This Week In Running: April 11, 2016

This Week In Running’s trail and ultra recap for April 11, 2016.

By on April 11, 2016 | Comments

This Week in Running Justin Mock TWIRThe Golden Ticket series of events concluded, and the USATF 100k Road National Championships took place, both with impressive results. These events and many others are among this week’s highlights.

Mad City 100k – Madison, Wisconsin

Geoff Burns, a former University of Michigan runner, shattered the Mad City 100k course record with a 6:30:37 finish time. Burns incredibly averaged 6:15 per mile while taking 13 minutes off Zach Bitter’s 2014 course best. Burns’s run ranks third all-time among Americans for the distance, just seconds off Tom Johnson’s 1995 6:30:11 run, and a few minutes back of Max King‘s 6:27:43 American record from 2014. Burns split 3:04:21 through 50k and was under world-record pace through 60k.

A year ago Burns ran the 50k here, finishing in 3:00. That too broke what was also a Zach Bitter course record. Burns’s personal bests include a 30:51 10,000m and a 1:07 half marathon, and he also won the New Orleans Mardi Gras Marathon earlier this year in 2:24 and was 10th at the IAU 50k World Championships last year in Qatar.

Also under the previous course standard, Patrick Reagan was a very strong runner-up in 6:35. Reagan ran 2:23 at the Olympic Marathon Trials in February. He has May’s Ice Age Trail 50 Mile on his calendar along with a number of USATF championships later in the year.  April 11 Update: Reagan has indicated that he will scratch from Ice Age and instead work towards the USATF 50k trail championship in August, the USATF half marathon trail championship in October, and then peak for the IAU 100k world championships at the end of the year.

Following the two frontrunners, Mike Bialick, last year’s winner, was third in 7:15. Fifty-year-old Steve Stowers impressively clocked 7:38 for fourth, and previous national team member Nick Accardo was fifth in 7:55.

Though the IAU 100k World Championships’s date and site have yet to be announced, it’s likely that Traci Falbo will be there. A veteran of international competition, Falbo, second at last year’s IAU 24-Hour World Championships, overtook early leader Cassie Scallon on the seventh of the race’s 10 laps. Falbo’s lead would then grow dramatically such that she finished in 8:27 to Scallon’s 9:12. Third-place Shannon Johnstone closed to within five minutes of Scallon at 9:18.

Six men and six women will make up the U.S. national 100k team. In addition to Burns, the next five positions would go to Reagan, Joe Binder, Zach Bitter, Matt Flaherty, and Chikara Omine. The women’s roster would include Falbo, Camille Herron, Sarah Bard, Meghan Arbogast, Justine Morrison, and Lorraine Young. The full selection process is detailed on the USATF site.

April 11 Update: The 2016 IAU 100k world championships will be held November 26, 2016 in Los Alcàzares, Spain.

The accompanying 50k also awarded a position on the national team, in this case with the group that will compete at the IAU 50k World Championships on November 11, 2016, again in Qatar.

Tyler Andrews was the 50k race winner in 2:56, stealing four minutes from Burns’s one-year-old 50k course record. Andrews also raced at worlds last year, finishing just over two minutes back of Burns in 12th place. Tyler Sigl was second in 3:09.

In the women’s 50k, Claudia Becque, who ran 3:09 at the hot Olympic Marathon Trials, was victorious in 3:32. She was eight minutes in front of second-place Elissa Ballas.

Full results.

The next USATF mountain, ultra, trail national championship will be the Cayuga Trails 50 Mile on June 4.

Lake Sonoma 50 Mile – Healdsburg, California

iRunFar was on site with live coverage of Jim Walmsley’s dominance and YiOu Wang’s breakthrough at the 50-mile distance. Walmsley ran 6:00 to earn a new course record and Wang won out in 7:14.

YiOu Wang - 2016 Lake Sonoma 50 Mile champion

YiOu Wang, 2016 Lake Sonoma 50 Mile Champion. Photo: iRunFar/Meghan Hicks

As Walmsley had already earned entry to the Western States Endurance Run, both second- and third-place Tim Freriks and Mario Mendoza earned Golden Tickets. Freriks, completely unknown to most entering the event, is a former Northern Arizona University collegiate runner.

Jim Walmsley - 2016 Lake Sonoma 50 Mile champion

Jim Walmsley, 2016 Lake Sonoma 50 Mile Champion. Photo: iRunFar/Meghan Hicks

Kaci Lickteig and Anna Mae Flynn joined Wang on the women’s podium, with Flynn overtaking early leader Camille Herron in the final mile to earn her prized entry to Western States.

iRunFar has separately provided greater coverage of the race.

The race concluded the Golden Ticket series of events. As far as we understand it, none of the four Sonoma Golden Ticket winners have confirmed they’d like to use them. They have two weeks to decide.

