Women's Running Roundup 29/7/19

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.

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Sorry for the late publishing this week. I was too busy worrying about racing, not sleeping enough (related to small-fry, not race nerves) and then racing and eating all the food. Anyway, I was only doing a 10k, which is a brutal distance for a long-distance lover but no-where near the lung burning horrific-ness of a Mile race and so, I doff my hat to those who took place London's...

It's been toasty-warm here in London lately. What we thought was a freak occurrence for the London Marathon when it hit 26c has in fact turned out to be an actual summer. So, evening races have not been the cool post-work conditions that can normally be banked on and evening track sessions have been sweaty, messy affairs. Combine these two event and you have the Soar Mile - an evening track race for a mile. Expecting it to be super hot, runners were surprised by a torrential downpour which made it look like they might need an actual red rubber ring, rather than the one under foot.
Hosted by UK apparel company Soar Running and held in the Olympic Park the race was sadly lacking in female participants (only 27 competed out of a total startlist of 224). Regardless though, being organised as a series of races where runners are grouped by pace, with supporters standing and cheering in lane three, a beer tent and live commentary, the Soar Mile offered a great chance to work off the atmosphere and other runners to bag a PB. It was Hannah Viner (T: @RunningJoke_) of Left Spike athletics fanzine who set a PB of 4:47:38 to win. Hannah specialised in the shorter distances. It was Clare Elms of Dulwich RC who was the first in the leader's list to have any marathon experience. She has a PB of 2:53:52 and was a way of her mild PB of 4:56:59. As a marathoner with a similar PB to Clare, I can't imagine running anywhere near that kind of pace over a mile. How do you even learn to make yourself hurt that much when you're so used to pacing yourself? Madness! 

NameTime Club
1Hannah Viner Viner4m 47s 380msHighgate Harriers
2Rebecca Johnson4m 50s 50msHighgate Harriers
3Sarah Pritchard,4m 50s 50msLondon City AC
4Yasmin Goater5m 8s 860msHighgate Harriers
5Clare  Elms5m 15s 400msDulwich RC
6Emma Burgess5m 17s 830msHighgate Harriers
7Christina Dimitrov5m 34s 600msDulwich RC
8Kate Carter5m 37s 450msWimbledon Windmilers
9Suzy Whatmough5m 39s 110msRanelagh Harriers
10Lisa Webb5m 48s 220msShaftsbury Barnet Harriers
mary menon dorset invader marathon

Here at WRR we were waiting to see if the lovely Mary Menon (see interview here) would make it a 3rd win in a row at the D.I.M and she did... and whilst wearing a cape (roman fancy dress) - hurrah!  I got in touch with Mary to ask how it went and was delighted to hear that she came second over all. That's wins non-stop for Mary this summer. Happily, they had better conditions than expected, with some rain the night before cooling things down. Mary reports that "the first lap of the two lap course was fairly lonely (the winning man, Steve Osbourne is much speedier than me so I didn't get a chance to tag along) but by the second lap I caught up with the back of the marathon runners which made for some overtaking company. Although 95% trail, the course isn't at all technical so I could maintain a pretty strong effort all the way round".  Sounds like a great event and even better that the family got to go too and camp. Next up is an interclub 10k later today (Weds) and then the Mudcrew Black R.A.T. 32miler on the 11th of August. Good luck Mary!

1. Mary Menon  3:34:47 (2nd OA)
2. Tracy Cook, 3:51:48 (9th OA)
3. Anne-MarieBayliss, 3:59:13 (10th OA)

1. Sam Scott 2:10:01
2. Rebecca Dawson 2:11:46
3. Lydia Owen Edmunds 2:20:40

Running coach, Tia Accetta was the fastest across both days of this downhill marathon. Tia has been training for a 2:45 Olympic Trials Qualifying time, but in 2015 she suffered an unexplained stroke (read her story here) and is now getting back into form whilst running her coaching business with her husband.
Full, Day 1:
1 Jillian Corley (28), 3:01:40
2. Christina Case (36) 3:04:28
3. Erin Laplander (26) , 3:07:30
Full, Day 2:
1.Tia Accetta (42), 2:55:49
2. Lauren Reasoner (33) 2:57:21
3. Jessica Kosloski (27) 3:05:41

Half, Day 1:
1. Lisa Townsend (20), 1:27:38
2. Amber Matt (42) 1:31:55
3. Patricia Fasola (57) 1:32:01
Half, Day 2: 
1. Hazel Carr (21), 1:29:19
2. Lisa Cabiles (35) 1:34:48
3. Dora Velazquez (39) 1:37:30

