There are a few days left in September, but I guess summer has come and passed. That’s what Green Day tells me, and I used to love that song. The Flagstaff Sky Peaks race, USATF Trail Half Marathon National Championships, and Mammoth Trail Fest all passed too, and so Monday morning, we’re doing what we do, talking ’bout it.
Flagstaff Sky Peaks 26k – Flagstaff, Arizona
After last weekend’s Pikes Peak Ascent, this one was the second Golden Trail World Series race in as many weeks. For most of the international runners, it looks like they had a great week in between the two races. Dozens of runners explored Moab, Utah, and Monument Valley, Arizona, together on their road trip to Flagstaff.
The ski area course went up right from the start, all the way to 11,500 feet above sea level, and then back down. And for the avoidance of doubt, 26 kilometers match just over 16 miles.
Ten minutes into the race, Rémi Bonnet (Switzerland) was already 20 seconds up on a big chase pack. Known for his uphill prowess, there was a chance he’d get run down on this up-and-down course, but nah, Bonnet extended his lead in the race’s second half. He finished a dominant first in 1:53, four minutes better than everyone else.
Eli Hemming (USA) was second in 1:58, and Sam Hendry (Canada) was third in 1:59. That was a strong performance for Hendry, a 23-year-old University of Utah skier. The extended podium enjoyed a giant champagne shower at the finish too.
The rest of the top 20 included:
4 – Daniel Osanz (Spain) – 2:00
5 – Anthony Felber (France) – 2:01
6 – Ruy Ueda (Japan) – 2:01
7 – Francesco Puppi (Italy) – 2:01
8 – Sylvain Cachard (France) – 2:04
9 – Julien Rancon (France) – 2:06
10 – Manuel Merillas (Spain) – 2:07
11 – Cole Campbell (USA) – 2:07
12 – Bart Przedwojewski (Poland) – 2:08
13 – Morgan Elliott (USA) – 2:10
14 – John Luna-Lima (USA) – 2:10
15 – Ryan Becker (USA) – 2:11
16 – Roberto Delorenzi (Italy) – 2:11
17 – Joey Defeo (USA) – 2:11
18 – Ali Papillon (USA) – 2:12
19 – Anders Kjærevik (Norway) – 2:13
20 – Jeff Cuno (USA) – 2:13
Pre-race favorite Nienke Brinkman (The Netherlands, lives in Switzerland) won, but not without significant challenge. Sophia Laukli (USA) led to the top and then for much of the downhill before Brinkman regained the lead late and won in 2:11. Laukli trailed just over a minute back in 2:12 for second place.
Allie McLaughlin (USA) surprised too, racing ahead of Maude Mathys (Switzerland). McLaughlin finished in 2:14 and Mathys was over a minute behind in 2:15 for fourth. It was certainly a strong race for the American women, at the top and on down through the top 20.
(In 2015, Mathys received a warning without suspension from the Disciplinary Chamber for Doping Cases of Swiss Olympic for two positive tests for clomifene [previously clomiphene] after it was determined that she was mistakenly taking the drug without first obtaining a World Anti-Doping Agency Therapeutic Use Exemption.)
The rest of the top 20 included:
5 – Lauren Gregory (USA) – 2:19
6 – Dani Moreno (USA) – 2:21
7 – Elise Poncet (France) – 2:21
8 – Janelle Lincks (USA) – 2:22
9 – Bailey Kowalczyk (USA) – 2:24
10 – Marcela Vasinova (Czech Republic) – 2:25
11 – Tabor Hemming (USA) – 2:25
12 – Blandine L’Hirondel (France) – 2:26
13 – Caitlin Fielder (New Zealand) – 2:28
14 – Rachel Tomajczyk (USA) – 2:37
15 – Katherine Short (Canada) – 2:38
16 – Simone Brick (Australia) – 2:40
17 – Ruby Lindquist (USA) – 2:43
18 – Iris Pessey (France) – 2:45
19 – Melodie Gilbert (Canada) – 2:48
20 – Lauren Coury (USA) – 2:51
Birkie Trail Run – Cable, Wisconsin
The festival hosted the USATF Trail Half Marathon National Championships, and offered a $6,000 purse with $1,000 to the winners.
