This Week In Running: June 24, 2019

This Week in Running Justin Mock TWIRHey hey, ho ho, to the Broken Arrow Skyrace we go. We’ve got that California big one, a bunch of speed records, and a smattering of other good stuff from around the world. We also preview the stacked Lavaredo Ultra Trail. It’s officially the first Monday of summer–in the Northern Hemisphere–and you better believe we’re ready for it.

Broken Arrow Skyrace 52k – Olympic Valley, California

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

The Broken Arrow Skyrace 52k has quickly grown into one of the country’s most competitive trail ultramarathons. It’s a real mountain race in a vacation-worthy destination, and it’s conveniently scheduled just ahead of next weekend’s Western States 100, which starts in the same place. The 52k race ran as two laps with 10,500 feet of elevation gain and an 8,875-foot high point. Can someone explain how the course varied this year from last? All the courses seemed to run faster this time around.

Men

Hayden Hawks went for the win in 4:25, a new record. Hawks’s measured start to 2019 has included a win at the Chuckanut 50k. Hawks’s rest-of-year calendar includes at least the July Speedgoat 50k, August’s UTMB, and the November flat-and-fast Tunnel Hill 100 Mile. Look out.

Michelino Sunseri and David Sinclair ran 4:40 and 4:41 for second and third, respectively, and those times rank as second- and third-best ever too.

The men definitely came to race, and the top-seven men all ran under five hours.

Hayden Hawks, 2019 Broken Arrow Skyrace 52k champion. Photo: Broken Arrow Skyrace

Women

Megan Kimmel repeated as women’s champ, finishing the double loop in 5:09, and just like the men’s race, this too was a new event record.

Rea Kolbl was second, also for the second-straight year, in 5:17, and Kristina Trygstad-Saari ran 5:20 for a close third. Kimmel was 21 minutes better than in 2018 and Kolbl 31 minutes better.

Full results.

Megan Kimmel, 2019 Broken Arrow Skyrace 52k champion. Photo: Broken Arrow Skyrace

Broken Arrow Skyrace 26k – Olympic Valley, California

A day after the 52k, the Sunday 26k race ran over a single lap and this race was part of the World Mountain Running Association World Cup. Both the 52k and 26k were part of the U.S. Skyrunner Series too.

Men

Two races into the World Cup and Andrew Douglas (U.K.) is undefeated. He blitzed the field with a 1:56 finish, a full 10 minutes better than his closest chaser. Douglas led the entire way and just like in the 52k, this one was fast.

Second- and third-place Sam Sahli and Henri Aymonod (Italy) followed in 2:06 and 2:08, and Christian Gering and Gus Gibbs were fourth and fifth in 2:08 and 2:10.

Andrew Douglas rings the bell to win the 2019 Broken Arrow Skyrace 26k. Photo: Broken Arrow Skyrace

Women

Relatively unknown ahead of the race, Lindsay Webster (Canada) scored an upset and took the crown in 2:22. It was–like so much on this weekend–a new course record. 2017 race winner Morgan Arritola quickly chased to a second-place 2:24, and Kasie Enman was third in 2:29.

Obstacle-course rock star Nicole Mericle placed fourth in 2:30 and Denali Strabel was fifth in 2:34.

Full results.

The next World Mountain Running Association World Cup race is the July 14 Glossglocknerlauf 13k in Austria.

Lindsay Webster on her way to the 2019 Broken Arrow Skyrace 26k win. Photo: Broken Arrow Skyrace

Other Races and Runs

Denali Speed Record

Karl Egloff, remember him? The Swiss-Ecuadorean mountaineer earlier broke Kilian Jornet’s record times on Africa’s Kilimanjaro and South America’s Aconcagua, and on June 20 rocketed up and down Alaska’s 20,310-foot Denali in 11:44, from base camp to the summit and back. The time broke Jornet’s previous best by a single minute, though Egloff’s descent came on foot while Jornet skied down.

Wainwrights Speed Record

This group of 214 English Lake District peaks, or fells, are collectively called the Wainwrights and Paul Tierney (Ireland) ran all of them over some 500 kilometers (311 miles) in six days, six hours, and five minutes for a new speed record. It was almost seven hours better than the previous record, set in 2014 by Steve Birkinshaw. While the route and terrain is entirely foreign to me, the online acclaim this one is getting shows how difficult the outing is.

