This Week In Running: May 3, 2021

This Week In Running’s trail and ultra recap for May 3, 2021.

By on May 3, 2021 | Comments

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Deja vu, we’ve got another 100-mile world record, this time on a treadmill by Taggart VanEtten in Illinois.

A lot of times races in the American West dominate the landscape, but we really just take it as it comes, and that means all of Tennessee’s Strolling Jim 40 Mile, Virginia’s UROC 100k, and North Carolina’s Alexander County 24 Hour race, among others, this weekend. Don’t worry, we also visit Colorado, Kansas, and even Australia.

We also look toward this week’s inaugural Cocodona 250 Mile in Arizona.

Let’s do this, friends!

[Editor’s Note: As you return to racing, we hope you’ll research and follow regulations and recommendations in your running-related travel. Here’s our science-based article on how to lower COVID-19 risks as you travel and race.]

100-Mile Treadmill World Record

Taggart VanEtten ran 11:32:05 for a new 100-mile treadmill world record. It happened at a gastropub in Illinois and when he hopped off the treadmill shirtless, he celebrated with a champagne shower. Local media reported that the 25-year-old VanEtten ran up to 200 miles per week over a 15-week cycle in training.

He also ran 12:19 at the 2020 Tunnel Hill 100 Mile and is next registered for the 24-hour race at June’s Six Days in the Dome contest, and again for the Tunnel Hill 100 Mile in November.

Zach Bitter held the former treadmill mark at 12:09:15, which he set in 2020. Bitter, who has now lost world records in consecutive weeks, congratulated the new record holder on social media.

Strolling Jim 40 Mile — Wartrace, Tennessee


Medina Spirit might’ve won the Kentucky Derby, but Zach Beavin was the Kentucky thoroughbred we had eyes on. The 26-year-old from the Bluegrass State toppled a longstanding Strolling Jim 40 Mile course record. Shirtless and with just a single fist pump at the line, Beavin finished the 41.2-mile road race in 3:55:44. That’s 5:48 per mile, and it bettered Andy Jones‘s 1991 3:59:26 course record.

Beavin won here in 2019 too, in 4:07, won the 2020 Tunnel Hill 50 Mile race in 5:03, and he’s a 2:18 marathoner too. He’s registered for the Yamacraw 50k in Kentucky in three weeks, but let’s get Beavin onto some big stages too.

John Kruckeberg and Harvey Lewis were second and third in 4:42 and 4:53, respectively.


While Beavin won by almost an hour, the women’s race was a lot closer. Less than two minutes separated race winner Melissa Surman and runner-up Tatyana O. The two finished in 5:21 and 5:23. Kat Coffey was third in 5:54.

The women’s course record has some years on it now too. Prolific marathoner Leah Thorvilson ran 4:44 at the race in 2011.

Separately, I finally learned the origins of this race’s name. Strolling Jim was a famous Tennessee Walking Horse, and a Tennessee Walking Horse is a horse with a unique run-walk pattern. Perhaps a commenter more familiar with horses can better clarify, but Strolling Jim died in 1957 and 22 years later in 1979, the first Strolling Jim race started.

Full results.

UROC 100k — Montebello, Virginia


It wasn’t a large field at the UROC 100k. In fact, only six of the 11 women entrants started the race. A planned-for contest then between Aliza Lapierre and Alissa St. Laurent didn’t happen then and instead, Lapierre won by almost two-and-a-half hours. Lapierre finished the circuit in 10:18. Watch our post-race interview with Aliza.

Second- and third-place Jordan Garris and Llewelyn Engle clocked 12:46 and 13:04 finish times.


That was close! David Hedges topped Stefano Ruzza by three minutes for the win. The pair finished in 8:51 and 8:54. Twenty-three-year-old Hedges has quietly built a winning resume over the last few years. Further back, he was sixth at the 2017 JFK 50 Mile as a then 20-year-old.

Mark Marzen was third in 9:35.

Similar to in the women’s race, pre-race favorite Mark Hammond didn’t make it to the start line.

Full results.