Run in aid of a local elementary school, I thought this one was worth featuring just for the fact that they have a theme every year. This year it was 'Christmas in July'

This year's winner Tiffany Johnson is no stranger to winning marathons. Last year she was the overall winner of the fantastically named Wolverine Canyon Marathon (also in Idaho) as the
1. Tiffany Johnson 3:37:20
2. Stacey Mason 3:44:18
3. Tara Galnes 3:54:23

1. Libby Bigelow 1:35:21
2. Paytin Drollinger 1:36:38 (also 2nd at last year's wolverine canyon half marathon)
3. Kimber Broulim 1:40:44



With just 10 participants finishing in time sranging from 4:48:33 - 8:30:04 and a total of 17 entrants, the winner of the Full Marathon receives a trip for two to the Anan Bear Observatory. Amazing! Congratulations to Becky Fortina who is off to see some bears.



I had just hit publish last week when the news came through that Aly Dixon was having to pull ut of the GB team for the European Athletics championships in August. Best wishes to Aly - we'll see you out there again soon.
 LIly Partridge has just logged her final hard session though and the rest of the squad seem to be doing ok. Here's hoping.

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Cajsa brings you all the news from the trails: 

After months of hurdling ominous giant cracks in the dry soil of the trails whilst being roasted under an abnormally hot sun I don't think I was the only British runner who breathed a sigh of relief at the sight of dark clouds forming in the sky just in time for the long run weekend. Finally the weather was permitting running after 8 o clock in the morning and there was no need to factor in emergency diversions to watering holes when planning routes. 

I'm not sure that the brave ladies lined up to tackle one of the steeper summer staples over the Cumbrian fells were as happy with the gusty winds of change though … 

LAKELAND 100, 100 miles / 6300m  & LAKELAND 50, 50 miles / 3100m

Insta: @katie.kaars.sijpesteijn

Insta: @katie.kaars.sijpesteijn

 Before the Ultra Trail Snowdonia debuted with an 71% DNF rate earlier this year the Lakeland 100 was generally considered to be the gnarliest of the UK 100 milers. Starting and finishing (if you are in the lucky 50% to complete) in Coniston the runners laps up the less trodden paths of the Lakeland topography fighting rugged terrain of bracken and rocks and this year; hail storms, along the way. 
Someone who did not seem fazed by the weather was last years champion Sabrina Verjee. Sabrina set of with such speed that I started to ponder if she'd added a compact paraglider to the mandatory kit-list. Holding onto the OA lead for most of the first half of the race Verjee continued to run strong and made it back to Coniston as second runner and first lady a mere 10 minutes behind race winner Ken Sutor. Very impressive racing in tough conditions and I'd love to see how Sabrina Verjee would fare in a more competitive field on the continent. A 21st place at last years UTMB is all i can find from her in the international result lists, fingers crossed that this Lakeland back to back whammy will land her a sponsor deal worthy of her performance. 
Second lady, four hours behind Verjee was the 2018 Hardmoor 55 runner up Christine Waller and third lass across the fells was Harrogate Harriers' Helen Price.

1. Sabrina Verjee 23:05:47
2. Christine Waller 27:20:23
3. Helen Price 28:21:14

In the 50 mile sister race another 2017 winner (and course record holder) was back to defend her title. Team GB shero and frequent Women's Round Up visitor Katie Kaars Sijpesteijn stated on instagram that she'd not have an ideal week leading up to race day but still managed to reclaim her crown as first woman in 8:12:19. Forty-five minutes behind Kaars was the 2018 Highland Fling champ Rachel Normand who left London for the bigger hills of Scotland two years ago and has since made steady progress on the UK ultra trail result lists. Repeating her third place position from last year was Amy Sarkies finishing two and a half minutes behind Rachel in 9:00:57. 

1. Katie Kaars Sijpesteijn 8:12:19
2. Rachel Normand 8:58:17
3. Amy Sarkies 9:00:57

On the other side of the globe fighting a different spectrum of weather conditions were the nutters in that waytoomanyhothothotmiles race from Death Valley to Mt Whitney  

BADWATER 135, 135 miles / 4450 m

During my uni years in Helsinki I suffered through some serious heat torture in the saunas of the local gyms and classmates summer houses (I don't understand how the Finnish genetic pool has ended up providing those arctic warriors with the ability to relax in temperatures over 80 degrees for an hour every friday after work) 
so this race is as far off my bucket list as one could be.

