskop Marathon
- Lesley Train Austin (South Africa) – 12th at 2016 Comrades Marathon
- Sarah Bard (USA) – 4th at 2016 Comrades Marathon
- Julanie Basson (South Africa) – 9th at 2016 Comrades Marathon
Caroline Boller (USA) – 1st at 2017 C&O Canal 100 Mile[Removed May 30]
- Charne Bosman (South Africa) – 1st at 2016 Comrades Marathon
- Salome Cooper (South Africa) – 10th at 2016 Comrades Marathon
- Colleen de Reuck (USA) – 7th at 2016 Comrades Marathon
- Camille Herron (USA) – 1st at 2015 IAU 100k World Championships
- Mary Khourie (South Africa) – 4th at 2017 Two Oceans Marathon
- Franza Landman (South Africa) – 1st at 2017 Robor Scaffolding 50k Marathon
- Yolande Maclean (South Africa) – 5th at 2016 Comrades Marathon
- Fikile Mbuthhuma (South Africa) – 8th at 2016 Comrades Marathon
- Jasmine Nunige (Switzerland) – 1st at 2016 Ultravasan 90k
- Danette Smith (South Africa) – 1st at 2017 South African Marathon Championships
- Stephanie Smith (South Africa) – 9th at 2017 Om die Dam Ultra Marathon
- Devon Yanko (USA) – 1st at 2016 Javelina Jundred
2015 race champion and second-place finisher last year Caroline Wöstmann (South Africa) has scratched with injury.
Next Weekend – Cayuga Trails 50 Mile – Ithaca, New York
Again the USATF 50-Mile Trail National Championships, this year’s Cayuga Trails 50 Mile field doesn’t read as deep as previous editions. Are there some top-level in-state runners that we don’t know on the entrants list?
- Cole Crosby – 3rd at 2016 Tussey Mountainback 50 Mile
- Yassine Diboun – 6th at 2017 Gorge Waterfalls 50k
- Ben Nephew – 6th at 2016 Cayuga Trails 50 Mile
- Michael Owen – 3rd at 2016 JFK 50 Mile
- Aaron Saft – 6th at 2016 The North Face Endurance Challenge 50 Mile – New York
- Kehr Davis – 6th at 2016 Cayuga Trails 50 Mile
- Sabrina Little – 2nd at 2016 Cayuga Trails 50 Mile
- Amy Rusiecki – 9th at 2016 Cayuga Trails 50 Mile
Next Weekend – Golden Gate Dirty 30 – Black Hawk, Colorado
Within an hour of Denver, the Golden Gate Dirty 30 50k is a local favorite, thanks to its $4,800 prize purse and the great trip around Golden Gate Canyon State Park. Both men’s and women’s fields show some of the Front Range’s best, hoping to take a shot at some more well-known names.
- Dan Berteletti– 5th at 2016 Moab Red Hot 55k
- Brian Condon – 10th at 2016 The North Face Endurance Challenge 50-Mile Championships
- Cody Lind – 2nd at 2016 Aspen Power of Four 50k
- Daniel Nally – 1st at 2016 North Fork 50 Mile
- Timothy Olson – 1st at 2017 Penyagalosa Trails 115k
- Frank Pipp – 4th at 2017 Quad Rock 50 Mile
- Stephen Pretak – 3rd at 2017 Quad Rock 25 Mile
- Ford Smith – 12th at 2016 Tarawera Ultra 100k
- Jeanne Cooper – 5th at 2017 Bandera 100k
- Clare Gallagher – 4th at 2017 Quad Rock 50 Mile
- Megan Kimmel – 6th at 2017 Zegama-Aizkorri Marathon
- Kristi Knecht – 1st at 2016 Aspen Power of Four 50k
- Abby Levene – 1st at 2017 The North Face Endurance Challenge 50k – Washington, D.C.
Next Weekend – U.S. Mountain Running Championships – North Conway, New Hampshire
This year’s Cranmore Mountain Race is a two-lap race totaling 10k for both the men and the women. Just like the World Mountain Running Championships, for which the top-four men and women will qualify, Cranmore, too, is an up-and-down race this year.
- Payton Batliner – 2007 member of U.S. mountain running team
- David Fuentes – 5th at 2016 Loon Mountain Race
- Joe Gray – 1st at 2016 Loon Mountain Race
- Brett Hales – 2nd at 2016 Loon Mountain Race
- Zach Ornelas – 1st at 2015 Caumsett 50k
- Patrick Smyth – 1st at 2015 U.S. Mountain Running Championships
- Andy Wacker – 6th at 2016 Loon Mountain Race
- Cole Watson – 2nd at 2017 FOURmidable 50k
- Matthew Williams – 1:04 half marathon personal best
- Addie Bracy – 1st at 2016 Loon Mountain Race
- Kasie Enman – 6th at 2016 Loon Mountain Race
- Sarah Gall – 2nd 2017 Hawkeye 50k
- Kim Nedeau – 3rd at 2016 Loon Mountain Race
- Sandi Nypaver – 6th at 2016 The North Face Endurance Challenge 50-Mile Championships
- Alayna Szuch – 7th at 2016 Loon Mountain Race
- Julia Webb – 1st at 2017 Trail Factor Half Marathon
Call for Comments
- The Americans have a few men and women capable of doing very well at the Comrades Marathon. Of the U.S. group, who is your pick for the highest finish, and how high? And among all the top runners of this coming weekend’s Comrades Marathon, who do you pick for the win?
- Do you know results from other Memorial Day weekend races? Leave a comment to share them with the community.