This Week In Running: July 29, 2019

This Week in Running Justin Mock TWIRA little bit of Europe, a lot of the U.S., and a touch of Canada make their way into this week’s column. We’ve got highlights from global stars like Joe Gray and Jan Margarit, and Sheila Avilés and Ruth Croft. We’re excited, and hope you enjoy this week’s coverage!

Skyrace Comapedrosa – Arinsal, Andorra

Thank you to RaidLight for sponsoring this edition of TWIR!

Between the Skyrunner World Series, the Golden Trail Series, the World Mountain Running Association’s World Cup, and other events, there are competitive races in Europe almost every single weekend. Truly world-class talent is thinned across all the races, but it does give a chance for up-and-comers to find their way onto a podium too. This race, the Skyrace Comapedrosa, was the year’s 10th Skyrunner World Series contest and it ran 21k, but with 2,280 meters (7,500 feet) of elevation gain. It was both the year’s shortest and steepest Skyrunner World Series race.


Sheila Avilés (Spain) dominated the race, leading from start to finish, and won her third Skyrunner race of the year. She finished in 3:01, 15 minutes better than second place. With five races to go, Avilés now leads the Skyrunner World Series rankings.

The top-four runners were all from Spain, and though trailing the race winner by a large margin, were much more tightly packed the rest of the way. Ester CasajunaClaudia Sabata, and Julia Font each ran 3:16, 3:19, and 3:20. Defending-champion Sanna El Kott (Sweden) took a bad fall late and finished fifth in 3:23.

Sheila Avilés makes winning the 2019 Skyrace Comapedrosa look easy. Photo: Skyrunner World Series


Jan Margarit (Spain) had won this race in 2017 and seemed determined to regain that title. He went to the front right away. Margarit outclimbed everyone and held off ace downhiller Evgeny Markov (Russia) to win 2:36. Markov was just over a minute back in 2:37. Third-place Rok Bratina (Slovenia) fell back to 10th on the first uphill after a bad fall, but regained seven positions for his 2:39 podium finish.

Pere Rullán (Spain) and 20-year-old Théo Detienne (France) were fourth and fifth in 2:42 and 2:44, respectively.

Full results.

The next Skyrunner World Series race is next weekend’s Tromsø Skyrace in Norway.

Jan Margarit, 2019 Skyrace Comapedrosa champion. Photo: Skyrunner World Series

Giir di Mont – Premana, Italy

Traditionally a 33k race, this year’s Giir di Mont mountain race was cut short to 21k and with 2,076 meters (6,800 feet) of elevation gain.


Ruth Croft (New Zealand) is at the top of her game right now and won in 2:36. Denisa Dragomir (Romania) came back late for a second-place 2:39, and Oihana Kortazar (Spain) was third in 2:41. Azara García (Spain) and Ingrid Mutter (Romania) were fourth and fifth in 2:41 and 2:48.


Gabrielle Bacchion (Italy) escaped the pack early and held on for a first-place 2:17. Less than a minute separated second through fourth, with Antonio Martinez (Spain) running 2:19, and Daniel Antonioli (Italy) and Mattia Gianola (Italy) finishing in matching–to the second–2:20 marks. Ionut Zinca (Romania) was fifth in 2:23.

Top 10 results.

Barr Trail Mountain Race – Manitou Springs, Colorado

Next month’s Pikes Peak Marathon is part of the Golden Trail Series and has an incredible field signed up. First though, Colorado runners could test their lungs and legs on the mountain’s intermediate race, the 12.6-mile Barr Trail Mountain Race. This race ran on the mountain’s lower slopes, started at 6,570 feet above sea level, and turned around at 10,200 feet above sea level.


Former U.S. mountain running team member Ashley Brasovan came within spitting distance of Brandy Erholtz‘s 2010 course record. Brasovan’s 1:48 finish was just 12 seconds back of that near-decade-old mark. Brasovan did, of course, win by a healthy six minutes.

Bailey Kowalczyk and Karley Rempel ran 1:54 and 1:56 for second and third, and 2:28 marathoner Annie Bersagel, also a former U.S. mountain running team member, was fourth in 2:00.

The 2019 Barr Trail Mountain Race women’s podium (left to right): 1. Ashley Brasovan, 2. Bailey Kowalczyk, and 3. Karley Rempel. Photo: Barr Trail Mountain Race


Joe Gray was first and Andy Wacker second. How many times have we written that? It happened again though. Gray won in 1:31, over two minutes back of his own course record, and Wacker was second in 1:35. Jackson Brill was third in 1:36.

Full results.

The 2019 Barr Trail Mountain Race men’s podium (left to right): 3. Jackson Brill, 2. Andy Wacker, and 1. Joe Gray. Photo: Barr Trail Mountain Race

Buckin’ Hell – North Vancouver, British Columbia

It was the seventh year for the Buckin’ Hell group of races, and fifth year for the race’s 50k. Everything sold out at its 500-person cap.


