This Week In Running: August 14, 2017

This Week in Running Justin Mock TWIRSwitzerland’s famed Sierre-Zinal race was this weekend, and the Leadville Trail 100 Mile is next. Those two races are among the features in this week’s short column.

Sierre-Zinal – Zinal, Switzerland

Sierre-Zinal is one of the original mountain races, withthis year presenting its 44th edition. Point-to-point, 31 kilometers in length, and with a punishing 1,600-meter opening climb before falling into a runaway descent, it’s a real classic and delivers a world-class field year after year.


Lucy Wambui Murigi (Kenya), the race’s 2015 champion, and Michelle Maier (Germany), the race’s 2016 champion, met to settle the score. Murigi, fresh off a win at the World Mountain Running Championships, ran away with it, over six minutes better than Maier. Murigi finished in 2:58, and Maier was second in 3:05.

Third-place Ammandine Ferrato (France) came in at 3:09.

Here’s the rest of the women’s top 10:

  • Céline Jeannier (France) – 4th, 3:10
  • Silvia Rampazzo (Italy) – 5th, 3:11
  • Laura Orgué (Spain) – 6th, 3:12
  • Celia Chiron (France) – 7th, 3:12
  • Gloria Giudici (Italy) – 8th, 3:12
  • Elisa Chabbey (Switzerland) – 9th, 3:14
  • Aline Camboulives (France) – 10th, 3:15


Kilian Jornet (Spain) seemingly can do no wrong. Not a separated shoulder could keep him from winning last month’s Hardrock 100, and certainly not any of his competitors here. Racing ahead on the 10k downhill finish, Jornet earned his fifth Sierre-Zinal win in 2:33.

Second-place Rob Simpson (U.K.) was close, also in at 2:33, but 14 seconds behind. Following the MaXi-Race in May, Max King (U.S.A.) had another strong European race. He was third in 2:34.

Here’s the rest of the men’s top 10:

  • Petro Mamu (Eritrea) – 4th, 2:36
  • Mattias Kyburz (Switzerland) – 5th, 2:36
  • Stephan Wenk (Switzerland) – 6th, 2:37
  • Thibault Baronian (France) – 7th, 2:37
  • Will Rodriguez Herrera (Colombia) – 8th, 2:37
  • Marco De Gasperi (Italy) – 9th, 2:37
  • Marc Lauenstein (Switzerland) – 10th, 2:38

And here are some other notable finishers in the men’s field:

  • Martin Anthamatten (Switzerland) – 11th, 2:39
  • Sylvain Court (France) – 27th, 2:48
  • Matt Flaherty (U.S.A.) – 28th, 2:48
  • Jonathan Wyatt (New Zealand) – 42nd, 2:53
  • Diego Pazos (Switzerland) – 58th, 3:00
  • Andy Wacker (U.S.A.) – 59th, 3:00

Full results.

Aspen Backcountry Marathon – Aspen, Colorado

Megan and David Roche kept this one in the family. Megan’s 3:51 marked her second-straight win at the Aspen Backcountry Marathon, and David’s 3:23 vaulted him from second a year ago to first. The two each earned $600 in prize money.

Megan was most closely followed by Sandi Nypaver, second in 4:10. Jen Burn was a distant third in 4:43.

Josh Eberly and Timmy Parr were second and third in the men’s race in 3:31 and 3:34, respectively.

Full results.

Megan and David Roche - 2017 Aspen Backcountry Marathon champions

Megan and David Roche, 2017 Aspen Backcountry Marathon champions. Photo courtesy of Megan Roche.

Other Races

Eastern States 100 Mile 

Kathleen Cusick and Jayson Kolb won Pennsylvania’s Eastern States 100 Mile in 27:51 and 21:13, respectively. Cusick also won in 2015 and 2014, and Kolb’s time ranks second fastest in the race’s four-year history. Full results.

