This Week In Running: May 28, 2019

This Week in Running Justin Mock TWIRHolidays in the U.S. don’t typically translate into a lot of trail and ultramarathon racing, and that’s the case with this Memorial Day weekend. We do cover France’s big MaXi-Race series of races, though, and pick up what stateside racing there was. And, hey, it’s Tuesday already!

MaXi-Race – Annecy, France

Thanks to Hoka One One for sponsoring this week’s edition of TWIR!

The MaXi-Race has 11 different races over three days, totaling to some 9,000 runners across all contests. I don’t speak French, but I bet that’s definitely MaXi!

Men

The 16k (10 miles) race was the year’s first World Mountain Running Association World Cup contest, and it gained 950 meters (3,100 feet). Andrew Douglas (U.K.) won the race and set a new course record, despite a short wrong turn and following backtrack. Douglas finished in 1:15, 50 seconds better than second-place Andy Wacker (USA). Robert Panin Surum (Kenya) was third, like Wacker in 1:16, but 11 seconds behind.

Second in 2017 and third in 2016, Michel Lanne (France) won the 85k (53 miles) race distance in 8:40. Countrymen Vincent Viet and Nicolas Duhail ensured an all-French podium with second- and third-place 9:01 and 9:12 runs.

The 115k (71 miles) ultra-course started at midnight, and pre-race favorite François D’Haene (France) barely saw any daylight. Six hours into the race, D’Haene dropped with a badly sprained ankle. Unai Dorronsoro (Spain) and Jason Schlarb (USA) took over lead duties, and overcame a 15-minute time penalty for a missed turn. Dorronsoro’s late charge earned him victory in 13:49, and Schlarb was second in 14:07. Yannick Noel (France) was third in 14:25.

Andrew Douglas on his way to winning the 2019 MaXi-Race 16k, the first event in the 2019 World Mountain Running Association World Cup. Photo: Cyrille Quintard

Women

Lucy Wambui (Kenya) was the best in the world last year in World Mountain Running Association races, and she picked right back up with another victory in the short-course 16k race. Wambui in 1:30, and Sarah McCormack (Ireland) and Iris Pessey (France) were second and third in 1:32 and 1:37.

Marion Delespierre (France) led the 85k contest from its 3:30 a.m. start to her finish 10:57 later. It was Delespierre’s first major victory. Second- and third-place Isabelle Dragon (France) and Virginia Olivieri (Italy) ran 11:19 and 12:29.

In the women’s 115k, Ildikó Wermescher (Hungary) won in 17:34, and Denise Zimmerman (Switzerland) and Sandrine Beranger (France) followed in 18:13 and 18:20, respectively.

Full results.

The next World Mountain Running Association World Cup race is the June 23 Broken Arrow Skyrace 26k.

Lucy Wambui, 2019 MaXi-Race 16k winner. The Maxi-Race 16k was the first race in the 2019 World Mountain Running Association World Cup. Photo: David Gonthier

Other Races and Runs

European Masters Mountain Running Championships

In Europe, age 35-plus counts as a masters runner, and the Czech Republic hosted the European Masters Mountain Running Championships. On an 8.6k course, Edwin Singer (Germany) won the men’s race in 41:39, and Kerstin Esterlechner (Germany) won the women’s race in 49:08. Full results.

Jemez Mountain Trail Runs

New Mexico’s Jemez Mountain Trail Runs had both 50-mile and 50k races, and race champs were Jeffrey Colt and Annie Hughes in the 50-mile race at 8:32 and 10:27, and Frank Pipp and Imogen Ainsworth in the 50k at 4:41 and 5:18. Full results.

Possum’s Revenge

Trail Racing Over Texas’s Possum’s Revenge group of races happens at Possum Kingdom Lake. That name just makes me smile. Matt Zmolek and Heather Gothard won the 69-mile race in 14:18 and 14:21, going one-two overall. And Brad Vodicka and Diane Valahu won the 52-mile race in 11:13 and 11:26, also finishing first and second overall. Full results.

Calgary Marathon 50k

The Calgary Marathon has a rare 50k as part of its group of road races, and Jacob Puzey won in 3:07. Samantha Calderon led the women’s group in 4:00. And then on a treadmill at the race expo, Dave Proctor (Canada) set new Guinness Book of World Records marks for fastest treadmill 100 miler (12:32:26) and most miles run on a treadmill in 12 hours (153.8k). Full results.

