Welcome to the even better Women's Running Roundup for the week ending 3rd June. Now with added trail and preview goodness. Cajsa Holgersson who herself featured in a previous edition and is my Trail-Jedi has taken on Trail Corner (there must be a better name) in return for me promising to do some previews. If you're after half marathons and shorter, then you'll find excellent coverage at FastRunning.
Right, settle in, here goes...
Asics Stockholm Marathon
Kicking off the roundup is a local win for Mikaela Larsson (twitter @mikaelasaga) of Sweden in the Stockholm Marathon.
Mikaela won in 2:40:49, more that 3 minutes ahead of Beji Bekulu of Ethiopia, with Caroline Almkvist (also of Sweden) in third. 4 of the top 5 runners were from Sweden this year, which differs from last year when Kenya, Ethiopia and Japan held all 5 places.
1,400 ran the race which follows the banks of the river Foyle and according to its website is “a challenging route”. The winner was Heather Noone in 3:05:38 (46th OA). Heather is from County Mayo but lives in London. According to the local press, it was her first ever marathon and she only started running in October, so not a bad debut!
2nd was Louise Smith of North Belfast Harriers in 3:10:18 (57th OA). Louise has only run two marathons before this, but was a long way off her debut and PR time of 2:53:27 set last year at Newry City Marathon.
3rd place went to local lady Denise Ward of Foyle Valley AC in 3:18:35 (91st OA)
The race was a bit slower than last year when Catherine Whorisky won in 2:50:37. Catherine wasn’t competing this year due to being pregnant
Oh, and the men’s race was won by a Project Africa Athlete - we’ve seen them winning at Belfast and Edinburgh recently so the team seem to be doing well. Last year a PA runner came third in this race but none entered this year.
Hannah took the win in a speedier than last year time of 2:48:06. It is her third marathon so far this year after London (2:46:27) and Copenhagen in 2:45:32. Oh, and she ran 35:42.01 for a 10k at the Night of the 10,000 PBs too. Mel Aitken, an NZ police inspector and part of Team Altra cam second in 2:53 (which would have won it last year) and Christchurch local Lisa Brugnell took third in 3:04
Bolton Hill Marathon
1st Rebecca Antcliffe in 4:06:07
2nd Katie Samuelsonf, Cambridge & Coleridge AC in 4:12:22
3rd Fiona Edwards of Spa Striders in 4:24:44
Huddersfield Marathon and Half
“With a one lap for the Half-Marathon runners and two for the Marathon, its a hilly opening few miles before a kinder run in to the finish. It's challenging, its the toughest road marathon in the UK!” Results not yet published but will be here when they are.
1st Diana Leggott, Lonely Goat Running 1:34:25
2nd Lesley Moore, Poole AC 01:36:55
3rd Zoe Nicholson, 01:38:33
Last week, in an attempt to lure the fabulous Gill into including previews for upcoming races in her weekly round ups, I recklessly threw in an offer to contribute with news from the greener side of the road in return!
Little did I know that Mrs Bland would catch the bait so quickly but here I am, spending the recovery hours of my Sunday evening trawling the web for shero-stories from the past weekends battles on trails.
To be honest, if it wasn't for the distraction of Hugh Grant's performance in A Very English Scandal it's probably what I'd be doing anyway and I love Gill's feature on women's running so in all seriousness I'm both honoured and thrilled to get the chance to be a part of this section.
So what went down the quad burning descents of the world of ultra-trails in the past seven days?
Being the weekend after big name races such as Lake Annecy's Maxi-Race and the legendary Zegama and with WS100 and Lavaredo Ultra Trail just around the corner it was a bit of a quiet one.
There was one big exception though, the Portugese Island of Madeira was serving up a field with fierceness levels close to those of it's natural beauty.
Ultra Sky Marathon, Madeira 55.6 km, 4121+m.
