This Week In Running: October 4, 2021

This Week in Running Justin Mock TWIRIt was another big one! We’re celebrating the Broken Arrow SkyraceUltra Pirineu, and so, so much more this week. Everyone was racing, and there’s a lot of fun, fall excitement to share. Also, did it seem like fall colors were popping in a lot of places around the Northern Hemisphere? What a weekend.

Broken Arrow Skyrace – Palisades Tahoe, California

Three races across three-straight days highlighted the Broken Arrow Skyrace, perhaps America’s best likeness to the European races in terms of mountain challenge. The Vertical K and 26k were both part of the World Mountain Running Association World Cup, and the 26k was also part of the Golden Trail National Series for the U.S. and Canada.

Vertical K

The Vertical K ran nearly seven kilometers and with 3,135 feet of elevation gain, up to 8,855 feet above sea level. The first four women all went under an hour, and most of the top runners would, at a minimum, doubled back later in the weekend.

Allie McLaughlin, the 2021 Pikes Peak Ascent winner, reached the summit first in 54:24. Hillary Allen raced up in 55:20, and 19-year-old Grace Staberg was third in 56:20. Later results included several other competitive runners too, and so we’ll go 10 deep.

4 – Lindsay Webster (Canada) – 58:43
5 – Kelly Wolf – 1:02:14
6 – Jennifer Schmidt – 1:03:04
7 – Natalie Chirgwin – 1:05:04
8 – Margaret Spring – 1:06:10
9 – Anna Frost (New Zealand) – 1:06:40
10 – Chrissa Unterberger – 1:07:15

Darren Thomas ran through the summit arch in 45:08, winning convincingly by over a minute against a strong field. David Sinclair was second in 46:38, and Ryan Becker was third in 47:49. Just like with the women, the men’s ranks included lots of other familiar names.

4 – Ondrej Fejfar (Czech Republic) – 48:39
5 – Brian Eimstad – 48:44
6 – Andy Wacker – 49:03
7 – Michelino Sunseri – 50:18
8 – Ryan Atkins (Canada) – 50:45
9 – Tom Sullivan – 50:56
10 – Paddy O’Leary – 51:06

Darren Thomas - 2021 Broken Arrow Skyrace Vertical K champion

Darren Thomas on his way to winning the 2021 Broken Arrow Skyrace Vertical K. He also took second at the weekend’s 26k race. Photo: Broken Arrow Skyrace

48k

Normally run as a 52k, Saturday’s race was just a bit shorter due to current conditions. The two-lap race totaled 48k with some 10,000 feet of elevation gain.

Allie McLaughlin doubled earlier this year at Pikes Peak, running the Ascent and Marathon there on consecutive days, and did it again here. She won the 48k race in 4:59. The rest of the women’s Vertical K doubled too. Helen Mino Faukner was second in 5:18, barely a minute in front of third-place Hillary Allen.

Sandi Nypaver was fourth in 5:22 and Grace Staberg, like McLauglin and Allen doubling back, was fifth in 5:31.

Seth Ruhling, ahem, ruhled the men’s run in 4:24, leading six men under five hours. Andrew Wise was a distant second in 4:40, and he started a five-minute gap between each of the next several finishers. Nick Handel was third in 4:45, Mario Mendoza was fourth in 4:50, and Bentley Regehr was fifth in 4:55.

Allie McLaughlin - 2021 Broken Arrow Skyrace 48k champion

Allie McLaughlin running the 2021 Broken Arrow Skyrace 48k. She won both the weekend’s Vertical K and 48k races. Photo: Broken Arrow Skyrace

26k

Janelle Lincks had a breakout summer in the Cirque Series, and she pushed that win streak onto a bigger stage with a 2:14 win here. Lincks’s only miss was the overhead cowbell hanging from the finish arch. Emkay Sullivan and Bailey Kowalczyk finished on the podium in 2:17 and 2:19 too. Like Lincks, Kowalczyk too has had a busy summer, highlighted by a top-four finish at the U.S. Mountain Running Championships.

The top 10 included many runners doubling back from the Vertical K, and in some cases, tripling on the weekend.

