This Week In Running: March 9, 2020

This Week In Running’s trail and ultra recap for March 9, 2020.

By on March 9, 2020 | Comments

This Week in Running Justin Mock TWIRA lot of races around the world are being postponed or outright cancelled, but wow, a lot still happened this weekend too, particularly in the American southeast! Check out results from France’s Trail du Ventoux and California’s Way Too Cool 50k, and look at the top entrants for next weekend’s Pioneer Spirit 50 Mile USATF 50-Mile Trail National Championships in this week’s rundown.

Transgrancanaria – Gran Canaria, Spain

Transgrancanaria was the year’s third Ultra-Trail World Tour contest, and the biggest of the three so far. iRunFar was there with live coverage, including pre- and post-race interviews.


Pau Capell (Spain) is really good, and really good on this course. He won for the fourth year in a row, but perhaps surprisingly, finished alongside Pablo Villa (Spain) in a 13:04 gentlemanly first-place tie. Dylan Bowman (USA) advanced through the field throughout to finish third in 13:40.

Deeper results are included separately.

The event included several other race distances and in the 65k advanced race, Alejandro Guzman (Spain) upset Jordi Gamito (Spain) and Tòfol Castanyer (Spain). The three finished in 5:57, 6:04, and 6:09.

2020 Transgrancanaria - Pablo Villa - Pau Capell - finish

Pablo Villa and Pau Capell after tying for the win at the 2020 Transgrancanaria. Photo: iRunFar/Bryon Powell


2019 runner-up Kaytlyn Gerbin (USA) reeled in early leader Azara García (Spain) and stayed ahead of Fuzhao Xiang (China) to win this year’s race in 15:14. Xiang was second in 15:25 and García held on to third in 15:31. Just less than 17 minutes separated the three leading women.

Maryline Nakache (France) was best over the 65k race in 6:57. Second- and third-place Petra Kindlund (Sweden) and Ester Gonzalez (Spain) followed in 7:17 and 7:26. The women’s marathon race was hot too with Anna Comet (Spain) minutes in front of Eli Gordón (Spain) and Gemma Arenas (Spain). Three finished in 3:35, 3:38, and 3:42, respectively.

Full results.

2020 Transgrancanaria - Kaytlyn Gerbin

Kaytlyn Gerbin after winning Transgrancanaria 2020. Photo: iRunFar/Bryon Powell

Trail du Ventoux – Bédoin, France

The 46k Trail du Ventoux race was again the year’s opener for the French national sub-section of the Golden Trail Series.


Just like Capell at Transgrancanaria, Marc Lauenstein (Switzerland) won for the fourth-straight year too. Lauenstein’s probably a gentleman too, but there would be no ties here, and he edged past Nicolas Martin (France) by 12 seconds. Both finished in 3:37.

Ludovic Pommeret (France) was third in 3:44, though perhaps tied with Thomas Cardin (France) as both show the same finish time.

The deep field included several other familiar names:

  • Sylvain Court (France) – 7th, 3:50
  • Andy Symonds (U.K.) – 11th, 3:56


The women’s lead trio weren’t as closely packed, and Camille Bruyas went off the front for a 4:31 win. Second- and third-place Ariane Wilhelm and Rene Cardinals finished in 4:48 and 5:04.

Full results (when available).

Way Too Cool 50k – Cool, California


Darren Thomas escaped Justin Grunewald to win the Way Too Cool 50k in 3:18. The time matched Max King‘s 2018 winning time, to the second, and ranks ninth-best ever at the long-time race. Thomas was second at November’s The North Face Endurance Challenge 50-Mile Championships when then living in Colorado. He’s now in California, though in the state’s south and opposite from Way Too Cool.

Grunewald was second in 3:21, and was 50 seconds better than third-place Anthony Fagundes.

Fourth- and fifth-place Ryan Becker and Gus Gibbs finished in 3:24 and 3:26, respectively.


Ultra debutante Kimber Mattox won the women’s race in 3:49. She’s a former University of Oregon steeplechaser and past U.S. mountain running champion, and her finish ranks eighth-best ever at Way Too Cool.

No other woman finished under four hours, but Caroline Coble and Lindsay Allison were second and third in 4:08 and 4:12, and Jane Maus and Celia Stockwell were fourth and fifth in 4:19 and 4:22, respectively.

Full results.

Additional Races and Runs

Montana de Oro 50k

Jesse Haynes won the central California Montana de Oro 50k in 4:38. Women’s winner Mara Niesyt, age 20, came home in 5:42, the race’s sixth-fastest finish ever. Full results.

LA Marathon

Ruperto Romero runs roads too. The 56-year-old ran a quick 2:46 at the LA Marathon. Full results.