Paddy Buckley Round Speed Record

Another fell running loop, the Paddy Buckley Round is a Welsh link-up of 47 peaks over 100 kilometers. Damian Hall (U.K.) set a new speed record here in 17:31. Tim Higginbottom held the previous record of 17:42 set in 2009.

Damian Hall after setting a new speed record on the Paddy Buckley Round in Wales. Photo courtesy of Damian Hall.

Monte Rosa Skymarathon

Italy’s Monte Rosa Skymarathon requires runners to compete as teams of two, roped, given the risk of exposed snowfields. Building on the race’s return in 2018, the second year of the race’s second coming ran the original 1993 course, about 35k (22 miles) and with 3,500 meters (11,500 feet) of elevation gain. Last year’s winner William Boffelli (Italy) won again, but this year with new teammate Jakob Herrmann (Austria). The two finished in 4:51, 19 minutes better than second. Giuditta Turini and Laura Besseghini, both of Italy, led the women’s race up until the final descent when a fall caused them not to finish. Two all-Polish teams were left to sprint it out and Natalia Tomasiak and Katarzyna Solinska won in 6:38, 16 seconds better than Miska Witowska and Iwona Januszyk. Full results.

William Boffelli and Jakob Herrmann, 2019 Monte Rosa Skymarathon champions. Photo: Monta Rosa Skymarathon

Sinks Canyon Rough and Tumble 50k

Just outside of Lander, Wyoming, cold weather led to fast times at the Sinks Canyon Rough and Tumble 50k. Both Carlos Ruibal and Courtney Schwartz set new course bests in 4:24 and 5:54. Full results.

Old Cascadia

Course records were set all around at the second-year Old Cascadia 100-mile race in Oregon’s Willamette National Forest. Peter Anderson and Alyson Kirk won the 100-miler in 22:42 and 25:58. Full results.

Catamount Ultra 50k

Rob Bond and Britta Clark both became two-time winners at Vermont’s Catamount Ultra 50k. The pair ran 3:46 and 4:20 and both broke their own previous course records. Full results.

Manitou’s Revenge 54 Mile

Good weather but muddy trails kept finish times slow at upstate New York’s Manitou’s Revenge 54 Mile. Ben Nephew successfully defended his 2018 championship with an 11:25 run, and Kelly McDonald upgraded from second a year ago to win this year in 13:40. Full results.

Ben Nephew hopping rocks enroute to winning the 2019 Manitou’s Revenge 54 Mile. Photo: Manitou’s Revenge

Next Weekend – Western States 100 – Auburn, California

iRunFar is heading west for the Western States 100. Separate men’s and women’s pre-race previews are up, and a whole bunch more coverage is coming this week.

Jim Walmsley, defending champion and course-record holder, headlines the men’s field, but a small slip–which Walmsley knows can happen at Western–could let 2017 winner Ryan Sandes (South Africa), 100-mile rookie but sub-four-minute miler Matt Daniels, 2019 Lake Sonoma 50 Mile winner Jared Hazen, or some other man earn the prized cougar trophy.

Just like in the men’s race, the defending champion is a heavy favorite. Courtney Dauwalter is incredibly consistent and rarely misses, but ultras–particularly one like Western States–are fickle, even for Dauwalter. The door’s open then for any of the other top returners like Kaytlyn Gerbin or Lucy Bartholomew (Australia), or race newcomers like Addie Bracy and Francesca Canepa (Italy).

Full entrant list.

Next Weekend – Lavaredo Ultra Trail – Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italia

Western States is in the Ultra-Trail World Tour, and so too is the Lavaredo Ultra Trail. I think of this one as a mini-UTMB, but ‘mini’ almost doesn’t work. Lavaredo is still 120k (75 miles), and it’s got 5,800 meters (19,000 feet) of elevation gain all on a single loop through the super-sharp Italian Dolomites.