USM was first held in 2014 and is now part of the Skyrunner World Series which might help to explain the number of top level mountain runners lined up to tackle the 55.6 km course of notoriously brutal up and downs (we are talking 4000m + of elevation gain over very technical terrain here).
After a very close race, which trail runnings poster girl Emelie Forsberg led up until the last climb, this years Trail World Champion Ragna Debats (see the roundup from the 5th May) forged ahead to claim the victory in 6:46. 11 minutes behind Emelie, who only last weekend raced herself to a 4th position at Zegama, was 2017 UTMB winner Nuria Picas in 6:58. Hot on her heels was Hillary Gerardi who normally runs strong on the VK and shorter Skyraces in 6:59 and in a close 5th place we find this years Transvulcania champ Ekaterina Mityaeva finishing in 7:01. That means it was a mere 15 minutes between 1st and 5th lady which for a technical and steep race like this is a rare occurrence.
GB's top bird and Lakeland 50 record holder Katie Kaars Sijpesteijn (https://www.instagram.com/katie.kaars.sijpesteijn/) ran a very impressive race and finished in 8th place.
All ladies in the top-10 ran a faster time than that of the 2017 edition runner up which says something about the level of competition on display at this years event.
1. Ragna Debats 6:46 (Netherlands/Spain) (https://www.instagram.com/ragnadebats/)
2. Emelie Forsberg 6:47 (Sweden, lives in Norway) (https://www.instagram.com/tinaemelie/)
3. Nuria Picas 6:58 (Spain) (https://www.instagram.com/nuriapicasoficial/)
4. Hillary Gerardi 6:59 (France) (https://www.instagram.com/hillary_gerardi/?hl=en)
5. Ekaterina Mityaeva 7:01 (Russia) (https://www.instagram.com/ekaterinamityaeva/?hl=en)
On home turf there wasn't much notable on the longer distance board but worth mentioning on the short distance circuit is the Surrey edition of the Maverick Race series.
[Gill: A hat-tip goes to Claire who completed this race and has some amazing photos to show for it over on her Strava]
Starting from the National Trust endorsed grounds of Polesden Lacey the runners could choose between three courses covering 8, 16 and 25k of rolling South of South London hills.
Mary Brooking won the long distance race in a stomping 2:04 finishing 9th OA. Runner up was Rosemary Hurford in 2:12 closely followed by third lady to the podium, Katherine Hudson in 2:15.
On the Mid-distance Lara Bromilow was first to reach the finish in 1:20 followed by Sophie Sacarello in 1:24 and Rachel Murphy in 1:28. Over the short distance Kate Stilwell was the fastest lady in 38:29 ahead of Sally Foulkes (42:39) and Nicola Shipley (43:02).
1. Mary Brooking 2:04 (can't find much info on Mary aside from some speedy F40 Parkrun results including a 20.54 at the gnarly Hilly Fields edition)
2. Rosemary Hurford 2:12
3. Katherine Hudson 2:15
1. Lara Bromilow 1:20
2. Sophie Sacarello 1:24
3. Rachel Murphy 1:28
1.Kate Stilwell 38:29
2.Sally Foulkes 42:39
3. Nicola Shipley 43:02
In other trail news Ellen Cottom was very close to becoming the first woman to finish the Monarch's Way Ultra, the longest single stage ultra in Britain which before this years edition had a 100% overall DNF rate. The race covers 615 miles from Powick Bridge to Shoreham-by-Sea, checkpoints are roughly 40 miles apart and no crew or pacers are allowed. Runners must run an average of 43 miles/day for 14 days to finish before the cut-off. Ellen made it to the 12th checkpoint (of 14), she started leg 13 but dropped out when she realised she wouldn't make the cut off for CP13. Incredible achievement!
The past weekend also saw bad ass Centurion runner Debbie Martin-Consani (https://www.instagram.com/ultrarundmc/?hl=en) join the exclusive list of runners who have completed the Bob Graham Round.
