TRAIL NEWS: Women's Running Roundup 10/2/2019

I think it is safe to say that the Klaxon has sounded for the end of "Off Season - Schmoff Season" (as Alex Nichols so beautifully summarised Courtney Dauwalter's trail efforts in a tweet the other day).

Things are heating up, okay mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, but the level of performance on display down under is enough to put a spring in the step of us trudging through ever increasing levels of mud up north too.

Since there isn't much competitive long distance trail running to report on from the 'still in winter' continent this week lets jump straight to the island so many of us wish we inhabited at this time of the year (and point in history …)

TARAWERA ULTRAMARATHON, 102 k / 3089 m - 100 miles / 5132 m

The shorter 100 k distance of this prestigious and stunning looking ultra trail is usually the most competitive one, not only because of its early season race date making more runners opt for less mileage but also due to it being the second instalment of the Ultra-Trail World Tour series. This years edition did not disappoint and served up both big names and great performances. Our favourite pair of Baggy Shorts were making their first appearance of the year and sitting on the legs of Courtney Dauwalter it is not surprising that they saw most of this fast paced race from the front end. Courtney and local lass Cecilia Flori could be seen cruising through the first three check points together before Dauwalter "dewey-ed to it" and took control of the lead. She won the race (and placed 8th OA) in 09:28:03 twenty minutes ahead of the speedy Austrailan runner Stephanie Auston (, who ran a very impressive debut on the 100 k distance. Rounding out the podium was last years New Caledonia Ultra Trail champion Angelique Plaire from France in 10:39.

The 100 miler might not have been as stacked with elite names but what does that matter when you have a 24 hour record holder toeing the line. The flat and fast start to the 100 mile course suited Camille Herron like hand in glove and she went off like fire leaving not only her sisters but also the entire field of men in her dust. With Zac Marion battling cramps and Jeff Browning taking a wrong turn leading to a 30 minute detour it looked like she was on to an outright victory but as the trail turned technical during the last quarter of the race Camille's wheels started to come off and she could not hold off the by now ferociously chasing Hard Rock champion any longer. Herron still managed to bag 2nd OA behind Jeff Browning and obliterated the female course record with a 17:50:22 finish. To think that I doubted she'd be at the start-line in my preview last week … Second lady was Katie Wright in 23:43:26 and 25 minutes behind in third was Lesley Park.

Impressive season debuts from both Courtney and Camille, fingers crossed for an injury free spring for Americas two big C's so we get to see them in proper battle mode at WS100 in June!

102 km

1. Courtney Dauwalter (8OA) 09:28:03
2. Stephanie Auston (11 OA) 09:49:22
3. Angelique Plaire 10:39:47

100 mile

1. Camille Herron (2 OA) 17:20:52
2. Katie Wright 23:43:26
3. Lesley Park 24:07:38

Full Results Here;

Right back to those step infested trails over in Hong to the Kong for the next round up section;


Photo by Vincent TakShing Chan

Photo by Vincent TakShing Chan

It feels like this autonomous and most westernised region of the east is slowly but steadily becoming the Alps of the Winter (for runners, not skiers …). With trail running becoming increasingly popular in Asia there are new races popping up every year and older events like the "somewhat" INSANE Four Trails gains wider recognition and with that a stream of international runners. The HK4TUC started back in 2012 and is a self supported non stop event where runners complete each of the four big trails (Maclehose, Wilson, Hong Kong, Lantau) of Hong Kong within a time limit of 75 hours. The biggest challenge, at least for the foreign visitors, seems to be sorting out the transport between the trails. Up until this year only 6 runners had completed the race under 60 hours and no female runner had made it back to kiss the Green Post Box by the ferry terminal in Mui Wo that marks the finish before the "finisher" cutoff. You are considered a survivor of the race if you complete Maclehose within 18 hours (the first cut off), start the Lantau trail within 56 hours (the second cut off) and have finished all four trails within 75 hours (the final cut off) and a finisher if you reach Mui Wo under 60 . There are also a long list of rules that the runners have to follow, poles for examples are not permitted (the inner hippie of yours truly highly approves of this :) ) and whilst you are allowed a crew outside of the trail you can not have a drop bag, pacer or anyone running with you whilst on route. You can however, as there are no aid stations, buy supplies and food in shops and vending machines along the route IF you are lucky enough to encounter them during opening hours that is ……. As the race description goes; "This is only for people who love pain and suffering and get a thrill out of attempting something that they deem impossible and they expect most likely to completely fail at".

