This Week In Running: May 15, 2017

This Week In Running’s trail and ultra recap for May 15, 2017.

By on May 15, 2017 | Comments

This Week in Running Justin Mock TWIRNorthern Arizona University was on top of the trail running world this weekend. A pair of Lumberjack alumni swept the Transvulcania Ultramarathon Skyrunning race. Other highlights from the weekend include a big women’s race at the Quad Rock 50 Mile, and standout races from Max KingJackie Merritt, and Megan Roche, among others.

Transvulcania Ultramarathon – Canary Islands, Spain


There’s something good going on in Flagstaff! Tim Freriks (post-race interview) burst onto the scene in 2015 with a second-place finish at the Lake Sonoma 50 Mile (post-race interview). After that debut ultra though, Freriks has had tough times at races since then, most recently missing out on a prized Western States Golden Ticket after a big bonk at February’s Black Canyon 100k. Here though at the Transvulcania Ultramarathon, Freriks fulfilled that first promise and delivered a well-executed win. His 7:02 finish on the 74.3k course was over 16 minutes better than anyone else.

iRunFar was on site with live coverage and has provided separate coverage of the race.

Tim Freriks - 2017 Transvulcania Ultramarathon champion

Tim Freriks, 2017 Transvulcania Ultramarathon champion. Photo: iRunFar/Nacho Barranco Frías

The long list of world-class men’s talent is worthy of a full roll call.

2 – Ludovic Pommeret (France) – 7:18
3 – Zaid Ait Malek (Spain) – 7:26 (post-race interview)
4 – Nicolas Martin (France) – 7:28 (pre-race interview)
5 – Daniel Jung (Italy) – 7:35
6 – Hector Haines (U.K. but lives in Sweden) – 7:36
7 – Xavier Thévenard (France) – 7:39
8 – Dmitry Mityaev (Russia) – 7:40
9 – Jason Schlarb (U.S.) – 7:40
10 – Manuel Anguita Bayo (Spain) – 7:46
12 – Pau Capell (Spain) – 7:52
13 – Fulvio Dapit (Italy) – 7:52
18 – Tom Owens (U.K.) – 8:05
22 – Francesc Solé (Spain) – 8:08
23 – Xavier Teixido (Andorra) – 8:10
25 – Paddy O’Leary (U.S.) – 8:21
28 – Sam McCutcheon (Australia) – 8:24

The U.S.’s Hayden Hawks (pre-race interview) endured the first bad race of his ultra career, but still fought to finish. He was 75th in 9:16. Defending champion Luis Alberto Hernando (Spain) went short to comply with Spain’s racing restriction ahead of the Trail World Championships next month and was second in the vertical K and first in the marathon.


All trails go back to Flagstaff. Women’s winner, Sweden’s Ida Nilsson (pre-race and post-race interviews) preceded men’s winner Freriks at Northern Arizona University by a decade.

Nilsson dominated the women’s race with an 8:04 finish. The time marked a new course record, breaking Anna Frost‘s previous best from 2014, and made Nilsson a whopping 28-minute winner.

Ida Nilsson - 2017 Transvulcania Ultramarathon champion

Ida Nilsson, 2017 Transvulcania Ultramarathon champion. Photo: iRunFar/Nacho Barranco Frías

Much like the men’s race, the women’s roster too reads as a who’s who of international ultrarunning.

2 – Anne-Lise Rousset (France) – 8:32
3 – Hillary Allen (U.S.) – 8:38 (pre-race and post-race interviews)
4 – Ragna Debats (Netherlands) – 8:45
5 – Eva Mariá Moreda (Spain) – 9:03
6 – Andrea Huser (Switzerland) – 9:09
7 – Ekaterina Mityaeva (Russia) – 9:19
8 – Cassie Scallon (U.S.) – 9:22
9 – Sarah Vieulle (France) – 9:24
10 – Kristina Pattison (U.S.) – 9:31

13 – Elisabet Margeirsdottir (Iceland) – 9:59
14 – Zoe Salt (U.K.) – 10:10
20 – Stephanie Case (Canada) – 10:50
22 – Sonia Escuriola (Spain) – 10:56

Corrine Malcom (U.S.) dropped from the race at the 51k mark.

Full results.

The Transvulcania Ultramarathon was the second race of this year’s Skyrunner World Series, the first in the Sky Ultra division. The next race is the May 28 Zegama-Aizkorri Marathon in Spain, which is in the Sky Classic division. iRunFar will be there.

