After a few lighter weeks, race volume came back heavy! The JFK 50 Mile, Golden Gate Trail Classic, Madeira Island Ultra-Trail, and the Skyrunning European Championships were at the top of the roster, and fast finishes abounded in South Africa, Norway, and Ohio too.
JFK 50 Mile – Boonsboro, Maryland
It was the 59th running of the JFK 50 Mile. The point-to-point race covers diverse terrain starting on the Appalachian Trail, running onto the flat-and-fast C&O Canal towpath for 26 miles, and ending with eight miles of paved roads. The race is the oldest ultramarathon in the United States, and having been held in 2020 when so many other races weren’t, it also might now be the longest continuously held race of any distance in the United States as well.
Adam Peterman has had an amazing year, and the 26 year old kept his hot streak going here. Peterman led the entire way and won in 5:19. He was just ahead of course-record pace as late as mile 38, but ultimately finished 58 seconds behind Hayden Hawks’s 2020 course record. This was Peterman’s 50-mile debut, and it happened just two weeks after setting a new course record at the Moab Trail Marathon.
Zack Beavin was a distant second in 5:35; he too had a strong 2021 to look back on. Beavin broke a longstanding Strolling Jim 40 Mile course record this summer. Eric LiPuma was just behind Beavin the whole way and finished third in 5:39.
Between miles 27 and 38, Sarah Cummings and Sarah Biehl made moves, vaulting from fourth and fifth to first and second. Cummings was 24 seconds ahead of Biehl at mile 27, and 59 seconds ahead at mile 38. It was still the two Sarahs at the finish, but now with Cummings in 6:18 and Biehl second in 6:22. Their finishes rank third- and fourth-best ever at JFK, and marked big jumps from 2020. The pair were second and fifth at last year’s race in 6:57 and 7:22 when both took a wrong turn.
2009 race winner Devon Yanko was third in 6:31, only two minutes off her then-course-record run from over a decade ago. It was certainly a fast year for the women’s race.
This year’s race had 933 official finishers. Check out iRunFar’s separate JFK 50 Mile results article, too.
Madeira Island Ultra-Trail – Madeira Island, Portugal
iRunFar was on site with in-depth coverage of the competitive 115-kilometer distance — here’s that results article. The event also held 85k, 60k, and 42k distances, all on the island’s challenging terrain.
Hannes Namberger (Germany) crushed the competition in the 115k race. With a 14:00 finish time, he was way out front, 41 minutes ahead of second place. Things were much closer after the frontrunner. Dmitry Mityaev (Russia) out-dueled Jean-Philippe Tschumi (Switzerland) over the race’s second half, finishing second in 14:40 to Tschumi’s 14:49.
Hillary Allen (U.S.) kept a similar lead in the women’s race. She won in 17:18. Kirsten Amundsgård (Norway) made a late leap into second at 17:57, just over a minute in front of Ekaterina Mityaeva (Russia).
Janosch Kowalczyk (Germany) won the men’s race in 9:25, nearly an hour ahead of second. Marion Delespierre (France) triumphed in the women’s race in 11:17, 30 minutes better than second-place Yngvild Kaspersen (Norway).
2021 CCC winner Thibaut Garrivier (France) was back in form, leading the race in 6:18. Returning from injury, Pau Capell (Spain) was second in 6:27. Rosanna Buchauer (Germany) and Taylor Nowlin (USA) ran 7:15 and 7:42 at the front of the women’s race. Nowlin called out the challenging course on social media post-race, “Sadly, my quads did not make it alive.”
Jeshurun Small (USA) and Sheila Avilés (Spain) won the marathon-distance race in 3:35 and 4:01. “It was super exciting to able to be on the starting line after the time that I have been away,” Avilés gushed on social media of her comeback run. “I was able to come back to enjoy my passion.”
Skyrunning European Championships – São Pedro do Sul, Portugal
Held as part of the Pisão Extreme race, the three-day event included two days of Skyrunning championships. The European championship is raced biennially, and this year featured 20 different countries.
Friday’s 65k race boasted 6,500 meters (21,325 feet) of elevation gain.
Manuel Merillas (Spain) overcame a bad fall 15k into the race and pushed alongside Anders Kjærevik (Norway) for most of the race. Merillas surged up the final 900-meter climb to break free and win in 8:31. It was an incredible 83 minutes better than the course record. Kjærevik was a close second in 8:40, and Manuel Anguita (Spain) was right there too in third at 8:43.
The women’s race was similarly close. Sandra Sevillano (Spain) pushed hard on the last downhill to win in 10:37, over four hours better than the previous course best. Varvara Shikanova (Russia) was second in 10:44, and Zulfiya Gaynanova (Russia) was third in 11:04.
Saturday’s 35k race totaled 3,500 meters (11,480 feet) of vertical climb.
