This Week In Running: February 19, 2018

This Week in Running Justin Mock TWIRHold on, we’re going all around the world! This week’s column highlights the Black Canyon 100k Golden Ticket race in Arizona, Joe Gray racing in El Salvador, the Costa Rican The Coastal Challenge stage race, and looks ahead to next week’s Transgrancanaria race on the Canary Islands. Happy Monday, folks.

Black Canyon 100k – Mayer, Arizona


O Canada! Ailsa MacDonald (Canada) won the Black Canyon 100k in 8:53, and get this, finished second overall. That doesn’t usually happen in a Golden Ticket race. MacDonald’s finish marked a new course record, 37 minutes better than what Nicole Kalogeropoulos ran in 2017 (on a weather-altered course). MacDonald was third woman at last year’s Black Canyon race, and won the 2017 Sinister 7 100-mile race outright, but otherwise appears to be largely new to ultra distances.

Ailsa MacDonald, 2018 Black Canyon 100k champion. Photo: Aravaipa Running

Courtney Dauwalter was second in 9:18. Dauwalter already has her Western States 100 entry, so her Golden Ticket fell to third-place Paige Pattillo. Pattillo ran 10:09, and it is the second-straight year that she qualified for Western States via a Golden Ticket race.

Sarah Bard won the accompanying 60k in 5:25. That, too, was a new course record.


Black Canyon was Tim Freriks’s only miss in an otherwise great 2017. He walked it in for seventh last year. This year’s race went much better and he was victorious in 8:12–though he self-reported it as a rough day for him. Difficult or not, he earned his entry to Western States.

Tim Freriks - 2018 Black Canyon 100k champion

Tim Freriks on his way to winning the 2018 Black Canyon 100k. Photo: Coconino Cowboys

Juan Moran was second in 8:53, two seconds back of women’s winner MacDonald. Although a new name to this column, his racing resume includes a 14:49 run at the Tunnel Hill 100 Mile in 2016, and a fourth-place finish at the 2017 Mad City 100k.

Kanoa King was third in 9:10.

2017 Black Canyon third-placer Eric Senseman dropped from the race with illness. He reportedly will instead chase a Golden Ticket at the Lake Sonoma 50 Mile in April.

Daniel Nix topped the 60k sister race with a 5:03 run.

Full results.

Jackpot Ultrarunning Festival – Las Vegas, Nevada

Running 100 miles isn’t typically on most people’s Las Vegas must-do list, but the Jackpot Ultrarunning Festival isn’t your typical 100-mile race. Showgirls, Elvis, a potential $10,000 cash money purse, and the USATF 100-Mile Road National Championships made this one extra special.


Traci Falbo rolled the figurative dice and won in a speedy 17:03. Falbo pocketed $1,500 in addition for the win and a course record in addition to the national-title honor.

It appears that Caroline Wiebe and Pamela Geernaert ran 23:55 and 24:20, respectively, for second and third. Have we got that right?

Would-be Falbo challengers Cassie Scallon and Stacey Costa did not finish.


Sometime late in the race’s first half, Jon Olsen took control. Incredibly, his 2.5-mile laps wavered only slightly, ranging from a 19:47 best to a 20:19 worst. Talk about consistency! Olsen’s final time was 13:39 and he earns the same pay day as Falbo for a win and course record.

Jean Pommier and Kermit Cuff ran 15:34 and 19:11 for second and third.

It appears that early challenger Mike Bialick did not finish.

Full results.

Moab Red Hot 55k – Moab, Utah


Cat Bradley won the Moab Red Hot 55k in 4:54. It was Bradley’s first race since last June’s Western States. She is next registered for the March 3 Way Too Cool 50k, and, then, of course, Western States in June. She finished with a good gap on the rest of the field, with Emily Hawgood taking second in 5:14 and Betsy Bies finishing third a few seconds later in 5:15.

Cat Bradley - 2018 Moab Red Hot 55k champion

Cat Bradley, 2018 Moab Red Hot 55k champion. Photo: iRunFar/Bryon Powell

In the short course 33k, Alicia Vargo ran for a 2:34 winning time. She, too, was way out front of second and third place Andrea McArdle and Mercedes Walters who finished in 2:48 and 2:50, respectively.


