This Week In Running: July 17, 2017

This Week in Running Justin Mock TWIRThis week’s big column includes coverage of the Ultra-Trail World Tour Eiger Ultra Trail, the Skyrunner World Series Royal Ultra Skymarathon Gran Paradiso, deep results from the Hardrock 100, a look at the Badwater 135 Mile, and an Uli Steidl sighting in Idaho.

Eiger Ultra Trail – Grindelwald, Switzerland

The sixth-annual Eiger Ultra Trail 101k was part of the Ultra-Trail World Tour.

Women

Andrea Huser (Switzerland) likes to race. Just three weeks after taking 10th at the Western States 100, she was back on the starting line, and this time in her home country. Triumphant for the second-straight year, Huser was relatively unchallenged in 13:46. The time was 37 minutes back of her 2016 result. Martina Trimmel (Austria) and Helene Ogi (Switzerland) were second and third in 14:44 and 14:49, respectively.

Other notable finishers included:

  • Denise Zimmerman (Switzerland) – 4th, 14:56
  • Marie McNaughton (New Zealand) – 5th, 15:02
  • Stephanie Case (Canada) – 7th, 15:43
Andrea Huser - 2017 Eiger Ultra Trail champion

Andrea Huser, 2017 Eiger Ultra Trail champion. Photo: Eiger Ultra Trail

Men

2014 and 2015 winner Urs Jenzer (Switzerland) went faster than ever in trying to return to the top, but his big effort was foiled by an even better run from Stephen Hugenschmidt (Germany). Finishing in 11:01, Hugenschmidt’s mark is believed to be a new course record. Jenzer followed in 11:15, and Jordi Gamito (Spain) was third in 11:31.

Other notable finishers included:

  • Thomas Evans (U.K.) – 4th, 11:55
  • Scotty Hawker (New Zealand) – Tie 5th, 12:05
  • Daniel Jung (Italy) – Tie 5th, 12:05
  • Fulvio Dapit (Italy) – 7th, 12:10
  • Samir Akhdar (Morocco) – 12:37
  • Sange Sherpa (Nepal) – Tie 12th, 12:43
  • Timothy Olson (U.S.A.) – 15th, 12:49

Last year’s winner, Diego Pazos (Switzerland) instead raced the 51k distance and finished second.

Full results.

The next Ultra-Trail World Tour events will be the August 30 to September 2 TDS, CCC, and UTMB races in France.

Stephan Hugenschmidt - 2017 Eiger Ultra Trail champion

Stephan Hugenschmidt, 2017 Eiger Ultra Trail champion. Photo: Eiger Ultra Trail

Royal Ultra Skymarathon Gran Paradiso – Ceresole Reale, Italy

The Royal Ultra Skymarathon Gran Paradiso was the year’s first Sky Extreme race as part of the Skyrunner World Series. The race was set in the former royal hunting grounds of Gran Paradiso National Park and ran 55k with 4,141 meters of elevation gain. The race alternates with the more well-known Trofeo Kima race, each being held every other year.

Women

Current Sky Classic series leader Maite Maiora (Spain) built on the success of recent wins at the Livigno Skymarathon and the Zegama-Aizkorri Marathon and again finished first. She mastered the technical track in 8:05. Katie Schide (USA but living in Switzerland) was second in 8:37, and Ekaterina Mityaeva (Russia) was third in 8:48.

Maite Maiora - 2017 Royal Ultra Skymarathon Gran Paradiso champion

Maite Maiora, 2017 Royal Ultra Skymarathon Gran Paradiso champion. Photo: Skyrunner World Series

Men

2016 Trofeo Kima winner Bhim Gurung (Nepal) was out front in this one, winning in 6:41. Second-place André Jonsson (Sweden) was 10 minutes back, and third-place Pere Aurell (Spain) finished in 6:52.

Full results (when available).

The next Skyrunner World Series race is the July 22 Dolomites Skyrace in the Sky Classic category.

Bhim Gurung - 2017 Royal Ultra Skymarathon Gran Paradiso champion

Bhim Gurung, 2017 Royal Ultra Skymarathon Gran Paradiso champion. Photo: Skyrunner World Series

Hardrock 100 Mile – Silverton, Colorado

iRunFar was in and around the San Juan Mountains of Colorado with exhaustive pre-, mid-, and post-race coverage of all things Hardrock 100.

Women

Start-to-finish, particularly at the start, Caroline Chaverot (France) went full throttle. She aggressively pressed her way around the burly mountain loop toward a 28:31 finish time, overcoming a lengthy route-finding delay to still turn in the race’s third-fastest finish ever. Chaverot simply has been the world’s best over big mountain, long haul races in recent years. Just three weeks ago she won the 119k Lavaredo Ultra Trail in Italy, and next month she is expected to race UTMB, a race she won in 2016.

