This Week In Running: August 13, 2018

This Week in Running Justin Mock TWIRIt happens every year around this time. Colorado fills the column up, thanks to races like the Pikes Peak Ascent and Marathon, and multiple races in Leadville. We’ve got that covered, but spotlight the Sierre-Zinal blockbuster and a bunch of other races too.

Sierre-Zinal – Zinal, Switzerland

Sierre-Zinal is sometimes called the perfect mountain race, and the race’s 45th edition had it all. Both defending champions were back, alongside many of the best mountain runners from around the world, and the race was part of both the World Mountain Running Association World Cup and the new Golden Trail Series. The point-to-point race runs just 31k (19 miles), but with 2,200 meters (7,200 feet) of elevation gain.


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He didn’t get Jonathan Wyatt’s longstanding course record, but Kilian Jornet (Spain) did win for an incredible sixth time, and fourth time in the last five years. Not just that, but Jornet’s 2:31:39 finish is his fastest finish here too.

Second for the second-straight year, Robbie Simpson (UK) chased to a 2:33:11 finish. Robert Panin (Kenya) was third in 2:33:18.

Posted race results include several splits, and while Jornet and Simpson were near the front throughout, Panin interestingly was not. Panin surrendered over three minutes to Jornet and Wyatt on the opening climb, but then bettered Jornet by over two minutes on the final downhill, and was almost four minutes better than Simpson on that split.

The field, of course, was exceptionally deep and we’ll run through many of the top entrants below.

  • Francesco Puppi (Italy) – 4th, 2:35:53
  • Juan Carlos Carera (Mexico) – 5th, 2:36:22
  • Julien Rancon (France) – 6th, 2:36:46
  • Davide Magnini (Italy) – 7th, 2:37:13
  • Andrew Douglas (UK) – 8th, 2:38:14
  • Stephen Wenk (Switzerland) – 9th, 2:38.53
  • Jacob Adkin (UK) – 10th, 2:39:03
  • Joe Gray (USA) – 11th, 2:40:02
  • Timothy Kirui (Kenya) – 12th, 2:40:03
  • Aritz Egea (Spain) – 13th, 2:40:33
  • Robert Krupicka (Czech Republic) – 14th, 2:41:50
  • Marco De Gasperi (Italy) – 15th, 2:42:05
  • Max King (USA) – 16th, 2:42:25
  • Alexi Sevennec (France) – 20th, 2:44:16
  • Pascal Egli (Switzerland) – 21st, 2:44:22
  • Thibault Baronian (France) – 26th, 2:45:28
  • Cole Watson (USA) – 38th, 2:49:50
  • Zachary Ornelas (USA) – 75th, 3:03:14
  • Matt Flaherty (USA) – 102nd, 3:16:16

It would appear to have been a disappointing day for the American men.


Just like with men’s winner Jornet, an even more competitive field didn’t deviate the women’s result from that of a year ago. Lucy Wambui (Kenya) outclassed the rest of the group and ran 2:57:54. That’s almost a minute better than she ran in 2017, but also doesn’t come close to matching a decade-old course record run by Anna Pichrtova (Czech Republic).

Second-place Michelle Maier (Germany) followed in 3:01:30, and Simone Troxler (Switzerland) was third in 3:02:46.

Just like with the men, we’ll run through the deeper results that caught our eye.

