Salt Lake City native Anthony Costales took down a loaded field in Arizona, which included 2022 UTMB podium finisher Tom Evans (GBR), to win the Black Canyon Ultras by Hoka 100km in a new point-to-point course record of 7:32:50.
In the women’s race, a late charge over the final ten miles of terrain saw Keely Henninger (USA) overhaul Heather Jackson (USA) to take the win in 8:45:30 and sneak under the previous course record by three minutes.
Costales obliterates Black Canyons Ultras previous best
The battle for the win between first and second in both the men and women’s race was thrilling, with eventual second place finishers Evans and Jackson responsible for much of the early pace as both led their respective races at the halfway mark.
In the men’s race, Evans enjoyed a 90-second lead over Costales at midway through at Soap Creek, before the American closed the gap in just six miles to come into Black Canyon City aid station at mile 37 with the Brit.
After making the pass, it was all Costales, as he secured his spot at Western States with a strong final third, finishing more than 20 minutes under Sage Canaday’s 2016 course record in a remarkable 7:32:50, with Evans five minutes back in 7:37:40 and German Janosch Kowalczyk rounding out the podium in 7:40:00.
As Evans is already qualified for the 2023 Western States 100, Costales and Kowalczyk will take away the two Golden Tickets on offer at Black Canyon to race in one of the biggest events on the calendar in California this June.
Henninger outlasts Black Canyons Ultras debutant Jackson
Heading into the event, much was to made of Heather Jackson’s first race since transitioning from long course triathlon to gravel riding and ultramarathon racing.
The American, who raced her first ultra at the Javelina Jundred last year, hit the ground running in Arizona this weekend as she put her mark on the race early on. By mile 37, Jackson had established a two and a half minute lead over the field, which included 2016 Black Canyon Ultras 60km winner Keely Henninger (UTMB Index 759).
Henninger used her experience on her course to pace her race to perfection, as she closed down a two minute lead to come into the aid station at Table Mesa at mile 51 shoulder-to-shoulder with Jackson. With both women running strong and the course record within reach, the final 11 miles became a true suffer fest.
With four miles to go, only 13 seconds separated the pair, with Jackson hanging tough behind her compatriot, before Pennsylvania native Henninger made the decisive surge to move clear, winning in 8:45:30 to break the course record set in 2021 by Brittany Peterson.
Jackson, who battled valiantly throughout, was rewarded for her efforts with the satisfaction of knowing she too had broken the previous record in 8:47:59 and was only bettered by Henninger on the day.
Jackson had already booked her Western States 100 spot so the second Golden Ticket went to third-placed American Meghan Morgan who ran a consistent race to finish in 8:53:52.
After the race, Jackson said: “So stoked to hang on to second today at Black Canyon Ultras presented by Hoka. That was an absolutely crazy day of racing on the women’s side. A massive congrats to Keely Henninger on the win and Meghan Morgan for your podium – amazing sharing the course with you two and everyone else out there today!”
Black Canyon Ultras by Hoka, Saturday 18 February, 100km.
- Anthony Costales (USA) – 7:32:50.
- Tom Evans (GBR) – 7:37:40.
- Janosch Kowalczyk (GER) – 7:40:00.
- Keely Henninger (USA) – 8:45:30.
- Heather Jackson (USA) – 8:47:59.
- Meghan Morgan (USA) – 8:53:52.