Women

  • Lisa Borzani (Italy) – 1st 2017 Tor Des Géants
  • Magdalena Boulet (USA) – 6th 2019 Lake Sonoma 50 Mile
  • Denise Bourassa (USA) – 3rd 2019 San Diego 100 Mile
  • Cat Bradley (USA) – 8th 2018 UTMB
  • Caroline Chaverot (France) – 1st 2017 Hardrock 100
  • Gill Fowler (Australia) – 6th 2019 Ultra-Trail Australia
  • Kathrin Götz (Switzerland) – 3rd 2018 Lavaredo Ultra Trail
  • Fiona Hayvice (New Zealand) – 4th 2018 Tarawera 100 Mile
  • Maite Maiora (Spain) – 4th 2019 Madeira Island Ultra-Trail
  • Mariya Nikolova (Bulgaria) – 9th 2018 UTMB
  • Francesca Pretto (Italy) – 7th 2019 Madeira Island Ultra-Trail
  • Kami Semick (USA) – 19th 2019 Lake Sonoma 50 Mile
  • Audrey Tanguy (France) – 3rd 2019 Madeira Island Ultra-Trail
  • Anna-Marie Watson (U.K.) – 1st 2018 Oman by UTMB

Chaverot is a favorite for any race she lines up for, but she’s missed a lot of start lines–and even more finish lines–the last two years while dealing with injuries. According to her social media, she’s had two months of Lavaredo training since her most recent physical hiccup, including racing a sub-ultra-distance trail race. Let’s see.

Men

  • Sebastien Camus (France) – 9th 2018 Diagonale des Fous
  • Sylvain Court (France) – 1st 2018 Mont-Blanc 90k
  • Fulvio Dapit (Italy) – 4th 2017 Lavaredo Ultra Trail
  • Javier Dominguez (Spain) – 10th 2018 UTMB
  • Yeray Durán (Spain) – 2nd 2016 TDS
  • Tim Freriks (USA) – 2nd 2019 Crown King Scramble 50k
  • Harry Jones (U.K., lives in Thailand) – 8th 2018 CCC
  • Gabe Joyes (USA) – 1st 2018 Bighorn 100 Mile
  • Arnaud Lejeune (France) – 2nd 2015 Ultra-Trail Mount Fuji
  • Andrea Macchi (Italy) – 5th 2018 Lavaredo Ultra-Trail
  • Sam McCutcheon (New Zealand) – 3rd 2018 Tarawera Ultramarathon
  • Jia-Sheng Shen (China) – 1st 2019 Hong Kong 100k
  • Sangé Sherpa (Nepal, but living in France) – 6th 2018 Ultra-Trail Cape Town
  • Tim Tollefson (USA) – 3rd 2019 Madeira Island Ultra-Trail
  • Yan-Qiao Yun (China) – 1st 2019 The North Face 100k – China

There’s quite a bit of parity among the men’s field, and this is certainly looking like the most competitive men’s race Lavaredo’s yet seen. It’s darn-near impossible to call a possible winner out of this group!

Full entrant list.

Call for Comments

Were you at a race we covered in this column? Or did you run another one that we didn’t? We want to know more! Tell us all about your weekend races and happenings in the comments section. Thanks.

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 23 comments

  1. Jenny

    Julie Kheyfets crushed the course record at TGNY100, finishing 100 miles in 16:51, in 85-degree heat on New York City pavement on a cloudless day. Way to go, Julie!

    1. SteelTownRunner

      2019 winners of The Great New York 100 mile Running Exposition were Matt Collins 16:11:34 and Julie Kheyfets in a course record of 16:51:25 (prior CR was 17:48:50; men’s CR is 15:19:18). Provisional results follow for the 100 mile. The concurrent 100 km results have not yet been posted (though Matt and Julie were the first through the 100 km aid station / finish line).
      https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1hWUdxASVHQnPaQ9W7tbIciWerGHDrGZ-X40Pv4Zh6KE/edit#gid=2140603677

  2. Jared Gell

    The Mt. Lakes Backyard Ultra kicked off on Friday night with 70 competitors. The course was brutal and at hour 15, there were only 15 left. Only 7 finished loop 16. Sean O’Conner won with a 42 minute final loop at hour 32. I can’t say enough about the event, the course and the racers. It was outstanding and Sean truly deserves that Golden Ticket into Big’s Backyard.