Stian Angermund (Norway) lost his course record on the longer distance from his 2019 race, but gained one here. He won — just like he did in so many Golden Trail World Series races this year — in 3:42, and that was a new course record. “Such a high level of young athletes pushing me to perform my best,” Angermund commented online of his challengers. Cristian Minoggio (Italy) and Jordi Sanchez (Spain) were second and third in 3:44 and 3:51, respectively.
Patricia Piñeda (Spain) led the women’s race, of course also in new record time, in 4:37. Fabiola Conti (Italy) and Mireia Pons (Spain) were a distant second and third in 4:56 and 4:57, exactly one minute apart.
Golden Gate Trail Classic – San Francisco, California
Almost 1,500 runners raced across four distances in the Marin Headlands at the first-year event.
Colton Gale and Claire Heslop were big winners, 26 and 36 minutes ahead of their chasers, respectively. Gale finished in 8:27 and Heslop in 10:37 to set the inaugural year records. The course twice crossed the Golden Gate Bridge.
Men’s winner Justin Grunewald was way out in front at 3:33, a full 30 minutes better than everyone else. The women’s race was closer with Brigette Takeuchi leading Sarah Klass at the finish, 4:30 to 4:41.
The half marathon distance was perhaps the most competitive of the group. Only 19 seconds separated men’s frontrunners Eddie Owens and Eli Hemming. The pair of trail running upstarts both finished in 1:22 with Owens in front. Both have had great second halves to their racing year. Owens made the U.S. Mountain Running Team and Hemming has had been on the podium of several competitive races. Andy Wacker was third in 1:26.
Rachel Drake dominated the women’s race in 1:39. Tabor Hemming (née Scholl) was second in 1:44, and Maryann Gong ran 1:51 for third.
Additional Races and Runs
K-Way Skyrun – Lady Grey, South Africa
On the northeastern side of the Cape, the K-Way Skyrun celebrated 25 years. Simon Tshabalala won but just missed a new 100k course record by only seconds, with a 12:09 finish. Tarrin van Niekerk won the women’s race in 16:30. Mjongile Tonic Masilo led the 65k in 8:09, a new course best, and Landie Greyling did the same in the women’s race. Her 9:41 finish was a new course record.
Bislett 24 Hour Indoor Challenge – Bislett, Norway
This race was held at the legendary Bislett Stadium on a two-lane track with each lap totaling 546 meters. Allan Hovda (Norway), a triathlete making his 24-hour debut after inspiration from Scott Jurek’s Eat and Run book, smashed it with 485 laps (165 miles/265k). He nearly eclipsed Johan Steene’s Nordic record, only faltering at the end. Therese Falk (Norway) totaled 478 laps (162 miles/261k) to win the women’s race, finish third overall, and break the European record. Her finish is believed to be third all-time, across all surfaces, to a pair of Camille Herron runs. The 46-year-old Falk has surged in a string of 24-hour races within the last 14 months with three runs each totaling more than 250k. Full results.
Griffith Park Trail 50k – Los Angeles, California
Derk De Korver and Evelyn Trotter won the 50k under and around the famous Hollywood sign in 4:47 and 5:44, respectively. Full results.
Nine Trails 35 Mile Endurance Run – Santa Barbara, California
Hayden Hawks just missed Jim Walmsley’s 2019 course record. Hawks ran 5:13, 37 seconds behind the record. Charlotte Cox topped the women’s race in 7:04. Full results (when available).
Fat Ox 48 Hour – Buckeye, Arizona
Olivier Leblond is le champion, even if he didn’t beat his own 48-hour American record this time. He finished with 201 miles in just over 33 hours before stopping. His record stands at 262 miles and dates to 2017. Deborah Huntzinger won the women’s race with 147 miles. Jordan Schmidt and Paula Olson won the 24-hour race with 108 and 94 miles. Full results.
Dead Horse Ultra – Moab, Utah
Jonathan Rea won and set a new 50-mile course record in 6:02, eight minutes better than Alex Nichols’s time from 2020. Rebecca Orig won the women’s long course in 8:37. Kyle Lund and Sarah Gage won the 50k in 3:17 and 4:08. Full results.
Wild Hare 50 Mile – Warda, Texas
Thomas Orf and Erica Hering won the Tejas Trails 50-mile race in 7:24 and 10:29. Gabe Leatherwood and Katie Walker led the 50k in 4:30 and 6:08. Full results.
Alley Trail Marathon – Lancaster, Ohio
Harvey Lewis is back, not long after his Big’s Backyard win. This one was closer to his own backyard, on a 2.2-mile loop that totaled some 6,000 feet of elevation gain for the whole race. Lewis finished in 4:28 despite having to tape his shoe shut to overcome a torn shoelace. Justine Koksal won the women’s race and was fourth overall in 5:04. Full results.
Call for Comments
- Leave a comment to fill us in on races from your region.
- What other pre-U.S. Thanksgiving week racing fun can you share?
- Are you planning to run a turkey trot this year, like AJW talked about on Friday?