This Week In Running: February 12, 2018

This Week in Running Justin Mock TWIRFriday passed with the celebration of National Pizza Day here in the U.S., and we’re doing our best to mark the occasion with a thick slice of news. A recap of all-things Tarawera Ultramarathon, a nod to Karl Meltzer‘s history-making 100-mile run, and a look ahead to the Black Canyon 100k and Jackpot Ultrarunning Festival pack this week’s column.

Tarawera Ultramarathon – Rotorua, New Zealand

The Tarawera Ultramarathon continues to grow. Based in Rotorua, on New Zealand’s North Island, a town most famous for its geothermal features, redwood trees, and access to Māori cultural history, has become a North Island trail running hub. This year, Tarawera celebrated its 10th year by adding a 100-mile event–the Tarawera 100 Mile Endurance Run–meaning that the weekend now hosts four events. It also got creative and reversed the racing directions for the 102k, 87k, and 62k events.

A moisture-laden tropical storm beset the event, causing mud, flooded trails, and otherwise technical course conditions as a result of the storm’s significant rainfall. Fortunately, the storm was a warm one, and though runners had to contend with the challenges of constant wet running, cold weather was not an additional concern.

Let’s ‘run’ through the event’s race results.


The most competitive race of the event’s weekend was the 102-kilometer event, which iRunFar covered live and in significant depth. Dylan Bowman (USA) put on a master class in the men’s field, running among the leaders early, making a move to take the lead after midway, and holding position to close the race in 8:27. Cody Reed (USA) played strong chase, albeit running the second half of the race a bit too slow to contend for the win. He finished in 8:36. Sam McCutcheon (New Zealand) took third for the second year in a row in 8:45.

Dylan Bowman - 2018 Tarawera Ultra champion 2

Dylan Bowman, 2018 Tarawera Ultra champion. Photo: iRunFar/Meghan Hicks

In Tarawera’s inaugural 100-mile event, Adrien Prigent (France) took the win in 19:38.

In the 62k, it was Vajin Armstrong who won in a sprint finish over Chris Dunell. Vajin won in 5:36:18, with Chris just eight seconds back. They are Kiwi countrymates.

Joris Kiredjian (France) won the 87k event in 8:25.

2018 Tarawera Ultra marathon 62k mens podium

The 2018 Tarawera Ultra marathon 62k men’s podium. Photo: iRunFar/Meghan Hicks


Kelly Wolf (USA), who continues to move up in the trail-ultra world, ran what looked like a comfortable, controlled, and assertive effort to win in 10:08. Amanda Basham (USA) raced with a steady keel to take second. She finished nine minutes back of the lead in 10:17. Up-and-comer Erika Lori (Australia) raced happy to third place in 10:53.

Kelly Wolf - 2018 Tarawera Ultra champion 2

Kelly Wolf, 2018 Tarawera Ultra champion. Photo: iRunFar/Meghan Hicks

In the 100 miler, Sally McRae (USA) steadily chewed through the terrain and the rest of the field to win in 21:11.

In the 62k, Lucy Bartholomew (Australia) won in 5:37, a bit over a minute back from men’s winner Vajin Armstrong, after having run with the lead men all day.

In the 87k, it was Kristen Brace (Australia) who won in 10:43.

The 102k race was the year’s second Ultra-Trail World Tour (UTWT) race. The next UTWT race is the February 23 Transgrancanaria 125k.

Full results.

2018 Tarawera Ultra marathon 62k womens podium

The 2018 Tarawera Ultra marathon 62k women’s podium. Photo: iRunFar/Meghan Hicks

Other Races

Lone Star 100 Mile

Out in the west Texas town of El Paso, Karl Meltzer won his 40th 100-mile race. Meltzer won the Lone Star 100 Mile in 23:38. It was also Meltzer’s 18th-straight year of winning a 100-mile race. Women’s winner Alyson Kirk finished her Franklin Mountains State Park tour in 29:10. Both results marked new course records for the second-year race. Bret Sarnquist and Monica Duran won the accompanying 100k in 15:09 and 18:06. Full results.

Karl Meltzer - 2018 Lone Star 100 Mile champion

Karl Meltzer winning the 2018 Lone Star 100 Mile, his 40th 100-mile win. Photo: Trail Racing Over Texas

Algonquin 50k

Aaron Ellison and Maria Miller were victorious at the second-year Algonquin 50k in Maryland, running 4:05 and 4:44, respectively. For Miller, it was a new course record. Full results.

