This Week In Running: May 6, 2019

This Week in Running Justin Mock TWIRWe’re into May and celebrating with a world record, the year’s second Skyrunner World Series race, and a quick look at next weekend’s Transvulcania Ultramarathon blockbuster. It’s Monday, grab yourself a cup of coffee and enjoy.

Hoka One One Project Carbon X 100k – Sacramento, California

Thanks to Hoka One One for sponsoring this week’s edition of TWIR!

Perhaps more of a stunt than a race, the Hoka One One Project Carbon X 100k was fast nonetheless.

Against an eight-runner (six men, two women) invite-only field, Jim Walmsley unofficially split 4:50:09 for 50 miles, and that beat a longstanding Bruce Fordyce (South Africa) 4:50:51 world record from 1984.

Walmsley did just enough to finish the full 100k race distance then to make the 50-mile split stand. He finished the 100k in 7:05, which coincidentally is the same time in which he finished his other go at 100k on the roads, at the 2015 IAU 100k World Championships.

Two-time IAU 100k World Champion Hideaki Yamauchi (Japan) won the 100k race in 6:19, and Patrick Reagan ran 6:33 for second, having split 5:08 for 50 miles. Yoshiki Takada (Japan) was third in 6:52.

Sabrina Little was the day’s lone 100k female finisher among the event’s two female starters, clocking 7:49. Aiko Kanematsu (Japan) was the only other woman who started, but she didn’t finish.

Full results.

Yading Skyrun – Yading, China

The 32k Yading Skyrun gained 2,819 meters (9,250 feet), all at high altitude. The race went up above 13,000 feet, and it was the year’s second Skyrunner World Series event.


High altitude and Megan Kimmel (USA) go together incredibly well, and Kimmel won the race for the third time. It wasn’t even close either. She finished in 3:52 and was sixth overall. Kimmel was second in the Skyrunner World Series opener two weeks ago in Japan and now leads the series overall.

Ragna Debats (Netherlands), back at it from her own recent dominating win at Marathon des Sables, was second in 4:27 and Ruth Croft (New Zealand) was third in 4:37.

The lead-three runners were almost two hours ahead of fourth place.

Megan Kimmel, 2019 Yading Skyrun champion. Photo: Skyrunner World Series


Erenjia Jia (China), who won the longer-distance race at Yading last year and who also won the 2018 OCC, gave the host country a win in 3:12. Second-place Oriol Cardona (Spain) followed in 3:18, matching his finish place from the series opener two weeks ago, and Bhim Gurung (Nepal), the race’s 2016 and 2017 winner, was third in 3:28.

Full results.

Erenjia Jia, 2019 Yading Skyrun champion. Photo: Skyrunner World Series

Wings for Life World Run – Multiple Locations

The Wings for Life World Run charity event sent some 100,000 runners at locations all over the world off against ‘catcher cars.’ With the cars getting progressively faster, the last woman and man standing were the global champions.


Racing in Zug, Switzerland, Nina Zarina (Russia), a 2:43 marathoner, made it 53.72k before being caught. Dominika Stelmach (Poland) was second with 53.56k in Rio de Janiero, Brazil, and reigning IAU 100k World Champion Nikolina Šustić (Croatia) was third with 52.97k in Munich, Germany. Šustić ran 2:37 at the Padua Marathon the weekend prior, and ran 2:38 the weekend before that at the Milan Marathon.


Ivan Motorin (Russia) went to Izmir, Turkey and become the global champ with 64.37k. Motorin looks to have a 2:18 marathon best dating to 2012. David Schönherr (Germany) and Florian Neuschwander (Germany), both in Munich, pushed to 62.68k and 61.59k second- and third-place marks.

Full results.