Stumptown Trail Runs

Hannes Gehring and Laura Cortez won the Stumptown Trail Runs 50k inside Portland, Oregon’s Forest Park. The two ran 3:45 and 4:44, respectively. Full results.

Booneville Backroads Ultra

Iowa’s Booneville Backroads Ultra 100-mile win went to Scott Johnson and Gabrie Burriss in 18:40 and 23:36. Aaron Wheelock and Ingrid Rockovich won the 100k in 12:14 and 16:13. Full results.

Clear Creek Pack Burro Racing

Now up to eight races, Colorado’s 2019 pack-burro race season got started in Georgetown. Three-time world champion George Zack and burro Jack earned a one-second win in the weekend’s first race, and then came back to finish third on the next-day contest in Idaho Springs. That second race was won by Andrew Knutson and Crazy Horse, part of a mass finish that had the first seven teams separated by 15 seconds. The two races were for eight and five miles, some of the shortest of the year’s races. Tracy Loughlin was first female in Georgetown, and matched that same place the next day in Idaho Springs. Full results (when available).

Vermont City Marathon

Tyler Andrews, ran 2:23 for third at the Vermont City Marathon in Burlington, Vermont. Full results.

San Juan Solstice 50 Mile

Four weeks before its June start, Colorado’s San Juan Solstice 50 Mile was cancelled. Significant winter snows remain above treeline and the course faces large flood risk as a result of avalanche debris in drainage systems. Official statement.

Next Weekend

Zegama-Aizkorri Marathon

Last year’s first go at the Golden Trail Series made for some competitive races, exceptionally so in a couple of cases. The first Golden Trails Series race of 2019 is the Zegama-Aizkorri Marathon, the wild mountain race in the Basque Country of Spain. Zegama is a race that runners return to over and over, so let’s look at who’s expected at the front, and list at least one of their previous top Zegama results.

Men

  • Stian Angermund-Vik (Norway) – Zegama course-record holder set in 2017, 2nd 2018 Zegama
  • Thibaut Baronian (France) – 7th 2018 Zegama
  • Rémi Bonnet (Switzerland) – Winner 2018 Zegama
  • Oriol Cardona (Spain) – 5th 2018 Zegama
  • Aritz Egea (Spain) – 8th 2018 Zegama
  • Pascal Egli (Switzerland) – 12th 2018 Zegama
  • Jordi Gamito (Spain) – 13th 2017 Zegama
  • Kilian Jornet (Spain) – Eight-time champion most recently in 2016
  • Robert Krupička (Czech Republic) – 11th 2018 Zegama
  • Adrien Michaud (France) – 5th 2017 Zegama
  • Bartołomiej Przedwojewski (Poland) – 3rd 2018 Zegama
  • Ismail Razga (Spain) – 10th 2017 Zegama
  • Alexis Sévennec (France) – 7th 2017 Zegama

Past podium-finisher Marc Lauenstein (Switzerland) is on the entrants list but reportedly not racing due to injury.

Women

  • Oihana Azkorbebeitia (Spain) – 6th 2018 Zegama
  • Eli Gordón (Spain) – 8th 2018 Zegama
  • Yngvild Kaspersen (Norway) – Winner 2016 Zegama
  • Megan Kimmel (USA) – 6th 2017 Zegama
  • Maite Maiora (Spain) – Winner 2017 Zegama
  • Maria Zorroza (Spain) – 9th 2017 Zegama

Last year’s champ Ida Nilsson (Sweden) is on the entrants list but not starting because of injury.

Full entrant list.

Madeira Sky Race

We were just in Madeira, but the Portuguese island pops back on the calendar with the 55k Madeira Sky Race. The race, which gains 4,100 meters (13,500 feet), is again part of the Skyrunner World Series. For the men, top entrants will include Pere Aurell (Spain), Michel Lanne (France), Beñat Marmissolle (France), Dmitry Mityaev (Russia), and Hannes Namberger (Germany). And for the women, look for Ekaterina Mityaeva (Russia), Takako Takamura (Japan), and Kristina Pattison (USA) to lead out. Lanne of course is also highlighted above for this weekend’s win at the MaXi-Race 85k, and the Mityaevs were just second and fourth, respectively, at the Transvulcania Ultramarathon. Full entrant list.

Cayuga Trails 50 Mile

The upstate New York Cayuga Trails 50 Mile race is again the USATF 50-Mile Trail National Championships, and has an $8,500 prize purse. Top men include Cole Crosby, Drew Holmen, Brian RusieckiScott Trummer, and Tyler Wolfe. Potential lead women include Jonnah Perkins and Justyna WilsonFull entrant list.

