This Week In Running: September 3, 2019

This Week in Running Justin Mock TWIRAll roads lead to Chamonix, France. At least that’s what it feels like this week. We went deep on all things UTMB, and that means sister races TDS, OCC, and CCC too. The IAU 50k World Championships and The Rut happened this week also. Labor Day here in the U.S. pushed us off our normal Monday timeline, and we needed that extra time for this week’s big column.

TDS – Courmayeur, Italy

Let’s take these chronologically. The 11th edition of TDS pushed out a new course, one that went 145k (90 miles) and with 9,100 meters (29,850 feet) of elevation gain. The mid-week race started at 4 a.m., ran through the day, and the leaders then finished in the dark.


Pablo Villa (Spain) escaped early leader Dmitry Mityaev (Russia) to win in 18:03, a 13-minute advantage on the runner-up. Mityaev remember finished third in this same contest a year ago as part of a memorable three-man chase.

2016 UTMB winner Ludovic Pommeret (France) advanced through the field to finish third in 18:37.

Deeper results included fourth-place Hallvard Schjølberg (Norway) in 18:45 and 10th-place Tofol Castanyer (Spain) in 19:39.

Drops included Pere Aurell (Spain), Jimmy Elam (USA), Jordi Gamito (Spain), and Ryan Sandes (South Africa).


Last year Audrey Tanguy (France) fought off a challenge from Rory Bosio to win TDS. This year Tanguy did the same against Hillary Allen (USA). Tanguy finished in 21:36–over five hours slower than on last year’s shorter course–and Allen finished in 21:52. Kathrin Götz (Switzerland) was third in 23:46, getting some redemption on last year’s DNF here.

Full results.

OCC – Orsières, Switzerland

The 55k (34 miles) OCC race went point to point from Orsières, Switzerland to Chamonix, France on Thursday.


Just over a minute separated men’s frontrunners Stian Angermund-Vik (Norway) and Andreu Simon (Spain). Angermund finished in 5:19 and his chaser in 5:20. Tao Luo (China) went for it early and held on to finish third in 5:25.

Deeper results included:

  • Cole Watson (USA) – 8th, 5:38
  • Patrick Reagan (USA) – 15th, 5:50
  • Pablo Villalobos (Spain) – 17th, 5:53
  • Nicolas Martin (France) – 23rd, 6:12
  • Chris Mocko (USA) – 53rd, 6:47
  • Alex Varner (USA) – 57th, 6:51

Thibaut Baronian (France) and Ruy Ueda (Japan) did not start.


Ruth Croft (New Zealand) won for the second year in a row. Her 5:50 finish bettered last year’s mark by three minutes, and this one wasn’t that close.

Second- and third-place Azara Garcia (Spain) and Yuri Yoshizumi (Japan) finished in 6:08 and 6:16.

Deeper results included:

  • Anna Comet (Spain) – 4th, 6:23
  • Emily Schmitz (USA) – 5th, 6:29
  • Nancy Jiang (New Zealand) – 8th, 6:42
  • Maria Dalzot (USA) was 19th in 7:13.

Early challenger Sheila Avilés (Spain) did not finish, and Anna Mae Flynn (USA) did not start.

Full results.

CCC – Courmayeur, Italy

I love how the UTMB races are staggered. CCC, 101k and with 6,100 meters (20,000 feet) from Courmayeur, Italy to Chamonix, France, was finishing right about the time UTMB was starting. It makes it great for those of us at an office desk on Friday.


The scoreboard reads as close, but Luis Alberto Hernando (Spain) looked to be in control most of the day, and he won the race in 10:28. Second-place Thibaut Garrivier (France) finished in 10:39, and Jiří Čípa (Czech Republic) was third in 10:45.

Deeper results included:

  • Jia-Sheng Shen (China) – 5th, 11:12
  • Sam McCutcheon (New Zealand) – 7th, 11:15
  • Cristofer Clemente (Spain) – 8th, 11:16
  • Mario Mendoza (USA) – 14th, 11:50

Drops included Marco De Gasperi (Italy), Benoit Girondel (France), and Michel Lanne (France).

Cody Reed (USA) did not start.


Ragna Debats (Netherlands) owned the women’s race, but also not by a considerable margin, and finished in 12:10. Behind her, the U.S. put four women in the top eight.

Second- and third-place Amanda Basham (USA) and Camille Bruyas (France) ran 12:27 and 12:34.

