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 down to find all the results from the weekend just gone and some previews for those ahead.
Not much happening on the marathon or even half marathons this weekend. As Fast Running reports, Manchester marathon winner and Norwich AC's Danni Nimmock blew the competition away by 3 mins at the Norwich 10k and showed why she's been selected for Half Marathon team at the commonwealth games. Don't you hate it when marathon runners can run fast as well? What about us poor on-pace-ponies?! We don't stand a chance.... only kidding of course, it's great to see an athlete with such a range.
Over in the US, while the GB men were taking top 10 spots in the Beach to Beacon 10k (thanks again to Fast Running for flagging this) Kenya’s Sandrafelis Chebet Tueitook 1st in 31:21 with Ethipia's Ababel Yeshaneh 2nd and Molly Huddle 3rd in 31:40. It's nice to see Molly Huddle back out there after Boston ended in a cold, shivery mess and her needing emergency root canal surgery! Gwen Jorgensen is still training hard to hit her goal of an Olympic Marathon place in 2020 and came home in 33:21 which is some way off her PB but I guess she's not really looking for peak short-speed at the moment so it's probably part of a training block.
It's finally here! The inaugural European Athletics Championships runs from the 7th - 12th This new Championship competitions is planned to take place every four years. It includes the existing European Championships for athletics, aquatics, cycling, gymnastics, rowing and triathlon, with a new golf team championships. This year it is held in Berlin and Glasgow. Glasgow will host aquatics, cycling, golf, gymnastics, rowing and triathlon. Berlin will host 'just' athletics. So, there's plenty of great racing to be seen all week but it's the women's marathon (9am on Sun 12th) that I'm most excited about.
Given that all the GB men who were offered places at the competition turned them down, it's exciting to know that we have a really strong looking squad in the form of Partridge (2:29:24, 2017), Samuels (2:28:04, 2015), Barlow (2:30:42, 2017) Purdue (2:29:23, 2017) and Jones( 2:34:12, 2017) , though sadly missing Aly Dixon. It's not been totally easy for the team as Charlotte Purdue had a bone stress reaction back in March (read more here) and Lily Partridge's last trip to Berlin resulted in a DNF. Samuels and Barlow are the more experienced of the pack, with Jones being the unknown factor (but I love her already thanks to her no-nonsense farmer & welshness!). I'm not sure who I'd put my money on from our team... Purdue does seem to be training well and only getting better all the time so I'm tempted to go with the youth and vigour. Partridge is full of beans and had fought hard an trained hard for her place and arguably has not run as fast as her training would suggest she can and then the older ladies have all the experience. I'm guessing it'll be a tactical race rather than a first one so who knows! Hmm.... I think I'll take a risk as plump for Lily Partridge as first GB and maybe even first over all, who knows!
There's no start list released yet, so it's hard to know who our ladies are up against, bar the German team who have been announced as follows:
DE Marathon squad: Anja Scherl (PB 2:27:50, 2016) , Katharina Heinig (PB 2:28:34, 2016) who have both run 2:29:29 recently - Scherl in Osaka in Jan and Heinig in Frankfurt last Autumn. Other team members are Fabienne Amrhein, Laura Hottenrott and Fransziska Reng.
When the start list is posted here I'll get on the case with more info. It's a funny one because the championships used to take place every two years, except in Olympic years but the list of winners isn't one that makes go think 'oh yeah I know them'. The most recent winner, Christelle Daunay is now 42, though still running strong with a 2:32:09 finish at last year's NY marathon, it would seem unlikely that she'll retain the title.
Outside of the Euro champs, there are a few other races happening this weekend:
Enigma Marathon in Milton Keynes, UK
Thames Meander Marathon, UK (trail-ish)
Rocky Horror Picture Show Marathon (!), Shropshire, UK
10 Marathons in 10 Days, Lake Orta, Italy
Badlands Marathon (trail), ND, USA
Crater Lake Rim Marathon, OR, USA
Camarillo Marathon, CA,USA
Humboldt Bay Marathon, CA, USA
and no doubt a whole slew of 10ks, 5ks and 13.1miles
The week after it's:
Reykjavik Marahthon, Iceland
Paavo Nurmi Marathon, Finland
Cajsa brings you all the news from the trails:
One of the perks (or perils, depending on your inner Attenborough levels) of taking your run off the tarmac is the possibilities of close encounters with some of nature's natives. Watching a majestic Stag catch a ray of morning sun whilst a Red Kite on the hunt is circling the air high above your trucker cap can make any crap run feel golden. Finding yourself face to face with a curious young bull in a horse-fly infested field on the other hand can be enough to make you wish you never left the road.