    1. T4

      It should be noted that the Mountain Lakes Backyard course quantifiable more difficult in respect to the elevation gain/loss during both the day and night loops when compared to the courses at other backyard events, including Big’s. The day and night loops both featured upwards of 500 ft gain and loss per loop afforded by three or two sustained climbs, respectively, rather than being spread more evenly throughout the 4.166667 miles. Within this framework, the eventual last man standing’s accomplishment is even more impressive. It will be interesting to see what he can do in October given his recent performance.

      1. Jared Gell

        You nailed it! We were all caught quite a bit off-guard by how hard it was. That being said, it was an amazing event and the Steep Endurance team were truly first class. I can’t wait to go back next year!

        1. Brian

          Thanks Jared! As the RD for this new event, it went better than my wildest expectations. We had awesome weather, saw some great perseverance all day and night from the runners and experienced the best in the trail/ultra community. We hope to see you again next year!

  3. Steve

    Nicole Mericle Might be an ocr rock star but then that makes Lindsey Webster the ocr queen. She is currently ocr world and Spartan world champion for those interested in her background. She has been quite dominant in Oct for the last couple of years and no doubt in part to her mountain legs. Also, interestingly, her husband, Ryan Atkins, another ocr champion competed in the men’s race and finished 5th, a couple of minutes behind Paddy, which is no mean feat considering he’s not a small guy and does one armed pull-ups for fun.

  4. Geoff Quine

    The course was shorter this year due to three minor course changes, all snow and/or safety related. Runners took the direct line up KT22 whereas last year they took the switchbacks. The Shirley Loop was shortened due to dangerous snow bridges that couldn’t be mitigated near Shirley Lake. The descent from High Camp was also a tiny bit shorter to also avoid some steep sidehill snow sections.

  5. Ben Psaila

    Looking forward to supporting Anna-Marie Watson at Lavaredo. After a great example of sheer determination and stubbornness to complete the hot, humid and flat Ultra X Sri Lanka back in April, I know she’s really excited to be back in her favourite environment- the mountains!!!

  6. SageCanaday

    It’s technically not an ultra (only 42km), but the Mont Blanc Marathon is going down this weekend in Chamonix as part of the Golden Trail Series and is probably by far the most competitive trail-ultra race for this coming week. Over 26 guys with ITRA scores over 850 (including of course Kilian Jornet) and over 28 women with ITRA scores over 650. Now that is competitive depth!

    1. Stephen

      No Kilian this year in Cham I don’t think. He did this past weekend put 2:30+ into Stian in the Norwegian uphill national championship though. 1,100+ meters in 7k.

      1. SageCanaday

        It appears you’re right. I may have misspoke about Kilian doing Mont Blanc Marathon this year (he did it last year as part of GTS though). Seems he will focus on Sierre-Zinal and Pikes Peak for the series. Still, this race will be very, very deep (according to ITRA scores).

  7. Matias Saari

    Hayden Hawks is also a late entrant to Alaska’s Mount Marathon Race on July 4. Will be interesting to see if he can join Max King in challenging defending champion and record holder David Norris.

  8. Jeremy S

    As well, another backyard ultra took place in Calgary the “Outrun Backyard Ultra” put on by Canada’s Dave Proctor. Laz was present to assist in race directing. While the course experienced crazy amounts of rain, mud and necessary course changes, it came down to two athletes competing to finish the required 32 laps to qualify for the golden ticket to the big show this Fall. Matthew Shepard outlasted Kevin Barata in the end completing 214kms. Kevin was all but done at 28 laps, but in a selfless and heroic feat decided to gut out 3 more laps so could get that golden ticket. 3rd to 5th completed just over 100 miles (161kms).

  9. SteelTownRunner

    John Kelly will also be running Lavaredo. I haven’t any idea how competitive he’d be in that race in general if it was a target race, nor as one event in the middle of a long schedule which included a recent attempt at his self-propelled The Grand Round.

  10. Yusef Carrillo

    Lavaredo this year will be interesting with the heatwave. A couple of canyons get really hot with the vertical walls reflecting heat. Travenazes turns into a cooker. With a high of 85 and very humid conditions I would expect some blowouts.

  11. Brian

    There’s a slight correction to the Manitou’s Revenge writeup. Andy Vermilyea was the champion 2018 in a course record of 10:47. Ben was 7 minutes behind in 10:54. Andy was unable to run this year as he was out with an injury.

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