This Week In Running: December 10, 2018

This Week in Running Justin Mock TWIRCamille Herron reminded us that 2018 isn’t over yet. Highlights this week include Herron’s sensational Desert Solstice Track Invitational run in Arizona, the Hellgate 100k in Virginia, and a scattering of other global results. Let’s turn the spotlight on.

Desert Solstice Track Invitational – Phoenix, Arizona

Women

Wow, Camille Herron swung big and hit a home run at the Desert Solstice Track Invitational. Competing on a 400-meter track, Herron rocked out 162.919 miles over 24 hours, most of them we believe in her Nike Vapor Flys. That’s a new world record, folks!

After winning last year’s UltraRunning Magazine (North American) Ultrarunner of the Year prize, Herron has been absent for much of 2018. She missed a chance to defend her 2017 Comrades Marathon crown and also didn’t start the Western States 100 while battling back from injury. Perhaps that time away put an extra spring in her legs, and perhaps the cancellation of The North Face Endurance Challenge 50-Mile Championships–which Herron was to race in–three weeks ago was similarly fortuitous.

At Desert Solstice, Herron characteristically started fast–high risk, high reward–and challenged the lead men early on. She held pace through the heat of the day and as those lead men fell off the track, Herron went farther than she’d ever gone before. Along the way she also broke the 200k American record in 17:07:27 (Old Record: Courtney Dauwalter, 18:40:33 in 201?) and the American record for 100 miles on a track in 13:25:00 (Old Record: Gina Slaby, 13:45:49 in 2016). Poland’s Patrycja Bereznowska previously held the 24-hour world record, having run 161.550 miles in 2017.

Herron also holds world-best marks for 50 miles (5:38), 12 hours (92.66 miles), and 100 miles (12:42).

Camille Herron on her way to setting a new 24-hour world record at the 2018 Desert Solstice Track Invitational. Photo: Aravaipa Running/Howie Stern

Micah Morgan was second female with 140.003 miles. It was Morgan’s debut 24-hour race, though she was third at this year’s Badwater 135 Mile and has run as fast as 14:55 for 100 miles. Adela Salt was third in the 24-hour race with 124.711-plus miles.

It’s been Courtney Dauwalter’s year, but this wasn’t her day. Racing six weeks after the notorious Big Backyard Ultra, Dauwalter’s wild 2018 success stopped early here, and she cited tired legs.

Men

Though Herron was the overall winner, four men also went over 150 miles in the 24-hour contest. Jacob Jackson totaled 157.589 miles, Greg Armstrong reached 155.106 miles, Nick Coury went for 155.036 miles, and Bob Hearn, at age 53 no less, ran 154.051 miles. Those marks put each in the top six in qualifying for the U.S. national 24-hour team. The next IAU 24-Hour World Championships is scheduled for October 2019 in France.

On down the card, Andrew Snope totaled 144.606 miles barefoot, and Oswaldo Lopez ran 139.637 miles for what is believed to be a new Mexican 24-hour record.

Men’s headliners Patrick Reagan and Zach Bitter stopped early, having run 130 and 116 miles each.

Full results.

Top women’s 24-hour performances as of December 2018. Image created by Edit Bérces.

Top men’s 24-hour performances as of December 2018. Image created by Edit Bérces.

Hellgate 100k – Fincastle, Virginia

Women

Anna Evans won the nighttime-start, notoriously difficult Hellgate 100k in 13:04. Kelly MacDonald and Shannon Howell followed in 13:15 and 13:21, respectively.

Men

Lemons into lemonade. Darren Thomas was to be another of the would-be TNF 50 group of 2018. Absent that race, Thomas was back near where he went to college at Virginia Tech and he won in 11:02. That’s 20 minutes better than last year’s winning time, and less than a minute back of Brian Rusiecki’s 2016 winning time.

Second-place Rich Riopel, himself a past U.S. 24-hour team member, finished in 11:15, and Mike McMonagle was third in 11:22.

Full results.

Other Races

Brazos Bend 100 and 50 Mile

The Trail Racing Over Texas Brazos Bend 100 and 50 Mile races have a reputation for being flat and fast. This time it was also wet and muddy. Julie Kheyfets and Shandra Moore won the respective 100- and 50-mile races in 19:13 and 7:22. Kyle Pietari won the men’s 100-mile race in 15:51, and in a comeback-from-injury race of his own, Ian Sharman went for 6:16 and victory over 50 miles. Full results.

Ian Sharman returning from injury to win the 2018 Brazos Bend 50 Mile. Photo: Trail Racing Over Texas

USATF Club Cross Country Championships

The USATF Club Cross Country Championships is usually among the more competitive races in the country. This year’s event was held in Spokane, Washington. Jorge Maravilla won the men’s masters 10k title, running 32:53. The results have a few other names familiar to this column, including Samantha Lewis finishing 85th in 21:38 in the women’s 6k and Corrine Malcolm 168th in 23:00. In the women’s masters 6k, Trisha Steidl was 15th in 23:42 and Beverly Anderson-Abbs was 32nd in 24:58. Alex Varner was 156th in 32:36 in the open men’s 10k, and Gus Gibbs was 202nd in 33:08 in that same race. Also in the men’s masters 10k, Uli Steidl was 47th in 35:14 and Gary Gellin was 129th in 37:56. In the men’s masters 8k for ages 60-plus, Jack Pilla was 16th in 32:21. Full results.

Honolulu Marathon

Second at last weekend’s nearby XTERRA Trail Run World Championships, Polina Carlson raced the Honolulu Marathon this weekend. She was fourth in 2:53. Full results.

El Cruce

The three-day 100k El Cruce stage race in Colombia was won by Amber Philip (New Zealand, but living in Chile) and Remigio Huamán (Peru). The deep men’s field also included third- and fourth-place Thibaut Baronian (France) and Pere Aurell (Spain). Full results.

Bigfoot 50k 

Molly Dengler and Michael Daigeaun won Ohio’s Bigfoot 50k in 5:25 and 4:28, respectively. Full results.

Tallahassee Ultradistance Classic

The 38th Tallahassee Ultradistance Classic in Florida had both 50-mile and 50k road contests. Shana Ryberg Pearson and Joel Rich won the 50-mile races in 7:32 and 6:37, and Darcy Brinkman and Thomas Dever won the 50k in 4:59 and 3:39. Full results.

Daytona 100 Mile

Further south, Sally Libonati and Lee Whitaker won Florida’s Daytona 100 Mile with 19:18 and 15:30 finish times. Full results.

Hitchcock Experience 100 Mile

On-trail snow at the Hitchcock Nature Center added to the challenge of Iowa’s Hitchcock Experience 100 Mile race. Gretchen Metsa and Cory Logsdon won the 100-mile race in 26:26 and 20:24, and in the 50-mile race, Meg Pon Louthan won for the women in 12:33, while Ben Drexler was tops in 8:33 in the men’s race. Full results.

Cory Logsdon, 2018 Hitchcock Experience 100 Mile champion. Photo: Hitchcock Experience

Barbudo Trail

The 32k Barbudo Trail race in Spain jams in 2,400 meters of mountain elevation gain. Race winners were Ragna Debats (Netherlands) and Manuel Merillas (Spain) in 3:44 and 3:03. The women’s race was close with Charlotte Morgan (U.K.) only two minutes back. Full results.

Call for Comments

  • Three weeks to go in 2018! What races are you eyeing the rest of the way?
  • What other trail and ultrarunners were present at the USATF Club Cross Country Championships?
  • Do you have details from any other races over the weekend?
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.