This Week In Running: September 4, 2018

This Week in Running Justin Mock TWIRDang, that was a heckuva’ weekend. Thanks UTMB men and women, it was fun to follow along. This Week In Running column readers probably have seen the winners of the big races, but this week’s column goes deep and picks up the race result for every single runner in any of our UTMB, CCCTDS, or OCC previews. It’s Tuesday, one day after the U.S. Labor Day holiday.

UTMB – Chamonix, France

The 170k (105-mile) three-country UTMB race is, without question, the world’s premier 100-mile run. The race again featured a truly international field against 10,000 meters (33,000 feet) of elevation gain and typically challenging weather. That all made for a dramatic day, and iRunFar has also separately recapped the race dynamics.

As noted above, on the below recaps and with all of the UTMB series of races, we will attempt to include the result for every runner included in our previews.

Note that changes were made to the courses of the three long races, UTMB (one weather-related and a second due the trail being closed because of a rockslide earlier in the week), CCC (the trail closure due to a rockslide), and TDS (multiple weather-related changes). Time comparisons with past events are, thus, generally irrelevant. Last year saw course changes in both UTMB and CCC, and I *believe* they were the same ones as this year, so perhaps those are the only comparable times.


Less than 90 minutes separated the lead-10 women, and escaping that tight-packed group off the front was Francesca Canepa (Italy). The big-race veteran–age 47 and winner of the last three 100 Miles of Istria races in Croatia–won in 26:03. Canepa was less than five minutes ahead of Uxue Fraile (Spain), who ran 26:08. Third-place Jocelyne Pauly (France) closely followed in 26:15.

Other notable finishers:

  • Beth Pascall (U.K.) – 4th, 26:26
  • Katia Fori (Italy) —5th, 26:40
  • Juliette Blanchet (France) – 6th, 26:48
  • Ildikó Wermescher (Hungary) – 7th, 27:19
  • Cat Bradley (USA) – 8th, 27:22
  • Mariya Nikolova (Bulgaria) – 9th, 27:23
  • Kaci Lickteig (USA) – 10th, 27:31
  • Fernanda Maciel (Brazil, but living in Spain) – 11th, 27:35
  • Sophie Grant (U.K.) – 12th, 27:51
  • Emilie Lecomte (France) – 13th, 28:10
  • Nathalie Henriques (France) — 14th, 28:38
  • Teresa Nimes (Spain) – 15th, 28:50
  • Kaori Niwa (Japan) – 16th, 28:52
  • Irene Kinnegim (Netherlands) — 17th, 29:16
  • Manu Vilaseca (Brazil but living in Spain) — 18th, 29:28
  • Jo Meek (U.K.) – 19th, 30:16
  • Fu-Zhao Xiang (China) — 20th, 31:29
  • Holly Rush (Great Britain) — 21st, 31:34

And then the drops: Delphine Avenier (France), Yulia Baykova (Russa, but living in Italy), Tara Berry (Canada), Magda Boulet (USA), Luzia Buehler (Switzerland), Caroline Chaverot (France), Clare Gallagher (USA), Sarah Keyes (USA), Mimmi Kotka (Sweden), Aliza Lapierre (USA), Sally McRae (USA), Amy Sproston (USA), and Stephanie Violett (USA).

You’ve got to go clear to the 22nd-place finisher for a name not included in the pre-race preview. That runner was Amelia Watts (U.K.) in 31:57.

The top-10 women of the 2018 UTMB. Photo: iRunFar/Meghan Hicks


Xavier Thévenard (France) joined a small group of three-time UTMB winners, leading this year’s race in 20:44. And how sweet it must have been. Thévenard was largely overlooked in pre-race previews, and that this all happened six weeks after a Hardrock 100 Mile disqualification certainly added to his elation.

Surprise second-place finisher Robert Hajnal (Romania) came in at 21:31, and Jordi Gamito (Spain) was third in 21:57.