Catrin Jones (Canada), fresh off her ninth-place run at the Comrades Marathon, controlled the women’s race in 6:04. She finished 11th overall. Amber Johnson and Maude Cyr were second and third in 6:22 and 6:38.

Andrea Lee won the 30k in 3:16.


Men’s winner Alexandre Campbell won in 5:00, a new course record. Race director Gary Robbins called Campbell a huge up-and-comer, and pointed out that Campbell is just 18 years old. Second- and third-place finishers Glenn Jasechko and Graeme Wilson finished in 5:13 and 5:21.

Robbins himself returned from long-term injury and won the accompanying 30k in 2:57.

Full results.

Other Races and Runs

High Lonesome 100 Mile

Let’s get through a big group of Colorado races first. Near Salida, the increasingly popular High Lonesome 100 Mile celebrated a new women’s course record by Silke Koester. Her 25:28 finish erased 46 minutes from the record books. Men’s winner Luke Jay was with Mike Wolfe for some 75 miles before pulling away for a 22:22 win. Wolfe, the race’s 2017 inaugural year winner, was second in 23:15. Full results.

Pikes Peak Ultra

The earlier-mentioned Barr Trail Mountain Race ran on Pikes Peak proper, but the Pikes Peak Ultra ran on other area trails, of course also in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Over 50 miles, Kaci Lickteig worked toward UTMB and won in 8:38. It was a huge new course record for the five-year-old race. Cat Bradley went under the former course best too, but in second and well back in 9:35. Cory Logsdon won the men’s race in 8:20. Matea Wassend and Chris Denucci won the 50k race in 5:45 and 5:07. Wassend’s time was a new course record, and Denucci’s was second-best ever. Full results.

Never Summer 100k

The Gnar Runners Never Summer 100k happened in remote northern Colorado. Unable to make a Hardrock 100 title defense, Sabrina Stanley instead won the women’s race in 13:46. That time was good for fifth overall and second on the all-time chart, and men’s winner Hannes Gehring ran 11:47. Gehring’s finish was a new course record by a scant 40 seconds. Full results.

The 2019 Never Summer 100k women’s podium (left to right): 1. Sabrina Stanley, 2. Megan Arauzo, and 3. Amber Pougiales. Photo: Never Summer 100k

Cirque Series

The Cirque Series of short-course mountain races went clear to Alaska’s Alyeska Resort for a 5.9-mile challenge with 3,890 feet of vertical gain. 2018 winter Olympian Rosie Frankowski topped the women’s race in 1:18, and David Norris, the Mount Marathon Race course-record holder, won the men’s race in 1:04. Norris was three minutes better than recent Crow Pass Crossing winner Scott PattersonFull results.

White River 50 Mile

Christine Mosley and Mario Mendoza won Washington’s White River 50 Mile in 8:35 and 7:02. Mendoza finished with his 10-month-old son atop his shoulders. Full results.

Standhope 60k

Idaho’s Standhope 60k lifted Kathryn Graham and Ben Sukow atop its podium with 9:19 and 7:40 victories. Full results.

Pioneer Spirit 50 Mile

Running from Cool to Folsom, California, the Pioneer Spirit 50 Mile race tracks a 19th century gold mining path. Fifty-mile rookie Natalie Wieland struck first for the women, running 8:44, and men’s winner Sergio Morales hit the payload in 7:15. Full results.

Tushars Mountain Runs 100k

At the Tushars Mountain Runs 100k in Utah, Bethany Lewis and Jason Schlarb won the high-altitude run in 15:32 and 12:47. Schlarb’s run was a new course record. Full results.

Wy’East Howl 100k 

The diverse course of Oregon’s Wy’East Howl 100k tours the Mt. Hood area on an out-and-back route. Sarah Ostaszewski and James Holk won the race’s inaugural running in 12:43 and 10:43. Full results.

Elkhorn Crest 50 Mile

Some 11,000 feet of climbing are packed into northeast Oregon’s Elkhorn Crest 50 Mile on a route that actually runs 53 miles with exposed ridgelines and technical trails. Molly Schmelzle won in 10:20 and Ryan Kaiser set a new course record in 9:12. Keely Henninger and Duncan Hoge won the accompanying marathon in 3:55 and 3:26, both new records. Full results.

Burning River 100 Mile

Ohio’s Burning River 100 Mile turned 13. The race runs through the state’s lone national park, Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Emily Collins won the women’s race in 20:01, and finished sixth overall, and Joey Miller was the top man. At 17:25, he was an hour better than second. Full results.

Minnesota Voyageur 50 Mile

Margaret Ho dipped inside the top-10 overall with a ninth-place, and women’s win, in 8:23 at the Minnesota Voyageur 50 Mile. Men’s lead Adam Doe was a 20-minute winner in 7:14. Full results.

Call for Comments

We’re at the end of the column and we again look to you! Tell us about what races you took part in, whether as a racer or a spectator.