Next week will be a busy one on the home land trails with South Downs Way 100, Race To The Tower and Endurance Life's Classic Quarter. Further a field there is the Comrades Marathon in South Africa to look forward to.
To round things up here's a link to an inspirational video of mine and Gills mutual on and off road shero Camille Herron showing how it's done bye throwing her aid station plastic cup IN THE BIN on her way to win Comrades 2017. I mean if she can do it in cheeta speed mode so can you!
10th Comrades Marathon (Down year - 88k)
10th Yeovil Marathon
10th Wexford Marathon
14th Dorney Lake Marathon
16th Midnight Sun Marahton
23rd Dartford Midnight Marathon
As you can see things are a bit quiet next weekend (which makes me feel bad about the deal I just made with Cajsa!) except, as trail-lady herself mentions above, the race which some would argue is the ultimate ultra race - Comrades Marathon (don't complain to me - there's a debate over here... on Adharanand Finn's twitter). I've put the full GB women's start list below for you to peruse and you can see the organiser's own preview here. Alas, none of those who are picked out are on the GB list but I'll highlight a few from the elites that pique my interest and randomly choose a few GB's to tell you about:
SA runner, Gerda Steyn who won Two Oceans (see here) earlier in the year is back in action at for the down race this year and looking to improve on her 4th place in 2017. She's not shy of some speed, having recently raced a 10k and won in 35:26.
Lizzy Ramadimetja Babili (https://twitter.com/BabiliLizzy // https://www.facebook.com/lizzy.ramadimetja.7) is another SA runner and a mere youngster on the ultra scene at only 27. She will be taking on her first Comrades having previously focussed on middle and marathon distances, only recently moving up to ultra distances. Lizzy is a team mate (Team Massmart) of Ann Ashworth, who came 5th at Two Oceans and second at Loksop Marathon, which Lizzy finished 5th at.
USA's Devon Yanko (https://www.instagram.com/fastfoodie) has experience of the down run (albeit not exactly the same route) and debuted at the race in 2012 with 5th place. She has previousley placed 3rd at Western States 100 and more recently won the Leadville 100. However, the reason I love Devon is that she also owns and runs a bakery and is a total foodie. You can hear an interview with her here.
Now for some totally unscientific and random picks from the GB list:
Carla Molinaro of Clapham Chasers (https://www.carlamolinaro.com/) has in the past represented Great Britain at Age Group level in Duathlon and Triathlon but now focuses on marathons (PR 2:51:46) and ultras. Carla has run Comrades before in 2016 (7:23:06 - silver) and 2017 (7:55:02). This year she is running all the way from Cape Town to Comrades.
She gets extra cool-points because, like our own Trail-Jedi Cajsa, she has run nohtaraM ehT.
Claire caught my eye because she is down as running for those cheeky chaps, the Bad Boy Running podcast. On further cyber-stalking it seems that Dave Hellard is her partner (I think?!). Her RunBritain profile only shows races from 2018 but it looks like she's been running for longer than that from Strava, and having an absolute blast in the process (including the Beer Lovers Marathon)
Sunny Calitz-Patel of the 100 Marathon club