  • Ruth Croft (New Zealand) – 4th, 3:03:03
  • Elisa Desco (Italy) – 5th, 3:07:31 [Editor’s Note: Desco previously served a two-year ban from the IAAF after she tested positive for EPO at the 2009 World Mountain Running Championships.]
  • Megan Kimmel (USA) – 6th, 3:09:55
  • Eli Gordon (Spain) – 7th, 3:10:11
  • Ida Nilsson (Sweden) – 8th, 3:10:21
  • Laura Orgué (Spain) – 9th, 3:10:21
  • Victoria Wilkinson (UK) – 10th, 3:10:32
  • Victoria Kreuzer (UK) – 11th, 3:11:56
  • Holly Page (UK) – 12th, 3:13:29
  • Anne-Lise Rousset (France) – 15th, 3:14:10
  • Sheila Avilés (Spain) – 16th, 3:14:55
  • Silvia Rampazzo (Italy) – 17th, 3:15:45
  • Stevie Kremer (USA) – 19th, 3:20:39
  • Annie Jean (Canada) – 32nd, 3:31:29
  • Laia Cañes (Spain) – 36th, 3:34:45
  • Angela Mudge (UK) – 37th, 3:35:33
  • Yngvild Kaspersen (Norway) – 38th, 3:36:04
  • Corrine Malcolm (USA) – 41st, 3:47:25

Full results.

The next WMRA event is the September 16 World Mountain Running Championships in Andorra, and the next Golden Trail Series race is next weekend’s Pikes Peak Marathon in Colorado.

Ragged 50k – Andover, New Hampshire

The second-year Ragged 50k was the 2018 USATF 50k Trail National Championships, and the first man and woman each earned a spot on the U.S. team that will compete at the 2019 IAU Trail World Championships in Portugal. The course ran point-to-point and gained 1,920 meters (6,300 feet).

David Sinclair, fresh off that big win at the Speedgoat 50k, won again here. U.S. Olympic Nordic skier Simi Hamilton was second, and David Kilgore was third.

The 2018 Ragged 50k men’s podium. Photo: USATF Mountain Ultra Trail Council

Kasie Enman led the women’s field Lea Frost and Liz Ryan finishing second and third.

Full results (when available).

Kasie Enman, 2018 Ragged 50k champion. Photo: USATF Mountain Ultra Trail Council

Other Races

Aspen Backcountry Marathon

A $600 first-place prize, and beautiful trails all around Aspen, Colorado, typically make the Aspen Backcountry Marathon competitive. Josh Eberly earned the men’s win in 3:24, 30 seconds better than runner-up David Roche. Women’s winner Kelsey Persyn finished in 3:57. Brother and sister James and Lauren Gregory won the half marathon race, both finishing in 2:04. Lauren competed collegiately at the University of Arkansas last year. Full results.

Buena Vista Pack Burro Race

Kirk Courkamp and burro Mary Margaret won Colorado’s Buena Vista Pack Burro Race, and in the process completed a three-week run to complete the Triple Crown of Pack Burro Racing. The pair won the 29-mile Fairplay Pack Burro Race World Championship race two weeks ago, and won last week’s Leadville Boom Days Race too.

Leadville 100 Mile Mountain Bike

A handful of familiar names dot the results of the Leadville 100 Mile Mountain Bike race. Although not an ultrarunner, Chad Hall is an interesting racer. The younger brother of famed marathoner Ryan Hall placed eighth in 6:52. Rob Krar was 14th in 7:08, and Dave Mackey was 375th in 9:40. Mackey, racing in the summer-long Leadman competition, ran 56:00 in the next day’s 10k running race.  Full results.

Fat Dog 120 Mile

Forest fires forced the cancellation of Canada’s Fat Dog 120 Mile race.

Other Ultra News

IAU 24-Hour World Championships Cancellation

It happened again, an International Association of Ultrarunners (IAU) event was cancelled. This time the misfortune befell the 2019 IAU 24-Hour World Championships, an event previously scheduled to take place in Austria.

Maude Gorman Disqualifications

Timing discrepancies at Maine’s Pineland Farms Trail Challenge 50-mile race and at the East End 50k in Massachusetts led to Maude Gorman‘s disqualification from both races. She previously had claimed second- and first-place finishes respectively. She also was removed from the U.S. Skyrunning Team that will compete in September in Scotland.

Next Weekend – Pikes Peak Ascent – Manitou Springs, Colorado

The Pikes Peak Ascent and the Pikes Peak Marathon run on back-to-back days. Saturday’s ascent runs 13.3 miles and 7,815 feet up to the 14,115-foot summit. Sunday’s marathon does the same, but with a slightly shorter return trip for a convenient 26.2-mile finish. The marathon race will be part of this year’s Golden Trail Series. Both races will pay out $2,000 to its winner and up to $10,000 in time bonuses are available for a once-in-a-lifetime run.