Chaverot’s performance relegated Darcy Piceu to a fourth second-place finish, this time in 29:22. Nathalie Mauclair (France) overtook two-time defending champ Anna Frost (New Zealand) for third in the second half of the race. Mauclair finished in 30:34, and Frost in 30:45.

Other notable finishers–those listed in the race preview–included:

  • Becky Bates – 5th, 32:46
  • Darla Askew – 6th, 33:54
  • Hannah Green – 7th, 36:20
  • Katie Grossman – 9th, 39:53
  • Kari Fraser – 10th, 40:20
  • Debbie Livingston – 11th, 41:01
  • Tina Ure – 13th, 43:47
  • Betsy Kalmeyer – 14th, 45:08

Drops included Rachel Bucklin and Jamie Frink.

Darcy Piceu - 2017 Hardrock 100 second place

Darcy Piceu topping out on Grant-Swamp Pass during the race. Photo: iRunFar/Vince Heyd

Men

Kilian Jornet‘s race reads like something of a Chuck Norris tall tale. Back for the fourth-straight year, Jornet, of Spain, fell some 14 miles into the race and separated his shoulder. With his left arm taped to his body, Jornet still had the legs to overcome the rest of the men’s field. His 24:32 finish time ranks as the race’s eighth-fastest, and is Jornet’s personal slowest finish at the wild mountain race.

Jornet’s closest pursuers were second- and third-place Mike Foote and Joe Grant. Foote ran 24:55, his third second-place finish here, and Grant ran 25:37.

Other notable–where notable means inclusion in the pre-race preview–finishers were:

  • Gabe Joyes – 4th, 26:55
  • Nick Coury – 5th, 27:14
  • Iker Karrera – 6th, 27:18
  • Jeff Rome – 7th, 28:53
  • Jamil Coury – 8th, 29:01
  • Jake Milligan – 9th, 29:03
  • Ted Mahon – 10th, 29:21
  • Grant Guise – 11th, 30:14
  • Scott Jaime – 12th, 30:28
  • Jeason Murphy – 13th, 30:47
  • James Bonnett – 14th, 30:50
  • John Burton – 15th, 31:01
  • Nick Pedatella – 16th, 31:21
  • Michael Wardian – 17th, 31:23
  • Steven Moore – 18th, 31:41
  • Adam Hewey – 20th, 31:51
  • Greg Brant – 22nd, 32:11
  • Chris Calzetta – 24th, 32:33
  • Adam Campbell – 26th, 33:17
  • David Huss – 35th, 35:47
  • Jack Pilla – 42nd, 36:33
  • Brian Pickett – 49th, 37:45
  • Stephen Tucker – 51st, 37:56
  • Dennis Gamroth – 57th, 38:38

Drops included Karl Meltzer, Chris Price, and Jason Schlarb.

Full results.

Kilian Jornet - 2017 Hardrock 100 champion

Kilian Jornet descending Handies Peak. Photo: iRunFar/Vince Heyd

Badwater 135 Mile – Death Valley, California

Women

This one had some drama. Szilvia Lubics (Hungary), led the Badwater 135 Mile for much of the race before falling to fourth. Lubics, a past Spartathlon winner, was 48 minutes up on everyone at mile 41 and 105 minutes at mile 72. Somewhere between mile 90 and 122 things went awry though, and she would settle for fourth in 36:09.

That left an opening for Sandra Villines. Just fourth at mile 90, Villines ‘PAC-WOMANed’ up to second by mile 122 and gained the lead soon thereafter. Her winning time was 34:34. Amy Costa and Pamela Chapman-Markle were second and third in 35:30 and 35:48.

Men

Wataru Iino (Japan) was the surprise men’s winner. He raced ahead of Marco Bonfiglio (Italy) after mile 90 Lone Pine and would finish in 24:56. Bonfiglio was second in 25:44. Competing just eight days after running 144 miles at the IAU 24-Hour World Championships, Harvey Lewis had a sharp comeback for third in 26:45.

Defending champ Pete Kostelnick was forced into a two-hour break during the race, but would finish fifth in 28:18.

Full results.

Barr Trail Mountain Race – Manitou Springs, Colorado

Halfway up Pikes Peak and then back down, the Barr Trail Mountain Race is 12.6 miles in length.

Women

Two weeks out from the World Mountain Running Championships, two-time US Mountain Running Champion Addie Bracy got a big test from upstart Karley Rempel. Bracy was over a minute back at the high point turnaround, but quickly erased that deficit on the downhill. The two would finish first and second in 1:51:12 and 1:52:17. For perspective, Brandy Erholtz’s course record stands at 1:47:57.

Kristina Mascarenas was third in 1:56:43.

