This Week In Running: July 4, 2022

This Week In Running’s trail and ultra recap for July 4, 2022.

By on July 4, 2022 | Leave a reply

This Week in Running Justin Mock TWIRIt’s Independence Day in America, but there were some fireworks earlier over the weekend too! We’ve got new U.S. Mountain Running Champions, some great races in the Canary Islands, and more Skyrunner World Series fun in this week’s recap.

Whiteface Skyrace – Wilmington, New York

The USATF Mountain Running Championships ran as a 10-kilometer single loop, gaining 3,800 feet of ski slope elevation. The top three men and women qualified for the U.S. team that will feature in the Classic race at the first-ever World Mountain and Trail Running Championships in Thailand in November.

Past World Mountain Running Champions Joseph Gray and Grayson Murphy automatically earned team spots and neither raced here. Murphy is presently sidelined with injury.

Men

Just a few weeks back, we kidded that Andy Wacker was Mr. Second Place. But no more! Already a several-time past U.S. Mountain Running Team member, Wacker won this year’s race, and did so in 1:07:31.

Eli Hemming was second in 1:07:47, and Morgan Elliott gained the prized third-place spot in 1:10:35. The group earned a share of the race’s $3,000 cash purse.

Expected to challenge for the race win, Joseph Demoor did just that, but collapsed near the end and did not finish. He was, however, okay.

Andy Wacker - 2022 Whiteface Skyrace champion

Andy Wacker winning the 2022 USATF Mountain Running Championships at the Whiteface Skyrace. Photo: Michael Scott

Eli Hemming - 2022 Whiteface Skyrace second place

Eli Hemming taking second at the 2022 Whiteface Skyrace. Photo: Michael Scott

Women

Eight years after running on the junior team, Tabor Hemming won the women’s senior race in 1:25:27. She and husband Eli are both on the national team now.

Rachel Tomajczyk and Sophia Laukli will join the couple on the national team thanks to their 1:26:42 and 1:29:03 second- and third-place runs, too. Laukli was leading the race before a wrong turn in the race’s downhill second half.

Full results.

The USATF Vertical Mountain Running Championships happens next weekend at the Loon Mountain Race in New Hampshire. The race winners will earn spots on the U.S. team that will compete in the Vertical race at the World Mountain and Trail Running Championships in November in Thailand.

Tabor Hemming - 2022 Whiteface Skyrace champion

Tabor Hemming en route to winning the 2022 USATF Mountain Running Championships at the Whiteface Skyrace. Photo: Michael Scott

Rachel Tomajczyk - 2022 Whiteface Skyrace second place

Rachel Tomajczyk (right) would take second at the 2022 Whiteface Skyrace. Behind her Megan Lacy chases, and she took seventh. Photo: Michael Scott

Garmin Epic Trail – Barruera, Spain

The mountain festival included the Vall de Boí race as the year’s sixth Skyrunner World Series contest. Some 500 runners challenged the rugged 42k course through the Spanish Pyrenees on an especially hot day.

Men

Raúl Orítz (Spain) stepped up from national-class races to his first Skyrunner World Series race and finished first in 4:20. Ander Iñarra (Spain) and Arnau Soldevila (Spain) were second and third in 4:27 and 4:28, 80 seconds apart.

Raul Oritz - 2022 Epic Trail Vall de Boí champion

Raúl Orítz, 2022 Epic Trail Vall de Boí champion. Photo: Skyrunner World Series

Women

Though a series veteran, this was surprisingly Oihana Azkorbebeitia‘s first Skyrunner World Series win. She led for the entirety of the race, and finished with a bloodied lip from a late fall. Azkorbebeitia finished in 5:20. As with the men’s race, it was an all-Spanish podium with Sandra Sevillano second in 5:27 and Georgina Gabarró third in 5:34.

Full results.

Oihana Azkorbebeitia - 2022 Epic Trail Vall de Boí champion

Oihana Azkorbebeitia on her way to winning the 2022 Epic Trail Vall de Boí. Photo: Skyrunner World Series

Reventón El Paso – La Palma, Canary Islands, Spain

Though not the race’s first year, it was the first-ever European Athletics Off-Road Running Championships, something of a trail running and mountain running combination. There were multiple race classes.

Uphill

The Vertical K climb covered almost 9k in distance. Cesare Maestri (Italy) won the men’s race in 44:48, just ahead of Dominik Rolli (Switzerland) and Daniel Osanz (Spain). Rolli and Osanz finished in 45:19 and 45:26.

The women’s race ran even better. Maude Mathys (Switzerland) outclimbed uphill all-timers Andrea Mayr (Austria) and Christel Dewalle (France). The trio ran in that order 51:41, 52:15, and 52:32.

(In 2015, Mathys received a warning without suspension from the Disciplinary Chamber for Doping Cases of Swiss Olympic for two positive tests for clomifene [previously clomiphene] after it was determined that she was mistakenly taking the drug without first obtaining a World Anti-Doping Agency Therapeutic Use Exemption. Dewalle previously served a four-month doping ban after a positive test for the stimulant heptaminol at the 2016 Skyrunning World Championships.)

Trail Race Elite

The men’s race over this 48k course was tightly contested. Maximilien Drion Du Chapois (Belgium) scored the win in 3:43, 45 seconds ahead of runner-up Arnaud Bonin (France). Thomas Cardin (France) was right there, too, in 3:45 for third place.

Deeper results in the competitive field included familiar names like fourth-place Kevin Vermeulen (France), fifth-place Zaid Ait Malek (Morocco), seventh-place Stephan Wenk (Switzerland), and eighth-place Martin Dematteis (Italy).