Sunny who hails from just up the road from me in Stanmore has run Comrades in 2016 (9:08:06) and last year (11:15:39) so clearly favours the down years. She has also run Two Oceans in 2017 and has a marathon PR of 3:17:59 set in Berlin 2016. She completed her 100th marathon in 2015 on her birthday
GBR women's start list for Comrades 2018
|10450||G||Allison Burt (armstrong)||GBR||Skydivers without planes||F MAS|
|10994||C||Amanda Waaler||GBR||F MAS|
|28562||C||Amy Burdis||GBR||Northbrook AC||F OPN|
|7822||H||Ana Gonzalez Pandelo||GBR||F VET|
|8943||D||Andrea Hurman||GBR||Penarth and Dinas Runners||F MAS|
|13888||F||Angela Porter||GBR||Horsell Runners||F MAS|
|10543||D||Anna Owen-Davies||GBR||F OPN|
|18936||D||Anne-Marie Willicott||GBR||Almost Athletes||F MAS|
|20513||C||Camilla Langlands||GBR||Serpentine Running Club||F OPN|
|21250||A||Carla Molinaro||GBR||Clapham Chasers||F OPN|
|5969||D||Charlotte Thornycroft||GBR||F OPN|
|6034||B||Claire Briggs||GBR||Bad Boy Running Podcast||F OPN|
|6840||D||Debbie Aitken||GBR||Runnymede Runners||F VET|
|11206||D||Debra Bourne||GBR||Striders of Croydon||F MAS|
|11189||F||Dee Claassen||GBR||F MAS|
|13957||D||Elizabeth Anderson||GBR||Lincoln District Runners||F VET|
|32803||C||Elizabeth Routley-Driver||GBR||Dubai Creek Striders||F GMA|
|18732||D||Emma Hill||GBR||Serpentine Running Club||F OPN|
|29617||D||Fiona Conway||GBR||F VET|
|15723||C||Gail Winter||GBR||West 4 Harriers||F VET|
|10558||H||Greta Jones||GBR||Durham City Harriers||F MAS|
|7166||G||Hang Fong Kan||GBR||F VET|
|37615||F||Hannah Coxhead||GBR||Newbury AC||F VET|
|13622||D||Hannah Mollett||GBR||Gotham City Runners||F VET|
|55899||D||Jacqueline Millett||GBR||Serpentine Running Club||F GMA|
|12749||D||Jan Mccabe||GBR||White Horse Harriers||F MAS|
|20457||B||Jayne Lawton||GBR||Stockport Harriers||F VET|
|12287||G||Jeane Mccallum||GBR||n/a||F VET|
|8140||C||Julie Lewis||GBR||Islwyn||F MAS|
|52109||H||Karen Hills||GBR||Team COCO||F MAS|
|5850||H||Kathy Bergh||GBR||Marlow Striders||F MAS|
|6983||C||Laura Gush||GBR||Bearbrook RC||F OPN|
|19443||F||Laura Hampton||GBR||Dubai Creek Striders||F OPN|
|7190||H||Lebo Diseko||GBR||Run Dem Crew||F VET|
|10327||G||Louise Morris||GBR||Dubai Creek Striders||F VET|
|4772||C||Maree Jesson||GBR||Wootton RR||F VET|
|12968||C||Margaret Slade||GBR||Fulham Running Club||F VET|
|32604||F||Natalie Mansford||GBR||F OPN|
|13683||F||Nicola Childs||GBR||wye valley runners||F MAS|
|10522||C||Nikki Chamberlain||GBR||Knutsford Tri Club||F VET|
|13520||F||Penny Francisco||GBR||F VET|
|8715||G||Phillipa Myram||GBR||Phobians Athletic Club||F OPN|
|39227||C||Rachael Bruford||GBR||Desert Road Runners||F OPN|
|5694||C||Rachel Ball||GBR||Sunderland Strollers||F OPN|
|20607||D||Rebecca Parry||GBR||Wigston Phoenix||F VET|
|18745||G||Sandra Holmes||GBR||F MAS|
|5501||C||Sarah Dooley||GBR||Reading Roadrunners||F VET|
|7389||C||Sian James||GBR||Reading roadrunners||F GMA|
|10642||H||Steph Walker||GBR||Durham Tri Club||F VET|
|30307||D||Sunny Calitz-Patel||GBR||100 marathon club||F MAS|
|11982||D||Tracey Ferris||GBR||Wootton Road Runners||F VET|
|12660||D||Tricia Bunn||GBR||Peel Road Runners||F VET|
|19741||A||Valeria Sesto||GBR||Nedbank Running Club International||F VET|
|38782||G||Victoria Bennett||GBR||Dubai Creek Striders||F MAS|
|12019||G||Zoë Watson||GBR||Woodford Green with Essex Ladies||F OPN|