  • Galen Burrell – 10th 2017 Pikes Peak Marathon
  • Ondrej Fejfar (Czech Republic) – 9th 2018 World Mountain Running Long Distance Championships
  • Simon Gutierrez – 13th 2017 Pikes Peak Ascent
  • Alex Nichols – 1st 2016 Pikes Peak Marathon
  • Ben Payne -4th 2017 Pikes Peak Ascent
  • Chris Vargo – 5th 2016 Transvulcania
  • Andy Wacker – 2nd 2018 U.S. Mountain Running Championships


  • Kim Dobson – 1st 2016, 2015, 2013, 2012, 2011 Pikes Peak Ascent
  • Anna Mae Flynn – 2nd 2017 Pikes Peak Ascent
  • Anita Ortiz – 2nd 2016 Pikes Peak Marathon
  • Kathryn Ross – 5th 2017 Pikes Peak Ascent

Full entrant list.

Next Weekend – Pikes Peak Marathon – Manitou Springs, Colorado

The marathon has typically been the undercard to the more competitive ascent. That’s not the case this year as the Golden Trail Series nod has weighted the competitive field more to the marathon.


  • Stian Angermund (Norway) – 2nd 2018 Zegama Marathon
  • Ryan Bak (USA) – 5th 2018 Chuckanut 50k
  • Rémi Bonnet (Switzerland) – 1st 2017 Pikes Peak Marathon
  • Sage Canaday – 1st 2014 Pikes Peak Ascent
  • Matt Daniels – 4th 2018 U.S. Mountain Running Championships
  • Petter Engdahl (Sweden) – 3rd 2018 Skyrace Comapedrosa
  • Gus Gibbs (USA) – 3rd 2018 Way Too Cook 50k
  • Dakota Jones – 1st 2018 Kendall Mountain Run
  • Max King – 16th 2018 Sierre-Zinal
  • Kiril Nikolov (Bulgaria) – 9th 2017 Limone Skyrace
  • Paddy O’Leary – 3rd 2018 Chuckanut 50k
  • Robbie Simpson (UK) – 2nd 2018 Sierre-Zinal
  • Darren Thomas – 2nd 2017 Pikes Peak Marathon


  • Ruth Croft (New Zealand) – 4th 2018 Sierre-Zinal
  • Emelie Forsberg (Sweden) – 1st 2012 Pikes Peak Marathon
  • Megan Kimmel – 6th 2018 Sierre-Zinal
  • Stevie Kremer – 19th 2018 Sierre-Zinal
  • Celine Lafaye (France) – 24th 2018 Sierre-Zinal
  • Anne-Marie Madden (Canada) – 2nd 2018 Chuckanut 50k
  • Kristina Mascarenas – 1st 2017 Pikes Peak Marathon
  • Laura Orgué (Spain) – 9th 2018 Sierre-Zinal
  • Anita Ortiz – 2nd 2016 Pikes Peak Marathon
  • Alicia Vargo – 1st 2018 Moab Red Hot 33k

Full entrant list.

Call for Comments

See something that doesn’t look quite right, or some other race results that you want to share, or some more top entrants you want to add to the Pikes Peak Ascent and Marathon? Let’s hear all about it, so leave a comment below.

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 34 comments

  1. Pierrik

    Rémi Bonnet isn’t running at Pikes Peak. He just started running again this week after a lower leg injury that kept him out since a week before Mont-Blanc Marathon!

  2. Mario Perez

    Also Ecuador’s Karl Egloff is running the Pikes Peaks Marathon, he is the man that have been beating Kilians FKT records in Kilimanjaro and Aconcagua. It would be interesting to see him in a mountain marathon.

