This Week In Running: June 18, 2018

This Week In Running’s trail and ultra recap for June 18, 2018.

By on June 18, 2018 | Comments

This Week in Running Justin Mock TWIRTell the boss you’re going to be late. It’s a very big column this week! The Broken Arrow Skyrace made Olympic Valley, California the place to be this weekend, and the Western States 100 does the same next weekend. We talk about those two races below, and the Livigno Skymarathon, the Mount Washington Road Race, the Leadville Trail Marathon, and a bunch more. Happy Monday!

Broken Arrow Vertical K – Olympic Valley, California

Thanks to Raidlight for sponsoring this edition of TWIR!

Three days of Broken Arrow Skyrace contests–the Vertical K, 52k, and 26k–were competitive. (The weekend also included a 10k race, which isn’t covered in this column.) We’ll step through this the best way we know how, in chronological order. The weekend-opening Vertical K ran 5k in distance with a perfect 3,100 feet of elevation gain to its 8,881-foot finish.


Ryan Phebus, a new name to this column, but a name astutely called out in last week’s comments, took the men’s win in 41:16. He finished 31 seconds ahead of Michelino Sunseri. Third-place Eric Carter went all the way up in 42:15.

In town for next week’s Western States 100, François D’haene  (France) was fifth in 43:05.


Morgan Arritola repeated as women’s champ. This year’s 46:04 finish was over a minute better than in 2017. Racing for the first time since a horrific fall at Norway’s Tromsø Skyrace last August, Hillary Allen was a triumphant second in 46:28. 2017 U.S. Mountain Running Team member and Olympic Nordic skier, Caitlin Patterson,was third in 51:23.

Full results.

Broken Arrow Skyrace 52k – Olympic Valley, California

Saturday’s 52k gained 10,500 feet of elevation on its two laps. The race course twice touched the summit of the day prior’s Vertical K.


It was Jimmy Elam‘s birthday, and the rising star from Utah went big with a 4:54 victory and new course record. While on an upward trajectory, Elam’s next races look to be decidedly more low key–July’s Beaverhead Endurance Runs 100k in Idaho and the Grand Mesa Ultras 50-mile race in Colorado, also in July.

Nick Elson and Jeff Mogavero were second and third in 5:05 and 5:10. Both were coming back from recent FKTs–Elson on Half Dome, highlighted in this column below, and Mogavero on California’s Lost Cost Trail.

Other notable finishers included:

  • Jason Schlarb – 4th, 5:14
  • Mike Foote – 7th, 5:44
  • Jorge Maravilla – 15th, 6:07

Defending champion Tayte Pollman appears to have not started the race, likely in consideration of next week’s World Mountain Running Association Long Distance Championships in Poland. Several other names included in last week’s preview appear to have similarly scratched.


It wasn’t her birthday like it was for men’s winner Elam, but it was definitely Megan Kimmel’s day. She ran a victorious 5:30, cut 32 minutes from the course record set at last year’s run, and perhaps most impressively, placed fifth overall.

Megan Kimmel - 2018 Broken Arrow Skyrace 52k champion

Megan Kimmel, 2018 Broken Arrow Skyrace 52k champion. Photo: Broken Arrow Skyrace

Rea Kolbl, who we again point to a reader comment from last week, was second in 5:48. Kolbl is an expert-level obstacle-course racer. Race local Rory Bosio was third in 5:52.

Other notable finishers included:

  • Ladia Albertson-Junkans – 4th, 6:03
  • Hillary Allen – 6th, 6:08

That’s right, Allen’s big comeback weekend included back-to-back strong races.

Much like the men’s race, the women’s too was thinned by a number of DNSes, most notably from Arritola.

Full results.

Broken Arrow Skyrace 26k – Olympic Valley, California

As with the Vertical K and 52k races, Sunday’s 26k too was part of the resurgent Skyrunner USA Series.


A needed $7.99 auto part kept Max King from getting to the race in time for Friday’s Vertical K, but he sufficiently redeemed himself by weekend’s end. King won the 26k race–and $1,250–in 2:09. He cut eight minutes from his own course record set at last year’s race.

Max King - 2018 Broken Arrow Skyrace 26k champion

Max King, 2018 Broken Arrow Skyrace 26k champion. Photo: Broken Arrow Skyrace

Cole Watson was second in 2:11, and Ryan Phebus, doubling back from the Vertical K, was third in 2:12.

Other notable finishers included:

  • Michelino Sunseri – 4th, 2:13
  • David Laney – 15th, 2:32


It was a weekend of course records and that trend held through the women’s 26k. Dani Moreno ran 2:36, nine minutes better than the record books.

Caitlin Patterson, yet another runner doubling back from the Vertical K, was second in 2:40, and Chris Lundy, last week’s big winner at the Dipsea Race, was third in 2:41.

Amelia Boone just missed the podium with a fourth-place 2:48.

Full results.

Livigno Skymarathon – Livigno, Italy

Part of the Skyrunner World Series, the Livigno Skymarathon ran 34k (21 miles) with 2,750 meters (9,000 feet) of elevation gain. The terrain was, as you’d expect, very technical and even included some via-ferrata sections.


