The Skyrunner World Series and the World Mountain Running Association World Cup are in full swing. It’s great to see runners cross between these two circuits, as well as the highly competitive Golden Trail World Series all summer long. In the U.S., the Speedgoat 50k celebrated a new course record. Runners are starting to tune up for UTMB and its sister races, and that meant a lot of competition this weekend.
Skyrace Comapedrosa — Arinsal, Andorra
The 24k Skyrace Comapedrosa gained 2,375 meters (7,800 feet) of elevation on a lollipop course with two major climbs. It was the year’s fourth Skyrunner World Series race.
Denisa Dragomir (Romania) triumphed in 3:32. It was her second Skyrunner World Series win of the year and that vaults her to the top of the series rankings. Iris Pessey (France) edged Lina El Kott (Sweden) for second, 3:43 to 3:45.
In the 50k ultra race, Roser Español (Spain) won in 8:55.
The series started in Japan, and since then, Christian Mathys (Switzerland) has won everything. (The 2020 Skyrunner World Championships, contested in 2021, are not part of the the 2021 Skyrunner World Series.) Mathys won in Andorra in 2:52 and it was his third series win in a row. Leonard Mitrica (Romania) and Daniel Antonioli (Italy) chased home in 2:57 and 3:01 for second and third.
Pere Aurell (Spain) won the men’s 50k in 6:58.
The next Skyrunner World Series race is the August 7 Tromsø Skyrace in Norway.
Speedgoat 50k — Snowbird Resort, Utah
Race director Karl Meltzer‘s monster Speedgoat 50k puts out over 11,000 feet of climbing on a high-altitude, technical course. Race winners received $2,000, with $1,000 and $500 awarded to second and third place.
Ashley Brasovan scored the women’s win in 6:23. The 50k was already a step up in distance for her, but she’s registered for September’s Lake Sonoma 50 Mile too. Brasovan’s time ranks sixth best in Speedgoat history.
Second here in 2019, Taylor Nowlin was second again. This year’s 6:25 finish bettered 2019’s 6:37, and she did it with a huge close that saw her bridge a big gap back up to Brasovan. Turns out that world-class snowshoer Michelle Hummel is a pretty good runner too. She was third in 6:30.
Sophia Gorman won the 25k in 3:36, a time that ranks third best on the event’s all-time chart.
A history in the steeplechase often leads to trail running success, and Adam Peterman is the latest proof. The former University of Colorado steeplechaser blasted through the field here and snagged Jim Walmsley‘s former course record. Peterman finished in 5:04, 24 seconds better than Walmsley’s 2017 time, and was 14 minutes better than everyone else in this year’s race. Peterman is both the 2019 and 2020 Moab Trail Marathon winner, and just like women’s winner Brasovan, he too is in for the Lake Sonoma 50 Mile.
David Sinclair and Tim Freriks were second and third in 5:18 and 5:32.
Justin Grunewald won the 25k race in 2:51, barely a minute back from the year-old course record.
Tatra Skymarathon — Kościelisko, Poland
The Tatra Skymarathon was the World Mountain Running Association’s fourth World Cup race, and this one went nearly the full marathon distance. The 40k race gained 3,300 meters (10,826 feet) of elevation across two big climbs.
Marcela Vašínová (Czech Republic) went for the win in 5:02, and wow, she is racing a lot! Last week she was second at the Dolomyths Run, the week before she won both the Skyrunning World Championships Vertical K and Sky races, and a week before that she was fifth at the Marathon du Mont Blanc. That’s five races in four weeks between Italy, Spain, France, and Poland, and I bet she’ll be racing next weekend too.
Second- and third-place Katarzyna Solińska (Poland) and Charlotte Morgan (U.K.) finished in 5:12 and 5:23.
Peter Fraňo (Slovakia) won gold for the host country in 4:30, four minutes better than Andrzej Witek (Poland). Early leader Raúl Criado (Spain) faded to third in 4:39.
Deeper results included Marcin Świerc (Poland), 13th in 5:17.
The next WMRA World Cup race is Sierre-Zinal in Switzerland on August 7.