    1. JCMutt

      There is a TON of wildfire smoke in Colorado right now, so it will be interesting to see how elite runners respond to both the altitude and the added environmental conditions. Smoke is coming in from the California fires, in addition to the fires occurring all over Colorado.

    1. Bryon Powell

      Don’t know. I’ve asked them for an entrants list for years and never hear a thing. On the men’s side: Ryan Kaiser, Eric LiPuma, maybe Chris Mocko (no Sharman)… surely some others, but your guess is better than mine, Leadville Man. Only name I’ve heard on the women’s side was Addie Bracy, but that was way early in the year.

      Oh, and there’s the ever inspiring Dave Mackey, but that’s a different story.

      1. Meghan Hicks

        Leadville local speedster Bryan Kerl is, I believe, debuting at 100 miles at Leadville. He’s altitude adapted and otherwise specifically fit, so the X factor on him is the distance.

  3. SageCanaday

    ” [Editor’s Note: Desco previously served a two-year ban from the IAAF after she tested positive for EPO at the 2009 World Mountain Running Championships.] ” Nice. Someone who has already tested positive for EPO is back racing and getting top 5 at Sierre-Zinal. We can only hope for more testing (real surprise drug testing would be nice for top runners) and a more strict #cleansport policy (with stricter penalty) in the future…

    1. NHS

      Amen. The dopes and cheats are just getting started as the sport grows.

      As more money jumps into U.S. hundreds like Run Rabbit Run, we can only hope that Fred et al. start testing anyone who aspires to pull a paycheck from prize money. Test before and after the race, test at random, and test anyone with a credible doping allegation or previous failed test.

      1. SageCanaday

        its not just the race day prize money that is the draw (there still isn’t that much if any….save for RRR, Comrades, TNF50 etc.)…its the potential change in lifestyle, generous sponsorship support, CR bonus incentives and podium finish incentives, big international travel perks, and an “ego boost” of getting tens of thousands of social media followers. The sport is a very lucrative endeavor for a top level MUT Runner these days…esp when things come down to that extra 3-6% in performance/training marginal gains.

  4. Greg

    After Sierre-Zinal, the biggest thing in ultrarunning last week was Jim Walmsley’s insane training week! 150+ mountain miles with 50K+ vert. This should be scrolling the top of the page instead of what Anton did in 2006.

    1. Ipraytowalmsley

      Walmsley’s training right now is just out of hand. I am so, so excited to watch UTMB play out. No offense to others racing WS this year, but, Walmsley was essentially running a time trial and nailed it and it was fantastic. UTMB is such that he will actually be challenged, and he could obviously not podium again as he is not running a downhill track meet, and I’m hoping for a USA men’s #1 but it’s gonna be a great day either way and I hope he can run strong and push others into having career days also – to me that’s the real spirit of trail racing, running somewhere beautiful pushing your peers to do their best!

  5. Greg

    As with last August’s megablock of trading, I fear for Walmsley. The fact that he can do what he’s doing shows he can/should win UTMB, but I think he’s potentially burying himself.

  6. Joe

    I don’t want to overlook Luis Alberto, Zach, Tollefson or Xavier Thevenard, but the way Jim and Kilian have been running… I think we’re in for just an epic showdown at UTMB this year with those two. I love Kilian, but you have to give the edge to Jim, especially with these crazy 50k+ vert weeks he’s putting in. Should be a very interesting 20ish hours out there.

  7. John

    Kilian does not post all of his workouts. His vert and mileage is always a mystery, but that is okay with me. His performance is always dependent on the competition and the race. Jim’s is having a great year and I hope he brings his best to UTMB. Lokking forward to a great battle and in the end we all are winners to witness this level of competition and the love for the sport.

  8. Nicolas Dermine

    “Second for the second-straight year, Robbie Simpson (UK) chased to a 2:33:11 finish.”
    => that is even a third-straight year :) (and he was third 3 years ago)

    “Panin surrendered over three minutes to Jornet and Wyatt on the opening climb”
    => Wyatt did not run the race this year (I saw him filming runners while running though), did you mean Simpson?

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