What an amazing year 2018 has been as the race gods have graced us with dramatic outcomes, with stories of tremendous triumphs, impressive personal bests as well as heartbreaking defeats. Lets do a quick refresher of the 2018 and relive some of those moments.
The year kicked off with Hurt 100 in January. Set in beautiful Honolulu Hawaii, Hurt is one of the worlds toughest 100 mile races, with less than 50% of the participants finishing every year. In 2018, in addition to the extremely difficult course, physical and mental challenges, the race saw early drama in the form of the “Nuclear Missile Threat”. While the threat turned out to be a dud, what shone through was the perseverance of the runners who didn’t let the fear of a mere nuclear missile get between them and the trails. This year was Avery Collin’s year. A favorite from the start, Avery finished with an impressive 21:44:00 followed by Guillaume Calmettes coming in second and Masazumi Fujioka third with 24:00:35 and 24:03:34. For the women, Darcy Piceu came first and finished strong with 25:48:27. Becky Bates was second with 27:33:07 and Sabrina Stanley with 29:45:04 . But other than that, this race is special because of the special Hurt Ohana. The people who make up the race who are there to encourage you and help you push through even when you are ready to give up.
In Frozen Head State Park, in Tennessee, runners from around the world line up before the Barkley Marathon to test not only their physical strength but also their mental capacity. Gary “Lazarus Lake” Cantrell makes the race extra challenging by with no maps provided, clues to solve and navigate along the way, treacherous forests with unpredictable weather, torrential rain and fog means that the runners don’t really compete against each other….they take on the course and this year the course won. None of the runner could complete the five 20 miles loop. Garry Robbins (23:05:35) came the closest completing 2 loops on time. Only four others including Guillaume Calmettes and Ally Beaven, a mountain runner from Scotland started a third loop along with Robbins. Many other ntable trail runners like Amelia Boone, ultrarunner Jamil Coury, and Michael Wardian did not manage to finish the second loop.
On Feb 16th, Aravaipa Running’s Black Canyon 100K, a WS golden ticket qualifier took pace in in the foothills of Bradshaw Mountains. For the men 2018 was Tim Ferrick’s year – 8:53:33, followed by Juan Moran 8:53:35 and Kanoa King – 9:10:38. The women put forth and impressive performance as well with Ailsa MacDonald taking the win with 8:53:33 and Courtney Dauwalter taking silver with 9:18:33. 2018 was Courtney’s year and we see much more from her as time goes by.
Lake Sonoma 50K
Next came Lake Sonoma 50K. This extremely popular 50K was blessed with gorgeous sunny weather typical of California. The race is 86% single track and 9% dirt roads which were dominated by Jim Walmsley (5:51:16) and Keely Henninger (7:13:55) who were ahead of the pack from the get go. While Jim set a new course record, Keely narrowly missed the women’s course record. This race is also the final race in the Altra Golden Ticket Series where entries can be earned into the Western States 100. In addition to Jim and Keeny…Jared Hazen (6:18:10), Taylor Nowlin (7:44:52) and Camelia Mayfield (7:45:55) accepted their golden tickets.
Western States 2018
Western States 2018 was Jim Walmsley’s year. After a couple of failed attempts to win, Jim not only won but shattered previous race records with a time of 14:30:04, refusing to listen to people’s advice on pacing. In his usual breakneck speed from the get go, Jim enthralled all following this historic race. Francois Dhaene (15:54:53) and
Mark Hammond (16:08:59) to take 2nd and third. The women’s race was dramatic as well, Courtney Duawalter came first for women and over 12th with a time of 17:27:00. Kaytlyn Gerbin (18:40:19) and young Australian Lucy Bartholomew (18:59:45) took the gold and silver. This year was was witness to amazing performances, new records, hot weather and fast times!
This was the silver Jubilee for Hardrock 100. Hailed as one of the most fun filled races, it doesn’t disappoint with the course, difficulty or drama. This year saw the first DQ of front runner Xavier Thévenard for receiving aid outside an aid station. Resulting in Jeff Browning (26:20:21) snatching the gold. Jeff Rome (26:34:33) and Troy Howard (27:09:39) took the next two spots. For the women, Sabrina Stanley put forth an impressive performance the whole race. It was her year for sure! Nikki Kimball ( 32:18:35) and Darla Askew (32:52:30) followed fo second and third place.
