Was there any weekend racing? Uh, yeah. The Marathon du Mont-Blanc in France and the BUFF Epic Trail 42k in Spain happened, and then we preview the Mount Marathon Race and the U.S. Mountain Running Championships. Enough small talk, let’s jump in.
Marathon du Mont-Blanc – Chamonix, France
Outdoor-friendly Chamonix, France hosted the Marathon du Mont-Blanc, a series of several different races built around the marque 42k contest. It also was the second of six races in the first-year Golden Trail Series.
Oh man, Kilian Jornet (Spain) really is just that much better. Neither shoulder nor leg injury has taken his fitness, it seems. Now back running, Jornet ruled supreme with a 3:54 winning time. It was his second-straight win here. Despite that apparent fitness, Jornet did scratch from July’s Hardrock 100, saying on social media he wasn’t ready for the 100-mile distance as he continues to rehabilitate from injuries.
Marc Lauenstein (Switzerland) was second in 3:58, and Stian Angermund (Norway) was third in 4:00.
Other notable finishers included:
- Thibaut Baronian (France) – 4th, 4:00
- Aritz Egea (Spain) – 5th, 4:02
- Henri Ansio (Finland) – 7th, 4:04
- Sage Canaday (USA) – 9th, 4:13
- Xavier Thévenard (France) – 14th, 4:25
- Alex Varner (USA) – 20th, 4:34
In the accompanying 90k (56 miles), Sylvain Court (France) was victorious in 11:23, and in the Vertical K, Jacob Adkin (U.K.) was a convincing winner in 34:46.
The women’s race was even closer with less than four minutes separating the top-three finishers. Ruth Croft (New Zealand) scored a win over Ida Nilsson (Sweden). The two raced in late May at the series’s first contest, Spain’s Zegama-Aizkorri Marathon, and though Nilsson was then just two weeks off from her Transvulcania win, she dominated and Croft finished third. The tables were turned here though and Croft found the needed gear. Croft finished in 4:37 and Nilsson was second in 4:39.
Third-place Eli Gordón (Spain) finished in 4:41.
Other notable finishers included:
- Anne-Lise Rousset (France) – 4th, 4:53
- Megan Kimmel (USA) – 5th, 4:55
- Silvia Rampazzo (Italy) – 6th, 4:58
- Amandine Ferrato (France) – 9th, 5:03
- Jo Meek (U.K.) – 11th, 5:14
- Anne-Marie Madden (Canada) – 12th, 5:20
- Maria Dalzot (USA) – 15th, 5:32
- Magdalena Boulet (USA) – 16th, 5:39
Mimmi Kotka (Sweden) won the 90k race in 12:09, and Hillary Gerardi (USA) won the Vertical K in 42:54.
The next Golden Trail Series contest is the August 12 Sierre-Zinal race in Switzerland.
BUFF Epic Trail 42k – Barruera, Spain
T’was a weekend of competing series. The Skyrunner World Series BUFF Epic Trail 42k had athletes from 31 countries take part, though it was Spain-dominant at the front.
Marc Pinsach (Spain) was way out front in 4:23, six minutes better than second-place Finlay Wild (U.K.). Miguel Caballero (Spain) was third in 4:33.
The depth in Spanish mountain running is incredible. They took nine of the top-10 places and buried behind Spanish names new to this column, Skyrunning veteran Zait Ait Malek (from Morocco but lives in Spain) was clear back in seventh.
Not even close. Holly Page (U.K.) ran 5:03 to win by 24 minutes. It was her second win in this year’s series, and she now leads the Sky Classic division rankings.
Last year’s winner, Oihana Azkorbebeitia (Spain) was second in 5:27, and Mercedes Pila (Spain) was third in 5:30.
The next Skyrunner World Series race is the July 7 High Trail Vanoise 70k in France.
Other Races and Runs
Sri Chinmoy Self-Transcendence 3,100-mile Race
It’s nearly beyond belief, but the Sri Chinmoy Self-Transcendence 3,100-Mile Race circles a city block in New York over and over as runners try to reach 3,100 miles in 52 days. This year’s race is the 22nd annual. Updates following day 14 have Kobi Oren (Israel) at 1,006.4 miles and Vasu Duzhiy (Russia) at 1,001.5 miles. Surasa Mairer (Austria) leads the women’s group with 867.6 miles, a mark that presently ranks her fourth overall. Yolanda Holder is running as second woman in 835.2 miles. This is all happening in what recently was 97-degree-Fahrenheit daily heat. Daily updates.
