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Hayden Hawks and Rachel Drake bag the wins at Black Canyon 100K

Jonathan Turner
News Director
Updated on
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Hayden Hawks broke the men’s course record as he made it two wins out of two at the Black Canyon Ultras 100K race while Rachel Drake pipped Becca Windell in the women’s race.

Snow storms in Arizona had delayed the start by two and a half hours but once the event got under way the trails threw up an incredible race and American Hawks, who won on his previous appearance in 2020, timed his challenge perfectly in the men’s race as he went under Anthony Costales’ mark from last year by more than two minutes.

Mexico’s Jupiter Carera Casas and Chris Myers (USA) chased Hawks home as all three took the Golden Tickets for the famed Western States Endurance run in June – won in 2023 by Black Canyon runner-up Tom Evans.

In the women’s race last year’s second Heather Jackson had looked on course to go one better early on as she opened up a clear lead but she would drop out of contention in the second half as fellow Americans Drake and Windell moved to the fore.

Stunning comeback from Hawks

Last year’s astonishing 7:32:50 time of Costales had knocked more than 20 minutes off the previous men’s course record and looked untouchable given the challenging conditions early on after snow had put back the start.

But Hawks, in his first race since knee surgery last year, was part of a big group of men at the front – nearly 20 for the first 30k – as the weather warmed up at what was the second race of the 2024 World Trail Majors.

He’d stated his case in the build up to the event, saying he feared no one, and actions matched words as he moved to the head of affairs early on – a conscious decision he said later to make sure he avoided any potential mishaps in the mud.

And he still looked super strong by the finish as he crossed the line in 7:30:18 to rewrite the record books – knocking more than 25 minutes off his previous winning time from 2020 to underline the evolution of the sport in recent years.

Hayden Hawks Black Canyon Ultras 100k 2024
Hayden Hawks leads the way early on [Photo credit: Howie Stern for Black Canyon Ultras]

Myers and Carera Casas were locked together in second and third, with the Mexican coming through late on to take second as both notched breakthrough performances and grabbed those prized spots at Western States.

Drake guided home by Henninger

In the women’s race former triathlon star Heather Jackson gave everyone a sense of deja vu early on.

By the very first aid station of Antelope Mesa just 7.6 miles in, she was well over a minute clear of her rivals and would extend that over the next couple of hours, just as she had 12 months previously.

But the complexion of the race changed in the second half as Drake and Windell moved past Jackson and settled down to battle it out for the win.

And it was Drake, paced late on by last year’s women’s winner and course record holder Keely Henninger, who proved strongest after she attacked on the final river crossing when Windell slipped.

Drake had swerved the US Olympic Marathon trials a week before and that decision was vindicated in style as she crossed the line in 8:47:25, just two minutes back from Henninger’s record 2023 time.

Not far behind was Windell, who had the big consolation of a Golden Ticket to Western States, with Lauren Puretz rounding out the podium in third.

Black Canyon Ultras by Hoka, Saturday 10 February, 100km.

MEN:

  1. Hayden Hawks (USA) – 7:30:18
  2. Jupiter Carera Casas (MEX) – 7:39:56
  3. Chris Myers (USA) – 7:43:02

WOMEN:

  1. Rachel Drake (USA) – 8:47:23
  2. Becca Windell (USA) – 8:52:46
  3. Lauren Puretz (USA) – 9:06:58
Jonathan Turner
Written by
Jonathan Turner
Jonathan Turner is News Director for both TRI247 and RUN247, and is accustomed to big-name interviews, breaking news stories and providing unrivalled coverage for endurance sports.  

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