Women's Running Roundup 20/8/18

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 down to find all the results from the weekend just gone and some previews for those ahead.


Cajsa brings you all the news from the trails: 

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August is turning into quiet the month for square-eyed trail nerds. Last week we could enjoy an early morning brew in front of live coverage from the fast paced race between Sierre and Zinal and this Sunday, just in time for that final glass of wino of the week the live action footage from Salomon's Golden Trail Series continued…or did it…
PIKES PEAK MARATHON 42 km / 2380 m

Much like last week's Golden Trail Series instalment the 26 mile race of Pikes Peak starts with a climb up a mountain followed by a brief flat section before it sees the runners descend from the clouds back into civilisation but there the similarities end. Unlike the steep straight ascents of the alps this Colorado trail follows the American model by taking runners to the summit by switchback after switchback after switchback aft… you get me. It is a snake of a course up to the peak of Pike at 13 miles where runners turn on their studded heels to make the same serpentine way back down to where it all began.
This means that the back of the pack did not see Megan Kimmel take an early lead from the first turn out of Manitoba Spring but they will have struggled not to notice her fly back towards them as first lady on the flip side. Even without the technical issues it was quiet hard to follow the live commentary on the second half of the race with all the "RUNNER!!" alerts from the recreational runners out on course. However you did not need complementary audio to figure out who's race this was. 
How Megan Kimmel, who after an eight year hiatus from this American trail classic, returned so fresh from a 72 hour race visit to the Swiss alps last weekend  I do not know but she looked unfathomable from the first mile marker.
Kimmel ran the lung-busting first 13 miles up to 4302 m above sea level in 2:43:03, a baffling nine minutes quicker than second lady and another runner with Sierre Zinal in her legs; Laura Orgue. Behind the Spanish skyrunner there was another 12 minutes down to Celine Lafaye from Francein third. As dangerous as it looked when runners still making their way up the mountain had to throw themselves off piste for Kimmel as she came storming down the descent there was nothing to stop her from running home the victory in a course record breaking time of 4:15:04 (with my sub par maths that means she ran the downhill in 1:33,1:09 faster than her first half up the mountain …). She beat the previously fastest recorded time of Lynn Bjorklund in 1981 by fifteen seconds, Bjorklund's time has up until now been one of those longstanding seemingly unbreakable course records so this really was an amazing performance by Megan Kimmel, it seems like the multiple DNS-ing earlier in the season was all for the best and it will be interesting to see how her legs hold up for TDS next week. 
Laura Orgue held on to her position as second fastest lady and finished fifteen minutes behind Kimmel in 4:30:52. Behind her, with the fastest decent of the day (1:28:51), was last years champion and local Colorado lass Kristina Mascarenas. 

1. Megan Kimmel 4:15:04
2. Laura Orgue 4:30:52
3. Kristina Mascarenas 4:37:00

That was not all to be had from the Coloradical trails this weekend, as you might remember from last weeks preview there was another biggie taking place not far away from Pikes Peak. 

LEADVILLE 100 miles / 4800 m

This is not one for those with altitude as their achilles heel, pretty much the entire course of the American staple commonly known as "the race across the sky" takes place over 10,000 feet above sea level. Katie Arnold and Addie Bracy seemed to be running on the same cloud as they came into aid stations side by side as first and second woman for the first 60 miles of the race. In the latter part Arnold found some second wind and pulled away from Bracy to finish first in 19:53:40
100 mile rookie Addie managed to hold on to her position and came in second 80 minutes behind Katie. Third lady across the skies was Gina Slaby in 23:13.

1. Katie Arnold 19:53:40
2. Addie Bracy 21:17:12
3. Gina Slaby 23:13:03

SQUAMISH 50 miles / 3350 m

Svenja as photogenic as ever. 4th female finisher at 9:28

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Not on such great heights but still running high with a tough and stunning course is this race put on by Barkley legend Garry Robbins in the Canadian Rockies. This year he was not the only A-star attraction as on the start-line for the ladies race was none other than Women's Round Up trail fave Courtney Dauwalter (insert baggy short's fan girl emoji here) AND equally exciting mine and Gills mutual former London running buddy Svenja Espenhahn (I say former as she has sadly relocated to the far away trails of Celine Dion and Drake, ahem, Canada). In true Dauwalter fashion Courtney started sensibly and ran second to Darbykai Standrick for the first half of the race with Kat Drew hot on her heels, closely followed by Svenja. Just when it seemed like 50 miles might prove too short for Courtney's race pace she suddenly switched into her 90 k gear and by the 40 mile mark she had overtaken Standrick and gotten herself a 15 minute lead. By the finish that quarter of an hour gap had grown to 24 minutes and Dauwalter was greeted by Gary Robbins not only as first woman but fifth runner to cross the line. Darbykai held on to her second place and finished 10 OA in 8:45:22, eighteen minutes ahead of Kat Drew who looked like she might have had a tumble or three on the way down to the finish. Svenja has clearly made the most of her new mountainous stomping grounds and came in fourth in 9:28:56. ATTA GIRL! Next time we want you on that podium with Courtney!

1. Cortney Dauwalter 8:22:15
2. Darbykai Standrick 8:45:22
3. Kat Drew 9:03:40
4. Svenja Espenhahn 9:28:56  

So with no race in the skyrunning series this weekend you might wonder what the El Kott twins were doing with this rare time off summit-duties. Did they get down from the ridges and join the rest of us in front of the technical problems of the Salomon live coverage in the sofa? No dear reader they did not. They celebrated their free weekend by running and camping for 6 days straight in the mountains of Colorado …..