The list of zoological sightings on the North Downs Way this weekend was a long and varied one, there was everything from mauling Badgers to gel-hungry wasps and on the top of the list a couple of speedy Norwegian wild cats;
CENTURION NORTH DOWNS WAY 100, 100 miles / 3050 m
#racephoto#runnersbelike#ultrarace#ultratrail#100miles#ultrarunner#runninggirl#winner#1place#gohardorgohome#norwegiangirl#ndw100#england#centurion @centurionrunning @kondisno @worlderunners @runnersworldnor @trailrunnermag @salomon_norge @vesttelemarkblad @runnersofnorway @strava —- North Downs Way 102 miles 2018 - That was my first 100 miles 😃🙌- and I was Nr 1 🏆🌟💪 It was not easy - it was not gentle - it was hard work all the way! Really hard competition from last year winner @ultra.mari !!! I was never sure to make it - but I was in good spirit the most of the race. The volunteers at the aid stations were supreme and they made me feel great!!! 😌🙏🌟 I had some wrong turns, stumbled and fell in the dark - and after the race I needed some fluids at the local hospital because of dehydration and electrolytes. But the next day I felt okay! 👍👍 The total experience was awsome!!! And with really good company from the very best @osloneil 😃👍 He also finished the NDW102 miles 🌟💪 My finish time was 19h 38 min. Hope I’ll be ready for my next 🏃♀️ soon!!
It might not have reached the temperatures of last week's Badwater 135 report but it was still quiet the scorcher that the runners lining up to make their journey from Surrey to Kent had ahead of them this Saturday morning. Conditions that you might not think to be ideal for runners with arctic blood running in their veins but this was a race dominated by two northern lasses.
Last years winner Mari Mauland who recently tackled some high Fahrenheit readings at the WS100 course had no fear of the looming heat and went out hard. Close behind her was the current Centurion Grand Slam leader Laura Swanton and young gun and fellow Norwegian Ingrid Lid. For the first quarter it was a tight race between the three at the top, entering and exiting aid-stations within 5 minutes of each other.
When yours truly, after a sweaty sprint (all for the Womens Round up readers) from the train station in Kockholt, entered the aid station at half way point I found Mauland and Lid next to each other but in two very different race stages. Mari (along with many others) was struggling with nutrition during this hot time of the day and looked a bit worse for wear whilst Ingrid Lid who with a big smile said she might be young and stupid and not knowing what she's up against, looked very fresh and was taking on plenty of food.
As they left Swanton came in, visibly upset and with bloody knees from having taken a wrong turn through a field full of bramble. She never regained contact with the Norwegians up front and for the last 50 miles it was a battle between Mauland and Lid to the finish. As the sun set over the dusty North Downs Way Ingrid took the lead and even though Mauland was threatening to come back she managed to hold onto first place and won her first ever 100 mile race, finishing in 19:38, an hour behind Debbi Martin-Consani's course record but ten minutes ahead of Mari Mauland. Laura Swanton claimed her third straight Centurion podium finish by coming in third in 21:08.
It will be interesting to see how Ingrid Lid's career progresses, she is young and does not have many ultra trail races under her belt yet, but by claiming the first female NDW 100 buckle in such style I reckon she is on a straight path to become one of the heavy weighers!
1. Ingrid Lid 19:38:38
2. Mari Mauland 19:48:06
3. Laura Swanton 21:08:22
TROMSOE SKYRACE, 57 km / 4800 m
Just looking at the profile of this classic race on the Skyrunning calendar makes you wonder what Mauland and Lid made of the wee humps making up the course of the NDW100.
The ridges of Hamperokken and Tromsdalstind make for some seriously technical underfoot and it's understandable that race directors Killian Jornet and Emelie Forsberg demand that runners participating are highly experienced in sky running and come into the race with a lot of mountain knowledge. America's Hillary Gerardi is definitely not lacking in scrambling experience and that soon showed. She had a belter of a day on the Tromsoe summits and did not only come in as first lady and tenth over all, she also set a new course record by finishing in 8:14:09. Frequent Sky Runner World Series podium visitor Ragna Debats repeated her second place from last year coming in two minutes ahead of second american and third lady Brittany Peterson.
1. Hillary Gerardi 8:14:09
2. Ragna Debats 8:27:13
3. Brittany Peterson 8:40:38
SIERRE-ZINAI 31 km / 2200 m
Next weekend it's time for the third instalment of the Golden Trail Series and as with Zegama and Mont-Blanc Marathon Salomon will be live streaming the race over on their Facebook page. I would seriously recommend tuning in for this one as with UTMB being only three weeks away the alps are full of elite runners and this field is stacked to the brim with bad ass runners. I struggle to pick a pre race favourite as there are so many candidates for the trophy. Speedgoat 50 AND Marathon du Mont Blanc champion Ruth Croft from New Zeeland will be there, as will the fierce american mountain runner Megan Kimmel. Strong Spanish skyrunner Laura Orgue will most certainly be a challenger and last years Zegama winner Lucy Wambui from Kenya should be a top contender too. I am hoping for this years runner up at Zegama; Ida Nilsson to get a Golden Trail series revenge and take home the trophy but fellow swede and power house Mimmi Kotka who's been invincible on the longer distances this year could have the leg strength to beat her to it. It all kicks off at 9.30 (CET) this Sunday so reschedule your long run and leg up in the sofa with some potassium refuelling snacks for this one.
In old Engerland we have the Stour Valley Path to look forward to. The shorter 50 km race runs on the last half of the 100 km course and the starting times are set up to have the runners out together for the homestretch. For the southerners The Rat are offering up four courses ranging between 11 and 64 miles over the Cornish coast and in the valley of Wye there is the 101 km Wye Way Challenge to tackle.