Less than a week out now and we go heavy on all things UTMB! This week’s column includes previews of UTMB-sister races TDS and OCC. We also highlight results from Matterhorn Ultraks and the Cascade Crest 100 Mile, and look ahead to the weekend’s The Rut 50k.
Matterhorn Ultraks – Zermatt, Switzerland
Only five years old, the Matterhorn Ultraks is huge. The race had some 700 runners from 39 countries taking part. The 49k race was again part of the Skyrunner World Series, specifically the Sky Classic category.
Ragna Debats (Netherlands) has been racing everything. She took the win here in 5:52, good for a slim one-minute gap on Laia Andreu (Spain). Debats now leads the Sky Classic division, and is second in the Sky Ultra and Sky Extreme categories. Sheila Avilés (Spain) was third in 6:00.
Forty years old and racing on a course 1k longer than historically, Marco De Gasperi (Italy) still took down a 2013 Kilian Jornet course record. De Gasperi’s rocket descent turned into a 4:42 finish, 34 seconds better than Jornet’s previous best. De Gasperi was pursued by Eugeni Gil (Spain), second in 4:45, and Martin Anthamatten (Switzerland), third in 4:48.
Fourth-place Aritz Egea (Spain) continues to lead the Sky Classic series.
Cascade Crest 100 Mile – Easton, Washington
The Cascade Crest 100 Mile was pegged as a match-up between Kaytlyn Gerbin and Ashley Nordell, and the two delivered. According to the live tracker, the pair was even after 14 miles. Nordell was five minutes in front after 28 miles, and Gerbin had again pulled even after 51 miles. Gerbin was stronger over the race’s second half and moved steadily ahead to win in 22:22. Nordell was second in 23:20.
As good as the two are, both were several hours back of the course record.
Jess Mullen ran 24:42 for third.
Wow, the men’s one was a thriller. According to the live tracker, Matt Urbanski held the lead for nearly the entire race, and left the 97.5-mile aid station a minute before Lindsay Hamoudi came in. Five miles later at the 102.5-mile finish, Hamoudi had moved in front and finished in 20:08, three minutes better than second-place Urbanski. At mile 73, Urbanski was a full hour in front of Hamoudi, but started running into trouble shortly thereafter for a difficult final quarter.
Ben Koss was third in 22:09.
Tamalpa Headlands 50k – Muir Beach, California
The longtime Tamalpa Headlands 50k takes place in Marin County, California’s best trails–Coastal, Miwok, Steep Ravine, and Dipsea–all in a single loop that gains 7,300 feet of elevation.
Caroline Boller won a close one with Kate Elliott. The two went for 5:00 and 5:05 finishes, respectively. Third-place Jacqueline Quinn came in at 5:19.
Early leader Alex Varner was felled by cramps 23 miles into the race, and Chikara Omine and Kris Brown passed en route to first- and second-place finishes. Omine and Brown ran 4:11 and 4:18. Varner held on for third in 4:29.
Stellina Partisan Memorial
The fifth race of the World Mountain Running Association’s World Cup was held at the 11k Stellina Partisan Memorial race in Italy. The host country swept the top positions with Camilla Magliano and Alex Baldaccini both winning the 29th annual race. Full results (when available).
Toro Loco 30k
Monique van den Boogaart won the Inside Trail Toro Loco 30k in the San Francisco Bay Area of California in 3:10. Men’s frontrunners Scott Trummer and Erik Sorenson were way out front in 2:21 and 2:24, respectively. Full results.
Ladia Albertson-Junkans won the small Cutthroat Classic trail race in Washington, finishing in 1:20. Men’s winner Brett Winegar ran 1:15. Full results.
Continental Divide Trail Run 50k
For the second week in a row, Courtney Dauwalter was on the trails. In Steamboat Springs, Colorado, Dauwalter won the Continental Divide Trail Run 50k in 4:37, a time good for third overall. Race local Avery Collins cleaned up on the men’s side, finishing first in 4:18. Full results.