Other Races and Runs

Tiger Claw

Popular Ginger Runner YouTube hosts Ethan Newberry and Kimberley Teshima Newberry made their entry into race directing, and Washington’s Tiger Claw was a real doozy. The race went for 22 miles and a with a challenging 8,000 feet of elevation gain. On a course that was made up of three separate climbs up Tiger Mountain, and a common descent, runners could uniquely choose the order they tackled those three climbs. Claire Devoe won the women’s race in 3:55, beating out Maria Dalzot’s 4:02 and Ladia Albertson-Junkans’s 4:08. David Laney edged Gus Gibbs for the men’s crown, 3:13 to 3:17, though neither knew where they were relative to the other throughout the race. Paul Weeks was third in 3:29. Full results.

Claire Devoe, 2019 Tiger Claw champion. Photo: Mark Griffith/Tiger Claw

Dave Laney winning the 2019 Tiger Claw. Photo: Mark Griffith/Tiger Claw

The North Face Endurance Challenge Series – New York

Aliza Lapierre and Patrick Caron won The North Face Endurance Challenge Series 50 Mile – New York. The two finished the 50-mile course inside Bear Mountain State Park in 9:19 and 7:00, respectively. Full results.

Patrick Caron, winner of the 2019 The North Face Endurance Challenge Series 50 Mile – New York. Photo: The North Face Endurance Challenge Series

Greenland Trail Race

The 50k Greenland Trail Race ran for the 15th time on open space between Denver and Colorado Springs, Colorado, all on a four-loop course. Jennifer Farmer won the women’s race in 4:44, and Joey Bender edged Jake Littlehales for the men’s win. The two ran 3:45 and 3:46 with 51 seconds of separation. Full results.

Margaret River Ultramarathon

The second Margaret River Ultramarathon was in postcard-scenic coastal southwestern Australia. The race runs 80k, point to point, on coastal and cliff-top trails, and had some 850 runners. Deb Nicholl (Australia) repeated as women’s champ, running 8:52, and men’s winner Justin Scarvaci (Australia) won and set a new course record in 7:46. Full results.

McDonald Forest 50k

Oregon’s down-home McDonald Forest 50k had Ashley Nordell and Lindon Powell as its winners in 5:06 and 4:09. Working his way back from injury, Andrew Miller was third in the men’s race in 4:38. Full results.

Grayson Highlands 50k

The Run Bum Grayson Highlands 50k is Virginia’s highest race, but it’s more known for the ponies that live in the state park. Amanda Morris won the women’s race in 4:58, was second overall, and ran a minute better than the previous course best. George Tolton was men’s winner and first overall in 4:19. Full results.

George Tolton on this way to winning the 2019 Grayson Highlands 50k. Photo: Rum Bum

Next Weekend – Transvulcania Ultramarathon – Canary Islands, Spain

The Skyrunner World Series is happening fast, and next weekend’s Transvulcania Ultramarathon 74k (46 miles) race is another in the series. iRunFar will be there with live coverage, and has separately previewed the race.

In the women’s race, look for Megan Kimmel and Ragna Debats to race again near the front, though the longer course could potentially better favor any of Brittany Peterson, YiOu Wang, or Kelly Wolf.

For the men, Jon Albon (U.K.), Diego Pazos (Switzerland), and Ruy Ueda (Japan) are all names we’ve written about in recent weeks. Whether in Japan or in Portugal, that group has had success of late and figures to keep that run going. But Pere Aurell (Spain), the defending champion returns, along with seven more men from last year’s top 10.

Call for Comments

Were you at the Strolling Jim 40 Miler in Tennessee, the Miwok 100k in California, or any other race this weekend that we didn’t cover in this article? If yes, then tell us about it in the comments section. Thanks!

Justin Mock

is a family man, finance man, and former competitive runner. He gave his 20s to running, and ran as fast as 2:29 for the marathon and finished as high as fourth at the Pikes Peak Marathon. His running is now most happy with his two dogs on the trails and peaks near his home west of Denver.

There are 24 comments

  1. Chris

    I wasn’t at Miwok but my friend who won Miwok did so after winning Zion 100 just 3 weeks prior! That’s a fast turn around.

  2. David

    I really wish Hoka had promoted their race for more than like 3 days. The race coverage was *awesome* – totally akin to watching a bike race. The idea had potential, but the short notice and aiming for records in Sacramento in May definitely makes me wonder what could have been.

