This Week In Running: April 4, 2016

This Week In Running’s trail and ultra recap for April 4, 2016.

By on April 4, 2016 | Comments

This Week in Running Justin Mock TWIRIt was a big weekend of racing and another big one is just ahead. In ‘This Week in Running,’ we highlight the Gorge Waterfalls 100k, American River 50 Mile, Umstead 100 Mile, and more, while next week’s Mad City 100k is previewed.

Gorge Waterfalls 100k – Cascade Locks, Washington

Ruy Ueda and Jodee Adams-Moore raced out and back through the Columbia River Gorge the fastest on Saturday. Ueda, a 22-year-old from Japan, ran 2:28 at February’s Tokyo Marathon and, among U.S. races, he was fifth at last year’s Sean O’Brien 100k.

Making a successful move from roads to trails, Bay Area runner Chris Mocko, and his stars-and-stripes shorts, was second in 9:10, and women’s runner-up Amanda Basham chased Adams-Moore to a 10:34 finish. Each of the men’s and women’s first-two finishers earned automatic entry to the Western States 100.

Both Ueda and Mocko finished inside Justin Houck’s 9:22 course record from last year. The rest of the men’s top five included Jeremy HumphreyRyan Ghelfi, and Rob Russell. The group finished in quick succession at 9:34, 9:36, and 9:38. 2015 third-place finisher Ben Stern was sixth in 9:46. Pegged as my other pre-race favorite, Ryan Smith, finished well off the lead pace after what was thought to be a big bonk in the race’s second half.

Each of the top-four women bettered Michele Yates’s 11:03 course record from 2015, though as with the men’s race, last year’s event included added mileage as runners overcame course sabotage. Rounding out the women’s top five were Keely HenningerCorinne Malcolm, and Darcy Piceu with 10:54, 10:55, and 11:15 finishes. Malcolm’s effort doubled her longest run distance to date. Ashley Erba did not finish after suffering what was believed to be an ankle injury.

Full results (when available).

The sixth and final Western States Golden Ticket race is next weekend’s Lake Sonoma 50 Mile in California.

American River 50 Mile – Folsom, California

Chris DeNucci and Devon Yanko were runaway champs on the point-to-point course alongside the race’s namesake river. DeNucci clocked 6:00 and Yanko ran 7:10. Chris Wehan and Ian Sharman joined DeNucci on the men’s podium, finishing in 6:10 and 6:17, while Yanko was followed by Bridget Burley and Nikki Kimball in 8:06 and 8:18, respectively.

Devon Yanko - 2016 American River 50 Mile champion

Devon Yanko, 2016 American River 50 Mile champion. Photo: NorCal Ultras

DeNucci’s calendar includes August’s Squamish 50 Mile and Sharman will race next weekend’s Gorge Waterfalls 50k. Yanko is registered for May’s Thunderbunny 50k in southeastern Ohio ahead of June’s Western States 100.

In the accompanying 25-mile race, Tracy Hoeg won the race overall and Brian Boyer won the men’s race and finished third overall.

Full results.

Chris DeNucci - 2016 American River 50 Mile champion

Chris DeNucci, 2016 American River 50 Mile champion. Photo: NorCal Ultras

Barkley Marathons – Frozen Head State Park, Tennessee

Notorious race director Gary Cantrell, affectionately known as Lazarus Lake, blew the conch shell at 9:43 a.m. on Saturday, April 2, and an hour later the five-lap Barkley Marathons got underway. Super fan Keith Dunn was again on site to provide excellent coverage via Twitter, and the below report draws from that source.

For the first time, the field included a blind runner, Rhonda-Marie Avery, and as part of the race’s requirement to collect book pages while on trail, all runners were required to learn enough braille to identify one page as theirs during the race.

At the time of this writing, Jared Campbell and Gary Robbins had completed three laps. Campbell was making a bid to become the event’s first three-time finisher, while Robbins was making his debut at the race. Five runners remained on lap three at the time of this writing, including the last woman standing, Jennilyn Eaton. Twenty-eight runners finished the first loop within the time limit, before the high drop rate thinned the group.

4/4/16 Update (1) – Early on Monday morning, Campbell, Robbins, and John Kelly are on lap four.
4/4/16 Update (2) – Late on Monday, Robbins and Kelly dropped from the race on the fifth lap, while Campbell appears to be on pace to finish.
4/4/16 Update (3) – Campbell finished just inside the 60-hour cutoff to become the race’s 17th finisher ever, and first three-time finisher.

Umstead 100 Mile – Raleigh, North Carolina

Jason Tischer and Leigh Jackson were champions at the 22nd annual Umstead 100 Mile. The pair completed the eight-lap course in 15:30 and 15:41. Jackson’s finish ranks second all time, trailing only Liza Howard’s 2014 course record. She previously raced Umstead in 2014, finishing fourth in 18:38.

Leigh Jackson - 2016 Umstead 100 Mile champion

Leigh Jackson, 2016 Umstead 100 Mile champion. Photo: Umstead 100 Mile

Second and third in the men’s race, Daniel Kosla and Brian Marshburn ran 16:15 and 16:43. Serge Arbona, who ran 14:09 in 2010, finishing second, was eighth overall in 18:26. Also on the women’s podium were Whitney Richman and Natalie Halapin. The two finished in 17:13 and 19:42. Richman’s mark sits just outside of the race’s top-10 rankings, while Halapin was less than a minute ahead of fourth-place Erin Valocsik.

