This Week In Running: February 18, 2019

This Week in Running Justin Mock TWIRIt was another week just the way we like it. There was mud and wild weather, upset wins and new course records, Western States 100 Golden Tickets, and races from Costa Rica to New Zealand. We recap all of it, including the Black Canyon 100k and the FOURmidable 50k. We also look at next week’s Ultra-Trail World Tour Transgrancanaria 128k. Happy Monday, folks!

Black Canyon 100k – Mayer, Arizona

Aravaipa Running’s Black Canyon 100k was pushed to its high-water route due to rainy weather for days ahead of race day, avoiding potentially dangerous crossings of the Agua Fria River as well as Black Canyon Creek. That race-morning change meant that the traditional point-to-point course wasn’t completed and runners instead out-and-backed through the finish line three times on a course that may have been a couple of miles short of the 100k distance. The show still went on though and it was still a Western States 100 Golden Ticket race where two men and women each earned automatic entry.


It was a stacked field, one of the best so far this year, and from that group Matt Daniels went to the front early and simply ran away with it. Daniels is a former Adams State University runner with a sub-4:00-mile and a 13:50 5,000-meter best, and has run on the U.S. Mountain Running Team, but still, his dominance here was surprising. He won in, unofficially, 7:20, and that was way ahead of everyone else.

Matt Daniels, 2019 Black Canyon 100k champion. Photo: Aravaipa Running

Second-place Chris Mocko is already in for Western States thanks to a second-place run at the Bandera 100k last month, and he’s already run a 2:20 marathon this year, but the dude likes to race and finished in 7:45. That meant the Golden Ticket fell to third-place Eric Senseman, who ran 7:46.

Anthony Kunkel was fourth in 8:07, and 23-year-old Rod Farvard was fifth in 8:25.

Dakota Jones’s return to ultras came with an 8:34 finish.

Both Jared Hazen and Max King were counted among the late-race drops.

Kris Brown won the accompanying 60k race in 4:20.


Kaci Lickteig wouldn’t miss Western States and she punched her ticket back with a win in 8:40. YiOu Wang was second home in 8:48. The two frontrunners had a big gap to the rest of the women’s field.

Kaci Lickteig, 2019 Black Canyon 100k champion. Photo: Aravaipa Running

Third-place Mallory Richard (Canada) finished in 9:35, and Amelia Kaufman and Lindsey Hagen were fourth and fifth in 10:00 and 10:02, respectively.

Tops in the simultaneous 60k was Andrea McArdle in 4:53.

All finish times above are unofficial pending completion of the final results.

Preliminary results.

The next Golden Ticket race is the March 30 Georgia Death Race 74 miler.

FOURmidable 50k – Cool, California

The FOURmidable 50k is named for its four big climbs, Cardiac Hill, K2, Knickerbocker, and Overlook Hill, and that’s enough to make for 6,000 feet of elevation gain. The race was again the USATF 50k Trail National Championships, just like in 2017, and had a $5,000 prize purse.


It was really wet and muddy, and Tim Tollefson sat just back of the leaders for the race’s first 20 miles before charging the race’s final third. Tollefson earned the national-championship win in 3:43. He was over 11 minutes back of Max King‘s 2017 course record, and that was at least somewhat reflective of this year’s course conditions.

Tim Tollefson on his way to winning the 2019 FOURmidable 50k. Photo: U.S. Mountain Running/Richard Bolt

Sam Sahli, a 23-year-old recent Baylor University grad, was second in 3:49, and Evan Williams, ninth at last year’s Chuckanut 50k, was a surprise third in 3:50.

The top-seven men all ran under four hours.

4 – David Kilgore – 3:55
5 – Ryan Ghelfi – 3:55
6 – Timothy Reed – 3:56
7 – David Roche – 3:58

Deeper results have Uli Steidl, an ultra star a decade ago, 16th in 4:16.

Tollefson and Sahli both earn national-team spots on the group that will compete at the Trail World Championships on June 8, 2019 in Portugal.


Dani Moreno has been a regular presence on U.S. teams in recent years and her win too guaranteed another appearance at the Trail World Championships. Moreno ran 4:12, less than three minutes off Stephanie Violett‘s course record from 2018. Rachel Drake was second in 4:16 and now also on the U.S. team, and Chessa Adsit-Morris was third in 4:24.

Dani Moreno, 2019 FOURmidable 50k champion. Photo: U.S. Mountain Running/Richard Bolt

Mimicking the men’s race, the top-seven women all ran under five hours.

4 – Corey Conner – 4:30
5 – Emily Richards – 4:46
6 – Kristina Randrup – 4:56
7 – Trisha Steidl – 4:59

Taylor Nowlin was eighth in 5:04.

