Women's Running Roundup 22/10/18

Each week Cajsa and I bring you the news from the roads and the trails. If you have any races your want covered or running-women you want applauded just let us know. Scroll onwards to find all the results from the weekend just gone and some previews for those ahead. This week it’s trails first and you’ll find tarmac further down….


Cajsa brings you all the news from the trails: 

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BIG week in the BIG mileage world. There was BIG news from two BIG stars BIG breakthroughs in BIG finales and then there was of course the;


Luckily I got a little bit lonely on my long run this Saturday and so in my hunt for a friend on the trail i decided to listen back to Billy Yang's interview with Courtney Dauwalter. That was an excellent choice, not only because it provided me with an inspiring voice to accompany me on my run but also it reminded me of the Big Dog Backyard Ultra which took place this weekend, and probably is still going on as you are reading this, and probably when im back recapping next week too and WHO KNOWS for how long this 'last wo(man) running' race will carry on with aces like Dauwalter AND Maggie Guterl out on course.

For anyone unaware of the concept of this race put on by Gary "Lazarus Lake" Cantrell, also known as the creator of Barkley Marathons, it is consisting of X amounts of laps of a 4.16667 mile loop (apparently this is the pi of ultra running as having completed 24 loops means you will have covered 100 miles).

Each loop starts at the top of the hour, the runners then have 60 minutes to spend on running the 4.16667 miles, refuel and rest before they start again at the top of next hour. And so it continues until the runners one by one either fail to complete the lap in the time required, oversleep the start or simply asks for mercy by tapping themselves out of the race. It finishes when there is only one runner left.

The sole finisher "wins" an entry to the infamous Barkley Marathons. As I'm writing this late on Sunday night the race has been going for 36 hours and there are 11 runners left, two of them are Courtney and Maggie. I'm crossing both my BIG toes for them to be the last couple out dancing around Laz Backyard. Updates will follow!

TUE 02:34 update: After a day of clocking in for an hourly refresh of the tracking page I have a feeling that I might be waking up a few times tonight to watch this thriller of a race unfold. At the moment the 3 remaining runners are out on their 62nd loop, they have been on course for over 50 hours and have broken the course distance record set last year (254 miles) by 4 miles . Maggie sadly dropped out earlier today but our woman of the hour, the incredible Courtney Dauwalter is still out circuiting Laz' back yard with Johan Steene and Gavin Woody for company. Last years winner Guillaume Calmettes is out of the competition but that does not mean that the race is over as both Dauwalter and Steene ran their fastest loop at their 61nd go … You Snooze You Loose!

Meanwhile lets move on to some finished BIG business.

DIAGONALE DES FOUS 162 km / 9643 m

I'm quiet relieved to say that my pre race predictions fell flat out on the trails of the remote Reunion Island this weekend. I had almost started to worry about having developed a 6th Sense of long distance foretelling and feared that Bruce Willis would start replacing my usual ultra hallucination objects (trolls and gold nuggets, sometimes combined … )

In other words, Mimmi Kotka did not win. She did not DNF either though, in fact she started out leading the race and stayed in the top 3 for the initial 130-ish k of this struggle-fest of a race before she started to loose ground on last years Les Templiers winner Jocelyn Pauly and this years TDS champion Audrey Tanguy at the front. The former managed to create a bit of a gap over the final miles and came in as first lady in an impressive time of 28:54. Tanguy was not far behind though but she had gathered company in form of fellow french runner Juliette Blanchet during the last stretch into the finish and the couple followed the example of Benoit Girondel and Francois D'Haene by crossing the line together for a joint second in 29:23. Mimmi Kotka ended up in sixth place behind local lasses Gilberte Libel and Camille Bruyas.

In my crappy prediction defence neither Tanguy or Pauly were on the registered elite runners list.

1. Jocelyne Pauly (FRA) 28:54:26
2. Audrey Tanguy (FRA) 29:23:25
3. Juliette Blanchet (FRA) 29:23:27

Full Results here; http://grandraid-reunion.livetrail.run/classement.php?course=GR&cat=scratch

THE OTTER TRAIL 42,2 k / 2600 m

The last race of the Salomon Golden Trail Series played out on scenic trails along the South African cost and just as the line up stacked to the brim with international elite promised, an extremely fast and tight race was delivered. Sadly Salomons live coverage was not up to the standard of the runners and with continuos interruptions it was not easy to follow the battle for the podium. At half way point we could just see local runner Toni McCann cruise past the lense in position of first woman before the cameras turned black and we found ourselves back in the finishing area with commentators Ryan Sandes and Majell Backhausen. Whilst the media was struggling and us viewers had to make do with an in-depth analyse of Sandes race plans for 2019 Holly Page was busy kicking her sky race legs into gear and when the live footage made its return it was just in time to catch our British shero flying into the finishing stretch to win the title a mere 30 seconds ahead of the mighty Ruth Croft. McCann finished strong and took third place on the podium just four minutes behind Page and two and a half minutes ahead of Fanny Borgstrom in fourth. What an amazing season Holly Page has had, I can't wait to see what she has in store for 2019!