Later results included:

  • Stephanie Howe (USA) – 4th, 12:56
  • Maryline Nakache (France) – 5th, 12:57
  • Ailsa MacDonald (Canada) – 6th, 13:24
  • Rachel Drake (USA) – 7th, 13:26
  • Abby Hall (USA) – 8th, 13:44
  • Holly Page (U.K.) – 9th, 13:56
  • Brittany Peterson (USA) – 19th, 15:23

Drops included Gemma Arenas (Spain), Emelie Forsberg (Sweden), and Keely Henninger (USA).

Lucy Bartholomew (Australia), Jasmin Nunige (Switzerland), Mira Rai (Nepal), and Kelly Wolf (USA) did not start.

Full results.

UTMB – Chamonix, France

And then finally after all of TDS, OCC, and CCC, there was UTMB, the 105-mile, three-country loop around iconic Mont Blanc.


Pau Capell (Spain) went right to the lead and quickly gapped the field, and then somewhat surprisingly held that lead the entire race. Three-time champ Xavier Thévenard (France) sprung into action and gave chase, but never made up time and actually lost ground late in the race. Capell, a veteran of Ultra-Trail World Tour races around the world, finished in an impressive 20:19. Thévenard was almost an hour back, second in 21:07, and Scott Hawker (New Zealand) was a surprise third in 21:48.

Pau Capell, 2019 UTMB champion. Photo: iRunFar/Bryon Powell

iRunFar was of course there with week-long race coverage and separately recapped the race dynamics in greater detail, but I always like to follow up on all of the runners from the pre-race preview, to close the loop so to speak.

Before we do that, though, let’s mention the top-performing man who didn’t make it into the men’s preview. This year, that was Ecuador’s Joaquin Lopez who tied for sixth place in 22:47.

  • Tom Owens (U.K.) – 4th, 22:04
  • Andy Symonds (U.K.) – 5th, 22:35
  • Ho-Chung Wong (Hong Kong) – tie for 6th, 22:47
  • Masatoshi Obara (Japan) – 8th, 23:00
  • Javier Dominguez (Spain) – Tie 9th, 23:16
  • Germain Grangier (France) – Tie 9th, 23:16
  • Can-Hua Luo (China) – 11th, 23:21
  • Martin Kern (France) – 12th, 23:38
  • Guillaume Beauxis (France) – 13th, 23:41
  • Harry Jones (U.K.) – 15th, 24:03
  • Moises Jiménez (Venezuela, lives in France) – 16th, 24:10
  • Sylvain Court (France) – 18th, 24:26
  • Jason Schlarb (USA) – 19th, 24:27
  • Francisco Freitas (Portugal) – 20th, 24:29
  • Paul Giblin (U.K.) – 23rd, 24:53
  • Thorbergur Jonsson (Iceland) – 25th, 24:59
  • Benoît Cori (France) – 28th, 25:35
  • Kuo Li (China) – 29th, 25:36
  • Ugo Ferrari (France) – 30th, 25:40
  • Sébastien Camus (France) – 32nd, 25:46
  • Paddy O’Leary (Ireland) – 37th, 26:05
  • Kyle Curtin (USA) – 39th, 26:12
  • Jantaraboon Kiangchaipaiphana (Thailand) – 42nd, 26:35
  • Vincent Viet (France) – 51st, 27:26
  • Ryan Ghelfi (USA) – 58th, 27:35
  • Mark Hammond (USA) – 60th, 27:43
  • Jing Liang (China) – 78th, 29:15
  • Takashi Doi (Japan) – 85th, 29:23
  • Yun-Hui Yu (China) – 87th, 29:31
  • Kyle Greig (Scotland) – 102nd, 30:14
  • Merile Robert (France) – 143rd, 31:38
  • Min Qi (China) – 295th, 35:41

Congrats to all of those finishers, but in particular to Min Qi. He was second at last year’s CCC, finishing ahead of Pau Capell, and must’ve endured a long struggle to reach the UTMB finish.

Drops included all of Ion Azpiroz (Spain), Victor Bernad (Spain), Patrick Bringer (France), Sylvain Camus (France), Julien Chorier (France), Franco Colle (Italy), Guomin Deng (China), Gerald Fister (Austria), Emir Grairi (Tunisia), Florian Grasel (Austria), Robert Hajnal (Romania), Hayden Hawks (USA), Sebastien Henri (France), Jessed Hernandez (Spain), Janosch Kowalczyk (Germany), Jose Lutzardo (Spain), Andrea Macchi (Italy), Andrew Miller (USA), Zach Miller (USA), Jerome Mirassou (France), Timothy Olson (USA), Kazufumi Ose (Japan), Alex Nichols (USA), Andris Ronimoiss (Latvia), Marcin Świerc (Poland), Jean-Marie Thévenard (France), Tim Tollefson (USA), Aleksi Tolstenko (Russia), and Alberto Vinagre (Spain).

