Montée du Nid d’Aigle – Le Fayet, France
The World Mountain Running Association World Cup is quietly moving through Europe, and Kenyan runners are dominating. The cup’s latest race — Montée du Nid d’Aigle — celebrated its 35th year and sent an at-capacity group of 450 runners 2,000 meters uphill on a 20k course toward the “Eagles Nest” finish.
Patrick Kipngeno (Kenya) crushed it in 1:38, almost six minutes better than the old course record set just last year. Kipngeno was over six minutes better than everyone else in this year’s race too. The 29-year-old has a 1:02 half marathon best that dates to 2015.
Second- and third-place Philemon Kiriago (Kenya) and Théodore Klein (France) finished in 1:45 and 1:46.
Joyce Njeru (Kenya) has similarly been unbeatable in the Cup this year, and she too broke the old course record by nearly six minutes. Njeru won in 2:00 and the old course best had stood since 2006. Blandine L’hirondel (France) also went over the old course best with a second-place 2:02 and third-place Camilla Magliano (France) finished just over the old best in 2:06.
Defending champ Lucy Murigi (Kenya) was fifth in 2:08.
DoloMyths Run – Canazei, Italy
Andreas Reiterer (Italy) won the 61k ultra race in 6:18, some 22 minutes better than everyone else. Elisa Desco (Italy) bested the women’s field over the same distance in 8:11. Mira Rai (Nepal) returned to racing with a second-place 8:50.
(From 2010 to 2012, Elisa Desco served a two-year doping ban from the IAAF after she tested positive for EPO at the 2009 World Mountain Running Championships.)
Davide Magnini (Italy) and Petro Mamu (Eritrea) raced to 2:00 and 2:01 finishes, 20 seconds apart. Stian Angermund (Norway) fell back on the downhill and finished third in 2:02, 91 seconds back of Mamu. The three gapped the rest of the field with no one within three minutes of Angermund.
(In 2017, Mamu failed two doping tests, after both the World Mountain Running Championships and the World Long Distance Mountain Running Championships. He was given a nine-month ban starting in September of 2017 by the IAAF for testing positive for fenoterol.)
It’s been a few years since Martina Valmassoi (Italy) raced at this level, but she dropped everyone and won in 2:39. That’s over three minutes better than second- and third-place Stephanie Kröll (Austria) and Cecilia Basso (Italy). The chasers both finished in 2:42, and with six seconds between them.
Eiger Ultra Trail by UTMB – Grindelwald, Switzerland
I’ll admit, there are so many competitive mountain ultras happening in Europe right now that it’s hard to differentiate them. Whether around the Eiger, the Matterhorn, Mont Blanc, or somewhere else, all feature some iconic mountain landscape, multiple race distances, and world-class runners. With that said, it was the Eiger Ultra Trail’s 10th year and the 101k was the race’s premier distance.
A week after winning a 45k mountain run also in Switzerland, Jiasheng Shen (China) went longer and topped the 101k race here in 10:44. Jean-Philippe Tschumi (Switzerland) was second in 11:05 and Yanqiao Yun (China) came through in 11:35 for third.
Swiss runners took all three of the top women’s spots. Katharina Hartmuth, Emma Pooley, and Sara Ammann finished in 13:37, 14:56, and 15:15, respectively.
Badwater 135 Mile – Lone Pine, California
The point-to-point Badwater 135 Mile goes from Death Valley to the base of Mt. Whitney in typically hot conditions. The race has been done for about a week now, finishing early last week.
The 2019 winner and course record holder Yoshihiko Ishikawa (Japan) came back and won again, this time in 23:08. His 2019 course best still stands at 21:33.
Iván Lopez (Spain) and 2021 winner Harvey Lewis were second and third in 24:02 and 27:16. Lewis won last year’s race in 25:50 and this year marked his 11th Badwater finish.
Race rookie Ashley Paulson surprised everyone with a new course record, running 24:09 to better Patrycja Berenowska‘s 2019 mark by four minutes. Paulson ran the final 13 uphill miles 37 minutes better than Bereznowska to vault ahead of the previous best. Paulson’s last 13-mile split is believed to be the third best ever regardless of gender.