The women’s race again delivered some familiar names at the front of the finish. Blandine L’Hirondel (France) came through first in 4:11, outclassing Núria Gil (Spain) and her 4:18 run. Mathilde Sagnes (France) was third in 4:22.

Later results showed fourth-place Eleanor Davis (U.K.), fifth-place Anna Comet (Spain), sixth-place Marcela Vašinová (Czech Republic), and eighth-place Audrey Tanguy (France).

Up and Down

Sunday’s 18k run saw many of the earlier-weekend Uphill racers doubling back. Sylvain Cachard (France) pushed hard to stop Cesare Maestri from a second win. Cachard finished in 1:06:02, 40 seconds better than Maestri. Dominick Rolli, who like Maestri also raced the Uphill event, was third in 1:07:41.

Maude Mathys came back from the Uphill race to win double gold. She outpaced Monica Madalina Florea (Romania) and Sarah McCormack (Ireland). The three podium-getters finished in 1:17:30, 1:18:38, and 1:19:35, respectively.

Full results.

Additional Races and Runs

Ultra-Trail Snowdonia by UTMB – Llanberis, Wales, United Kingdom

There were 100k and 50k races through mountainous Wales, and on the long course, Josh Wade (U.K.) and Rebecca Di-Luzio (U.K.) finished on top in 13:16 and 18:58. On the 50k course, Jack Scott (U.K.) and Kirsteen Welch (U.K.) led everyone in 5:32 and 6:19. There was to be a 100-mile race as well, but the race committee made the difficult decision to halt it due to deteriorating weather conditions going into Friday night, with strong winds and poor visibility. Runners were given the option to switch their entry to the 100k or the 50k the next day, with many availing of the invitation. Full results.

2022 Ultra-Trail Snowdonia by UTMB 50k start

The start of the 2022 Ultra-Trail Snowdonia by UTMB 50k. Photo: David Miller

Trail Des Balcons de Cauterets – Toulouse, France

Maxime Cazajous (France) and Lorenne Bouaidat (France) won the race’s 17th running in 5:14 and 7:26. The course was 47k with some 3,000 meters of elevation gain. Full results.

Zermatt Marathon – Zermatt, Switzerland

Petter Engdahl (Sweden, lives in Norway) and Ivana Iozzia (Italy) won the uphill marathon under the Matterhorn in 3:05 and 3:40. Full results.

Québec Mega Trail – Beaupre, Quebec, Canada

The big event included four ultra-distance races, and the 50k was part of the North American Golden Trail National Series, and I’ll admit that oxymoron makes me smile. Sange Sherpa (Nepal, living in France) gained the 100-mile crown in 19:35 alongside Kelsey Hogan (Canada) in 28:18. Gabriel Sanfacon (Canada) and Sophie Marie Blard (Réunion Island) topped the 110k group in 15:02 and 17:23. Joey Bellanger (France) and Flavie Pelletier (Canada) won the 80k in 9:04 and 11:38, respectively. And in the 50k, it was victory for Jean-Philippe Thibodeau (Canada) in 5:01 and Katherine Short (Canada) in 5:40. Full results.

Olympus Mythical Trail – Mt. Olympus, Greece

The 100k route runs all around Mt. Olympus. Greek runners Konstantinos Giannopoulos and Panagiota Dimakakou were god-like with 17:22 and 21:18 winning times. Full results.

Ultramook 50k on the Tillamook Ridge – Tillamook, Oregon

There were just 25 finishers, but Zechariah St. Amand and Hannah Hamm took the top spots in 4:05 and 5:08. Full results.

Vail Hill Climb – Vail, Colorado

Race local Josiah Middaugh topped out on the 7.7-mile ski slope climb first in 57:54 and women’s winner Janelle Lincks was up in 1:02. Full results.

Afton Trail 50k – Hastings, Minnesota

The popular race hosted both 50k and 25k races inside its namesake state park. Adam Pardoux and Jamie Hoornaert won the long course in 4:01 and 5:00, and standout marathoner Tyler Jermann and Margaret Ho won the 25k in 1:31 and 2:02, respectively. Full results.

Circle of Hell Race – Phoenix, Arizona

The third annual Circle of Hell Race was run on Saturday on a one-mile rolling and rocky loop. Starting at 2 p.m. in 104-degree Fahrenheit heat, participants tried to complete as many loops as possible in three hours. All three men on the podium broke the previous record of 16 loops, with Bryce Brooks winning with 21 loops. Ryan Birkemeyer took second in 21 loops, and Aaron Barber third with 20 loops. The women’s podium was extremely competitive, with all three women completing 15 loops. Tracy Gampagnano took the top spot, followed by Summer Igo and Alicia Judy.

John Bawden - Circle of Hell Race 2022

John Bawden at the 2022 Circle of Hell Race. Photo courtesy of John Bawden,

This Week – Mount Marathon Race – Seward, Alaska

Don’t forget the Fourth of July tradition, that classic up-and-down mountain 5k!

In the men’s race, three-time winner David Norris is out with injury, but 2019 race winner Max King is expected to race.

In the women’s race, 2019 and 2021 champ Hannah Lafleur is expected to again test her downhill legs against climbers like Rosie Frankowski and race newcomer Allie McLaughlin.

Full entrant list.

Call for Comments

  • What races did you attend over the weekend?
  • What race results were you following?
  • Leave a comment to share what you’ve got from your local or the global racing scene!
Justin Mock

Justin Mock is the “This Week In Running” columnist of iRunFar.com. He’s been writing about running for 10 years.

Based in Europe, Justin Mock has run as fast as 2:29 for a road marathon and finished as high as fourth in the Pikes Peak Marathon.