Other notable finishers included:

  • Damian Hall (U.K.) – 5th, 22:35
  • Erik Clavery (France) – 8th, 23:07
  • Javi Dominguez (Spain) – 10th, 23:27
  • Petter Restorp (Sweden) — 11th, 23:34
  • Mathieu Blanchard (France, living in Canada) — 13th, 23:53
  • Sacha Devillaz (France) — 14th, 23:59
  • Bertrand Collomb-Patton (France) — 20th, 24:33
  • Paul Giblin (U.K.) — 22nd, 24:47
  • Timothy Olson (USA) — 28th, 25:40
  • Ugo Ferrari (France) — 29th, 25:40
  • Thorbergur Jonsson (Iceland) — 32nd, 25:57

You’re a mean one, UTMB. It happens every year, but it’s still shocking. There were a ton of drops, for reasons as random as bee stings and getting trampled at start, and more than a couple of helicopter evacuations. Drops then included Sondre Amdahl (Norway), Ion Azpiroz (Spain), Guillaume Beauxis (France), Sebastien Camus (France), Sylvain Court (France), Benoît Cori (France), Anthony Gay (France), Gediminas Grinius (Lithuania), Mark Hammond (USA), Scott Hawker (New Zealand), Luis Alberto Hernando (Spain), Michael Jones (U.K.), Kilian Jornet (Spain), Michel Lanne (France), Juan Jose Larrotcha (Spain),  Emmanuele Ludovisi (Italy), Zach Miller (USA), Alex Nichols (USA), Christophe Perrillat (France), René Rovera (France), Ryan Sandes (South Africa), Sangé Sherpa (Nepal, living in France), Armando Teixeira (Portugal), Tim Tollefson (USA), and Jim Walmsley (USA). What a list.

Yeray Duran (Spain) and Stephan Hugenschmidt (Germany) did not start the race.

The biggest overachiever in the men’s race–that is, the first finisher not to be included in the iRunFar pre-race preview–was fourth-place Hallvard Schjølberg (Norway) in 22:06. The sixth- and seventh-place finishers were relatively unknown pre-race. Those men were Roman Evarts (Latvia) and Stefano Ruzza (Italy) in 22:38 and 23:02.

The top American finisher similarly was overlooked in all pre-race previews. That was 12th-place Christopher Hammes in 23:47. Prior to this he was fifth at last year’s Run Rabbit Run 100 Mile.

Full results.

The top-10 men of the 2018 UTMB. Photo: iRunFar/Meghan Hicks

CCC – Chamonix, France

Historically the UTMB event’s second-best race, this year’s CCC contest perhaps lost that distinction to the longer TDS race. Still, CCC was a very competitive 101k run with 6,100 meters (20,000 feet) of elevation gain from Courmayeur, Italy to Chamonix, France.


Race winner Miao Yao (China) finished 11th overall in 11:57 and it was a dominant victory. Between UTMB, TDS, and CCC, her gap was the biggest of any race for the women. Katie Schide (USA) was second in 12:28, and Ida Nilsson (Sweden) was third in 12:41. For at least the third race in a row, Nilsson has been unable to show the nearly unbeatable form she had from late 2017 to early 2018.

Other notable finishers:

  • Anne-Lise Rousset (France) — 4th, 12:47
  • Amy Leedham (USA) — 9th, 14:52
  • Cecilia Flori (Italy, but living in New Zealand) — 10th, 14:56
  • Fiona Hayvice (New Zealand) — 20th, 16:59

Azara Garcia (Spain) and Jasmin Nunige (Switzerland) did not finish, and Laia Cañes (Spain) and Maite Maiora (Spain) did not start.


Thomas Evans (U.K.) has such a standard name. It lacks the panache of some of his rivals, and so it’s sometimes easy to overlook his recent successes. Not this time. Evans led three men under the 11-hour mark, winning in 10:44. Min Qi (China) and Pau Capell (Spain) quickly followed in 10:50 and 10:52.

Other notable finishers included:

  • Marco De Gasperi (Italy) — 4th, 11:21
  • German Grangier (France) — 5th, 11:22
  • Andris Ronimoiss (Latvia) — 6th, 11:25
  • Harry Jones (U.K., but living in Thailand) — 8th, 11:43
  • Vaidas Žlabys (Lithuania) — 15th, 12:32

Jared Burdick (USA), Aurélien Collet (France), Jorge Maravilla (USA), Cody Reed (USA), and Erik Sorenson (USA) all failed to finish. Rachid El Morabity (Morocco) did not start.

