This Week In Running: January 29, 2024

This Week in Running’s trail and ultra recap for January 29, 2024.

By on January 29, 2024 | Comments

This Week in Running Justin Mock TWIRClearwater and Mountain Mist, and Oman and Orcas. I love the contradictions, the diversity, and alliteration. There weren’t any major races this weekend, but there was a full set of events to rundown, mostly around the U.S. Let’s get this Monday rolling!

Mountain Mist 50k – Huntsville, Alabama

It was the race’s 30th year inside Monte Sano State Park, and this year’s race was run in heavy rain.

Jeffrey Stern mastered the muddy track in 4:13 for the win. That was well clear of second- and third-place Michael Loutzenheise and Jack Martin and their 4:27 and 4:30 finishes.

Jeffrey Stern - 2024 Mountain Mist 50k men's winner

Jeffrey Stern takes the win at the 2024 Mountain Mist 50k. Photo: Spencer Cox

Women’s champ Deanna Doane upset defending champ Sara Gibson. The two frontrunners came through in 5:52 and 5:58, and Kimberley Friberg was third in 6:24.

Full results (when available).

Deanna Doane - 2024 Mountain Mist 50k women's winner

Deanna Doane wins the 2024 Mountain Mist 50k. Photo: Spencer Cox

Arches Ultra – Moab, Utah

The Mad Moose Events desert season got underway just outside of the race’s namesake national park.

In the 50 miler, Joel Shores dipped under the seven-hour mark with a 6:55 first-place finish. David Eik wasn’t too far behind in 7:11, and Christian Labeck capped the podium at 7:46. Only seven seconds separated the front two women. Maggie Shafer and Kaitie Sloan both came in at 8:21, but Shafer was in front for the victory. Kayde Anderson was third in 9:21.

The men’s 50-kilometer race was an early season burner. Brian Whitfield and Caleb Olson came ready to race and Whitfield was almost two minutes in front at the end. He finished in 3:31 and Olson was second in 3:32. Alex Johnson was off the lead pace but on the podium at 3:49.

Women’s winner Anne Flower finished in 4:12. Moira O’Connor Lenth and Madeline Hirschfeld were second and third in 4:23 and 4:41, respectively.

Full results.

2024 Arches Ultra 50k women's podium

The 2024 Arches Ultra 50k women’s podium (l-to-r): 3. Madeline Hirschfeld, 1. Anne Flower, and 2. Moria O’Connor Lenth. Photo: Mad Moose Events

Oman Desert Marathon – Oman

The stage race was run in the style of Marathon des Sables. In Oman, the desert run totaled 165k (102 miles) over four days. Runners were self-sufficient on food and gear, and took shelter in race-provided tents each night.

Rachid El Morabity (Morocco) won the men’s race with a 16:06 finish. He finished first on days one and two, third on day three, and second on day four toward his overall win. El Morabity is a nine-time Marathon des Sables winner. Oman runners Saleh Al Saidi and Ghaith Al Saidi were second and third in 16:27 and 17:23.

A small women’s field was led by Aziza Raji (Morocco) in 23:13. Aziza El Amrany (Morocco) was second in 23:40, and Veronique Messina (France) finished third in 25:38.

Full results.

Aziza Raji - 2024 Oman Desert Marathon women's winner

Aziza Raji (right), the 2024 Oman Desert Marathon women’s winner. On the left, second place Aziza El Amrany chases. Photo: Oman Desert Marathon/Ian Corless

Additional Races and Runs

La Llanera – Barcelona, Spain

Abel Carretero (Spain) scored a new course record in 3:21 on the marathon distance course. Pau Capell (Spain) was second in 3:26, and Aniol Riba (Spain) was third in 3:33. Capell celebrated running pain-free on social media afterward. Women’s winner Raquel Picón (Spain) led in 4:27. Irene Picón (Spain) and Manuela Vilaseca (Brazil, lives in Spain) came next in 4:31 and 4:48, respectively. Full results.

Orcas Island 50k – Orcas Island, Washington

Lon Freeman and Taylor Nowlin won the Rainshadow Running race in 5:12 and 5:30. Freeman won last year’s Orcas Island 50 Mile too. Full results.

Sean O’Brien 100k – Malibu, California

The 100k frontrunners Max Jolliffe and Kenzie MacPhail came through in 10:00 and 11:59, and 50-mile winners Walter Escalante and Barbara Thomson finished in 9:05 and 10:37. Jeff Colt and Catherine Leclair won the 50k in 4:06 and 5:29. Full results.

Monterey Ultra 50 Mile – Monterey, California

The Inside Trail event happened inside Fort Ord National Monument. Kevin Stewart ran 6:52 to win the men’s 50 miler, and Jenny Jacox won the women’s race in 9:33. In the 50k, Matt Ledoux and Emily Flynn were champs in 4:41 and 5:00, respectively. Full results.

Wildcatter Ultra 50k – Graham, Texas

A small field led by Pieter Steenkamp and Katherine Crouse toured the Wildcatter Ranch and Resort. Steenkamp and Crouse won in 4:37 and 5:44. Full results.

Willis River 50k – Cumberland, Virginia

The small event had just 18 finishers, but Alex Shtogren and Alivia Sorah did it in 6:16 and 7:29. Full results.

South Mountains Marathons – Connelly Springs, North Carolina

Weather forced an earlier postponement of the 50k and marathon inside South Mountains State Park. There’s waterfalls, creek crossings, and about 600 stairs on the course. Miller Groome and Valerie Matena won the 50k in 4:49 and 6:06, and Mark Rebholz and Aly Pagano led the marathon in 4:18 and 5:38. Full results.

Snow Bird 50k – Seneca, South Carolina

Race winners Nhan Nguyen and Jennifer Lybrand ringed the 2.62-mile loop 12 times to get to 50k, and they did it in 3:43 and 3:36. Full results.

Southern Freeze 50/50 – Columbus, Georgia

The 50-mile winners Ross Alvaro and Robin Powers ran 8:02 and 9:43, and 50k leaders Alex Rivera and Erin Karara finished in 4:21 and 4:22. Full results.

Clearwater Running Festival 50k – Clearwater, Florida

Jon Lindenauer and Sophie Emond caught some sunshine and Gulf of Mexico views on their way to 3:11 and 3:56 winning times. Full results.

Call for Comments

The U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials are next weekend, yes! Who’s your favorites for a top three finish?

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.