This Week In Running: March 4, 2019

This Week in Running Justin Mock TWIRFifty kilometers cross country–and by that I mean two 50ks across the (U.S.) country–top this week’s bill. This week, we’re talking mostly about the Way Too Cool 50k in California and the Caumsett 50k in New York. It’s the first Monday in March!

Way Too Cool 50k – Cool, California

We’ve been saying it about a lot of races lately, but the 30th Way Too Cool 50k was really muddy too.


Pre-race favorite Anthony Costales delivered. He won in 3:17 and that time ranks seventh best ever here, despite the poor course conditions. Though limited to just this race and a 2018 Moab Red Hot 55k win, Costales is now undefeated at two ultramarathon goes. Guess what’s next? He’s signed up for next month’s Lake Sonoma 50 Mile.

Costales didn’t completely run away with it though and the top-four men were separated by just over five minutes. Gus Gibbs, third last year, was second this year and a minute better in 3:19, and Jeff Mogavero was third in 3:21. And, yes, both Gibbs and Mogavero are going to Lake Sonoma too.

The 2019 Way Too Cool 50k men’s podium (l-to-r); 2. Gus Gibbs, 1. Anthony Costales, and 3. Jeff Mogavero. Photo: NorCal Ultras

Drew Holmen, fifth here two years ago, was fourth in 3:22, and Benjamin Stout was fifth in 3:27.

The rest of the top 10 included:

  • Tyler Wolfe – 6th, 3:28
  • Cody Lind – 7th, 3:29
  • Patrick Reagan – 8th, 3:30
  • Reed Breuer – 9th,  3:30
  •  Connor Stauffer – 10th, 3:35


Clare Gallagher and Addie Bracy pushed to 3:53 and 3:54 finishes, respectively, with Gallagher just over a minute in front. Gallagher’s time, again despite the course’s significant mud and standing water, ranks 11th-best ever here.

Third-place Anne-Marie Madden finished in 4:00. To keep the theme going, each of those lead-three females will next be at Lake Sonoma too. Rematch city!

The 2019 Way Too Cool 50k women’s podium (l-to-r); 2. Addie Bracy, 1. Clare Gallagher, and 3. Anne-Marie Madden. Photo: NorCal Ultras

Ultra debutante EmKay Myers was fourth in 4:04 and Camelia Mayfield was fifth in 4:06.

Running out the top 10 included:

  • Brittany Peterson – 6th, 4:14
  • Celia Stockwell – 7th, 4:32
  • Jenny Comiskey – 8th, 4:33
  • Abby Levene – 9th, 4:42
  • Michelle Mead – 10th, 4:50

Full results.

Caumsett 50k – Lloyd Harbor, New York

The Caumsett 50k was again the USATF 50k Road National Championships, though you wouldn’t know it from the USATF’s national championship calendar. In both the men’s and women’s races, the race for the win came down to last-lap shake-ups on this 10 x 5k loop course.


He’s been a winner at this event before, back in 2015, and he did it again. Zach Ornelas crossed the line to win in 2:50. Second was 2:16 marathoner Austin Bogina, who led all race before fading in the last 5k to finish 53 seconds off the lead. Derrick Hamel rounded out the men’s podium with a 2:54.

Zach Ornelas, 2019 Caumsett 50k champion. Photo: USA Ultrarunning


Elizabeth Northern is a name that’s been in this TWIR column just once when she ran what we think was her only previous ultra, a 3:21 win at the 2016 Cow Town 50k. Like the men’s champion, Northern moved into the lead on the final lap to take the win in 3:24. Tara Richardson, who had led or co-led most of the race, ultimately took second with a 3:31. Lauren Dorsky was third in 3:54.

Full results.

Elizabeth Northern, 2019 Caumsett 50k champion. Photo: USA Ultrarunning

Other Races and Runs

No Man’s 50k

The first-year women-only No Man’s 50k in Virginia had 23 finishers, and Mariska Kramer was first in 5:40. Full results.

Austin Taylor Challenge 50k

John French and Molly Freeman won Georgia’s Austin Taylor Challenge 50k in 4:50 and 5:13, and for Freeman it was a new course record. She was second overall too. Full results.

Griffith Park Trail 50k

Southern California’s famous Griffith Park hosted its namesake Griffith Park Trail 50k and Oswaldo Hurtado raced to a 3:41 victory. The top-three men all finished under 3:50. Diane Burgin won for the ladies in 5:04. Full results.