Next Weekend – The UTMB Festival of Races- Chamonix, France
iRunFar is on site! Separate men’s and women’s UTMB previews are already up, highlighting what is expected to be a best-ever trail ultra. Look for standouts Caroline Chaverot (France), Andrea Huser (Switzerland), Magda Boulet (USA), and Stephanie Violett (USA), among others, to battle on the 106-mile three-country loop. Men’s contenders include past champs Kilian Jornet (Spain), François D’haene (France), Xavier Thévenard (France), and a whole bunch of Americans, like Zach Miller, Tim Tollefson, and Jim Walmsley. Click over to the full previews for a deep dive into the giant entrant list.
But wait, there’s more!
The accompanying CCC race, 101k in distance, will also feature live iRunFar coverage, and we’ve published its own preview. The competition in this year’s CCC is something like UTMB five years ago. Wow. Watch out for women like Nathalie Mauclair (France), Maite Maiora (Spain), Azara García (Spain), Clare Gallagher (USA), Cassie Scallon (USA), Eva Moreda (Spain), and others. In the men’s race, it should be reigning UTMB champion Ludovic Pommeret (France), Hayden Hawks (USA), Jorge Maravilla (USA), Ryan Sandes (South Africa), Ryan Bak (USA), Erik Clavery (France), Rachid El Morabity (Morocco), and others working for the men’s podium.
Can you believe there’s even more to this mega-race festival, though? Both the 119k TDS and 56k OCC races are also having banner years. And only the shortest OCC is not part of the Ultra-Trail World Tour.
TDS goes up 7,200 meters (23,600 feet) on a one-way path from Courmayeur, Italy to Chamonix, France.
- Lucy Bartholomew (Australia) – 1st at 2017 Ultra-Trail Australia
- Lisa Borzani (Italy) – 3rd at 2017 Lavaredo Ultra Trail
- Maud Gobert (France) – 4th at 2017 Lavaredo Ultra Trail
- Kathrin Götz (Switzerland) – 6th at 2016 IAU Trail World Championships
- Mimmi Kotka (Sweden) – 1st at 2016 CCC
- Dong Li (China) – 1st at 2016 Vibram Hong Kong 100k
- Sonia Locatelli (Italy) – 10th at 2016 Les Templiers
- Marie McNaughton (New Zealand, but living in Hong Kong) – 5th at 2017 Eiger Ultra Trail
- Melanie Rousset (France) – 3rd at 2017 Transgrancanaria
- Ildikó Wermescher (Hungary, but living in Germany) – 7th at 2016 UTMB
- Sylvain Camus (France) – 7th at 2016 Diagonale des Fous
- Fulvio Dapit (Italy) – 4th at 2017 Lavaredo Ultra Trail
- Paul Giblin (U.K.) – 17th at 2016 UTMB
- Antoine Guillon (France) – 2nd at 2016 Diagonale des Fous
- Daniel Jung (Italy) – 2nd at 2017 Vibram Hong Kong 100k
- Michel Lanne (France) – 1st at 2016 CCC
- Christophe Le Saux (France) – 7th at 2015 Eiger Ultra Trail
- Clement Molliet (France) – 3rd at 2015 Ice-Trail Tarentaise
- Samir Tamang (Nepal) – 2nd at 2014 TDS
- Paul Terranova (USA) – 10th at 2015 Western States 100
- Andrew Tuckey (Australia) – 6th at 2014 UTMB
- Pablo Villa (Spain) – 10th at 2017 IAU Trail World Champs
- Marco Zanchi (Italy) – 11th at 2016 UTMB
All roads lead to Chamonix. In this case, the OCC gains 3,500 meters (11,500 feet) on its point-to-point course starting in Orsières, Switzerland.
- Rory Bosio (USA) – 1st at 2013 and 2014 UTMB
- Annie Conway (U.K.) – 1st at 2016 World Mountain Running Long Distance Championships
- Sally Fawcett (U.K.) – 27th at 2015 IAU Trail World Champs
- Amandine Ferrato (France) – 2nd at 2017 IAU Trail World Champs
- Emelie Forsberg* (Sweden, but living in Norway) – 8th at 2017 Zegama Marathon
- Emily Peterson (USA) – 5th at 2016 Lake Sonoma 50 Mile
*Forsberg is also registered for the Rut 50k. As of yesterday, she posted on social media from the European Alps, but we’re not sure where she’s racing.