Since this is a low key, community driven race there are no official rankings as such BUT the participants have to use live tracking and similarly to The Spine there is a daily summary of footage being uploaded to the race Facebook page which is how i know that the 2019 edition of the four trails had a first ever female finisher in Nikki Han. Nikki is British but lives in Hong Kong, she completed the challenge in 58 hours and 20 minutes! Whatta Shero!

You can read a longer pre race interview and a short post race chat with Nikki here:


THE COASTAL CHALLENGE COSTA RICA is underway and in the spirit of 2019 the ladies are C.R.U.S.H.I.N.G it.

Photo by Ian Corless

Photo by Ian Corless

Ida Nilsson won the first stage out right, had a bit of a wobble on day 2 but was back in form for a second OA finish on day three. She has so far taken down the ladies course record on all the three completed stages and is not only leading the women's race but is currently sitting as 3rd OA. Behind Ida there is a daily battle between the previous champion and record holder Ragna Debats and Holly Page. Three days remains and we will be back with the final results in next weeks round up. For now: HEJA IDA!


BLACK CANYON 100 k / 1580 m

This second Golden Ticket race of the year is stacked with strong runners and will give us a good idea of the American trail elites early season form. Kaci Lickteig and Yiou Yang are both speedy marathoners and this flat and not too technical 100 k route should suit them. They will be joined by handful of other long distance trail champions in the hunt for WS 100 starting numbers though so this is likely to be a fast and furious edition of the Black Canyon 100.

That's it trail heads! More muddy kicks in seven!

ROAD NEWS: Women's Running Roundup 10/02/2019


Charlotte Arter (I: @arterc91) was not only at the front of a strong showing from the Brits at last weekend’s eDreams Mitja Marato Barcelona , but at the front of the field all together. The British 10,000m chapion who recently set the fastest ever female Parkrun time of 15:50 in Cardiff in Jan showed that she’s fast over even longer distances. She broke the Welsh women’s half marathon record, improved her PB by almost two minutes and ran 69:40 to move from 21st to eighth on the UK all-time list and place 5th in the race.

The IAAF reports that

The women’s race had been billed as a serious attack on the world record by the rising star [Roza] Dereje. She came up short, but still clocked 1:06:01 to clip a full minute from her previous lifetime best.

Second place went to Kuma for the second year in a row (taking 2 mins off her PB) but Sally Cepyego could only hold on for a slower - than best third place.

Ann-Marie McGlynn of Ireland (@mcglynnannmarie) also ran a hefty 1:49 PB while Sonia Samuels and Lily Partridge (@lilypartridge) crossed the line together in 1:12:20. It’s sad to see Lily so frustrated by problems with her back hampering her performance. I really hope that this doesn’t bode ill for London. Tracy Barlow (@tracy4734) ran her second fastest time ever off virtually no tape and was understandably pleased at that performance on a distance which isn’t her normal battle ground.











also running for the UK : Tracy Barlow, 1:12:28, Eleanor Davis 1:12:46




Hot on the heels of last week’s news regarding Ex-VLM and Olympic champion Jemima Sumgong’s doping ban, it’s sad to have to report another example of apparent rule breaking. Sarah Chepchir, who is a former training partner and sister-in-law to Sumgong has been provisionally banned by the Athletics Integrity Unit.

