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An Ultra Year – International Women’s Day

Photo credit: Andrew Jackson

An Ultra Year – International Women’s Day


Last updated: 08-Mar-19

By Dan Stinton

Today is International Women’s Day!  The world of ultra running is no exception when it comes to fantastic achievements by women – here we take a look back over the year at some of our favourites.

This one is so fresh in my head I need to start with it.  All eyes were glued to the online trackers during the Spine Race in January as Jasmin Paris took everything there was to take – first place overall and smashing the overall course record by an astonishing 12 hours (along with breaking the women’s record by 26 hours).  She’s now set the bar for everyone to aim towards.  Read more here.

RunUltra spoke to Jasmin earlier last year about her achievements and fitting in training/racing alongside motherhood.  You can read the full interview here.

Early last year, Kristina Schou Madsen took on some serious elevation and broke the world record for the fastest women’s ascent of Kilimanjaro in 6h52mins.  She told RunUltra: “I reached the top at 12.52 and what a feeling! Happy, exhausted, proud, tears in my eyes and a big smile on my face - all the different feelings at the same time.”. Read about it here.

In December 2018, Camille Herron took the women’s 24hr world record by running 262km at the Desert Solstice race in Phoenix Arizona.  I didn’t want to think how many laps that is, but it’s 655.  Which is a lot.  If that wasn’t enough, during the same race she also broke the 100-mile track record in 13:25:00. 

Only last month, Camille also took an early lead at the 100-mile Tarawera Ultramarathon.  She was passed at around 132km but maintained 2nd overall place overall and set a new female CR (17:20:52). Read the article.

Beth Pascall and Damian Hall teamed up last year to take on the 230-mile route from Fort William to Cape Wrath over the Scottish highlands.  To make it a bit tougher they chose to do it during winter leaving around 6 hours of daylight throughout a 24 hour period.  They took the Fastest Known Time (FKT) in 4 days, 9 hours and 43 minutes. Read their story.

Courtney Dauwalter won the 2018 women’s title at the Western States 100 in 17:27:00 (the second fastest ever female time) and also came second overall in the Big’s Backyard Ultra (set up by Gary “Lazarus Lake” Cantrell) where competitors complete a 4.166667 mile lap within 60 minutes and just need to be ready to go again once the hour is up.  The most laps wins.  Courtney was the top female runner and completed 279.2 miles over 67 hours. Read more here.

Cat Simpson took on the 152 mile Spartathlon and finished 5th female in 28:52:03 surpassing her initial goal time of 30 hours.  As a bonus, her last long run before the race was a sub-3hr marathon.  Susie Chan interviewed her here.

If you fancy celebrating International Women’s Day with an ultra then you need to get yourself to Cebu, a city in the Philippines.  Currently in its 8th year, the 50km All-Women Ultra Marathon is planned to coincide with IWD.  Check out their Facebook page here.

With all these fantastic successes it may be worth taking a look at Alice Morrison’s (RunUltra Editor) article back in 2017 – a great piece which explored a number of thoughts on why an increasing number of women are competing against their male counterparts and coming out on top. Read it here.

Phew.  So, there you go.  Let’s look forward to more amazing achievements throughout the rest of 2019 and beyond!

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