This Week In Running: January 13, 2020

This Week In Running’s trail and ultra recap for January 13, 2020.

By on January 13, 2020 | Comments

This Week in Running Justin Mock TWIRHappy anniversary, TWIR! The Bandera 100k marks this column’s anniversary, and it looks like we’ve had this column going–in its current form–since 2015. That’s five years (!), but I’ll pass on silverware and, instead, let’s celebrate with our usual trail mix of results, previews, and news.

Bandera 100k – Bandera, Texas


Okay, it’s time I take notice of Drew Holmen. In 2019, the guy was fourth at The North Face 50 Mile Championships, won the Cayuga Trails 50 Mile, and was fourth at the Way Too Cool 50k too. But dang, the name hadn’t registered and the results hadn’t landed in my memory. I won’t let it happen again though!

So what happened at the Bandera 100k? Holmen ran down long-time leader Alex Nichols, made up a four-minute gap in the final 20 miles, and kicked to the lead in the last mile. Holmen won in 8:13, 70 seconds better than second-place Nichols. Both earned the year’s first Golden Ticket automatic entries to the Western States 100.

It will be Holmen’s 100-mile debut, and will be a return to Western States for Nichols. He was second there in 2017.

Cole Watson was in the mix for a Golden Ticket, but ultimately finished in the hard-luck third-place spot at 8:18. Ryan Mongtomery and Andrew Belus were fourth and fifth in 8:35 and 9:12, respectively.

The top-four men at the 2020 Bandera 100k (l-to-r): 1. Drew Holmen, 2. Alex Nichols, 3. Cole Watson, and 4. Ryan Montgomery. Photo courtesy of Alex Nichols.

To close the gap on those included in last week’s preview and more, deeper results included:

6 – Jeff Mogavero – 9:15
7 – Justin Grunewald – 9:20
8 – Colton Gale – 9:27
9 – Austin Horn – 9:29
10 – Brian Fagan – 9:31
11 – Yew Ferrara – 9:35

Buck Blankenship did not finish, and Scott Trummer looks to have not started.


Ailsa MacDonald (Canada) was 13th at Western States and 2018, and she’s going back. MacDonald ripped through the Texas Hill Country two-lapper in 9:16.

Ailsa MacDonald, 2020 Bandera 100k champion. Photo courtesy of Ailsa MacDonald.

Bandera, Texas is the Cowboy Capital of the World, making it a long way from Michigan. This looks to have been the first ultramarathon outside of Michigan though for Michelle Magagna, and she still found success. Magagna was rock-solid in second at 9:43.

MacDonald and Magagna were way off the front, and Arden Young (Canada), Andrea Larson, and Kerrie Wlad chased home in third, fourth, and fifth in 10:42, 10:48, and 11:22, respectively.

Later results included:

6 – Sally McRae – 11:29
7 – Vivian Carrasco – 11:49
8 – Rea Kolbl – 12:18
9 – Tatiana Rypinski – 12:28
10 – Jacqueline Howard – 12:48
11 – Amber Weibel – 13:04

Amanda Basham and Cat Bradley did not finish, and Charli McKee did not start.

Full results.

The next Golden Ticket Race is February 15 Black Canyon 100k in Arizona.

Additional Races and Runs

Montane Spine Race

Affectionately known as “Britain’s most brutal race,” the 268-mile Montane Spine Race goes one way, all the way, on the Pennine Way trail. Wind gusts of up to 80 miles per hour were expected on the real winter course. At the time of this article’s writing on Sunday late afternoon U.S. Mountain Time, Barkley Marathons finisher John Kelly (USA, lives in the U.K.) is leading 76 miles into the race, now some five miles in front of past champion Eugeni Roselló Solé (Spain). Sabrina Verjee (U.K.) is in front of the women’s group with 66 miles down. Debbie Martin-Consani (U.K.) is second and about five miles back. In the accompanying Spine Challenger 108-mile race, Douglas Zinis (U.K.) and Elaine Bisso (U.K.) won in 29:00 and 34:19 respectively. Tracking.

