This Week In Running: February 10, 2020

This Week in Running Justin Mock TWIRThe Ultra-Trail World Tour came back with the Tarawera Ultramathons 102k in New Zealand, Jim Walmsley pushed his marathon training further than ever before, and two American adventurers raced in far-off Saudi Arabia. We’ve got a full column here, and can’t wait to share!

Tarawera Ultramarathons – Rotorua, New Zealand

Men

Mount Tarawera last erupted in 1886, but Tom Evans (U.K.) brought some fire to this year’s Tarawera Ultramarathons 102k. Evans, third at last year’s Western States 100, ripped through the 102k (63 miles) lake(s)-fronted course in 8:03. Evans was way out in front.

“It was just one of those days where everything felt right,” Evans told race media afterward. “For me the beginning was to chill out and then work on the technical sections and finally see if I could carry it home, and it went to plan,” he said.

Tom Evans, 2020 Tarawera Ultras 102k Champion. Photo: Kurt Matthews

Second-place Mathieu Blanchard (France, lives in Canada) finished in 8:39, and fast-closing Kris Brown (USA) was third in 8:40. Brown was just 55 seconds back of Blanchard and reports had the drained American going straight to the recovery tent upon finishing.

Deeper results included:

4 – Andrius Ramonas (Lithuania, lives in New Zealand) – 8:47
5 – Sage Canaday (USA) – 8:54
6 – Patrick Reagan (USA) – 8:55
7 – Josh Garrett (New Zealand) – 9:27
8 – Tim Locke (Australia) – 9:33
9 – Catlow Shipek (USA) – 9:34
10 – Kunaal Rajpal (New Zealand) – 9:46

Zach Bitter (USA) fell early and finished 17th in 10:46.

Although included on the entrant list, none of Ryan Bak (USA), Reece Edwards (Australia), Stephen Kersh (USA), or Roberto Mastrotto (Italy) started the race.

The event also included competitive 100-mile and 50k races, and in the 100 miler, Vlad Shatrov (Australia) ruled with a 15:53 winning time. That bettered Jeff Browning’s course record from 2018 by 25 minutes. Yoshihiko Ishikawa (Japan) was second and Adam Kimble (USA) was third in 16:48 and 18:23, respectively.

Twenty-three-year-old Michael Voss (New Zealand) led Ben Duffus (Australia) and Vajin Armstrong (New Zealand) in the 50k. The group finished in 3:41, 3:46, and 3:54.

Women

Speed kills, and Manuela Soccol (Belgium) is a 2:37 Olympic marathoner. Soccol escaped Anne-Marie Madden (Canada) late and won in 9:39, placing 10th overall.

“In the beginning I didn’t think I could win because the race was so fast, but I was feeling strong and I just risked it all. I have no words to describe this feeling. It is just so phenomenal. I think I proved myself today with this win,” Soccol gushed at the finish.

Manuela Soccol, 2020 Tarawera Ultras 102k Champion. Photo: Kurt Matthews

Madden held on for second in 9:52, and Naomi Brand (South Africa) was third in 10:31.

The rest of the top 10 ran as follows:

4 – Nicole Bitter (USA) – 10:46
5 – Konoka Azumi (Japan) – 10:55
6 – Kate Loye (New Zealand) – 11:01
7 – Sarah Ludowici (Australia) – 11:10
8 – Helene Barron (New Zealand) – 11:52
9 – Fiona Hayvice (New Zealand) – 11:54
10 – Michelle McAdam (Australia) – 11:55

Others we included in last week’s preview were:

  • Mel Aitken (New Zealand) – DNF
  • Hanny Allston (New Zealand) – DNF
  • Lucy Bartholomew (Australia) – 13th, 12:24
  • Francesca Canepa (Italy) – DNF

Ailsa MacDonald (Canada) dominated the women’s 100 miler, winning by over four hours in 18:10. Of that runaway success, MacDonald said, “I had a good build coming into the race and I always race really well at this time of the year. I thought I had a good shot coming in, but to place top-three overall was beyond my dreams.”

Second- and third-place Caroline Sebert (France) and Sue Crowley (New Zealand) followed in 22:14 and 22:28.

In the 50k, Caitlin Felder (New Zealand) crushed it in 4:11. Debbie Donald (New Zealand) and Ella Higgins (Australia) ran 4:39 and 4:40 for second and third.

Full results.

The next Ultra-Trail World Tour race is the March 4 Transgrancanaria 128k (79 miles) in Spain. After that, it would’ve been the March 23 Gaoligong by UTMB race in China, but that event was just cancelled due to coronavirus concerns.