Petter Engdahl (Sweden), Pascal Egli (Switzerland), and David Sinclair (USA) leapfrogged throughout the race before the order shook out on the race’s final downhill. Engdahl prevailed in 3:33, followed by Egli in 3:38 and Sinclair a minute later.

Petter Engdahl - 2018 Livigno Skymarathon champion

Petter Engdahl, 2018 Livigno Skymarathon champion. Photo: Skyrunner World Series

Other notable finishers included:

  • Marc Casal Mir (Andorra) – 4th, 3:40
  • Ruy Ueda (Japan) – 8th, 3:52
  • Finlay Wild (U.K.) – 10th, 3:52


Laura Orguè (Spain) went wire to wire at the front of the women’s race, and handed Ragna Debats (Netherlands) a rare but decisive defeat. Orgué won in 4:10, holding off, not Debats, but instead a fast-closing Sheila Aviles (Spain). Just 34 seconds separated the two at the finish.

Laura Orgue - 2018 Livigno Skymarathon champion

Laura Orgue, 2018 Livigno Skymarathon champion. Photo: Skyrunner World Series

Other notable finishers included:

  • Lina El Kott Helander (Sweden) – 4th, 4:22
  • Holly Page (U.K.) – 5th, 4:24
  • Ragna Debats (Netherlands but lives in Spain) – 6th, 4:27
  • Oihana Azkorbebeitia (Spain) – 7th, 4:32
  • Sanna El Kott Helander (Sweden) – 8th, 4:35

Full results.

The next Skyrunner World Series event is next week’s Olympus Marathon in Greece.

Mount Washington Road Race – Pinkham Notch, New Hampshire

They say it’s only one hill, but the Mount Washington Road Race climbs sharply to its 6,288-foot summit over 7.6 miles.


Cesare Maestri, a 24-year-old Italian, pulled away from Eric Blake halfway up and won in 1:00:53. Maestri became the first European to win the race.

Blake, both a several-time champ and several-time runner-up, was second in 1:01:53. Sage Canaday was third in 1:03:11

Other notable finishers included:

  • Andy Wacker – 4th, 1:04:28
  • Simon Gutierrez – 6th, 1:11:34


Kim Dobson is now five for five on trips up the hill. Dobson’s fifth win in as many tries came in 1:11:42.

Heidi Caldwell and Shelley Doucet earned their podium finishes in 1:14:55 and 1:16:29, respectively.

Other notable finishers included:

  • Kasie Enman – 4th, 1:16:55
  • Kim Nedeau – 7th, 1:19:57
  • Laura Haefeli – 8th, 1:20:46

Full results.

Leadville Marathon and Heavy Half Marathon – Leadville, Colorado


With a few more races on the calendar, Chris Mocko expects to be in Leadville a lot this summer. First though was the Leadville Marathon and Mocko unseated perennial champ and race local Timmy Parr. Mocko was a quick 3:38, and Parr’s best on the day was a second-place 3:45.

Caleb Schiff was third in 3:54, the day’s only other sub-four-hour finisher.

The race also marks the start of the Leadman series of races, a group of events that culminates with the Leadville Trail 100 Mile. Dave Mackey‘s heroic pursuit of that big buckle got underway with a strong 4:52 finish.

In the accompanying Heavy Half Marathon race, Alex Willis led everyone in 1:59.


It took a sub-five-hour run to get on the women’s podium. Elizabeth Helland was way out in front in 4:34, and Brittany Chelius and Lisa Isom followed in 4:54 and 4:59, respectively.

Tess Amer won the women’s Heavy Half Marathon in 2:12, a time that placed her third overall and lopped five minutes off the previous course best.

Full results.

Mozart 100k – Salzburg, Austria


The Mozart 100k doesn’t carry the same weight as other Ultra-Trail World Tour races, but it is a UTWT race nonetheless.

Florian Grasel gave the host country its first win on the long course. He finished in 10:26, barely three minutes in front of Damian Hall (U.K.). That pushed defending champ Alexander Rabensteiner (Italy) to third in 10:32. Just 13 minutes separated the top-five finishers.


Martina Trimmel (Austria) did her part to ensure an Austrian sweep at the pointy end of the race, winning in 11:57. And then Sarah Morwood (U.K.) and Veronika Limberger (Austria) got on the podium thanks to 12:12 and 12:21 runs.

Full results.

Other Races and Runs

Bighorn Trail Run

There was no tie this year! Gabe Joyes beat Jake Lawrence by four minutes to win the Bighorn Trail Run. The two adventurers finished in 20:57 and 21:02. Women’s best Yvonne Naughton completed the wild out-and-back in 27:44. Second-place Jameson Clover was not far back in 27:56. Full results.

