This Week In Running: August 21, 2017

This Week in Running Justin Mock TWIRAJW called it late last week, it was a big weekend for Colorado. This week’s column includes highlights from the Leadville Trail 100 Mile, the Pikes Peak Ascent and Marathon, and the TransRockies Run. Add to that Sweden’s Ultravasan 90k, Oregon’s Waldo 100k, and British Columbia’s Squamish 50 Mile and it was a particularly competitive weekend.

Leadville Trail 100 Mile – Leadville, Colorado

The 35th annual Leadville Trail 100 Mile had just over 600 starters, including representatives from 35 countries and all 50 states, and the finish ran largely to script.


It was predictable, but that doesn’t mean it was easy. Ian Sharman reported a number of in-race challenges, including a wrong turn, but overcame all of it to win for the fourth time here. Sharman’s 17:34 was the slowest of his five Leadville finishes, but was what he called his most fulfilling in consideration of the day’s obstacles. And he still was almost an hour ahead of second place.

Ian Sharman - 2017 Leadville Trail 100 Mile champion

Ian Sharman, 2017 Leadville Trail 100 Mile champion. Photo: Glen Delman Photography

David Teirney and Michael Hewitt were second and third in 18:32 and 18:59, respectively.

Other notable finishers included:

  • Brett Rivers – 6th, 19:25
  • Michael Wardian – 10th, 20:18

Among other contenders, Anthony Kunkel dropped near mile 70, and Chris Mocko did not start.


This one was closer. Devon Yanko won the women’s race in 20:46, 30 minutes better than second-place Simona Morbelli’s 21:16. Yanko gained the lead over Morbelli, who’d previously been leading, on the second trip over Hope Pass.

Further out, Yanko is registered for December’s flat-and-fast Brazos Bend 100 Mile in Texas. Morbelli is Italian and Leadville was her 100-mile debut.

Devon Yanko - 2017 Leadville Trail 100 Mile champion

Devon Yanko on her way to winning the 2017 Leadville Trail 100 Mile. Photo: Glen Delman Photography

Christy Burns ran 21:43 for third.

Other notable finishers included:

  • Corrine Malcolm – 4th, 22:52
  • Gina Lucrezi – 9th, 25:41

Camille Herron went out fast, and–perhaps regrettably–was alongside the men’s leaders for the opening hours. She dropped near mile 40 with injury. Maggie Walsh also looks to have missed the finish.

Full results.

Pikes Peak Ascent and Marathon – Manitou Springs, Colorado

The Saturday Pikes Peak Ascent is a 13.3-mile climb to the top of America’s Mountain. After 7,815 feet of elevation gain, runners reach the 14,115-foot summit. Sunday’s round-trip Pikes Peak Marathon does the same, before turning around for a near-equal amount of descent and a full 26.2-mile marathon.

Men Ascent

Joe Gray repeated as men’s winner, the first to do so in 15 years. His 2:08 winning time was three minutes off of his outstanding finish from last year, and–not to discredit Gray at all–still some seven minutes back of Matt Carpenter’s unassailable 2:01 record from 1993. Gray earned both a $2,000 first-place prize and an extra $1,000 for the weekend’s fastest trip up the mountain.

Joe Gray - 2017 Pikes Peak Ascent champion

Joe Gray, 2017 Pikes Peak Ascent Champion. Photo: American Trail Running Association

It was a relatively light year for the men’s field. Just five men ran under 2:30. Eight did a year ago, and the record for that benchmark was 2014, when the race served as the World Mountain Running Long Distance Championships and the top 23 men all ran sub-2:30. Gray speculated on social media afterward that recent heavy rains had left the trail in an unfavorable-for-fast-times condition.

Still, Gray was well clear of his chasers. Second-place Touru Miyahara (Japan) ran 2:18, and former University of Colorado runner Seth DeMoor was third in 2:21.

Olympic Marathon Trials qualifier Ben Payne was fourth in 2:23, and Jan Margarit (Spain) was fifth in 2:25.