Justin Mock

is a family man, finance man, and former competitive runner. He gave his 20s to running, and ran as fast as 2:29 for the marathon and finished as high as fourth at the Pikes Peak Marathon. His running is now most happy with his two dogs on the trails and peaks near his home west of Denver.

There are 15 comments

  1. SteelTownRunner

    At the 24 hr & 48 hr Self-Transcendence Race in Kladno, Czech Republic which doubled as the 24 hour national champs, 7:22 100 km runner Radka Churaňová made a sterling 24 hour debut clocking 251.498 km / 156.273 miles, besting the men / winning the race overall. It is the 7th best 24 hour female performance in history, barely edging Nele Alder-Baerens’s (also 7:22 100 km) 251.227 km.

    Full Results

    Race website

    1. SteelTownRunner

      I stand corrected – I checked results from the national championship link, not realizing there were others competing separately. She finished 2nd overall, first overall in the national championship.

      Vladimir Stavrev passed her at the very end with 253+ to her 251+. It appears he passed her during the 247th kilometer while he was pushing to the finish and she was just doing enough to get her 250.

  2. SteelTownRunner

    At age 68, long-time ultrarunning icon Marshall Ulrich just completed his 29th complete Badwater crossing (Badwater Basin in Death Valley 146 miles to the summit of Mt Whitney; not the race’s long time finish at the trail head halfway up the hill) in compliance with the Badwater 146 club,

    Ulrich started Monday, July 22 at 0615 ending July 25 ~1100 AM arriving atop Mt. Whitney in a total of 76h 55m.

  3. April

    On Saturday, July 27, Zach Szablewski and Abram Elwell ran the unsupported fastest known time for the 54 mile Olympic Coast Trail (aka Shi Shi Beach to Oil City, Washington). They bettered the previous record by more than 1.5 hours, finishing the run in 14:52:24. Szablewski and Elwell ran north to south and timed the run to accommodate tides.

    1. Ben

      Sorry but I don’t think running a route with another person can be considered “unsupported”. Even if you aren’t taking aid from a crew by virtue of having a partner running with you it’s support. Still kudos on the run.

  4. Abram Elwell

    Hi Ben and Karl (big fan, by the way)! I’m just taking the definition of unsupported from Peter Bakwin and the Fastest Known Time website, which states “Teams can be unsuppported as long as they all travel and finish together”. Whatever you want to call it, it was fun and a great challenge. If you haven’t been in this area before you should check it out!

    1. Ben

      Hey Abram-

      Not trying to ruffle your feathers or diminish your accomplishment. I’ve been interested in this specific topic of “unsupported” group efforts for a while now. I appreciate all the tremendous work that Peter and Buzz do over at Fastest Known Time and am even a patreon supporter. However, I believe they would be the first to admit that while they are great record keepers, they are not the end all authority and that style of effort(s) are open to criticism.

      Referring to Peter’s quote above he alludes to the group as a “team” and by definition a team is a unit that works together in achieving a singular goal. So I think he even contradicts himself. Maybe it’s time to add another category?

      Nonetheless, don’t let me rain on your parade. In the end if you can honestly say you would have ran the route alone just as fast (if not, maybe faster) that’s all that matters.



      1. Abram Elwell

        Ben, thanks for the clarification. Interestingly enough, I do think that I could have finished just as fast or possibly faster alone, due to the nature that solo runs are generally faster for me. Admittedly, there is more safety in numbers, so I generally view team efforts as trading speed for safety. I agree that solo and unsupported is more committing and I like that challenge (I did the Wonderland in this style). For this remote route I chose team camaraderie and added safety over the solo/unsupported style and agree that there is quite the difference.

  5. Robert Marks

    Ashley Brasovan is a beast! She raced and won the Xterra Beaver Creek 19K (which has 2,000ft of climbing) in 1:16:31. She finished a full 3 minutes before the first guy!

  6. George Ruiz

    No mention of the Tahoe Rim Trail Endurance Runs 100 mile / 50 Mile / 55K July 20-21????
    Winners were dominated by Colorado runners. Chris Price wins the Men’s 100 mile, 21-year old Madison Hart wins the Women’s 100 mile.

  7. Simon

    Some late news from europe:
    The 34th edition of the Swiss Alpine Marathon showed some harsh conditions. The two-time defending champion Tofol Castanyer (Spain) had a lead of 17 minutes after 45k. He was super relaxed and so was his first chaser Bernhard Eggenschwiler (Switzerland). In the second half of the race it started to rain and it got really cold in the mountains. The better equiped Eggenschwiler could hold up his speed, wheras Castanyer started to freeze and slow down. Eggenschwiler overtook Castanyer shortly before the Keschhütte (famous point of the race) and managed to win the 84k race 10 minutes in front of Castanyer.
    The ladies race was a one-woman-show for Luzia Bühler, this years champion of the Georgia Death Race.
    Very sad news come from Italy. During the Südtirol Ultra Skyrace, Silje Fismen, a female athlete from Norway, died after she got struck by a lightning. You can read the information here in english:

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