This Week In Running: June 3, 2019

This Week in Running Justin Mock TWIRThe Golden Trail Series and the Skyrunner World Series both had races this weekend, and so we’ve got coverage of all of Spain’s Zegama-Aizkorri Marathon and Portugal’s Madeira Sky Race, and a look at next week’s Comrades Marathon in South Africa. It’s Monday and we’re happy to be here!

Zegama-Aizkorri Marathon – Zegama, Spain

Thanks to Hoka One One for sponsoring this week’s edition of TWIR!

The extra-technical Zegama-Aizkorri Marathon happened in record heat, so much so that finish times were slowed. And then of course it was the year’s first Golden Trail Series contest.


Eli Anne Dvergsdal (Norway), wow! It was the first time Dvergsdal has raced at Zegama, and her first time racing over 26k. She didn’t seem to mind the heat, either. The soccer player turned mountain runner won in 4:36 and finished just 1:39 off Maite Maiora‘s 2017 course record.

Elisa Desco (Italy) was a distant second in 4:47 and Amandine Ferrato (France) was third, also in 4:47 and only eight seconds behind Desco. From 2010 to 2012, Desco served a two-year ban from the IAAF after she tested positive for EPO at the 2009 World Mountain Running Championships.

Fourth- and fifth-place Gisela Carrion (Spain) and Oihana Kortazar (Spain) ran 4:49 and 4:52, respectively.

Eli Anne Dvergsdal on her way to winning the 2019 Zegama Marathon. Photo: Jordi Saragossa

The rest of the top 10 included:

6 – Yngvild Kaspersen (Norway) – 4:55
7 – Mercedes Pila (Ecuador) – 5:00
8 – Victoria Wilkinson (U.K.) – 5:04
9 – Oihana Azkorbebetia (Spain) – 5:06
10 – Megan Kimmel (USA) – 5:07

Other familiar finishers included:

11 – Maite Maiora (Spain) – 5:10
18 – Uxue Fraile (Spain) – 5:25
24 – Sandi Nypaver (USA) – 5:43


Kilian Jornet (Spain, but living in Norway) has been coming here since 2007, and won the race for a record ninth time. This year’s mark was 3:52, and that’s nine out of the last 13 years that Jornet has been on top. The only years missing from Jornet’s streak are 2009, 2017, and 2018 when he didn’t run and 2015 when he took 23rd with stomach problems right after returning from Nepal. He faced several early challengers this year but broke the race open before midway and ran off the front from there.

Bartłomiej Przedwojewski (Poland), third last year, was second in 3:55, and Thibaut Baronian (France) was third in 3:56.

Men’s course-record-holder Stian Angermund-Vik (Norway) ran 4:00 for fourth, and Alejandro Forcades (Spain) was fifth in 4:06.

Kilian Jornet wins the Zegama Marathon for the ninth time in 2019. Photo: Jordi Saragossa

The rest of the top 10 included:

6 – Oriol Cardona (Spain) – 4:07
7 – Manuel Merillas (Spain) – 4:08
8 – Alexis Sévennec (France) – 4:10
9 – Andy Wacker (USA) – 4:11
10 – Ander Iñarra (Spain) – 4:12

Other familiar finishers included:

12 – Petter Engdahl (Sweden) – 4:13
13 – Finlay Wild (U.K.) – 4:14
15 – Florian Reichert (Germany) – 4:15
17 – Hassan Ait Chaou (Spain) – 4:18
18 – Robert Krupička (Czech Republic) – 4:18
24 – Jackson Brill (USA) – 4:27
25 – Nick Elson (Canada) – 4:27

Full results.

The next Golden Trail Race is the June 30 Mont-Blanc Marathon in France.

Madeira Sky Race – Madeira, Portugal

The 55k (34 miles) Madeira Sky Race was the year’s fifth Skyrunner World Series contest, and it gained 4,000 meters (13,100 feet) on a course that required ropes and chains for safety.