Siuslaw Dunes Trail Run 50k

It was the first-ever Siuslaw Dunes Trail Run 50k in Oregon on a wild out-and-back course that included sand dunes (of course), thick forest trails, and a river crossing by boat. Race winners were Peter Kesting and Lindsey Ulrich in 4:14 and 5:19. Full results.

Mesquite Canyon 50 Mile

Aravaipa Running’s Mesquite Canyon 50 Mile in Arizona crowned Matthew Warriner and Holly Hovious champs in 9:03 and 11:51. Arrick Nietert and Angela Shartel won the 50k race in 4:32 and 5:40. Full results.

Super Bull Trail Championships 50k

Wins at Ohio’s fourth Super Bull Trail Championships 50k went to Zach Merrin and Andrea White in 4:13 and 5:39. Full results.

Chattanooga 100 Mile

Run Bum’s third Chattanooga 100 Mile had a new course that went out from Chattanooga, Tennessee, across the state line to Georgia’s Cloudland Canyon State Park, and then back. Michael Poole and Julija Soryte led in 20:15 and 22:18, and Michael Conkel and Janessa Taylor won the 50-mile race in 6:28 and 6:47. Full results.

Julija Soryte, 2020 Chattanooga 100 Mile champion. Photo: Run Bum

Carl Touchstone Memorial Mississippi Trail 50 Mile1

It was the 24th year for the Carl Touchstone Memorial Mississippi Trail 50 Mile race, on a multi-loop course. Walker Higgins topped everyone in 6:49, and Melissa Auld and Bettina Lemons both finished in 10:27 and ahead of the rest of the women. Zachary Vogt and Gennipher Ricks won the 50k race in 4:03 and 5:29. Full results.

Foothills Ultra 50k

There are two loops to South Carolina’s Foothills Ultra 50k and it tops Pinnacle Mountain, the state’s second-highest point at 3,415 feet. Mark Brose won the men’s race in 5:30, and Stacy McMurtrey beat the women in 6:36. Full results.

Mill Stone 50k

Also in South Carolina, the Mill Stone 50k turned eight, and turned Daniel Mahler and Anne Ruthenbeck into winners in 4:36 and 5:23. Full results.

Gate River Run 15k

Jacksonville, Florida’s Gate River Run 15k is the longtime USATF 15k Road National Championships, and Andy Wacker finished 13th in 45:56. Full results.

Swamp 100k

Seriously, it was a big weekend of racing in the southeast. Florida’s Swamp 100k had four race distances up to 100k. On that long course, Jake Rankinen and Amy Bukszpan won in 13:20 and 16:32, and over 50k, Steven Lutjens and Kathleen Shoda led in 5:32 and 7:11. Full results.

Next Weekend – Pioneer Spirit 50 Mile – Folsom, California

It’ll be the seventh year for the Pioneer Spirit 50 Mile, but its first as the USATF 50-Mile Trail National Championships. $1,000 will go to each of the race winners with prize money stretching five deep.


  • Matt Daniels – 4th 2019 Western States 100
  • Christian Gering – 1st 2019 Javelina 100k
  • Kallin Khan – 1st 2020 Caumsett 50k
  • Max King – 1st 2020 Hagg Lake 50k
  • Sergio Morales – 1st 2019 Pioneer Spirit 50 Mile
  • Tim Tollefson – 1st 2020 FOURmidable 50k


  • Olivia Amber – 1st 2019 Quad Dipsea 28.4 Miler
  • Kenzie MacPhail – 3rd 2020 FOURmidable 50k
  • Denali Strabel – 5th 2019 Broken Arrow Skyrace 26k
  • Devon Yanko – 1st 2020 Jed Smith 50k
  • Anna Zielaski – 3rd 2019 American River 50 Mile

Full entrant list.

Other Race News

Coronavirus cancellations are happening fast, and this is far from an exhaustive list.

  • Italy’s Pierra Menta ski mountaineering race, the largest race of its kind in the world, was cancelled.
  • March’s Barcelona Marathon was postponed until October.
  • Late March’s World Half Marathon championships in Poland were pushed back to October.
  • The March Rome Marathon has been abandoned for this year.
  • April’s Paris Marathon was rescheduled for October.
  • April’s Marathon des Sables stage race in Morocco was postponed until September 2020.
  • April’s Sea Otter Classic cycling festival in California was cancelled.

Call for Comments

  • Have you seen other events impacted by coronavirus, or has it impacted your personal training or racing?
  • What other results do you want to add to this week’s collection?
  • Can you share any stories from the sidelines of races we did cover?
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.