Full results.

Moab Red Hot 33k/55k – Moab, Utah


An overnight cold front and storm added a dusting of snow and ice to the iconic red slickrock, and it was a sprint finish at the Moab Red Hot 55k. Former Georgetown University runner Bobby Peavey edged Sage Canaday by five seconds to win the race in 3:52. Stephen Kersh took third in a more distant 4:02.

Bobby Peavey, 2019 Moab Red Hot 55k champion. Photo: iRunFar/Bryon Powell

Peavey’s been at ultrarunning for the last two years, but he got this one right moreso than any other. Look for him next at April’s Lake Sonoma 50 Mile.

In the men’s 33k, Anthony Costales crossed the line with the win in a far-out-front 2:11. Costales was last year’s 55k winner and he set a course record in that process. In this year’s 33k, he was trailed by Jackson Brill and Josh Eberly, who both went 2:17 and 20 seconds apart from each other.


Sandi Nypaver brought home the women’s win in 4:57, far ahead of any other woman. It was a sprint for second and third places, though, for Imogen Ainsworth and Sarah Bard, who both finished in 5:07 and four seconds apart.

Nypaver is next signed up for March’s Nine Trails 35 Mile.

In the women’s 33k, Ashley Brasovan set a shiny new course record with a lightning-fast 2:24, and she finished more than 25 minutes ahead of any other woman. Myriah Blair took second in 2:50 and Abby Levene was third in 2:53.

Full results (when available).

Ashley Brasovan setting a new course record at the 2019 Moab Red Hot 33k. Photo: iRunFar/Bryon Powell

Jackpot Ultrarunning Festival – Las Vegas, Nevada

It was the sixth year for the Jackpot Ultrarunning Festival and second-straight year as the USATF 100-Mile Road National Championships. The USATF race was on a fast 1.2-mile loop, and there was a rich $10,000 prize purse.


Mark Hammond can run roads too! Best known for his Western States successes, Hammond went for a quick 13:05 100-mile run. That sits just outside of the top-10 U.S. 100-mile runs all-time.

Second-place Sam Skeels finished in 14:07, and Jean Pommier was third in 14:47. Pommier’s time was a new U.S. 50-plus age-group record.


We’re chasing the official account here, but do know that Connie Gardner won the women’s 100-mile race in 18:15. It was Gardner’s 12th national championship and it bettered Sue Ellen Trapp’s longstanding age-group record. If anyone would like to share results from on-site, leave a comment. Thanks!

Full results (when available).

Other Races and Runs

Coastal Challenge

Pere Aurell (Spain) and Ida Nilsson (Sweden) won the six-day Coastal Challenge stage race in Costa Rica in combined times of 23:10 and 23:36. It was the race’s 15th year and Nilsson set several new individual-stage course records as well as an overall-race course record, netting $3,500 in record bonuses. Full results.

Shotover Moonlight Mountain Marathon

In a country full of spectacular, race organizers say that New Zealand’s Shotover Moonlight Mountain Marathon is the country’s most spectacular marathon. It happens on the country’s South Island, above and around high-adventure Queenstown. Ross Gollan (UK) and Nancy Jiang (New Zealand) won the race in 4:33 and 5:22. Full results.

Beast of Burden

In New York, they do the Beast of Burden races in both summer and winter. Pete Kostelnick won the 100-mile winter race in 16:28, and Kimberly Wrate won for the ladies in 25:33. Full results (when available).

Hagg Lake 50k

Manuel Mederle and Leah Brown won the always muddy Hagg Lake 50k in Oregon with 4:11 and 5:03 finish times. Full results.

Holiday Lake 50k+

In Virginia, Michael Bailey and Jennifer Fleming led the Holiday Lake 50kwith 4:09 and 4:54 winning times, respectively. Full results.

Susitna 100 Mile

If it’s a winter 100-mile foot race in Alaska, you can usually bet on Dave Johnston finishing on top. That was the case at the Susitna 100 Mile, but this time he wasn’t alone. Johnston and Sean Ranney crossed the line together in 32:46. As of this article’s writing, no one else has finished. Is it actually what it looks like on the live tracker, that there are no women racing? Kamie Miller won the accompanying 50k race–the Little Su 50k–in 5:22. Keith Blanchette was first man in 6:51. Full results.

Next Weekend – Transgrancanaria – Canary Islands, Spain

The 128k (80 miles) Transgrancanaria race is an Ultra-Trail World Tour fixture, and with some 7,500 meters (24,500 feet) of elevation gain, it is absolutely brutal.