- Thibaut Baronian (France) – 6th at 2015 Limone Extreme Skyrace
- Mohamed El Morabity (Morocco) – 2nd at 2017 Marathon des Sables
- Dani Garcia (Spain) – 5th at 2017 IAU Trail World Championships
- Emmanuel Gault (France) – 1st at 2017 Mont Ventoux
- Marc Lauenstein (Switzerland) – 3rd at 2017 Zegama-Aizkorri Marathon
- Ruy Ueda (Japan) – 8th at 2017 Zegama-Aizkorri Marathon
Next Weekend – The Rut – Big Sky, Montana
Both the 28k and 50k The Rut races are part of the U.S. Skyrunner Series and the Skyrunner World Series, and the Vertical K is also part of the U.S. series. The 50k gains 10,500 feet of elevation (3,200 meters), and pays prize money 10 deep with $1,000 to its winners. The 50k field is previewed below.
- Morgan Arritola – 1st at 2017 Broken Arrow Skyrace 26k
- Ragna Debats (Netherlands) – 1st 2017 Matterhorn Ultraks
- Anna Mae Flynn – 1st at 2017 Speedgoat 50k
- Emelie Forsberg* (Sweden but living in Norway) – 8th at 2017 Zegama Marathon
- Ekaterina Mityaeva (Russia) – 2nd at 2017 Ultra SkyMarathon Madeira
- Kristina Pattison – 4th at 2016 Rut 50k
- Brittany Peterson – 3rd at 2017 Speedgoat 50k
- Becky Wheeler – 3rd at 2015 Bridger Ridge Run
*Forsberg is also registered for OCC. As of yesterday, she posted on social media from the European Alps, but we’re not sure where she’s racing.
- Morgan Elliott – 1st at 2017 Power of Four 50k
- Tim Freriks – 2nd at 2017 Broken Arrow Skyrace 54k
- Dmitry Miyaev (Russia) – 6th at 2017 Royal Ultra Skymarathon Gran Paradiso
- Timothy Olson – 4th at 2017 Power of Four 50k
- Scott Patterson – 4th at 2016 Rut 50k
- Matt Shryock – 5th at 2016 Rut 50k
- Seth Swanson – 2nd t 2017 Lavaredo Ultra Trail
- Zach Szablewski – 3rd at 2017 White River 50 Mile
- Chad Trammel – 3rd at 2016 Rut 50k
Other Ultrarunning News – IAU 24-Hour World Championships
Laugh or cry, this comedy went one more round.
The IAU 24-hour World Championships were held on July 1-2 in Ireland. The event was marred by timing difficulties, but a post-race awards ceremony was held and the U.S. women were awarded team gold, and the U.S. men earned a bronze medal.
Some three weeks later, the results were changed, and the U.S. women were bumped to silver, and the men moved to fourth.
A month later, the results have been changed again! The IAU has again apologized for the repeated errors.
The latest results, believed to be final, and the result of an appeal of the prior ruling, have restored the U.S. women to team gold and the men to bronze. The most significant change to the men’s and women’s individual podiums since the first update is added mileage to Katalin Nagy’s (USA) third-place run 250.622 kilometers (155.729 miles), which–if it holds–is a new American record for 24 hours, surpassing the record set by Courtney Dauwalter earlier this year at 155.391 miles.
Pam Smith, fifth women and third on the U.S. women’s team, described her feelings over the matter. “It’s a relief to have this whole nightmare behind us. More than anything, the athletes want the results to be accurate, but this whole thing was an emotional rollercoaster. Of course we are elated to know that the U.S. women are still the champs and team world-record holders. I don’t think any of us wanted to send those gold medals back!”
Smith didn’t stop there, though. “The way this was handled by the IAU was extremely disappointing. If there was uncertainty, results should have been delayed initially, even if it meant postponing awards. But it is especially upsetting to see how the IAU has passed the buck for this snafu and blamed the timing company entirely. While I understand they contracted the timing out, they should have had an uncompromisable list of what they expected from the timing company and the IAU should have had a representative double check that all expectations were met in the days leading up to the event. The IAU has not offered any corrective action plan or explanation as to how they plan to avoid these issues in the future. At the very least, video back-up recording should be in place for the entire 24 hours as it is for many of the big 24-hour events in the U.S.”
Call for Comments
- TDS and OCC, who’d we miss?
- What percent of the elite entrants on the iRunFar UTMB previews will DNF this year?
- What other races should be called out in the comments field below?