Oh wow, the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials were great. The race had its share of late-race drama, surprises, and feel-good stories. In this week’s column, we tell you how the trail and ultrarunners did there, and we’ve got the USATF 50k Road National Championships, the U.S. Snowshoe Championships, and a few other goodies too.
U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials – Atlanta, Georgia
Challenging weather and a challenging course at the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials upended most of the pre-race favorites. None of the large group of sometimes trail runners and ultrarunners made the top 10, and most finished far off their personal bests, but they mostly probably ran as expected. The front three all of course qualified for the 2020 summer Olympics.
Aliphine Tuliamuk and marathon rookie Molly Seidel raced side-by-side late into the race before Tuliamuk broke free in the final mile to earn the race win in 2:27. Seidel clocked 2:27 too, and was just eight seconds back of the winner. Sally Kipyego did just enough to hold onto third and the final Olympic qualifying spot at 2:28.
As we sometimes do, we’ll run through all of the runners included in our preview from last week.
13 – Brittany Charboneau – 2:33
18 – Bethany Sachtleben – 2:36
32 – Kristen Findley – 2:38
59 – Rachel Drake – 2:41
121 – Ellie Pell – 2:44
139 – Ashley Brasovan – 2:46
141 – Ladia Albertson-Junkans – 2:46
160 – Polina Carlson – 2:47
180 – Camelia Mayfield – 2:48
194 – Deanna Ardrey – 2:48
197 – Devon Yanko – 2:48
204 – Elizabeth Ryan – 2:48
205 – Brittni Hutton – 2:48
228 – YiOu Wang – 2:50
267 – Tara Richardson – 2:52
268 – Lauren Coury – 2:52
280 – Kasie Enman – 2:52
329 – Marci Klimek – 2:57
Caitlin Robinson and Renee Metivier did not finish, and it appears that qualifier Lindsay Tollefson did not start.
Galen Rupp was the one favorite that did come through, finishing right where many expected him to. Rupp won in 2:09, 42 seconds better than everyone else. A late charge helped Jacob Riley make his first Olympic team in second at 2:10, and Abdi Abdirahman made his fifth Olympic team with an unlikely 2:10 third-place finish at age 43. Riley and Abdirahman were just a second apart as they sprinted to hold off fourth-place Leonard Korir.
And here’s how our group of familiar trail and ultra names that we previewed last week fared:
22 – Jim Walmsley – 2:15
74 – Austin Bogina – 2:21
82 – Tyler Andrews – 2:22
85 – Tim Chichester – 2:23
92 – Anthony Costales – 2:24
93 – Travis Morrison – 2:24
139 – David Fuentes – 2:30
153 – Zachary Ornelas – 2:32
Drops included Tyler Jermann, Joe Moore, Patrick Rizzo, and Patrick Smyth.
David Sinclair, Andy Wacker, and Cole Watson did not start.
Caumsett 50k – Lloyd Harbor, New York
Construction at Caumsett State Park pushed the Caumsett 50k 30 miles away to Heckscher State Park, on the south side of New York’s Long Island. The race was still held on a 10 x 5k loop though, and it was again the USATF 50k Road National Championships. Race winners automatically earned a spot on the U.S. team that will compete at the IAU 50k World Championships on November 27 in Jordan.
Two weeks ago Camille Herron won the Black Canyon 100k, and she was already back at it. Herron cruised through the 5k loops and won in 3:25. Trisha Steidl and Laura Kline were second and third in 3:41 and 3:48.
Kallin Khan dreamed of racing at the Olympic Trials, but he only got to 2:22 for the marathon and decided to flip to ultras, and dang, he’s jumping right in fast. On February 15 he was second at Oregon’s Hagg Lake 50k and a week later he won the Pyscho Wyco Run Toto Run 50k in Kansas. Caumsett was his third 50k in 16 days then, and he won here in 2:57.
Khan should still be travel weary by the time he attempts the Pioneer Spirit 50 Mile in California on March 14. That race too is a USATF championship.
Matthew Dewald and Michael Wardian finished in second and third in 2:59 and 3:06:10. Via social media, it appears Wardian’s effort is a 45-49 age-group American record for 50k.
Additional Races and Runs
Copper Corridor 50k
Rachel Dockendorf and Danny Harper won Aravaipa Running’s first-ever Copper Corridor 50k in Arizona with 5:35 and 4:43 leading times. Full results.
