This Week In Running: February 3, 2020

This Week in Running Justin Mock TWIRCan you believe it, we’re into February. The Super Bowl is just about to start as we go pencils down on this week’s column, and we’re celebrating the Rocky Raccoon 100 Mile, looking at next weekend’s Tarawera Ultramarathons, and highlighting a number of other races too.

Rocky Raccoon 100 Mile – Huntsville, Texas


Maria Sylte made it two in a row at the Rocky Raccoon 100 Mile. She finished in 18:43, and that was 36 minutes better than her winning time last year. Lindsay Phenix and Tatiana Rypinski were second and third in 20:03 and 20:47.

Highlighted as a potential challenger last week, Shandra Moore didn’t match her 2017 finish time and this time came in eighth in 22:45.

Kelly Swanson took the victory in the 100k race in 10:37.


Only seven minutes separated the top-three men, and all went under 16 hours. Evan Dare shined late to win in 15:23. Blake Hilty chased to a second-place 15:28 finish, and Jeffrey Urbanski was third in 15:30.

Although on the entrant list, previous winner Ronnie Delzer does not appear to have started the race.

Phil Reed starred in the accompanying 100k race with an 8:54 winning time.

Full results.

Additional Races and Runs

Paddy Buckley Round

Fastest known times happen frequently, so much so that we can only cover the finest here. Count Damian Hall’s winter Paddy Buckley Round in the U.K. as part of that group. He finished the 61-mile fell running route over 47 Welsh peaks in 21:30, seven minutes better than Jim Mann’s previous winter record. Hall raced solo, self-supported, and despite brutal winter conditions of thick fog, deep snow, and strong wind. Hall also holds the overall FKT for the route at 17:31.

Damian Hall on his way to setting a winter fastest known time on the Paddy Buckley Round in Wales. Photo: inov-8/Lee Procter

Hong Kong Four Trails Ultra Challenge

It’s not a race per se, but the Hong Kong Four Trails Ultra Challenge goes for 298k (185 miles) against 14,500 meters (47,500 feet) of elevation gain, all within a 60-hour limit and while being self-supported. (Participants may receive aid between finishing one trail and starting the next.) This year’s ninth-annual run fought against torrential rain at times and registered seven finishers–who were all male. Nugo Yamanath Limbu (Nepal) was the fastest with a 54:26 finish. Full results.

Nine Dragons

Hong Kong’s Nine Dragons race, which includes both a 50-mile and 50k contest, was cancelled due to safety and course concerns created by the coronavirus.

Orcas Island 50k

Off the coast of Washington state, Rainshadow Running’s Orcas Island 50k took in the best of the 57-square mile island. Meredith Heestand and Cary Stephens went the fastest, winning in 5:34 and 5:03. Full results.

Bristow Trail Run 50k

There were only 17 finishers at Oregon’s Bristow 50k, held at Elijah Bristow State Park south of Eugene, but top runners Janessa Taylor and Ashley Nordell look to have pushed each other. Both came in at 4:06 and the results show Taylor a second in front, but from social media it looks like they ran together. Leave a comment to fill in the details here. Men’s winner Nathan Stroh led in 3:58. Full results.

Jed Smith 50 Mile

It was the 42nd year for northern California’s Jed Smith 50 Mile race, and with a flat 4.85-mile loop, it might be the fastest ultramarathon in the west. Bev Anderson-Abbs went out for an easy training run, and ended up winning the 50-mile race in 6:31. It was both a new Canadian and American record for the 55-59 age group, and bettered her run here from 2019 by 35 minutes. Anderson-Abbs was second overall too, trailing only men’s winner James Scanlan and his 6:24 finish. In the 50k race, Devon Yanko went quick with a 3:27 win and Jonah Backstrom led the men in 3:17. Second-place 50k finisher Rich Hanna also broke the U.S. 55-59 age group record with his 3:26 run. Full results.

Ordnance 100k

Fort Ord is a former Army base near Monterey, California, and a lot of it has been turned into national-monument land. Inside Trail hosted the Ordnance 100k and Fort Ord 50k on these trails. Katy Pieri-McCaffrey and Daniel Kono were super in the 100k in 11:39 and 9:45, and Jenny Jacox and Avinoam Maier won the 50k in 4:52 and 4:15, respectively. Full results.

Scenery at the 2020 Ordnance 100k. Photo: Inside Tail

Elephant Mountain 50 Mile

Aravaipa Running added a 50-mile distance to the Elephant Mountain group of races in Cave Creek, Arizona, and first-year winners were Amy Rasor and Seth Rutt in 12:47 and 8:51. 50k race champs were Ali Edwards and Bill Dittman in 5:47 and 4:38. Full results.

Frozen Yeti 30-Hour

Chris Wristen from was at the Frozen Yeti 30-Hour race in eastern Massachusetts and saw 115 runners start the second-annual run in dry and unseasonably warm conditions. Jasmine Fowler led the women’s group with 60 miles done in 15:55, and four men ran 100 miles with Roy Van Cleef doing it the fastest in 23:06. Full results (when available).

Jasmine Fowler, 2020 Frozen Yeti 30-Hour champion. Photo: Chris Wristen

Wild Florida 120 Mile

Florida’s not all beaches, cities, and Super Bowl. The Wild Florida 120 Mile is far from those typical Sunshine State images. Run Bum’s first-annual race on the Florida Trail went point-to-point, and was won by Christina Tokarz and Eric Kienle in 27:08 and 23:21. Full results.

