2013 The North Face Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc (UTMB) Results

Ultra-Trail du Mont-BlancThe 2013 version of The North Face Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc was one for the record books. Quite literally. Youngsters Xavier Thevenard (post-race interview) of France and Rory Bosio (post-race interview) of the United States both bettered the respective men’s and women’s records. All of the runners were treated to unbelievably good weather and an unaltered course. Très magnifique!

In addition to this article, you can find our full play-by-play of the race as well as a collection of our pre-race interviews and preview on our 2013 TNF UTMB Live Coverage page.

As usual, we’ll be updating this article with additional results as well as links to TNF UTMB-related articles, photo galleries, and race reports.

Ps. To get all the latest ultra news from iRunFar.com, subscribe via RSS or email.

2013 TNF UTMB Men’s Race

It was the perfect storm of events for the men’s top performers: impeccable weather that included not-too-hot highs, not-too-cool lows, and not a drop of precipitation; an unblemished trail tread unlike many years due to bad weather and four huge races in a week, the PTL, TDS, CCC, and UTMB; and the gathering of at least 15 men who could win this race on ‘their day.’

But in the end, it was Xavier Thevenard who had the biggest day of all. In the early part of the race, the Frenchman ran in or near the lead. Sometime on the Grand Col du Ferret around 100k, Thevenard made a break from the lead pack and went for it. Like all good breaks in sports–bike racing and marathoning as examples–some of them just get swallowed back up by the peloton. In the UTMB’s case, Thevenard’s break stuck. He built a 15 to 20-minute lead as a result that he then maintained to the bitter end. When all was said and done, his 20:34:57 was good for just under a two-minute improvement over Kilian Jornet’s 20:36:43 from 2011.

Miguel Heras (post-race interview) started this race physically prepared, but a little mentally unsure about going the distance. At the advice of the Salomon team manager, Greg Vollet, Heras took it pretty easy from the start. It’s typical Euro-racing style to push course-record paces early and often. But this year, Miguel and the boys lapsed to about 18 minutes back of course-record pace by Courmayeur at 77.1k. Then, from Courmayeur, the pace was brought back down so that Thevenard finished under record pace.

We’ll be the first to admit that we know almost nothing about third place Javier Dominguez (post-race interview). (Except that he is Basque and loves iRunFar. Awesome!) To be certain after this performance, you’ll be hearing more about him (and from him) him real soon. He was in a groove all day, never lapsing back or forward by much. And we can’t help but love his style of running and talking on the phone just a couple miles from his third-place finish.

Other notables in the balance of the men’s top 10. Timothy Olson (post-race interview). I think he almost tossed in the proverbial towel at La Fouly, kilometer 108.4. He pressed on, though, arriving to kilometer 122.4 in seventh place and finishing the race in fourth, grunting and heaving and pushing and still smiling his way there. I’m betting Timothy’s happy he decided to press on!

Montana’s Mike Foote (post-race interview) hurt early; he thought he had a fever or similar. When we saw him after Lac Combal at kilometer 65, he said he got that out of his system and had some work to do in playing catch-up with the other boys. He didn’t get all the way back up to this third-place finish of last year, but fifth place is darn good. I’ll bet he’ll treat himself to some gelato for it.

Of course we can’t not mention here that gal Rory Bosio made UTMB history by finishing inside the men’s top 10 for the first time ever in the 11 editions of the race. In seventh place. Just six men in front of her. Yes, gentlemen, you best be shaking in your boots if you see her name on a race entrants list in your future.

Last but certainly not least are two hat tips to dudes who sent the ‘smart-race category,’ ninth and tenth place finishers John Tidd and Jez Bragg. Their splits from start to finish are study of patience and the art of picking carnage. Read up.