Quad Rock 50 Mile – Fort Collins, Colorado

Now a two-time winner and mult-time finisher, Jim Rebenack came back to win the 2017 Quad Rock 50 Mile. Despite the day’s hot temperatures, Rebenack ran 7:41, a time that ranks third-fastest ever at the six-year race. Dan Metzger and Gabe Joyes were second and third in 8:04 and 8:16, respectively.

Jim Rebenack - 2017 Quad Rock 50 Mile champion

Jim Rebenack, 2017 Quad Rock 50 Mile champion. Photo: Gnar Runners

Marianne Hogan scored a big win in the women’s race. Seeded fourth on my personal pre-race card, Hogan overtook a trio of women with more developed ultra credentials. Hogan’s sensational 8:29 was 30 minutes better than Becky Wheeler’s 2014 course best. Hogan was fifth overall, and was immediately followed by my women’s #2 and #3 picks. Kaci Lickteig was second in 8:37 and Anna Mae Flynn was third in 8:40. Natalie Berger was fourth in 9:38. Clare Gallagher was fifth in 9:45. This passel of five fast women were all in the top-13 overall.

Full results.

Marianne Hogan - 2017 Quad Rock 50 Mile champion

Marianne Hogan, 2017 Quad Rock 50 Mile champion. Photo: Gnar Runners

Ultra Race of Champions – Skylark, Virginia

Back to its roots on the Beast Coast, the seventh-year UROC 100k dished out $21,400 in cash money, including $5,000 to each of its men’s and women’s winners.

For the men, Chris Mocko keeps getting while the getting is good. Unabashedly racing his fifth ultra of the year, Mocko was the big winner in 8:56. Fellow Bay Area runner Jorge Maravilla was second in 9:16, and East Coast best Brian Rusiecki was third in 9:27.

Women’s winner Amanda Basham covered the Blue Ridge Mountains track in 11:09, and then jetted to China for her next race. Laura Kline and Emily Ansick were second and third in 11:54 and 12:29, respectively.

Full results.

Other Races

Smith Rock Ascent

Oregon’s Smith Rock Ascent 50k race saw Ryan Bak go for 3:32, winning by five minutes. Ian Sharman was fifth in 4:06. Women’s winner Kelly Quinn won big in 4:32. In the accompanying 15-mile race, Max King finished eight minutes in front of second-place Mario Mendoza, and Laura Tabor led the women’s race with a 2:10 winning time. Full results.

Max King - 2017 Smith Rock Ascent 15-mile champion

Max King, 2017 Smith Rock Ascent 15-mile champion. Photo: Go Beyond Racing

Ice Age Trail 

The longtime Wisconsin favorite Ice Age Trail 50-mile race was close! Men’s winner Jean-Bernard Flanagan ran 7:13, finishing 21 seconds up on second-place Mark Thompson. Women’s winner Mallory Richard ran 7:52. Jackie Merritt was the overall winner of the accompanying 50k in 4:10. Full results.

Quicksilver 100k and 50k

Out in the Bay Area, Chris DeNucci won the Quicksilver 50k with YiOu Wang winning the women’s race in third overall, just 6 minutes behind DeNucci. Dom Layfield won the 100k in 9:48 with Mandie Holmes earning top honors for the women with a time of 11:23. Full results (100k/50k) .

Thunderbunny 50k

Southeastern Ohio’s Thunderbunny 50k is a full tour of Strouds Run State Park. The second-year race had Travis Zipfel in its winner’s seat at 4:06, and women’s champ Shannon Kilbane set a new course record at 4:30. Full results.

5 Peaks Sikome Lake 11k

Nine months post-serious injury, Adam Campbell raced the 5 Peaks Sikome Lake 11k race in southern Alberta, Canada. Campbell notably finished second in 46:16. Full results.

Don’t Fence Me In

Gone is the La Sportiva Mountain Cup, but the former long-time Cup member Don’t Fence Me In 30k in Montana remains. Jordan Jones edged Jimmy Grant to win the men’s race, finishing 47 seconds apart in 2:25 and 2:26. The women’s race, too, was close with Leah Handelman and Amy Friedman out front in 2:54 and 2:57. Full results.

