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The Trail Runner Trophy Series, presented by Altra Running, is a points-based race series, with 186 events of all distances, all around the country. The series begins in March and culminates in September. Grand prizes are awarded to the runner who logs the most miles, and the runner who runs the most races. The “Mile Mogul” wins a Run the Alps trail-running tour through the French and Swiss alps, while the “Trail Fiend” wins a coveted spot on the cover of Trail Runner magazine.
The Trophy Series is well under way for the season. Here are some updates and stories from the last few weeks. Dale Reicheneder, the 2016 Trophy Series “Trail Fiend” Champion, is currently in first place for winning the cover shot, while Gerald Bailey is the lead for the trail-running tour in the Alps.
Ultra Trail Gaspesia 100: June 20, Gaspé, Quebec
According to the National Geographic Society, Gaspésie — a peninsula that lies on the southern shore of the Saint Lawrence River in Quebec, Canada — is one of the world’s three most beautiful natural travel destinations. However on June 20, thick fog and lashing rain blocked out the scenic views as racers toed the start line of the second-annual Ultra Trail Gaspesia 100, 106K and 53K.
Race director Jean-François Tapp gave the pre-race briefing dressed in a fisherman’s waders before sending runners off from the start line — marked with two weathered pieces of driftwood– on the rocky Plage des Pêcheurs (fisherman’s beach).
Out of six 100-mile racers, one man Thomas Duhamel, of Montréal, made it to the finish, in 26:54:19. Duhamel didn’t realize he was the last man standing until mile 80, at which point he stopped for a 20-minute nap, guaranteeing that he would be able to make it to the finish.
Karine Isenor, of Nova Scotia, was the first woman to finish the 106K race in 18:45:00, followed by Julie Michaud, of Ste-Brigitte-de-Laval and Krista Kirstead, of Nova Scotia.
First place on the men’s side went to Emmanuel Tousignant, of Ottawa, in 16:03:17, followed by Kevin Morin of Lévis and Marc-Antoine Lamarre of Québec.
The 53K title was won by Nathaniel Couture, who tied for first place in last year’s 100-mile race, in 5:37:04. Daniel Barriault of St-Jérome took second place followed by Dany Collard of Montréal.
Marline Côté, of Lévis, was the first woman to cross the 53K finish line in 6:21:58. Jasmine Paquin of Sherbrooke and Christine Bérubé-Martin of Maria, placed 2nd and 3rd respectively.
Race weekend was also punctuated by the first running of the Trans-Percé stage race, a three-day event directed on the same trails as the 100-miler. On Friday, June 19, racers took off on an 11K loop for the first stage, followed by a 53K on Saturday and 25K on Sunday. Charles-Olivier Mercier of Québec won all three stages. Second place went to Gaston Berthelot of Carleton and in third place was Dawson Mossman of New Brunswick.
The women’s stage-race winner was Carole Fournier of Edmundston, followed by Leah Reinburger of Ottawa and Heather Brown of Milton.
The Knee Knackering North Shore Trail Run: July 8, North Vancouver, British Columbia
The Knee Knackering North Shore Trail Run– commonly known as Knee Knacker– brings people back year after year. Six people have finished the race 20 times and 59 have completed it 10 times. This year, the race’s 28th anniversary, 272 runners took to the start line.
Seven-time champion and former course-record-holder Peter Findlay, of Kamloops, joined the 20-time finishers list. Rod Hatfull and Susan Reynolds, both of Vancouver, finished their 10th Knee Knacker. Neil Wakelin and Ron Adams, also of North Vancouver, finished their 27th.
Katie Mills, of North Vancouver, won the women’s race, ousting 2012 winner Lisa Polizzi into second. Snagging third place was Sandra Jensen, of Campbell River.
Nick Elson, of North Vancouver, British Columbia, posted another sub-five-hour finish, taking first place. Cody Callon of Vancouver took second place, and Mike Murphy of Squamish placed third.
But the racers weren’t the only ones having competitive fun out on course. Volunteers compete for the best-themed aid station.
A couple of years ago the Black Mountain aid station entertained runners with a string quartet, with volunteers in white gloves serving water from plastic champagne glasses. Last year the aid station theme was Black Sabbath: all of the volunteers had Ozzy Osborne hair, while “Crazy Train” blared from a loudspeaker. This year’s biergarten theme had Black Mountain volunteers in traditional Bavarian outfits, serving water from beer steins.
Grey Rock Trail Run: July 8, 2017, Yakima, Washington
Early this month, athletes from across the U.S. tackled what many consider to be Washington’s toughest 50K course, along with challenging 25K and 12K races. A large buck roamed the Ahtanum State Forest as racers ran through meadows and along trails lined with wildflowers, and gazed at expansive mountain views.
Despite hot weather, triathlete Amy Van Tassel, of Portland, broke the women’s 50K record in 5:12:22. Meanwhile, course-record-holder and five-time Grey Rock Trail Run-champion Jeff Hasimoto, of Ellensburg, Washington, won the men’s 50K in 4:53:56, dipping his hat in every possible stream to stay cool.
Finishing first in the women’s 25K– and second overall! — was 22-year-old Zoey Freebaim, of Sandy, Utah, in 2:47:22, while Martin Kreidl, of Portland, Oregon, won the men’s race in 2:34:19. In the 12K, local Yakima runner Sam McManis took first in 1:05:06 and Alaina Finley, of Sandy, Utah, took first female in 1:13:17.
Trophy Series Standings
Run most races
First- Dale Reicheneder, Malibu CA, 270.1 miles, 24 races
Second- Samantha Weaver, Jersey Shore PA, 260.6 miles, 20 races
Third- Gerald Bailey, Glencoe KY, 329.2 miles, 16 races
Run most miles
First- Gerald Bailey, Glencoe KY, 329.2 miles, 16 races
Second- Donna Loparo, Winter Springs FL, 320 actual miles, 2 races
Third- Bert Blackbird, Brandon MB, 300 actual miles, 2 races
First- James Barnard, Clinton TN, 1056 points, 1 race
Second- Georg Kunzfeld, Frankfurt Germany, 800 points, 1 race
Third- Jeremy Reed, Pikeville TN, 630 points, 1 race
First- Donna Loparo, Winter Springs FL, 1080 points, 2 races
Second- Debbie Bulten, Cambridge ON, 800 points, 1 race
Third- Greta Reed, Pikeville TN, 576 points, 1 race
10-19 Port Habalar, Williamsport PA, 269.3 points, 5 races
20-29 Matt Lipsey, Kersey PA, 222.8 points, 4 races
30-39 Robert Spies, San Francisco CA, 157.2 points, 3 races,
40-49 Steve Templin, Muncy PA, 176.3 points, 4 races
50-59 Dale Reicheneder, Malibu CA, 928.1 points, 24 races
60+ Gerald Bailey, Glencoe KY, 394.2 points, 16 races
10-19 Mallory Lovell, Georgetown KY, 293.0 points, 6 races, firstname.lastname@example.org
20-29 Johanna Ohm, State College PA, 245.8 points, 5 races
30-39 Brianna Bair, State College PA, 276.1 points, 5 races
40-49 Samantha Weaver, Jersey Shore PA, 457.7 points, 20 races
50-59 Carole Dudukovich, Port Matilda PA, 490.0 points, 10 races
60+ Jane Kone, Howard PA, 294.1 points, 6 races