This Week In Running: January 20, 2020

This Week In Running’s trail and ultra recap for January 20, 2020.

By on January 20, 2020 | Comments

This Week in Running Justin Mock TWIRIf there was a “Planes, Trains, and Automobiles” edition of TWIR, it’s this week. We’ve got road races, treadmills, and cross country, on top of the usual trail and ultramarathon race results too. Dig in for an any distance, any surface ‘This Week In Running.’

Vibram Hong Kong 100k – Hong Kong, China


Fu-Zhao Xiang (China) was fourth at the Vibram Hong Kong 100k in 2017, third there in 2018, second there in 2019, and so of course she won the race’s 2020 edition. In doing so, she also set a new women’s course record. She won last year’s Ultra-Trail Mt. Fuji 100 miler and was 11th at UTMB too. On the stair-stepped Hong Kong course, officially 103k (64 miles) and with 5,300 meters (17,400 feet) of elevation gain, Xiang finished–flashlight in hand–in 11:28 and was eighth overall.

Fu-Zhao Xiang, 2020 Vibram Hong Kong 100k champion. Photo: Vibram Hong Kong 100k

Veronika Vadovica (Slovakia) was second in 11:47, and Ragna Debats (Netherlands) was third in 12:03. It was the first stop in Debats’s one-year “Rolling Mountains” family world tour. Landie Greyling (South Africa) was fourth in 13:05 and Shang-Wei Qu (China) rounded out the top five in 13:18.

Rie Sugaya (Japan) topped the women’s 56k race in 6:05.


The Vibram Hong Kong 100k was in its 10th year and was again an Ultra-Trail World Tour contest. Less international runners attended this year and the home crowd dominated–really dominated. Chinese runners took the top-four finish spots in the men’s race. Pei-Quan You (China) was a complete boss with a 10:00 result that chopped 21 minutes from last year’s course record. You, and several other Chinese runners, look to have raced in the slick new Nike road shoes. Jing Liang was second for the second-straight year, well back of the race winner in 10:33, and Guo-Min Deng was third in 10:38.

Pei-Quan You, 2020 Vibram Hong Kong 100k champion. Photo: Vibram Hong Kong 100k

Later results included Ho-Chung Wong (Hong Kong) in fourth at 10:48 and Jared Hazen (USA) in fifth at 11:04.

Gediminas Grinius (Lithuania) won the accompanying 56k in 4:54.

Full results.

The next Ultra-Trail World Tour race is the February 8 Tarawera Ultramarathon 102k in New Zealand.

HURT 100 Mile – Honolulu, Hawai’i


It was Anna Albrecht who topped the women’s podium, taking home the win in 28:55 on the notoriously root- and mud-filled course. This is an improvement upon her debut HURT 100 Mile finish last year, both in time and place, where she took third in 29:54. Masters runners for the rest of the women’s podium! Denise Bourassa and Suzanna Bon finished second and third in 32:03 and 32:19, respectively.


Nate Jaqua won the 2019 race ahead of Trevor Fuchs, but the two flipped the script for 2020 and Fuchs finished in 22:04 to Jaqua’s 22:37. Jaqua bettered his winning time from last year by 20 seconds, despite slipping one spot on the podium. Brandon Stapanowich was third in 23:28.

Course record holder Gary Robbins dropped after 40 miles while recovering from injury.

Full results.

Trevor Fuchs, 2020 HURT 100 Mile champion. Photo: HURT 100 Mile

Additional Races and Runs

Montane Spine Race

U.K. women took the top spots at the Montane Spine Race, an extreme 268-mile winter race that runs from northern England to Scotland. Sabrina Verjee led the entire way and won the women’s race in 108:07. And then in the men’s race, there’s John Kelly (USA, living in U.K.), a veritable renaissance man. He’s a rare Barkley Marathons finisher, Ironman triathlete, dad, chief technology officer, and this year’s Spine Race winner. Kelly finished in 87:53, which is a new men’s record. Full results.