Finally, a couple notable drops. France’s Seb Chaigneau dropped at Les Contamines, 30.7k, for unknown reasons, and Canada’s Gary Robbins dropped in the same spot because he was sick. From the US, 2010 UTMB champ Mike Wolfe pulled the plug at Courmayeur from being just plain whooped after setting the supported JMT FKT less than a month back. Jonas Buud of Sweden, last year’s second-place finisher, dropped at Champex-Lac, kilometer 122.4, due to a number of issues. And, America’s Anton Krupicka pulled out at Trient, kilometer 138.9, from pain in his hamstring and Achilles. Somewhere along the way, Portugal’s Carlos Sa was forced to pull due to physical issues, as well.

2013 TNF UTMB results - Xavier Thevenard

Xavier Thevenard winning the 2013 TNF UTMB in course record time. Photo: iRunFar/Bryon Powell

2013 TNF UTMB results - Miguel Heras

Miguel Heras descending in second at Vallorcine late in the 2013 TNF UTMB. Photo: iRunFar/Bryon Powell

2013 TNF UTMB Men’s Results

  1. Xavier Thevenard (ASICS/France) – 20:34:57 (New course record; Old course record: Kilian Jornet – 20:36:43 – 2011) (post-race interview)
  2. Miguel Heras (Salomon/Spain) – 20:54:08 (pre-race and post-race interviews)
  3. Javier Dominguez (Spain-Basque) – 21:17:38 (post-race interview)
  4. Timothy Olson (The North Face/USA) – 21:38:23 (pre-race and post-race interviews)
  5. Mike Foote (The North Face/USA) – 21:53:19 (pre-race and post-race interviews)
  6. Julien Chorier (Salomon/France) – 22:08:11 (pre-race interview)
  7. Bertrand Collomb-Patton (France) – 23:14:16
  8. Arnaud Lejeune (Hoka One One/France) – 23:18:05
  9. John Tidd (Spain) – 23:18:27
  10. Jez Bragg (The North Face/United Kingdom) – 23:50:01
2013 TNF UTMB results - Mike Foote - Timothy Olson

Americans Mike Foote and Timothy Olson after finishing fifth and fourth respectively. Photo: iRunFar/Bryon Powell

2013 TNF UTMB Women’s Race

Much like the beginning of the men’s race, none of the gals took things out too hard, too fast. For the first 21 kilometers, Núria Picas (post-race interview), Francesca Canepa, Emma Roca (post-race interview), and Rory Bosio ran in near tandem. After that, Núria gradually built a lead over the others. That is, until Rory showed back up on her heels on the Col du Bonhomme. By the race’s marathon mark on the col, Rory Bosio passed Núria… for good. After that, she be-bopped her way through aid stations, told jokes, and joked about her own positioning as the leader. But let’s face it, the ladies’ race from there on was, quite simply, The Rory Show. Which is code for Rory having the race of her life, destrominating a course record, and keeping a smile on her face the whole way. Bosio built an incredible lead, eventually winning and smashing Krissy Moehl’s old course record of 24:56 by almost two hours and twenty minutes with a time of 22:37:26.

Núria didn’t blow up after spending time in that early leadership position; she just kept trucking steadily. And she held off the relentless charge of fellow Catalana Emma. All three ladies finished under the previous course record.

It’s fascinating to note, in addition to the nearly two-hour spread between Rory and Núria, there was another three-hour spread between third place Emma and fourth place Katia Fori and the balance of the women’s top 10.

Let’s end with a couple notes on notable DNFs. Some sort of sickness took out Helen Cospolich early on. Courmayeur, her hometown, caught Francesca Canepa in its wrath. Shona Stephenson ducked off the radar around Arnuva, kilometer 94.5. Amy Sproston DNFed in Champex-Lac from physical issues.