Garrett Heath finished his track career with a 13:16 5,000-meter best (2015), and he won here in 1:13. That was over two minutes ahead of runner-up Andy Wacker and his 1:16 run. Wacker was racing on his birthday. Tom Sederquist was third in 1:18.
Two Olympic Trials Marathon participants were up front, and Anna Dalton won in 1:30, two minutes better than second-place Megan Lacy. Third-place Renae Anderson finished in 1:36.
Mammoth Trail Fest 50k – Mammoth Lakes, California
New race director Tim Tollefson welcomed runners to his home trails. The first-year event promised “donuts, dirt, and epic trail running across the top of California.” And, there was a $17,000 prize purse between the 50k, 26k, and Dragon’s Back Ascent races.
Friday’s weekend-opening race went about 16.5 miles with 3,500 feet of elevation gain, and $5,250 in cash prizes.
The men ran close, but Patrick Parsel escaped from the front to win in 2:05, just over a minute better than Aubrey Myjer‘s 2:06 finish. Paddy O’Leary (Ireland, lives in USA) was third in 2:10.
EmKay Sullivan rolled the women’s field in 2:29. Elaine Carpenter was second in 2:43 and Kennedy Rufener was third in 2:47.
Saturday’s 50k covered 7,000 feet of elevation gain and runners competed for a share of $8,000.
Chad Hall took the men’s crown in 3:58. Hall is the brother-in-law of American marathon star Sara Hall. Women’s winner Klaire Rhodes was 20 minutes in front of everyone else with a 5:21 finish.
Dragon’s Back Ascent
Vertical kilometer-type races typically start the weekend, but they uniquely placed it at the end of the competition here, ensuring a post-race summit celebration. The race gained 2,400 feet over 2.75 miles and topped out at 11,053 feet above sea level.
Both Chad Hall and EmKay Sullivan came back for more and won in 34:07 and 40:15, respectively.
Nice Côte d’Azur by UTMB – Nice, France
The first-year UTMB World Series race included three ultra-distance races.
Hugo Deck (France) and Ragna Debats (The Netherlands, lives in Spain) conquered the 100-mile race and its 28,500 feet of elevation gain. Deck dipped under the 24-hour mark with a 23:59 finish and Debats won in 27:45. It had to be a bit of a redemption run for Debats after she dropped at UTMB.
Tobias Dahl Fenre (Norway) and Ida-Sophie Hegemann (Germany) took the 111k race in 12:37 and 16:17. The race started in rain.
The 59k winners were Tao Luo (China) and Marie Perrier (Mauritius) in 5:54 and 6:42, and that’s got to be our first Mauritius mention here in This Week in Running.
Additional Races and Runs
Pirin Extreme – Bansko, Bulgaria
The Skyrunner World Series stopped in Bulgaria for Pirin Extreme, a 38k run with 3,300 meters of gain. Christin Mathys (Switzerland) and Oihana Azkorbebeitia (Spain) topped everyone in 4:49 and 5:50, respectively. Full results.
Cirque Series – Engelberg, Switzerland
The U.S. homegrown Cirque Series went international for the first time. Tefera Mekonen (Ethiopia) and Iseli Rea (Switzerland) won the 15k race in 1:10 and 1:21. Full results.
La Skyrhune – Ascain, France
This 21k race was part of last year’s Golden Trail World Series. It was slightly less competitive than in 2021 then, but still attracted a number of Europe’s best. Robert Loic (France) and Mathilde Sagnes (France) won in 1:52 and 2:20, both two minutes up on their closest chasers. Full results.
Berlin Marathon – Berlin, Germany
Now a few notes from sometimes trail runners and ultrarunners at the weekend’s Berlin Marathon. Noah Brautigam, the 2020 Speedgoat 50k winner, finished in 2:26. Cal Neff (Canada) was part of the pace team for sixth-place Keira D’Amato (USA) and finished in 2:21.
