This Week In Running: December 17, 2018

This Week In Running’s trail and ultra recap for December 17, 2018.

By on December 17, 2018 | Comments

This Week in Running Justin Mock TWIRHere we are at the start of another week, and, you guessed it, another installment of ‘This Week In Running.’ To our knowledge, there were no headliner races this weekend, but a slew of smaller trail races and ultramarathons around the U.S. We bring you results from some of those races as well as a little ski-mountaineering racing. We’ll also recap the winners of most of the year’s global trail running and ultrarunning race series. Let’s continue our march toward 2019!

Races and Runs

Kahtoola INSTAgaiter Low contest

Thanks to Kahtoola for sponsoring this edition of TWIR! Enter to win 1 of 5 pairs of gaiters. (US only)

Paramount Ranch Trail Runs

Once the place of movies, southern California’s Paramount Ranch is now administered by the National Park Service as a park, and the Paramount Ranch Trail Runs had some five different race distances. Benjamin Atkins and Kathryn Schjei won the 50k in 3:45 and 5:03, and Ruperto Romero and Janadel Harris won the marathon in 3:05 and 4:49. Full results.

United States Ski Mountaineering Association Worlds Team Qualifier 

The Colorado Ski Mountaineering Cup held Vertical and Individual United States Ski Mountaineering Association Worlds Team Qualifier races at the Arapahoe Basin Ski Area. Friday’s Vertical race was won by John Gaston and Anna Mae Flynn in 22:02 and 28:33. The next-day Individual race was again won by Gaston, this time in 1:32, while Jessie Young won for the women in 2:00. Well-known ultrarunner Mike Foote was fourth in both weekend races. A second national-team qualifier will be held on January 5 and 6, 2019 at Colorado’s Sunlight Mountain Resort, and final selections will be made after that weekend. Full results.

Woodside Rambler 50k 

Matt Daniels went quick at Inside Trail’s Woodside Rambler 50k in California’s San Francisco Bay Area. A U.S. mountain running team member, Daniels won big in 3:18, and women’s victor Sarah Burke topped the charts in 4:23. Sam Johnson and Tyler Stewart led the accompanying 35k in 2:54 and 3:07, respectively. Full results.

Matt Daniels, 2018 Woodside Ramble 50k champion. Photo courtesy of Matt Daniels.

Ancient Oaks 100 Mile

The Ancient Oaks 100 Mile is a low-key event held in the Enchanted Forest Nature Sanctuary in Titusville, Florida. Ronnie Hines and Joan Bauman won in 22:18 and 25:22, respectively. Full results.

Savannah Ultra Urban 50k

In Savannah, Georgia, the first-year Savannah Ultra Urban 50k had, count ’em, 10 finishers, six of which were women. Tommy Black and Michelle Underwood were victors in 5:58 and 6:33. Full results.

Monadnock Ultra 50k

The first-year Monadnock Ultra 50k in western North Carolina celebrated Simon Donato (Canada) and Sabrina Stanley as its winners, with 5:11 and 5:41 finishes. Stanley is just over a month out from Hawaii’s HURT 100 Mile, a race she was third at in 2018. Full results.

Houston Running Festival 50k

The Houston Running Festival took place on a flat, paved sidewalk in a park in Houston, Texas. Three race distances were offered. In the 50k, Francisco Garza won by a full hour, finishing in 3:33. The women’s race was much closer, with Linda Truong coming out as the winner in 5:22 and second-place Donna Palmer less than 30 seconds behind. Full results.

Pigtails Run 

Victory at the 13th Pigtails Run 50k event in Washington state went to Eric Yan and Stephanie Fronk in 3:46 and 4:27. In the marathon distance, it was Sean Celli and Mari Kauri at the front in 3:25 and 3:49. Full results.

Other Trail and Ultra News – Race-Series Winners

2018’s nearly over and it’s a fine time to recount some of the year’s series. With a growing number of race series, there are also a lot of awards and rankings, some of which were concluded earlier in the year. Still to come is the UltraRunning Magazine (North American) Ultrarunner of the Year top-10 lists.

USA Track & Field Mountain Ultra Trail Running Council

Joe Gray and Addie Bracy were, of course, named U.S. Mountain Runners of the Year. Gray doubled up with the Sub-Ultra Trail Runner of the Year crown too, and U.S. 30k trail national champ Ashley Brasovan won for the ladies. Mario Mendoza and Courtney Dauwalter won for the Ultra Trail Runner of the Year class, and Olivier Leblond and Camille Herron won for Ultra Road Runner of the Year. Full release.