Full results.

TDS – Chamonix, France

The best-ever TDS men’s field perhaps also produced the men’s race of the year. The run went 121k (75 miles) from Courmayeur, Italy to Chamonix, France, though in the opposite direction of CCC on some lesser-known and more-technical trails. It gained 7,300 meters (24,000 feet) of elevation.


After a day-long back and forth, Audrey Tanguy (France) pushed past Rory Bosio (USA) to win the women’s race in 16:05. Bosio followed 14 minutes later, and Caroline Benoit (France) was a distant third in 17:18.

Other notable finishers included:

  • Corrine Malcolm (USA) – 4th, 17:55
  • Alissa St. Laurent (Canada) – 5th, 18:34
  • Kellie Emmerson (Australia) — 11th, 19:58
  • Megan Kimmel (USA) – 20th, 20:00

Kathrin Götz (Switzerland) and Marie McNaughton (New Zealand, but living in Hong Kong) did not finish.


That. Was. Awesome. Congrats men, and thanks.

It was dark and raining as Dmitry Mityaev (Russia) came through final aid with 8k to go. He was in the lead and victory was seemingly in his grasp. Marcin Świerc (Poland) followed two minutes later, but then lost second when man-on-a-mission Dylan Bowman (USA) zipped through aid without stopping. The three launched an exciting race finale and Świerc overtook Bowman, and both hauled past Mityaev. Świerc’s late charge thus vaulted him from third to first and he won in 13:24. Second-place Bowman followed just 62 seconds later, and Mityaev was third only another 41 seconds behind Bowman. And all of this was after 121k of racing! That late-race drama and rapid-fire podium finish likely made this the race of the year.

Other notable finishers:

  • Tòfol Castanyer (Spain) – 4th, 13:58
  • Diego Pazos (Switzerland) – 5th, 14:39
  • Julien Chorier (France) — 9th, 15:02
  • Tom Owens (U.K.) — 16th, 15:56

Drops included Fabien Antolinos (France), Sylvain Camus (France), Ben Duffus (Australia), Emmanuel Gault (France), Hayden Hawks (USA), Zaid Ait Malek (Spain), Ludovic Pommeret (France), and Pablo Villa (Spain).

Fulvio Dapit (Italy) did not start.

Full results.

OCC – Chamonix, France

OCC is a 55k run from Orsière, Switzerland to Chamonix, France, and gains 3,500 meters (11,500 feet) of elevation.


She’s one of the best in the world, and Ruth Croft (New Zealand) delivered as expected. She won in 5:53. Eli Gordon (Spain), last year’s winner, was second in 6:00, and Mónica Vives (Spain) was third in 6:40.

Other notable finishers:

  • Lucie Jamsin (France) – 4th, 6:41
  • Lucy Bartholomew (Australia) — 11th, 7:01

Amandine Ferrato (France), Marianne Hogan (Canada, but living in USA), Andrea Huser (Switzerland), and Kelly Wolf (USA) all did not start the race.


This one was a surprise. Despite a handful of familiar names across the race, it was instead entirely new-to-us runners atop the men’s podium. Erenjia Jia (China) led Santiago Mezquita (Spain) and Kevin Vermeulen (France) to the finish with the podium trio running 5:28, 5:34, and 5:35.

Other notable finishers:

  • Nico Martin (France) — 7th, 5:43
  • Tim Freriks (USA) — 32nd, 6:28

Drops here included Thibaut Baronian (France) and Adrien Michaud (France), and then none of Dani Garcia (Spain), Eugeni Gil (Spain), or Ruy Ueda (Japan) started the race.

Full results.

The Rut – Bozeman, Montana

Only The Rut 28k (17 miles) was part of this year’s slimmed-down Skyrunner World Series. That race climbs 2,375 meters (7,800 feet) to the top of Lone Peak, before racing back down to the Big Sky Resort.


