Jones and Frost Dominate Transvulcania

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Trail Racing Recap: May 12 to 13

Photo by Ultra168 – The top three women at the finish.

Transvulcania 50 Mile – La Palma, Canary Islands

American Dakota Jones, 21, won a thrilling duel in course-record time at the Transvulcania 50 Mile on La Palma, Canary Islands Saturday. Jones, who ran near the front for most of the race, came back from third place late in the day to edge Andy Symonds 6:59:07 to 7:00:34. He also finished over ten minutes ahead of reigning Western States and UTMB champion, Kilian Jornet, who led for much of the race but collapsed after finishing third, in 7:09:53.

All three, as well as Francois D’Haene, who finished in 7:23:40, broke Miguel Heras’ course record of 7:32:12, set last year. Heras did not start this year’s race.

“I did not plan to run in front all day, but I just ran my race and up front is where it happened to be,” says Jones. “It was a little intimidating, but I have run that distance enough to know how I feel, and that was what I could do.”

Jones, whose impressive rise includes a win at the Lake Sonoma 50 Mile in April, said that even he was surprised by the result. “I knew I had a good race in me, but I never expected to be able to run that well,” he says. “Everything just came together for me and fell apart for others, mainly Kilian.”

Jones emphasized that his beating Jornet, who has been all but invincible in mountain ultras in recent years, should not be cause for too much speculation.

“He had some trouble with the heat and all those effects combined allowed me to beat him,” Jones continues. “I have no assumptions that I could beat him in prime condition, but Saturday turned out really well.”

By comparison, New Zealand’s Anna Frost led wire to wire and had a comfortable margin of victory in the women’s race—despite being in a field whose top six finishers all broke the previous course record.

Frost finished in 8:11:30, nearly two hours ahead of Monica Aguilera’s previous record, 10:00:03, set last year (Aguilera did not finish the race this year), and over 40 minutes ahead of second-place Nuria Picas, who crossed the line in 8:51:59. Americans Nikki Kimball and Darcy Africa finished third and fourth, respectively, in 9:10:00 and 9:17:35.

Jones indicates that he might be back in the future to try and run the course even faster. “The race course is extremely beautiful and I would love to return,” he says. “The island and its people are all really special, and I am very lucky to have been able to experience this place like I did.”

For complete results, click here.

Photo by Erin Bibeau Photography – Jenny Pierce runs to a 50-mile victory.

Quad Rock 50-Mile and 25-Mile – Fort Collins, Colorado

The inaugural Quad Rock races were held Saturday in Fort Collins, Colorado. Despite cool temps, times reflected what race director Nick Clark called a “burly” course.

“The race was a great success for our first go around,” says Clark, who is also an elite trail ultrarunner. “We were psyched to register a finishing rate of about 80 percent.”

Ryan Burch, of Fort Collins, Colorado, won the 50-mile race in 7:40:18, over six minutes ahead of runner-up Jim Rebenack of Arcata, California. Jenny Pierce, of Livingston, Montana, won the women’s division and placed 24th overall in 9:51:36. Pierce, who is running Western States 100-Mile Endurance Run in June, bested Fort Collins’ Stephanie Lynn by over fifteen minutes.

In the 25-mile race, Daniel Goding of Loveland, Colorado, finished first in 3:33:14. Second-place finisher, Scott Jaime, of Highlands Ranch, Colorado, crossed the line three minutes behind in 3:36:16. Fort Collins’ Eliza Walthers won the women’s race and finished 21st overall in 4:44:48, less than three minutes ahead of runner-up Kelli Picon, of Greeley, Colorado.

For complete results, click here.

Photo by Janice A. Miller – 30K runner Steph Draper navigates the technical course.

Don’t Fence Me In 30K – Helena, Montana

Robert Krar set a new course record at the Don’t Fence Me In 30K Saturday in Helena, Montana. The Flagstaff, Arizona, resident clocked a time of 2:07:53.7, besting Kiefer Hahn’s 2:09:41.2 set in 2009. Jared Scott of Grand Canyon, Arizona (last year’s winner), and Matthew Byrne of Scranton, Pennsylvania, ran the third and fourth-fastest times in course history with a 2:13:42.5 and 2:13:49.9, respectively.

In the women’s division, Megan Kimmel of Silverton, Colorado, won the race for the second-straight year in 2:50:09.7, nearly eight minutes ahead of runner-up Sarah Keller of Billings, Montana.

The race, which is part of the 2012 La Sportiva Mountain Cup, was directed in part by local ultrarunner Martin Miller, who notes that the course has been altered since Hahn set the old record in 2009.

“We’ve made it substantially tougher and brought the total vertical climb up to over 4000 feet,” says Miller. “By this standard, Krar’s time is really a big improvement.”

Saturday was the fifth running of the Don’t Fence Me In 30K. The inaugural event in 2005 consisted of a 5K and 12K race; the 30K distance was added in 2008.

For complete results, click here.

Ice Age 50-Mile – La Grange, Wisconsin

The Ice Age 50, held in conjunction with a 50K and trail half marathon, was the second-to-last race in the Montail Ultra Cup (which concludes at Western States in California next month). Yet, despite the fast field, the course record of 5:54:4—set in 2000 by Daniel Held—survived.

Zach Bitter of Marinette, Wisconsin, won the race in 6:05:45—the second-fastest time ever on the course. Christopher Kollar of Missoula, Montana, finished second in 6:14:55, good for fourth all-time.

Denise Bourassa of Bend, Oregon, won the women’s division and placed 11th overall in 7:12:37, missing Luanne Park’s course record—also set in 2000—by a mere 54 seconds. Bourassa was over 22 minutes ahead of second-place finisher, Melanie Peters, of St. Petersburg, Florida.

A 24-year-old Scott Jurek ran the course in 6:23:15—now good for ninth all-time—in 1998, when he placed third.

For complete results, click here.

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