Not Hayden Hawksnot Jim Walmsley, and not Rob Krar. This course record now belongs to Anthony Costales. The new man-to-beat ran 3:37, over two minutes better than Hawks did in 2017. Costales was fourth in the Moab Trail Marathon back in 2016, and ran a 2:13 road marathon late last year. Second place was Benjamin Stout in 3:54, and Kyle Pietari was third in 4:08.

Anthony Costales - 2018 Moab Red Hot 55k champion

Anthony Costales, 2018 Moab Red Hot 55k champion. Photo: iRunFar/Bryon Powell

Tyler McCandless, a 2:12 marathoner, set a new course record in the 33k, too. He ran 1:56, 11 minutes better than anyone on that course, ever. To underscore that time, keep in mind that this race used to be a La Sportiva Mountain Cup race. Chase Coffey was second in 2:07, a few seconds under the old record, as well. Third was Timmy Parr in 2:11.

Full results.

Coastal Challenge – Costa Rica


Ragna Debats (Netherlands) ruled the six-day, 230k jungle-and-beach stage race. Her collective 26:14 marked a new course record, and was almost four hours ahead of second. Ester Alves (Portugal) and Suzanna Guadarrama (Mexico but lives in the USA?) trailed Debats in 29:59 and 30:41, respectively, for second and third.


The men’s race was much closer. Tom Evans (U.K.) totaled 21:44 to finish just four minutes ahead of Hayden Hawks (USA). Like women’s winner Debats, Evans, too, set a new course record. Evans won each stage, and Hawks was second on all six days. Michael Wardian (USA) overcame an ankle injury to finish third in 25:17, while Timothy Olson (USA) exited the race on day four with his own ankle injury.

Full results.

Other Races

FOURmidable 50k

Stephanie Violett and Robert Ressil-Moyer ran 4:10 and 3:55 to win the Auburn, California FOURmidable 50k. Despite this not being a USATF championships event as it was in 2017, Violett still set a new course record by eight minutes. Full results.

Holiday Lake 50k

Out on the East Coast, Virginia specifically, Amy Rusiecki and Mike Fox led the Holiday Lake 50k with 4:49 and 3:57 winning times. Full results.

Pan American Cross Country Championships

El campeón! Joe Gray went to El Salvador and came away winner of the Pan American Cross Country Championships. Gray’s 10k time of 30:02 was three seconds better than anyone else. The U.S. placed four runners inside the top five. Full results.

Redtail Ridge

Riva Johnson and David Roche won the Redtail Ridge 30k race in the San Francisco Bay Area, California. Johnson ran 2:37, and Roche ran 1:54, a minute in front of Paddy O’Leary. Full results.

Susitna 100 Mile

Laura McDonough won the icy Susitna 100 Mile in Alaska in 28:39. She has loads of Susitna wins–maybe 13 of them?–and what looks like now 16 Susitna 100 Mile finishes. David Johnston won the men’s race in 23:39. Johnston also won here in 2016, 2015, 2014, 2012, 2010, and 2009. Ay yai yai on both of these Alaska stars.  Full results (when available).

Hagg Lake 50k

Beth Waites and Korey Konga won the longtime Hagg Lake 50k in Oregon. The pair finished in 4:53 and 3:46. Full results.

The Wild Oak Trail Run

112 miles, four loops, 30,000 feet of climbing, no aid stations, no entrance fee, 30 years, that is The Wild Oak Trail Run in Virginia. I’d say extra emphasis on wild. John Kelly broke his own course record with an otherworldly 23:48. Full results (when available).

Manasota Track Club

On Florida’s Gulf Coast, Melissa Henry and Patrick Hrabos won the 26th Manasota Track Club 50k. Racing inside of Oscar Scherer State Park, the pair ran 5:31 and 4:19, respectively. Full results.