U.S. Snowshoe Championships
The 20th U.S. Snowshoe Championships went to really high-altitude Leadville, Colorado. For the women, Michelle Hummel won the world snowshoe championships a few weeks ago, so she should the national championships too, and she did. Hummel’s 49:21 was over two minutes better than anyone else. Second- and third-place Amber Zimmerman and Whitney Spivey finished in 51:30 and 57:30. Joe Gray won the men’s race in 41:18. Alex Willis was second in 41:55, and Josiah Middaugh was third in 42:26. Full results.
Arkansas’s Run LOViT 100-mile run happens on the Lake Ouachita Vista Trail. Stephanie Turner and Pierre-Loic Deragne (France) won in 24:49 and 21:01. The latter was a new course record. Full results (when available).
Mt. Cheaha 50k
Down in Alabama, Luke Paulson shook loose from Avery Collins for a win–unofficially–in 4:04. Collins was second three minutes back. The Mt. Cheaha 50k race goes point-to-point to finish at the top of 2,407-foot Mt. Cheaha. It was not yet clear who won the women’s race, so leave a comment to fill us all in. Thanks! Full results (when available).
The Wild Oak Trail 100 Mile
Kathleen Cusick finished The Wild Oak Trail 100 Mile race–closer to 112 miles–in 31:44, and men’s best Jason Hallenbeck was just ahead in 30:35. This is a low-key run on an unmarked course with no aid stations and no volunteers. Full results (when available).
Mt. Mitchell Challenge and Black Mountain Marathon
Snow closed Mt. Mitchell State Park in North Carolina and the 40-mile Mt. Mitchell Challenge didn’t happen. Instead, its runners were dropped into the Black Mountain Marathon for an out-and-back race. Lisa Holding-Eagle won the women’s race in 4:09. Second-place Lea Mulligan was three minutes back, and Kate Mingle was third in 4:19. For the men, 2017 40-mile race winner Nathan Holland returned and was victorious again. He finished in 3:14, and second- and third-place Michael Owen and Travis Zipfel both finished in 3:18, but with Owen 27 seconds in front. Full results (when available).
Next Weekend – Way Too Cool 50k – Cool, California
Next weekend’s Way Too Cool 50k might not have the star power of yesteryear, but it’s a chance for some others to race onto the podium and kickstart their 2020 seasons. There’s big parity in both the women’s and men’s fields.
- Chessa Adsit-Morris – 3rd 2019 FOURmidable 50k
- Jenny Comiskey – 8th 2019 Way Too Cool 50k
- Bree Lambert – 4th 2019 Quad Dipsea
- Kimber Mattox – 3rd 2019 U.S. Mountain Running Championships
- Kristen Mohror – 2nd 2019 Quad Rock 25 Mile
- Celia Stockwell – 1st 2019 Headlands 50k
- Rod Bien – 3rd 2019 Siskiyou Out Back 50k
- Gus Gibbs – 2nd 2019 Way Too Cool 50k
- Justin Grunewald – 7th 2020 Bandera 100k
- Ford Smith – 7th 2018 JFK 50 Mile
- Michelino Sunseri – 8th 2019 TNF Endurance Challenge Championships
- Darren Thomas – 2nd 2019 TNF Endurance Challenge Championships
- Scott Trummer – 1st 2019 Ohlone 50k
- Coree Woltering – 2nd 2018 American River 50 Mile
Next Weekend – Transgrancanaria – Grand Canary, Canary Islands, Spain
Race-coverage weekend! The iRunFar team is on their way to Transgrancanaria again. This is an Ultra-Trail World Tour contest on a 128k (79.5 miles) course with 7,500m (24,500 feet) of elevation gain. The deep international fields have been separately previewed too.
2019 runner-up Kaytlyn Gerbin (USA) headlines the world-class field. She’ll be joined by Azara Garcia (Spain) and Mimmi Kotka (Sweden), among others in the race up and down the island’s forested, volcanic, and coastal trails.
Pau Capell (Spain) won this race in 2019, 2018, and 2017, and he’s the favorite for another go in 2020. Key challengers will include Jared Hazen (USA) and recent Tarawera 102k runner-up Mathieu Blanchard (France).
Other Race News – UTMF
Ultra-Trail Mt. Fuji
The April 23 Ultra-Trail Mt. Fuji race is still on, for now. Coronavirus concerns are so significant though that the race directors issued a press release saying just that, that the race is still on, for now, but that it could be cancelled if concerns become greater. Additionally, all race staff and volunteers will wear masks, racers will have their temperatures checked pre-race, crews will not be able to provide personal support or enter aid stations, and several other ancillary parts of the weekend are being canceled or altered. Hong Kong’s TransLantau group of races were to be this weekend, but were earlier cancelled. Full release.
Call for Comments
What racing did you see that you liked this weekend?