On Saturday, February 16 Manitoba’s Mallory Richard, 34, placed third at one of the most competitive 100K races of the season. Black Canyon 100K in Arizona is part of the Altra Running Golden Ticket Series, where the top two male and female finishers receive automatic entry to the iconic Western States 100 mile race in June. The talented Richard shared the podium with 2016 Western States Winner Kaci Lickteig (first) and YiOu Wang (second). “This is at least the second race where I’ve received an animal skull as a prize, and I live in a small apartment…like a trophy room for the Predator, from that Arnold Schwarzenegger movie.”
 
 
Mallory sharing the podium with 1st place Kaci Lickteig and 2nd place YiOu Wang. Photo: Cassie Smith

Richard is no stranger to the podium. Every year since 2014 she has won the Superior 100 mile race in Minnesota. In 2017 she won the Hennepin Hundred 100-mile race in Illinois. Richard also knows a thing or two about Western States, as she placed 11th in 2016. Although she wasn’t racing specifically for a Golden Ticket last Saturday, Richard felt excited that Black Canyon attracts a competitive field of strong women. “Chasing and being chased by them motivated me to put everything into the effort.” 

Photo: Cassie Smith
 
 
The race started off tough. It was windy and raining while every runner began at a fast pace. Richard felt nervous that everyone would be able to continue that pace. At the first major descent, she began to feel more comfortable. The twisty single-track was too much fun for Richard to stay nervous. Coming from Winnipeg, Richard completed much of her long run training on the treadmill. “I didn’t do as much speed training as I would have liked, so I tried to make up for that with some hill intervals and hilly tempo runs at the gym.” 
 
The Thirsty Beavers: Cassie Smith, Tara Berry, Mallory Richard, & Alicia Woodside
 
Although Richard was not racing for a Golden Ticket, she was excited for the opportunity to race competitively in the desert. She adventured south for the weekend with her Canadian trail running Thirsty Beavers. Tara Berry and Alicia Woodside also toed the line for the 100K, while Cassie Smith raced the 60K. After the race, the women had to ask a nearby hotel for a shower, as their AirBnb had no hot water.
 
 
 
All four of the Golden Ticket winners accepted their spots for the 2019 Western States 100 race. The next Golden Ticket race is The Georgia Death Race on March 3, 2019. Richard has no plans to race another Golden Ticket race this year. Instead, she will enjoy her recovery time by skating on the river with her husband before she starts thinking about what’s next.  

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