2013 TNF UTMB - Rory Bosio - Finish

Rory Bosio after setting a new women’s course record at the 2013 TNF UTMB. Photo: iRunFar/Bryon Powell

2013 TNF UTMB results - Nuria Picas

Nuria Picas running second in La Fouly, Switzerland in the early morning. Photo: iRunFar/Bryon Powell

2013 TNF UTMB Women’s Results

  1. Rory Bosio (The North Face/USA) – 22:37:26 (New course record; Old course record: Krissy Moehl – 24:56:01 – 2009) (pre-race and post-race interviews)
  2. Núria Picas (Buff/Spain-Catalana) – 24:32:20 (pre-race and post-race interviews)
  3. Emma Roca (Hoka One One/Spain-Catalana) – 24:48:14 (pre-race and post-race interviews)
  4. Katia Fori (Technica/Italy) – 27:48:45
  5. Silvia Trigueros (Spain) – 28:13:12
  6. Gill Fowler (La Sportiva/Australia) – 28:50:30
  7. Maria Semerjian (France) – 29:34:30
  8. Manuela Vilaseca (Brazil) – 30:17:02
  9. Juliette Blanchet (France/Raidlight) – 30:24:08
  10. Audrey Meyer (France) – 30:50:47
2013 TNF UTMB results - Emma Roca

Emma Roca running out of La Fouly while taking a seltzer water shower. Photo: iRunFar/Bryon Powell

2013 TNF UTMB Articles, Race Reports, and More

Articles and Photo Galleries


Race Reports

Thank You

We owe thanks to a number of people who helped present iRunFar’s live coverage of the 2013 UTMB. First, thank you to each of our CoverItLive moderators, Travis Liles, Andy Noise, Mark Barnes, Travis Trampe, Leon Lutz, Jon Allen, Tom Caughlin, and Dean Georgaris. Thanks as well to the folks who helped make the ‘show’ ‘live’, Morgan Williams, Ian Campbell, and Dave James. These folks literally ran all over the mountains to capture stories and images from the field in real time. Thanks, finally, to Gary Robbins who pulled through with crucial, last-minute gear help.

2013 TNF UTMB - results - Timothy Olson

America’s Timothy Olson finishing fourth at the 2013 TNF UTMB. Photo: iRunFar/Bryon Powell

There are 84 comments

    1. Scott

      Yes – that year the course was rerouted through Martigny, which by some estimates added a few thousand feet of vertical and perhaps as much as 10 miles.

      Congrats to all the great performances and for the great live coverage!

  1. MattP

    Fantastic quick write-up of results. Rory's record was…just mind-blowing.

    I'm sad to read about AK's Achilles/ham troubles, though. He seemed really ready to give it a go this year.

    1. Alex

      Unless Sage Canaday falls off the face of the Earth, yes. The award is for all of ultrarunning, not just 100 milers. Olson is 0/2 against Canaday, head to head, and has fewer wins overall.

      1. David G

        Although the jury may consider that Olson is more versatile running 50 and 100 miles unlike Sage. Speedgoat was only a workout run for UTMB for Timmy!

        1. Alex

          Thanks Ron, I'd forgotten the international results.

          David, that's fair, but hardly compelling (to me) considering the other available data. Olson has one win at 100 miles, to Canaday's zero. So score that category in his favor. But Canaday has had a better year at 50K, 50 miles, and 100K, by any metric you like. Again, this is about the best ultrarunner, not 100 miler.

          Anyway, I mean no disrespect to Olson. He's a great talent and a class individual, by all accounts. And still a lot of year left.

            1. rob g

              And it may be more than a 2-man race. Mike Morton has 3 solid 100s under his belt, and is down for a 24hr event in Oct, where he surely has potential :)

              Great UTMB, great irunfar coverage!

              Thanks for the fun,


  2. David T

    Thrilled for Rory. Her race was absolutely spectacular. I feel honored to have followed her from my computer. I hope she continues to line up at UTMB and I'm sure she will continue to amaze us.

    Xavier also seemed to have had a major break through. He seems very young so I'm sure we will see much more from him.

    At the same time my heart is broken for Anton. I really felt like he was going to put together something special and most of the race confirmed my feelings. He seemed so happy and comfortable. He has got to be hurting. Chin up and line up again when you can.

  3. Rachel

    I think we can all learn so much from Rory's incredibly positive attitude in such a tough race. I'm pretty sure that positive energy is what helped her to leave the men in her wake and smash that course record!