Bigfoot 200 Mile

The Bigfoot 200 Mile in Washington state isn’t over yet but Van Phan won the women’s race in 72 hours and 22 minutes, and Jason Kinsella sealed the deal on the men’s race in a new course record of 55:49. Live tracking.

Bridger Ridge Run

Christi Richards and David Sinclair won the 33rd annual Ed Anacker Bridger Ridge Run, one of the U.S.’s original mountain runs, in 4:10 and 3:06, respectively. The 19.65-mile course traverses the crest of the Bridger Mountains outside of Bozeman, Montana from north to south. Full results.

Mount Ashland Hill Climb Run

This 13.3 miler packs a brutal punch of 5,600 feet of climbing on Mount Ashland in Oregon. The race celebrated its 40th edition this weekend–it’s the weekend of longstanding mountain races around the globe! Nataline Chirgwin won the women’s race in 2:29 and Nathan Einbinder bested in the men’s in 1:58.

Next Weekend – Leadville Trail 100 Mile – Leadville, Colorado


  • Camille Herron – 1st at 2017 Comrades Marathon
  • Gina Lucrezi – 2nd at 2016 Leona Divide 50 Mile
  • Corrine Malcolm – 1st at 2016 Cayuga Trails 50 Mile
  • Abby Mitchell – 2nd at 2017 Dirty Thirty
  • Carrie Stafford – 6th at 2016 Leadville Trail 100 Mile
  • Maggie Walsh – 2nd at 2016 Leadville Trail 100 Mile
  • Annie Weiss – 5th at 2017 Black Canyon 100k
  • Devon Yanko – 3rd at 2016 Western States 100 Mile

The high-altitude Leadville Trail 100 Mile “Race Across the Sky” is expected to have an especially dynamic women’s race. With Gina Slaby no longer expected on the starting line, what was a big three is instead looked at as a prized match-up between Herron and Yanko. The two could threaten course-record pace, and Herron’s race in particular is likely to be won or lost on the midrace double 3,200-foot climb of Hope Pass and back. Though less known than those two, 2016 runner-up Maggie Walsh is perhaps best suited for the altitude and could be a surprise winner.


  • Duncan Callahan – 11th at 2014 Leadville Trail 100 Mile
  • Anthony Kunkel – 2nd at 2016 JFK 50 Mile
  • Nick Lewis – 2nd at 2014 Thunder Rock 100 Mile
  • Zac Marion – 10th at 2015 Bear 100 Mile
  • Jim Rebenack – 1st at 2017 Quad Rock 50 Mile
  • Brett Rivers – 9th at 2014 Western States 100 Mile
  • Ian Sharman – 1st at 2016 Leadville Trail 100 Mile
  • Michael Wardian – What doesn’t Mike run?!
  • Stephen Wassather – 1st at 2016 Sean O’Brien 100k

Look for Sharman to do what he does at Leadville. In addition to last year, Sharman also won in 2015 and 2013. Anything could happen over 100 miles, but methinks only Mocko could potentially match the defending champ in this one.

Though previously expected to race, Rob Krar is no longer listed among the entrants. Chris Mocko is on the entrants list but we don’t believe he’s running.

Full entrant list.

Call for Comments

  • Who’s your pick for the women’s race at next weekend’s Leadville Trail 100 Mile?  And the men’s?
  • Results for several other races–Fat Dog 120 Mile and Mount Ashland Hill Climb included–were outstanding at the time of this writing. What can our readers add to this week’s column in the comments field 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 28 comments

  1. David Roche

    So excited for Leadville! On the women’s side, watch out for Abby Mitchell, who ran an awesome time at Dirty 30, won Austin Rattler to gain entry, and had fantastic training in the build.

    You guys are great, thanks for all you do!

    1. Cordis

      Abby has been killing it lately! She also got 2nd at the Quad Rock 25 and has spent numerous weekends up high on the course — definitely the dark horse.

