I thought the Golden Trail World Series was done last weekend — and it is. But the group came back with three last days of competitive racing with the Golden Trail National Series Grand Final in Portugal. We’re talking about that, Grand Raid Réunion, Les Templiers, a competitive 25k trail race in Colorado, and a bit more on this pre-Halloween Monday morning. Have a great week!
Golden Trail National Series Grand Final – Azores, Portugal
Separate from the Golden Trail World Series, there were 11 different Golden Trail National Series competitions around the world this year, and winners of those series came together on three different Portuguese islands for three days of racing in the Azores Trail Run. The stage race included 27-kilometer, 29k, and 31k stages, all with challenging elevation gain and terrain. The top-three men and women all earned entry into three separate Golden Trail World Series races in 2022.
First on day one, fourth on day two, and third on day three, Darren Thomas (USA) was the race’s overall winner with an 8:34 cumulative finish time. He was four minutes ahead of second place, thanks to a nearly seven- and 14-minute lead on eventual overall podium finishers Daniel Fernandez (Spain) and Abraham Hernandes (Mexico) on the race’s opening day. Within the 2021 national series, Thomas was fifth at the Pikes Peak Marathon and second at the Broken Arrow Skyrace 26k.
Fernandez was fourth, second, and second on the three races, totaling 8:38 for second, and Hernandes bounced back from a difficult day one eighth place with first-place runs on both days two and three. He finished less than a minute behind Fernandez with an 8:39 collective time. Both Fernandez and Hernandes outran Thomas over the last two days, but couldn’t fully overcome that day-one lead.
Janelle Lincks (USA) made a big leap in the trail world this year, and she looks poised for another step next year too. Lincks won the stage race with a 10:02 winning time. She won days one and two, and was a close second — by only 20 seconds — on day three. Lincks got to this stage after a win at the national series final, the Broken Arrow Skyrace 26k.
Four minutes behind Lincks after day three, Anna-Stiina Erkkila (Finland) was second, third, and first on the individual legs with a total of 10:06. Third-place Eleanor Davis (U.K.) totaled 10:18 with third-, second-, and fourth-place finishes each day.
Grand Raid de la Réunion – Réunion Island, France
Four races, including a four-person relay, feature at Grand Raid de la Réunion. The far-off French island is east of Madagascar, off the southern coast of Africa.
Diagonale des Fous
iRunFar earlier highlighted the 104-mile Diagonale des Fous race. Ludovic Pommeret (France), who won UTMB in 2016 and was fourth in 2021, caught Daniel Jung (Italy) late in the race and the pair ran and finished arms together in 23:02. Pommeret, 46 years old, was twice second here, whereas Jung was making his debut for the distance. Beñat Marmissolle (France) was third in 23:45. For the U.S., Dylan Bowman was 17th in 27:41.
Réunion Island runner Emilie Maroteaux showed a master class on her home course, dominating the women’s run in 29:54. That’s almost an hour better than Sabrina Stanley‘s 2019 winning time. Amandine Ginouves (France) and Sophie Blard (Réunion Island) were second and third in 32:30 and 32:51.
The 74k race went down to the wire, less than a minute separated the front two men, both in 8:44. Zoubert El-Habib, from the tiny East African nation of Comoros – that’s a first for iRunFar – sprinted home ahead of Romain Fontaine (France). Only 57 seconds separated the two. Angelique Victoria Lesport (France) won the women’s race in 10:37.
Trail de Bourbon
French runners swept the 112k race with Gregoire Curmer and Gilberte Libel winning in 15:02 and 19:18, respectively.
Festival des Templiers – Millau, France
Some 13 races make up this huge fall festival in southern France. We’ll highlight two of them.
Grand Trail des Templiers
iRunFar covered the 50-mile Grand Trail des Templiers separately, with live coverage during the race.
Jonathan Albon (U.K., living in Norway) has been brilliant this year, again. He backed up an OCC win with a 6:32 win here. Albon unseated two-time defending champion Sébastien Spehler (France). Spehler was second in 6:39, and Benoît Cori (France) was third in 6:44.
And for the win, Ruth Croft (New Zealand) found her running legs again after the Western States 100 earlier this summer and won in 7:51. It was Croft’s second win here. Second- and third-place Gemma Arenas (Spain) and Julie Roux (France) finished in 8:10 and 8:12, respectively.
