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This Week In Running: July 8, 2024

This Week in Running’s trail and ultra recap for July 8, 2024.

By on July 8, 2024 | Comments

This Week in Running Justin Mock TWIRFrom the Afton Trail 50k in Minnesota to the Grossglockner Mountain Run in Austria and from the Silver Rush 50 Mile in Leadville, Colorado, to the Trail Verbier St. Bernard in Switzerland, racing was fast and intense worldwide.

It was another full weekend and we’re excited to talk about it!

Grossglockner Mountain Run – Heiligenblut, Austria

The third stop of the World Mountain Running Association (WMRA) World Cup, after the two Broken Arrow Skyrace events a few weeks back, this 13-kilometer race gains nearly 1,300 meters, or eight miles and 4,265 feet, on the flanks of Austria’s highest peak, the Grossglockner. This year, racers faced cold temperatures and rainy and windy conditions.

Women

After finishing second in 2023, Nina Engelhard (Germany) scored an upset win over a group of Kenyan stars. She was over eight minutes faster this year, finishing in 1:22:09. Last year’s winner, Philaries Jeruto Kisang (Kenya), ran faster than in 2023, too, but 1:23:45 was only enough for second place this year. Gloria Chebet (Kenya) was third in 1:23:58.

After two wins at the Broken Arrow Skyrace events in June, Joyce Muthoni Njeru (Kenya) was just fifth here.

Nina Engelhard - 2024 Grossglockner Mountain Run champion

Nina Engelhard winning the 2024 Grossglockner Mountain Run on a stormy day in Austria. Photo: World Mountain Running Association/Marco Gulberti

The women’s top five were:

  1. Nina Engelhard (Germany) – 1:22:09
  2. Philaries Jeruto Kisang (Kenya) – 1:23:45
  3. Gloria Chebet (Kenya) – 1:23:58
  4. Scout Adkin (U.K.) – 1:24:05
  5. Joyce Muthoni Njeru (Kenya) – 1:25:09

Men

Kenyan runners took the top four men’s spots. Richard Omaya Atuya edged out Jospha Kiprotich by 21 seconds, the two finishing 1:10:04 to 1:10:25, respectively. Michael Selelo Saoili was third in 1:12:42.

Richard Omaya Atuya - 2024 Grossglockner Mountain Run champion

Richard Omaya Atuya, 2024 Grossglockner Mountain Run champion. Photo: World Mountain Running Association/Marco Gulberti

The men’s top five were:

  1. Richard Omaya Atuya (Kenya) – 1:10:04
  2. Josphat Kiprotich (Kenya) – 1:10:25
  3. Michael Selelo Saoli (Kenya) – 1:12:42
  4. Paul Machoka (Kenya) – 1:13:45
  5. Lukas Ehrle (Germany) – 1:13:46

Full results.

The next WMRA World Cup race is the Montemuro Vertical Run on July 14 in Portugal.

USATF Vertical Mountain Running Championships – Lincoln, New Hampshire

The six-mile Loon Mountain Race was the USATF Vertical Mountain Running Championships. The race went up 3,066 feet. There is no World Mountain Running Championships this year, but instead the top two finishers each earned a trip to the Lagunc Kilometer Verticale race in Italy in October 2024, which is the final for the 2024 World Mountain Running Association World Cup.

Women

Lauren Gregory took the crown in the women’s race in 53:18, Rachael Tomajczyk was second in 54:58, and Amber Zimmerman was third woman in 56:02.

Men

Joseph Gray was the men’s champion, making him a 25-time USATF national champion. He crossed the line in 49:27. Tyler McCandless was second man in 49:41, and Jonathan Aziz was third man in 50:17.

Full results.

Mount Marathon Race – Seward, Alaska

It’s just 5k in distance, but the race goes almost 3,000 feet up and down Mount Marathon, the behemoth of a mountain overlooking Seward. Held every 4th of July, this was the 96th running of the popular event that draws mountain runners from all over Alaska and the world.

Women

Klaire Rhodes took the lead on the downhill and raced back to town in 49:49. It was her sixth time racing the event, and her earlier best was fourth in 2023. She was over three minutes better than her earlier runs.