Non-starters were Dani Garcia (Spain) and Diego Pazos (Switzerland).


Miao Yao (China) and her hot early pace sputtered near halfway and Courtney Dauwalter (USA) led the rest of the way. Though not without challenge, Dauwalter rolled to an hour-long win in 24:34, and Yao dropped from the race.

After Dauwalter, there were big shake-ups the entire race. Ultimately Kristin Berglund (Sweden) emerged as runner up in 25:34, and Maite Maiora (Spain) pressed to third in 25:41.

Courtney Dauwalter, 2019 UTMB champion. Photo: iRunFar/Bryon Powell

As with the men, deeper race highlights are included elsewhere, but we’ll collect the results for everyone in the pre-race preview.

Before we do that, let’s mention the top-performing woman who didn’t make it into iRunFar’s preview. That was the seventh-place woman, France’s Elise Delannoy who crossed the line in 27:48.

  • Ekaterina Mityaeva (Russia) – 4th, 25:53
  • Beth Pascal (U.K.) – 5th, 26:26
  • Katie Schide (USA) – 6th, 27:22
  • Rory Bosio (USA) – 8th, 27:59
  • Ildikó Wermescher (Hungary) – 9th, 28:13
  • Delphine Avenier (France) – 10th, 28:35
  • Fu-Zhao Xiang (China) – 11th, 28:57
  • Maija Oravamäki (Finland) – 13th, 30:03
  • Naomi Brand (South Africa) – 15th, 30:19
  • Yulia Baykova (Russia) – 16th, 30:33
  • Juliette Blanchet (France) – 17th, 31:06
  • Kellie Emmerson (Australia) – 19th, 31:31
  • Mimmi Kotka (Sweden) – 20th, 31:46
  • Sylvaine Cussot (France) – 21st, 31:48
  • Sally McRae (USA) – 23rd, 32:27
  • Chiara Bertino (Italy) – 28th, 33:59
  • Géraldine Prost (France) – 30th, 35:08
  • Claire Bannwarth (France) – 48th, 39:44

Drops included Luzia Bühler (Switzerland),  Francesca Canepa (Italy), Basilia Förster (Italy), Uxue Fraile (Spain), Nathalie Henriques (France), Magdalena Łączak (Poland), Kaci Lickteig (USA), Fernanda Maciel (Brazil), Corrine Malcolm (USA), Marie McNaughton (New Zealand), Jo Meek (U.K.), Mariya Nikolova (Bulgaria), Eva Sperger (Germany), Alissa St. Laurent (Canada), and Miao Yao (China).

Sarah Keyes (USA), Emilie Lecomte (France), and Nuria Picas (Spain) did not start.

Full results.

IAU 50k World Championships – Brasov, Romania


The top-17 men were all under three hours at the IAU 50k World Championships, and less than two minutes separated the front four. Iraitz Arrospide (Spain) was victorious in 2:47, and Lungile Gongqa (South Africa) and Daniel Nash (U.K.) podiumed in 2:48 and 2:49, respectively. For perspective, Arrospide looks to have a marathon best of 2:13, and Gongqa is the 2017 Two Oceans Marathon champion and a 2016 Olympian.

The top-three men at the 2019 IAU 50k World Championships (from left to right): 2 – Lungile Gongqa, 1 – Iraitz Arrospide, and 3 – Daniel Nash. Photo: International Association of Ultrarunners

The first U.S. finisher was seventh-place Kyle Masterson in 2:51. Deeper U.S. results included the following:

  • Craig Hunt – 10th, 2:51
  • Eric LiPuma – 24th, 3:04
  • Zachary Ornelas – 34th, 3:07
  • Austin Bogina – 63rd, 3:38

Tyler Andrews (USA) did not finish.


Alyson Dixon (U.K.) ran 3:07 to win gold and break a world record that dated to 1989. Dixon looks to be a 2:29 marathoner, having set that mark at the 2017 London Marathon.

