Sierre-Zinal is sometimes called the perfect mountain race, and the race’s 45th edition had it all. Both defending champions were back, alongside many of the best mountain runners from around the world, and the race was part of both the World Mountain Running Association World Cup and the new Golden Trail Series. The point-to-point race runs just 31k (19 miles), but with 2,200 meters (7,200 feet) of elevation gain.
He didn’t get Jonathan Wyatt’s longstanding course record, but Kilian Jornet (Spain) did win for an incredible sixth time, and fourth time in the last five years. Not just that, but Jornet’s 2:31:39 finish is his fastest finish here too.
Second for the second-straight year, Robbie Simpson (UK) chased to a 2:33:11 finish. Robert Panin (Kenya) was third in 2:33:18.
Posted race results include several splits, and while Jornet and Simpson were near the front throughout, Panin interestingly was not. Panin surrendered over three minutes to Jornet and Wyatt on the opening climb, but then bettered Jornet by over two minutes on the final downhill, and was almost four minutes better than Simpson on that split.
The field, of course, was exceptionally deep and we’ll run through many of the top entrants below.
It would appear to have been a disappointing day for the American men.
Just like with men’s winner Jornet, an even more competitive field didn’t deviate the women’s result from that of a year ago. Lucy Wambui (Kenya) outclassed the rest of the group and ran 2:57:54. That’s almost a minute better than she ran in 2017, but also doesn’t come close to matching a decade-old course record run by Anna Pichrtova (Czech Republic).
Second-place Michelle Maier (Germany) followed in 3:01:30, and Simone Troxler (Switzerland) was third in 3:02:46.
Just like with the men, we’ll run through the deeper results that caught our eye.
The next WMRA event is the September 16 World Mountain Running Championships in Andorra, and the next Golden Trail Series race is next weekend’s Pikes Peak Marathon in Colorado.
The second-year Ragged 50k was the 2018 USATF 50k Trail National Championships, and the first man and woman each earned a spot on the U.S. team that will compete at the 2019 IAU Trail World Championships in Portugal. The course ran point-to-point and gained 1,920 meters (6,300 feet).
David Sinclair, fresh off that big win at the Speedgoat 50k, won again here. U.S. Olympic Nordic skier Simi Hamilton was second, and David Kilgore was third.
Kasie Enman led the women’s field Lea Frost and Liz Ryan finishing second and third.
Aspen Backcountry Marathon
A $600 first-place prize, and beautiful trails all around Aspen, Colorado, typically make the Aspen Backcountry Marathon competitive. Josh Eberly earned the men’s win in 3:24, 30 seconds better than runner-up David Roche. Women’s winner Kelsey Persyn finished in 3:57. Brother and sister James and Lauren Gregory won the half marathon race, both finishing in 2:04. Lauren competed collegiately at the University of Arkansas last year. Full results.
Buena Vista Pack Burro Race
Kirk Courkamp and burro Mary Margaret won Colorado’s Buena Vista Pack Burro Race, and in the process completed a three-week run to complete the Triple Crown of Pack Burro Racing. The pair won the 29-mile Fairplay Pack Burro Race World Championship race two weeks ago, and won last week’s Leadville Boom Days Race too.
Leadville 100 Mile Mountain Bike
A handful of familiar names dot the results of the Leadville 100 Mile Mountain Bike race. Although not an ultrarunner, Chad Hall is an interesting racer. The younger brother of famed marathoner Ryan Hall placed eighth in 6:52. Rob Krar was 14th in 7:08, and Dave Mackey was 375th in 9:40. Mackey, racing in the summer-long Leadman competition, ran 56:00 in the next day’s 10k running race. Full results.
Fat Dog 120 Mile
Forest fires forced the cancellation of Canada’s Fat Dog 120 Mile race.
IAU 24-Hour World Championships Cancellation
It happened again, an International Association of Ultrarunners (IAU) event was cancelled. This time the misfortune befell the 2019 IAU 24-Hour World Championships, an event previously scheduled to take place in Austria.
Maude Gorman Disqualifications
Timing discrepancies at Maine’s Pineland Farms Trail Challenge 50-mile race and at the East End 50k in Massachusetts led to Maude Gorman‘s disqualification from both races. She previously had claimed second- and first-place finishes respectively. She also was removed from the U.S. Skyrunning Team that will compete in September in Scotland.
The Pikes Peak Ascent and the Pikes Peak Marathon run on back-to-back days. Saturday’s ascent runs 13.3 miles and 7,815 feet up to the 14,115-foot summit. Sunday’s marathon does the same, but with a slightly shorter return trip for a convenient 26.2-mile finish. The marathon race will be part of this year’s Golden Trail Series. Both races will pay out $2,000 to its winner and up to $10,000 in time bonuses are available for a once-in-a-lifetime run.
The marathon has typically been the undercard to the more competitive ascent. That’s not the case this year as the Golden Trail Series nod has weighted the competitive field more to the marathon.
See something that doesn’t look quite right, or some other race results that you want to share, or some more top entrants you want to add to the Pikes Peak Ascent and Marathon? Let’s hear all about it, so leave a comment below.
Results from the 2020 Western States 100 lottery.
An essay about how good and bad days are natural in a lifetime of running.