Eliud Kipchoge (Kenya) won in 2:01:09, breaking his own world record for an official marathon, while Tigist Assefa (Ethiopia) set a new course record for women in 2:15:37, the third fastest women’s marathon time on record. Full results.
Three Sisters Skyline 50k – Sisters, Oregon
Alpine Running’s race near the Three Sisters Wilderness saw Michael Eaton and Kerri Lyons finish first in 4:19 and 4:27. Lyons trimmed 21 seconds from a course record set at last year’s race. Ian Sharman and Jessica Andres won the accompanying half marathon in 1:26 and 1:43, respectively. Full results.
Mountain Lakes 100 Mile – Olallie Lake, Oregon
Go Beyond Racing celebrated Ryan Kaiser and Felice Kelly as its winners in 16:35 and 19:07. Full results.
Flagstaff Sky Peaks 50 Mile and 50k – Flagstaff, Arizona
The ultra distance races tackled the Arizona Snowbowl course on Saturday, a day ahead of the Golden Trail World Series 26k. Jonathan Kuplak and Kendra Eerdmans won the 50-mile race in 7:56 and 10:20, and Joseph Holway and Yngvild Kaspersen (Norway) won the 50k in 5:05 and 4:27. Full results.
The Bear 100 Mile – Logan, Utah
Just 24 minutes separated the front three men, but Mick Clifford (U.K.) finished first in 20:14. Dan Ruch and Christopher Hammes were next in 20:25 and 20:38. Allison Stratton dominated the women’s run with an out-there 23:21 finish. Kallie Smith and Liz Wigylus were second and third in 26:01 and 26:37, respectively. Full results.
Ouray Mountain Run – Ouray, Colorado
It’s been a while since we’ve had Timmy Parr in the column, but he’s still crushing the Colorado mountains. He won the 13 miler in 1:47, and Susen Lösch (Germany) took the women’s win in 2:10. Full results.
Bear Chase 50k – Lakewood, Colorado
Matt Daniels bounced back from a drop at last month’s CCC and ripped a trail 50k in 3:11. Stefanie Flippin dropped down the hill to run the Bear Creek Lake State Park course in 4:23 as first female. Full results.
West Line Winder 50k – Buena Vista, Colorado
There was a lot happening in Buena Vista this weekend. There was 14er Fest, a bluegrass concert, the Comanche Drive-In was showing “Grease,” and two days in a row of ultras. Ryan Smith and Marisa Watson won Saturday’s race in 3:58 and 5:10. Full results.
Sawatch Ascent 50k – Nathrop, Colorado
A day later and just south of the previous day’s West Line Winder 50k, this one went clear up to 13,100 feet above sea level on an up-then-down course. Ryan Smith doubled, and doubled up as a winner. He took this one in 5:10. Meredith Cook stepped into the women’s race and won in 6:05. Full results.
Quad Cities Marathon – Des Moines, Iowa
The 5:32 50-mile man Taggart Vanetten stepped down in distance and up in speed and was fourth in 2:25. Vanetten appears to be targeting an Olympic Trials Marathon qualifying time in six weeks. That means better than 2:18 for the marathon. Full results.
Vermont 50 Mile – Brownsville, Vermont
It was the run and mountain bike race’s 29th year, and over 50 miles of running, Matt Guarino and Cara Baskin won in 7:26 and 8:16. Thomas Kean and Bridget Gaffney won the simultaneous 50k in 5:45 and 6:25, respectively. Full results.
Obstacle Course Race World Championships – Stratton, Vermont
Tyler Veerman‘s run several trail races this year and was third at both the Moab Red Hot 55k and The Rut 28k, but he raced obstacles this weekend. Veerman won the 15k race in 1:31. Obstacle course all-timer Lindsay Webster (Canada) has done really well in skyrunning this year, but she crossed back to obstacle course racing too and won the women’s event in 1:47. Full results.
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