Maria Koller (Germany) led wire to wire, sea to summit to sea, and won in 7:20. Although new to the world series, Koller previously competed on the German national team at World Mountain Running Association contests. Ekaterina Mityaeva (Russia) was second in 7:22, and Ester Casajuana (Spain) was third in 7:34.

Takako Takamura (Japan) and Roser Español (Spain) were fourth and fifth in 7:42 and 7:53, respectively.

Mityaeva gained points to move into the series’s top five, but the rest of the series leaders did not race here.

Maria Koller running toward her win of the 2019 Madeira Sky Race. Photo: Skyrunner World Series


Like the women’s finish, only two minutes separated the lead two men too. Pere Aurell (Spain) edged Beñat Marmissolle (France), 6:06 to 6:08. Daniel Jung (Italy) was a close third in 6:12, and Hannes Namberger (Germany) and Weston Hill (New Zealand) were fourth and fifth in 6:32 and 6:33.

Full results (when available).

The next Skyrunner World Series race is the June 15 Livigno Skymarathon in Italy.

Pere Aurell, 2019 Madeira Sky Race champion. Photo: Skyrunner World Series

Other Races and Runs

Cayuga Trails 50 Mile

Upstate New York’s Cayuga Trails 50 Mile race was again the USATF 50-Mile Trail National Championships, and Justyna Wilson and Drew Holmen are national champs thanks to 8:52 and 7:07 runs. Full results.

Golden Gate Dirty 30

Just west of Denver, Colorado, the Golden Gate Dirty 30 50k happens in under-appreciated Golden Gate Canyon State Park. Michelle Hiland won the women’s race in 5:53, and Ryan Smith topped the men’s group in 4:44. Kylee Van Horn and Tristan Myers won the accompanying 12-mile race in 2:08 and 1:52. Full results.

North Fork 50 Mile

About 50 miles south of Golden Gate Canyon State Park, Colorado’s North Fork 50 Mile race ran through much of the Buffalo Creek trail system, a personal go-to spot for me and my dogs. Fifty-mile winners were Jennifer Farmer and Zachary King in 8:58 and 7:19, and 50k winners were Ashlee Franklin and Gabe Joyes in 4:59 and 4:01. Joyes’s run was a new course record–by 18 minutes–for the 10-year-old race. Full results.

Old Dominion 100 Mile

U.S. 24-hour national team members Olivier Leblond and Rich Riopel went one-two at the 41st Old Dominion 100 Mile race in Virginia. Leblond finished in 16:56 and won for the second-straight year and fourth time, and Riopel, who just ran the Dawn to Dusk to Dawn 24-hour race three weeks ago, was second in 17:48. Serial 100-miler Kathleen Cusick won the women’s race. Full results (when available).

Red Devil Challenge 50k

The Western States 100 is coming up, and Kaytlyn Gerbin and Ladia Albertson-Junkans tuned up at Washington’s Red Devil Challenge 50k. Gerbin was credited with the win in 5:23, though Albertson-Junkans was clocked a single second behind. Third-place Maria Dalzot was barely behind too, in 5:24, and all three finished under the course record from last year’s inaugural run. The trio reportedly ran the race basically together, so can someone share how it ultimately finished? Men’s winner Adam Frye set a new course best too, running 5:09. Full results.

Kaytlyn Gerbin (right), Ladia Albertson-Junkans (middle), and Maria Dalzot running the 2019 Red Devil Challenge 50k. Photo: Tad Davis

Vashon Island Ultramarathon 50k

Vashon Island is the largest island in Washington’s Puget Sound, and its aptly named Vashon Island Ultramarathon 50k was won by Christine Mosley and Ben Brown in 4:20 and 3:23, respectively. Full results.

Wildhorse Traverse 50k 

British Columbia’s Wildhorse Traverse 50k is remote, point-to-point, and challenging–think, 2,000 meters (6,500 feet) of elevation gain challenging. It’s only in its second year and Emily Sabo and Alexandre Campbell, age 17, won in 5:43 and 5:10. Full results.

