It's a very quiet patch in the Marathon calendar at the moment. Those 26.2 road types aren't fans of the heat and all the action seems to happen on the trails over the summer. However, here's a few results to keep your appetite sated. As always, do let me know if you're running any races or spot anything you'd like covered in these roundups & previews.
THE MIDNIGHT SUN MARATHON, Tromsø
Norway took the top two spots at the Tromso Midnight Sun Marathon, but it was the top GB lady that caught my eye. Sarah Easton lived in Myanmar for 2 1/2 years and was struck by the impact that conflict has had on some of the poorest regions of the country. As a result, she has set herself the challenge of running 12 marathons in 12 different countries and 2018km this year in aid of a selection of charities working in Myanmar.
Sarah has so far completed:
Yoma Yangon International Marathon (Myanmar)
IDBI Federal Life Insurance Kolkata Full Marathon (India)
Bhutan International Marathom (Bhutan)
Run The Great Wall Marathon (China)
Marathon de la Baie du Mont-Saint-Michel (France)
Midnight Sun Marathon (Norway)
and still has races in Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Singapore to go. So far she has raised £10k. You can see more about her challenge here.
1. Marianne Dønnem, NOR - 3:09:31
2. Therese Falk, NOR - 3:18:06
3. Andrea Grendová, WVK - 3:23:56
1. Sarah Easton, GBR - 3:28:30
2. Stephanie Macleod, GBR - 3:30:23
3. Josephine Adams, GBR - 3:31:00
LGT ALPIN-MARATON, LIECHTENSTEIN
The stunning but tough Alpin Maraton was won by 27 trail runner Michelle Maier who hadn't originally intended to run the race. She commented that she was unsure of her control of the road marathon distance given that she has recently preferred to run sky races. Clearly mountain running is agreeing with her.
1. Michelle Maier 3:28:43
2. Nadja Kessler 3:47:58
3. Simona Staicu 3:54:04
Amongst the GB runners, Claire Gordon of Hunters Bog Trotters (marathon PB 2:55:58) was top as her Scottish hill running clearly came in handy to cope with the 6,448 ft of elevation (check her strava here)
1. Claire Gordon 4:00:15
3. Claire Duffy 5:40:54
3. Sheila Mashate 6:10:29
DORNEY LAKE MARATHON & 6 hr challenge
A flat marathon consisting of 10 out and back laps is not everyone's cup of tea, but 66 brave souls undertook this unusual to-and-fro marathon on the 14th. With the male winner clocking, 2:58:59, the women's podium was topped by Loretta Briggs in 3:33:58. Loretta, of Reading Road Runners, recently completed the MK Marathon in May and smashed her PB of 3:45:36 (from London 2017) in this race.
1. Loretta Briggs 3:33:58
2. Claire Newman 3:38:39
3. Kath Taylor 3:43:20
Crazy-lady respect goes to Michele Moran (North East Vets V50) who took the top spot and racked up 31.4 miles in 5:02:21 in the 6 hr challenge race. This is a race where you can run as many of the 2.62 mils laps as you like for up to 6 hours (madness). She finished joint first overall for miles, but ahead on time from Wayne Preston who covered the same distance in 6:10:47
PHNOM PENH HALF MARATHON
Jill Hamill won the Phnom Penh half marathon women's race in 1:29:03. Jill broke her neck in a car accident in 2004 undertook rehab, completed the Belfast Marathon in 2010 and vowed never to run 26.2 again. She suffered a second accident after moving to Cambodia to work with Care for Cambodia but her running has continued and now she has a first place finish!
GRANDMAS MARATHON, Duluth, Minnesota
A random one, but seems to be quite well thought of. Sadly you can't search by country on the results. Sarah Kiptoo won in 2:33:28
Cajsa brings you all thew news from the trails:
Remember how last week my final sentence went something like; "and next week its all tumbleweed on the trails of Europe" ... Oh what an uninformed last paragraph of writing that turned out to be.
ZUGSPITZ ULTRATRAIL (102 km / 5480 m)
The 7th edition of Germany's biggest trail race saw the return of the ITRA top 3 regular and French Machine that is Caroline Chaverot. After her DNF at Transgrancanaria earlier in the season she tweeted hints that this might be the end of her career but with this weekends performance in the books I think we can safely file that threat under "fake news". Second lady to conquer the brutal climbs and descents of Zugspitze and just 12 minutes behind Chaverot was the Austrian-living Swede and recent winner of Schwarzach Ultra Trail; Kristin Berglund. Rounding up the the podium was none other than this years Transgrancanaria champ Magdalena Laczak from Poland who finished in 13:25.
