Women's Running Roundup 23/7/18

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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I was just starting to enjoy those lazy hazy crazy days of summer silence on the social running feed, secretive elites clocking zero weeks on Strava (we all know that is just code for BIG peak week mileage), mid-packers suffering too much with electrolyte loss to be bothered to whine about movescount syncs on Facebook and everyone else just lacing off and flip flop-ing on over at the gram. 

At one point on Saturday morning it felt like I was the only person in the world out dusting off trails whilst simultaneously keeping a hawk eye on the Hardrock 100 coverage but then Xavier Thévenard took a sip from the wrong bottle and suddenly every recreational trailrunner with a phone in the vest-pocket arose from their summer slump to engage in a race rule debate on twitter:

There was so much venting of air going on that I almost felt a breeze on my East Kent-ish dunes. Sadly though none of the winds carried any news from the overshadowed ladies race at …..  

HARDROCK 100, 100 miles / 10,000 m

(Terrance Siemon / Adventure Pro)

(Terrance Siemon / Adventure Pro)

Aside from crossing the sensible speed limit for altitude race pacing there was no flouting of rules to be discussed amongst the Women of Hardrock. Pre-race favourite and youngest runner of the 2018 starting field Sabrina Stanley took control of the race from the gun. There were some early alarm bells about Stanley following in Lucy Bartholomew's Western States footsteps by going out too punchy but the doubters were soon silenced as Sabrina went on to steadily increase her gap to the chasing pack. Coming into the Grouse Gulch aid station with 58 miles elapsed she had a 30 minute lead on Hard Rock veteran Darla Askew and an hour down to the mighty Nikki Kimball. 

By the time she reached the elusive rock at the finishline in Silverton she had nearly two hours down to Nikki Kimball who finished strong and overtook third lady Daria Askew in the latter part of the race.  Fourth fastest lady across the boulders of Colorado was Kaori Niwa of Japan in 33:46. 

It is impressive to see a young runner take a win in a race famed to favour those with experience but what Stanley lacked in veteran milage she seems to have substituted with dedication. Back in May she moved into a camper van, parked up in Silverton and spent the next couple of months out on the Hardrock course with her dog. Learning which climbs to push on and where it is best to hold back might very well be what gave her the advantage to secure the win. Rumour says she will be back next year aiming for a sub 30 finish so hopefully the internet will have something more positive to chew the fat over in 2019! 

1. Sabrina Stanley 30:23:38 I: @sabrinaleannstanley
2. Nikki Kimball 32:18:20 I: @vikabirddog
3. Daria Askew 32:52:30
4. Kaori Niwa 33:46 T: @damoncute

SPEEDGOAT 50, 50 km / 3600m

In last weeks preview section I was hoping for this race to give us a duel between double Lake Sonoma champ Yiou Wang and the queen of the skyrunning Ruth Croft, both extremely strong runners when it comes to mountain running over the shorter distance (yes I agree 50 k should maybe not be classified as short but you know …). Sadly (for the race) Yiou decided to give her ankle injury from Lavaredo some more time to heal for TDS next month and did not line up for battle in Karl Meltzer's popular Sky Ultra. That did not however leave Ruth Croft without competition as another strong 50k runner, this years Behind The Rocks winner Taylor Nowlin, was hot on her heals and finished as second lady only seven minutes behind Croft in 6:30:51. Third lady to the finish line, half an hour behind the top two, was the 2018 Way Too Cool champion Ladia Albertson-Junkans. 

1. Ruth Croft 6:23:57 I: @ruthcrofty
2. Taylor Nowlin 6:30:51 I: @_taymae_
3. Ladia Albertson-Junkans 7:01:20 I: @ladiahallie


It was not only the american skyrunners who were out doing their mountain gazelle thing over the weekend. In the Italian Dolomites the Skyrunner World Series continued with a shorter race up and down the peak of Piz Boe. For the regular round up reader the name El Kott might sound familiar? Yes, that's right, them Swedish sky-twins were back in action and early in the race it looked like they might be on for a double podium as they were running second and third lady behind Spains Laura Orgue. American Hillary Gerardi ran strong on the descents of the second half and eventually overtook the twins to secure second place five minutes behind Orgue who got a sweet revenge on her DNF at Marathon Du Mont Blanc earlier in the summer. Sanna El Kott won the title as fastest twin and finished third 50 seconds ahead of sister Lina in 2:33:46. GB's Holly Page is having quiet the season on the sky running circuit with two wins so far and although this weekend did not result in a podium position she had another great race and came in as 5th lady in 2:37.