Sean O’Brien 100k and 50 Mile – Malibu, California

Men

Over 100k at Sean O’Brien, Daniel Kwon and Ruperto Romero battled to 10:10 and 10:18 finishes. Michael Chamoun was a distant third in 10:46.

Dylan Bowman captained the 50-mile race in a dominant 7:05. He won this same race back in 2014, on an incredible day, in 6:23. The posted results currently reflect some 100k v. 50-mile shuffling, but we understand that Yassine Diboun was second in 8:28, and Gabriele Vajente was third in 8:33.

Women

Luzia Buehler dipped under the 11-hour mark and won the women’s 100k race in 10:59. Susan Oh and Sarah McMahon were second and third in 12:03 and 12:15.

For the 50 miler, Stacia WatsonZoe Jacobs, and Maude Farrell went one-two-three in 10:18, 10:42, and 10:56, respectively.

Full results.

Additional Races and Runs

EcoTrail AlUla

Michael Wardian and Amy Sproston sure are global adventurers. The two won Saudi Arabia’s EcoTrail AlUla 83k (51 miles) race in 8:19 and 10:02. Wardian commented on social media that the course was full of “lots of soft sand, some harsh winds, and if not loose rocks, scree, and pokey bushes,” among other challenges. Full results.

Orcas Island 100 Mile

A week after the Orcas Island 50k, Rainshadow Running was back on Washington’s Orcas Island, or maybe they never left. Malcolm Suarez (Canada) and Alex Borsuck won the Orcas Island 100 Mile race in 21:24 and 26:40. Full results.

Pemberton Trail 50k

You can go your own way, go your own way. There’s 264 men qualified for the February 29 Olympic Marathon Trials, but I bet no one other than Jim Walmsley ran 50k this weekend. Walmsley did it at the Pemberton Trail 50k outside of Phoenix, Arizona. Walmsley ran an even 1:24 on each of the two 15.2-mile loops for a 2:49 finish, and then added on to get a full 31.1 miles in 2:53. This is at a trail race, and for perspective, the American 50k record–set on a road and track combination course–is Josh Cox’s 2:43 from 2011. February 29, and the later Comrades Marathon, can’t get here fast enough. Full results weren’t online at the time of this article’s writing, so can you share who won the women’s race? Full results (when available).

The Franklins 200 Mile

Trail Racing Over Texas (TROT) sent folks out for 200 miles at Franklin Mountains State Park outside of El Paso, Texas. Trevor Meding came back as winner of the second-year The Franklins 200 Mile in 63:32. Julie Tertin won the women’s race and was third overall in 85:34. Full results.

Lone Star 100 Mile

The TROT folks had the Lone Star 100 Mile at nearly the same time in El Paso, Texas too. Nicholas Kopp and Alyson Kirk won in 23:49 and 27:12. Kirk won last year here too, the first of what was five 100-mile wins in 2019. Full results.

Rocky Raccoon 50 Mile

Elsewhere in Texas, it was the Rocky Raccoon 50 Mile race, a week later but on the same course as the Rocky Raccoon 100 Mile race. Ramon Rosales Jr. and Nicole Ederle ringed Huntsville State Park in 7:03 and 9:00 for the win. Full results.

Beast of Burden 100 Mile Winter Edition

Pete Kostelnick repeated as champion of New York’s Beast of Burden 100 Mile Winter Edition. He finished in 16:54, 26 minutes back of his 2019 time. It wasn’t yet clear who won the women’s race, so if you know, leave a comment to share. Thanks! Full results (when available).

Pete Kostelnick after winning the 2020 Beast of Burden 100 Mile Winter Edition. Photo: Beast of Burden 100 Mile

SCURF

The South Carolina Ultrarunning Festival of races had 100-mile, 24-, 48-, and 72-hour, and six-day races, all on a 0.584-mile loop. Jacob Moss and Heather McComb won the 24-hour race with 135 and 100 miles down, and Bob Hearn ran 100 miles in 14:44. It was a new American 50-54 age-group road record, bettering Jean Pommier‘s former 14:47. However, Jay Aldous still holds the American 50-54 age-group track record at 13:53. Full results.

Next Weekend – Black Canyon 100k – Mayer, Arizona

Next weekend’s Black Canyon 100k in Arizona is the next stop in the 2020 Golden Ticket Series where the top-two men and women earn entries into the 2020 Western States 100. Let’s look at who should be leading the men’s and women’s fields.

