This Week In Running: March 4, 2024

This Week in Running’s trail and ultra recap for March 4, 2024.

By on March 4, 2024 | Comments

This Week in Running Justin Mock TWIRThere was Skyrunning in shorts in Spain, and snowshoe running in tights in Spain too.

That was the best of the weekend, but we’ve got a roundup of other races too.

Acantilados del Norte Skyrace – La Palma, Spain

Another week, another big race in the Canary Islands. The 2024 Skyrunner World Series opened here on a 29-kilometer course with 2,250 meters of elevation gain. That’s 18 miles and 7,382 feet, and the race name translates as the northern cliffs.


Series newcomer Lide Urrestarazu (Spain) gained the lead 10k into the race and pushed to a 3:04 winning time. That was 22 minutes better than Ragna Debats’s former course record. This being its first year in the Skyrunner World Series, the race leveled up on competition.

Spanish runners took all of the women’s podium and six of the top 10 spots. Naiara Irigoyen and Oihana Kortazar were second and third in 3:06 and 3:10, respectively.

The full top five included:

  1. Lide Urrestarazu (Spain) – 3:04
  2. Naiara Irigoyen (Spain) – 3:06
  3. Oihana Kortazar (Spain) – 3:10
  4. Bailey Kowalczyk (U.S.) – 3:13
  5. Julia Font (Spain) – 3:13
2024 Acantilados del Norte Skyrace champion - Lide Urrestarazu

Lide Urrestarazu winning the 2024 Acantilados del Norte Skyrace. Photo: Skyrunner World Series/Guaresti


Race winner Roberto Delorenzi (Switzerland) led from the start and, as with the women’s winner, set a new course standard. Delorenzi finished in 2:31 and Manuel Merillas (Spain) closed hard to move into second in 2:34. Merillas was the former course record holder. Daniel Osanz (Spain) finished third in 2:36. Spanish men took seven of the top 10 overall finishes.

The top five included:

  1. Roberto Delorenzi (Switzerland) – 2:31
  2. Manuel Merillas (Spain) – 2:34
  3. Daniel Osanz (Spain) – 2:36
  4. Frédéric Tranchand (France) – 2:37
  5. Dimas Pereira (Spain) – 2:38

Full results.

The next Skyrunner World Series race is the April 6 Calamorro Skyrace, also in Spain.

2024 Acantilados del Norte Skyrace winner - Roberto Delorenzi

Roberto Delorenzi on his way to winning the 2024 Acantilados del Norte Skyrace. Photo: Skyrunner World Series/Guaresti

World Snowshoe Championships – Picos de Europa, Spain

The race was run in the Cantabrian Mountains in northern Spain on what must’ve been a 10k course.

Just 80 seconds separated the front three women in a close finish. Verónica Galván (Argentina) escaped with a 57:33 victory. Michelle Hummel (U.S.) and Georgina Gabarro (Spain) were second and third in 58:33 and 58:53, respectively.

Alex Baldaccini (Italy) got out front for a first-place 44:04 finish in the men’s race. Stephane Ricard (France) edged out Roberto Ruiz (Spain) for second, 45:54 to 46:03. The three gapped the field with fourth place over three minutes behind Ruiz. The first American man was 13th-place Eric Hartmark in 53:39.

Full results.

Additional Races and Runs

Motatapu Challenge Ultra – Queenstown, New Zealand

The 52k race traversed the ridges and valleys between Wanaka and Arrowtown. Crystal Brindle and Cameron Kerr, both of New Zealand, won in 7:48 and 6:27, and Ella McCartney (Australia) and Ben Gatting (New Zealand) won the trail marathon in 3:27 and 3:03. Full results.

2024 Motatapu Challenge Ultra winner - Cameron Kerr

Cameron Kerr running in first at the 2024 Motatapu Challenge Ultra. Photo: Motatapu Challenge/Spoke Magazine

Semi de Paris – Paris, France

The 2022 UTMB runner-up Mathieu Blanchard (France) ran 1:07:38 for 32nd place in the road half marathon. Full results.

Vaal Marathon – Vereeniging, South Africa

Comrades Marathon legend Gerda Steyn (South Africa) won the Vaal Marathon in 2:43. The race is named for its course along the Vaal River. Men’s winner Rory Scheffer (South Africa) ran 2:31. Full results.

Chena River to Ridge 55 Mile – Fairbanks, Alaska

Temperatures were recorded as -30 degrees Fahrenheit at the start. Wow. The race is run alongside bike and ski contests, but in the 55-mile foot race, in these conditions and on a course with 5,000 feet of elevation gain, race local Melissa Lewis was the only finisher in 11:37. Full results.

2024 Chena River to Ridge 55 Mile finisher - Melissa Lewis

Melissa Lewis on her way to finishing the 2024 Chena River to Ridge 55 Mile. Photo: Julian Dann

North Marin Ridge Run 50k – Lagunitas, California

Maya Bisineer and Timmy Schmidt led a small field in the third-year race in 6:48 and 5:17. Full results.

Monument Valley Ultra – Monument Valley, Utah

Stephanie Allen and Jason Schlarb won the 50k race in 6:08 and 4:16. Full results.

Red Mountain 50k – St. George, Utah

Ashley Paulson won the women’s race in 4:50, but perhaps it was meant to be a tie with Sarah Van Wart. The two finished a single second apart. Does anyone have intel on this finish? Men’s winner Caleb Olson was five minutes in front of everyone else in 3:52. If we count the December 28, 2023 Across the Years 100 Miler, both Paulson and Olson have had busy starts to the year. Paulson’s won two 100 milers and this 50k, and Olson’s been on the podium in two 50ks and a 55k so far this this year. Full results.

[Ashley Paulson served a six-month doping sanction, in 2015 and 2016, due to a doping violation in a triathlon for a positive test for ostarine, a selective androgen receptor modulator (SARM).]

Sierra Vista Trail Runs 50k – Las Cruces, New Mexico

A small field was led by Sari Stolp and Josh Torres in 5:19 and 4:25. Full results.

Music City Trail Ultra 50k – Pegram, Tennessee

Brooke Wanser and Michael Uhlig ran the fastest at 5:40 and 4:37. Full results.

Conquer the Rock 50k – Pickens, South Carolina

Race champs Petra Schober and Codie Pigott finished in 3:50 and 3:25. Full results.

Canceled – Way Too Cool 50k – Cool, California

A combination of high, fast-flowing creeks and the potential for falling trees in high winds forced the race’s cancellation.

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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.