This Week In Running: December 23, 2019

This Week In Running’s trail and ultra recap for December 23, 2019.

By on December 23, 2019 | Comments

This Week in Running Justin Mock TWIRHo, ho, ho, it’s on to 2020 we almost go. There were just a couple of races this weekend, that we know about, and so we’re looking ahead to the Across the Years contest, and talking about the end of The North Face Endurance Challenge Championships series. Join us for the final ‘This Week in Running’ article of 2019!

Other Races and Events

Lookout Mountain 50 Mile

Full results aren’t up just yet, but at the Lookout Mountain 50 Mile race in Tennessee, Matthew Warriner went to the top of the 50-mile podium. Nathan Holland was second and Peter Hagemeyer was third. Rachel Entrekin won the women’s 50-mile race, and Kari Laramore and Ginny Kelly were second and third. In the accompanying 18-mile race, Joseph Wilson and Meredith Adams were champs in 2:24 and 2:54, respectively. Full results (when available).

The 2019 Lookout Mountain 50 Mile men’s podium (l to r): 3. Peter Hagemeyer, 1. Matthew Warriner, and 2. Nathan Holland. Photo: Wild Trails

The 2019 Lookout Mountain 50 Mile women’s podium (l to r): 3. Ginny Kelly, 1. Rachel Entrekin, and 2. Kari Laramore. Photo: Wild Trails

Joe McConaughy’s 100 Mile

Joe McConaughy, aka Stringbean from his Appalachian Trail exploits, ran 100 miles on a high-school track in suburban Cincinnati, Ohio. McConaughy finished the low-key, fundraising run in 12:53.

Mo Big Butt 50k

There were just 11 finishers at South Carolina’s Mo Big Butt 50k, but we’ll highlight this race simply for its name. Jennifer Kryzanowski was the overall winner in 4:06. Byron Backer was the first male, second overall, in 4:21. Full results.

The Mason-Dixon Shortest Day  50k++ Challenge

The Mason-Dixon Shortest Day  50k++ Challenge is actually a 36-mile, point-to-point fatass-style trail race held on the Mason-Dixon Trail in Pennsylvania. The event starts at sunrise and the goal is to beat the sun and finish by sunset. The first male finisher was Zach Geiple in 7:47 and the first female was Kathleen Cusick in 8:37. More information.

Ancient Oaks 100 Mile

The Ancient Oaks 100 Mile is a casual year closer in Florida. This year saw just 19 finishers with Grant Maughan and Lisa DeVona at the helm of the men’s and women’s races in 18:22 and 20:58 respectively. Full results.

Next Weekend (and Beyond) – Across the Years – Phoenix, Arizona

This race is not even close to contained in just one weekend. Instead, the Across the Years circus of races starts on December 28 with 10-, six-, three-, two-, and one-day races; 12- and 6-hour fixed time races; a last-person-standing contest; and 200- and 100-mile race options too.


  • Ryan Kaiser (Registered for 100 miles) – 1st 2019 IMTUF 100 Mile
  • Pete Kostelnick (Six days) – 14:48 2019 Tunnel Hill 100 Mile
  • Michael McKnight (48 hours) – 1st 2019 200 Mile Triple Crown
  • Ian Sharman (24 hours) – 6:16 2018 Brazos Bend 50 Mile


  • Camille Herron (Registered for 48 hours) – 167 miles 2019 IAU 24-hour World Championships (world record)
  • Marisa Lizak (24 hours) – 148 miles 2019 Desert Solstice 24 Hour
  • Darcy Piceu (24 hours) – 1st 2018 Javelina Jundred

Camille Herron will be on the start line, and the record watch will be on. The North American 48-hour best is Traci Falbo’s 242 miles from 2014, and the world record is Poland’s Patrycja Bereznowska‘s 249 miles. Herron broke Bereznowska’s 24-hour record, but she’s never contested a 48-hour race before and ran the IAU 24-Hour World championships just two months ago. Is she recovered, and can she do it?

Interestingly, Marisa Lizak is back and racing 24 hours again just two weekends after her overall win at Desert Solstice.

Full entrant list.

Other News

The North Face Endurance Challenge Championships

Going, going, gone. I’m not sure if this means The North Face is born to run, or it isn’t running at all, but the 13-year-old The North Face Endurance Challenge Championships series as it’s existed won’t happen in 2020. The press release calls it a cancellation, but hints at an alternate future and gives some clues. The briefer references a single location, rather than locations, and also calls for the chance to bring even more runners to the community in a new format. What’s it all mean? Could it be a shorter race, or races, a trail relay, or obstacle-course-style racing? I don’t know, but I for one won’t miss typing that overly long name or the similarly awkward TNF ECS acronym.

USATF 2020 National Championships

Ten races will fill the 2020 USATF national championships calendar. There are a lot of holdovers from prior years, but a couple of new races too. Most interestingly, the U.S. Mountain Running Championships move out of the northeast for the first time since 2015.

  • February 14 – Jackpot Ultrarunning Festival (Nevada), 100 mile road
  • March 1 – Caumsett 50k (NY), 50k road
  • March 14 – Pioneer Spirit 50 Mile (CA), 50 mile trail
  • April 18 – Mad City 100k (WI), 100k road
  • August 9 – Ragged Mountain 50k (NH), 50k trail
  • August 16 – Gnar Gnar Mountain Race (OR), mountain
  • September TBA – North Coast 24 Hour (OH), 24 hour road
  • September 26 – Birkie Trail Running Festival (WI), trail half marathon
  • November 7 – Moab Trail Marathon (UT), trail marathon
  • December 5 – Brazos Bend 100 Mil(TX), 100 mile trail

Call for Comments

  • What other races took place this weekend? Leave a comment to share.
  • My UltraRunning Magazine (North American) Ultrarunner of the Year ballot has been delivered. I keep secrets, mostly, but who’s at the top of your lists?
  • We take about one weekend per year off, and it’s next weekend. We’ll see you in 2020!
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.