Helen Davies (U.K.) and Alicia Perez (Spain) finished second and third in 3:09 and 3:15, and the U.K. ladies won team gold.

The top-three women at the 2019 IAU 50k World Championships (from left to right): 2 – Helen Davies, 1 – Alyson Dixon, and 3 – Alicia Perez. Photo: International Association of Ultrarunners

For the second-place U.S. team, it was:

  • Courtney Olsen – 5th, 3:19
  • Elizabeth Northern – 6th, 3:19
  • Caroline Veltri10th, 3:24
  • Sarah Cummings – 15th, 3:27
  • Devon Yanko – 22nd, 3:32
  • Courtney Peterson – 27th, 3:35

Full results.

The Rut – Big Sky, Montana

The three-day The Rut had Vertical K, 28k, and 50k races, though, unlike recent years, none were in this year’s Skyrunner World Series. That left the fields less competitive than in past years.


David Sinclair, a week after finishing fifth at the Pikes Peak Marathon, won Saturday’s 28k in 3:11. George Foster and Vertical K winner Jeff Rome were second and third in 3:27 and 3:30.

A day later, Cody Lind ran down early leader Jason Donald to win Sunday’s 50k race. The two finished in 5:29 and 5:36. Tyler Courville was third in 5:48. Deeper results included fourth-place Seth Swanson in 5:52, and sixth-place Jeff Rome, finishing off a weekend triple, in 5:57.

Cody Lind, 2019 The Rut 50k champion. Photo: The Rut


Women’s 28k winner Ann Spencer dipped under the four-hour mark with a 3:59 finish. Emmiliese Von Clemm and Jessie Young trailed in 4:05 and 4:23 for the next two podium positions.

In the 50k, Erika Flowers took the day’s only sub-seven-hour finish for the women, earning victory in 6:51. Michelle Katchur Roberts (Canada) and Cristina Richards ran 7:04 and 7:17 for second and third.

Emma Tarbarth won the Vertical K in 59:05.

Full results.

Erika Flowers, 2019 The Rut 50k champion. Photo: The Rut

Other Races

Six Days in the Dome

It’s done, Wisconsin’s Six Days in the Dome, finally. Joe Fejes led for most of the race, but Bob Hearn and David Johnston made up time late. The three finished in 532, 530, and 524 miles, respectively. That was close, and the women’s race wasn’t too far off either. Just 20 miles separated the lead group after almost a week of racing. Connie GardnerYolanda Holderand Sandra Villines totaled 420, 413, and 400 miles. Full results.

Grand Traverse

Colorado’s 40-mile Grand Traverse run goes from Crested Butte to Aspen, like the more well-known ski mountaineering race. Cam Smith won and set a new course record in 5:38. John O’Neill was second in 5:57, and Max King was third in 6:23. Liz Stephen edged Caroline Tory for the women’s win, 7:17 to 7:18 with 65 seconds of separation. Liz Smith was third in 7:31. Full results.

Call for Comments

There were more than this handful of races this weekend, and more stories about this handful of races than we could make fit. Tell us your thoughts on any of the above, or what else you were racing or spectating at this weekend.

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 14 comments

  1. SteelTownRunner

    ARFTA (A Race For The Ages) was this weekend as well. It is yet another Gary Cantrell / Lazarus Lake innovation where the race is handicapped for the older runners. In essence it is a fixed time race, where runners run their age in hours with a minimum of 48. For many, it’s a chance to get ‘one last’ 100. For others, it offers a chance to compete.

    74 year young Bob Becker finished with 230 miles, holding off 56 year young Gregory Trapp. The womens race saw the 66 year young and spry Letha Cruthirds give chase totaling 175 miles to 75 year young Gunhild Swanson (of WS fame) and her 170 miles.

  2. Scotty Mills

    I was very surprised that Paul Terranova wasn’t highlighted in the IRUNFAR pre race UTMB writeups, but wasn’t at all surprised that he moved up through the UTMB field and ended up as 3rd overall male US runner passing virtually all the US prerace favorites. Paul had recently won the ever tough Cruel Jewel in Georgia and is often an overlooked talent. Big CONGRATS Paul!

    1. speedgoat

      I concur Scotty! Paul is one of the best 100 mile runners in the US. He’s not the fastest, he ain’t winning UTMB, but he finished strong as usual. No blowups from him. Congrats Paul Terranova!