The North Face Endurance Challenge Series

It was on to New York’s Bear Mountain State Park for the latest The North Face Endurance Challenge Series race. Mathieu Blanchard and Helene Michaux won the 50-mile races in 7:32 and 8:51. Timothy Olson eased to a third-place 4:29 finish in the 50k. Full results.

Helene Michaux - 2017 TNF EC 50 Mile - New York champion

Helene Michaux, 2017 TNF EC 50 Mile – New York champion. Photo: The North Face Endurance Challenge Series

PCT 50 Mile

In southern California, it was Fernando Blanco and Elizabeth Tenuto winning the PCT 50 Mile in 7:11 and 8:56, respectively. Full results.

Glacier Ridge 50 Mile

Charles Oestreich and Melissa Pastore won the Glacier Ridge 50 Mile event in Pennsylvania, officially running 8:25 and 9:46. Full results.

Cinderella Trail Race 

At the Coastal Trail Runs Cinderella Trail event, husband-and-wife team David and Megan Roche were first and second overall in the half-marathon race. The pair ran 1:29 and 1:39, respectively. Full results.

Pristina Half Marathon

Michael Wardian went to Kosovo for the Pristina Half Marathon, finishing seventh in 1:11. Full results (when available).

Next Weekend – Ultra-Trail Australia – Katoomba, Australia

Just once last year did Rob Krar race an ultra, waylaid by a stress fracture. Now 40 years old, is Krar still the same runner he was over that phenomenal stretch between 2013 and 2015? We’ll possibly get an answer to that question next weekend in Australia’s Blue Mountains. Krar headlines the men’s field at the Ultra-Trail World Tour Ultra-Trail Australia 100k race.

Other top men include Australasia standouts as well as several more international runners:

  • Sondre Amdahl (Norway) – 9th 2016 Marathon des Sables
  • David Byrne (Australia) – 4th 2017 Tarawera Ultramarathon
  • Aurélien Collet (France) – 7th 2016 IAU Trail World Championships
  • Matt Flaherty (U.S.) – 7th 2017 Tarawera Ultramarathon
  • Grant Guise (New Zealand) – 8th 2016 Hardrock 100
  • Yoshikazu Hara (Japan) – 4th 2016 Tarawera Ultramarathon
  • Andrew Lee (Australia) – 13th 2016 Ultra-Trail Australia
  • Hamish MacDonald (Australia) – 11th 2017 Tarawera Ultramarathon
  • Jono O’Loughlin (Australia) – 7th 2016 Ultra-Trail Australia
  • Kazufumi Ose (Japan) – Winner 2017 TransLantau 50k
  • Andrius Ramonas (Lithuania but living in New Zealand) – 6th 2017 Tarawera Ultramarathon
  • Tim Tollefson (U.S.) – 3rd 2016 UTMB
  • Michael Wardian (U.S.) – What hasn’t he done?

The women’s group includes almost entirely Australian ‘locals’ with a couple runners from abroad:

  • Hanny Allston (Australia) – Winner 2016 Ultra-Trail Australia 50k
  • Lucy Bartholomew (Australia) – Winner 2016 Buffalo Stampede Ultra SkyMarathon
  • Daniela Burton (Australia) – 8th 2016 Ultra-Trail Australia
  • Beth Cardelli (Australia) – 4-time Ultra-Trail Australia winner, including 2016
  • Lou Clifton (Australia) – 4th 2016 Buffalo Stampede Ultra SkyMarathon
  • Chantelle Farelly (Australia) – 5th 2016 Ultra-Trail Australia
  •  Gill Fowler (Australia) – Winner 2017 Ultra Easy 100k
  • Amy Lamprecht (Australia) – 4th 2016 Ultra-Trail Australia
  • Marie McNaughton (New Zealand but living in Hong Kong) – 6th 2016 Ultra-Trail Australia
  • Sally McRae (U.S.) – 11th 2017 Tarawera Ultramarathon
  • Melissa Robertson (Australia) – 2nd 2016 Tarawera Ultramarathon
  • Joanna Sinclair (Australia) – 6th 2016 Ultra-Trail Australia

Full entrant list.

Call for Comments

  • Who out there picked Tim Freriks to win Transvulcania or Marianne Hogan to win Quad Rock?
  • Who are your picks for wins at the Ultra-Trail Australia? And who else will you be looking for to finish in the women’s and men’s top 10 there?
  • What other races from this past weekend can be shared in the comments field below? Leave a note!
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.