This supported point to point race runs through the Colorado Rockies and the competitors can choose to travel and camp in pairs or go solo. I can imagine that the El Kott twins liked being in a situation where they did not have to fight each other for the win and even though for most of the season they are up against each other they do not seem to have lost their team work as they came in the winning duo 35 minutes ahead of early race leaders Lucy Bartholomew and Hillary Allen.   
In the solo race Tessa Chesser was the winning lady closely followed by Monique Van den Boogaart and in third representing GB was Rebecca Ferry from Oxford. 


1. Sanna & Lina El Kott 17:48:40
2. Lucy Bartholomew & Hillary Allen 18:26:45
3. Heather Catchpole & Elisabeth George 30:36:22


1. Tessa Chesser 21:04:40
2. Monique Van dn Boogaart 21:22:32
3. Rebecca Ferry 21:53:36

ULTRAVASAN 90 km / 867 m

Luckily Sweden had their fair share of the 2018 heatwave and the snow from this winter had long melted on the flat cross country ski trails that makes up the course for Ultravasan. 
Last years champion and home girl Ida Nilsson was a pre race favourite but having suffered from a stomach bug for the week leading up to the race she found herself in a battle for the silver as Alexandra Morozova charged her way to victory and beat Nilsons course record from 2017 by finishing in 6:43. Ida held on to second place and finished in 7:06 twenty minutes ahead of America's Sarah Bard.   

1. Alexandra Morozova 06:43:55
2. Ida Nilsson 07:06:16
3. Sarah Bard 07:27:27

I'm still waiting the official results from the charmingly named Salisbury 5,4,3,2,1 (Manfred Mann fans you know what i mean) but the curious can do like me and stalk Cat Simpson for some insights from the race … 



With UTMB looming large there is not much going on this coming weekend and I suspect that next weeks trail round up will be more of an in-depth of the elite massive lining up to circuit Mont Blanc rather than the normal result rambling. But who knows what them skyrunners and far away trailers will be up to. Tune in next Tuesday when I will be out in Cham and ready to pap for duty to find out! 

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With 447 women starting, there were only 2 who didn't finish and 2 who didn't start. That's pretty decent for a marathon. Initially I thought this was a hilly marathon but actually it looks like the overall elevation change isn't that bad, Tell me I'm wrong, otherwise I might book a ticket to Reykjavik next year.

Sara Tierney of the USA came first  but I'm afraid I've not been able to find out much about her. Harvard Athletics scholar Marissa Saenger was second and she looks like she's had a blast on the way around her first official marathon. I don't know much about NCAA rules but it seems a shame she doesn't get the prize money. I wonder where it goes. Of course a huge home-country round of applause goes to Rachel Parker of Merica Fell runners who came 3rd in a shiny new PB of 3:09:11

1.    SARA TIERNEY, USA, 2:58:50    
2.    MARISSA SAENGER,USA, 3:00:42
3.    RACHEL PARKER, GBR, 3:09:11


The Fins where all over their home race. Results below:

Paavo Nurmi Marathon Results



Nothing imminent is catching my eye at the moment but looking further ahead...

Berlin (16th Sept) are bigging up their elite field of Dibaba, Cherono and Kiplegat but.... (scroll down)


New York Marathon have released their Elite women's field for the 4th November and i'll be honest, I'm way more interested in that. It's looking pretty tasty what with defending champion Shalane, Boston champion Des, WR holder Mary Keitany, something-to-prove-after-Boston Molly Huddle, ultra Jedi Camille Heron and some home-cheers for Charlotte Purdue, I'm going to be glued to that one come Guy-Fawkes weekend.


Personal Best Marathon


Meseret Ali Basa, ETH



Serkalem Biset Abrha, ETH



Samantha Bluske, USA



Kelsey Bruce, USA



Stephanie Bruce, USA



Brittany Charboneau, USA



Vivian Cheruiyot, KEN



Jessica Chichester, USA



Adriana Da Silva, BRA



Mamitu Daska, ETH



Sydney Devore, USA



Carrie Dimoff, USA



Sara Dossena, ITA



Belaynesh Fikadu, ETH



Shalane Flanagan, USA



Bizuwork Getahun Kasaye, ETH



Kaitlin Goodman, USA



Roberta Groner, USA



Netsanet Gudeta, ETH



Molly Huddle, USA



Mary Keitany, KEN



Allie Kieffer, USA



Do-Yeon Kim, KOR



Sally Kipyego, USA



Desiree Linden, USA



Askale Merachi, ETH



Angela Ortiz, USA



Charlotte Purdue, GBR



Beverly Ramos, PUR



Sarah Sellers, USA



Gerda Steyn, RSA



Maor Tiyouri, ISR



Rahma Tusa, ETH



Aliphine Tuliamuk, USA



Eva Vail, USA



Lisa Weightman, AUS



Eva Vrabcova, CZE



and then of course there's Chicago marathon on 7th October which is going for the home crown with Amy Cragg (trials winner, 9th in Rio and generally on the up), Jordan Hassay (2nd on american all time marathon list) and Laura Thweatt (6th in London Marathon 2017)