Additional Races and Runs

Margaret River Ultramarathon — Western Australia 

Some 250 runners took part in Australia’s fourth Margaret River Ultramarathon 80k. Both Meghann Coffey and Matt Crehan set new course records in 8:24 and 7:15. Coffey was second a year ago while it was Crehan’s first attempt at the course. Full results.

Meghann Coffey - 2021 Margaret River Ultramarathon 80k champion

Meghann Coffey, 2021 Margaret River Ultramarathon 80k champion. Photo: Matt Hull

Matt Crehan - 2021 Margaret River Ultramarathon 80k champion

Matt Crehan, 2021 Margaret River Ultramarathon 80k champion. Photo: Matt Hull

Collegiate Peaks 50 Mile — Buena Vista, Colorado

Annie Hughes won the Collegiate Peaks 50 Mile women’s race in 8:07. The 23-year-old from Leadville now has the race’s seventh-fastest finish ever, and the fastest run since 2013. Men’s winner Matt Mangen crossed the line in 8:30. Corinne Shalvoy and Jeff Cuno won the 25-mile race in 3:35 and 3:02. Full results.

Heartland 50 Mile — Cassoday, Kansas

Wow, Jaclyn Long has ruled the Heartland 50 Mile for a long time! She won in 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, and yes, in 2021 too. This year’s finish happened in 9:12. Men’s best Stephen Foster finished in 7:15, a new course record. In the accompanying 50k race, Francie Hamer was out front in 5:21. Tim Pott was first male in 5:59. Full results.

Grayson Highlands 50 Mile and 50k — Mouth of Wilson, Virginia

The Grayson Highlands 50 Mile and 50k took place this weekend in Virginia. In the 50 miler, Aden St. Charles and Caleb Bowen were victorious in 8:20 and 6:55. It was the second year for the 50-mile race and both times were new course records. Over 50k, Hollyann Swann and Lee Jarvis won for the women and men in 4:01 and 3:59, respectively. Swann set a new course record, and Jarvis just missed the men’s mark. Full results.

Alexander County 24 Hour — Taylorsville, North Carolina

The Alexander County 24 Hour race was the last chance to qualify for this year’s U.S. 24-hour team, set to compete at the IAU 24-Hour World Championships in Romania later this year. Ultimately, the team positions in place before the weekend remained intact.

Loretta Tobolske-Horn finished with 111.54 miles in the women’s race, and Nick Coury led the men with 148.14 miles. Viktoria Brown set a Canadian age-group record with 100 miles down in 15:24 before stepping off the track. Full results.

Qualifiers for the women’s 24-hour team are: Camille HerronPam SmithMicah MorganMarisa LizakCourtney Dauwalter, and Whitney Richman.

The men’s team members are: Olivier LeblondJacob JacksonHarvey LewisJacob Moss, Nick Coury, and Ryan Montgomery.

Fall Creek Falls 50k — Spencer, Tennessee

What a weekend for the U.S. Southeast! Carley Glasser and Anthony Groft won the Fall Creek Falls 50k in 4:39 and 3:47. Full results.

Race Cancelations

Already postponed from 2020, the World Mountain Running Association’s European Championships and U18 Championship were both canceled.

Today, May 3 – Cocodona 250 Mile – Black Canyon City, Arizona

The comments rolled in last week, and we heard you! There’s a lot of interest in the first-year Cocodona 250 Mile event. The first-year run is just underway as this article publishes, and Aravaipa Running is likely to have outstanding live coverage. The ambitious adventure runs 255 miles on a point-to-point course with 42,313 feet of elevation gain. There’s a 125-hour cutoff, and that’s just over five days.

It’s a new event, but incredibly unique, and for that an exciting group has signed up. Top entrants will include long-course advenuturers like Maggie Guterl and Michael Versteeg, 200-mile-plus race veterans Jessi Morton-Langehaug, Mika Thewes, and Michael McKnight, Aravaipa’s own Jamil Coury, and Ice Age Trail FKT-holder Coree Woltering.

Full entrant list.

Call for Comments

The comments game has been strong the last few weeks, let’s keep it rolling! We know the Tillamook Burn 50 Mile and 50k was this weekend, but haven’t seen the results come live yet. Leave a comment with those results and any others you’d like to share.

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.