  • Pau Capell (Spain) – 1st 2018 Transgrancanaria
  • Julien Chorier (France) – 1st 2019 9 Dragons
  • Cristofer Clemente (Spain) – 3rd 2018 Transgrancanaria
  • Yeray Duran (Spain) – 2nd 2016 TDS
  • Fritjof Fagerlund (Sweden) – 15th 2017 Transgrancanaria
  • Anthony Gay (Spain) – 6th 2017 Transgrancanaria
  • Damian Hall (UK) – 5th 2018 UTMB
  • Hayden Hawks (USA) – 1st 2018 Lavaredo Ultra Trail
  • Johan Lantz (Sweden) – 3rd 2018 Ultra-Trail Cape Town
  • Dmitry Mityaev (Russia) – 1st 2018 High Trail Vanoise
  • Timothy Olson (USA) – 10th 2017 Transgrancanaria
  • Min Qi (China) – 1st 2018 Vibram Hong Kong 100k
  • Andris Ronimoiss (Latvia) – 11th 2017 Transgrancanaria
  • Sebas Sanchez (Spain) – 12th 2017 Transgrancanaria
  • Vaidas Zlabys (Lithuania) – 2nd 2017 Transgrancanaria

Now that’s an international line-up! Transgrancanaria has been challenging for the Americans, but Hawks against Qi should be a good bet for a compelling race. You can count on Capell to add flavor to any big mountain race, too, plus he’s the returning champion.

Tom Evans (UK) is on the entrants list, but his social media says he’s targeting the Lake Sonoma 50 Mile next.


  • Ester Alves (Portugal) – 2nd 2017 Coastal Challenge
  • Lisa Borzani (Italy) – 3rd 2017 Lavaredo Ultra Trail
  • Caroline Chaverot (France) – 1st 2017 Hardrock 100
  • Azara Garcia (Spain) – 1st 2017 Transgrancanaria
  • Marianne Hogan (Canada) – 5th 2017 Mont Blanc Marathon
  • Magdalena Łaczak (Poland) – 1st 2018 Transgrancanaria
  • Miao Yao (China) – 1st 2018 Vibram Hong Kong 100k
  • Monique Van Den Boogart (Netherlands) –
  • Ildiko Wermescher (Hungary) – 10th 2018 Transgrancanaria
  • Denise Zimmerman (Switzerland) – 3rd 2015 UTMB

Chaverot has been up and down over the last couple years, and her best against past winner Łaczak as well as Yao should again be exciting. Garcia was a late DNS at the Hong Kong 100k last month with a small injury, and a recent add to this entrants list, which means she’s potentially in good, recovered form.

Full entrant list.

Other Trail and Ultra News

Juliette Benedicto

French endurance athletes Juliette Benedicto and Tanguy Vulliet died in a ski-mountaineering fall in France on February 14. She was 33 years old and he was 24. Benedicto was a 2004 and 2005 triathlon world junior champion, and more recently a trail running standout, including a runner-up finish at the 2014 Les Templiers. Vulliet was a standout ski mountaineer who also trail ran and raced.

Call for Comments

  • That was a busy weekend. What caught your eye that you want to explore further in the comments below?
  • Do you have on-site reports from any of these races? Leave a comment to share your thoughts.
  • Care to add results from a race we didn’t cover? Leave a comment with those, too.
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.

There are 36 comments

      1. Valerie

        Rob Krar changed to the 50k distance the morning of the race.
        He had arrived in Hong Kong with a head cold that he didn’t manage to get rid of, so he didn’t feel like he could run a 50 miler. In the end, he had no energy and dropped out at the 2nd aid station.

          1. Justin Mock

            And thank you all, this one definitely slipped past me.

            Quite remarkable how many Hong Kong races have come up at the start of the year already.

  1. Sabine Heiland

    As far as I know, Pere Aurell didn’t set a new course record at the Coastal Challenge. The winner of 2018, Thomas Evans, finished in 21:44:12 with Hayden Hawks in a tight 2nd place in 21:48:37.

  2. Jared

    Also at Black Canyon, 13 year old Sebastian Salsbury ran 15:49 in the 100k to qualify for Western States lottery. Apparently the youngest to ever qualify. Pretty amazing!

    1. Markus

      This is pretty disturbing.
      I am all for encouraging kids to run. But a 13 old should not run a 100k trail race.
      It will be interesting to see if Western States will allow him to run.
      Every serious ultrarace has a minimum age restriction of 18 for good reasons.

      1. John Vanderpot

        I’ve run with the kid, know the family…every rule has its exception for a reason?

        Nice work Sebastian — sorry I missed it!