Men

Joe Gray has raced and won here before, but he’s firing on all cylinders right now. Gray took down Ryan Hafer’s seven-year-old course record with a first-place 1:28:34. It was 31 seconds better than Hafer’s mark. Unlike women’s winner Bracy, Gray blitzed this one from start to finish.

Second-place Ben Payne, an Olympic Marathon Trials participant, and third-place Azarya Weldermariam ran 1:34:23 and 1:35:43. Andy Wacker, who like Bracy and Gray will also race worlds, was fourth in 1:37:38.

The BMTR race committee sought to correct gender imbalances in the sport by overcorrecting. Women’s prize money winners earned approximately 20% more than the men. Specifically, the women’s winner earned $420 to the men’s winner’s $350. Gray did however also earn a $300 course-record bonus. Whether relevant to the conversation or not, I was curious about overall race numbers. There were 106 women’s finishers and 190 men’s finishers.

Full results.

Vermont 100 Mile – West Windsor, Vermont

[Editor’s Note: This report was submitted by Chris Wristen of MassUltra. Please contact us if you are a race director or local who’d like to submit a report like this for our This Week in Running column. We’d love to include more first-hand perspective here!]

Past champions reigned supreme at the 29th running of the Vermont 100 Mile as Kathleen Cusick and Brian Rusiecki delivered dominant performances. Cusick made her decisive move early in the race and Rusiecki pulled away in the final hours, but both strategies produced the same result. It was Cusick’s third win here, and Rusiecki’s fourth.

Women

Cusick took the lead about 25 miles in and steadily distanced herself from the rest of the women. She led by more than an hour with 30 miles to go and motored across the finish line in 17:39. Dylan Broderick spent the day inching her way up through the top five and ultimately finished second in 19:22. Grace Fisher was third in 19:40.

Kathleen Cusick - 2017 Vermont 100 Mile champion

Kathleen Cusick on her way to winning the 2017 Vermont 100 Mile. Photo: MassUltra/Chris Wristen

Men

Rusiecki spent most of the first 80 miles within seconds of Mathieu Blanchard, and the pair took turns leading the race. Blanchard began to fade late, while Rusiecki dropped the hammer and pulled away. He expanded a 30-second lead to 20 minutes between miles 69 and 88, and he never looked back while winning in 15:12. Michael Arnstein, the 2011 race winner, climbed to a second-place 15:44, and Blanchard faded to third in 16:02.

Neela D’Sousa and Pierre-Michel Arcond won the accompanying 100k race in 10:13 and 9:51, respectively.

Full results (when available).

Brian Rusiecki - 2017 Vermont 100 Mile champion

Brian Rusiecki looking strong on his way to the 2017 Vermont 100 Mile win. Photo: MassUltra/Chris Wristen

Other Races and Runs

Tahoe Rim Trail 100 Mile

The Tahoe Rim Trail 100 Mile took place in Nevada, and Roxanne Woodhouse was the women’s winner in 24:42 while Ryan Weibel won the men’s race in 18:29. Full results.

McCall Trail Running Classic

Breck Dalley and Brian Crowl went 9:46 and 7:16 over 40 miles in Idaho to win the McCall Trail Running Classic. In the event’s 20-mile race, both women’s and men’s winners Heather Edic and Matt Sewall set new course records in 3:16 and 2:49. Sewall won out over Uli Steidl by four minutes. Full results.

Angel Creek 50 Mile

The Angel Creek 50 Mile runs point-to-point in interior Alaska. Race bests were Katie Strong and Matias Saari in 11:27 and 8:45, respectively. Full results.

Call for Comments

Surely there were other standout performances and races that took place this this weekend, and we’d love to hear about them in the comments field below.

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 15 comments

  1. Amy

    Rory Bosio won overall at TRT 50 mile setting a new women’s course record in the process. She passed Bob Shebest in the last 7 miles to take the overall win.

    1. Amy

      One of the coolest things at this year’s VT100 was watching Denis Trafecanty become the oldest finisher of the race at age 74. Truly amazing!

  2. John Vanderpot

    The Tahoe event is pretty incredible — well run, great course, nothing to complain about there — and worth considering if you’re looking for something in July…

    JV

  3. Kelsie

    Shouldn’t Rory Bosio’s overall win at TRT50mi be mentioned in the least? I get 100 mi > 50 mi for most folks, but c’mon. that’s pretty impressive. and badass.

      1. Justin Mock

        Hi Kelsie and Ken,

        Just catching up on the comments from last week, while writing this week’s column. At the time of last week’s writing, there were no results posted online and I only had an update on the 100-mile from the race’s Facebook page to go with.

        Thanks for understanding.

  4. Dominick Layfield

    Worth mentioning too that Brian Rusiecki also ran Western States 100 three weeks prior to Vermont 100. Although he dropped at Michigan Bluff. Anyone know why, BTW? Doesn’t seem like he was injured if he was able to rebound and win at Vermont.

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