      1. David Roche

        WOOHOO! I don’t know Abby personally, but have heard through the grapevine of epic CO trailwomen that she has unlimited potential. I think her and THE CRUSHER Corrine Malcolm could shine in their 100 debuts!

  2. nicklaus combs

    i think you all overlooked abby mitchell on the women’s leadville list. second at dirty thirty and quadrock this year. primed and ready to rock.

  3. Arvid

    I can’t imagine how hard it must be to keep track of all these races, but I do have one correction for you. Bigfoot 200 has been won by Jay Kinsella, course record. Peter is in second place.

    1. Meghan Hicks

      Arvid, thanks, I’ve just updated our notes on Bigfoot. All we had to go on when we put the article together last night was the live tracking, which showed Mortimer leading Kinsella by about 20 minutes at mile 75-ish. Upon checking live tracking and scanning social media this morning, we see that Kinsella won. Thank you!

  4. SteelTownrunner

    There was a little 50K in the UK this weekend called the IAAF World Championship Racewalk; an event which did not include women until a week before the WC, after persistent petitioning, and giving few athletes time to qualify. It had been one of the glaring outstanding imbalances in gender athletics in today’s day and age. Once added, the standard for participation was a previous 4:30 performance. To not get timed out, walkers must hit 48K by 4:17. Though added late to the program and fielding fewer athletes than would otherwise be participating, the event still saw impressive performances.

    Womens race (full results:
    As noted, this race saw few entrants, only 7, in the race, and three of them did not finish (two timed out and an American DQd). The small field did not keep winner Ines Henriques from pushing the pace. She cruised to become the first women’s world 50km race walk champion and bettered her existing world record to 4:05:56.

    USA’s Kate Burnett finished fourth (and last), while setting a North American record of 4:21:51, taking five minutes off her American 50 km record, breaking her own 35 km (3:00:43) and 40 km (3:27:10) pending American enroute.

    Mens race (full results:
    France’s Yohann Diniz walked 50K at the 2017 IAAF World Championships in 3:33:12 (splitting 26.2 under 3 hrs), a championship record, to win by eight minutes over the next closest competitor. Diniz owns the 3:32:33 WR for this event.

    Aside from the WR holder blowing away his competition in Bolt-esque fashion (Bolt of prior years that is), it was a competitive race. Japan scooped up silver and bronze, finishing seconds apart. Fewer than 30 seconds separated 2nd and 4th place with all of them finishing under 3:42.


    In other racewalking news, noted sports scientist and blogger Ross Tucker raised issue with the ‘no lifting’ rule. Walking is often distinguished from running by always maintaining ground contact with at least one foot. This is enforced by mandating that the forward leg must be fully extended and straight, and is the reason for the awkward wobble. Any ‘flight’ must be visible to the naked. In slow replay, most athletes are air born at some point or another, if not for most of the race. This can be detected real-time with sensors on each foot. Tucker feels that if the sport is to be taken seriously, it must be serious about its rules. Others feel that it’s innovation in the face of tradition.

    I don’t really have an opinion on the matter, but found it to be an interesting conversation. If anyone has any insight, especially with first-hand racewalk knowledge and/ or experience, please chime in.

  5. Kurt Schilling

    Though it isn’t her forte, 2 x Marathon des Sables winner, Elisabet Barnes, should be in the mix at Leadville as well. She’s been in the rockies for a few weeks now and looks to be in great shape!

  6. Luke

    Wow, the finishes at Sierre-Zanal seem really close. 2nd place at -0:14, 3rd a minute off, top ten within 5 min. I would’ve loved to watch that go down.

      1. Yitka Winn


        Ha! One of these years, I’ll return to Idaho and (hopefully) run a proper race. I’m forever grateful to you for helping cement my love for 100s in the first place. IMTUF is such a special gem.

        Hope you’re well!

    1. Bryon Powell

      Hey Scott,
      As always, we encourage folks to add other races in the comments. The TWIR is not intended to be an exhaustive list. It’s a starting point. I hope you let all of us know what happened at Twisted Branch!

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