4 – Sam Lewis – 2:20
5 – Kelly Wolf – 2:22
6 – Lindsay Webster (Canada) – 2:24
7 – Collier Lawrence – 2:25
8 – Allie McLaughlin – 2:25
9 – Brigette Takeuchi – 2:27
10 – Hillary Allen – 2:29

Janelle Lincks - 2021 Broken Arrow Skyrace 26k champion

Janelle Lincks, 2021 Broken Arrow Skyrace 26k champion. Photo: Broken Arrow Skyrace

The men’s race was certainly the best of the weekend, what with the finish in doubt until the final strides. Joseph Gray — who else — sprinted home two seconds ahead of Vertical K winner Darren Thomas. Gray clocked 1:52:44 to Thomas’s 1:52:46. That’s some tremendous racing, men. Gray, now 37 years old, continues to not only be the best short-course trail runner in the U.S., but he just doesn’t lose when racing in the U.S.

Third-place Andy Wacker finished in 1:53:12.

The rest of the top 10 included:

4 – David Sinclair – 1:53
5 – Max King – 1:55
6 – Michelino Sunseri – 1:57
7 – Eddie Owens – 1:58
8 – Ryan Becker – 2:00
9 – Kieran Nay – 2:00
10 – Aaron Robson – 2:02

Full results.

Joe Gray - 2021 Broken Arrow Skyrace 26k champion

Joe Gray, 2021 Broken Arrow Skyrace 26k champion. Photo: Broken Arrow Skyrace

Ultra Pirineu – Bagà, Spain

Women

The 100k race ran in a single loop with 6,600 meters (21,650 feet) of elevation gain through the Parc Natural del Cadí Moixeró, and the top-three women all came in under 13 hours. Azara Garcia (Spain) edged Gemma Arenas (Spain) for the victory in 12:29. Arenas finished in 12:37, and Ragna Debats (Netherlands) was third in 12:58.

Ida Nilsson (Sweden) led the accompanying marathon race in 4:24.

Azara Garcia - 2021 Ultra Pirineu 100k champion

Azara Garcia celebrates as she becomes the 2021 Ultra Pirineu champion. Photo: Ultra Pirineu

Men

Kilian Jornet (Spain) went home, racing on some of the same trails he ran as a child, and won the men’s race in 10:24. It was his third win at this race. A week after racing Infinite Trails, Dmitry Mityaev (Russia) was second in 10:37, showing a strong bounce back from his UTMB drop, and Aurelien Dunand-Pallaz (France) was third in 10:44.

Jonathan Albon (U.K.) won the marathon-distance race in 3:34.

Full results.

Kilian Jornet - 2021 Ultra Pirineu 100k champion

Kilian Jornet, 2021 Ultra Pirineu 100k champion. Photo: Ultra Pirineu

Zumaia Flysch Trail – Zumaia-Gipuzkoa, Spain

The event included simultaneous 22k and 42k races in rainy weather, and both were World Mountain Running Association World Cup events.

Women

It was only in the final stretches of the 22k that Joyce Njeru (Kenya) separated from Lucy Wambui (Kenya), but just like she has for much of the year, Njeru topped her countrywoman again. Only 43 seconds split the pair with 1:41 and 1:42 finish times. Alice Gaggi (Italy) was third in 1:49.

World Cup regular Charlotte Morgan (U.K.) ruled the 42k race in 5:18. Oihana Kortazar (Spain) and Belen Perez (Spain) were second and third in 5:26 and 6:29.

Charlotte Morgan - 2021 Zumaia Flysch Trail 42k champion

On a rainy day in Spain, Charlotte Morgan won the 2021 Zumaia Flysch Trail 42k. Photo: World Mountain Running Association

Men

Geoffrey Ndungu (Kenya) pushed his win streak one higher too, winning the men’s 22k in 1:36. Sandor Szabo (Hungary) chased closely in 1:37, 25 seconds in arrears. Amets Aramberri (Spain) was only another 46 seconds behind in third too.

Raul Criado (Spain) led the entire men’s 42k, winning in 4:35. Second- and third-place Ismail Razga (Spain) and Igon Mancisidor (Spain) followed in 4:59 and 5:03, respectively.

Full results (22k).

Full results (42k).

Geoffrey Ndungu - 2021 Zumaia Flysch Trail 22k champion

Geoffrey Ndungu, 2021 Zumaia Flysch Trail 22k champion. Photo: World Mountain Running Association

Additional Races and Runs

Snowdon Skyrace – Rhyd-Ddu, Wales, United Kingdom

Bad weather pushed the Skyrunner World Series contest onto an alternate course. The race ran just less than 15 miles with 5,600 feet of elevation gain. Georgia Tindley (U.K.) was a six-minute winner in the women’s race in 3:05, and Finlay Wild (U.K.) was a full 13 minutes better than everyone in the men’s contest at 2:19. Full results.

