This Week In Running: December 2, 2019

This Week in Running Justin Mock TWIRRace volume in the U.S. slows at the end of the calendar year, but competition remains strong elsewhere. We pointed our cursor to South Africa’s Ultra-Trail Cape Town, France’s SaintéLyon, and the Middle East’s Oman by UTMB races, among others. Sawubona, bonjour, and marhaba to Monday and these three races around the world then. 

Ultra-Trail Cape Town – Cape Town, South Africa

“When it’s over, that’s the time I fall in love again.” That lyric doesn’t really fit, but it’s stuck in my head as the 2019 Ultra-Trail World Tour reached its 20-race end. The sixth annual Ultra-Trail Cape Town 100k was the UTWT finale and had a front-loaded course with the bulk of its 4,300 meters (14,100 feet) of elevation gain across two big climbs in the race’s first half.

Women

It’s not supposed to be like this in the UTWT, but, geez, it wasn’t close at all! Beth Pascall (U.K.) flew around the zigzag of a loop course in 10:55. She won by way over an hour, and chunked off 26 minutes from the previous course record (Lucy Bartholomew, 2017). It was quite a year for Pascall. She was fourth at the Western States 100 and fifth at UTMB, among other successes. She’s due back for Western States next year, too.

Last year’s UTCT winner, Emily Hawgood (Zimbabwe), was pushed to second this year. She finished in 12:03, not matching last year’s place or finish time. Dominika Stelmach (Poland) was third in 12:15.

Fourth-place Nicolette Griffioen was the first South African, finishing in 12:24, and Amanda Basham (USA) was fifth in 12:36.

Drops included Landie Greyling (South Africa).

Beth Pascall - 2019 Ultra Trail Cape Town

Beth Pascall on her way to a course record at Ultra-Trail Cape Town. Photo: Neville Sharwood

Men

With 10k to go, Cody Reed (USA) chased down long-time leader Nicolas Martin (France), and then held off race favorite François D’haene (France). Reed won in 10:04, 13 minutes back of the course record (Prodigal Kumalo, 2017). D’haene overtook a fading Martin for second in 10:11, and Martin was ultimately third in 10:14.

Reed raced in New Zealand and Spain this year, too, and the win here in South Africa’s Mother City certainly is chief among his year’s performances.

French runners took four of the top-five finishes with Ugo Ferrari and Jean-Adrien Michel next up in 10:26 and 10:34.

Later results included 10th-place Paddy O’Leary (Ireland, living in USA) in 11:16. Seth Swanson (USA) moved up throughout the day, but was just 27th in 12:39. Australian speedster Vlad Shatrov was even more challenged with a 16:38 finish.

Neither Andre Jonsson (Sweden) nor Johan Lantz (Sweden) finished.

Full results.

Cody Reed - 2019 Ultra Trail Cape Town

Cody Reed taking home the UTCT victory. Photo: Neville Sharwood

La SaintéLyon – Saint-Étienne, France

The 76k (47 miles) La SaintéLyon race runs at night between Saint-Étienne and Lyon, and is part of a giant event that includes a number of relay challenges. Even better, this year’s 66th running happened in the rain, as well. 

Women

Camille Bruyas (France, lives on La Réunion), third at this year’s CCC, was victorious in the women’s race in 6:54. She was way off the front, while her chasers battled more closely for podium position. Sandrine Flechet (France) and Lucie Jamsin (France) were second and third in 7:27 and 7:33, respectively.

Men

Cédric Fleureton (France), the 2017 Trail World Championships third-placer, ruled the overnight hours with a 5:54 men’s win. Fleureton spent most of the year racing XTERRA triathlons to recover from injury, and he was fifth at the XTERRA World Championships triathlon in Hawai’i in October.

Just less than three minutes separated the next three runners, and from this group, Emmanuel Meyssat (France) escaped toward a second-place 6:02. Romain Mailllard (France) was third in 6:04 just three seconds ahead of Baptiste Chassagne (also of France)!

Full results.

Oman by UTMB – Nizwa, Oman

The Oman by UTMB group of races included two long hauls. There was both a 130k (81 miles) and 170k (105 miles), and those two packed in 7,800 meters (25,600 feet) and 10,400 meters (34,000 feet).

Women

Kaori Niwa (Japan) was first woman and third overall in the longest race. She finished in 41:29. Niwa is a veteran of races like UTMB and Hardrock, too.

Francesca Canepa (Italy) and Meredith Edwards (USA) dueled in the 130k race, with less than seven minutes of separation at the race end. Canepa was victorious in 26:11, and Edwards, in her first ultra in a year, chased to a 26:18 finish. Kathleen Leguin (France) was third in 27:40.

The race’s 50k was competitive, too. Sunmaya Budha (Nepal) upset a trio of more established names. Budha won in 6:12. Holly Page (U.K.) and Mira Rai (Nepal) were second and third in 6:34 and 6:43. Fernanda Maciel (Brazil, lives in Spain) was fourth in 7:10.

Francesca Canepa - 2019 Oman by UTMB 130km

Francesca Canepa upon winning the 2019 Oman by UTMB 130km. Photo: Oman by UTMB

Men

Adventurer Eoin Keith (Ireland) won the 105-mile race in 36:04.