Christina Tokarz, 2020 Wild Florida 120 Mile champion. Photo: Run Bum

Next Weekend – Tarawera Ultramarathons 102k – Rotorua, New Zealand

The Tarawera Ultramarathons 102k is a fixture of the Ultra-Trail World Tour, and is the year’s second series event. It’s also the 12th year for Tarawera and a biggest-ever group of 3,000-plus runners will race across four distances on the weekend.


  • Mel Aitken (New Zealand) – 1st 2019 Tarawera Ultras 50k
  • Hanny Allston (Australia) – 2nd 2017 Ultra-Trail Australia 100k
  • Helene Barron (Australia) –  2nd 2020 Ultra Easy 100k
  • Lucy Bartholomew (Australia) – 1st 2018 Tarawera Ultras 62k
  • Nicole Bitter (USA) – 7th 2019 Western States 100
  • Francesca Canepa (Italy) – 1st 2018 UTMB
  • Fiona Hayvice (New Zealand) – 4th 2019 Tarawera Ultras 102k
  • Sarah Ludowici (Australia) – 6th 2019 Tarawera Ultras 102k
  • Anne Marie Madden (Canada) – 2nd 2019 The North Face Endurance Challenge 50-Mile Championships
  • Manuela Soccol (Belgium) – 2:37 2016 Hamburg Marathon
  • Fu-Zhao Xiang (China) – 11th 2019 UTMB

Cecilia Flori (Italy, lives in New Zealand) is on the entrants list but we believe she isn’t racing.


  • Ryan Bak (USA) – 5th 2018 Chuckanut 50k
  • Zach Bitter (USA) – 2nd 2019 JFK 50 Mile
  • Mathieu Blanchard (Canada) – 13th 2018 UTMB
  • Kris Brown (USA) – 13th 2019 Western States 100
  • Reece Edwards (Australia) – 1st 2019 Tarawera Ultras 102k
  • Sage Canaday (USA) – 2nd 2019 Pikes Peak Marathon
  • Tom Evans (U.K.) – 3rd 2019 Western States 100
  • Stephen Kersh (USA) – 7th 2019 Western States 100
  • Roberto Mastrotto (Italy) – 19th 2018 UTMB
  • Kunaal Rajpal (New Zealand) – 9th 2018 Tarawera Ultras 102k
  • Andrius Ramonas (Lithuania) – 6th 2017 Tarawera Ultras 102k
  • Patrick Reagan (USA) – 1st 2019 Javelina Jundred 100 Mile

Eric Senseman (USA) is on the entrants list but he isn’t racing.

Full entrant list.

Call for Comments

Up and at ’em, friends. We like your comments!

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 7 comments

  1. AT

    S/O to the Run Bum Sean Blanton. I’ve been following his IG for a few years now, and while I NEVER desire to run something like the Wild Florida 120, his passion behind the creation of the race has been so much fun to follow. I have family in Florida, and one family member grew up a few miles from the trail. Was telling them about this race and they were like, “dear god, sounds beautiful but way too damn scary, it’s like prehistoric times out there” lol. Awesome to follow along and watch this race come to fruition. Proud beast coaster.

  2. Katie

    Megan Alvarado won first overall in 7:15 at light 2 light 50 miler, also a new course record. This was her first race back after the debilitating stress fracture at the 24hr world championships.

  3. Brian

    Correction – you can’t have a first-annual race, kind of like your wedding day isn’t your first anniversary. The first race would be the inaugural event.

  4. Davide

    I think Roberto Mastrotto will not be racing Tarawera due to injury… Italian hopes rest on the good shoulders of Vancouver expat Riccardo Tortini, who will also race States later in the year. The man is fast…

    Nice pack, can’t wait to see the race unfold.

  5. Leah

    Putting in a word for the UK this weekend saw the 2020 edition of the Arc of Attrition 100 Mile and its sister race the Arc 50 in Cornwall, SW England. The hundred mile race is one of the iconic winter ultramarathon fixtures in the UK which sees runners follow the SW Coast Path from Coverack near Lizard Point (the southernmost point on mainland Britain), round Land’s End (the most westerly point), and finishing in Porthtowan on the north Cornish coast. The course is technical, brutally muddy, and the RD takes it as a point of pride that it has never, in its history, had more than a 50% completion rate. (On a bad year the DNF rate is 75%). The 50 mile race starts in the spectacular Minack Theatre above Porthcurno to also finish in Porthtowan.

    In the Ladies 100 race:
    1 Anna Troup 25:21:14
    2 Laura Swanton-Rouvelin 27:25:40
    3 Leanne Rive 29:12:54

    The men’s 100 results are:
    1 Steve Wyatt 21:24:31
    2 Ashley Scott 21:30:27
    3 Tristan Stephenson 22:38:11

    And for the 50 mile, the results are:

    1 Natalie Taylor 11:02:29
    2 Lydia Poole 11:21:38
    3 Emma Nicholls 11:48:16

    1 Jamie Stephenson 8:27:44
    2 Neil Martin 8:59:27
    3 Stephen Hobbs 9:06:43

    And finally, a special mention needs to go out to Andrew ‘Basil’ Heaney, who is the first ever person to successfully finish the Double of running the Winter Spine and the Arc of Attrition 100. Many have attempted it, and until now, the Arc had defeated them all.

    Submitted, yours in awe,
    One of the pair who came DFL in the 50 :)

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