(Ashley Paulson served a six-month doping sanction, in 2015 and 2016, due to a doping violation in triathlon for a positive test for ostarine, a selective androgen receptor modulator (SARM).)
Georgia Jo Manta (Greece) and Pam Smith were second and third in 28:45 and 30:11, respectively.
Hardrock 100 – Silverton, Colorado
iRunFar was in the San Juan Mountains with greater coverage of the high-altitude adventure.
Race favorites Kilian Jornet (Spain) and François D’Haene (France) went out together, and with Dakota Jones too. Midrace, Jones went to the front alone, gaining a collective gasp in amazement from the internet audience as Jornet and D’Haene — two all-time greats — fell behind. A few hours later, Jornet and D’Haene had regained the lead though, and by the finish it was Jornet that proved the strongest. Jornet won in 21:36, beating D’Haene’s overall course record from a year ago. D’Haene was second in 21:51, and Jones finished third in 23:06.
Women’s winner Courtney Dauwalter was out front all day and avenged a drop at last year’s race. She won in 26:44, beating an overall course record that had stood since 2009.
Stephanie Case (Canada) and race local Hannah Green were second and third in 33:52 and 34:26, respectively.
Additional Races and Runs
Ultra Sud Canigou Montagne – Arles, France
Pau Capell (Spain) topped the 71k in 7:12, and Laetitia Seignovert (France) took the women’s crown in 12:44. Full results.
Cervino Matterhorn Ultra Race – Valtournenche, Italy
The longest race went 168k (104 miles) and with an incredible 13,130 meters (43,000 feet) of elevation gain. Galen Reynolds (Canada) and Silvia Trigueros (Spain) finished the circuit in 33:38 and 38:12. Full results.
Gruyere Trail Charmey – Charmey, Switzerland
Rémi Bonnet (Switzerland) won big in the 24k race, finishing in 1:53. Nathalie Geiser (Switzerland) topped the women’s race in 2:42. Full results.
Zugspitz Ultratrail – Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany
Petter Engdahl (Sweden) and Lisa Mehl (Germany) won the “SuperTrail” 68k race in 6:01 and 8:31. Robbie Simpson (U.K.) and Toni McCann (South Africa) were best in the “BaseTrail XL” 50k race in 3:47 and 4:21. The races were part of Germany’s biggest trail event, and happened around Germany’s highest mountain. Full results.
Yeti 100 Mile – North Bend, Washington
Andrew Leichtman and Julie Huyett were victorious in 20:49 and 22:01. Full results.
Wy’east Howl Trail Run 100k – Government Camp, Oregon
George Torres and Tara Bassili won the 100k in 10:26 and 10:59, and Jimmy Elam and Julie Fetner led the 50k in 6:00 and 7:05. The race happened on trails near Mt. Hood. Full results when available.
Track & Field World Championships Marathon – Eugene, Oregon
I love digging into track and field results for some trail running or ultrarunning connection. Fred Musobo (Uganda) won the 2015 World Mountain Running Championships, and was 40th in 2:13 here. Arizona’s Crown King Scramble 50k course record holder David Nilsson (Sweden) raced too, but did not finish. Full results.
Tahoe Rim Trail 100 Mile – Carson City, Nevada
Dennis Boic and Christy Baker were the 100-mile bests in 23:30 and 31:13. Full results.
Barr Trail Mountain Race – Manitou Springs, Colorado
Part way up Pikes Peak and then back down, the race runs 12.6 miles and with 3,630 feet of elevation gain. Jeff Cuno and Kristina Mascarenas won big in 1:40 and 1:54, respectively. Full results.
Vermont 100 Mile – West Windsor, Vermont
You’ve got to be fast to pick up this rotating results list, but I spied Roy Van Cleef and Aliza Lapierre as race winners in 21:39 and 16:30. Full results.
Call for Comments
Whatcha’ think? Was that another good-sized week of racing?