Holly Page (U.K.) completely dominated the 28k, winning in 3:42. She was 33 minutes better than second place. That’s worth nearly two minutes per mile versus the competition. It was Page’s third Sky Classic division win of the year, and she now leads that series. Dani Moreno and Emily Hawgood were second and third in 4:15 and 4:21.

In the next-day 50k, Sandi Nypaver was out front in 6:13. Kristina Trygstad-Saari and Phoebe Novello were second and third in 6:27 and 6:48.

Holly Page enroute to winning the 2018 The Rut 28k. Photo: Skyrunner World Series


Pascal Egli (Switzerland) pushed ahead on the race’s big climb, and expertly held that lead on the technical descent. Second in 2017, he won this year’s race in 3:06. Oscar Casal Mir (Andorra) and Marc Pinsach (Spain) ran 3:10 and 3:12 for second and third, respectively.

Other notable finishers included:

  • Kiril Nikolov (Bulgaria) – 5th, 3:23
  • Scott Patterson – 6th, 3:29
  • Seth Swanson – 10th, 3:38
  • Cole Watson – 13th, 3:45

2018 up-and-comer Jackson Brill won the accompanying 50k in 5:17. Jason Donald and Jason Delaney were second and third, both in 5:33, but 37 seconds apart.

Full results.

Pascal Egli, 2018 The Rut 28k champion. Photo: Skyrunner World Series

Other Races and Runs

Appalachian Trail FKT

41 days, seven hours, and 39 minutes. Karel Sabbé (Belgium) was sensational traveling south to north for a month-plus on the Appalachian Trail and early last week, he reset the supported and overall fastest known time for the 2,190-mile long trail. Sabbe averaged 53 miles for the haul and chunked days off the previous bests. Joe McConaughy continues to hold the self-supported FKT at 45 days, 12 hours, and 15 minutes. Scott Jurek‘s previous northbound supported FKT was 46 days, eight hours, seven minutes, and Karl Meltzer‘s overall supported FKT was 45 days, 22 hours, 38 minutes.

Other FKTs

FKTs are happening so often that it’s tough to pick them all up, and forced a subjective call on which are truly of distinction. The C&O Canal Towpath runs 184.5 miles from Maryland to Washington, DC and Michael Wardian ran this route in 36 hours, and 36 minutes. And in Washington, Candice Burt regained her own unsupported Wonderland Trail FKT. She finished the 95-mile route around Mount Rainier in 28 hours, 45 minutes.

Breck Crest Mountain Marathon

Breckenridge, Colorado’s Breck Crest Mountain Marathon saw Laura Cortez and Andrew Biglow win the marquee marathon in 4:35 and 3:51, and in the half marathon Eva Hagen and Andy Wacker led in 2:10 and 1:40. Full results.

Grand Traverse Run

The Grand Traverse winter edition–40 miles of ski mountaineering from Crested Butte to Aspen, Colorado–is more well-known, but for each of the last five years, there’s been a summer foot race of equal distance. Tara Richardson –a name to watch going forward–won the women’s race in 6:37, and men’s winner Cam Smith set a new course record in 5:57. Smith doubled back to finish fifth in the next day’s mountain-bike race too. Full results.

Other News

Trail and Mountain Running World Championships

It’s been a sticking point of mine for years. There are simply too many “world championships.” Governing bodies IAAF, ITRA, and the World Mountain Running Association will come together in 2021 for a joint IAAF World Trail and Mountain Running Championships, to happen every other year. It’s not entirely clear what that means, but mostly like the separate IAU Trail Running World Championships and WMRA Long Distance Championships will come together as a single event, and possibly even a single race. Full release.

Next Weekend – IAU 100k World Championships – Zagreb, Croatia

Like our live coverage? iRunFar is back on the road and en route to the IAU 100k World Championships.

Separate men’s and women’s previews have already been delivered, and fans can expect to see runners like 2016 runner-up Nikolina Šustić (Croatia), Kasja Berg (Sweden), and Caroline Boller (USA) chase the women’s crown. Top men’s entrants include Comrades Marathon three-time winner Bongmusa Mthembu (South Africa), 100k world record-holder Nao Kazami (Japan), and 2016 fifth-placer Geoff Burns (USA).

