This Week In Running: April 22, 2024

This Week in Running’s trail and ultra recap for April 22, 2024.

By on April 22, 2024 | Comments

This Week in Running Justin Mock TWIRIt was an all-star weekend. The Golden Trail World Series kicked off, the Marathon des Sables stage race finished up, and the USATF 100k Road National Championships went round and round. That’s enough for even the worst case of the Mondays.

Kobe Trail – Kobe, Japan

Best known for beef, the trails are really good in Kobe too. It was the year’s first Golden Trail World Series (GTWS) contest and the first-ever GTWS race in Japan. The race was held over a series of loops on an especially technical 21-kilometer course with 1,800 meters of elevation gain. There were 160 men’s finishers but only 36 women’s finishers.


Patrick Kipngeno (Kenya) won the men’s race in 2:22, just over a minute better than second-place Joey Hadorn (Switzerland). It was perhaps a bit of a surprise for both Kipngeno and Hadorn. It was thought that Kipngeno would be challenged on the technical course, but he gained the lead on the third of four loops and added to the gap on the final loop. Hadorn finished in 2:23. He won the Swiss Cross Country Championships in early March 2024 and is a world-class orienteer.

Patrick Kipngeno - 2024 Kobe Trail - men's winner

Patrick Kipngeno winning the 2024 Kobe Trail. Photo: Golden Trail Series/Kobe Trail/Colin Olivero

Third-place Elhousine Elazzaoui (Morocco), a breakout star in last year’s finale, finished in 2:28.

The full top 10 was:

  1. Patrick Kipngeno (Kenya) – 2:22:17
  2. Joey Hadorn (Switzerland) – 2:23:26
  3. Elhousine Elazzaoui (Morocco) – 2:28:43
  4. Bartłomiej Przedwojewski (Poland) – 2:28:49
  5. Daniel Pattis (Italy) – 2:30:45
  6. Marcin Kubica (Poland) – 2:31:05
  7. Roberto Delorenzi (Switzerland) – 2:32:41
  8. Bogdan Damian (Romania) – 2:32:45
  9. Cesare Maestri (Italy) – 2:33:40
  10. Alex Garcia (Spain) – 2:34:56

The top U.S. finisher was 15th-place Garrett Corcoran in 2:41:13.


Maude Mathys (Switzerland) returned from a long injury and overtook early leader Joyce Njeru (Kenya) in the third of four loops. Mathys pulled away from the field in the ultimate loop and won the women’s race in 2:52. It wasn’t at all close, Mathys was over six minutes better than everyone else.

Maude Mathys - 2024 Kobe Trail - women's winner

Maude Mathys climbing her way to victory. Photo: Golden Trail Series/Kobe Trail/Justin Galant

Sara Alonso (Spain) outkicked Theres Leboeuf (Switzerland) for second. Both finished in 2:58 with Alonso four seconds in front. Early pace pusher Njeru faded to fourth in 2:59.

[In 2015, Maude Mathys received a warning without suspension from the Disciplinary Chamber for Doping Cases of Swiss Olympic for two positive tests for clomifene (previously clomiphene) after it was determined that she was mistakenly taking the drug without first obtaining a World Anti-Doping Agency Therapeutic Use Exemption.]

Far from home, Spanish runners impressively took five of the top 10 spots. The full top 10 was:

  1. Maude Mathys (Switzerland) – 2:52:08
  2. Sara Alonso (Spain) – 2:58:34
  3. Theres LeBoeuf (Switzerland) – 2:58:38
  4. Joyce Njeru (Kenya) – 2:59:41
  5. Malen Osa (Spain) – 3:00:01
  6. Daniela Oemus (Germany) – 3:00:35
  7. Marta Martinez (Spain) – 3:03:05
  8. Rosa Lara Feliu (Spain) – 3:04:29
  9. Takako Takamura (Japan) – 3:05:15
  10. Julia Font (Spain) – 3:06:21

The top U.S. finisher was 12th-place Allie McLaughlin in 3:06:45.

Full results.

The next Golden Trail World Series race is next weekend’s Four Sisters Mountain Trail race in China.