Second-place Kendall Kramer finished in 51:20, and 2023 runner-up Meg Inokuma was third in 51:59.

Men

Men’s winner David Norris secured the top spot for the fifth time in his five attempts at the race and broke his own course record, too. Norris finished in 40:37, way up on his former 41:26 best from 2016. Norris’s earlier wins came in 2016, 2018, 2021, and 2023.

Max King, the 2019 and 2022 winner, finished second in 42:52, and Jessie McAuley (Canada) was third in 44:02.

Full results.

Val d’Aran by UTMB – Vielha, Spain

The Val d’Aran 100-mile race was canceled due to adverse weather, but a big field of 1,191 starters took on the roughly 68-mile Camins d’Hèr race with 20,997 feet of elevation gain.

Allison Baca (U.S.) was unmatched at the front of the women’s race, finishing in 14:44. Silvia Puigarnau and Maite Maiora, both of Spain, were second and third in 15:29 and 15:44.

Men’s winner Luke Grenfell-Shaw (U.K.) led in 12:05 and was followed by two Spanish runners, Andreu Simon and Goar Lopetegui who finished in 12:31 and 12:41, respectively.

Full results.

Restonica Trail by UTMB – Corsica, France

Ultra-Trail di Corsica 

The 66-mile race had 23,662 feet of elevation gain, and neither the men’s or women’s race was particularly close. Miria Meinheit (Germany) was nearly three hours faster than the next woman in 19:58, and Louison Coiffet (France) finished in 14:45, over an hour ahead of the second-place man.

Louison Coiffet - 2024 Restonica Trail by UTMB 100k champion

Louison Coiffet after winning the 2024 Restonica Trail by UTMB 100k. Photo: Restonica Trail by UTMB

Restonica Trail 

French runners Axelle Henry and Lambert Santelli led the 41-mile race in 10:02 and 7:53.

Axelle Henry - 2024 Restonica Trail by UTMB 67k champion

Axelle Henry, 2024 Restonica Trail by UTMB 67k champion. Photo: Restonica Trail by UTMB

Tavignanu Trail 

The 20-mile race gained 7,381 feet of elevation, and Blandine L’Hirondel (France) topped Sara Alonso (Spain) for the women’s win. The two frontrunners finished in 3:44 and 3:53, respectively, and were over an hour ahead of third place.

A week after finishing second at the Marathon du Mont Blanc, Rémi Bonnet (Switzerland) was all alone at the front in 3:06.

Full results.

Quebec Mega Trail – Beaupré, Quebec, Canada

This big running festival had 3,500 runners across 10 different races ranging from 100 miles to one kilometer.

QMT 100 Mile

The 100-mile race was the eighth stop of the World Trail Majors series. Anne Champagne (Canada) and Jean-François Cauchon (Canada) set new course records for both the women and men in 24:28 and 19:01, respectively.

Anne Champagne - 2024 Quebec Mega Trail 100 Mile champion

Anne Champagne elated with winning the 2024 Quebec Mega Trail 100 Mile. Photo: Quebec Mega Trail/Christian Dionne

Jean-Francois Cauchon - 2024 Quebec Mega Trail 100 Mile champion

Jean-François Cauchon, 2024 Quebec Mega Trail 100 Mile champion. Photo: Quebec Mega Trail/Sebastien Durocher

QMT 80k

Geneviève Asselin-Demers (Canada) and Ryan Sullivan (U.S.) won in 9:35 and 8:23.

QMT 50k

Both races were close in this shorter distance with less than three minutes separating the first two women. Alex Castonguay (Canada) won in 6:16, and Robyn Mildren (U.S.) was second in 6:19.

For the men, Eric LiPuma (U.S.) edged Marcus Ribi (Canada) to win the men’s race in 4:50:41. Ribi was only 21 seconds behind at 4:51:02.

Full results.

Trail Verbier St. Bernard by UTMB – Verbier, Switzerland

Adverse weather greatly impacted the event’s races, canceling the X-Traversée and changing the routing of others.