Steep Ravine 50k

Coastal Trail Runs’s Steep Ravine 50k traversed the Stinson Beach Park trails outside of San Francisco, California. Race winners were Robert Ressl-Moyer and Lisa Hughey in 4:17 and 5:43, and it was a new course record for Hughey. Full results.

Avalon 50 Mile

A wrong turn bumped Michael Eastburn from the top of the podium last year. He came back to southern California’s Avalon 50 Mile though and righted that wrong. Eastburn won in 6:36, and 2019 winner Ruperto Romero was second in 6:49. Sarah Correa won the women’s 50-mile race in 7:44. Cody Logan and Cortney Haile led the accompanying 50k in 3:42 and 4:41. Full results.

Frozen Gnome 50k

Ryan Richert and Sarah Burke won the Frozen Gnome 50k in Crystal Lake, Illinois, northwest of Chicago. The frontrunners finished the 5 x 10k trail course in 4:22 and 5:43. Full results.

Rocks and Roots Trail Series 50k

The first of the winter-long Rocks and Roots Trail Series was won by Jacob Conrad and Heidi Agarand in 4:41 and 4:49. The race series takes place just north of Columbus, Ohio, and happened in unseasonably warm temperatures. Full results.

Roaring Gap 50k

William Harrison and Marisa Romeo won the first-ever Roaring Gap 50k in western North Carolina, in 4:48 and 4:58 respectively. Full results.

Next Weekend – HURT 100 Mile – Honolulu, Hawai’i

Hawaii’s HURT 100 Mile runs as five laps through the jungle on technical, root-clogged trails. The fields are headlined by a whole bunch of past winners and podium finishers.


  • Trevor Fuchs – 2nd 2019 HURT 100 Mile
  • Masazumi Fujioka – 3rd 2019 HURT 100 Mile
  • Tomokazu Ihara – 4th 2019 HURT 100 Mile
  • Nate Jaqua – 1st 2019 HURT 100 Mile
  • Cory Logsdon – 2nd 2019 Cascade Crest 100 Mile
  • Gary Robbins – 2nd 2016 HURT 100 Mile
  • Brandon Stapanowich – 5th 2018 Run Rabbit Run 100 Mile
  • Johan Steene (Sweden) – 1st 2018 Big Backyard Ultra


  • Anna Albrecht – 3rd 2019 HURT 100 Mile
  • Suzanna Bon – 1st 2019 Pinhoti 100 Mile
  • Denise Bourassa – 5th 2019 HURT 100 Mile
  • Bree Brown – 5th 2018 HURT 100 Mile
  • Candice Burt – 4th 2019 HURT 100 Mile
  • Jade de la Rosa – 3rd 2019 San Diego 100 Mile
  • Tracy Garneau (Canada) – 1st 2012 HURT 100 Mile
  • Solange Saxby – 1st 2019 Peacock Challenge 55 Mile

Full entrant list.

Additional Trail and Ultra News

Vertical Kilometer World Circuit

The Vertical Kilometer World Circuit won’t live to a fourth year. The series connected Vertical K races around the world, and while those Vertical K races may still happen, the series itself will not in 2020. The announcement instead hints at an alternate future series. The 2019 eight-race series was won by Daniel Osanz Laborda (Spain) and Jessica Pardin (France).

Full announcement.

World Mountain Running Association World Cup

The 22nd World Mountain Running Association World Cup schedule includes nine races across 12 events and six countries. Last year’s seven-race series was won by Andrew Douglas (U.K.) and Sarah McCormack (Ireland).

  • May 3 – Zumaia Flysch Trail Marathon and 14k (Spain)
  • May 16 and 17 – Vertical Nasego and Trofeo Nasego 21k (Italy)
  • June 21 – Broken Arrow Skyrace 26k (USA)
  • July 12 – Grossglocknerlauf 13k (Austria)
  • August 9 – Sierre-Zinal 31k (Switzerland)
  • August 16 – Krkonosky Half Marathon (Czech Republic)
  • September 12 and 13 – Canfranc 45k and 16k (Spain)
  • September 19 – Nordkette Vertical (Austria)
  • October 4 – Chiavenna Lagùnc Vertical Uphill (Italy)

Call for Comments

As always, the comments box is open for added race results and commentary!

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.