  4. Scott Blum

    Up ALL NIGHT with iRunFar at the UTMB! Thanks so much for making me really feel connected to what was going on. When you posted the suggestion folks drop a coin in your tip jar I was all too happy to comply (and, frankly, too exhausted to resist). When ultras are covered start to finish by camera drones moderated by lifeless personalities, I will look back fondly on these days when I stared blankly at my computer screen waiting for the next awesome Tweet from the iRunFar crew.

  5. Chad

    Bryon- Thank you for the truly wonderful coverage of this amazing event. The logistics must've been daunting, but you and your "team" pulled it off beautifully! Keep up the awesome work!

  6. richard felton

    I don't think Xavier should be considered a breakthrough. Clearly everything come together for him on the day but it was his move to blow past AK downhill, did he force AK too hard which caused the issue? Who knows? But he won CCC in 2010 and would have known when to push, he raced perfectly. Also, he has never lost a race over 100km- long and tough suits this guy.

    Rory- I have no words to describe how good she was, literally none. Lets have Frost and Hawker fit next year and Forsberg stepping up to the 100. That Foursome at a 100miler…..wow, men beware

  7. Paul

    Did AK have too much training in his legs, as usual? I can't help but think that with fully tapered, fresh legs , he could be even more formidable. Big, big mountain volume, hasn't helped him here, which is puzzling.

    1. jenn

      According to his blogpost before the race, he evidently tweaked his achilles and hamstring his first (?) week there, rested it and evidently thought it had healed. I presume that its the same achilles/hamstring, and it had healed up enough to race 60 mi but not to go 105.

      1. Paul

        Curious as to how many miles was spent on course in the weeks leading up to, arguably, the biggest race of his life. Too many, would be my guess. That's AK.

  8. Lucy

    Second this! Meghan's comment about the distraught ferret-like creature on top of the mountain has to be one of the best ever (and made me burst out laughing in the middle of my office – oops). Never going to get that from "lifeless personalities".

    Having to time leaving work and getting home (1+ hour commute) in between La Fouly and Champex-Lac in order to not miss anything was tricky, as was juggling internet access at home (once again, ended up on the backup system, no doubt generating overage charges). Not to mention being a waste of space for the whole next day due to having stayed up all night. All worth it.

    Many thanks to the iRunFar team – your lack of sleep was our gain.

  9. Paul

    Workout or no workout, Sage is a better runner, simple as that. All that Olson etc, have over Sage, at the moment, is more time spent in the woods. Name me one elite, mountain ultra runner that has made the transaction, from trail to road. No, the fact is, the pedigree isn't there. Sage, all day long.

    1. Josh

      It's a logical fallacy to presume that because no elite trail ultrarunner has transitioned to road that it couldn't flow that way. It's also patently incorrect. One: For numerous reasons (the largest of which being accessibility and popularity), the vast majority of runners start on roads, leaving the transition option only road => trail, not the other way around. Two: the vast majority of trail runners run trails because they prefer it over roads. Some straddle the line, but on a pro level, relatively few. i.e.: Michael Wardian. In the pro-interviews, the only non-trail draw you hear with any real consistency are the Olympics. Read the blogs. Nobody is aching to go hit the pavement. What would Jornet do on pavement? We won't ever know. Like many, he has virtually zero desire to have a go. Finally, pedigree: Ellie Greenwood, 2nd place, Comrades 2012.

      1. David G

        Another element to point out is mental toughest. The elites always mention how the last 20 miles in 100s is purely mental. This is where Timmy excels IMO!

  10. Anonymous

    and a nutritionist. and rest days. and a stretching routine. My heart really broke for him when i heard he had to drop. Hopefully he'll come back smarter and stronger.

  11. JP

    Geez, where can I jump on board the ultrarunner fantasy league?

    You're making a beautiful sport sound like baseball.