      1. Paul Terranova

        GRAZIE Scotty and Speedgoat Karl!!! We had AMAZING weather all week to include race day/night (even at 0% illumination) so for my first full trip around the glacier just tried to keep the rubber side down, eat & drink, not make any stupid mistakes, and keep pressing forward when the going got tough. (The most I wore at night was a short-sleeve shirt and a pair of thin mountain-biking gloves going over the Cols after Les Chapieux.) Props to my wife Meredith, her crew helpers Nick Pedatella and Julia German, and my HOKA ONE ONE team for the support and encouragement all race long!

  3. Brandon

    Just a small reminder that Ho-Chung Wong was in fact tied 6th in the UTMB with Joaquin Lopez of Ecuador. Absolutely rapt with Ho-Chung’s result… just want to make sure Joaquin isn’t forgotten too! Thanks.

    1. REAL.

      Yes, I found this an interesting omission, Brandon: Justin Mock, the omission of Ecuadorian Joaquin Lopez placing 6th Overall. Can you explain why he was the only racer in the Top 10 you omitted from your recap? Very disappointing coverage, especially for his breakout race not to get any coverage as the top finisher from Latin America and celebrating this region of the world.

      1. Meghan Hicks


        Joaquin Lopez was well covered during our live coverage of the race as well as in our results article,

        For several years, Justin has used the TWIR article immediately following some of the biggest races out there that we cover in-person, like Western States, the Trail World Champs, and UTMB to write about how the runners from iRunFar’s in-depth previews faired. He explains this pretty clearly in the article above. Joaquin wasn’t in our men’s UTMB preview,, and so Justin didn’t refer back to him in this TWIR wrap-up of the preview.

        1. REAL.

          Thanks for the explanation, but was hoping to hear from Justin himself for his rationale. I still don’t follow. If a runner over-performs from a preview standpoint, wouldn’t that be cause to celebrate and identify? You are saying the discrimination is based on the logic that he did not cover the athlete in the preview and that is the reason he did not cover the athlete in the recap. Got it.

          1. Meghan Hicks


            I responded to your comment because I’m the managing editor of this website and support Justin’s overall editorial approach on weeks like this, I edited this TWIR article and ‘approved’ it to go to press, and I authored the original preview which this article refers back to that didn’t include Joaquin Lopez. Because of these things, I feel it’s at least in part my role to reply to your comment. Perhaps Justin will chime in as well.

            With regard to the original race preview that Lopez wasn’t included in, he was on our list of runners to consider, but ultimately he (and a couple dozen other strong runners) didn’t end up on the preview. We simply can’t include everyone, and we have to make educated guesses on who has the greatest potential to perform well based on their previous experience.

            With regard to the follow-up TWIR article, I support Justin’s general approach to referring back to athletes covered in the previews because much has already been said about the top-10 men and women via our ornate live coverage and results article. Justin’s idea of giving a bit more air time to the several dozen fast runners and their ultimate performances offers something a bit different and even deeper than what we’ve already done.

            That said, I just looked back at previous TWIR editions from the last couple years, and see that Justin has regularly (not every time, but more times than not) mentioned the runner who performed the highest and hadn’t made it into the preview. That’s a great idea, and I’m sorry that we missed it this time, and I’ll add this to both the UTMB men’s and women’s sections after I post this comment. I appreciate that your comment reminded me of what we’ve done in the past so that we can carry it forward in this article.

            Honestly, I love surprises like Lopez and a few other runners in the men’s and women’s top group who far exceeded their previous performances. Breaking out on a stage like UTMB is super cool! I would strongly and respectfully disagree that there’s any international/regional discrimination at work here. iRunFar’s an incredibly international website where many nationalities are honored and celebrated in our body of work.

            1. Justin Mock

              Hi REAL (and Meghan), I’m here!

              Meghan answered it exactly as I would have, and as you see elsewhere in these very comments, it’s the same reason that Paul Terranova wasn’t mentioned here. And the same reason that the men’s 14th-place finisher wasn’t mentioned, and the women’s 7th, 12th, 14th, etc.

              Meghan’s also right that a lot of times I highlight what I call the highest overachiever, for the first finisher not mentioned in the preview, but given the depth of results already included for UTMB, I simply didn’t do that this time.

  4. William E McCaffrey

    What Courtney Dauwalter accomplished was simply amazing. She had never previewed the UTMB course, did not come ahead of the race to acclimate and kicked butt! The USA men should ask her for her secretes so that we can see one of them finish on the podium. I would also like to add that the coverage of the UTMB race series was excellent!

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