Other notable finishers included:

  • Simon Gutierrez – 13th, 2:40
  • Tim Parr – 15th, 2:45

Women Ascent

Serkalem Biset Abrha, an Ethiopian 2:31 marathoner who trains out of Albuquerque, New Mexico won the women’s race in 2:42. She was less than a minute up on fast-closing Anna Mae Flynn. Third-place Addie Bracy ran 2:47.

Fourth- and fifth-place Shannon Payne and Kathryn Ross went up in 2:53 and 2:54, respectively.

Other notable finishers included:

  • Brandy Erholtz – 6th, 3:02

Men Marathon

Rémi Bonnet (Switzerland) was relatively uncontested in this one. He won in 3:37, the result of a 2:16 ascent and 1:20 descent. For perspective, Alex Nichols won last year’s race in 3:40, and Kilian Jornet won the 2012 race in a leisurely 3:40. Matt Carpenter’s course record is 3:16, again dating to 1993.

Second-place Darren Thomas was the day’s only other sub-four-hour finisher, running 3:48. Carlos Ruibal was third in 4:00.

About 6.5 hours after finishing Leadville, Michael Wardian started his trip up and down Pikes. He finished the rare double in 6:02.

Women Marathon

Local runner Kristina Mascarenas gained the women’s win in 4:38, only 47 seconds better than second-place Courtney Dauwalter. Mascarenas was just third to the top, in 3:09, but used a runaway 1:29 descent to overtake both Dauwalter and first-to-the-top Jackie Pirtle-Hall. Pirtle-Hall summited in 2:58, but was almost 18 minutes slower than Mascarenas on the downhill, and she finished third in 4:46.

Full results.

Ultravasan 90k – Sälen, Sweden

The fourth annual Ultravasan 90k took place on the same track as the world’s oldest, longest, and biggest cross-country ski race. Both events run point to point, largely through forests, and on a nearly-pancake flat course. The run race had about 1,000 starters.


In wet conditions and only with some 11k to go, Elov Olsson (Sweden) gunned down Patrick Reagan (USA) to win the men’s race. Olsson would finish first in 6:07, and Reagan was just over a minute back, second in 6:08. The two improved on their eighth- and third-place finishes, respectively, from the 2016 race.

Henri Ansio (Finland) was third in 6:11.

Other notable finishers included:

  • Fritjof Fagerlund (Sweden) – 5th, 6:29
  • Eric Senseman (USA) – 7th, 6:38
Elov Olsson - 2017 Ultravasan champion

Elov Olsson, 2017 Ultravasan champion. Photo: Vasaloppet/Ulf Palm


Ida Nilsson (Sweden) grabbed Jasmin Nunige’s year-old course record in this one. Finishing first in 6:51, Nilsson was three minutes better than history and 20 minutes better than everyone else this year.

Second- and third-place Johanna Bygdell (Sweden) and Jo Meek (U.K.) ran 7:11 and 7:26, respectively.

Other notable finishers included:

  • Traci Falbo (USA) – 11th, 8:39

Full results.

Ida Nilsson - 2017 Ultravasan champion

Ida Nilsson, 2017 Ultravasan Champion. Photo: Vasaloppet/Henrik Hansson

TransRockies Run – Beaver Creek, Colorado

Part summer camp, part race, the TransRockies Run is all fun. The prize money that made this one competitive almost a decade ago is gone, but the event is still a multi-day stage race through the Colorado Rockies. Offered at the event is a six-day stage race that can be competed in teams or solo, as well as a three-day solo event. The six-day event offers some 120 miles and about 20,000 feet of climbing.


Charlie Ware and Catlow Shipek ruled the traditional six-day team competition. They were relatively unchallenged in this division with a total 16:45 run time.

Going solo, Chad Trammell did the same route in a collective 15:28 to win what is called the Run6 race.