In Colorado, the Nolan’s 14 point-to-point link-up of 14 peaks, each at over 14,000 feet, and over roughly 100 backcountry miles used to be nearly un-finishable. No more, and the route is getting increasingly faster. Going south, Joe Grant set a new unsupported Fastest Known Time in 49:38. It was just over four hours better than Andrew Hamilton‘s previous best of 53:39, set in 2015.
And then going north, Alex Nichols set a new supported Fastest Known Time in 46:41. It was almost an hour better than Iker Karrera‘s previous record of 47:40, set last year.
Supported AT FKT watch alert. Harvey Lewis hit the Appalachian Trail in Georgia on May 30, and is challenging the overall Fastest Known Time held by Joe McConaughy of 45 days, 12 hours, and 15 minutes, who traveled self-supported style in 2017. Also, Karl Meltzer holds the supported FKT in 45 days, 22 hours, and 38 minutes, which he set in 2016. He needs to be on top of Maine’s Mount Katahdin by July 14. The adventure has been documented by frequent and insightful updates on Lewis’s Facebook page, and on Saturday, day 32, he had racked up about 50 miles on the day. We’ll keep an eye on this over the final two weeks. [Editor’s Update: It appears as if Harvey is behind “virtual Joe” with little chance of moving ahead of record pace with the terrain to come. However, he’s still on pace for an impressive finish.]
The 58-mile Ramsay Round in Scotland runs over 24 summits for 27,500 feet of elevation gain. Nicky Spinks (U.K.) is trying to do it twice. That’s right, 116 miles and 55,000 feet of elevation gain, in less than 48 hours. Conditions were said to be incredibly hot and at the time of this writing, Spinks had fallen behind her target splits with eight summits and four hours to go on her sub-48 hour window. It’s looking like she’ll finish the double but over 48 hours. [Editor’s Update: Spinks finished in 55 hours and 56 minutes.] Reports.
Tara Langdon totaled 138.87 miles in just over 22 hours to set a new 24-hour treadmill American record. In January 2018, we reported that Langdon ran 161 miles on a treadmill over 24 hours, a mark believed to be a new Guinness world record. That effort’s validation however was not complete and instead limited by various requirements.
This Week – Mount Marathon Race – Seward, Alaska
Excuse the boyish enthusiasm, but Alaska’s Mount Marathon Race is just so dang cool. It’s on Wednesday, July 4, the entire town is out to spectate, and it uniquely runs any way you want up and down Mount Marathon on super-technical stuff. Matias Saari did the heavy lifting on the men’s field and previewed the race for the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame blog. (It looks like his women’s preview will be posted on Monday.)
- Lars Arneson – 1st 2018 Kal’s Noya Ridge Run
- Kenny Brewer – 3rd 2017 Mount Marathon Race
- Rickey Gates – 2nd 2013 Mount Marathon Race
- Erik Johnson – 2nd 2017 Mount Marathon Race
- David Norris – 1st 2016 Mount Marathon (course record)
- Max King – 1st 2018 Broken Arrow Skyrace 26k
- Matt Shryock – 14th 2017 Mount Marathon Race
Norris is the one that regained the course record from Kilian Jornet. Look for King to have his hands full on this terrain against the Alaskans.
- Denali Foldager-Strabel – 4th 2017 Mount Marathon
- Christy Marvin – 3rd 2017 Mount Marathon
- Anita Ortiz – 43rd 2017 Trail Running World Championships
- Allie Ostrander – 1st 2017 Mount Marathon Race
- Najeeby Quinn – 6th 2017 Mount Marathon Race
Ostrander has been riddled by injuries of late, but assuming health, she is the presumptive heavy favorite.
Next Week – Loon Mountain Race – Lincoln, New Hampshire
Sunday, July 8 will be a busy day on New Hampshire’s Loon Mountain. The Loon Mountain Race will be the U.S. Mountain Running Championshipa, the North American Central American Caribbean (NACAC) Mountain Running Championships, and the Collegiate Mountain Running Championships. Whew!
