Ailsa Macdonald of St. Albert, Alta. was the first female finisher at Saturday’s Hoka One One Bandera 100K in Texas, which comes with a Golden Ticket to the Western States Endurance Run in June. Macdonald’s time of 9:16:38 is the second-fastest time run by a woman at this event. She shared the podium with another Canadian, Arden Young of Calgary, who followed Michelle Magagna of Portage, Michigan (in second place, in 9:43:36) for third, in 10:42:56.
Macdonald, who finished sixth at UTMB-CCC last year, has a long and impressive list of accomplishments in the ultra-trail world, that includes six course records and two outright wins (including her first 100-miler, Sinister 7, in 2017).
The men’s race ended up being an exciting duel, with Alex Nichols of Colorado Springs holding a four-minute lead at 20 miles (32K), only to be overtaken by Drew Holmen of San Francisco in the final mile. Holmen broke the tape in his first major win in 8:13:15, with Nichols arriving just over a minute later in 8:14:25. Cole Watson of Folsom, California rounded out the podium for third place, in 8:18:34.
Macdonald, Magagna, Holmen and Nicols all scored Golden Tickets for their efforts on Saturday.
WOW!!! Drew Holmen WINS #Bandera100k. He was 4min behind with 20mi to go, and he made a joke to his supercrew @sashateninty, then said "I am ready for this." He made the pass in the last mile. Golden ticket to #WS100! Drew is such an amazing human and athlete. BIG DREAMS AHEAD🦖
— David Roche (@MountainRoche) January 11, 2020
The race is billed as “A trail of rugged and brutal beauty where everything cuts, stings or bites.” The race had 328 finishers and 69 DNFs. Course records of 7:46:37 and 9:08:35 are held by Jim Walmsley (2016) and Stephanie Violett (2017), respectively.
In an odd turn of events, the top three finishers in the 50K share the same first name. Brandon Ray won the race in 4:33:55. Brandon Weber was second, in 4:43:43, and Brandon Haney was third, in 4:45:31. Courtney Rouse won the women’s race in 5:11:58. Kelly MacDonald was second, in 5:13:58, and Caroline Frenzel was third, in 5:16:30.
The 25K was won by a woman, Ashley Brasovan, in 1:57:27, a new women’s course record. Laura Cortez was second, in 2:22:04 and Renee Townsend was third, in 2:35:13. Matthew Pennock was first among the men, in 1:59:10. Daniel Chidester was second, in 2:00:08, and Art Hurtado was third, in 2:08:49.