Badwater Salton Sea
2018’s Badwater Salton sea saw 36 teams participate. This 81 mile track tests the best and this year Walker Higgins emerged victorious and Dan McHugh came second, both with the time of 15:36:00. For the women, Patsy Ramirez-Arroyo killed it with a time of 18:27:00 and took first place.
Badwater 135 is regarded as one of the world toughest footraces covering 135 miles non-stop from Death Valley to Mt. Whitney, CA. This demanding and extreme running race offered anywhere on the planet and this year Michele Graglia (24:51:47) and Brenda Guajardo (28:23:10) beat the elements to come first. Jared Fetterolf and Don Reichet plus Pam Smith and Micah Morgan took second and third for the men and women respectively.
Penyagolosa 2018 Trail World Championships gold went to Spain’s Luis Alberto
Hernando 8:38:35 and The Netherlands’s Ragna Debats 9:55:00. The race began in Castellón de la Plana, Spain and featured some unique and mixed terrain. Two time defending champ Luis initially shadowed the front of the pack in the first half, only to dominate in the second while Ragna dominated the whole way.
Lavaredo Ultra Trail 2018
Elite and amateur trail runners from all over the world compete for 5,800-meter elevation gain departing from Corso, Italia. Magnificent and Dolomite landscapes make the Lavaredo Ultra Trail 2018 a race to behold. This year USA’s Hayden Hawks 12:16:20 won, but it wasn’t easy by any means. He crossed the finish line and his discomfort and pain finally took over. Pau Capell 12:20:22 and Tim Tollefson 12:44:44 took second and third respectively. For the women Kelly Wolf (USA) 14:37:00, Miao Yao (CHN) 14:52:04 and Kathrin Götz (SUI) 15:03:04 won gold silver and bronze.
IAU 100k World Championships
This year the Croatian town of Sveti Martin na Muri hosted the 2018 IAU 100k World Championships. Japan’s Hideaki Yamauchi became the two time Champion with a time of 6:28:05. In the women’s race, Croatia’s Nikolina Šustić won with a steady pace and time of 7:20:34. This year the race was not flat like is has been in the past, but the runners got to experience te gorgeous Croatian hill landscape. Second and third places were earned by Takehiko Gyoba – 6:32:51 and Bongmusa Mthembu – 6:33:47 for the men and Nele Alder-Baerens (Germany) – 7:22:41 and Mai Fujisawa (Japan) – 7:39:07 for the women.
Tor des Géants
TDG is a 330k multi day race with difficult steep elevation. This race takes place all over the Aosta Valley, Italyfinishes at Courmayeur France. The course must be completed in less than 150 hours and this year Franco Colle (74:03:00), Galen Reynolds (74:40:36), and Peter Kienzl (77:31:11) took the top three positions in a hard fought race. Women’s Silvia Trigueros (87h50m) displayed great form and won in a dominating style. Silvia is alsothe first woman to take TDG gold.
UTMB is by far one of the most beautiful, challenging and dynamic races we have, having the runner cross 3 countries through the Alps. This year France’s Xavier Thévenard – 20:44:16 took home his third gold while Italy’s Francesca Canepa – 26:03:48
scored her first win at UTMB 2018. Romanian runner Robert Hajnal -21:31:37 had had a great performance and took second, while Spain’s Jordi Gamito took third with 21:57:01. For the women Uxue Fraile returned from a major injury – 26:08:07
to take second and France’s Jocelyne Pauly, after a hard fought battle came a close third with 26:15:11.
In its 7th year, Kodiak 100 takes place in in the San Bernardino Mountains of Southern California at an elevation of 7,000. With epic views and tremendous climbs, runners get to challenge themselves while enjoying the scenery. Robby Hass came first with 9:31:09 for men and Rachel Hallum-Montes for twomen with a time of 10:52:48.