Badwater 135 — Death Valley, California
Last year’s Badwater 135 was a late cancelation, and so this year’s run was the first in two years. The event goes from below sea level to 8,360 feet up over 135 miles and happens in near constant triple-digit temperatures. It’s always a small field, but this year’s race had just 84 starters and 68 finishers. iRunFar additionally summarized the race in a separate article.
Sally McRae‘s been diligent in her training and shared much of it online, and that dedication carried her to a 30:48 first-place finish. She called it the culmination of a 10-year dream, on social media. The finish bettered her 2018 race debut by over four hours.
Second-place Norma Roberts (Canada) finished in 33:37 and she set a new 60-plus age-group record. Roberts is 62 years old. 2019 sixth-placer Suzi Swineheart improved to third in 34:24, while almost matching her 34:16 2019 time.
The men’s race was thought to be a race among four past winners, but two newcomers nearly stole the show. Igor Gotsuliak (Ukraine) went to the lead early and was 36 minutes up at mile 90. Just a short while later though Harvey Lewis passed Gotsuliak, around mile 103, and pushed the pace toward a 25:50 winning time. Gotsuliak held on to second, barely, in 26:35, and Sergey Ionov (Russia) was third in 26:49.
It was Lewis’s second win, adding to a 2014 victory. In August 2020, Lewis also set the Badwater-to-Whitney FKT, running 33:32 for the 146 miles that make up the Badwater route plus the 11-mile climb to the summit of 14,505-foot Mount Whitney. Gotsuliak and Ionov are both multi-time Spartathlon finishers, among other ultras around the world.
2011 winner Oswaldo Lopez was ninth in 31:46, but fellow former race winners Michele Graglia and Pete Kostelnick did not finish.
Additional Races and Runs
La 6000D — Montchavin les Côches, France
It’s new to me, but it was the 31st year for La 6000D, a 67k race that climbs 3,400 meters (11,150 feet) from apple orchards up a glacier in southeastern France. Mimmi Kotka (Sweden) has been active this summer. She ran away from the field here, almost an hour in front. Kotka finished in 7:16. In the men’s race, French runners took the top seven finish positions, and 13 of the top 14. Up front Stephane Ricard won in 6:12. Full results.
Montreux Trail Festival — Montreux, Switzerland
Four race distances over two days make up the Montreux Trail Festival in the Swiss Alps. In the 69k, a race with 4,900 meters (16,076 feet) of elevation gain, Ragna Debats (Netherlands) was working on quick recovery from Western States and won in 9:38. Maryline Nakache (France) and Ekaterina Mityaeva (Russia) were second and third in 9:58 and 10:17. Dmitry Mityaev (Russia) was sharp in his UTMB prep, winning in 8:34. Mathieu Blanchard (Canada) and Sebastien Buet (France) raced to 9:03 and 9:12 podium finishes. Full results.
Pacific Crest Trail Men’s Supported FKT
Timothy Olson‘s summer-long Pacific Crest Trail adventure came to an end on Thursday, July 22, and he set a new men’s supported FKT. Olson finished the 2,653-mile trail in 51 days, 16 hours, 55 minutes (to be confirmed).
Deseret News 10k — Salt Lake City, Utah
Grayson Murphy won the Friday 10k at this marathon-weekend event. She finished in 31:13 on the point-to-point route with a 600-foot drop. She’s expected to be at Sierre-Zinal in two weeks. Full results.
Minnesota Voyageur 50 Mile — Carlton, Minnesota
Gretchen Metsa and Benjamin Drexler topped the Minnesota Voyageur 50 Mile in 8:07 and 7:09. Full results.
Burning River 100 Mile — Willoughby Hills, Ohio
Lindsey Dwyer won the 15th Burning River 100 Mile in 17:36. She was fifth overall. And for the men, Arlen Glick won his third 100-mile race of 2021. His 14:15 finish at Burning River was a new course record and adds to Umstead 100 and Mohican 100 wins earlier this year. Full results.
Call for Comments
How’s your summer going? Tell us about your racing and spectating from this past weekend in the comments below.