The three-day race, where runners compete as individuals, was exceptionally close. Mike Popejoy totaled 7:29 over the event’s opening three stages, less than two minutes better than Kris Brown‘s 7:31. Popejoy was almost a minute better on day’s one and two, and then the pair finished together on day three.


Amanda Basham and Keely Henninger again ruled the women’s team race, this time in 19:19. It was some three hours better than Jackie Merritt and Maggie Guterl.

Finishing her UTMB prep, Magdalena Boulet got her 120-mile week in over six days here and won the individual race in 19:00. Other notable finishers in this class included fourth-place Elisabet Barnes (21:25) and seventh-place Nicole Kalogeropoulos (23:14).

Magda Boulet - 2017 TransRockies Run6 solo champion

Magda Boulet, 2017 TransRockies Run6 women’s solo champion. Photo: TransRockies Run

Helen Galerakis ruled the women’s individual three-day race, finishing in 11:07.


In the coed division, the European-based team of Germain Grangier and Katie Schide totaled 18:27, leading Ryan Lassen and Cat Bradley by 72 minutes.

Full results.

Waldo 100k – Oakridge, Oregon

It happened again, another tie! In the men’s Waldo 100k, both Colton Gale and Duke Wasteney are credited with matching 10:01:05 finish times atop the leaderboard. Third-place Yann Bernaquez almost joined the pair, finishing only six minutes back.

Colton Gale and Duke Wasteneney - 2017 Waldo 100k champions

Colton Gale and Duke Wasteneney, 2017 Waldo 100k Champions. Photo: Waldo 100k

Women’s winner Camelia Mayfield went for 10:47, 27 minutes better than second-place Gina Slaby. Mayfield, a fast but infrequent ultrarunner, won the first Under Armour Mountain Running Series 50k race earlier this year on Mt. Bachelor. Slaby was said to be using the race as prep for the coming Plain 100 Mile.

Past champ Meghan Laws (previously Arbogast) was third in 11:40.

Full results.

Camilla Mayfield - 2017 Waldo 100k champion

Camilla Mayfield, 2017 Waldo 100k champion. Photo: Waldo 100k

Under Armour Mountain Running Series – Killington, Vermont

Installment two of the first-year Under Armour Mountain Running Series took place in Vermont. Just as he did in the opening race, Cody Reed was again out front. There would be no tie in this one though, Reed’s 4:24 50k finish was the day’s best. Josh Ferenc and Brian Rusiecki were second and third in 4:36 and 5:09, respectively.

Amy Rusiecki won the women’s race in 5:45, with Sarah Keyes and Elizabeth Ryan second and third in 5:50 and 5:59. The race again included a total $5,000 prize purse with $1,500 going to each of its first-place finishers.

The year’s final races are September 8 through 10 at Colorado’s Copper Mountain Resort.

Full results.

Squamish 50 Mile – British Columbia

Point to point and with 11,000 feet of elevation gain in the “outdoor recreation capital of Canada” is the Squamish 50 Mile

Mike Murphy and Lisa Polizzi won the 50-mile races in 8:10 and 9:52, respectively.

In the Sunday 50k, Marcus Ribi and Rachel Jaten were victorious in 5:02 and 5:36.

And in the short-course 23k, Curtis Jung edged Anne Marie Madden for the overall win. Both ran 1:55 with Jung just 23 seconds ahead. On-the-comeback trail Ellie Greenwood was second female in 2:05.

Full results (when available).

Next Weekend – Cascade Crest 100 Mile – Easton, Washington


  • Chris Calzetta – 2nd at 2016 Quiksilver 100k
  • Lindsay Hamoudi – 2nd at 2016 Pine to Palm 100 Mile
  • Ben Koss – 2nd at 2017 Gorge Waterfalls 100k
  • Jesse Rickert – 4th at 2017 San Juan Solstice 50 Mile
  • Phil Shaw – 9th at 2016 Cascade Crest 100 Mile
  • Matt Urbanski – 3rd at 2017 Rocky Raccoon 100 Mile


  • Kaytlyn Gerbin – 4th at 2017 Western States 100 Mile
  • Ashley Nordell – 1st at 2017 Minnesota Voyageur 50 Mile

Sorry men, this short preview was only included because of the ladies, and more specifically, two women. While typically competing in less-competitive races, Nordell is always rock solid. She’s won some seven out of her last eight races, including the 2016 Bighorn 100 Mile, and further back the 2015 Angeles Crest 100 Mile. Gerbin too is wildly successful in the Pacific Northwest, and went big with a fourth-place finish at this year’s Western States. Look for a compelling race between two similarly accomplished runners.