Melissa Henry, 2018 Manasota Track Club 50k champion. Photo: Chris Thompson


Patrick Hrabos, 2018 Manasota Track Club 50k champion. Photo: Chris Thompson

Next Weekend – Transgrancanaria – Las Palmas, Canary Islands

Next up, Transgrancanaria. The 125k (78-mile) race is the year’s third Ultra-Trail World Tour event, and it’s in the trail-running-mad Canary Islands of Spain. The rugged course generally climbs for the first 85k before turning downhill.


  • Lisa Borzani (Italy) – 8th 2017 Transgrancanaria
  • Francesca Canepa (Italy) – 1st 2017 Swiss Irontrail
  • Caroline Chaverot (France) – 1st 2017 Hardrock 100
  • Sophie Grant (U.K.) – 6th 2016 Transgrancanaria [Added]
  • Andrea Huser (Switzerland) – 2nd 2017 Transgrancanaria
  • Magda Laczak (Poland) – 5th 2015 Transvulcania
  • Meghan Laws (USA) – 9th 2017 Western States 100
  • Emelie Lecomte (France) – 2nd 2017 Diagonale des Fous
  • Fernanda Maciel (Brazil) – 7th 2017 Tarawera Ultramarathon
  • Abby Mitchell (USA) – 7th 2017 TNF 50 Mile – San Francisco
  • Ekaterina Mityaeva (Russia) – 2nd 2017 Ultra SkyMarathon Madeira
  • Sarah Morwood (U.K.) – 6th 2018 Vibram Hong Kong 100k
  • Jasmin Nunige (Switzerland) – 5th 2017 Comrades Marathon
  • Beth Pascall (U.K.) – 6th 2017 Diagonale des Fous
  • Amy Sproston (USA) – 8th 2017 UTMB
  • Adriana Vargas (Argentina) – 5th 2016 Transgrancanaria [Added]
  • Manu Vilaseca (Brazil, but living in Spain) – 10th 2017 Transgrancanaria
  • Ildikó Wermescher (Hungary) – 5th 2017 Transgrancanaria
  • Denise Zimmerman (Switzerland) – 4th 2017 Eiger Ultra Trail

Defending champion Azara García (Spain) is instead entered in the 64k race this year.


  • Pau Capell (Spain) – 1st 2017 Transgrancanaria
  • Maxime Cazajous (Spain) – 4th 2017 Transgrancanaria
  • Sebastien Chaigneau (France) – 1st 2017 Transgrancanaria Advanced (81km) [Added]
  • Cristofer Clemente (Spain) – 2nd 2017 Mont Blanc Marathon
  • Aurélian Collet (France) – 3rd 2017 Ultra-Trail Australia [Added]
  • Jordi Gamito (Spain) – 4th 2017 Transgrancanaria [No longer entered]
  • Emmanuel Gault (France) – 1st 2017 EcoTrail de Paris
  • Remigio Huaman (Peru) – 7th 2016 Transvulcania
  • Daniel Jung (Italy) – 6th 2017 Ultra-Trail Cape Town
  • Mario Mendoza (USA) – 1st 2018 Bandera 100k
  • Dmitry Mityaev (Russia) – 2nd 2017 Ultra Pirineau
  • Andris Ronimoiss (Latvia) – 11th 2017 Transgrancanaria [Added]
  • Tim Tollefson (USA) – 3rd 2017 UTMB

Full entrants and “favorites” list.

Call for Comments

  • I know there’s more out there. Fill the comments section below with results from everything else that happened this weekend.
  • Do you agree that the Golden Ticket races aren’t drawing the same level of competition as in recent years?
  • Who do you see taking the Transgrancanaria women’s and men’s podiums?

[Editor’s Note: Columnist Justin Mock and editor Meghan Hicks spend many hours per week compiling this article, and often doing so well ahead of races posting their results online–that is, by combing social media. We simply cannot cover all the trail and ultra races that take place each week, so we do our best to provide results of the most competitive races as well as a spectrum of additional events from around the world. Please feel absolutely welcome to leave comments with the results of races not covered in this article, and to leave additional information about the races from which we have shared results. Thank you for your understanding.]

