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Canada’s Ailsa Macdonald wins Bandera 100K

Macdonald's time was the second-fastest ever run by a woman on the course in Texas

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.

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#bandera100km Made a spontaneous decision to throw this race into my schedule in hopes of landing a WSER Golden Ticket. It was a lofty goal given the competition this race draws but sometimes you just have to take a chance. Happy to say…I got what what I came for ☺️. This ticket comes with mixed emotions! I am thrilled that I have the ability to run at this level. I’m excited to have another shot at WSER now that I know the course. I am also scared to death because I’m doing the race again…and I know what I’m in for 🤣. Huge thanks to my sister for traveling all the way from TO to crew me today. Her first time crewing and she did a phenomenal job! Couldn’t have done it without her support. I know my other crew members wished they could be here but sometimes it just doesn’t work out. I know they were here in heart and glued to the tracker all day. @b_mangreen Dave and Leslie Roche. Can’t wait to have you guys with me at WSER!! #seeyouinsquaw #wser #canadianultrarunner #canadianrunningmagazine #canadianrunning #sauconyrunning #sauconycanada #runyourworld #fasttraxrunski #runhappy #neurofeedback @sanostatehealthclinic

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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).

RELATED: Bandera 100K attracts top Canadian women

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.

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.

50K results

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.

25K results

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.