This Week In Running: March 6, 2023

This Week In Running’s trail and ultra recap for March 6, 2023.

By on March 6, 2023 | Comments

This Week in Running Justin Mock TWIRCall it a big three — the Way Too Cool 50k, the Jackpot Ultrarunning Festival, and the ISMF Ski Mountaineering World Championships — and then a bunch of smaller U.S. races this week. That’s what we’ve got for “This Week In Running.”

Way Too Cool 50k – Cool, California

The Way Too Cool 50k went off for its 33rd year on an almost entirely singletrack route while gaining 4,839 feet. This year’s edition featured race-day rain, lots of water, and plenty of mud.


Barely two minutes split the top three men. Craig Hunt escaped the group off the front for a 3:23 first-place finish. Hunt, aged 32 and the head cross-country coach at Coconino Community College in Flagstaff, Arizona, was second at the FOURmidable 50k race just two weeks ago. For perspective, Hunt’s finish was 10 minutes back of Tim Tollefson’s 2022 winning time.

Craig Hunt - 2023 Way Too Cool 50k - men's winner

Craig Hunt, the 2023 Way Too Cool 50k men’s winner. All photos: Way Too Cool 50k/Amy Classon

Ryan Becker and Christopher Myers followed in 3:24 and 3:25, respectively.

2023 Way Too Cool 50k men's podium

The 2023 Way Too Cool 50k men’s podium (l-to-r): 3. Christopher Myers, 1. Craig Hunt, 2. and Ryan Becker.


The men ran it pretty close, but the women did too. The first three women finished in quick succession.

Katherine Short hit the finish first in 4:03. Short, like men’s winner Hunt, is 32 years old and was fifth at this year’s Bandera 100k in January. And also, as with the men’s race, Short didn’t match the 2022 winning time when EmKay Sullivan ran 3:45.

Katherine Short - 2023 Way Too Cool 50k - women's winner

Katherine Short wins the 2023 Way Too Cool 50k women’s race.

Leah Yingling was only 51 seconds behind Short in second in 4:04, and Katie Asmuth chased to third in 4:07.

Full results.

Leah Yingling hugs Katherine Short

Second place Leah Yingling (blue top and grey shorts) hugs winner Katherine Short at the finish of the 2023 Way Too Cool 50k.

Jackpot Ultrarunning Festival – Las Vegas, Nevada

USATF 100-Mile Road National Championships

Things got going in Sin City on Friday on a 1.17-mile loop. There was a $4,000 cash purse with $1,200 to each winner. This year’s race lacked some of the star power of prior years.

Jonah Backstrom, age 49, edged Zach Merrin at the top of the card. Backstrom ran 14:11, and Merrin followed in 14:48.

Backstrom was fourth at last year’s race in 14:10, and Merrin was earlier fourth at the 2020 Tunnel Hill 100 Mile in 13:25.

Pete Kostelnick was third in 15:47.

Pre-race favorite Zach Bitter folded from the race early, just before reaching halfway.

Local runner Sierra DeGroff turned in a royal flush and won the women’s race in 15:59. Lisa Cabiles and Heather Huggins ran 16:42 and 17:09 for the next podium positions.

Other Race Distances

Jordan Camastro and Sarah Mirey won the six-hour fixed-time race with 41 and 39 miles.

Twelve-hour leaders Wyatt Hockmeyer and Allison Cromwell totaled 62 and 53 miles, respectively.

Over 24 hours, Tim Higham and Ellen Lagerman racked up 122 and 87 miles.

Jeff Garmire and Rachel Entrekin ran 200 and 190 miles at the top of the 48-hour race.

Fifty-mile winners David Drebsky and Michelle Hurn finished in 9:23 and 7:56.

And in the separate non-USATF national championships 100-mile race, it was Joel Gartenberg and Erin Maruoka winning in 19:51 and 22:20, respectively.

Full results.

ISMF Ski Mountaineering World Championships – Boí Taüll, Spain

European ski mountaineering races always feature so many names familiar to trail running that we like to share some of them in our weekly round-ups.


Rémi Bonnet (Switzerland) led Matteo Eydallin (Italy) and Robert Antonioli (Italy) with 1:20, 1:22, and 1:22 finishes. The first American was Christopher Jones in 40th and 1:40.

Axelle Mollaret (France) took the women’s crown in 1:17, and Alba De Silvestro (Italy) and Giulia Murada (Italy) finished on the podium too, both in 1:20. Rea Kolbl (U.S.) was the top American in 18th and 1:29.


Both Bonnet and Mollaret won the Vertical race, too, this time in 21:54 and 26:22.

Bonnet was pursued closest by Maximilien Drion Du Chapois (Belgium) and Gedeon Pochat Cottilloux (France) in 22:54 and 23:05. Art Whitehead was the first American in 41st and 27:19.

Mollaret’s chasers were Sarah Dreier (Austria) and, again, De Silvestro, and they finished in 26:55 and 27:22, respectively. Kolbl, of the U.S., was 19th this time in 30:59.

Full results.

Additional Races and Runs

Monument Valley Ultra – Monument Valley, Utah

Timberlin Henderson squeaked under the seven-hour mark with 11 seconds to spare while winning the 50 miler. Women’s best Michelle Geib finished in 10:00. Fifty-kilometer winners Jason Schlarb and Mimmi Kotka (Sweden, lives in France) won in 4:25 and 4:42. Half-marathon winners Justin Ricks and Ida Nilsson (Sweden, lives in Norway) clocked 1:30 and 1:37 finishes. Full results.

Red Mountain 55k – St. George, Utah

Caleb Olson and Sarah Cummings were victorious in 4:13 and 5:06. Full results.

Naked Bavarian 40 Mile – Leesport, Pennsylvania

The race was run as a double lollipop, and Mitchell Spittle and Vilma Valaitiene did it the fastest in 5:54 and 6:56. Full results.

No Man’s 50k – Triangle, Virginia

The all-women’s race saw 28 finishers, with Amy Buesseler winning in 5:10. Full results.

Music City Trail Ultra 50k – Pegram, Tennessee

A small field of 43 finishers was led by Sam Harvey (New Zealand) and Anna Curtis in 4:46 and 6:30. Full results.

Foothills Ultra 50k – Pickens, South Carolina

In the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Drew Welch and Shannon Howell ran two loops to get to 50k in 6:18 and 6:53. Full results.

Ozark Highlands 50k – Norfork, Arkansas

This one was pretty small, too, with just 25 finishers. Justin Stewart and Sarah Mercer got to the finish first in 4:17 and 5:44, respectively. Full results.

Call for Comments

“Tramps like us, baby, we were born to run.” I caught Bruce Springsteen in concert last week. What’s jamming in your head right now?

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.