2024 Trail Verbier St. Bernard by UTMB scenery

Gorgeous scenery at the 2024 Trail Verbier St. Bernard by UTMB, despite some bad weather at times. Photo: Trail Verbier St. Bernard by UTMB

X-Alpine

Nearly 400 runners were able to race the 37-mile X-Alpine race. Katarzyna Solińska (Poland) championed the women’s group in 8:03, and Charlotte Allain (France) and Magali Mellon (France) were second and third in 8:46 and 8:49.

Eliot Retulli (France) beat Baptiste Chassagne (France) and Martin Anthamatten (Switzerland) for the men’s crown. The three ran 7:00, 7:06, and 7:06, with Chassagne and Anthamatten only 20 seconds apart.

Verbier Marathon

With 8,202 feet of elevation gain, this 24-mile race was anything but flat. Renee Cardinaals (The Netherlands) edged out Astrid Hochart (France) for the women’s victory, 4:36 to 4:41, and Estel Roig (Spain) was third in 4:54.

Werner Marti (Switzerland) escaped a competitive men’s group to win in 3:49. Alexis Sevennec (France) was just shy of a minute and a half back in second at 3:50, and Peter Fraňo (Slovakia) ran 3:53 for third.

Full results.

Additional Races and Runs

Silver Rush 50 Mile – Leadville, Colorado

It was all gold at the Silver Rush 50 Mile for Mary Denholm and David Roche. The two were way out front in 7:04 and 6:18, respectively. Denholm won last week’s Leadville Marathon, too. Full results.

Silverton Alpine 50k – Silverton, Colorado

Sabrina Stanley and Josh Eberly won the 50k race in 4:47 and 4:11. Stanley set a new course record and Eberly finished just 30 seconds in front of second-place Anthony Kunkel. Full results.

Kendall Mountain Run – Silverton, Colorado

The 12-mile race tags the summit of 13,066-foot Kendall Mountain on an out-and-back course from town at 9,318 feet, and both races were really close. The first three women were only 52 seconds apart. Jennie Yeaman won in 2:12:35, Amber Tookey was second in 2:12:56, and Corinne Shalvoy was third in 2:13:27. And just over two minutes separated the first three men. Cam Smith was just over two minutes better than Seth Demoor at the front. Smith ran 1:40 to Demoor’s 1:42. Noah Williams was only 24 seconds behind Demoor, also in 1:42. All three are previous winners of the race. Smith won in 2021, Demoor in 2020, and Williams in 2023 and 2022. Full results.

Afton Trail 50k – Hastings, Minnesota

Erika Mitchell and Alex Forte won the two-lap race around Afton State Park in 4:29 and 3:26, respectively. Forte broke Justin Grunewald’s 3:30 course record, which had stood since 2018. Full results.

Buckeye Trail 50k – Brecksville, Ohio

The 1,440-mile Buckeye Trail circles Ohio, and the Buckeye Trail 50k picks up a section in Cuyahoga Valley National Park. The race has a 30-year history, and Alicia Graham and Luke Hickman won this year’s event in 5:13 and 4:03. Full results.

Fell Running and Trail Running Memoriams

Fell running icon Joss Naylor died on June 28, 2024, at age 88, in the U.K. In 1971, Naylor became the sixth finisher of the Bob Graham Round, an iconic 66-mile run that packs in 42 fells within 24 hours. In 1974, he ran the 268-mile Pennine Way in a record time of three days, four hours, 35 minutes, a record at the time. And in 1975, he set the Lake District 24-Hour fell record by summiting 72 peaks in the area within 24 hours. A “Guardian” obituary captures both Naylor’s accomplishments and spirit.

Jose Luis Garcia Fernández died on July 6, 2024, during the 46k MDS race at DesafiOSOmiedo in Somiedo, Spain. The race was canceled as a result. A Spanish news article states that the 62-year-old runner from Madrid fell some 100 meters.

The iRunFar team sends its condolences to their loved ones.

Call for Comments

  • You know what to do in the comments section. Were you at a race this weekend? Share a story.
  • If you’d like to share memorial thoughts about Joss Naylor and Jose Luis Garcia Fernández, please feel welcome to do so in the comments section.
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.