1. Holly Page (GBR) 4:37:48 @hollyapage
2. Ruth Croft (NZE) 4:38:22 @ruthcrofty
3. Toni McCann (SA) 4:41:58 @tonimccann
4. Fanny Borgstrom (SWE) 4:43:35
5. Eli Gordon (ESP) 4:48:52

Full Results here;


LES TEMPLIERS 76 km / 3000m

With the Salmon Golden Trail Series stealing both the lime light and ten of the international top runners the starting field of this classic late seasoner was not up to its usual high standards. That gave Spain's Azara Garcia the chance to get revenge on a tough season and the 2017 Transgrancanaria champion could run home a 30 minute victory over Sarah Vieuille in second and Maryline Nakache in third.

1. Azara Garia (ESP) 7:38:20
2. Sarah Vieuille (FRA) 08:09:15
3. Maryline Nakache (FRA) 08:22:20


Ultra Trail World Tour finished the European leg of it's 2018 edition with this rather flat and somewhat otherworldly looking course in the Turkish region of Cappadocia. With Fernanda Maciel and Cecilia Flori not turning up to start the battle for the podium was between last years winner Mariya Nikolova, 2018 UTMB champion Francesca Canepa and the for me previously unknown Russian runner Alexandra Kalanova. Nikolova managed to fight off her challengers and could defend her title by coming in as first lady with ten minutes to spare to Nikolova in second and 27 minutes ahead of Fransesca Canepa in third.

1. Maria Nikolova 13:14:29
2. Alexandra Kalanova 13:25:28
3. Fransesca Canepa 13:42:15


This years CCC winner the Chinese power rocket Miao Yao was out crushing local trails on the 53 k course of the Ultra-Trail Ninghai where she placed 5th overall with over 90 minutes down to the second fastest female Haoran Xiao and Cui Zhu in close third. I really hope we get to see more of the insanely speedy Yao on the international scene next year.


Who knows how long the three remaining back-yard-ers will keep on running for but for the sake of my beauty sleep I hope to be back with news from the final loops of the BIG DOG BACKYARD ULTRA next week.

That's it for this weeks round up and previews from the trails, onwards to some 'miscs';

If you want to stalk the El-Kott twins next year you might want to cast an eye on this newly released race schedule for the 2019 Skyrunning World Series;

4.21 Mt. Awa Skyrace (JPN)
5.1 Yading Skyrun (CHN)
5.11 Transvulcania (ESP)
5.19 SkyRace des Matheysins (FRA)
6.1 Madeira SkyRace (POR)
6.15 Livigno SkyMarathon (ITA)
6.29 Olympus Marathon (GRE)
7.14 Buff Epic Trail (ESP)
7.21 Royal Ultra SkyMarathon (ITA)
7.28 SkyRace Comapedrosa (AND)
8.3 Tromso Skyrace (NOR)
8.23 Matterhorn Ultraks Extrrmeme (SUI)
9.15 ZacUp SkyRace (ITA)
9.22 Pirin Ultra SkyRace (BLG)
10.5 Sky Pirineu (ESP)

And finally to those BIG news, Emelie Forsberg and Kilian Jornet are expecting their first baby (/mountain goat) this winter so that leaves us all with 18 years until we will have no hope of ever getting to the top of a trail podium again. Get to it sisters of the green road! 


Having wrapped up it's European part of the season the UTWT sails across the seas to America for this years penultimate race. With a starting list consisting of mainly local runners who don't frequent the international scene I have a hard time to pick pre race faves for this classic 100 miler. Darcy Piceu is the only familiar runner on paper. Piceu has had a bit of a quiet year for unknown reasons so it remains to be seen whether she will be able to hold fort agains the local lasses in this race that judging by their websites looks like quiet the trail-party with the last aid stations serving up Pizza and Burgers (WINK WINK ALL UK RACE ORGANISERS)!

Back home, serving up less culinary interesting snacks, are the organisers of WHITE ROSE ULTRA, a classic 100 miler for those out chasing last minute UTMB points!


Morning all. Sorry for the delay in the road running, I was too busy eating all the vegetables and peanut butter (and later cake) after making my own marathon comeback in Abingdon,UK this weekend. My aim was to negative split - I failed, but thankfully this weekend was a masterclass from the pros in how to do it, so no excuses next time.
As Letsrun.com reports, it was the two headline races in Toronto and Amsterdam where Bahrain and Ethiopia showed us the art of the fast second half - a 1’19 speed-up in Canada from Mimi Belete and a 2’42 from Tadelech Bekele in Amsterdam


A course record of 2:22:28 got Mimi Belete of Bahrain a 4 minute PB and the top spot at the Scotiabank Waterfront Marathon with last year’s winner Marta Megra (ETH) second, also in a PB. Mimi was originally from Ethiopia herself but move the Belgium as a political refugee in early 2000 and then transferred to rung for Bahrain in 2009. She’s only just stepped up to the Marathon, running Hamburg earlier this year.

