Thanksgiving here in the U.S. always interrupts race week. There’s more races on Thanksgiving than on any other day, but just not many trail races. Overlooking that, we’re reporting on California’s Quad Dipsea race, France’s SaintéLyon event, Spain’s Trail del Fai, and a few other contests around the world. And we’re moving into December, the year’s almost done!
Ultra-Trail Cape Town – Cape Town, South Africa
Courtney Dauwalter (U.S.) went to the front early and topped the women’s field by nearly an hour. She had an 11:20 finish time on the 97k course. Marianne Hogan (Canada) was second in 12:15. She’s registered for both the Black Canyon 100k and the Canyons 100k early next year, certainly eyeing a Golden Ticket entry to the Western States 100. Maryline Nakache (France) was third in 12:27.
Jade Bucklow (South Africa) won the 65k race in 8:44, barely two minutes in front of Olivia Dubern (South Africa). Meg Mackenzie (South Africa) won the 35k in 4:06. Jessica Brazeau won the 21k in 2:12.
Jim Walmsley (U.S.) broke free from his challengers in the race’s second half and dipped under the course record with his 9:47 finish. Walmsley was 29 minutes better than everyone else, and three minutes better than Prodigal Kumlalo‘s 2017 course best. “The course dished out some punishment, making every kilometer to the finish a challenge,” Walmsley said on social media afterward.
Sébastien Spehler (France), second at October’s Grand Trail des Templiers race in France, was second here in 10:16, and Andreas Reiterer (Italy) was third in 10:41.
Deeper results included two-time Comrades Marathon winner Bongmusa Mthembu (South Africa) in seventh at 11:13.
Cody Reed (U.S.) won the accompanying 65k race in 6:36, a new course record time. He was 29 minutes ahead of second place. Marcel Hoeche won the 35k, and James Miller won the 21k, only one minute ahead of second place.
Although most likely not a consideration in either’s participation, these wins likely put both Dauwalter and Walmsley at the top of many forthcoming Ultrarunning Magazine (North American) Ultrarunner of the Year ballots. Dauwalter’s UTMB win might gain Ultra Performance of the Year consideration, and she set a course record at Colorado’s San Juan Solstice 50 Mile and won a few smaller races too. Partially offsetting her wins, she did drop from Hardrock 100 however. Similarly, Walmsley again starred at Western States, won here in South Africa, had a near-miss of a world record over 100k at the beginning of the year, but dropped at UTMB.
Quad Dipsea – Mill Valley, California
The Quad Dipsea runs as a double out-and-back of its namesake trail, gaining 9,200 feet of elevation and loss mostly on its notorious stairs. Official results aren’t yet online, but Ultrarunning Magazine‘s Jeffrey Stern was on site with Twitter coverage.
Arden Young, the race’s 2019 runner-up, won this year’s race in 4:48. Her finish was a minute better than her own 2019 mark. She’s said to be next targeting January’s Bandera 100k in Texas, a race where she was third a year ago. Megan Hyland was second, but it wasn’t yet clear who finished third.
Rod Farvard won the men’s race, just three weeks after he won the first San Jacinto 50k. He finished in 3:48, about seven minutes off of Alex Varner‘s 2015 course record. Just like women’s winner Young, Farvard is also expected to race at Bandera. Check out this profile of Farvard from Ultrarunning Magazine to learn more about him. Nick Handel ran 3:59 for second, and Austin Horn was third in 4:19.
SaintéLyon – Saint-Étienne, France
The nighttime race connects the cities of Saint-Étienne and Lyon on a 78k (48 miles) route. The race had over 4,000 finishers, not counting its separate relay contests.
Headlamps were on as Sandrine Flechet (France) finished in 7:31, two minutes up on her closest chaser. Claire Mougel (France) and Christine Selman (U.S.) were second and third in 7:51 and 7:57.
Thomas Cardin (France) and Romain Lieux (France) walked across the finish line first, holding hands in a celebratory tie. The pair finished in 5:56. Nicolas Daru (France) was third in 6:09.
Additional Races and Runs
Trail del Fai – Bigues i Riells, Spain
In the Catalan part of Spain, the Trail del Fai races ran around mountains, castles, and waterfalls. There were marathon, half marathon, and 10k races, with the marathon gaining 2,200 meters (7,218 feet) and the half marathon gaining just over half of that. None of the fields were particularly big, but the half marathon was perhaps the most competitive. Natalia González (Spain) edged Sheila Avilés (Spain) with the pair running 2:31 and 2:35 for third and fifth overall. Miguel Corbera (Spain) ran away with the men’s crown in 2:20. Full results.
Napa Valley 50k – Calistoga, California
Anna Maxwell and Alex King were race winners in 5:49 and 5:08, respectively. Full results.
The Derby 50k – Ellerbe, North Carolina
Heather McArthur and Josh Roeller won the three-lap race in 4:30 and 4:05. Full results.
Thanksgiving Day Races
In Colorado, the Fort Collins Thanksgiving Day Run is the fastest race of the day. Janelle Lincks was fifth in 21:47 for the four miler. Full results.
Dani Moreno ran 27:11 for five miles and fourth place at the Alexandria Turkey Trot in Virginia. And with two dogs on leash in front, Michael Wardian (and his dogs) ran 28:43. Full results.
Eric Blake was 31st in 23:51 at the 4.748-mile Manchester Road Race in Connecticut. That’s 5:02 per mile. This was the 85th running of the race, and it’s one of the country’s most competitive Thanksgiving Day races. Full results.
Space Coast Marathon – Cocoa, Florida
Meaghan Dalton Walsh won the women’s race in 2:58. On the men’s side, David Kilgore has won this race several times, but was bumped to second this year by just 19 seconds. Kilgore finished in 2:29 behind winner Romain Carette in 2:28. Kilgore was ninth at the Leadville Trail 100 Mile earlier this year. Full results.
Next Weekend – Brazos Bend 100 Mile – Needville, Texas
The flat-and-fast Brazos Bend 100 Mile is the 2021 USATF 100-Mile Trail National Championships. The course is 99.9% flat. It only has a 10-foot hill. Race winners will earn a $1,250 cash prize and a WWE-style championship belt.
- Emily Collins – 1st 2019 Burning River 100 Mile
- Katie Demerjian – 3rd 2020 Javelina Jundred (16:10)
- Liza Howard – 1st 2021 Keys 100 Mile (17:49)
- Shandra Moore – 7th 2020 Rocky Raccoon 100 Mile
Once on the entrants list, recent Tunnel Hill 100 Mile winner Stefanie Flippin is no longer entered.
- Mark Hammond – 5th 2021 Run Rabbit Run 100 Mile
- Jim Sweeney – 2nd 2019 Tunnel Hill 100 Mile (14:30)
- Matt Zmolek – 1st 2021 Habanero Hundred
Call for Comments
- American Thanksgiving is the biggest race day of the year. What other trail runners and ultrarunners crossed over onto the roads for that one day?
- Can you share other results from races you were at or that took place in your region this weekend?