Endurance Trail des Templiers
The 106k Endurance Trail des Templiers was a Western States 100 Golden Ticket race this year, with two men and two women gaining entry into the event. Interestingly, it saw a lower level of competition than the Grand Trail. Though in all fairness, the Grand Trail has long been considered the festival’s main event in terms of competition. The men’s and women’s podiums were all French.
On the men’s side, Vincent Viet was victorious with a 10-minute gap, finishing in 10:52, while Aurelien Collet took second in 11:03. Clement Desille was third in 11:28.
For the women, one-two had a close finish with Isabelle Dragon coming across the line in 12:50 and Anne-Lise Le Quere in 12:53. Third place was Pelagie Olivier another hour back in 13:56.
Bobcat Trail Races – Colorado Springs, Colorado
Back for the first time since 2017, the Mad Moose Events Bobcat Trail Race 25k was the USATF Colorado 25k State Trail Championships. A $1,000 first-place prize went to the winners.
Just 25 seconds separated the first three men, and it was perhaps a surprise finish. Brian Whitfield ran 1:37:03, Eli Hemming ran 1:37:12, and Joseph Gray ran 1:37:28. Whitfield came up through the Western Colorado State University trail team, Hemming is a just-married world-class triathlete, and Gray of course needs no introduction. I often say that Gray doesn’t lose on trail races in the U.S., and highlighting a third-place finish isn’t a slight at all. His longevity at the top of the sport is nothing less than incredible.
Alison Baca and Tabor Hemming (née Scholl) gapped the field and finished in 2:08 and 2:09, a minute-and-a-half apart. Baca is a professional Xterra triathlete and Hemming competed at the University of Colorado, and just like in the men’s race, the top finishers set new course records. Becky Hendee was third in 2:22.
Additional Races and Runs
MFAMTL 6-Hour – Rochester, New York
The low-key #TrailsRoc event had runners circle a roughly one-mile loop in Durand Eastman Park. Just days before a birthday, Pete Kresock totaled 32 miles. Ellie Pell did the same, matching the men’s winner with her own 32-mile run. Full results.
Clark 6-Hour Classic – Jamesville, New York
Racing in Clark Reservation State Park in far north New York, runners chased a 1.7-mile loop with 100 feet of elevation gain for six hours. Patrick Hallahan and Thomas Joslin both ran 37 miles at the top of the men’s board. Women’s winner Rhonda Bullard pulled away from Sarah Niccoli in the last hour, totaling almost 36 miles to Niccoli’s 34-mile total. Full results.
Uwharrie 100 Mile – Troy, North Carolina
Limitations live only in our minds, the race says ahead of its 102.5-mile run. The race happened on a five-lap course in the Uwharrie National Forest. Naji Husseini and Tara Dower were victorious in 25:36 and 29:34, respectively. Full results.
Next Weekend – Javelina Jundred – Fountain Hills, Arizona
It’s a Western States 100 Golden Ticket race and a chance for a fast 100-mile finish. And the Javelina Jundred is usually a lot of Halloween fun too. A competitive group is expected to race the five-lap course.
- Andrew Belus – 1st 2020 Javelina 100k
- Arlen Glick – 1st 2021 Burning River 100 Mile
- Ryan Kaiser – 1st 2021 Elkhorn Crest 50 Mile
- Sion Lupowitz – 5th 2017 Javelina Jundred
- Joe McConaughy – 2019 track 100 Mile (12:53)
- Ryan Montgomery – 2nd 2020 Desert Solstice 24 Hour (154.71 miles)
- Zach Merrin – 4th 2020 Tunnel Hill 100 Mile (13:25)
- Jacob Puzey (Canada) – 3rd 2021 Calgary 50k
- Dave Stevens (Canada) – 1st 2021 Run Rabbit Run 100 Mile
- Charlie Ware – 1st 2021 Zane Grey Highline Trail 100k
- Cole Watson – 7th 2021 Speedgoat 50k
- Tessa Chesser – 9th 2021 Canyons 100k
- Meredith Edwards – 1st 2020 Tushars 100k
- Camille Herron – 2nd 2021 Jackpot 100 Mile
- Sarah Ostaszewski – 1st 2021 Mogollon Monster 100 Mile
- Brittany Peterson – 4th 2021 Western States 100
- Lisa Roberts – 2nd 2021 Black Canyon 100k
- Devon Yanko – 1st 2020 Jed Smith 50k
Call for Comments
- What good Halloween costumes are out there?
- And what good running fun can you share too?