Full entrant list.

Call for Comments

  • Performance of the weekend? Sharman’s fourth win, or Gray’s second straight at Pikes? Or Wardian’s improbable double?
  • As always, readers are welcome to contribute commentary on any other results in the comments field below. Thank you!
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 25 comments

  1. Brett

    Always amazing to think about that at the Pikes Peak Marathon its rare that anybody finishes within 1 minute of Matt Carpenter’s record…..PER MILE.

    1. Manitou Goathead!

      Guessing you havent run the course lately? Not the same course as it was in the good ole 90s thats for sure! We used to run pretty quick above from barr camp to the summit as there were far less rocks back then. I can justify that the comments Remi and Joe made about the course being chewed and spewed are definitely true. That record will stand until they do some trail improvements. Stellar runs by those young men this weekend. Anyone know what happened to Tayte Pollman, we watched him head out with the lead pack but did not see him for a long time while waiting at the creek?? Injury, got lost, just tapped out??

      1. shawn

        I’ve only been running Barr Trail for the past 3 years, so I’ll have to defer to the old-timers and elites, but I have a hard time believing the current trail conditions affect the Ascent times by to all that much. (Coming down is a different discussion.) Are you saying that the route from Barr Camp to the A-Frame was smoother dirt back then, or do you mean that some rockfalls have altered the course in the top 3 miles? Either way, I’m inclined to think Matt’s record is just every bit as stout as any 24- year old record would seem to be.

        Not sure what happened to Pollman. I’m far behind the elites, but he and I crossed paths a few times above Barr. Not sure if he was injured, or just not his day. Temps were actually okay until the last 3 or 4 miles back into town, so it shouldn’t have been a fuel issue.

        1. Manitou Goathead!

          Im 100 percent sure the trail conditions have affected times. I may not be fast now but I was and I’ve been on Barr for many years. It’s crappy and the last half is not as runnable as it once was. The record is competitive but I gotta say it would have been broken by the likes of Joe Gray and possible Sage Canaday if they had run in the 90s. All the fastest times seem to be from the 90s before major washout and erosion began taking toll. I’ve also followed Joe Gray our local boy for a while and I find it interesting he breaks Carpenters records everywhere else except here even for longer mountain events which he doesn’t do much of. Most of the courses it seems were less affected by weather causing bad trail condition i.e. Barr trail so id imagine if Gray is besting carpenter by such large margins on other courses he’d have a shot here but not close even!

          1. shawn

            Got it.
            Saw another article where Joe Gray mentioned the course was a bit too sandy this year to chase the record. Probably referring to the section between the Incline aid station and 1/2 mile past No Name Creek aid station.

      2. geargrinder

        I’ve been on Barr trail frequently since 1992 (I live in COS) and I disagree about the overall condition of the trail. It has certainly changed, but not that much. From Barr Camp to A-Frame has always been rough and hasn’t changed significantly since I first did it in 92. Above A-Frame is in pretty good shape. That top mile has always been tough. Perhaps you remember the W’s were once filled with railroad tie water-bars? Those were removed over the past 20 years but I’m not sure it made the trail any more difficult to run as it is the same grade over the same course. As I run on Barr trail now I recognize many of the exact same rocks and obstacles I encountered in 92. This year there were some storms that washed out the lower trail which didn’t seem as groomed as it normally is. And it was a hot day with low barometric pressure that made it even tougher than normal – almost no top finisher ran faster this year than last. One final point: Carpenter prepared for Pikes like no other. It was his obsession. Nowadays there are so many other mountain races to compete in, so Joe Gray or some others who might beat the Ascent time don’t spend the time preparing for that one race in the way Carpenter did. I believe that is the ultimate difference.