Dam Yeti 50 Mile

Two years in and Virginia’s Dam Yeti 50 Mile race has a pair of new course records. Amy Hamilton and Nicholas Budzyn won in 6:58 and 6:17, respectively. Full results.

Next Weekend – Comrades Marathon – Durban, South Africa

This year’s Comrades Marathon will be 89k (55 miles) ‘up’ from Durban to Pietermaritzburg, and just like always, it’s likely the year’s most competitive ultramarathon.


  • Ann Ashworth (South Africa) – 1st 2018 Comrades Marathon
  • Charne Bosman (South Africa) – 1st 2016 Comrades Marathon
  • Camille Herron (USA) – 1st 2017 Comrades Marathon
  • Tanith Maxwell (South Africa) – 4th 2018 Comrades Marathon
  • Donette Smith (South Africa) – 8th 2017 Comrades Marathon
  • Gerda Steyn (South Africa) – 2nd 2018 Comrades Marathon

Herron won the race’s last uphill edition (2017), but she was roughed up in April at the Lake Sonoma 50 Mile. If recovered and healthy from that outing, she’s the favorite.

6/3 Edit – Although on the entrant list, Devon Yanko (USA) will not start the race while recovering from the flu.


  • Henry Ansio (Finland) – 3rd 2018 Les Templiers
  • Geoff Burns (USA) – 12th 2018 Comrades Marathon
  • Sage Canaday (USA) – 15th 2015 Comrades Marathon
  • Anthony Clark (U.K.) – 8th 2018 IAU 100k World Championships
  • David Gatebe (South Africa) – 8th 2018 Comrades Marathon, 1st 2016 Comrades Marathon
  • Gift Kelehe (South Africa) – 1st 2015 Comrades Marathon
  • Ludwick Mamabalo (South Africa) – 4th 2017 Comrades Marathon
  • Joseph Mphuthi (South Africa) – 2nd 2018 Comrades Marathon
  • Bongmusa Mthembu (South Africa) – 1st 2018 and 2017 Comrades Marathon
  • Teboho Sello (South Africa) – 7th 2018 Comrades Marathon
  • Steven Way (U.K.) – 3rd 2018 Comrades Marathon

Up or down, Mthembu has won the race’s last two editions, and won the Two Oceans Marathon ultra in South Africa in April, too. He gets the favorite nod.

Full entrant list.

Next Weekend – Trail World Championships – Miranda do Corvo, Portugal

The 2019 Trail World Championships will be run on a 44-kilometer (27-mile) course with 2,200 meters (7,218 feet) of climbing in a loop from the town of Mirando do Corvo in Portugal.

In the women’s race, defending champion Ragna Debats (Netherlands) and last year’s second place Laia Cañes (Spain) return, and will be challenged by the likes of Ruth Croft (New Zealand), Charlotte Morgan (U.K.), Adeline Roche (France), and others.

In the men’s race, Spain’s Luis Alberto Hernando is the three-time defending champ and his countrymate, Cristofer Clemente, is the two-time defending runnerup. They will be challenged by a big group of men including Nico Martin and Ludovic Pommeret of France, Marco De Gasperi and Francesco Puppi of Italy, and so many more.

iRunFar is en route now, will provide coverage all week, and is previewing the race separately. The women’s and men’s previews are now live.

Call for Comments

We’re here for you, and listen to your comments! Whether a race is highlighted above or not, tell us about your weekend races.

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 33 comments

    1. Bryon Powell

      Nothing wrong with the images. As with many elements of the internet, there’s a visual indicator that you’ve selected that element of that webpage by hovering over it. If you were to click at that point, you’d pull the image forward and be able to view all the images in that article in gallery mode.

  1. Maria Dalzot

    Thanks for covering Run Wenatchee’s Red Devil 50k. The steamy temperatures served as great conditions for Kaytlyn and Ladia heading into Western States and it was my first run over 22 miles since November. Being friends, we naturally started running together as a pack. I led the first 9 miles to the aid station and then Kaytlyn led the long 8-mile climb to the high point. She wanted to practice an aggressive long descent to finish the race’s final climb in the heat on tired legs. Kaytlyn was running the strongest and was able to pull Ladia and me along. I lost contact with them on the crest of the final climb in the last mile. They finished together and I was a minute behind in third. When completed, my full race report will be posted on Thanks!

