There was a new backyard-style ultramarathon world record, a new Grand Canyon rim-to-rim fastest known time, and the start of the World Mountain Running Association World Cup all this weekend. That’s what’s going on, and that’s what we’re talking about!
Seven Sisters Skyline – Dunlewey, Ireland
The 2022 World Mountain Running Association World Cup (WMRA) has 17 races across 10 countries, and it all started here. The fifth annual race ran through the rugged, windswept Deryveagh Mountains on a point-to-point route that visited the “Seven Sisters” and collected 2,134 meters (7,000 feet) of climbing over 30k. As expected, runners finished with wet and muddy legs, indicative of the course conditions.
Ruairí Long (Ireland) and Paddy O’Leary (Ireland) were within seconds of each other until the final hour, and then Long dumped his chaser on the way to a 3:29 win. O’Leary was second in 3:36, and Shaun Stewart (Ireland), who was with the leaders most of the day, too, was third in 3:37.
Olivia Amber (USA) slayed it with a 4:07 winning time that brought her home way in front of everyone else. As with the men’s winner, Long, this too was a new course record. Kathyrn O’Regan (USA) was second in 4:33, and iRunFar’s Sarah Brady (Ireland) was third in 4:47 for the host country.
The event also featured a 55k out-and-back race, which was won by Ricki Wynne and Ellen Vitting in 7:07 and 8:37, respectively.
The next WMRA World Cup race is the June 19 Montemuro Vertical Run in Portugal.
Quest for the Crest 50k – Burnsville, North Carolina
The Run Bum racecourse looks especially challenging with 12,000 feet of elevation gain across three major climbs on technical U.S. East Coast trails.
David Hedges moved into the lead around mile 27, just below the highest summit east of the Mississippi River, and finished first in 6:38. This late race pass flipped the order of Hedges’s earlier race against Max King, where Hedges fell to second in the final sequence. Avery Collins, the 2019 race winner, was second in 6:49. Both are expected to race 90k at the Mont Blanc Marathon group of races this summer. Drew Antonisse was third in 7:13.
Sabrina Stanley won the women’s race in 8:29. It was her second straight win here. Jana Fridrichova and Kathryn Zioto were second and third in 8:57 and 10:17, respectively.
Additional Races and Runs
The Race of the Champions – Backyard Masters – Rettert, Germany
Oofdah, holy cow. Merin Geerts (Belgium) ran 603 kilometers over 90 hours. That’s 375 miles, and it’s a new backyard world record. As a reminder, the backyard race format has runners run 4.167-mile loops each hour, and runners drop when unable to complete the next loop in that time allotment.
That meant that Geerts ran one more loop than second-place Keith Russell (Ireland). Russell’s 597 kilometers (371 miles) over 89 hours also bettered the previous world best. Fanny Jean (Belgium) stayed in it the longest of the women with 295 kilometers (183 miles) over 44 hours. Full results.
Trail Menorca Camí de Cavalls – Menorca, Spain
The event includes a number of race distances on the historic trail once used to defend the island’s coastlines. Antoine Guillon (France) won the longest race — 185 kilometers or 115 miles — in 19:53, and Claire Bannwarth (France) gained the women’s crown in 24:49. It was Guillon’s sixth win at this race. Tofol Castanyer (Spain) and Vanessa Moreno (Spain) won the 100k contest in 9:06 and 13:26. Full results.
MDS Desafiosomiedo – Pola de Somiedo, Spain
Racing 50k in northeastern Spain, Raul Perez and Azara Garcia triumphed in 5:12 and 6:03. Full results.
EcoRun Romania – Moieciu, Romania
Leonard Mitrica (Romania) and Denisa Dragomir (Romania) led a domestic field with marathon distance wins in 3:21 and 4:08. Full results.
Bishop High Sierra – Bishop, California
Katie Asmuth won and set a new course record at 4:48 in the women’s 55k. Michael Crush won the men’s 55k race. The rest of the results were still unknown at the time of publication. Let us know in the comments if you have any insights! Full results (when available).
Grand Canyon Rim-to-Rim Fastest Known Time – Grand Canyon, Arizona
Kimber Mattox went one way across the Grand Canyon — north to south — and covered the 21 miles and 6,100 feet of elevation gain in 3:14, and that was faster than anyone has run it before. Mattox’s time is just under Alicia Vargo‘s 3:19 from 2017.
Possum’s Revenge 69 Mile – Grafford, Texas
The Trail Racing Over Texas race traverses the trails around Possum Kingdom Lake. Over 69 miles, Patrick Welsh and Anna Black won in 14:45 and 15:39. The 52-mile wins went to Shawn Salyer and Sanna Allen in 9:54 and 11:56, and 56k champs Ross Hunt and Kristen Youngs finished in 5:04 and 6:50, respectively. Full results.
Stone House 50/50 – Lore City, Ohio
Fifty miles in Salt Fork State Park plus another 50k on Sunday, those were the ultra-distance races here. Zach Baird and Regina Doty covered the four laps for 50 miles in 9:34 and 11:47. The 50k was won by Jeff Rowthorn and Alexandra Fano in 5:54 and 8:25. Full results.
Keys Ultra – Key West, Florida
Vitor Rodrigues (Portugal) and Caryn Lubetsky won the 100-mile race in 16:42 and 19:43. Dan Saavedra and past winner Katalin Nagy led the 50-mile race in 9:59 and 7:52, and Jeff Welsh and Belen Coronel topped the 50k in 4:49 and 5:38, respectively. Full results.