1. Laura Orgue (ESP) 2:28:54 I: @lauraorgue
2. Hillary Gerardi (USA) 2:23:09 I@hillary_geradi
3. Sanna El Kott (SWE) 2:33:46 I: @sannaelkotthelander
4. Lina El Kott (SWE) 2:34:25 I @linaelkott
5. Holly Page (GBR) 2:37:24 I: @hollyapage


I blame my 'back to sea level' -come down for managing to miss out on two record breaking runs at the Breacon Beacon event in the 10 Peaks Ultra series last week. Team GB's Beth Pascall (T: @BethPascall) showed some great form ahead of UTMB by obliterating the record on the shorter course finishing in 07:16:27, over two hours faster than the previous fastest time. Second lady was Isabel Leigh in 09:37:25 twenty minutes ahead of Naomi Prosser in third. 

On the longer distance Mary Gillie followed up Pascalls run with another course record breaking performance. She took home the title of first lady in 13:21:57 over half an hour ahead of runner up Natalie Taylor. Rounding up the podium was Holly Edwards in 15:23:01 

58 km / 3000 m

1. Beth Pascall 07:16:27 I: @beth_pascall
2. Isabel Leigh 09:37:25
3. Naomi Prosser 10:09:53

89 km / 4800 m

1. Mary Gillie 13:21:57
2. Natalie Taylor 13:57:21
3. Holly Edwards 15:23:01


This week sees the start of the gruelling Badwater 135, it's basically a 217 km long plod through an outdoors sauna starting in Death Valley and finishing at Mt Witney. 

Two podium placing veterans are on location at Americas lowest point (elevation wise) namely 2016 runner up Brenda Guajardo and last years second lady Amy Costa. Pamela Chapman-Markle who came third last year is also back to fight for the title and Badwater rookie but experienced ultra elite runner Sally McRae is ready to give them all a good fight. The average finish time for this brutal event is 40 hours and the female course record set by Alyson Allen in 2016 is 25:53:07. With the current heatwave looming over Europe this is a good one to tune into in order to reduce the temptation to complain about running in the comparatively cool temperatures of low 30 C's. 

In Europe there is the Grossglockner Ultra Trail in Austria to look forward to, Kristin Berglund is probably the strongest name on the list of top athletes but last years champion Juliette Blanchet could put up a good fight to bring the trophy back home. Over in the Alps it's the weekend of Orobie Ultra Trail which judging by the press pictures looks like an Italian beaut of a race and could serve as a good option for those unlucky in the UTMB draw, sadly the same media section did not feature a list of elite runners so no predictions to be made for this one. 

The northern runners will have the chance to warm up for Tromsoe Sky Race in two weeks time with the less technical Kia Fjallmarathon over the Swedish mountains, no list of registered runners to be found from the race organisers there either so it remains to be seen if local lass Ida Nilsson will be back to defend her title from last year. 

For urban trailheads lucky enough to spend the end of July in Paris there is a "fun" race to partake in this Wednesday. How about 15 laps of Buttes Chaumont totalling 44,4 miles to earn your weight in pain au chocolate? A bit much you say? Alors, then opt for the shorter and aptly name "Hipster" version, 17,7 miles over 6 loops. 

I have to admit that having spent one of the shady years of my running history (lets call them the cigarette-break era) running a  weekly lap of this park I'm trés intrigued!  I might have to book a EuroStar ticket for the 2019 edition of Ultra Boucle des Buttes Chaumont! http://www.ubbc.fr/

That's it for this week's round up but before you turn your head back to your beach read I'd like to direct your attention to a great piece on unequal gender recognitions in races by the ever inspiring Clare Gallagher (I: @Clare_Gallagher_runs). She discovered that the VT100 awarded the five top men but only the top three women and channeled her fury into writing this great rant. 