    1. Smb

      I thought the coverage was awful. I would have rather watched the Rose Bowl Parade – twice – than listen to the poor commentary during the Hoka event.

      I will admit that I missed the first 2 hours, but the rest of the race was tough to listen to. I’m also not sure why they couldn’t do a better job with the graphics to help us know where each runner was and what their projected finish time was. Especially for Sabrina Little; I’m not sure when she fell off record pace, but I don’t recall ever seeing a prediction for her finishing time.

  3. Gladys R

    I would be really interested to know, which loop order did the first 3 chose at Tiger Claw. I think having that option makes this race very interesting.
    The coverage at the Hoka event was amazing and hoke they do it again, without necessarily making everyone wear one particular shoe model.. I get this year was a marketing event, but hope it evolves from here.

  4. Bob Hearn

    “Once the record becomes ratified, Walmsley will be the 50-mile world record holder” – Walmsley’s performance was incredible, but AFAIK there is no official 50-mile World Record. It’s not a distance IAU tracks (nor does IAAF). So, I don’t believe there is anyone to ratify it (unlike the US 50-mile record, which does exist). These are the current ultramarathon World Records:

    1. Bob Hearn

      My mistake: apparently Guinness recognizes a 50M World Record. So presumably they will “ratify” it. In the pantheon of governing bodies, Guinness ranks, well, let’s just say significantly lower than IAAF, IAU, and USATF. Or more correctly, Guinness is simply not a governing body for athletics; in general their “records” must be viewed as fun factoids.

      But there are some accomplishments, like this, and like Kostelnick’s transcon record, that stand on their own as de facto records with or without an official governing body to recognize them. The piece of paper from Guinness is really not necessary IMO.

      1. Meghan Hicks

        Bob, ha, it was Guinness who I also heard to be the potential ratifier of Jim’s 50-mile record, but I modified our article’s text yesterday after you commented. I figured, well, Bob certainly knows something there that we don’t know on the road-record schematics/semantics. :) Thanks for coming back around to comment again!

  5. Markus

    The Hoka 100 produced excellent results. While Yamauchi faded a little bit on his last loop so he could not get a PR he still run a sub 6:20h which is phenomenal and the 14th best result ever.
    Patrick Reagan ran an excellent race and rewarded himself with a new PR.

    And then there was Sabrina Little who ran a well paced race. Never lost her stride, kept moving when it was getting hot and got it done under 7:50 which is a really good time for women. Congratulations.

    Overall coverage from the event was excellent but the ultra knowledge of the commentators was very limited.

    1. Hideaki Yamauchi 6:19:54
    2. Patrick Reagan 6:33:50 new PR
    3. Yoshiki Takada 6:52:03 first 100k
    4. Jim Walmsley 6:55:25 new PR
    5. Mike Wardian 7:29:10
    6. Sabrina Little 7:49:28 new PR

    Walmsley finished 4th in 6:55:25 ( there was some glitch on the result page for awhile)

    1. Anakin

      8+ hours of focused coverage was awesome. Great investment by HOKA. Still, more data with respect to tracking and positions would have been great.

      Does anyone know where Wardian got the age record he was looking for? An RW article said he was going for it, but with no mention of what the record was.

      1. Markus

        Not sure what they could have done better. They had a website with all individual numbers and a map where everybody was at a certain point in time.

  6. Bob Hearn

    Also up next weekend is the Dawn to Dusk to Dawn 24-hour, where the 24-hour team will almost certainly be determined.

  7. Jon Gardner

    Meaning nothing negative toward Walmsley, but I think it’s worth noting that Fordyce’s apparently threw down a pretty big record if it took bringing some of the best runners in the world together on a near-flat course and giving them pacers for a chunk of the course to break it by less than a minute. Walmsley tends to break records by a lot when he does.

    I enjoyed watching the coverage, although I didn’t watch all of it.

Post Your Thoughts