Full results.

Jason Tischer - 2016 Umstead 100 Mile champion

Jason Tischer, 2016 Umstead 100 Mile champion. Photo: Umstead 100 Mile

Other Races

Billed as “The Toughest Trail Run in the Midwest,” Nebraska’s Ni-Bthaska-Ke Trail Run 12k saw a pair of new course records. Patrick Rizzo, who ran 2:13 at the 2008 Olympic Trials Marathon in Houston, has pledged to race on trails this year. He won the men’s race in 52:47. Kaci Lickteig dominated the women’s race with a 59:35 finish. Full results.

Stevie Kremer‘s ski-mountaineering season continued with a win at Leadville, Colorado’s Father Dyer Postal Route race. Elsewhere in Colorado, the Cody’s Challenge skimo race took place in Steamboat Springs. Max Taam won the long-course race for the fifth time in the event’s eight-year history. He finished in 1:31. Women’s winner Jessie White Young clocked 1:39. Both are atop the U.S. Ski Mountaineering Association’s 2015/16 season point rankings.

It’d been a long layoff from racing, but Chris Vargo was triumphant in his return. He won the 25th annual Crown King Scramble 50k, an Aravaipa Running event in Arizona. Vargo’s 3:47 finish eclipsed a 20-year-old course record. Alicia Shay won the women’s race in 4:34, finishing just 14 seconds off Ann Trason‘s long-time course record. Full results (when available).

Alicia Shay - 2016 Crown King Scramble 50k champion

2016 Crown King Scramble 50k women’s podium. Photo: Aravaipa Running

In Texas at the Hell’s Hill 50 Mile, it was Anthony Jacobs and Nicole Kalogeropoulos that were victorious in 6:46 and 8:25, respectively. It was Kalogeropoulos’s fourth-straight win at the event, and the race’s fourth-fastest finish ever. Wade Barrett and Sydney Lambert won the accompanying 50k in 4:10 and 5:04. Full results.

Jonathan Hastings and Amanda Debevc won Ohio’s Fools 50k in 4:04 and 4:51, respectively. The race took place on a two-lap course in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Full results.

At the other end of the state, southeastern Ohio’s second annual Iron Furnace Trail Half Marathon, held in the Lake Hope State Park, was won by Cody Chabola and Alison Wayner in 1:38 and 1:59. Waymer set a new course record at the second-year event, which boasted a sold-out field this year. Full results.

Rain and deteriorating ice conditions forced the cancellation of the fourth annual Tanana River Challenge 45 Mile, a winter ultra in Fairbanks, Alaska.

Oregon’s Shotgun Trail Blast 50k crowned Taylor Spike and Clare Taylor as race winners. The pair finished the sixth-annual race, held in the Shotgun Creek Recreation Area, in 4:36 and 4:37. Full results.

Paul Schoenlaub and Krista Purcell won the Prairie Spirit 100 Mile in Kansas in 18:16 and 21:53. The race was held on a rails-to-trails course with an out-and-back format. Full results (when available).

Exiting Mississippi and entering Alabama, Adam Kimble is on his way to the Atlantic as part of his cross-country run. Kimble began in California on February 15.

Next Weekend– Mad City 100k – Madison, Wisconsin

The perennial USATF 100k National Championships returns to the 10 x 10k course in Wisconsin’s capital. The men’s and women’s winners will automatically earn a place on the U.S. national team that will compete at the IAU 100k World Championships, though I wasn’t able to locate when and where that championship event will take place.


  • Nick Accardo — 4th at 2015 Mad City 100k
  • Mike Bialick — 1st at 2015 Mad City 100k
  • Geoffrey Burns — 1st at 2015 Mad City 50k
  • G. Anthony Kunkel — 3rd at 2015 Mad City 100k
  • Isaiah Janzen — 1st at 2014 NorthCoast 24-Hour Run
  • Timmy Parr — 2nd at 2016 Salida, Colorado Run Through Time Marathon
  • Eric Senseman — 5th at 2016 Caumsett 50k


  • Nora Bird — 6th at 2015 Door County Fall 50 Mile
  • Kelsie Clausen — 5th at 2015 White River 50 Mile April 5 Update – Clausen has scratched from the race.
  • Traci Falbo — 2nd at 2015 IAU 24-Hour World Championships
  • Cassie Scallon [Added April 7, 7:00 p.m. U.S Mountain Time]

Full entrant list.

Next Weekend – Bull Run Run 50 Mile – Clifton, Virginia

The 24th annual race over historic Civil War battlefields includes standout men’s competitors like James BlandfordMatt BuginBrian Rusiecki, and Leigh SchmittHolly Bugin and Kathleen Cusick are among the top women’s entrants. Blandford won last year’s race, while Matthew Bugin was third. Cusick was third in the women’s race a year ago.

Full entrant list.

Next Weekend – Lake Sonoma 50 Mile – Healdsburg, California

iRunFar will preview the event separately and provide live coverage of the race. Stay tuned.

Next Weekend – Marathon Des Sables – Morocco

iRunFar has previewed the fourth race of the 2016 Ultra-Trail World Tour separately, and will provide coverage during the week-long race. Stay tuned for our coverage.

Call for Comments

This time of year, the volume of races each weekend is increasing. As always, we welcome any additional results you care to share.

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.