Next Weekend – Zegama-Aizkorri Marathon – Zegama, Spain
The famed Zegama-Aizkorri Marathon is the year’s first Golden Trail World Series contest, back after two years of COVID-19 pandemic cancellations, and it’s super deep! I bet there are some other top entrants either not on the start list, or that I missed, but any of this looks like a great race.
- Thibaut Baronian (France) – 3rd 2019 Zegama-Aizkorri Marathon
- Johann Baujard (France) – 2nd 2021 La Skyrhune
- Marten Bostroem (Sweden) – 2nd 2021 Fjallmaraton
- Remi Bonnet (Switzerland) – 1st 2018 Zegama-Aizkorri Marathon
- Pascal Buchs (Switzerland) – 8th 2020 Sierre-Zinal
- Oriol Cardona (Spain) – 6th 2019 Zegama-Aizkorri Marathon
- Roberto Delorenzi (Switzerland) – 11th 2021 Sierre-Zinal
- Andrew Douglas (U.K.) – 7th 2019 World Mountain Running Championships
- Aritz Egea (Spain) – 8th 2018 Zegama-Aizkorri Marathon
- Elhousine Elazzaoui (Switzerland) – 4th 2020 Golden Trails Finals
- Borja Fernandez (Spain) – 4th 2019 Pirin Skyrace
- Dakota Jones (USA) – 1st 2022 Canyons 50k
- Kilian Jornet (Spain) – 1st 2019 Zegama-Aizkorri Marathon
- Max King (USA) – 6th 2018 Zegama-Aizkorri Marathon
- Nadir Maguet (Italy) – 1st 2021 Limone Skyrace Extreme
- Zaid Ait Malek (Spain) – 9th 2017 Zegama-Aizkorri Marathon
- Petro Mamu (Eritrea) – 29th 2021 Sierre-Zinal (In 2017, Mamu failed two doping tests, after both the World Mountain Running Championships and the World Long Distance Mountain Running Championships. He was given a nine-month ban starting in September of 2017 by the IAAF for testing positive for fenoterol.)
- Jorge Maravilla (USA) – 31st 2021 Western States Endurance Run
- Jan Margarit (Spain) – 1st 2021 Spanish Mountain Running Championships
- Nicolas Martin (France) – 4th 2021 Grand Trail des Templiers
- Manuel Merillas (Spain) – 7th 2019 Zegama-Aizkorri Marathon
- Geoffrey Ndungu (Kenya) – 1st 2021 Zumaia Flysch Trail
- David Norris (USA) – Three-time Mount Marathon champion
- Francesco Puppi (Italy) – 14th 2021 Sierre-Zinal
- Darren Thomas (USA) – 2nd 2022 Canyons 25k
- Ruy Ueda (Japan) – 9th 2018 Zegama-Aizkorri Marathon
- Stephen Wenk (Switzerland) – 13th 2018 Zegama-Aizkorri Marathon
[Editor’s Note: There’s also an additional Kenyan delegation, beyond Geoffrey Ndungu including Ben Kimtai Chematot, Matthew Kiptaniu Kibet, Reuben Narry, and Robert Pkemboi Matayngo, all of Iten. While we cannot confirm they’re the same individuals entered in Zegama, a Ben Kitmai has a marathon PR of 2:08:32 from Seville in 2018.]
- Henriette Albon (Norway) – 6th 2021 OCC
- Sara Alonso (Spain) – 11th 2021 Sierre-Zinal
- Nienke Brinkman (Netherlands) – 2nd 2021 Sierre-Zinal
- Karina Carsolio (Mexico) – 16th 2021 Sierre-Zinal
- Courtney Dauwalter (USA) – 1st 2022 Madeira Island Ultra-Trail
- Lina El Kott (Sweden) – 1st 2021 Monte Rosa Skymarathon
- Sanna El Kott (Sweden) – 1st 2021 Monte Rosa Skymarathon
- Anna-Stiina Erkkilä (Finland) – 15th 2021 Sierre-Zinal
- Caitlin Fielder (New Zealand) – 1st 2022 Luxmore Grunt 27k
- Emelie Forsberg (Sweden) – 7th 2018 Zegama-Aizkorri Marathon
- Uxue Fraile (Spain) – 18th 2019 Zegama-Aizkorri Marathon
- Oihana Kortazar (Spain) – 5th 2019 Zegama-Aizkorri Marathon
- Theres Leboeuf (Switzerland) – 13th 2021 Sierre-Zinal
- Meg MacKenzie (South Africa) – 13th 2018 Zegama-Aizkorri Marathon
- Maude Mathys (Switzerland) – 1st 2021 Sierre-Zinal (In 2015, Mathys received a warning without suspension from the Disciplinary Chamber for Doping Cases of Swiss Olympic for two positive tests for clomifene [previously clomiphene] after it was determined that she was mistakenly taking the drug without first obtaining a World Anti-Doping Agency Therapeutic Use Exemption.)
- Ida Nilsson (Sweden) – 1st 2018 Zegama-Aizkorri Marathon
- Iris Pessey (France) – 9th 2021 La SkyRhune
- Grace Staberg (USA) – 1st 2021 The Rut 28k
- Dominika Stelmach (Poland) – 2nd 2022 Black Canyon 100k
- Marcela Vasinova (Austria) – 6th 2021 Sierre-Zinal
[Editor’s Note: On the women’s side, Teresiah Kwamboka Omosa of Kiambogo, Kenya is entered. While we again cannot confirm it’s the same person entered in Zegama, a Teresiah Omosa has a marathon PR of 2:30:12 from the S7 Marathon in Austria last year and a 2:32:41 at Vienna earlier this year.]
Call for Comments
- The Zegama Marathon is up next week, but what else is on your near-term radar?
- What other events can you share results from this weekend?