Cloudland Canyon 50k

We’re running through our list, and this is the third-straight race to turn two this weekend! Run Bum’s Cloudland Canyon 50k is, as expected for this group, wildly scenic and in Georgia’s Cloudland Canyon State Park. The men’s lead three was tight. Aaron Saft finished in 4:13, leading William Ansick and Jon Hager by two and four minutes each. Laura Brock ran away with the women’s race in 5:20. Lauren Jones and Sharon Harmon were second and third in 5:51 and 6:09. Full results.

Laura Brock - 2018 Cloudland Canyon 50k

Laura Brock, 2018 Cloudland Canyon 50k. Photo: Run Bum

The Coastal Challenge

It’s just starting, but Costa Rica’s The Coastal Challenge 230k, six-day stage race is already underway. Tom Evans (U.K.) took the first stage’s win, ahead of second- and third-place Hayden Hawks (USA) and Marcus Scotney (U.K.). Other top men in the field include Timothy Olson (USA) and Michael Wardian (USA). Ragna Debats (Netherlands) took the women’s day-one lead, with defending champ Ester Alves (Portugal) running second. Daily updates on the race’s Facebook page.

Rocky Raccoon 50 Mile

A week after the more well-known Rocky Raccoon 100 Mile, Tejas Trails was back to the Huntsville State Park in Texas for the Rocky Raccoon 50 Mile. Fifty-mile winners Roger Maxwell and Barb Delgado ran 7:50 and 8:18. 50k winners Matt Smith and Caroline Cotsakis ran 4:07 and 4:27. Full results.

Rocks & Roots #2

Ohio’s winter series, Rocks & Roots, held their second race of the year with six race distances from 10k to 50 miles. Harvey Lewis won the 50-mile competition in 8:45. There were no female finishers. Full results.

Next Weekend – Black Canyon 100k – Mayer, Arizona

We’re looking ahead to another Golden Ticket race weekend. The top-two men and women at Aravaipa Running’s Black Canyon 100k earn automatic entry to June’s Western States 100.


  • Zach Bitter – 2nd 2017 Javelina Jundred 100 Mile
  • Neal Collick – 1st 2017 Superior 100 Mile
  • Matt Estes – 1st 2005 Massanutten 100 Mile, 1st 2007 HURT 100 Mile… a blast from the past returns after time away!
  • Tim Freriks – 7th 2017 Black Canyon 100k
  • Marc Laveson -4th 2017 White River 50 Mile
  • Sion Lupowitz – 5th 2017 Javelina Jundred 100 Mile
  • Eric Senseman – 3rd 2017 Black Canyon 100k
  • Ford Smith -1st 2015 Black Canyon 100k
  • Benjamin Stern – 4th 2017 Gorge Waterfalls 100k
  • Zachary Szablewski – 3rd 2017 White River 50 Mile

The Coconino Cowboys–a group that includes Freriks and Senseman–want to run Western States. Can they get two more runners qualified?


  • Dana Anderson – 2nd 2017 Javelina 100 Mile
  • Sarah Bard – 6th 2017 Comrades Marathon
  • Suzanna Bon – 4th 2017 Canyons 100k
  • Lauren Coury – 6th 2017 Lake Sonoma 50 Mile
  • Courtney Dauwalter – 1st 2018 Sean O’Brien 100k
  • Kristina Folcik – 2nd 201617 Pinhoti 100 Mile
  • Teresa Kaiser – 1st 2017 San Diego 100 Mile
  • Alisa MacDonald – 3rd 2017 Black Canyon 100k
  • Michaeline Nelson Albright – 1st 2017 Bryce 100 Mile
  • Paige Pattillo – 2nd 2017 Gorge Waterfalls 100k
  • Kristina Pham – 1st at 2018 Elephant Mountain 50k
  • Molly Schmelze – Winner 2017 Miwok 100k

Courtney Dauwalter is listed among the entrants, but we assume she will scratch following her Golden Ticket win at the Sean O’Brien 100k. Does anyone know for certain?

Full entrants list.

Next Weekend – Jackpot Ultrarunning Festival – Las Vegas, Nevada

It’s the USATF 100-Mile Road National Championships for the first time! The Jackpot Ultrarunning Festival has up to $10,000 in prize money. The course is a 2.5-mile loop on repeat.