French runners took all of the first three spots across the 130k. Romain Olivier led the group in a runaway 18:18. Julien Chorier was second in 20:29, and Sebastien Chaigneau was third in 21:05. Later results included Mike Foote (USA), sixth in 23:04, and Brett Rivers (USA), seventh in 23:21.

The men’s 50k saw Bhim Gurung (Nepal) win in 5:26 with Germany’s Moritz auf der Heide 12 minutes back in 5:38. An Omani runner, Jamal al Hatmi, was third in 5:47.

Full results.

Eoin Keith - 2019 Oman by UTMB 170km

Eoin Keith on his way to winning the 2019 Oman by UTMB 170km. Photo: Oman by UTMB

Other Races and Runs

The North Face 100 Ultra Trail Challenge Moganshan

It’s hard to completely translate the The North Face 100 Ultra Trail Challenge Moganshan website, but this race in eastern China actually looks to be something of a misnomer, I think. The longest race was just 70k (43 miles). Meiling Xu (China) topped the women’s group in 8:24 and Jiasheng Shen (China), this year’s Vibram Hong Kong 100k winner, championed the men’s race in 7:35. Full results.

Seattle Marathon

Ian Sharman was fourth in 2:41 at the Seattle Marathon. Full results.

Silicon Valley Turkey Trot

There were of course a ton of Thanksgiving Day road races, and we’re going to overlook most of them, but we shout out to Chikara Omine for wheeling around the Silicon Valley Turkey Trot 5k in California. Omine, a former 100k U.S. national team member, ran 15:36 for 30th place in the elite race. That’s a pretty quick 5k for an ultrarunner. Full results.

Black Diamond 40 Miler

The Black Diamond 40 Miler happened on Black Friday in Tennessee for a small group of opt outsiders. Mare Cara was first woman, fourth overall, in 6:32, and men’s winner Joshua Holmes set a new course best in 5:33. Full results.

Space Coast Marathon

Perennial winner David Kilgore did it again, topping his hometown Space Coast Marathon in Florida in 2:33. Kilgore raced the Trail World Championships for the U.S. this year, among other shorter ultras. Full results.

Next Weekend – Brazos Bend 100 Mile – Needville, Texas

The Trail Racing Over Texas Brazos Bend 100 Mile race is the year’s USATF 100-Mile Trail National Championships. Race organizers advertise it as 99.9% flat with just a single 10-foot hill, run across six laps. There’s a $1,250 first-place prize, plus a professional-wrestling-style championship belt for those that like a bodyslam or piledriver.

Women

  • Denise Bourassa – 5th 2019 HURT 100 Mile
  • Shandra Moore – 1st 2018 Brazos Bend 50 Mile
  • Michele Yates – 1st 2019 Run Rabbit Run 100 Mile

Additionally, Devon Yanko is registered for the race’s accompanying 50-mile contest.

Men

  • Jeff Ball – 14th 2019 Black Canyon 100k
  • Ronnie Delzer – 1st 2018 Rocky Raccoon 100 Mile
  • Patrick Reagan – 1st 2019 Javelina Jundred

Full entrant list.

Next Weekend – California International Marathon – Sacramento, California

A road marathon previewed on iRunFar? That’s right, it’s as much a factor of the end-of-year calendar as anything else, but also the California International Marathon is an excellent chance for all runners, including a handful with ties to trail running and ultrarunning, to chase an Olympic Marathon Trials qualifier. The course runs point to point and though with rolling hills, is an overall net downhill. Women must run under 2:45 and men under 2:19 to qualify for the February 2020 Olympic Marathon Trials.

Women

  • Lauren Coury – 2:47 2019 Grandma’s Marathon, 1st 2019 Mt. Hood 50 Mile
  • Ailsa MacDonald (Canada) – 2:44 2016 Houston Marathon, 6th 2019 CCC
  • Allison Morgan – Debut, 2015 U.S. mountain running team
  • Heather Tanner – 2:46 2017 Cal International Marathon, 4th 2016 IAU 50k World Championships
  • Lindsay Tollefson – 2:43 2017 Cal International Marathon, 4th 2016 Headlands 50k

Men

  • Max King – 2:17 2016 Olympic Marathon Trials, 1st 2019 Mount Marathon Race
  • Jorge Maravilla – 2:21 2016 Gold Coast Marathon, 1st 2019 Castle Peak 100k
  • Jacob Puzey – 2:26 2017 Boston Marathon, 1st 2015 Mt. Hood 50 Mile
  • Tommy Puzey – 2:20 2019 Houston Marathon, 6th 2016 Run Rabbit Run 100 Mile
  • Patrick Smyth – 2:15 2016 Olympic Marathon Trial, 2nd 2018 Chuckanut 50k

Full elite entrant list.

Call for Comments

We’re here for you, so tell us about your Thanksgiving Day race or run, or whatever else is on your mind!

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 14 comments

  1. NM

    Ryan Montgomery, 1st at Quicksilver 100k, 1st at Palisades 100 milers, and 2nd at Tahoe 200, is also racing Brazos Bend next weekend.

  2. Sabrina Little

    It looks like Michele Yates just jumped on the Brazos train. Woohoo! Such a fast course. I wish there were a bigger crew there competing.

  3. SteelTownRunner

    Ida Nilsson’s brother, David Nilsson (I believe he has barely dipped his toes in trail / ultras) ran a PB and new national record of 2:10:09 at the Valencia Marathon (in a pair of VF NEXT% for those keeping track).

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