Earning Western States qualifiers at earlier events were:

  • Bandera 100k: Jim Walmsley, Chris DeNucci, Janessa Taylor, Michele Yates
  • Sean O’Brien 100k: Stephen Wassather, Jesse Haynes, Devon Yanko, Amelia Boone
  • Black Canyon 100k: Sage Canaday, Charlie Ware, Amy Sproston, Denise Bourassa
  • Georgia Death Race: Andrew Miller, Caleb Denton, Bethany Patterson, Maggie Guterl
  • Gorge Waterfalls 100k: Rui Ueda, Chris Mocko, Jodee Adams-Moore, Amanda Basham

Bull Run Run 50 Mile – Clifton, Virginia

Brian and Amy Rusiecki swept the 24th annual Virginia Happy Trails Running Club race. Brian won in 6:40 and Amy in 8:24. It was Brian’s fourth win here, and Amy’s first.

Marcus Jones and Chris Roberts also gained podium positions, running 7:07 and 7:16. Roberts edged out Daniel Fogg by just nine seconds for third. Ragan Petrie and Lisa Wonneberg ran 8:37 and 8:41 for second and third in the women’s race, respectively.

Full results.

The North Face Endurance Challenge – Sterling, Virginia

Just outside of Washington D.C. at the Algonkian Regional Park, Kyle Pietari won the 50-mile race in 6:52. Pietari was second at last year’s Leadville 100 Mile. Paul Riley and Jaron Martin were second and third in 7:04 and 7:09. Squeaking under the eight-hour mark, Helene Michaux was victorious in the women’s race in 7:59:57. Rachel Paquette and Hong De Sa followed in 8:23 and 8:48.

Adam Dohm and Laura Kline won the accompanying 50k in 3:54 and 4:36, and in the marathon, Joshua Delo and Sheila Vibert won in 4:01 and 4:15, respectively.

The next The North Face Endurance Challenge event is April in upstate New York.

Full results.

Marathon des Sables – Morocco

iRunFar is on site at the race and will provide deeper coverage of the race all week long, and has separately reviewed the stage race’s first day. Through day one, Rachid El Morabity holds a 17-second lead on Hammou Moudouji. The first three men all hail from Morocco. Russia’s Natalia Sedykh leads the women’s race by over 17 minutes, with France’s Nathalie Mauclair in second.

2016 Marathon des Sables Stage 1 - Rachid El Morabity stage winner

Rachid El Morabity won Stage 1 by a few-second margin. Photo: Cimbaly/V. Campagnie MdS 2016

2016 Marathon des Sables Stage 1 - Natalia Sedykh stage winner

Natalia Sedykh was the runaway women’s Stage 1 winner. Photo: Cimbaly/V. Campagnie MdS 2016

Other Races

Much like the Rusieckis above, married couple David and Megan Roche also earned a pair of first-place finishes. The Roches won Inside Trail’s Woodside Crossover 35k in northern California.

Salomon’s international team was in the U.K. for a team event and took part in the Coledale Horseshoe fell race. Carl Bell upstaged Max King for the win by a 14-second buffer. Tom Owens was fourth and Rickey Gates was sixth.

Cold rain that turned the clay soil to mud highlighted the Zion 100 Mile race. Can anyone comment on the race winners? April 13 UpdateMasazumi Fujioka and Kathryn Drew topped the 100-mile field in 17:36 and 23:01. Over 100k, it was Cody Callon and Keila Merino that were race winners with 9:49 and 13:01 finish times, and in the 55k, Mike Wolfe and Asa Eriksson ran 4:01 and 5:02, respectively. Full results.

Fernando Blanco set a new course record at the seventh running of southern California’s Oriflamme 50k. He ran 3:52 and women’s winner Deysi Oseguesa ran 5:35. Full results.

A week after the Gorge Waterfalls 100k, Rainshadow Running halved the distance for the point-to-point Gorge Waterfalls 50k in Oregon. Ian Sharman ran 4:28 for a first-place finish, 13 minutes in front of Yassine Diboun. The women’s victory went to Summer Cano in 5:21. Full results.

Travis Lavin was the runaway winner at the second annual Ozark Foothills 50k in Missouri. Lavin ran 4:07, and women’s winner Julie Moffitt clocked 5:50. Full results.

Iowa’s Hawkeye 50k crowned Todd Houge and Torey Lasater as champs in 3:45 and 4:45. Full results.

On a cold and snowy day in southwest Michigan, Sam Skeels and Rosa Haag won the Kal-Haven Trail Run 50k with 3:45 and 5:00 winning times, respectively. Full results.

Ryan Smith, presumably the same Ryan Smith that took part in last weekend’s Gorge Waterfalls 100k, won the Lifetime Fitness Austin Rattler Run 66k in 4:56. Shaheen Sattar led the women’s field in 6:03. Full results. April 11 Update: This Ryan Smith is not the Ryan Smith that raced last weekend’s Gorge Waterfalls 100k.

National team member Greg Armstrong ran 133.7 miles at the Columbus, Ohio Kia 24-hour Race, overcoming snowy and windy conditions.

Call for Comments

  • Jordan McDougal used to be a fixture at The North Face Endurance Challenge event in Washington D.C., winning it in 2012 and 2011. I haven’t seen his name in results of late, though. Does anyone know if McDougal is still competing?
  • Readers, what other events can you add to this week’s highlights? Share results in the comments to spread the word.
Justin Mock

Justin Mock is the This Week In Running columnist for iRunFar. He’s been writing about running for 10 years. Based in Europe, Justin has run as fast as 2:29 for a road marathon and finished as high as fourth in the Pikes Peak Marathon.