  • Mike Bialick – 1st (2nd overall) 2017 Tunnel Hill 100 Mile
  • Jon Olsen – 1st 2017 Run4Water 24 Hour (154 miles)
  • Jean Pommier – 1st 2018 Jed Smith 50k
  • Marco Sturm – 2nd 2016 Mozart 100k
  • Iso Yucra – 1st 2017 Jackpot Ultrarunning Festival 100 Mile


  • Stacey Costa – 2nd 2017 Jackpot Ultrarunning Festival 100 Mile
  • Traci Falbo – 1st 2018 Long Haul 50k
  • Cassie Scallon – 1st 2017 Ray Miller 50 Mile

Full entrant list.

Call for Comments

  • Did you celebrate National Pizza Day?
  • Friends, how are you making it through this winter? I’ve had a horrible dry cough for the entire year.

[Editor’s Note: Columnist Justin Mock and editor Meghan Hicks spend many hours per week compiling this article, and often doing so well ahead of races posting their results online–that is, by combing social media. We simply cannot cover all the trail and ultra races that take place each week, so we do our best to provide results of the most competitive races as well as a spectrum of additional events from around the world. Please feel absolutely welcome to leave comments with the results of races not covered in this article, and to leave additional information about the races from which we have shared results. Thank you for your understanding.]

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 42 comments

    1. Andy

      Beat me too it. Kudos both to Karl and to Justin for honoring Karl’s musical taste. Nothing like a few post-race drinks at Rosa’s cantina ….

      1. John Vanderpot

        Funny, and I know the audience is limited here, but I was thinking of Bear and The Wall of Sound and how no one ever went bigger…

  1. Luke

    I know complaining here has kinda ‘been done’, but what’s the method for choosing the bullet highlight for runners in upcoming events? Surely summarizing Tim Freriks as having finishing 7th a year ago is a bit understated?

    1. Justin Mock

      No real method. Maybe nothing more than it was fewer words than typing out 1st 2017 The North Face Endurance Challenge San Francisco 50-Mile Championship in that instance.

      1. Steve

        I was thinking the same thing exactly what with his his recent Transvulcania, NF50 wins and his GC R2R record but I guess 100k is the next bracket up and they need to take it from there

  2. Becky

    I have to agree with Luke. Not trying to complain for the sake of complaining. But, clearly Freriks is the favorite and highlighting his 7th place while walking the last 10-15 miles last year is a bit misleading. The kid smashed TV, TNF, and Broken Arrow…let’s lift our community up. While Ford Smith who has been irrelevant in the competitive seen for at least two years gets a 2015 race highlighted? Just seems a bit…well, wrong. Also, enough of this Coconino Cowboy free publicity. Seems a bit elitist. Unless they are paying IRF for some advertisement space, it seems unfair to keep highlighting the group when no one in the group has ever done well or even started at WS 100. The Capuccino Cowboys seem to have a much better record.

    1. Sam

      Logic is weird here – you fault iRunFar for highlighting Tim’s 7th place after walking in 10-15 miles after blowing up, yet claim none of the Coconino Cowboys have done well at Western States. Ignoring the fact Jared Hazen was 3rd in 2015 Walmsley walked in like ~10 miles at Western in 2016 to finish 20th and dropped at 80 in 2017 after running course record pace all day – would those results not be relative to this year’s Western preview or should they just mention Jim’s wins at other events like you suggest they do for Tim? Also I would think a bunch of pro runners from around the country in their 30’s (who seem to have been created as a reaction to the Coconino Cowboys and aren’t making any sort of efforts to race Western States) would have a better record than a group newer to ultras in their 20’s. The whole point of the Golden Ticket races is to create interest in an early season series that promotes Western States and allows up and coming speedsters to try and make a mark in the sport, which seems to be working.

      1. Justin Mock

        I typically will pull a recent race result, but in instances when the athlete ran that same race in a prior year – ie, Freriks, Smith, often default back to that. I probably don’t put as much thought into which race to highlight in the bullet as you suspect.

        1. Sam

          Yeah I don’t expect “This Week in Running” previews to have the same weight as an official, more detailed and thought out race preview iRunFar puts out (both of which are great to have though and much appreciated). But when selecting one result for a runner like you do taking the closest result from the same race, whether the result was good or bad, is obviously the best choice.

    2. Scott

      ” Also, enough of this Coconino Cowboy free publicity. Seems a bit elitist.”

      Some people started a running group and gave it a funny name.
      There’s no reason to find a way to get upset over them being mentioned.

  3. AJW

    “No one in the group has ever done well or even started at WS”. Really? Have you forgotten Hazen’s 3rd place at WS while still a teenager?