World Mountain Running Association

Italy’s Francesco Puppi and Bernard Dematteis raced WMRA events often and were rewarded with one-two men’s rankings. Women’s leaders Lucy Wambui Murigi (Kenya) and Andrea Mayr (Austria) dueled all year long and Wambui gained the year-end #1 rank. Note: The site’s ranking lists January 11, 2018 as a last update date, but it was posted to Facebook on November 6 and is believed to be current. Full ranking.

Lucy Wambui Murigi, 2018 World Mountain Running Champion. Photo: World Mountain Running Association

Skyrunner World Series

Two classes–Sky Classic and Sky Extra–made up this year’s Skyrunner World Series. In the Sky Classic series,  Pascal Egli (Switzerland) and Holly Page (Great Britain) took top spots. In the Sky Extra division, Pere Aurell (Spain) and Hillary Gerardi (USA) were the champions. Top rankings.

Skyrunner USA Series

The revamped series had Ultra, Sky, and vertical-kilometer divisions. TJ David and Kelsey Brasseur won the Ultra group, and Timmy Parr and Dani Moreno the Sky class. In the men’s VK, it was a tie between Ryan Phebus and Jeff RomeMorgan Arritola and Emmiliese Von Clemm also tied at the top of the women’s VK ranking. Full rankings.

Golden Trail Series

Though in its first year, the Golden Trail Series was arguably one of the year’s most competitive global series. Stian Angermund-Vik (Norway) and Ruth Croft (New Zealand) finished with #1 rankings. Top-10 rankings.

Stian Angermund-Vik - 2018 Ring of Steall

Stian Angermund-Vik during the 2018 Golden Trail Series. Photo: iRunFar/Bryon Powell

Ultra-Trail World Tour

UTWT series winners will be recognized at a January 2019 ceremony in Barcelona, Spain. Pau Capell (Spain) raced a bunch of UTWT events, but only two score per the rules. His win at Transgrancanaria and second at the Lavaredo Ultra Trail gave him the points to lead the series. Miao Yao (China) won the women’s division, edging Francesca Canepa (Italy). Yao’s tour win included a victory at CCC and a second at Lavaredo. Full rankings.

Weekend After Next – Across the Years – Phoenix, Arizona

TWIR is taking next Monday off for the holiday, so let’s look two weekends ahead. Aravaipa Running’s big December continues, and stretches into January… and next year. The Across the Years multi-day race will again be at the Camelback Ranch, a baseball spring-training facility, and on a 1.05-mile loop.

The six-day race is the premier distance, and includes a number of names familiar to this type of event.


  • Michael Carson – 2nd 2017 San Diego 100 Mile
  • Jamil Coury – 64:04 2018 Tahoe 200 Mile
  • Anthony Culpepper – 331 miles 2017 Across the Years 6 Day
  • Ed Ettinghausen – 455 miles 2017 Across the Years 6 Day
  • John Geesler – 308 miles 2018 Icarus Ultrafest 6 Day
  • David Johnston – 450 miles 2015 Across the Years 6 Day


  • Liz Bauer – 418 miles 2016 Across the Years 6 Day
  • Martina Hausmann (Germany) – 313 miles 2018 EMU 6 Day
  • Annabel Hepworth – 393 miles 2017 Across the Years 6 Day
  • Yolanda Holder – 410 miles 2016 Across the Years 6 Day
  • Ann Trason – Does she need an introduction?

Additional races will cover 72-, 48-, and 24-hour fixed times and notable entrants there include Charlotte Vasarhelyi (Canada) in the 72-hour race, Scott Jaime in the 48-hour race, and Mark Hammond in the 24-hour race. Vasarhelyi ran 419 miles at the 2018 EMU 6 Day race, Jaime is a former supported Colorado Trail FKT-holder, and Hammond of course is well known for his back-to-back third-place finishes at the Western States 100.

Full entrant list.

Call for Comments

  • Like what you see, or see something that doesn’t look quite right? Leave a comment to let us know.
  • Were you at one of these races over the weekend? Know of other races that took place around the world? Leave a comment to share with everyone.
  • Thanks for reading, and we’ll see you back here in two weeks for an end-of-year wrap-up on New Years Eve.
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.