    ** activate robot voice **

    "BZZZZZZZZZZZZ…. mactually, Tim Olsen has a LCW of 0.432 this season, with a LWR of….. BZZZZZ…. 0.048….. therefore, the best ultrarunner is…. BZZZZZZZZ….. Sage Canaday"

    1. Alex

      Frankly, this is a silly conversation anyway. The thing about racing is, there's no need to "decide" who wins – it's the first guy across the line. Who had the best year? Who really cares? It's the race results that matter, not some award a magazine hands out.

      I just think that, if we're going to have the conversation, it's best to make and evidence based decision. Wins and losses matter. That's hardly advanced statistics.

  12. konrad

    According to AK's blog he did 69,000 feet of elevation, I believe correct me if I'm wrong, in the two weeks leading up to UTMB ending on the 25th. I don't know what he did in the last week before the race but I think anyone would agree that that's not a taper. Not by a long shot. Also, things at the top of the comments section here were starting to sound a lot like the useless babble that's on ESPN all day and all night. We're better than that.

    1. AV1611-Ben

      And that is the interesting thing with AK. He only ever posts his vertical. A lot of his vert is scrambling, not running, which in my opinion is probably really, really good for the body. Low impact, still high cardio, and also requires more muscular agility. Those are three great things which if anything should be reducing the chance of injury.

      You have to understand with AK that he is blazing a new trail in the way he trains (nowadays). By the way, from as best as I can tell, his mileage is WAY down on what it used to be. Massively so. But he is still having injury worries. Don't discount the possibility that he might have a somewhat injury prone body. Maybe he does overtrain, and maybe his dietary habits are less than optimal. Even if he corrected these things, he may still be fragile.

      I'm a conservative, clean-shaven, short haired, shirt wearing, long shorts kind of Christian trail runner. And yet there is something about this long haired, bearded, shirtless, shorty-shorts slightly "weird" dude who absolutely captivates me and speaks to me – without speaking to me – about why I like trail running. He seems to be to trail running what Ryan Hall is to marathons – for very different reasons, they *both* seem to set the running forums ablaze with contrary opinions.

      I'm bummed that AK ended up with a DNF. At the same time, I'm thrilled for him that he really stuck it to the Europeans for as far as he did. Especially considering they were all expecting him to be holding back and making a late surge. I bet he had 'em all worried until he started hobbling…

      1. konrad

        Okay well Ben look at it this way…how many top 10 type ultrarunners are still, if they ever did, going with the forefoot striking minimalist running form? Even AK is going with a burlier shoe these days. It sure didn't work out for me and I can't help but notice all the Hoka runners at the start of Speedgoat. But then again he did finish second there. Ahhhhh…who knows.

        1. AV1611-Ben

          Kilian Jornet. Yes, many Salomon shoes are very protective. But find out what shoes he actually races in, and watch his form. Mid-forefoot all the way. Beautiful form.

          Sorry minimalism didn't work out for you. It transformed me from being a complete failure of a runner to probably about a 90% failure! That is a big improvement. :-) To explain, I'm a slow mid-pack runner, 50 miles is as far as I've gone, but I'm working my way up towards 100 miles. But – and here is the rub – I do it consistently injury free. Haven't been to any form of practitioner for 3 years.

  13. Respect

    Awesome coverage. Thank you Byron and congratulations !

    I have enjoyed a lot with the race & coverage. For mid-packers as me, all of them are inspiring and I agree with what I think it may be the consensus that the real hit this year is Rory's performance (BTW did Ann Trason race this year ?)

    My point (and with respect to everybody and different thinking) Cataluña and Basque Country are still part of Spain. So it would be more accurate to refer the incredible performances (and great athletes that I acknoledge they are) as from Spain and not Spain-Basque or Spain-Catalan (for instance, who cares from where in the US is AK (regret that he retires)

  14. Paul

    AK's unique way of training is probably a double-edged sword. The low impact and variety may reduce his chances of injury during training but it also means that he's not getting the same level of musculoskeletal adaptation that a "pure runner" would get, making him more prone to overuse injury during long, repetitive runs, especially if his form is anything less than perfect. If you ask me, Tony might have escaped this latest injury if he had introduced more running into his training earlier and maybe done a "runnable" 100k as a tune-up a month or so before UTMB.