Penyagolosa Trails – Castellón, Spain

The event marked a quarter century of racing in far eastern Spain with 2,000 runners but perhaps lacked some of the more well-known names from recent years.

The 106k race gained 5,560 meters and the 60k went for 3,300 meters. That’s roughly 66 miles with 18,241 feet of gain and 37 miles and 10,826 feet for the shorter race.

Ramon Recatalá (Spain) and Camille Bruyas (France) took the long course crowns for the men and women in 11:07 and 12:21. Recatalá remarkably won this same race 12 years earlier, and Bruyas set a new course record.

In the 60k, Jose Angel Fernandez (Spain) and Gemma Arenas (Spain) won in 5:23 and 6:23 for the men and women. Fernandez also won last year’s race. However, this year’s run was close, with second-place Julen Calvó (Spain) just less than three minutes back of Fernandez. Arenas’ win wasn’t assured until the end either. Runner-up Mar Pastor (Spain) was only five minutes behind.

Full results.

Gemma Arenas - 2024 Penyagolosa MIM - women's winner

Gemma Arenas running her way to victory at the 2024 Penyagolosa MIM race. Photo courtesy of race.

Mad City 100k – Madison, Wisconsin

The event was again host to the USATF 100k Road National Championships and winners earned an automatic spot on the U.S. team that will compete at the IAU 100k World Championships in India in December 2024. The race was run on a 10k loop, and the winners pocketed $500 in first-place prize money.


The top five men all finished under seven hours, but no one could touch Adam Vadeboncoeur. He was a 10-minute winner in 6:37. Second-place Ryan Miller moved up late to finish second in 6:47 and Kris Brown was third in 6:49.

Neringa Kaulinaite took the women’s crown in 7:48 and Allison Mercer was second in 7:55. Jessa Victor finished in 8:16 for third.

Neringa Kaulinaite - 2024 Mad City 100k - women's winner

Neringa Kaulinaite winning the 2024 USATF 100k Road National Championships. Photo: Lin Gentling


Cristobal Gutierrez and Lindsay Prescott won the accompanying 50k men’s and women’s races in 3:04 and 3:21, respectively.

Full results.

Marathon des Sables Legendary – Sahara Desert, Morocco

The six-stage, seven-day race lasted 253k (157 miles) across the desert. Runners go self-supported, carrying their own food and gear, and sleep in race-supplied camps along the way. iRunFar earlier shared the greater race dynamics.


Paul Atreides, Baron Harkonnen, meh. These dunes again belonged to Rachid El Morabity (Morocco).

The elder El Morabity won the men’s race for the 10th time, but it was still a comeback of sorts. In 2023, Rachid El Morabity dropped from the race after taking a three-hour penalty for accepting outside aid. This year’s run had some drama too. Rachid was just third on the race’s long third stage, finishing 54 minutes behind younger brother Mohamed El Morabity (Morocco). Mohamed then finished way back on the fifth day to cough up his lead. That vaulted Rachid back to the front of the race, but remarkably only 25 seconds in front after six days and 20 hours of running.

Rachid El Morabity finished in 20:42:19 and Mohamed El Morabity was second in 20:42:44.

As close as the two El Morabitys were, third-place Aziz Yachou (Morocco) was nearly right there too. He finished in 20:44.


Second on day five, women’s winner Aziza El Amrany (Morrocco) was otherwise dominant in the women’s race. She won five of the six stages and totaled 27:06 for a two-hour win. El Amrany was third in 2022 and second in 2023 before ascending to the top podium spot this year.

Aziza Raji (Morroco) and Gemma Game (U.K.) were second and third in 29:09 and 32:18, respectively. Raji was the race’s 2021 winner.

Full results.

Additional Races and Runs

Bucharest International Half Marathon – Bucharest, Romania

Madalina Florea (Romania) missed the start of the Golden Trail World Series to instead win her country’s half marathon national championships. Florea finished in 1:14:57. Full results.

Routeburn Classic – Fiordland National Park, New Zealand

It was the 19th edition of the 32k adventure run. Toby Batchelor was a runaway men’s winner in 2:48, 15 minutes better than his closest challenger. Sarah Douglas won the women’s race in 3:24, in doing so becoming the first person to win the event three times. Full results.