The 6.6-mile route gains 3,200 feet of elevation on a nearly all-uphill course that climaxes with a 48% grade known as “upper walking boss.”
$3,000 in prize money will go to USATF runners and the top-four men and women will earn spots on the U.S. team that will race the World Mountain Running Championships on September 16 in Andorra.
Co-race director Paul Kirsch is among the country’s most passionate mountain running advocates and contributed to this preview.
- Jake Brown – U.S. biathlon team member
- Ben Bruce – 2nd 2013 U.S. 3,000-meter indoor championships, 2nd 2010 U.S. 3,000m steeplechase championships, 2nd 2010 U.S. 5,000m road championships
- Matt Daniels – 3rd 2016 U.S. Mountain Running Championships
- David Fuentes – 5th 2016 U.S. Mountain Running Championships
- Travis Fuller – Sub-9:00 3,000m steeplechase, 3:45 1,500m
- Raleigh Goessling – National-class biathlete and Nordic skier
- Joe Gray – 3rd 2018 World Mountain Running Long Distance Championships, 4th 2017 World Mountain Running Championships, 1st 2016 World Mountain Running Championships
- Robert Killian – National-class obstacle-course racer
- Akeo Maifield-Carucci – 3rd 2011 Bridger Ridge Run, national-class Nordic skier
- Seth Marcaccio (Canada) – Recent Fanshawe College (Ontario) graduate and standout runner
- Rob McCann (Canada) – Drake University runner
- Mike Popejoy – 24:13 8,000m, 49:28 10 mile, 1:04 half marathon, 8th at 2016 U.S. Mountain Running Championships
- Joe Simmonds – 2017 U.S. junior mountain running team member, Idaho State University runner
- Andy Wacker – 4th 2018 World Mountain Running Long Distance Championships, 4th 2017 U.S. Mountain Running Championships, 6th 2016 U.S. Mountain Running Championships
That’s quite a diverse list! Joe Gray is perennial team member, and perennial national champion, but Ben Bruce’s entry will be particularly interesting.
- Annie Bersagel – 1st 2015 Dusseldorf Marathon (2:28), 1:10 half-marathon best
- Addie Bracy – 7th 2018 World Mountain Running Long Distance Championships, 1st 2017 and 2016 U.S. Mountain Running Championships
- Ashley Brasovan – 8th 2018 World Mountain Running Long Distance Championships
- Heidi Caldwell – 2nd 2018 Mount Washington Road Race
- Kelsey Dickinson – National-class biathlete and Nordic skier
- Shelly Doucett (Canada) – 3rd 2018 and 2017 Mount Washington Road Race
- Kasie Enman – 3rd 2017 U.S. Mountain Running Championships, 6th 2016 U.S. Mountain Running Championships, 1st 2011 World Mountain Running Championships
- Denali Foldager-Strabel – 4th 2017 Mount Marathon
- Meggan Ranks (Canada) – Many-time Canadian mountain running team member
- Marianne Hogan (Canada) – 17th 2017 World Mountain Running Long Distance Championships
- Michelle Hummel – 3rd 2017 Moab Trail Marathon
- Allie McLaughlin – 2nd 2017 U.S. Mountain Running Championships, 1st 2014 U.S. Mountain Running Championships
- Dani Moreno – 1st 2018 Broken Arrow Skyrace 26k
- Caitlin Patterson – 2nd 2018 Broken Arrow Skyrace 26k, 4th 2017 U.S. Mountain Running Championships
- Karley Rempel (Canada) – 2nd 2017 Barr Trail Mountain Race
- Amber Zimmerman – University of New Mexico runner, 4:26 1,500m
Can Addie Bracy win her third-straight championship title? That would be remarkable. Kudos to Foldager-Strabel on the planned Mount Marathon-Loon Mountain double!
The race has 850 pre-registered entrants, almost 300 better than the previous high count. Of that 850, 53% are female runners, and that’s over a 20% jump in the female-male ratio than in the past. A big part of that is a Trail Sisters partnership that gave a 50% discount to first-time female runners.
Call for Comments
Another big week down! If you made it this far, you’re among the world’s most informed trail running fans. Congrats! What can you add in the comments section? Results from other races upon which we didn’t report? First-hand observations from events of which you were a part? Let’s hear it!