1. Caroline Chaverot 12:59:33
2. Kristin Berglund 13:11:38
3. Magdalena Laczak 13:25:35
MOZART 100 (103 km / 4600 m)
A couple of 100 k's east of Germany's highest peak we find the settings of not only Sound of Music but also those of the 10th race on this years Ultra Trail World Tour calendar. Judging by the UK domination of the female top 5 it seems like the hills of Blighty make for good Julie Andrews impression training.
Recent SDW 50 winner Sarah Morwood had a belter of a day on the trails surrounding Salzburg and came in as second lady in 12:12:03, just 14 minutes behind Austria's Martina Trimmel (runner up at last years Eiger Ultra-Trail and winner of Pitz85 2017).
On fourth place, behind another Austrian runner (Veronika Limberger), we find Pudsey's Charmaine Horsfall in 13:40 just nine minutes ahead of London runner Amelia Watts. Well danced ladies!
1. Martina Trimmel 11:57:50
2. Sarah Morwood 12:12:03
3. Veronika Limberger 12:21:20
4. Charmaine Horsfall 13:40:26
5. Amelia Watts 13:49:16
To add to the list of races I managed to ignore in last weeks preview there was also the Samoens Trail Tour in the French alps but no results are available from that one yet!
BROKEN ARROW SKYRACE (52 km / 3200 m)
This is a race that attracts, not only for having (as far as trail races are concerned) a very generous amount of prize money in the pot, but also for being located both geographically- and schedual-ly very close to WS100. It means that every american trail runner fast enough to be on pacing duties for next weekends elites was on place and ready to battle for cash in the legendary Valley of Squaw.
The incredible Megan Kimmel took an early lead and beasted it through to win in a record breaking 05:30:43, a time that was speedy enough to place her as 5th OA. Eighteen minutes behind, also breaking the previous course record set by Kelly Wolf last year, was the to me previously unknown Boulder based Rea Kolbl (after some internet stalking it looks like she's previously been concentrating on Obstacle Course Racing). Third lady to the finish ALSO in a record breaking time was multiple UTMB winner Rory Bosio.
1. Megan Kimmel 05:30:43
2. Rea Kolbl 05:48:49
3. Rory Bosio 05:52:12
Here I was looking forward to a Gill & Cajsa gab about whether Camille from the hoods (road) would beat Courtney from the woods in this years edition of the bucket list friendly WS100 but sadly Herron has pulled out due to the same injury that stopped her from starting at Comrades last week. She's not the only of this years favourites to pull out as last years winner Cat Bradley has also announced that she will not be returning to race this year. That does not mean that Courtney Dauwalter, who has won every race she's started this year, will have an easy trek in the national park to claim the trophy though. Previous race champ Kaci Lickteig is back from injury and seems to be in good shape, also toeing the line is 2014 winner Stephanie Violett. Tarawera runner up and UROC winner Amanda Basham and speedy Australian young gun Lucy Bartholomew are two other runners to look out for. Personally I am hoping for Dauwalter and her baggy shorts to crush the men's field to smithereens.
For us Europeans, far away from golden ticket entries to rattle snake infested races in Squaw, all eyes are set on the Dolomites. This year the ladies field is stacked with international top runners. Nepalese Mira Rai is steadily making her way back from her injury and has proven to be close to her old shape at recent races. From the US there's last years CCC winner Clare Gallagher and this years Lake Sonoma 50 champion Keely Henninger. UTMB victor Nuria Picas is also ready to race it as is recent Tarawera winner Kelly Wolf. I am crossing all my fingers and blue-nailed toes for GB's Beth Pascall and Sophie Grant to have a good day and give the rest of the gals a fight for the win. Seriously, who cares about badly bleached Brazilians and Iberian hat tricks when you have hot lady trail races like this in the pipeline? Forza Le Signore!
In the UK there's the 10 Peaks, Pen Llyn Ultra (this year with an added100 mile distance) and Race To The King to look forward to and over in Austria Adidas are hosting the Trail Team Relay World Championships.
I'm planning to track all of these whilst logging some medal free midnight miles on the North Downs Way. It's solstice weekend after all! (actually this makes me think there has to be a good Sun Chase themed dusk race happening somewhere on the British trails this weekend so if you know of one please leave a link in the comments!)
23rd Dartford Midnight Marathon
Ruth Havis of Billericay Runners looks like a strong contender for 1st place at the Dartford Midnight Marathon (which starts at 7pm). Ruth has recently set a half marathon PB of 1:44 ay Southend half marathon and came 3rd in this race last year (4:04:02). With the top two from 2017 (Rache Porter and Dawn Davis) not on the start list, this win is hers for the taking.