  2. rob goyen

    Toss out some love for the Canadian Carnivore Calum Neff who is also running Comrades. He was 2nd American last year in 2018.

      1. Bryon Powell

        Calum Neff is Canadian. American can refer to residents of the Americas, as well as to residents of the United States of America. Clearly in this case Rob’s talking about the larger geography.

  3. Kaci Lickteig

    Kettle Moraine 100M, 100K, 50K, and 38M fun run also happened this weekend. A terrific race in the Midwest and one I highly recommend. Jon Noll won the 100 mile in 16:17 and Stacy Buckley won in 20:44. Vishal Sahni won the 100K in 9:51 and Emily Wanless won in 10:54. John Schreier won the 50K in 4:11 and Jill Wojta won in 4:51. Alpert Rufin won the 38 mile “fun run” in 7:03 and Andrea Bennett won in 8:37. Full results are found here

  4. John Vanderpot

    Had a great day up at Bishop, they pay a lot of attention to detail and want you to have a good weekend, results are up at Negative Split Running…highly recommended if you’re looking for a summer-starter sub 100M…

  5. Andy M

    This weekend was the 3rd running of the Connecticut Ultra Traverse (CUT112), a 112-mile crossing of the state from the northern border with Mass to the CT shoreline in Guilford. Masterminded by Art Byram, it’s more a community-supported event than a race, though this year did draw 20 runners, which included three for only the first 100k which traverses the Metacomet Trail section. The route follows rocky ridgelines through the state, with about 16k vert. It’s a tough course: 8 of the 17 starters in the full CUT DNF’d. Stacey Clark and Michael Dolan were the first to walk into Long Island Sound in 31:16., and Michael Lo Presti was the first finisher in the 100k in 17:17. Kudos to all the runners and the entire CT trail community who made this a spectacular success.

  6. Brian Haviland

    Rosie Frankowski set new records at two Alaska Mountain Runner climbs in the past two weeks. Knoya Ridge (8.5k, 4300 ft gain) and Government Peak (3 miles, 3400 ft gain). A 2018 Olympic Nordic skier, Frankowski was first to the top at last years Mount Marathon, but couldn’t hold the lead to the bottom.
    Current Mount Marathon record holder David Norris also set a new record at Knoya Ridge on May 23rd.

  7. Graham King

    There’s a typo in “Red Devil Challenge 50k”: “Gerbin was credited with the win in 5:23, though Gerbin was clocked a single second behind.”

    And checkout the muscles on Pere Aurell! I’d buy the brand of gels he uses.

  8. Jason

    Kaci, saw you at Kettle pacing your mom. Congratulations to her! Not to many people get to finish a 100 and even less get to pace a parent…so cool :)

  9. Scouts 4 lyfe

    Very solid field in Pocatello, Idaho this past weekend at the Scout Mtn Ultras.

    Jeff Browning wins the 21 miler
    Clare Gallagher wins the 21 miler
    Ryan Ghelfi wins the 100 miler, misses the CR by 30 seconds. Jesse Haynes in 2nd

  10. JFrench

    Shout out to Calum Neff at Comrades. Based on his fitness he’s a top 15 finisher and a possible Gold Coin finisher. Disappointing that Desco was allowed to race and take second at Zegama – one doesn’t take EPO by accident and call it a mistake.

  11. Francisco

    Zegama is such an incredible race! So many fans, so much love on the climbs. Who would not want to race there? It reminds me a bit of the fervor in the Diagonale des Fous 100m. To those who have not, you should check out the videos on you tube, it is exceptional!
    Bryon, can you think of any other race that gathers so much enthusiasm? Sierre Zinal may be? Comrades for sure, but that is a different style… In fact, this is like the Alpes d’Huez on Tour de France!

Post Your Thoughts