Squak Mountain 50k – Issaquah, Washington

DJ Remi was the first man in 6:21, but Isabella Poulos was the first overall finisher in 5:44, and also the women’s race winner. Full results.

G-Bar Ranch Ultra – Mariposa, California

The first-ever event had a 29-mile race with a small field led by Anthony Allopenna for the men and Beverley Anderson-Abbs for the women in 4:36 and 4:53. Full results.

The VUE Trail Runs – Sedona, Arizona

Craig Gillis and Alyson Kirk won the 50-mile race in 8:12 and 10:22, and Leif Baradoy and Samantha Candido were tops in the 34 miler at 6:05 and 7:25, respectively. Full results.

Antelope Canyon X Half Marathon – Lechee Rock, Arizona

Race local Trent Holiday won in 1:38, and Reese Ruland set a new women’s course record in 1:55. Full results.

Spitfire Ultra Trail Challenge – Menan, Idaho

Robert Nelson and Kristina Trygstad-Saari were 55k race winners in 6:25 and 5:26. Trygstad-Saari was the first overall finisher by nearly an hour, but just missed her own course record from 2022 by 15 seconds. Full results.

Royal Gorge Groove – Cañon City, Colorado

Trail rookie Daniel Finger and longtime ace Anna Mae Flynn both set new course records at the second-year 50k. Finger and Flynn finished in 4:18 and 5:04. Full results.

Trail Mix 50k – Rockford, Minnesota

The race goes back 33 years. Nick Holton, age 19, championed the men’s race in 3:47, and Bobbi Van Donsel was first in the women’s race in 5:00. Full results.

Earth Day 50k – Crystal Lake, Illinois

Brandon Queen, who was running his first ultramarathon, and Nikki Criscuolo came across the line first in 4:13 and 4:52, to win the men’s and women’s races, respectively. Full results.

Nikki Criscuolo - 2024 Earth Day 50k - women's winner

Nikki Criscuolo celebrating Earth Day with a 50k win. Photo: Jenny Thorsen

Forget the PR Mohican 50k – Loudonville, Ohio

The Mohican State Park race saw Jacob Conrad and Hannah Roberts finish first for the men and women in 4:50 and 6:00. Full results.

Stillhouse 100k – Soddy Daisy, Tennessee

There were just 20 finishers, but Coree Woltering set a new men’s course record in 11:54 and women’s frontrunners Christina Williams and Shannon Dye look to have finished in a first-place tie at 17:13. Full results.

Promise Land 50k – Bedford, Virginia

A hope and a prayer brought Aaron Slabach and Sawyer Magnett back to the church camp race finish first in 4:46 and 5:25. Full results.

TARC Spring Classic – Weston, Massachusetts

The Trail Animals Running Club event ran on a 10k loop inside the Jericho Town Forest. Mead Binhammer won the men’s 50k in 3:45, six minutes in front of Zack Beavin. Women’s 50k winner Lila Gaudrault came through in 4:14. In the marathon, both Gregory Esbitt and Michelle Boland finished in 3:57 to win the men’s and women’s races, respectively, with Boland also the overall winner by a 35-second margin. Full results.

Mead Binhammer - Zach Beavin - 2024 TARC Spring Classic 50k - men's top two

Zach Beavin (right) leading Mead Binhammer on trail during the 2024 TARC Spring Classic 50k. Photo: Chris Wristen

Boston Marathon – Boston, Massachusetts

Back on Monday, April 15, Patriot’s Day in Massachusetts, this year’s Boston Marathon saw some trail runners and ultrarunners amongst the front of the men’s and women’s fields. The men’s 50k world record holder CJ Albertson ran 2:09:53 for seventh place. It was a new personal best. And then it’s been some years since we saw Patrick Smyth on trails, but he went 2:15:45 for 18th place. Smyth was a 2017 U.S. Mountain Running Team member. Women’s 50k world record holder Des Linden was 16th in 2:28:27. Full results.

Call for Comments

What other trail runners and ultrarunners ran the Boston Marathon, and were there any familiar names in the London Marathon?

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.