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Arguably more excitingly (for me) though are the results of Jess Trengove (AUS), Kinsey Middleton (CAN), Helen Davies (GBR) and Hayley Carruthers (GBR) in the marathon and Allie Kieffer (US) in the half.

Trengove placed 4th and set a chunky new PB to finish off (presumably) the year in which she came 2nd in the Commonwealth Games and looks to be getting stronger all the time. In the Canadian competition it was Kinsey Middleton running her debut marathon who came first for the home country. I love the fact that she admits to Canadian Running Magazine that although she knew she was on pace at halfway, it did feel hard!

Of course I can’t ignore the to GB runners in the top 11 - Helen Davies of Ipswich Jaffa RC and Hayley Carruthers . Helen was a minute off her 2012 PB but it’s brilliant to see that she’s well on her way back to top form by placing 8th. Hayley Carruthers is the other end of the spectrum - having no real marathoning background and coming out of relative obscurity to run a storming London Marathon earlier this year, the 25 year old Rotherham lass ran an 11min PB to place 11th in her first ever England vest. Even better, looks like she had a blast!

Finally, my personal fan-fave Allie Kieffer keeps ramping up the anticipation ahead of NYC Marathon at the start of next month as she won the Half Marathon event.


With her massive positive split and with a rather more pleasing result than her male Ethiopian counterpart of the same surname (who walked off the course 1 mile before the end rather than take 10th place), Tadelech Bekele confidently won in a 13s to lead a Ethiopian podium who all finished within 17s of each other in Holland

  1. Tadelech Bekele, ETH, 2:23:14

  2. Shasho Insermu, ETH, 2:23:27

  3. Azmera Gebry, ETH, 2:23:32

Japanese runner Miharu Shimokado couldn’t build in her 2:29 at the Gold Coast in July and finished in 2:34 for 9th place (full results here). Nothing particularly intriguing that I can spot in the rest of the top 20, though it’s worth noting that Kenya’s Linet Massai (who is 28 and has put in some rather excellent 10,000m track performances in the past) sneaked in under the radar with a marathon debut and 5th place in 2:23:45 so this looks like a good start to her long distance road running career. Miranda Boonstra topped the Netherlands’ table in 14th place with Ana Johnson for the US in 16th and Sarah Lowry and Clair Grim in 17th and 18th for the GBR.


I’ll own up to self-interest in this one! My first marathon back after having Mini-Bland back in Feb. This race is small, flat, well organised and known as being one for UK club runners to have a good time and knock out some decent pace. I was lucky enough to chat to a Spartathlon competitor and many other friendly types on the way. There was even a world record set for the fastest marathon run with a double buggy (with kids in it!) in 2:54. Insane. You can read all about Tracksmith writer Andy Waterman’s experience of getting a PB at the race here.

  1. Sophie Carter, 2:54:05 Belgrave Harriers

  2. Melissah Gibson, 2:57:20 Ealing Eagles RC

  3. Camilla Hermsen, 3:02:21 Harpenden arrows

On a side, but related note, LetsRun.com made the point below about the women’s coverage of TCS Amsterdam Marathon. I think obviously agree that the coverage of the women’s race was rubbish, though I’m not sure that setting them off at different times necessarily fixes the problem - I think it’s more about the knowledge and attitude of the TV company and commentators but hey, I’m glad they are banging the drum. However, I’m not sure that I agree at all about the wheelchair race comment. I suspect that if I was as informed about wheelchair racing I might find it just as exciting. Seems a rather unfounded statement to assume that no-one cares about it as you could argue the same for the women’s race on a similar (incorrect) basis. This isn’t me trying to be all PC and unbiased for the sake of it - I just think that the more you know about a sport the more inherently interesting it is and it is and so you have to start somewhere. do you think? Agree or not? I’m really interested.

“Now the women’s TV coverage was virtually nonexistent, but that proves a point we’ve been making for years: the major marathons should not attempt to cover two major sporting events at once. It’s distracting as hell. Let us repeat: if you are going to have separate men’s and women’s races and want to cover them properly, one race should finish when the other is nearing halfway.

And the Abbott World Marathon Majors don’t just ruin their TV product year after year by covering two events simultaneously — they double down on stupidity and try to cover four at once as they give the wheelchair races a lot more coverage than there is interest.

We have no idea why the likes of Boston and New York consistently put out a horrible television product. We hope the people in charge of their TV coverage watch the Amsterdam replay to see how much more enjoyable it is to see a single race from start to finish.” (Letsrun.com)