  4. Kent Green

    Becky, you might have meant Eric Senseman and Tim Freriks haven’t started WS100. Otherwise, the whole group of the CC’s includes Jared Hazen. He placed 3rd at WS100 in 2015 posting a time that would have won other years. And if a 20th place finish at WS100 isn’t “finishing well” after a huge blow up (Jim Walmsley), then your standards are elitist. Two of their members finished #1 and #2 for UROY. Sounds a bit like jealousy to me.

  5. Andrew S.

    Was Jared Hazen a member of the “Cowboys” when he got 3rd at States? Honest question – I just don’t remember hearing about them until last year.

    1. AJW

      Of course not! I was just attempting to clear up Becky’s comment that nobody in their group “has ever done well” at WS. And, I can hear the chuckling from Flagstaff all the way over here in Virginia…Sigh…I miss the San Diego Bad Rats

  6. Scott

    I had to double check that tiny TROT race isn’t somehow sponsored by Red Bull…it’s not.
    That’s really funny that Meltzer travels with a Red Bull chute for his races.

  7. Kyle B.

    Thanks for adding both Rocks and Roots races to the news this year; we really appreciate it here in central Ohio. I was just wondering why the 50k results weren’t written about. I bet the winner* would really appreciate it. Also, a women was first overall in the 40k. *me

  8. Paddy O'Leary

    Watch out for one of Marin and Mexico’s finest, Fernando de Samaniego Steta, at Black Canyons. He hasn’t had a cappuccino in over a week, so he’ll be stomping at the bit!

  9. Kristina Folcik

    Thank you for thinking of me but I’m not even sure where my running is right now! I had a ten week recovery from a torn ligament in the fall and then took up skimo! I’ve been skiing up and down hills more than running (my overall fitness is the strongest it has ever been but the running is an unknown!) Either way it’s going to be fun and I honestly have no idea whether I’ll race well or not! I’ve been loving the new sport though because I’m tired of always running in the snow and skiing made winter fun again!

  10. Kristina Folcik

    Also I wanted to add my pinhoti race was 2016. :) I did shorter races last year.
    Thank you for thinking of me but I’m not even sure where my running is right now! I had a ten week recovery from a torn ligament in the fall and then took up skimo! I’ve been skiing up and down hills more than running (my overall fitness is the strongest it has ever been but the running is an unknown!) Either way it’s going to be fun and I honestly have no idea whether I’ll race well or not! I’ve been loving the new sport though because I’m tired of always running in the snow and skiing made winter fun again!

  11. Rennur

    This comment somes a bit late, but I only just realized that the coverage of the Tarawera Ultramarathon only covered the 102k race.

    I’ve been looking for info regarding the 100M ‘s winner Sally McRae (yay!! Way to go Sally!!). Now I know why there was no post-race news detailing her win ..(a shame…but I do enjoy the coverage you guys DO provide). Will you cover the Tarawera 100M in the future?

    Thanks anyway for each week’s running news!

    1. Meghan Hicks


      Thanks for your feedback. You’re right, our live coverage throughout last week, last weekend, and early this week was dedicated to covering the 102k race. You can find here, in our TWIR article, results on all four races that happened at Tarawera, however.

      First, very regularly when we cover races, there are other race distances simultaneously happening that we don’t cover live. For example, we have covered the TNF50 in San Francisco for a number of years and that event has a number of races. We cover its most competitive. And for Tarawera, we’ve covered it a number of times now and for a number of years its had three races happening simultaneously–this year it added a fourth in its 100 miler–and we covered the most competitive race among them all. To be clear, competition, in terms of its depth, is always the primary factor we use when determining which races we want to/try to cover.

      Second, only once in our long history of live race coverage have we simultaneously covered two races at one event, and that was the CCC and UTMB this past year because both were very highly competitive. We are glad we did it, and it was merited by the competition. But I will be very honest in saying that it was an incredible draw on our resources, one that’s impossible to accurately articulate in a sentence, and will continue to be something that happens only on the rarest of occasions because of that.

      To answer your final question about whether we will cover Tarawera’s 100 miler in the future, I can say that it is now on the very long list of races we watch annually for their competition. If it becomes an internationally competitive race, then of course we would try to cover it.

      We so appreciate you following the website and our coverage, and I hope you can understand our longstanding rationale behind covering the races we do.

  12. Rennur

    Thanks for your detailed reply, Meghan. You guys do a wonderful job with the coverage you do provide and lend so much for the sport in doing so. Thanks again for all the effort extended in bringing the sport closer to those who aren’t able to travel to the races!

Post Your Thoughts