Call for Comments

  • There have always been a lot of DNFs at UTMB and that is being hotly discussed in the separate UTMB results column, but the shockingly high drop rates among elite runners extended to the sister races–CCC and TDS–this year too. Compared to a race like this year’s Western States 100 or even the Hardrock 100, the finish-rate disparity is incredible.
  • That was a long column, but limited to a few races. Let’s hear about everything else in the comments field below!
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 29 comments

  1. Kaare Meldgaard

    Big congrats to Karel Sabbe – thats really ultrarunner achievement of the year – a 4 days improvement on an already very stout time of some of the best of this sport – only Warmsleys western state record comes close – but for comparrison – its a 10% improvement – which translates into around 1.5 hours in something like WS – crazy…. a time that will likely stand for a while – simply because so many things can go wrong on these long FKT’s and Karel seemed to be avoiding most

  2. Nate

    Wasatch 100 is September 7th – Orcas Island and Bighorn co-champ Gabe Joyes, two-time Wasatch champ Trevor Fuchs, former Wonderland FKT record holder Ethan Linck, former WS100 champ Andrew Miller and several local men with history at the run should keep things interesting, especially if the warm weather adds adversity early.

    Women’s field isn’t as stacked, with Nicole Kalogeropoulos as probable front-runner. Locals Amie Blackham and Sarah McCloskey are sure to run hard for their millionth finishes.

    I’m sure a few new faces and names will work their way into the front for both men and women.

    1. Lee

      Dana Anderson (a local and 6th fastest time at JJ100) and east coasters, Kathleen Cusick and Sarah Schubert, will likely be up in the mix with Nicole et al.

  3. scott

    “Joe McConaughy continues to hold the unsupported FKT at 45 days, 12 hours, and 15 minutes”


    Someday, a running site is going to get these terms right. :)

  4. Zoe

    Ultra trail Monte Rosa is next weekend. Not the most high profile/competitive race out there, but it’s a cool course and is worth taking a peek at!

  5. Nate

    The omnipresent “we decide whose finish is notable” thing is annoying. Who gives a fart if some guy with an Instagram account and/or who gets free socks comes in the top twenty if you omit half of the top ten? Please keep telling us how Timmy Olson came in the top 100 instead of highlighting “lesser” runners in the top five. Barf.

    1. Meghan Hicks


      First, your tone is unfortunate. I’d like to kindly suggest you have a look at our comment policy before next time, We welcome feedback on how we carry out our work, including critical feedback. However, we require all discourse on iRunFar to be framed constructively and as if you are speaking to people in person/on the trail.

      Second, you’re incorrect in your statements of how we choose who to mention runners in our TWIR articles. In fact, we use methodology in whose names are included in TWIR each week, and in TWIR specifically this week, which I’ll now explain. (And to be fair to Justin, who spends a lot of time on weekends [and a holiday this week], I’ll mention that we’ve explained our methodology several times in the comments sections of past TWIRS and Justin clearly lays out in this article what athletes he’ll be listing and why.)

      Now, an explanation of how TWIR generally goes, for you as well as others who’ve commented to this article. In TWIR several times a year (I believe three, if I’ve got it right, for Western States, UTMB, and TNF50), Justin chooses to go back through iRunFar’s previews and mention how each person in the preview sorted out. For a look back at who we previewed in the first place, iRunFar’s CCC, TDS, and OCC previews were here:
      iRunFar’s men’s preview is here:
      iRunFar’s women’s preview was here:
      Thus, each person listed in this week’s TWIR wrap-up of UTMB, CCC, TDS, and OCC was a person mentioned in those previews. And to be clear, we have various standards that we use to develop our previews in the first place. For example, for UTMB, we listed men and women whom we thought *could* finish in the top 20, or who *have already* finished in the top 20 in the previous two race editions. For CCC, TDS, and OCC, Justin (with a few additions from me) pulled the names from the race organization’s ‘favorites’ list (which is a list of athletes ranked by their ITRA score) who he thought had the best chance of performing well.

      Next, we try hard to include athletes of three kinds in TWIR:
      -current top athletes
      -up-and-comers who have the potential to or do beat current top athletes
      -athletes who many not run at the ‘top’ exactly any more or at the moment, but who we think still have the potential to
      If you read this whole article, you will see runners of each of these kinds listed.