  2. Devon Yanko

    Your recap of the women’s Leadville race is not accurate. I only took the lead once at it was around mile 58, near the bottom of Hope Pass on the return. Leaving Winfield at mile 50, I was more than 10 minutes back. There were no other lead changes.

    1. Meghan Hicks

      Thanks for the update and congratulations, Devon. We’ve updated the article. We derived the info from the livetracker, which indicates that you flip-flopped the lead and second-place positions a couple times on the Twin Lakes to Winfield and return section before holding onto it. Recover well. :)

    2. Ben

      Thank you for the great coverage as always. It’s awesome how you even try to use things like LiveTracker and social media to give us more details about the races. It’s very appreciated.

  3. Bryan

    In the TransRockies Run, Magdalena Boulet, by herself, beat the team of Amanda Basham and Keely Henninger by 19 minutes? Is the course the same for solo vs teams?

    1. Brent B

      This is to be expected. On a team, if one person has a bad patch, off day, or injury, then the team suffers accordingly. Similarly, even without issues, the team’s performance is limited to that of the slowest member. And even if the team members have identical fitness, if one member feels great on days 1, 3, and 5, while the other member feels great on the even days, the fast teammate each day has to wait for the slow one.

      Going solo, you still have the camaraderie and support of the other runners (including those on teams) and all the aid station crews, spectators, etc., but you only have one person’s issues (your own) to slow you down. You never have to wait at the top of a climb or the bottom of a descent for your partner to catch up, not do you have to slow while your partner works their way through a bad patch. As Justin mentioned, the same thing happened in the men’s race, and I believe that this is (almost) always the case, for all the reasons I mentioned.

  4. Dakota Jones

    I hate to disagree with Justin, because I think these weekly recaps are terrific. I’m just a little disappointed this week with your unfavorable comparison between Kilian and Alex Nichols. The way it’s written makes it seem like Alex’s time was his best possible race, whereas Kilian ran the same time in a “leisurely” manner. Kilian is obviously the current best runner in the sport, but I think he’s great at getting into peoples’ heads when he races. He may have been leisurely in 2012, but he also may have been having a tough day and just managed to make it seem like he wasn’t trying very hard. There’s no reason to think that Alex couldn’t compete with Kilian, even if the statistics are greatly stacked in Kilian’s favor. But this is just a technicality, probably. I really enjoy these articles and please keep up the good work Justin! Thanks for doing what you do.

    1. Justin Mock

      Hey, thanks, appreciate that comment.

      Maybe not leisurely, but uninterested, which probably should result in a leisurely performance. That was my takeaway from the post-race interviews at the time. I think most assumed that Kilian didn’t race to his potential that day, but to your point, the same could be said of others too.

      Second place to Kilian that year actually was Alex, 3:40 to 3:47.

  5. longsauce

    Hey guys,

    Another great recap of the last week of racing…just a small correction, this year’s Mozart100 female winner was Cecilia Flori not Simona Morbelli as mentioned in the article.

    Thanks guys for the great coverage as usual. Cheers.

    1. Justin Mock

      Hmm, weird. I do remember that now.

      Morbelli’s Ultrasignup has her down with a GP of 1 for the Mozart 100k in June though.

  6. Ben

    Any idea what Camille’s injury was? She’s had a tough go with muscle tears I believe? I wonder if this was a repeat occurrence?

  7. JJ

    Big Foot 200 final results? It was mentioned in last week’s column but wasn’t over yet…

    Also, I’m signed up for the Vasaloppet this coming March, so I was happy to see coverage on the Ultravasan!

    1. Bryon Powell

      I’d love to participate in one of the Vasaloppet races. I prefer skate, but would probably even die in the classic version. Maybe I should just take a vacation there before the race.

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