Finlay Wild and Georgia Tindley - 2021 Snowdon Skyrace champions

Georgia Tindley (right) and Finlay Wild, 2021 Snowdon Skyrace champions. Photo: Skyrunner World Series

Šmarna Gora Race – Ljubljiana, Slovenia

Lucija Krkoč (Slovenia) and Timothy Bečan (Slovenia) won the 11k uphill race in 56:23 and 48:44, respectively. Full results.

Ultra Trail La Covatilla – El Travieso, Spain

Ana Rico and Miguel Heras won the 80k race in 13:28 and 9:13. It was Rico’s second win here, matching her 2019 finish. Full results.

Run Tiger Claw – Issaquah, Washington

The unique choose-your-own adventure course puts four different loops together in whatever order a runner chooses, totaling 26 miles and 7,500 feet of elevation gain. Megan Roche took the women’s race with a dominating 4:25 winning time. Maria Dalzot and Julie Fetner were second and third in 4:46 and 4:54. David Roche and Tyler Cox raced closely in the men’s race, despite taking different routes. Roche finished in 3:58 and Cox was barely a minute slower in 4:00. Nick McGowan was third in 4:44. Full results.

Megan Roche - 2021 Tiger Claw champion

Megan Roche, 2021 Tiger Claw champion. Photo: Tiger Claw

David Roche - 2021 Tiger Claw champion

David Roche, 2021 Tiger Claw champion. Photo: Tiger Claw

Secret Beach 50k – Gold Beach, Oregon

Alanna Steele won this 50k in 5:52, while men’s champion Kevin Brightbill crossed the line in 5:53. Full results.

Cuyamaca 100k – Julian, California

Teresa Kaiser was first female in 11:12. Men’s champ Travis Dietrich took the men’s win in 11:10. Full results.

Elk-Kings 50k – Tillamook, Oregon

Carolyn Gilchriese and Jeremy Provenzola won the 50k double out-and-back in 5:52 and 5:00, respectively. Full results.

Flagstaff Sky Peaks Mountain Runs – Flagstaff, Arizona

Aravaipa Running’s Flagstaff Sky Peaks celebrated 50k winners Casey Mattix and Peter Mortimer in 6:22 and 4:37, and 50-mile winners Lindsey McDonald and Luke Watkins in 9:11 and 8:45. Full results.

Crested Butte Ultra 100k – Crested Butte, Colorado

Katie Lyons and Jack Daly won the Mad Moose Events 53-mile race in 8:46 and 7:22. Anne Flower and Baptiste Petitjean led the 55k race in 5:06 and 4:25. Full results.

Hennepin Hundred – Sterling, Illinois

Flat and fast 50- and 100-mile races featured along the Hennepin Canal. Lisa Fritz and Taggart VanEtten won the 50-mile race in 8:16 and 5:32, and Jill Wojta and Scott Traer won the 100-mile race in 16:04 and 13:54. VanEtten is next targeting the also flat-and-fast Tunnel Hill 100 Mile in November. Full results.

Pilot Mountain to Hanging Rock Ultra – Pinnacle, North Carolina

Tatiana Kennedy and Will Gaul won the 50k race here in 5:38 and 5:20, and in the 50-mile race, Natalie Bulick-Sullivan and Joshua Sutterfield won in 11:48 and 8:30. Full results.

Arkansas Traveller 100 Mile – Perryville, Arkansas

Laura Kearns and Chas Kabanuck championed the longtime Arkansas Traveller 100 Mile in 20:26 and 17:53, respectively. Full results.

StumpJump 50k – Chattanooga, Tennessee

Barely a minute split women’s one-two Sarah Hopkins and Lea Mulligan in 6:20 and 6:21. Men’s leader Michael Basuini won in 4:34. Full results.

No Business 100 Mile – Jamestown, Tennessee

Amy MacIntire ran the single-loop course in 25:29, winning the women’s race. Max Tiemann won the men’s race in 21:36. Full results.

Cat’s Tail Trail Marathon – Shandaken, New York

Perfect weather greeted the Cat’s Tail Trail Marathon in the Slide Mountain Wilderness Area of the Catskill Mountains. Dry trail conditions led to quick times with Kirby Mosenthal coasting to victory in the woman’s race in 5:25. Kelly Macdonald sneaked past Alanna Moss for second in 5:59, and Moss was only 21 seconds back. Steve Lange set a course record for the men in 4:13. Daniel Grip, former course-record holder, was second in 4:29, and Byron Critchfield was third in 4:35. Full results.

Call for Comments

That was a lot, but there’s more our readers could tell us about in the comments below. Thanks, friends!

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.