Men

  • Jeff Colt – 1st 2019 Jemez 50 Mile
  • Guillaume Hansel – 1st 2019 Cuyamaca 100k
  • Hayden Hawks – 1st 2019 Chuckanut 50k
  • Jesse Haynes – 2nd 2019 Scout Mountain 100 Mile
  • Can-Hua Luo (China) – 11th 2019 UTMB
  • Tyler Sigl – 2nd 2019 Chuckanut 50k
  • Charlie Ware – 4th 2019 Tarawera Ultras 102k

Women

  • Stephanie Auston (Australia) – 2nd 2019 Tarawera Ultras 102k
  • Allison Baca – 1st 2019 Silver Rush 50 Mile
  • Magda Boulet – 1st 2019 Leadville Trail 100 Mile
  • Cecilia Flori (Italy, lives in New Zealand) – 1st 2019 JFK 50 Mile
  • Corrine Malcolm – 10th 2019 Western States 100
  • Jo Meek (England) – 1st 2019 Golden Ring 100k
  • Kristina Randrup – 2nd 2019 American River 50 Mile

Full entrant list.

Next Weekend – Jackpot Ultrarunning Festival – Las Vegas, Nevada

Roll the dice. It’ll be a small but speedy field at the Jackpot Ultrarunning Festival. The race is the the USATF 100-Mile Road National Championships and has a $10,000 cash purse. The course is a 1.17-mile loop that runs faster than the spin of neighboring casino slots.

Men

  • Mark Hammond – 1st 2019 Desert Solstice 100 Mile (12:35)
  • Jacob Jackson – 7th 2019 IAU 24-hour World Championship (164.70 miles)
  • Jon Olsen – 1st 2018 Jackpot Ultrarunning Festival 100 Mile (13:39)
  • Olaf Wasternack – 5th 2019 Jackpot Ultrarunning Festival 100 Mile (15:57)

Women

  • Emily Collins – 1st 2019 Burning River 100 Mile
  • Connie Gardner – 1st 2019 Jackpot Ultrarunning Festival 100 Mile (18:15)
  • Marisa Lizak – 1st 2019 Desert Solstice 24 Hour (148.08 miles)
  • Pam Smith – 4th 2019 IAU 24-Hour World Championships (152.69 miles)

Full entrant list.

Call for Comments

What were you watching this past weekend? As long as it wasn’t the XFL, tell us about it here.

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 20 comments

  1. Del

    Was a ridiculous performance from Tom Evans! To maintain that pace over 62 miles is incredible! Looking forward to seeing how he does on the Western States this year!

    1. Joe

      I also ran the 100k (much more slowly than Tom, of course). The course is actually 102.9K (My GPS had an even 65 miles), the middle 20-30k is super technical, and there’s 10,000+ft of climbing (on a net-uphill course). Just a stunning performance.

    1. Trevor Meding

      Correct on Scott’s comment. Also I was not 1st place last year. That honor goes to John Kelly who won the inaugural event, where i was 3rd last Feb. behind John & Thure Tornbo Baastrup. Scott is correct in that this is the last year for the Franklins 200/Lone Star 100 (However the 100k portion will move to Nov. moving forward – see TROT website for full details on that).

  2. Eli D.

    Shoutout to Witt Wisebram for winning the 6 day at SCURF in South Carolina this weekend with 405+ miles in his first stab at the distance!

    1. Bob Hearn

      Yes 405 for a 6-day debut is quite an accomplishment! I was only there for the last day, but I was shocked at how smooth he looked and how well he was moving. That’s not what people look like after running for 6 days.

  3. Gary Gellin

    re: Sean O’Brien
    This is actually the exact same 50 mile course as in 2014 (see Strava links below). Dylan ran an absolutely mind-boggling effort on this course in 2014 leaving people like me scratching their heads. He was pushed by Chris Vargo for much of the race until Chris DNF’d, and then he plowed hard and fast to the finish. Dylan is coming back from a 2019 injury still.

    https://www.strava.com/activities/3086663715/overview
    https://www.strava.com/activities/110504880/overview

  4. noah

    I got passed by DBo (I started an hour earlier doing the 100k) and he was absolutely flying. I didnt see another 50m runner for over an hour. Glad to see he’s coming back strong

    1. Justin Mock

      Thanks, I just made a similar edit to the SOB 50-mile results, as I understand there was some 100k v. 50-mile sorting out happening.

  5. Rob P

    Thanks for posting, I always enjoy the updates.
    I wonder if you may want to emphasise, though, that Ailsa McDonald actually came 3rd overall in the Tarawera 100miler? Pretty incredible and surely deserves a mention.

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