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Still in the lull for long distance road running at the moment, it was all about the 10ks in the UK , with a whole slew of them taking place not just on the weekend but on weeknights too as and try-hard-normals laced up after work in hot conditions to hone their summer speed.

Josie Hinton of London Heathside came a tantalising 1second of bringing her PB down for the second time in the year, after running 38:57 at the London Vitality 10k in may and as Fast Running points out, it's also worth noticing Ealing Eagles' Melissah Gibson, who took second place in the same race and is a racing machine having competed almost 50 times this year already including 5 marathons. Johanna O'Regan who ran 2:53:22 at London Marathon earlier this year for 5th non-elite spot in the GB ladies and 1:21:24 at Cambridge half continued her brilliant first ever year of racing to win the Bedfordshire AAA 10k. Meanwhile the winner of York Marathon 2017, Tracy Millmore (T:@tracymillmore) held onto her title at the Durham 10k, though she didn't need to go anywhere near her PB of 35:25 to do so.

Winners over the last week came in the form of...

Nicola Roberts  - Birchfield Harriers’ - 34:50 at Great Grimsby Grimsby 10k
Eleanor Harrison - Guildford & Godalming AC  - 37:27 Elmbridge 10k
Josie Hinton - London Heathside AC’s - 38:58 Royal Parks Summer10k
Sarah Benson - Telford Harriers - 38:49 Shrewsbury 10k
Chloe Cox- Edinburgh AC  - 38:05, Musselburgh Festival 10k
Johanna O’Regan - Riverside Runners  - 36:52, Bedfordshire AAA 10k  ***
Hannah Bown - Exmouth Harriers - 41:22, Exeter 10K
Tracy Millmore, Birtley AC  - 39:33 - Durham City 10k (T: @tracymillmore)

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Finally, WRR favourite (though we don't have favourites, honest) Mary Menon was in action at the Haytor Heller 10k. Billed as "a tough off road event not for the faint hearted" it should really go in Cajsa's section but being at the shorter end of things, I'll snaffle it for this section. It's not surprising to see that Mary yet again topped the women's race, bringing another trophy home in 47:22 and with a clear lead over 2nd placer 0:54:46 Freya Porter who finished in 54:46. Check out our interview with Mary to find out how on earth she keeps winning all these races!

Over in the USA there were a couple of marathons taking place...

OREGON MARATHON, USA http://www.uberthons.com/marathon-oregon

Winner Johanna Sylvester of Bend, Oregon was streets ahead of the runner up with nearly a 15 minute lead. A certified distance running coach, she's Execuive director of The Movemeant Foundation which aims to "help girls reach their full potential through physical activity" and also #WEDARETOBARE which aims to challenge women's insecurities about their bodies.

1 Johanna Sylvester, Bend -  02:58:15  
2 Kelly Cole, Vancouver - 03:12:59
3 Rebekah Ormsby,  Minneapolis - 03:16:02


1 Lynda Andros Clay, 4:00:34
2 Marsha Kaufman, 4:02:17
3 Unknown , 4:32:38
4 Lorie Alexander, 4:57:11


1. Mary Hill, Halifax 03:37:41
2. Sheryl Quinn Inuvik 3:47:17
3. Emma Harrington Somerville 03:53:53



28th DORSET INVADER MARATHON feat. Mary Menon looking to hold onto her title for the 3rd year running.

The main thing to look forward to is still August's European Athletics Championships in Berlin with Tracy Barlow, Aly Dixon, Lily Partridge, Charlotte Purdue, Sonia Samuels and Caryl Jones taking on the marathon distance. A quick scoot over the various social media channels suggests that training is going well for all the athletes. Tracy has been out in Girona, Lily's been in Murcia (and officially taken on by Adidas as of this week), Charlotte has been launching Purdue Performance, it looks like Sonia's been in Switzerland and Caryl got a quick holiday in New Zealand before heading onwards to train. Sadly though, British Athletics have just announced that Aly is out of the running due to injury: https://www.britishathletics.org.uk/news-and-features/biggest-team-of-modern-era-named-for-european-championships/