It was a busy week in the ultratrail world, no less than in the road-running world, with a number of prominent races taking place in-person in Canada and elsewhere. Here are some results from the weekend’s events.
Marathon des Sables
Rachid El Morabity won his eighth victory here, in a time of 21:17:32, followed less than 15 minutes later by his brother, Mohamed El Morabity, both of Morocco. Merile Robert of France was third, repeating his third-place finish from 2018. Mathieu Blanchard, who is a Canadian permanent resident based in Montreal and who finished third at this year’s UTMB race, was fifth, after taking second place on Stage 5.
Pictures of the day's stage pic.twitter.com/GaHZyZdAf9
— MARATHON DES SABLES (@marathonDsables) October 8, 2021
Aziza Raji of Morocco scored her first win here after finishing second in 2018, and it was decisive; her 30:30:24 was almost four hours ahead of Tomomi Bitoh of Japan in second place (34:39:17). Aicha Omrani of France was third, in 35:47:48.
The Marathon des Sables is a 6-day, 250 km stage race in the Moroccan Sahara. Racers must carry all of their own gear to each day’s bivouac location, where they camp overnight; the third, and longest, stage is 82.5 km, and the final stage is the marathon distance (42.2 km). Tragically, a French man in his 50s died after suffering a cardiac arrest during the second stage.
To make the race as COVID-safe as possible, the Grizzly Ultra held all distances on two separate days, with two separate sets of results.
On Saturday, Jake Larsson and Priscilla Forgie, both of Edmonton, won the Grizzly Ultra 50K solo races in Canmore, Alta., Larsson in 4:25:46 and Forgie in 4:32:44 (Forgie was third overall, improving on her third-female finish from 2019). It was a close race for second and third, with Jennifer St. Pierre of St. Albert and Brooke Wilson of Red Deer rounding out the women’s podium in 5:11:13 and 5:11:35, respectively. Shawn Wilyman of Regina was the second solo male in 4:26:458 and Edward Choi of Calgary was third, in 4:37:24.
On Sunday, Chris McNamara of Calgary and Jen Elliott of Edmonton won the 50K solo races in 4:15:16 and 4:58:17. Curtis Yates of Okotoks was second, in 4:22:26, and Richard Larouche of Lethbridge was third, in 4:36:13. Sarah Pearce-Gieck of Calgary and Celeste Crosschild of Saskatoon rounded out the women’s podium; their times were 5:24:01 and 5:27:15.
The Bromont Ultra returned last week, after being cancelled in 2020 due to the pandemic. With multiple distances available from 25 km to a 100-miler, it was an exciting weekend of racing in Quebec’s Eastern Townships.
25 km – men
- Christopher Levesque-Savard 2:02:07
- Josh Tremblay 2:10:13
- Olivier St-Denis 2:18:35
25 km – women
- Melodie Gilbert 2:21:32
- Lyne Bessette 2:29:51
- Marie-France Roy 2:33:44
55 km – men
- David Jeker 5:22:45
- Alister Gardner 5:30:35
- Théo Corboliou 5:38:00
55 km – women
- Hélène Michaux 6:24:38
- Marie-Maud Côté-Rouleau 6:39:22
- Maïka Lamoureux 6:49:35
80 km – men
- Sébastien Roulier 8:52:44
- Reme Laprade 9:03:02
- Vincent Auger 9:06:07
80 km – women
- Joannie Desroches 9:45:43
- Julie Salvas 9:59:27
- Amelie Gobeil-Riverin 10:00:18
160 km – men
- Frederick Jouin 21:34:51
- Marc-Antoine Forand 23:22:55
- Tim McDonough 23:24:05
160 km – women
- Anne Bouchard 25:13:19
- Julie Riopel-Meunier 30:34:39
- Sandra Lafontaine 33:18:31
— Candice ₿ (@runcandice) October 10, 2021
Michael McKnight of Smithfield, Utah and Annie Hughes of Leadville, Colo. are the celebrated winners of this year’s Moab 240 race in Utah. Jovica Spajic was second and Marvin Sandoval third; Christine Tokarz and Alicia Jenkins were the second and third women to finish the 240-mile course. Numerous runners remain on the course after more than four days.