Call for Comments

We love comments! As always, tell us what other races you saw or took part in this weekend.

Justin Mock

is a family man, finance man, and former competitive runner. He gave his 20s to running, and ran as fast as 2:29 for the marathon and finished as high as fourth at the Pikes Peak Marathon. His running is now most happy with his two dogs on the trails and peaks near his home west of Denver.

There are 11 comments

  1. SageCanaday

    The Women’s race at Zegama is going to be quite competitive as well! You make it seem like a much less competitive race than the men’s race (in the preview) by only listing 6 “top contenders” for the women…

    The whole GTS series is probably the most competitive trail-mountain running circuit in the world (and obviously Zegama is probably one of the most iconic and competitive trail races in the world….right up there with Sierre-Zinal, UTMB etc).

    1. Meghan Hicks

      Sage,

      I wrote the Zegama preview here in TWIR; well, to be 100% accurate, Justin wrote a brief preview and then, due to the race’s competitiveness, I expanded it to the larger sort of preview you might find in TWIR. (Though it’s not the sort of in-depth preview we create for races we cover live.) So, I take responsibility for this part of this article.

      What I had to work from was a press release from the Golden Trails Series, the regular entrants list, and the lists of men and women who were admitted to the race on account of their previous top finishes. And I also had to work with what I know from covering Zegama a few times in person. Zegama is a race where people return over and over, a place of tradition, and it’s a race that’s pretty particular in that a top runner elsewhere in the world might not be a top runner in their first outing at Zegama. It’s a bit like racing on the slickrock of Moab, Utah, only more so, I think.

      In the interest of not taking up too much space in an article that’s about highlighting a number of different races, in honoring the Zegama tradition, and in recognizing runners who’ve already performed well there, I chose to include in the preview men with sub-4:15 and women with sub-5:15 finishes, which are time marks of super solid Zegama racing, in the last three years who are reportedly running again. I left off a few men who had 4:14-ish finishes, so the men’s list wouldn’t get too long. And though I tried not to make mistakes, there’s always a chance I missed someone who fit these characteristics.

      In the end, what you find is that there are a lot more men with super strong recent Zegama finishes reportedly racing this year than women.

      1. SageCanaday

        Thanks for your reply Meghan – appreciate everything you do and all the coverage on here!

        Zegama has amazing history and depth – but I feel as though most Americans don’t realize that (same thing with a race like Comrades…but I digress…).

        Glad it got a mention in TWIR and again appreciate your hard work into covering all these events/results/previews. Although I will say Zegama is nothing like “racing on the slick rock of Moab”….not even close! Zegama is super muddy…a lot of forest running…a “class 3” rock ridge traverse…and technical, jagged “limestone” (like) rocky bits covered in moss/rainwater.

        1. Steve M

          I’m pretty sure the comparison of Zegama to slick rock was only that it’s a unique running surface/environment where it can take some experience in that terrain to get used to it, so your first time could be a steep learning curve even if you have a strong resume. It’s fairly obvious that Zegama is nothing like the slick rock of Moab in terms of actual terrain and conditions.

          1. Meghan Hicks

            If it is unclear, what Steve said is what I meant. I am from Moab and I have run the whole Zegama course and, indeed, they are very different types of terrain. :-) But both require their own, unique skill and strength sets that, for some people, can take time to develop.

            1. SageCanaday

              Ah I see. In my experience (competitve racing in both areas) “moab slick rock” races seem to run a bit more like a road/pavement and this correlates pretty well for “roadies” and those used to smooth dirt single track (despite being somewhat technical)…whereas Zegama is….Zegama!…a beast of its own. So I just didn’t see the comparison of the “steep learning curve” personally. Still, my main point is that it is an interesting perception and report of “competitive depth” of relative events/races – as I’d see Zegama as being a more competitive race than Western States on a lot of years (at least for top 15-20 mens’s and women’s top depth).

  2. The Woodsman

    SJS was cancelled 4 weeks before its start (June 22nd).
    I’m sad, but wishing the good folks in Lake City all the best during the melt-off.

  3. SMUT

    Scout Mountain Ultras in Pocatello, ID this weekend has some big names.

    Claire Gallagher
    Jeff Browning
    Ryan Ghelfi
    Amanda Basham

    And more…

    Luke Nelson did a great job putting this together

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