Carl Touchstone Memorial Mississippi Trail 50 Mile and 50k

In the Carl Touchstone Memorial Mississippi Trail 50 Mile and 50k, taking place in Mississippi, Rhea Loney came out as the both the women’s winner and the first finisher overall. She crossed the line in 7:32. Arrmon Abedikichi won the men’s race in 7:45. In the 50k event, Anthony Desalvo and Melissa Auld were winners in 4:19 and 5:23 respectively. Full results.

Fontandango 50 Mile and Buzzard Bait 50k 

Taking place out of the famous Fontana Dam in North Carolina, Luke Bollschweiler won the Fontandango 50 Mile completely unchallenged in a course-record 7:49–there were no other finishers for two hours after him! Jessica Solomon was the women’s winner in 10:49. In the simultaneous Buzzard Bait 50k, Sam Reed won the men’s race in 4:34, while Tara Jordan brought home the women’s win with a shiny new course record of 5:46. Full results.

Wallace Falls Trail Run 50k

The Wallace Falls Trail Run 50k went off for its second year in Washington state, and Alexander Kappes won the men’s race with an out-front 5:56. In the women’s race, Van Phan was alone at the front as well, finishing in 7:21. Full results.

Happy Chinese New Year 50 Mile 

The Happy Chinese New Year 50 Mile fat ass in California was supposed to fire off in mid-February, closer to the actual Chinese New Year, but was delayed due to heavy rain. Well, it rained heavily this past weekend, too, but the fat ass went on anyway. There were just nine finishers, and Ge Jin won for the men in 10:11 and Na Li finished first for the women in 10:26. Full results.

Tinajas Ultra and Trail Relay

Part of the Tejas Trails family in Texas, the Tinajas Ultra and Trail Relay hosted 100k and 50k events, among other shorter distances. In the 100k, Anthony Jacobs was the far-and-away winner in 9:50, an hour ahead of second place. Tory Gullo won for the women in 13:10, her margin of victory even wider at almost three hours. In the 50k, Joe Schmal and Michelle Leong won in 4:15 and 5:33, respectively. Full results.

Conquer the Rock 50k

The Conquer the Rock 50k ran this weekend in South Carolina. William Harrison was the men’s champion in 5:45, and Shannon Howell was the women’s winner in 6:35. Full results.

Red Mountain 50k

Ryan Smith and Ashley Paulson took top honors at Utah’s Red Mountain 50k, both setting course records in respective 4:10 and 5:16 finishes. There are several Ryan Smiths in our sport and this one is 33 years old and looks to hail from Lafayette, Colorado. [Editor’s Note, added March 4, 8:45 a.m.: It looks as if Ashley Paulson has previously served a six-month doping sanction, in 2015 and 2016, due to a doping violation in triathlon. It’s iRunFar policy to mention previous doping sanctions when covering an athlete.]  Full results.

Lenape Trail Run 34 Mile 

New Jersey’s Lenape Trail Run 34 miler saw Michael Postaski win the men’s race in 5:14. Angelica Lerro is shown as the women’s winner in 8:56, and just 24 seconds in front of second place Vanessa Kline. Does anyone have insider intel on how that close women’s race played out? Full results.

Old Pueblo Endurance Runs

Ahhhh, old school. Dating back to 1985, the Old Pueblo Endurance Runs, with its 75 miler, 50 miler, and 25 miler, took place on Saturday in Arizona. Results were still outstanding at the time of this publishing but social media indicates Sion Lupowitz won the men’s 50 mile in 7:51. If you have more results to share, leave a comment. Thanks! Full results (when available).

Call for Comments

  • Questions, ideas, feedback? That’s what the comments section is for!
  • Leave a comment to share results from a race we didn’t cover this week, or to share insider information from a race we did cover and that you were at. Thanks!
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 20 comments

  1. SteelTownRunner

    Caumsett this year was the first time to my knowledge that five men in a US race finished 50 km in under 3 hours.

    1. Meghan Hicks

      Bill, thanks for letting us know about Ashley Paulson’s previous doping sanction in triathlon. I didn’t know of it until now, and since it appears like the same Ashley Paulson, we’ve updated the text as per iRunFar policy to note her previous sanction.

    2. SageCanaday

      There’s hardly any testing in trail ultras….much harder to catch people (but the advantages are there).
      PEDs have also been shown to give long-term benefits to training and performance in endurance races. #cleansport

  2. Jeremy

    According to social media, Kevin Schofield and Brigid Pickett won the Old Pueblo 25 miler. Can’t find anybody on Strava claiming to be the first place female in the 50.