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 32 comments

  1. Dwight Rabe

    Where does the theory come from that Golden Ticket races are losing their competitive edge? Because you’re seeing names that are new? As an observer, it seems like the draw of elite of runners are still there, but they don’t always hold up to the competition. Regarding Black Canyon, Juan was also 4th at Leadville last year in 19:16:36, and I think it was a matter of time before he was going to break out.

  2. Medeek of the North

    Thanks for your time Irunfar crew. I am totally inspired by woman like Courtney, Camille and especially Ailsa (she is Canadian). I was part of a relay team at last years Sinister 7 and watched a smiling and very encouraging Ailsa dust me in the first leg. To watch her take 1st overall put a big smile on my face as my daughter and nieces are star struck by her.

    Keep up all the hard work all you inspiring woman as you are leading the future young daughter and sons the right way!

  3. Pete

    Great to see Tyler McCandless lace ’em up for a trail race and crush the CR. Anyone know if he has trail ambitions? Or was he just using the race to wrap up the Altra running camp in Moab? Super impressive Anthony Costales effort too.

  4. Mauri

    Adriana Vargas from Argentina, fifth at the 2016 Transgrancanaria and winner of the 2017 Patagonia Run 145k (also a UTWT race), is back to Transgrancanaria this year too. Just to add something :) cheers and thanks for the awesome job!

  5. Kyle Pietari

    I think the men’s CRs at Red Hot are among the best trail CRs in the country. Anthony Costales and Tyler McCandless just gave us a taste of what is possible when the best road marathoners hit the trails. Tyler didn’t train on trails, and doesn’t intend to — he just raced for fun at the end of the Altra team summit. Unbelievable.

    1. Pete

      Thanks, Kyle, that’s what I figured was going on but it’s fun to see the road 2:12 elites come out for a trail race, and that their sponsor contracts allow them to do so.

    2. Koala

      Surely many fast road runners may translate very well to trails but smashing a CR and topping people like Hawks, Krar, Nichols and Walmsley seems to much to believe. I hope that CR is clean and i will follow this guy in his next races for sure.

      1. SageCanaday

        I’ve raced Anthony Costales in Moab (Trail Marathon) before…seems like a solid due. Not surprised he took down a CR by a few min at Moab Red Hot. What have Krar, Hawks and Walmsley run for a marathon? Not sub 2:20 yet? Anthony ran 2:12 at CIM (granted it was a very very fast year this Dec….maybe a tailwind day). I’ve also raced Tyler McCandless (at Big Sur half marathon, Olympic Trials etc). This is not surprise they got the CRs at Moab. What you usually see at the top end of competitive races is guys winning by very small margins (or taking down CRs by small margins). That is not suspect. If you want to suspect guys then look at their training (high volume high intensity jumps) and huge jumps in race performance times/ progression. Road Marathon runners are very methodical in their training and can optimize performance at a 50km-50-mile race that is non-technical and not super hilly very well. Not doubt the the sport is not 100% clean though….and those with sponsors who do high profile races have more incentive to dope.

  6. Kent Green

    I am with Dwight on this one. Let’s look at who was signed up and didn’t finish or didn’t finish as well as expected. Zach Bitter dropped after going off course around 5 miles. Alex Petrosky dropped, Andy Pearson had Rabdo and still pushed through for a solid finish, even though we all know he’s capable of much faster. Ford Smith and Patrick Reagan didn’t start. It’s just as competetive as always. Ultras just bring out the best and worst of days. Moreso for the females. They killed it!!

  7. GT

    Incredible run by Ailsa. She’ll be amazing to watch at WS!!
    Just a note to put her talent and prior Sinister7Ultra 100M win in perspective…
    – she outright crushed the whole field
    – the closest guy was 90 minutes behind
    – on a course with >21000ft elevation gain
    – at the Canadian nationals
    – in a race with 18% finish rate ( yup…that was 18%!!!).

  8. Stefano

    Koala – what makes you insinuate this CR isn’t clean and tarnish an athlete’s name? I imagine as 2:12 marathon runner he has been tested more times in the last 12 months than all the other winners of this weeks races combined. Strikes me as absolute trash talk and trolling.