      Finally, we have to be cognizant of the length of this article. Too short and we don’t tell complete-enough specific race stories or offer a full-spectrum, global look at the weekend in racing, too long and no one will read or enjoy it. In that vein, Justin chose to largely target the up-and-comers in the UTMB men’s race, where so many of them broke through for stellar achievements. This sort of depth for all the races would make this article too big and I support his editorial choice.


        1. Meghan Hicks

          G, not at all. A person’s sponsor or that they are sponsored at all has never played a part in their inclusion in our editorial matter. I welcome you to have look at our thousands of articles over the last 12-plus years to see how independent our editorial matter actually is from commercial aspects. :)

          1. G

            Well…as much fun as reading 12 years of irunfar articles sounds I will have to pass. I will still say there is a connection, but it is what it is…money talks at the end of the day sadly. Love your coverage btw and thank you.

            1. Daniel B

              I’ve followed IRunFar for awhile and can agree with Meghan. There have been plenty of athletes posted that had no sponsors.

            2. g

              I DID NOT say athletes with no sponsors do not get posted…BUT have noticed SPONSORED athletes getting posted a whole hell of a lot more. Yes, at one point and time they had a great race(s), but when they get mentioned time and time again for mediocre results and others get overlooked seems a bit ify..Again, money money money. I remember when this sport was different than the others…sad

            3. Meghan Hicks

              I’m sorry that you still harbor this opinion even after I’ve offered you the concrete facts of how we compose this column. To reiterate, who a person is sponsored by or that they are sponsored at all holds no bearing on whether they are mentioned in our This Week in Running column or anywhere else on this website. In fact, every word, photo, video, and audio clip iRunFar has created has been independently published. That is, no commercial entity has had control of even one word of our editorial material in our website’s long history. This is a battle we fight regularly to maintain, and that is uncommon on the internet today. Certainly, we have ads and sponsorship of our race coverage to cover the costs of operating this website. However that ‘church’ has never overlapped with the ‘state’ of our editorial matter. I am very proud to state these facts.

  6. Brandon J Baker

    Great job Justin- I can’t imagine having to cram so many results into one column every week- especially on weekends with SO many amazing races happening!!
    I agree with @Kaare Meldgaard- The AT is an incredible, diverse trail, as one who runs NH/VT sections a lot, this record is just mind boggling!!

  7. jimmy

    I gotta give a shout out to Jeff Rome who certainly threw down some notable performances at The Rut this weekend. Capping a summer where he finished 2nd at Hardrock and set the car-to-car FKT on Idaho’s Borah Peak, Jeff showed up at The Rut and won the Vertical K on Friday, placed 9th in the 28K on Saturday, and 7th in the 50K on Sunday. His total time of 10:22:44 for all three races (known as The Rut Trifecta) covering more than 21K of vertical gain and more than 50 miles is a new record by nearly 2 hours!

  8. michalb

    This weekend there is also the biggest Polish trail and mountain running festival taking place in Krynica (Carpathian mountains, in the south of the country).
    Over 10 000 runners are registered for over 20 running events, the main being a 100 km Bieg 7 Dolin (Run of 7 Valleys) in which over 1000 runners will take part.
    Though of course still not as competitive as the events usually covered here (and the mountains in the area are rather hills – up to 1200 m high), it does stand out in one particular aspect, I believe not only in Poland but on an international level – it’s the total money prize pool – 650 000 PLN (≈175 000 USD). For the winners (male and female) of the main event, who set the course record, the prize is 40 000 PLN (≈11 000 USD), probably that amount of money isn’t seen very often in trail events. Probably the organizers hope that it will attract high-level runners, although the race being held one week after UTMB is not the best of dates :)

  9. Chantelle Robitaille

    Great reporting on all of these amazing races and thank you for all the hard work you all do!

    Would just like to add that Cam Smith ended up at Winner of the Grand Traverse Triple Crown- based on his win in the run, 5th place in the MTB, and winner at the ski traverse this past winter. Keep an eye on this kid, too! :)

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