The Javelina Jundred is a costumed 100 mile trail run party that appropriately takes place around halloween. In its 17th edition the race is held on a 20 mile rolling single track trail course comprised mostly of the Pemberton Trail in beautiful McDowell Mountain Regional Park near Fountain Hills, Arizona. In 2018 this social run was won by Patrick Reagan (15:39:33) for men and Darcy Piceu (18:49:06) for women.
Cappadocia, Turkey is a unique natural wonder with fairy chimneys and unique historical and cultural heritage of the silk roads for trade. Now this site host a unique ultra that leave runners spellbound by the beauty. This year Andrea MACCHI came first with 11:12:34 followed by Marcus SCOTNEY 11:31:34 and Harry JONES 12:18:40. For the women the podium was earned by Maria MITEVA NIKOLOVA 13:14:29, Kalanova ALEXANDRA 13:25:28 and Francesca CANEPA 13:42:15.
Big’s Backyard Ultra
Another race put on by Gary “Lazarus Lake” Cantrell, it stays true to the torturous nature he is known for. 100 runners running a single loop measuring 4.16 miles in an hour over and over again till there is just one left. This year that was Johan Steene, 40, of Stockholm, Sweden completing 283.335 miles. But Courtney Dauwalters performance is worth mentioning as she came second with 270.83 miles. Cruel race yes, but addictive for sure!
This year was Camille Herron’s year! Not only did she smash records wit her performance, but she did it with style. Herron broke the Women’s World Record for 24 Hours with a distance of 162.9 miles, the event’s best performance. Herron also claimed the 100 mile American Track Record for Women, with a time of 13:25:00. Herron also gave IRUN4Ultra an interview where she talked about her performance and her desire to run at a fast past. Other notable performances include Oswaldo Lopez, who has established a new 24 Hour Men’s Record for Mexico with a distance of 139.6 miles, and Andrew Snopes, who ran 144 miles barefoot. Greg Armstrong, coming in third, also completed his 155 mile run in Teva sandals! Some notable participants had to call it early for injury and fatigue, such as Courtney Dauwalter and Zach Bitter.
This race sees 29K of real skyrunning with a 2.500 meter vertical climb.Starting and finishing in the beautiful Lungolago Marconi in Limone sul Garda does not disappoint with its difficulty. For the men it was Davide Magnini (ITA) – 2h59’24”, Rémi Bonnet (SUI) – 3h0414” and Oriol Cardona Coll (ESP) – 3h06’07” for top three. Tove Alexandersson (SWE) – 3h31’36”, Ragna Debats (NED) – 3h40’07” and Sheila Avilés (ESP) – 3h45’28 took the podium for the women.
ZEGAMA AIZKORRI 2018
Zegama is part of the golden trail series and this year was its most competitive by far! This year was exceptionally steep and muddy and Ida Nilsson (Sweden) won with 4:38 win.Second-place Laura Orgué (Spain) followed in 4:45, and Ruth Croft (New Zealand) was third in 4:48. For the men Rémi Bonnet (Switzerland) ousted defending champ and course-record holder Stian Angermund (Norway) to win. 23 year old Bonnet finished in 3:53, beating Angermund’s 3:55 by exactly 90 seconds for a nailbitting finish!
Angeles Crest 100 Mile Endurance Run
Taking place in California’s Angeles National Forest, the course was originally designed to be a challenging 30-hour course, but due to its difficulty, the official cut-off time is set to 33 hours. This year was Rene Dorantes year, winning with a time of 19:23:04. Darcy Piceu won the women’s with 22:17:41. This has been a good year for Darcy with multiple wins under her belt.
First held in 1963, JFK 50 Mile was a 50 mile event held as part of President John F. Kennedy’s push to bring the country back to physical fitness. In that tradition it continues today starting in the town of Boonsboro, Maryland, and heads east out of town toward the South Mountain Inn. This year Jared Hazen (5:34:21) won for the men and Kate Pallardy (6:40:34) for the women. Zach Miller came second. The current course records are held by Jim Walmsley (5:21:29) for men and Ellie Greenwood (6:12:00) for women.
All in all it was a great 2018 for us here at IRUN4ULTRA. We covered many races, saw many hearts break with losses and a larger number of triumphant wins, on and off the podium. Can’t wait to see that 2019 has in store for us. Happy trails!