    1. Speedgoat

      Yah, kinda odd comments from Koala. And, he didn’t “smash” the course record, it was only about 2 min. For those that don’t know the Moab 55k route, it’s a very fast route, it only has about 4000′ of climb, with no climbs long. The first 19 miles are essentially a dirt road, the final 14 miles is slickrock or fast jeep road, which although it can beat you up, it’s fast because of the surface. No surprise the record went down.

  9. SteelTownrunner

    TWOT 100 results:

    race is 5 ~20+ miles loops totaling ~112 miles with 30,000′ gain. no crew / pacers / aid stations.

    1st place, new CR holder, sub-24 finishing time. second time Wild Oak 100+ finisher, #TWOT2017 course record holder:
    John Kelly. 23:48:00

    2nd overall, 1st female, first time Wild Oak 100+ mile finisher:
    Kathleen Cusick. 32:30:00

    3rd, first time Wild Oak 100+ finisher:
    Levi Mason. 33:08:00.

    3rd, second time Wild Oak 100+ finisher:
    Eric Harris. 33:08:00

    4th, first time Wild Oak 100+ finisher:
    Jason Brady. 35:37:00

    5th, first time Wild Oak 100+ finisher:
    John Fegyveresi. 38:43:00

    6th overall, 2nd female, first time Wild Oak 100+ finisher:
    Amy Zbikowski. 47:41:00

    7th, 1st person to finish three consecutive Wild Oak 100+ races:
    Guy Towler. 48:01:00

    8th, 4th person to finish two consecutive Wild Oak 100+ races)
    Rob Tidwell. 48:35:00

  10. Cold TWOT

    Would love to see what you could do at TWOT :) Think the course would suit you pretty well and you had a pretty good day at Grindstone. It’s coming up again October 19th, the bar has been set at 23:48. 112 miles is not that far :)

      1. SteelTownrunner

        Some events are more fatass than others. In what substantive way would it make a difference in this case? Should be up your alley. Show up, buck up, and run with no hand holding.

      2. John Kelly

        Well, I guess just don’t tell my legs that. They’ll be a bit upset if they find out they went through that for something that doesn’t count instead of for a personal challenge I laid out for myself a year ago regardless of whether it added to my trophy shelf or ultrasignup stats.

        1. Speedgoat

          It’s not that it “doesn’t count” It counts for one hell of an effort. If there is no fee for the run, then it’s a fat ass. Would that count as a “win”. technically I don’t think so. I know the course is awesome.

          And Steeltownrunner….noone holds my hand when running any race, you should know that by now. :-) Pacers should not be allowed in any race, just like Euro races.

          1. John Vanderpot

            Karl, everyone knows you roll to the beat of your own ipod, but if you’re looking for something this fall there’s a rumor going around (and I didn’t start it!) that this’ll be the final year Old Goat does Chimera…

            I seem to recall you ran it pretty well last time —


          2. John Kelly

            Difference of goals then I guess. I’m not out there to count wins, however they’re defined (although if I were I would think that strength of competition would be a much better measure than how much an entry fee happens to be). I’m out there to see how many and how big of true challenges I can take down, and going sub-24 on that course self-supported (other than a few water refills) was probably the 2nd biggest one I’ve done in my admittedly young career.

            At least we can agree on pacers, though.

            1. Speedgoat

              John, there are so many races I have not done yet, so for now, I’m going to fill that bucket a bit, but TWOT is not necessarily “not on that list”. More than likely I’ll get there one day. I have a few adventures planned that are not races as well, just haven’t revealed them yet. Unfortunately, we are all getting older faster than we’d like.

            2. John Kelly

              Absolutely! I already have more things I want to do than time that I know I’ll have. All we can do is focus on the things that have the most personal meaning and enjoyment for us. I’m sure at some point our respective goals will intersect, and I’ll look forward to it. I know one thing I’d like to test myself against is that ridiculous CR at Grindstone. ;)

  11. Hobby Jogger

    There’s no hand holding @ Barkley, either… John Kelly is a made man… Karl’s 100 resume is off the charts but he should go kick it with Laz :)

  12. Luke

    Suzanna (Sawna) Guadarrama lives and trains in the mountains near LA when she’s not taking relatively frequent trips up to the Sierras, that sort of thing.

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