Chepchir won Tokyo marathon in 2017 and holds the course record in 2:19:47. Athletics Kenya President Lt Gen(RTD) Jack Tuwei  has said that “We have had conversations with all our athletes and no one is being forced to dope. It’s a personal decision so those found will carry their own cross and face the consequences” and the AIU have quoted the responsibility of the athlete to make sure that no banned substances enter their body and not banned methods are used. So, whilst it is interesting that Chepchir has shared a coach with Sumgong it seems that the finger will always be pointed very much at the individual. Indeed, the AIU say that it is not necessary that intent, fault, negligence or knowing use be proved. I can’t quite see how a provisional bad can become anything less than a full ban given this kind of athlete-centric approach. I can’t make up my mind how to feel about it - obviously it’s terrible that people cheat but what if it’s endemic and expected of athletes - who should be punished the most? Chepchir says herself in an old interview that the live you have to earn money and you only earn money if you win. It’s inexcusable to cheat and I don’t for one second think someone should be given a soft sentence, but perhaps there are others who need to be brought into the spotlight too.

Final word on this goes to The Morning Shakeout’s Mario Fraioli:

Chepchichir’s agent is Federico Rosa—yep, that guy—who represented Sumgong, as well as Rita Jeptoo, the former Boston Marathon champion who got a four-year suspension for doping, Lucy Kabuu, who is currently serving a two-year doping ban (for morphine, of all things), former Olympic 1500m gold medalist Asbel Kiprop, who also got nailed for EPO, and Mathew Kisorio, the 58:46 half marathoner who tested positive for steroids back in 2012. Am I forgetting anyone?


In covering Emma Bates’ win at CIM back in December I (and it seems others) managed to miss an interesting result. CIM is the US Marathon Championships, Boston qualifying, Oympic Trials qualifying and a fast, paced race. So it always garners some great performances and some up and coming athletes looking to make the next leap. It is one of those ‘unknown’ athletes that RunnersWorld picked up on this week.

3rd placing Samantha Roeker (@Samroeker), like Sarah Sellars (of 2nd in Boston fame) is both unsponsored and a nurse. She talks about her 8 minute PB, training with Emily Sisson (who we mentioned last week as she’ll run her first marathon at London), 100mile weeks, having to be ‘hyper-focused’ and her love of Tracksmith clothing. Check out the article here, it’s a good read.


Sadly it seems that professional middle distance runner, eternal optimist, rare cancer surviver and constant fighter has had some bad news regarding her health. If you’ve not red her story at, please do. It’smincredible.

She recently tweeted the below message.

Our thoughts are with her and Justin.


Gabriele has survived multiple bouts with cancer. Initially diagnosed with a rare salivary gland cancer, adenoid cystic carcinoma, in 2009, and thyroid cancer in 2010. She experienced recurrences of adenoid cystic carcinoma in 2016 and 2017.

Under the guidance of coach Dennis Barker, Gabriele aims to return to elite competition in 2018 and ultimately has her sights set on the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. She lives and trains along the banks of the Mississippi River in Minneapolis with her husband, Justin.



Hong Kong and Seville Marathons are this weekend on the 17th. As yet, I can’t find any start lists for these but if I do I’ll let you know.

As usual… I’m off to hit the track now. Tarra.

ROAD NEWS: Women's Running Roundup 4/02/2019

ROAD NEWS: Women's Running Roundup 4/02/2019

Charlotte and Sinead produce grin-making results and there’s more marathoners grinding through their training in prep for springtime races. Get your road-running fix here.

UPDATE 5/2/19
Tina Muir (I @tinamuir88/) and Teal Burrell (I: @runnerteal) have both thrown themselves into the mix for Boston.