  3. Molly Freeman

    Thanks for mentioning the Austin Taylor Challenge! It’s a small race but hopefully growing. Its a wonderful cause to support – very meaningful to run thinking of kids who have battled or are currently battling cancer.

  4. Ronan

    Is there any testing while serving a doping ban? We assume getting caught implies they immediately stop taking PEDs… That + the long term benefits means race organizers should not let them compete since they’re only banned 6 months.

  5. Ryan

    A few notes on NJ’s Lenape Run:

    The race was held in four inches of fresh snow which had fallen overnight. With a high of 40 degrees, the snow slowly melted and turned the course into a sloppy mess by the middle of the day.

    Michael Postaski’s winning time was the 3rd fastest in the ten year history of the race, which is extremely impressive considering the conditions and the fact that the course was lengthened by a mile this year.

    I believe the top two ladies ran in a group for most of the race and then separated shortly before the finish. This was the longest race that the 20-year-old winner Angelica Lerro has ever run!

    1. John Swanson

      It was a beautiful day on the trails with great views. This was my first time running the Lenape trail, It was low key and very laid back. The RD had some snacks for us on course and at the finish where we could just log our over watch time on a clip board. Many of us got lost here and there as the mileages varied. I had 38 plus… I finished with Vanessa and Angelica who are both really strong runners and Vanessa was waiting for me the last few so we could finish together. Vanessa finished only seconds ahead of Angelica but that was not the intent just to get it done and have a beer and some food. I met some really cool trail runners from the area and the biggest notable mention is my friends who finished their first ultra on a challenging course due to weather and finding the course markings. It was a great day! Thanks to the RD for scheduling the Fat ass event. John Swanson

  6. Tropical John

    Mario Mendoza won the Taiwania Ultra Trail 100km in Taiwan in a time of 8:26:39. Tight battle with a local runner (name unknown to me) until Medoza pulled away in the last few kilometers.

  7. Brian Haviland

    The Iditarod Trail Invitaional started last Sunday, February 24th, and is still in process. Racers were given a 7 day head start before the world famous dog mushing race kicked off yesterday.
    In the 150 mile foot division, Maren Bradley was first to arrive at Rainy Pass Lodge in the Alaska Range in 2:23:06 (all times are in days:hours:minutes). First male finisher was Mandfred Krause in 3:00:38.
    In the 350 mile race, Rob Henderson arrived first in the remote interior village of McGrath in 5:07:02. No female racers remain in the race in the foot division, although Rebecca Rusch and Janice Tower put up fast times on the bike.
    In the thousand mile race to Nome, only 4 competitors remain on foot and with the current leader only 322.8 miles into the 1000 mile journey, it will be sometime before the first finisher passes under the famed burled arch in Nome, Alaska.

    I’m gleaning this info from the Race Site’s tracking board rather than an official finishers list, so if my reporting is in error, please comment.

  8. Paul

    Ashley Paulson was found to have taken a contaminated supplement. Of course athletes need to know what they are taking and be held accountable. She has served her suspension for what appears to be an inadvertent violation.

    Personally, I’m willing to forgive in this situation. (assuming the account above is accurate)

    1. SageCanaday

      Must have been one heck of a supplement (or somebody contaminated it intentionally….often a tactic used by cyclists when they know they are going to be busted). It was a SARM AKA “ANABOLIC AGENT”:

      From USADA: ” SARMs have been prohibited by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) since 2008. SARMs have the potential to be misused for performance enhancement in sport due to their anabolic properties as well as ability to stimulate androgen receptors in muscle and bone. They are currently prohibited at-all-times in the category of “other anabolic agents.”

      She only got a slap on the wrist with a 6 month ban…….EPO at least gets you a 2-year ban usually (still a slap on the wrist in my opinion). Top level sponsored athletes have no excuses. Ultimately they are cheating themselves but they could be stealing significant prize money, sponsorship and podium spots from actual clean, hard working athletes. At the top level they steal Olympic dreams and alter careers. At the core culture, shouldn’t this tough and grueling sport reward honest hard work and integrity? No shortcuts…and certainly no cutting courses!

  9. Ben

    Ashley Paulson was also found to have cut the course at a half marathon in November of last year. She accepted third place, claimed she passed multiple runners who said they never saw her pass them back in the last 5K, and only later revealed she must have mistakingly went off course. Yet she still cites it as her half-marathon PR because she claims to have run 12.96 miles. You can check her Instagram for the play-by-play and the good ol’ letsrun message boards.

  10. JacobsA

    Yep Paulson has a pretty dubious past, between the failed drug test, along with course cutting. For what it’s worth, it looks like she also has support from certain trail running brands.

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