In the 2018 edition the runners were up against record temperatures measuring 53 degrees celsius and judging by the result lists those extreme circumstances played to the favour of the veteran desert foxes with years of experience from running long in heat. 2013 Western State champion Pam Smith (T: @rundoctor74 - see her race recap here) took an early lead and looked like she was on to a winner for the first 30 miles but after a conservative start it was the 2016 runner up Brenda Guajardo who claimed the victory of the womens race with a solid last half finishing 5th OA. Smith was not far behind though and finished second lady and 6th OA in 28:47. Rounding up the podium was another runner with an extensive 100 mile history namely Micah Morgan, Morgan pretty much won every big race she entered in 2017 but has had a quiet 2018 in order to prepare for the challenge of this race. 
Big shout out to Scottish bad ass Deborah King who finished 17th in 44:34. Running for two days and nights in red hot temperatures is an incredible achievement and I hope Deborah is spending the rest of the summer eating pretzels far away from wooden scandinavian torture chambers.  

1. Brenda Guaiardo 28:23:10
2. Pam Smith 28:47:53
3. Micah Morgan 30:09:59

Hungry for some more record breaking related news? Well why don't we move on to what is becoming the weekly Kott twin update! 


Photo copyright Ian Corless - click through please and see the rest of his work

Photo copyright Ian Corless - click through please and see the rest of his work

This seventh stage of the 2018 skyrunning series was held on a short but fiercely steep course up and down Anodorra's highest peak. Lina El Kott got her revenge on Spain's Laura Orgue from last week and took control of the race from the first climb making sure to create enough of a gap between herself and strong descender Orgue for the downhill at the end. She finished in a new course record time of 3:03:04 improving on her own time from last year with several minutes and as a bonus she was not the sole twin on the podium this time around as sister Sanna managed to bag the bronze behind Laura Orgue in 3:11:53. UK's Holly Page had another great race and finished 5th in 3:16:19 four and a half minutes behind Spains Sheila Aviles.  

1. Lina El Kott 3:03:04
2. Laura Orgue 3:06:54
3. Sanna El Kott 3:11:53
4. Sheila Aviles 3:11:55
5. Holly Page 3:16:19
From one weekly feature to another as the seemingly unstoppable Kathrin Gotz was out running to the top of the podiums again!

MONTREUX TRAIL FESTIVAL 160 km /12000 m, 61 km / 4000 m

Just look at those numbers for a second and take a deep breath to let the scale of this race sink in. Not one to use for a warm up race … well unless you are Kathrin Gotz that is. To be fair she did not line up for the monster of a main race but chose the more sensible 61 k version. Fastest lady across the 160 km across the swiss alps in 36:23 was Irina Malejonock from France who won with some margin and had four hours down to Marjolein Bil from the Netherlands. Third lady in 42:01was swiss runner Aline Grangier.  

The shorter race provided a bit more of excitement with local lass Gotz winning in 08:51 just under 30 minutes ahead of Germany's Simone Schwarz in second. Helen Cullier from France placed third. 

I am really starting to worry about Kathrin Gotz over-racing ahead of UTMB but I'm sure she will prove me wrong!

160 km

1. Irina Malejonock 36:23
2. Marjolein Bil 40:29
3. Aline Grangier 42:01

61 km 

1. Kathrun Gotz 08:51
2. Simone Schwartz 09:19
3. Helen Cullier 10:16

OROBIE ULTRA TRAIL 140 km / 9500 m
GRAN TRAIL OROBIE 70 km / 4200 m


There are so many gems of races on the european summits over the summer months that it is pretty much impossible to keep track of them all. This annual instalment on the euro trail calendar is hosted by the beautiful mountains surrounding Bergamo in Northern Italy and it is another beastly one.There was no big international names on the starting list but it's still interesting to compare the winning time of homegirl Isabella Lucchini (31:07:25), to that of Nuria Picas UTMB time from last year (25:46:43), just to get an idea of how tough these long mountain races are. The course of UTMB is 30 km longer but it runs over pretty well trodden runable paths where as these smaller races often cover more technical ground with harder climbs. Lucchini has a really strong record on shorter mountain trail races with wins at both Trail Dell'orsa and Duerocche Trail in 2018 but she is fairly unexperienced on the longer distances so this is a big win for her. She is on the list of registered runners for CCC later in the month and hopefully she'll recover in time to be a contender for the podium. Second lady, an hour behind Lucchini was Emanuela Tonetti and rounding up the podium was Giulia Vinco in 32:13:45. 