In frustrating / sad news, Rio ‘16 Marathon winner Jemima Sumgong has had her ban for doping extended

TRAIL NEWS: Women's Running Roundup 4/2/2019

TRAIL NEWS: Women's Running Roundup 4/2/2019

This week in the trail department of the Women’s Running Roundup :

Boden. Sigh. Ok…moving on…

Some pretty brutal weather in Cornwall doesn’t deter Centurion race-winners, 8 dragons become 9 in Hong Kong, fast legs in Grizedale and an unknown field win the Rocky Raccoon 100. Oh, and the small matter of British Athletics announcing our squad for the ITRA Trail World Champs… fill your muddy boots by clicking through below to read more.

Katie Kaars Sijpesteijn (Twitter @katieboden4)

Jo Meek (Insta @running_squirrel)

Charlotte Morgan (power of 10 profile)

Holly Page (insta @hollyapage)

Jasmin Paris (Twitter @jasminkparis)

Georgia Tindley (insta @gtindley)

Click on through…

Boston & London Marathon Elite Previews

As we start to head towards peak marathon season I’m going to do a one-by-one preview of the ladies in the elite fields for Boston and London. That way, by the time we get there we’ll all know who’s going to win, right? Boston first, then I’ll move onto London. Stay tuned!

TRAIL NEWS: Women's Running Roundup 21/01/2019

TRAIL NEWS: Women's Running Roundup 21/01/2019

This week in the trail department of the Women’s Running Roundup :

Of course, it could only be Jasmine Paris heading up the news but not just her - Shelli Gordon and Gabriele Kenkenberg crushed it out there too.

Over in Hong Kong, we get to know the team of strong Chinese runners that took over the Hong Kong 100 (though the winner wasn't happy with her pacing) and then there’s news from Emelie Forsberg and Holly Page.

Click on through…

Women's Running Roundup 15/01/2019

Clearly this week’s news from the women of the running world is dominated by the 286 mile Spine Race. Rightly so, for it’s a beast of a race and the result was, well you’ll have to wait an see. Add to that the fact that marathoners are still hiding away and working their way back to some sort of mileage after their Christmas break, and it’s only fair that Cajsa opens up the bidding for the Women’s Running Roundup from the 7th-15th Jan 2019. Settle in, it’s a good’un. She wrote the roundup as the race was unfolding so we can enjoy the excitement together .



Cajsa writes:

If I had any doubts of which is my most time consuming interest a glance at the Screen Time report of my phone from the last week would set all records straight. It started with 100% UTMB ballot result site activity on Wednesday (sorry clients), morphed into 50% whats-app-running-group formations and 50% alp-related airbnb browsing over Thursday. From Friday onwards the stats would report on an average 7 hours spent hitting the refresh button on the impeccable Spine Race tracker (again, sorry clients) and that is pretty much where me and my phone data are still at. 


The utter nutters who set out on Sunday morning to tackle the 286 miles long course following the Pennine Way Trail from Derbyshire to Scotland are still out there; crossing bogs, climbing ridges and taking naps
in barns. At the moment of writing Jasmin Parris has 222 miles under her soles and a 6 mile lead on Eugeni Rosello. The two at the top have a comfortable 20 mile gap down to the chasing pack and even though there is still a long way to go l I think we can safely say that this is going to be between Parris and Rosello. For most of the first two days they were within a mile of each other but over the early hours of Tuesday Parris pulled away from Rosello, possibly through the latter having a longer stop (and snooze?) at Check Point 4. I won't go into too much detail until the race is finished so lets wrap things up for now and keep our collective fingers crossed for the incredible Jasmin to BRING IT HOME and move on to some finalised results!  (if you like me are by a curious nature there is some excellent coverage to devour on the official face book page;

WED MORNING SPINE TRACKER UPDATE: Whilst I was sleeping Jasmin Parris has moved another 20 miles and is closing in on Byrness. The gap down to Eugeni has grown to nearly 10 miles and If Jasmin continues this strong it looks like she will break the course record! WAAAHHHHHH (sorry in advance clients) 

<Gill adds> Hurrah, some actual news outlets have highlighted the incredible acheivements of Jasmine Paris (see here , oh and here, and here).