Half Dome FKT

Four days before he raced to second place in the Broken Arrow Skyrace 52k, Nick Elson set a new FKT on the trip and up and down Half Dome, doing it in 2:03. Half Dome is an iconic 8,839-foot granite dome in California’s Yosemite National Park. Numerous routes of varying technical difficulty gain the summit, but Elson’s path appears to have been an offshoot of the descent used by the late Dean Potter in his previous 2015 FKT. Elson’s summit time was 1:20, making for a 43-minute descent. Full report.

Next Weekend – Lavaredo Ultra Trail – Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy

The 12th Lavaredo Ultra Trail runs as a giant 120k (74-mile) loop around the Dolomites. It is an Ultra-Trail World Tour event, and the international field shows it. This is far and away the most competitive edition of Lavaredo yet.


  • Pau Capell (Spain) – 2nd 2018 UTMF
  • Aurélien Collet (France) – 2nd 2018 Transgrancanaria
  • Fulvio Dapit (Italy) – 4th 2017 Lavaredo Ultra Trail
  • Scott Hawker (Australia) – 3rd 2017 Ultra-Trail Cape Town
  • Hayden Hawks (USA) – 3rd 2017 The North Face Endurance Challenge 50-Mile Championships
  • Stephan Hugenschmidt (Germany) – 10th 2016 IAU Trail World Championships
  • Michel Lanne (France) – 1st 2017 TDS
  • Paddy O’Leary (Ireland but living in the U.S.) – 5th 2017 TNF 50 Mile
  • Diego Pazos (Switzerland) – 9th 2017 Ultra-Trail Cape Town
  • Min Qi (China) – 1st 2018 Vibram Hong Kong 100k
  • Marcin Świerc  (Poland) – 17th 2018 IAU Trail World Championships
  • Tim Tollefson (USA) – 3rd 2017 UTMB


  • Clare Gallagher (USA) – 8th 2018 IAU Trail World Championships
  • Kathryn Götz (Switzerland) – 6th 2016 IAU Trail World Championships
  • Keely Henninger (USA) – 1st 2018 Lake Sonoma 50 Mile
  • Fernanda Maciel (Brazil) – 6th 2018 Transgrancanaria
  • Taylor Nowlin (USA) – 2nd 2018 Lake Sonoma 50 Mile
  • Beth Pascall (UK) – 4th 2018 Transgrancanaria
  • Núria Picas (Spain) – 1st 2017 UTMB
  • Darcy Piceu (USA) – 2nd 2017 Hardrock 100 Mile
  • Mira Rai (Nepal) – 2nd 2018 Vibram Hong Kong 100k
  • Emma Roca (Spain) – 2nd 2018 Penyagolosa Trails 108k
  • Amy Sproston (USA) – 8th 2018 Lake Sonoma 50 Mile
  • Kelly Wolf (USA) – 1st 2018 Tarawera Ultramarathons
  • Miao Yao (China) – 1st 2018 Vibram Hong Kong 100k

Full entrant list.

Next Weekend – World Mountain Running Association Long Distance Championships – Karpacz, Poland

It’s the 15th annual WMRA Long Distance Championships. The course runs 36k (22 miles) and gains 2,110 meters (6,922 feet) over rocky terrain.


2017 team winners Italy are always podium contenders. The U.S. was second last year and the Czech Republic third.

Pascal Egli (Switzerland), second in 2017, is the top returning finisher. He should be challenged by Ricky Lightfoot (U.K.), Tom Evans (U.K.), Joe Gray (USA), and 2017 third-placer Tayte Pollman (USA).

Also competing on the U.S. team are Anthony Costales, David Sinclair, and Andy Wacker.

The men’s field totals 175 runners.


The 59-woman-strong field includes 14 teams, up from 10 a year ago. As with the men, Italy is again typically favored. Individual defending champion Silvia Rampazzo (Italy) will return, and so too will 2017 bronze medalist Denisa Dragomir (Romania).

Other expectant challengers include Petra Tratnik (Slovenia), Dominika Stelmach (Poland), and Charlotte Morgan (U.K.).

The U.S. women’s team is led by 2017 sixth-place finisher Addie Bracy and also includes Ashley Brasovan, Renee Metivier, Sandi Nypaver, and Kathryn Ross.

Full entrant list.

Next Weekend – Western States 100 – Olympic Valley, California

The Western States 100 takes place next weekend in California’s Sierra Nevada. iRunFar is on the way along with a passel of fast men and women as well as the traditional June heat. The rest of us should get the popcorn ready because it’s going to be a show.

The iRunFar team has previewed the deep men’s and women’s fields, and both groups have been debated in the comments. Most pollsters are expecting a François D’haene versus Jim Walmsley showdown, but a 100-mile race never runs without drama, and that’s where Jared HazenMario Mendoza, and Didrik Hermansen (Norway) could enter the scene.

Women’s defending champion Cat Bradley has withdrawn, but past winners Kaci Lickteig and Stephanie Violett will be there alongside likely challengers Courtney DauwalterAmanda Basham, and Kaytlyn Gerbin.

Call for Comments

Whew, that was a lot. There was a lot of big-time racing this weekend, and there’s a lot next weekend too. We know that means that many races around the globe didn’t fit inside this week’s column. Let’s hear about those races in the comments field below.

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.