Alaska runners crush it nationwide
From California to Utah to North Carolina, Alaskans ran up a storm over the weekend.
Reigning Mount Marathon Race champion Hannah LaFleur of Seward won the Catalina Half Marathon and placed fourth overall in 1 hour, 37 minutes and 11 seconds. LaFleur received a strong challenge from Californian Evelyne Ruiz (1:37:27) and broke the existing record by more than four minutes.
With snow finally on the ground in Anchorage, you’d imagine two-time Nordic skiing Olympian Holly Brooks would have spent the weekend gliding on the local trails.
Actually, Brooks was in Moab, Utah, where she placed second among women in the 50-mile Dead Horse Ultra running race. Brooks completed the technical race in 8 hours and 4 minutes on Saturday, trailing only Anne Flower of Kentucky (7:43).
The event featured more than 800 finishers in 50-mile, 50-kilometer and 30K events.
Joining Brooks on the trip was Greer Gehler, who placed 18th among women in the 50K in 5 hours. Rhianne Christopherson earned her 50K medal in 6:38 while Valerie Waldron finished in 7:33.
Across the country in Hendersonville, N.C., Allan Spangler dominated the Hullabaloo 50K, winning by 25 minutes in 3:50. He also shattered the course record from 2015 by 11 minutes.
Also at Hullabaloo, Nina Schwinghammer placed third among women in 6:07.
Meanwhile, at The North Face Endurance Challenge in San Francisco, Chad Trammell of Anchorage won Sunday’s Half Marathon by more than a minute in 1:20:35, setting a new course record. Trammell’s victory earned him enough points to qualify for the Courmayeur – Champex – Chamonix, an elite Ultra-Trail World Tour event in August 2020. In Saturday’s marquee event, the 50-miler, Cody Priest gradually moved up throughout the race and placed 15th among men in 7:32. In Saturday’s 50K, Mariah Graham placed sixth in 5:46.
Finally, at The Dome in Anchorage on Saturday morning, Aaron Fletcher ran a 5-kilometer time trial in 14 minutes, 9.9 seconds. While at least six Alaskans, including Fletcher, have run faster, the time is believed to be the quickest on Alaskan soil.