      2. Samir

        I ran with Sebastian this weekend and he inspired me to finish when I was struggling. So calm and cool. An amazing athlete and kid. Markus, how are you the judge of human endurance and age based developmental capabilities?

      3. JFrench

        Why shouldn’t he run? How is this disturbing? Would you rather him play football and get injured/concussed? You should hear some of the reasons why women were told they couldn’t run.

      4. Carson

        Im going to agree with Markus on this one. 13 years old is extremely young to be running that kind of distance.That puts a lot of mental, emotional, and physical stress on a person when their mind has not fully developed. I think we can all agree that running these kinds of distances takes a huge toll on an individual, not just the race itself but the extensive amount of training required. This requires a huge amount of maturity and most people at age 13 probably dont have that.

        Another point to consider is if your going to allow a 13 year old to run these kinds of races where are you going to draw the line and say this is not safe. What if he were 10 or 8 or maybe 6. Just something to think about.

  3. Todd

    Markus, how did your son race the 100k without your permission? Oh wait, he wasn’t your son? And the race allowed him to run? Then mind your own business. I congratulate the kid and know several who have run Ultras without any long term consequences, except they want to spend long days on the trails rather than playing video games. (Don’t parent other people’s kids.)

    1. Markus

      Yeah, I know a couple of kids too who did ultrarunning before they were 18 and probably didn’t get hurt. But just because something is possible does not mean it’s a good thing.

      Ultrarunning is an over excessive use of our body. Done right you can do it a lifetime long. But I would not recommend to start with it when you are very young and still growing.

      Colby Wendtland was one of these kids. He did amazing 361 miles in a 6 day race in 2015 while still 14 or 15. You have not heard from him since December 2016.
      So what happened to him?

        1. Markus


          You might not know, but Claire Nana is the wife of the organizer who let Colby run his 6 day race. And that was their website you quoted.

          Colby must be injured otherwise you would have found some races he had done in the last 2 years. Going from running ultras to no running is probably not by choice.

          1. Brian

            I ran 26 races over a 12 month span covering most of last year, and now haven’t raced since November. I’d love to have run in that time but life happened.

            Because I suddenly didn’t do what I was once doing doesn’t mean I must be injured, or that it wasn’t my choice (I’m not injured and it was my choice). Unless you are the kid’s parents or otherwise know him personally, I’m not sure how you could know all of this info so definitively.

  4. TimI

    If I remember right, Uli Steidl won the first NFEC with Matt Carpenter coming in second. Then in Leadville like Carpenter style, the results flipped the next year. Glad to see Uli still doing so well and I wonder if Matt still (occasionally) runs competitively?

    Also, those first two NFECs were tremendous but seem to have no records or race reports. I wonder why? There used to be some good video of the race

  5. Brian Haviland

    There were women running the Susitna 100, but none finished. More racers dropped this year than finished. The Susitna 100 doesn’t acknowledge course records due to the dramatic variations in conditions from year to year.
    New soft snow and wind drifts followed by another 6 inches of snow during the first 24 hrs made for a slow year.

      1. Brian Haviland

        That would be awesome. Great race direction and volunteers. I enjoyed your article on the White Mountains 100 (on my to do list on the bike). Now it’s time for a Su piece!

        1. Bryon Powell

          Su’s long been on my list. I’m just waiting for a winter when I’ve got a free/cheap/easy setup for a bunch of on-snow training so I can get in some decent pulk training. I want to run Su… but not enough to drag a tire around on the roads for a couple months. ;-)

          1. Brian Haviland

            Agreed, dragging a tire seems like a great way to ruin a good run. Brandon, how much training with the sled did you do for the Su? Congrats on the finish as well.

            1. Brandon Wood

              Thanks! I started training with the sled around mid-December, so about 2 months before the race. I did all my long runs with the sled, including several 30+ milers. This was my 3rd time running the race, and the weather has varied widely year to year, so you really never know what you’re going to get.

    1. Brandon Wood

      Specifically worth mentioning is Laura McDonough. She has 18 finishes at Susitna 100, and this was her first DNF. I was among the 10 finishers in the foot race, and I can attest to how horrendous the course conditions were this year. The race directors said it was by far the worst weather ever, and the slowest winning time ever.

  6. Rod Friesen

    I’m amazed at Mallory Richard from Canada at the black Canyon 100!! She is an awesome competitor that deserves more credit! I’ve been reading her history a bit. Wow!

  7. Daisy

    Uli and Trisha Steidl are both very strong ultra runners and pillars in our Seattle trail/road running community. This year Trisha nailed the USATF Master’s title for a second year in a row, and Uli grabbed second Master’s! Congrats to both of them for awesome races!

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