An 85-kilometer, point-to-point race in the remote mountains near Westport, New Zealand. The race’s entire 53 miles are run on a brand new trail called the Old Ghost Road, its isolation is so complete that from start to finish, one does not cross a road or another trail.
Author Matt Flaherty
Last week at the Cayuga Trails 50 Mile, Dani Filipek won the US 50 Mile National Championships and secured a spot on the 2018 Trail World Championships team. A new face in the sport, having made her ultra debut this year, Filipek sports a speedy marathon PB of 2:41:32 and ran at the 2016 Olympic Marathon Team Trials.
In this edition of Quick & Dirty, I chat with Hayden Hawks, who recently shaved more than a half hour off the Zion Traverse FKT. Hawks completed the 48-mile crossing of Zion National Park in 6:50:49, beating the previous record of 7:22:08, held by Mike Foote and Justin Yates.
For this edition of Quick & Dirty, I chatted with John Kelly, the fifteenth ever finisher of the Barkley Marathons. To match the massive undertaking that is a Barkley finish, this chat is a bit longer than typical for the column, but Kelly’s approach and insight are fascinating.
On January 28th, David Riddle ran to a commanding victory at the Mountain Mist 50K in Huntsville, AL. It was his fifth win in six attempts at the southern winter classic, and his first since 2013. He had missed the last two years during a long injury layoff and subsequent recovery. In this interview, we chat about Riddle’s recent races, what motivates his racing choices, and what he’s thinking about next. The interview has been lightly edited for clarity.
Veteran ultrarunner Brian Rusiecki wrapped up another rock-solid year of running with a win at the Hellgate 100K in Fincastle, VA in 11:01:26. The man has been a stalwart of the East Coast ultrarunning scene for the past decade, seemingly winning everything there is in that region.
Over the last several years, the Desert Solstice 24 Hour and 100 Mile has seen a number of superhuman performances—among the most impressive feats of ultra endurance in the country and world. This year’s event was no exception, as the relatively unknown Gina Slaby circled the 400-meter Central High School track in Phoenix, AZ, for 100 miles in a new world record time of 13:45:49.
On September 16 and 17, Courtney Dauwalter raced to an impressive victory at the Run Rabbit Run 100 Mile in Steamboat Springs, CO, besting second place finisher Alissa St Laurent by 75 minutes. Her time of 21:23:37 is the fourth-fastest ever at the race.
Morgan Elliott, a 24-year-old runner hailing from the relatively low elevation of Black Mountain, NC won the Audi Power of Four 50K, in Aspen, CO in commanding fashion over the weekend.
When the whole picture is taken into account, Walmsley’s story starts to make more sense. In 2014, when he started to dabble in trail and ultra races, he was also working 24-hour shifts underground in an Air Force base in Great Falls, MT.
In late 2015, Devon Yanko returned to the top of the ultrarunning ranks in style at the Javelina Jundred. She finished the 100-mile race through the desert in a blazing 14:52:06, first woman and second place overall. This was also the third-fastest trail 100 mile ever run by an American woman.
Corrine Malcolm notched an impressive win at the US 50 Mile Trail Championships over the weekend. Despite hot and humid conditions, Malcolm’s time of 8:18 on the Cayuga Trails 50 course was the second-fastest ever, trailing only Amanda Basham’s CR. Relatively new to the ultra scene, the 26-year-old Malcolm is quickly gaining experience and improving her performances.
Geoff Burns is only a year into running ultramarathons, but it seems like a sport he was born for. The newly minted 100K US Champion hails from Traverse City, MI and grew up running and racing. His dad introduced him to the sport early, and he’s competed for much of his life.
Over the weekend, YiOu Wang raced to the win at the highly competitive Lake Sonoma 50 Mile in 7:14:45—the second fastest ever at Lake Sonoma. Wang resides in San Anselmo, CA, where she is the 7th and 8th grade teacher as well as the Dean of Curriculum at GATE Academy in San Rafael, CA.
Andrew Miller is one of ultrarunning’s young rising stars. With a repeat victory at the Georgia Death Race on March 19, Miller earned his first Western States 100 Mile appearance. Despite being just 19, he already has several 100 mile races under his belt and thinks and runs like a veteran. In this interview, he discusses his recent win at the “hardest race east of the Rockies,” as well as his training, goals, and recent move to Flagstaff, AZ from his Corvallis, OR home.
On a Sunday morning in early March, an eclectic group of runners make their way into a small, crowded kitchen on top of Mt. LeConte. The LeConte Lodge is closed, but we’re here at the caretaker’s invitation, readying for a day of running in the Great Smoky Mountains. We drink cowboy coffee and hastily down donuts, indulging in what would normally be off-limits pre-race food.
At the U.S. 50K Road National Championships on March 6, Caroline Boller raced to a dominant victory, besting second place by over 17 minutes with a 3:22:50 finishing time. With the win, Boller earned an automatic selection to represent the USA at the 2016 IAU 50K World Championships. She also broke the Master’s American Record (formerly held by Mary Coordt at 3:28:30) and logged the eighth-best 50k ever by a North American resident.
With a big win at the Sean O’Brien 100K last weekend, Stephen Wassather punched a ticket to return to the Western States 100 Mile. The 25-year-old runner, who lives and trains in Marin, CA, says, “I want to take more chances this year [at States] and really see what I’m capable of.”
Over the weekend, Tony Migliozzi, a 26 year old from North Canton, OH, absolutely nailed his debut ultramarathon at the IAU 50K World Championships in Doha, Qatar. Migliozzi won individual gold with a 2:52:08 finishing time, while the Team USA men won team silver.
Capping a stellar 2015 ultrarunning season, Sarah Bard recently raced to a repeat victory at the JFK 50 Mile against stiff competition, running an impressive time of 6:31:11. In this interview, she discusses her recent transition to ultrarunning, her JFK win, her other top results and future racing plans.
On Saturday, November 14, Minnesota runner Mike Bialick blazed to a 12:52:53 finish at the Tunnel Hill 100 Mile. The southern Illinois race is designed for speed, tracing a crushed limestone rail trail out and back from the small town of Vienna, IL. Last year, Tracy Falbo ran 14:45:26 in the inaugural race, a time that was a North American record for trail 100-mile at the time.
Dan Kraft has steadily ascended the ranks of U.S. ultrarunning the last few years. He’s a member of the Nike Trail Elite team and originally hails from Colorado. Kraft currently lives in Issaquah, WA, working the harvest at a small winery, continuing his education from a recently completed Master’s degree in winemaking at Oregon State University.
Last week, I traveled to north-central Sweden to compete in the second annual UltraVasan 90K on Saturday morning, August 22. What follows is an account of my race but also the race history, the course, and the three kings on everyone’s mind as the weekend unfolded.
Hillary Allen, who sports the apropos moniker Hillygoat, has quickly risen to prominence in the ultrarunning world—especially in races with a lot of vertical. Though relatively new to running, the Colorado native has won several big name races, including this year’s Speedgoat 50K in 6:37:35.