This Week In Running: December 12, 2016

This Week In Running’s trail and ultra recap for December 12, 2016.

By on December 12, 2016 | Comments

This Week in Running Justin Mock TWIRWow, let’s hear it for the women! It was a record-setting weekend for the women across varying distances and terrains. Highlights from the Desert Solstice and Brazos Bend races and several others are included in this week’s column.


Unheralded Gina Slaby delivered one for the ages, circling the Central High School track over and over on her way to an unlikely 13:45:49 100-mile run. It was a new (pending) world record, almost two minutes faster than Ann Trason’s time at a 1991 road event in Flushing, New York. (Trason’s track best was 14:29, run in 1989. Pam Smith ran 14:08 on the track for 100 miles earlier this year as part of the Dawn 2 Dusk 2 Dawn 24-hour race, the previous 100-mile world best, and she also had a 14:11:26 for 100 miles on the track at the 2013 edition of Desert Solstice.) Slaby’s time figures to an average of 8:15 per mile.

While Slaby isn’t a new name to this column, that she would topple an Ann Trason record was certainly unexpected. Slaby, a 35-year-old lieutenant in the Navy, presently based out of Puget Sound, Washington, also won the Vermont 100 Mile (18:05) and the Lumberjack 100 Mile in Washington (17:34) this year, and ran 2:43 at the Olympic Trials Marathon. She has a 2:39 marathon best and has qualified for each of the last two Olympic Trials Marathons.

Gina Slaby - 2016 women's 100-mile world record

Gina Slaby after setting a new women’s 100-mile world record at the 2016 Desert Solstice. Photo: Aravaipa Running

Slaby was the first to reach 100 miles, male or female, and the marquee 24-hour race also had a woman as its overall winner. Courtney Dauwalter, seventh on the U.S. 24-hour team qualifying chart beforehand, made sure that she’ll be on the team to compete in Ireland in July 2017.

Dauwalter racked up 147.49 miles, a total good for fourth on the qualifying list behind three auto qualifiers (Katalin NagyTraci Falbo, and Jenny Hoffman are guaranteed team spots as a result of their races at 2015 world and 2016 national championships). Dauwalter’s 147.49-mile 24-hour total ranks fifth on the North American all-time charts.

Much like Slaby, Dauwalter’s also isn’t a completely new name to this column. She won the $12,000 first-place prize at this year’s Run Rabbit Run 100 Mile and had a busy year with wins at the Javelina 100k and several other regional-level races.

Bob Hearn edged John Cash for the second overall, and first male, position in the 24-hour race. If Adrian Stanciu has indeed retired from ultras, Hearn’s 144.71-mile total is the sixth and last qualifying mark for the 2017 men’s national team, at present. Cash was less than a mile behind at 143.77 miles.

Fifth overall, Andrew Snope broke his own Guinness world record for most miles run barefoot in 24 hours. He totaled 138.81 miles.

Full results.


Caroline Boller celebrated her 42nd birthday by also breaking an Ann Trason record at the event’s 50-mile race. Boller, who has only been running for four years, ran the flat and fast three-lap course inside Brazos Bend State Park in 5:48:01. That time calculates to a 6:58 per mile average. It is the fastest 50-mile time ever run on trails, and the third fastest by a North American woman regardless of surface. The previous trail best was 6:14 and dates to 1994.

Boller was the 50-mile race’s overall winner, and the time was a new course record–male or female. For more perspective on the time, Ford Smith ran 5:48:10–nine seconds slower than Boller–at the race’s 2014 edition, though the course is said to have been improved since Smith ran there.

Boller’s run comes less than a month after her second-place finish at the JFK 50 Mile. Her 2016 resume also includes a 16th-place finish at the IAU 50k World Championships, a 12th-place finish at the Western States Endurance Run, and a win at the USATF 50k Road National Championships.

Caroline Boller - 2016 Brazos Bend 50 Mile champion

Caroline Boller, 2016 Brazos Bend 50 Mile champion. Photo: Trail Racing Over Texas

Michael Daigeaun was second overall, first male, in the 50-mile race at 5:51.

And in the six-lap 100-mile race, Maggie Guterl took aim at Nicole Kalogeropoulos’s 100-mile trail best, a 14:22 mark set at the 2015 Rocky Raccoon 100 Mile. Guterl was on pace until the final lap, and would finish in 14:47. The time ranks third on the trail chart, trailing Kalogeropoulos and Traci Falbo’s 14:45 result from 2014.