Ultra Easy 100k 

I’m sure it wasn’t easy, but Jessica Schluter made it look that way at New Zealand’s Ultra Easy 100k. She won by over two hours, and was almost five hours better than third. Schluter finished in 13:45. Men’s winner Joe Cox attacked as if it was the nearby Battle of Helm’s Deep, and he won in 12:04. Nancy Jiang and Hector Haines won the accompanying marathon in 3:25 and 3:09, respectively. Full results.

USATF Cross Country Championships

There’s the USATF Club Cross Country Championships, and there’s the USATF Cross Country Championships. The latter was this weekend in San Diego, California, and perhaps because of the coming February Olympic Marathon Trials, the fields were thinner than usual. Andy Wacker was 12th in the men’s 10k in 32:19, and Eric Blake was second in the masters 8k in 27:35. Full results.

50k Treadmill World Record

Mario Mendoza ran 2:59:03 for 50k on a Woodway treadmill inside a central Oregon high-school gym. It’s a new world record, and 46 seconds better than Michael Wardian’s 2:59:49 record from 2015.

Rock ‘n Roll Arizona Half Marathon

Pump up the volume, and I’m not talking about Jim Walmsley’s 150-mile training weeks. The Gin Blossoms headlined the Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona Half Marathon. If that doesn’t get you excited, Walmsley was there too. Everyone is wondering about his fitness and well, Jim, I found out about you. A short course takes some of the sizzle from that clever lyric, though. Walmsley ran 1:02:13 for seventh, but the course was 286 meters short. Full results.

Houston Half Marathon

There’s a bit of a sports scandal in Houston right now, but the only astro I care about is Joe Gray. The trail running star ran 1:04:51 at the Houston Half Marathon. Unfortunately that’s 51 seconds back of the Olympic Marathon Trials qualifying time. Full results.

Frozen Otter Ultra Trek

Snow angel Margaret Gordon was third overall, first female at the Frozen Otter Ultra Trek 64-mile race in Wisconsin. She crossed the line in 22:27. And for the men, check out that ice beard! Bryce Haessly and Shaun Smith finished first together in 21:55. Daytime temperatures were in the single digits with below-zero wind chills. Full results (when available).

Margaret Gordon, 2020 Frozen Otter Ultra Trek champion. Photo: Fat Otter

Shaun Smith (left) and Bryce Haessly, 2020 Frozen Otter Ultra Trek champions. Photo: Fat Otter

Tsali Frozen Foot 50k

North Carolina’s Tsali Frozen Foot 50k races on the Tsali Trail on national-forest land. Michelle McLellan and Canyon Woodward were victorious in 5:28 and 3:57. Full results.

Daufuskie Island Ultramarathon

Hana Baskin was the overall winner at South Carolina’s second-year Daufuski Island Ultramarathon. She finished the 39.3-mile race in 5:17. Dan Workman was second overall, and men’s winner, in 5:35. Olivia Beattie and Aesop Brown won the accompanying marathon in 3:39 and 2:39. Brown was three minutes better than second-place Patrick Reagan, who is two weeks out from the Tarawera Ultramarathons 100k in New Zealand. Full results.

Long Haul 100 Mile

Becca Lindgren won the multi-lap Long Haul 100 Mile in 19:05. For men’s winner Harvey Lewis, Ohio is the “heart of it all,” but Florida in January sounds good too. He zipped to a 15:55 finish. Full results.

PHUNT 25k/50k Trail Race

The PHUNT 25k/50k Trail Race took place in Maryland. In the 50k, Shannon Cowan won in 5:32 and Bryan McFarland finished first in 4:36. For the 25k, Kaitlyn Kramer was the first female and second overall in 2:05, breaking the previous course record by 10 seconds. Martin Angulo was the first male in 2:02. Full results.

Call for Comments

Your turn! What other trail runners or ultrarunners turned out at the USATF Cross Country Champs or the half marathons in Arizona and Texas? What intel do you have from on site at the races we covered? What details from other races can you share?

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.