Carol Morgan

Carol Morgan

Two of my favourites as possible challengers for Jasmin Paris in last weeks Spine Race preview turned out to have stepped down a distance to battle it out for the podium places in the shorter Spine Race Challenger. When I say shorter what I really mean is less long because even if the Challenger is the sister race it is still as the name suggests by no means an easy cruise! The participants set to tackle the 108 miles of very technical and at times very NON-runable terrain have 60 hours to complete the course, that might seem like a lot but if you take into consideration that the mens course record is over 22 hours compared to UTMB's of just over 20 you get an idea of how hard even the short version of this race is. 

Someone who did not have to worry about making cut offs was Carol Morgan, she took the lead from the gun and through some very solid and cleverly paced running held onto her position as first lady over the finish-line in 31:47:37. In the early stage of the race Jenny Yeo and Jen Scotney were not far behind but over the second day they started to fall back to eventually finish as second and third lady in 35:36 and 38:53 respectively. 

1. Carol Morgan 31:47:37

2. Jenny Yeo 35:36:39

3. Jennifer Scotney 38:53:16

Post race Interview with Jenny and Jen via the links below!

If the distances and finishing times of the Spine races seem like a torturous amount of right foot left foot so early in the year then perhaps the gradual back to back build up of the stage race below might be a more appealing choice of season starter.

SANDSJOBACKA TRAIL,  25k + 50 k + 89 k

This is a quiet new Swedish race with an interesting format well suited to kick off the season with a bang (take note UK race organisers!). Runners take on a total of 100 miles split over 3 races in 3 consecutive days, all of them on different courses in a nature reserve surrounding the coastal town of Gothenburg. Things start off easy with a 25 k night trail on Friday eve, followed by a 50 k route on Saturday and finish with a return to the dark through a very early (6:00) start of the 50 mile finale on the Sunday. The times of the three races are combined and the runner with the fastest total is the winner. Henriette Brynthe who finished 8th in a very competitive international field at Ultravasan last year won the 2019 edition of Sandsjobacka Trail, second lady (but first on the initial night trail) was home girl Colette Coumans and in third place was second Norwegian Elisabeth Borgesen who placed 7th at TDS in 2018. 

1. Henriette Brynthe, NOR 17:59:25 

2. Colette Coumans, SWE 18:28:07

3. Elisabeth Borgersen, NOR 19:56:46

COUNTRY TO CAPITAL, 45 miles (no info on the altitude gain but it is a pancake flat one so i guesstimate 208m)

This extended pub crawl starting at the Shoulder of Mutton in Wendower is a popular season starter for the South East of UK contingent. The starting gun goes off just in time for people to arrive on the first train from London. My pre race favourite and Spartathlon shero Cat Simpson took an early lead ahead of Ali Young but at the first check point they were both passed by double Maverick X winner Rebecca Ferry who from there on held on to her position all the way back to the big smoke and finished in a record breaking time of 5:53:35. Hot on her heels over the finish line in Little Venice just twenty seconds behind was Simpson and rounding out the podium in third was Young in 6:19. 

1. Rebecca Ferry 5:53:35

2. Cat Simpson 5:53:55

3. Ali Young 6:19

Screen Shot 2018-06-04 at 16.48.24.png


VIBRAM HONG KONG 100, 100 miles

First out in this years Ultra Trail World Tour Series is the Hong Kong 100, a race notorious for featuring Monkey's as well as a significant amount of stairs and of course a few familiar elite legs who wants some early season action on the international scene. Last year an unchallenged Miao Yao started her year by winning this race and breaking the course record by 40 minutes (at the early stages of he race she was running under the men's record time too ….) She wont be returning to defend her title this year though and in her absence the strongest name on paper is Ekaterina Mityaeva. Allthough Ekaterina finished last year with a DNF-ing at Pirin Ultra she had an incredible 2018 with a win at Ultra Pirineu and third at Transgrancanaria as well as a handful of top 5 rankings at the Sky Runner World Series. There's been a big program for retraining old olympian athletes from the track and field into long distance trail runners in China and there are a few names from that camp on the starting list, odds are high that one or two of them will be the biggest competition for Mityaeva.

