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Brooks, Saari post blazing times in Resurrection Pass 50-mile race

  • Author: Alaska News
  • Updated: September 28, 2016
  • Published August 8, 2015

Holly Brooks and Anna Widman ran the fastest women's times in the history of the Resurrection Pass 50-mile wilderness run Saturday, a day that produced a number of memorable performances.

Brooks, a two-time Olympic skier from Anchorage, turned in an extraordinary effort to win her debut in the trail run that goes from Cooper Landing to Hope.

She made the journey in 7 hours, 46 minutes, 40 seconds. Her win came two weeks after she placed second in her Crow Pass Crossing debut.

Ten minutes behind Brooks was Widman, a Soldotna runner whose time of 7:56:14 is the second fastest by a woman in the 20-year history of the race.

Until Saturday, only one woman had cracked the eight-hour mark -- Julie Udchachon, whose 2002 victory beat that barrier by 16 seconds (7:59:44).

Saturday's other winners were all from Anchorage -- Matias Saari in the men's 50-miler, Laura McDonough in the women's 100-miler and Laron Thomas in the men's 100-miler.

Runners get no aid during the race, which follows the route used by early gold miners to reach mining claims along Turnagain Arm. These days the trail is a national recreation trail maintained by the U.S. Forest Service.

Saari, a Resurrection Pass rookie but one of Alaska's top mountain runners, blew away the field in the shorter race, posting the second-fastest time in history.

His 6:21:49 is second only to the 6:10 run by Juneau ultramarathon king Geoff Roes in 2007. Placing second to Saari was Erik Johnson (7:36:41), who had a slim three-minute margin over third-place Sam Severin (7:39:39).

The win was the second in eight days for Saari, who won last week's Matanuska Peak Challenge.

The 50-mile races began at 6 a.m. Saturday. By then, the 100-mile runners had already been at it for 15 hours. The 100-mile race, a roundtrip trek between Hope and Cooper Landing, started at 3 p.m. Friday in Hope.

Thomas became the fourth champion to complete the longer race in less than 20 hours. He finished in 19:25:23 and was more than a half-hour ahead of runner-up Joseph Nyholm (20:31:06).

Placing third overall in 23:27:43 was McDonough, who won the women's division by more than three hours.

It was the eighth 100-mile victory for McDonough, who also owns two victories in the 50-mile race.

Resurrection Pass Ultra Runs

Top 3 finishers

Women's 50 mile – 1) Holly Brooks 7:46:40, 2) Anna Widman 7:56:14, 3) Dana Fjare 8:03:35.

Men's 50 mile – 1) Matias Saari 6:21:49, 2) Erik Johnson 7:36:41, 3) Sam Severin 7:39:39.

Women's 100 mile – 1) Laura McDonough 23:27:43, 2) Heather Dean 26:46:51.

Men's 100 mile – 1) Laron Thomas 19:25:23, 2) Joseph Nyholm 20:31:06, 3) Matt Soule 24:29:43.

Resurrection Pass champions

50 miles

Men

1996 -- Harry Johnson 7:36:05

1997 -- Carl Johnson 8:14:51

1998 -- Robert DeVelice 7:49:25

1999 -- Jeff Arndt 7:50:45

2000 -- J.T. Lindholm 7:25:10

2001 -- J.T. Lindholm 6:59:55

2002 -- J.T. Lindholm 7:00:28

2003 -- Kimball Forrest 9:21:21

2004 -- Mark Newell 9:02:59

2005 -- Adam Muhr 8:25

2006 -- Frank Cahill 8:47

2007 -- Geoff Roes 6:10

2008 -- Alex Henry 6:59

2009 -- Jessie Berwald 7:43

2010 -- Brian Glaspell 7:56

2011 -- Greg Veltkamp 8:21

2012 -- Dugan Greenwell 7:53

2013 -- Drew Harrington 7:20:07

2014 -- Allan Spangler 6:22:03

2015 – Matias Saari 6:21:49

Women

1996 -- Lois Bettini 10:26:36

1997 -- Lois Bettini 10:00:29

1998 -- Patricia Munz 9:46:00

1999 -- Pam Richter 8:57:50

2000 -- Patricia Munz 8:26:10

2001 -- Patricia Munz 8:26:08

2002 -- Laura McDonough 8:46:13

2003 -- Julie Udchachon 8:17:19

2004 -- Julie Udchachon 7:59:44

2005 -- Britta Maas 9:08

2006 -- Noelle Brassard 8:53

2007 -- Gail Taylor 8:21

2008 -- Eeva Latosuo 9:09

2009 -- Amy Schlenk 9:04

2010 -- Karen Williams 9:42

2011 -- Crystal Hudak 8:35

2012 -- Laura McDonough 8:36

2013 -- Stacey Buckelew 9:27:15

2014 -- Sara Sayre 8:39:12

2015 -- Holly Brooks 7:46:40

100 miles

Men

2003 -- Eliseo Marquez 20:48:45

2004 -- Jeffrey Bannish 21:47:35

2005 -- Eliseo Marquez 23:19

2006 -- Brook Kintz 21:22

2007 -- Jeff Arndt 20:33

2008 -- Geoff Roes 17:33

2009 -- Eliseo Marquez 22:45

2010 -- David Johnston 21:12

2011 -- David Johnston 19:22

2012 -- David Johnston 20:06

2013 -- Tony Covarrubias 25:16:24

2014 -- Dugan Greenwell 18:57:40

2015 -- Laron Thomas 19:25:23

Women

2003 -- Monica Scholz 22:06:36

2004 -- Karen Williams 24:29:23

2005 -- Laura McDonough 22:45

2006 -- Laura McDonough 22:14

2007 -- Laura McDonough 21:57

2008 -- No women entered

2009 -- Laura McDonough 21:58

2010 -- Laura McDonough 22:29

2011 -- Laura McDonough 21:51

2012 -- Diana Burbank 25:47

2013 -- Laura McDonough 22:06:35

2014 -- Shawn McTaggart 22:01:36

2015 -- Laura McDonough 23:27:43

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