Like Boller though, Guterl too was the overall winner and the new course-record holder–male or female. Her 14:47 ranks eighth all-time for North American 100-milers (if Pam Smith’s 14:08 100-mile split at the Dawn 2 Dusk 2 Dawn 24-hour race is to be recognized) regardless of surface.

The first male 100-mile finisher was Ryan Loehding, second overall in 15:07.

Full results.

Maggie Guterl - 2016 Brazos Bend 100 Mile champion

Maggie Guterl, 2016 Brazos Bend 100 Mile champion. Photo: Trail Racing Over Texas

Hellgate 100k – Fincastle, Virginia

Brian Rusiecki has seemingly won nearly every trail ultra on the East Coast, but this is believed to be his first Hellgate 100k win. At 11:01, he now owns the race’s fifth-fastest finish over the its 14-year history.

Matt Thompson edged Jason Lantz for second, 11:36 to 11:38.

Women’s winner Sarah Schubert was out front in 13:04. Schubert was second at the Mountain Masochist 50 Miler last month, and looks to have completed all of the Beast Series races other than the Grindstone 100 Mile.

Hannah Bright and Kathleen Cusick ran 13:58 and 14:07 for second and third, respectively.

Full results.


A week after finishing second at the XTERRA Trail Running World Championships in Hawaii, Nick Arciniaga ran 2:24 at the Honolulu Marathon, finishing seventh. U.S. 50k national team member Thomas Puzey was immediately in front, running 2:23 for sixth. XTERRA women’s champ Polina Carlson ran 2:55. Full results.

Racing in the Hoka Tor Ultra boot, Michael Wardian was third in 2:55 at Maine’s frigid Millinocket Marathon. Leah Frost, this year’s JFK 50 Mile champion, won the women’s race in 3:13. Full results.

South African runners Prodigal Khumalo and Landie Greyling won the 100k Ultra Trail Cape Town. The pair finished the giant loop and its two big climbs up Table Mountain in 11:07 and 12:01, respectively. Greyling was fourth overall. Sally McRae of the U.S. was second female in 14:01. Full results.

The GOATz trail running club hosted the Hitchcock Experience races at the Hitchcock Nature Center in Iowa. Kaci Lickteig was the overall winner of the 50-mile race in 7:54. Kenny Slocum was second overall in 8:24. Jodi Semonell Brandt Ketterer were the women’s and men’s winners in the 100-mile race at 25:23 and 19:16 , respectively. Full results (when available).

Kaci Lickteig - 2016 Hitchcock Experience 50 Mile champion

Kaci Lickteig, 2016 Hitchcock Experience 50 Mile champion. Photo: Hitchcock Experience

Jeff Browning won the Frozen Trail RunFest 50k in Eugene, Oregon. He clocked 4:25 for an eight-minute win. Women’s winner Clare Taylor ran 4:52. Full results.

Florida’s Tallahassee Ultradistance Classic turned 36! In the eight-lap 50-mile race, 48-year-old Gary Gellin won by nearly an hour in 5:52. Gellin did come up just short in targeting a national age-group record. Women’s winner Sheryl Rosen ran 7:38. Dan Nix and Emma Spencer won the accompanying 50k race in 3:50 and 4:39, respectively. Full results.

Double national champ Addie Bracy was 31st at the USATF Club Cross Country Championships, circling the 6k course in 20:49. The race was contested in Florida. Full results.

Also in Florida, Marc Burget ran 14:41 to win the Daytona 100 Mile. Women’s winner Noelani Taylor ran 16:00, just missing a sub-16 hour finish by three seconds. Full results.

Adam Lint and Annie Hewlett won the RainShadow Running Deception Pass 50k in Washington. The victors completed the coastal course in 4:23 and 4:53, respectively. Full results.


  • Gina Slaby or Caroline Boller, which result should carry more weight on the UltraRunning magazine Ultra Performance of the Year voting?
  • Do you like seeing separate records for road, track, and trail surfaces?
  • Race volume is trending down this time of year, what other events took place this past weekend?
Justin Mock

Justin Mock is the This Week In Running columnist for iRunFar. He’s been writing about running for 10 years. Based in Europe, Justin has run as fast as 2:29 for a road marathon and finished as high as fourth in the Pikes Peak Marathon.