That's all for this week folks, I'd like to round things up with a quote from a well known shero of the roads that speaks very much for my feelings during these first stumbling weeks of a new big training block;


And on that note from Des Linden (see - us road-ies and trail-ies share heros) we turn to the roads, only there’s not much happening on the tarmac at the moment. There are some results below but what is VERY exciting is the both London and Boston marathon have released more info about their elite fields this week. While it’ll be exciting to see the one-second-apart-PB battle unfold between Lily Partridge (2:29:24) and Charlotte Purdue (2:29:23) on the streets of London it’s the fact that Aly Dixon has thrown her hat into the Boston ring that really made me squeal this week. I know she’s had problems getting back from injury this year and has been quite open about how frustrating she’s found it but I’m so pleased that one of the British ladies has stepped up to take on the Blue-and-Yellow beast. I had a bit of converdation over twitter with Aly last year about why no Brits were ever one the lineup and she explained that it was to do with London being a qualifying race for various other events, so I’m grateful that she’s taken this risk. I really hope her build up goes great.

On the ‘also running’ list for London are Tracy Barlow and Sonia Samuels - whilst they are more mature they are also, well, more mature and have great experience to bring to the race. Don’t count them out. Then there are: (and I quote) ‘31 year old Irish mother of 4’ Laura Graham who won Belfast marathon in 2017 and came second to Caroloine Chepchir in 2018, speedy Hayley Carruthers (England) who is PBing all over the shop at the moment, Natasha Cockram (Wales) who only started marathoning last year and Tish Jones who seems to have been quiet since her England outing at Scotiabank Toronto Marathon in 2017.

Either way, I’m sort of sad I’m running it so I can’t watch it. But not really, obviousely - it’s my home marathon!

Results from last weekend:

A Vietnamese clean sweep of the podium at their home marathon.
1. Hồng Lệ Phạm Thị (VNM) 03:03:58
2. Thùy Dương Nguyễn Thị (VNM) 3:19:10
3. Ý Tiên Nguyễn Thụy (VNM) 3:21:29


Women (7.6km)
1 Hellen Obiri (KEN) 24:39
2 Stella Chesang (UGA) 24:59
3 Beatrice Chepkoech (KEN) 25:16
4 Yasemin Can (TUR) 25:44
5 Kate Holt (GBR) 26:51
6 Lily Partridge (GBR) 27:05
7 Sara Treacy (IRL) 27:08
8 Rachel Robinson (GBR) 27:18
9 Elena Loyo (ESP) 27:24
10 Ana Lozano (ESP) 27:26


Fast Running reports:

Jenny Nesbitt ran a PB of 33:10 to finish 11th and third European in the women’s race. The Welsh Commonwealth Games athlete, who won the renowned Nos Galen road race on New Year’s Eve, took 14 seconds from her previous best mark set at the Bourton 10k last year.

Tsehay Gemechu took 15 seconds off Tirunesh Dibaba’s Ethiopian record to win the women’s race in 30:15, while compatriot Chala Ketema won the men’s race in 27:23 with 10 men running 28 minutes or quicker.


13th Jan

Cross Internacional Juan Muguerza - IAAF Cross Country, Elgoibar, Spain
10K Valencia Ibercaja - IAAF Bronze Label Road Races, Valencia, Spain

19th Jan
IAAF Antrim International Cross Country - IAAF Cross Country, Antrim, GB & NI
Northern Ireland International Cross Country -IAAF Cross Country, Belfast (GBR), GB & NI