On the shorter distance another local runner who you might know better for her amazing photographs; Martina Valmassoi had a great day out and smashed the course record by winning in 9:34:02. Martina has been suffering from an injury which prevented her from racing for most of 2017 but seems to be back in great race shape. And who wouldn't be with a day job demanding you to chase elite runners over mountains whilst carrying a heavy load of equipment. 
(Follow Martina on instagram for a dose of run travel inspiration https://www.instagram.com/martiskka/). An hour and a half down from Martina in second place was Natalia Tomasiak from Poland and twenty minutes behind her we find Giulia Vinco in 32:13:45.

140 km 

1. Isabella Lucchini 31:07:25
2. Emanuela Scilla Tonetti 32:13:45
3. Giulia Vinco 32:13:45

70 km

1. Martina Valmassoi 9:34:02
2. Natalia Tomasiak 10:57:08
3. Giulia Zanotti 11:11:34

We have not yet reached the end of reports from the European alps as there was two more competitive races to account for starting in Austria with 

GROSSLOCKNER ULTRA TRAIL 110 km / 6500 m, 75 km / 4000m

My pre race favourite and local runner Kristin Berglund took home the win on the 110 km course, thirty minutes ahead of France's Juliette Blanchet who finished second in 17:32, on third place was Vroni Heidrich in 20:37. In the shorter sister race the trophy went to Meryl Cooper in 11:07. Second runner to finish the punchy 75 k across the austrian alps was Tina Hitzenberger in 12:17 and on third place was Michaela Six. 

110 k 

1. Kristin Berglund 17:03:15
2. Juliette Blanchet 17:32:53
3. Vroni Heidrich 20:37:22

75 k

1. Meryl Cooper 11:07:27
2. Tina Hitzenberger 12:17:36
3. Michaela Six, 12:21:29

In neighbouring Switzerland runners were treated to the epic scenery out on the more rolling course of the 

SWISSALPINE 125 km / 6236 m, 85 km / 3641, 39 km / 1989m

Denise Zimmerman, Tor Des Geants champion and third lady at UTMB in 2015 won the long race in 18:47 nearly two hours ahead of second lady Basilia Forster who improved on her third position from 2017. Rounding up the podium was Helene Ogi in 21:06. 

On the middle distance GB's (but Ponresina based) Julia Bleasdale took the victory with twenty five minutes down to Jasmin Nunige in second. Katharina Hediger-Weiss claimed third in 11:18. 

The 2018 Ultra Trail Mont Blanc AND Zegama runner up Ida Nilsson took a comfortable win on the short distance and came in as first lady in 4:03 with 7 minutes down to last years champion Samira Schnuriger. On third place was Natalia Spetsova in 4:16.

125 k 

1. Denise Zimmerman 18:47:17
2. Basilia Forster 20:25:12
3. Helene Ogi 21:06:01

85 k

1. Julia Bleasdale 9:42:14
2. Jasmin Nunige 10:09:11
3. Katharina Hediger-Weiss 11:18:37

43 k 

1. Ida Nilsson 4:03:24
2. Samira Schnuriger 4:10:50
3. Natalia Spetsova 4:16:03

You'd think there would be no runners left for the Tour Des Fiz in the French alps but they also managed to jam pack the fields of their three distances with strong runners over the weekend. Sadly however there are no results to be found from there so I'll be back with those for next weeks round up. 


Next weekend is another busy one on the mainland of Europe, the big names will probably be resting their race-legs ahead of UTMB but there is no shortage of scenic routes for trail hungry mid-packers to choose from. There is the Ecologic Ultra Trail in Turkey, Comano Extreme Trail in Italian Trentino and over in Russia the Elbrus World Race to name a few.

On the isle of blighty the Centurions are back with one of their Grand Slam races, the North Downs Way 100. Lining up to tackle the dusty dirt roads and fruit farm short cuts of this classic 100 miler is last years winner and pre race favourite Mari Mauland. Having successfully raced the rocky yet runnable terrain of the WS during a very hot year back in June the high temperatures (in British terms) forecasted for this weekend should not be any reason of concern for Mari. Being joined in the starting pen by strong runner and fellow Norwegian Ingrid Lid on the other hand might be something to worry about. Laura Swanton this years second lady at both TP100 and SDW100 and the current grand slam leader should also be able to challenge Mauland for the win.