    1. Wyatt Hornsby

      Anton has a lot of miles in his legs and he's fought some tough wars over the years. He started at a young age and it's hard to maintain it for several years. Could Anton make some changes to his training, diet, etc. that may help? Maybe.

      I will say this. When Anton was doing more running races, like White River, Miwok, Rocky Raccoon and Leadville, he was incredible. I've always thought his 2010 Miwok was among his more impressive performances. It's also a shame that he never won Western–I think he was in WS the year of the fire and my money would have been on him to win the Cougar.

      Anton is a great runner and an inspiration to many. But at the end of the day Anton is his own man and he's gonna do what makes him happy.


  15. Scott

    Re: "I think anyone would agree that that's not a taper". Who knows? I think the only person qualified to call it a taper or not a taper would be the runner themselves. Some guys do a month, or three weeks, or two weeks. The only reason this is even a topic of conversation is because AK posts all of his training details, which few other (maybe only Nick Clark?) top runners do. How much vertical did Timmy Olsen run in the 3 weeks before the race? What about Seb Chaigneau? AK's blog had photos of him on top of Mt. Blanc the same day as AK – why does no one question his preparation? Or Mike Wolfe? He seems to get a free pass for running the JMT, although according to irunfar that affected him at UTMB.

    I find it fascinating (actually – ridiculous might be a better word) that all of these people think they know what AK should have done, and how he should have modified his training by doing this or that.

    1. Paul

      The results, tell the story, and like any sporting performance, will be analysed. Get used to it, because as this sport grows, they'll be even more differing opinions and views.

    2. angus

      The ultra mantra is to do everything to excess. So many jaded performances, due to overtraining, over racing, over FKT'ing. You cant peak or expect to perform at a top level, at massive races, when your body just isnt recovered. Look at the race schedule's of elite road runner's.

    3. David A

      I suspect Seb Chaigneau and Mike Wolfe started the UTMB because they are sponsored North Face athletes – I can't help thinking neither of them really structured their racing and training with a serious expectation of placing or even finishing.

      1. Meghan Hicks

        Dave A,

        It's my understanding that Seb originally wasn't planning to race UTMB since it's so close after Hardrock, but that he was lured in by the temptation of one of his favorite races on his "home" trails.

        Mike Wolfe said in his pre-race interview and to me in person before the race that he had pretty much been just resting since finishing his John Muir Trail FKT in the first week of August, and that he had little expectations for what he would do at UTMB, for where his JMT recovery was. He also said that he was looking to have fun in the race.

  16. MarkinPolska

    It would be interesting to hear how the athletes themselves identify their origins. I suspect that they may prefer something like the terms you don't like.

    I used to backpack with a Basque guy in the States, and that's how he identified himself – as a Basque. If someone was puzzled, he said it was in Spain but had its own language and culture.

    Currently I live in a country (Poland) that wasn't a country for most of the past 250 years. And many of the people in the USA who identify themselves as being of Polish descent have ancestors who immigrated to the States when Poland wasn't a country. So why did they say they were Polish? Because they had their own language and culture.

    I don't want to start a political discussion, but as I said above, I wonder how the athletes themselves refer to their origins.

    1. Respect

      MartinPolska I appreciatte your comments and considering the story of Poland during XX century I fully understand it. But Basque and Catalan discussion is completely different. I understand that IRunfar is a ultra-running web page and not a political one. And one of the reasons why you see so many separatism flags is, regret to say, politics. Do you know why it is not known that Miguel Heras is from Bejar (Salamanca – Castilla) and you know that other incredible sportsman & woman like Kilian, Nuria etc are from Basque country & Cataluña ? Politics. See media in Setember 11th as regards Cataluña. BTW I am not spaniard. Have lived a couple of years in Barcelona and can tell you a different story from the "friendly separatism" version.

  17. CDG

    This is delicate territory and all, but I've always loved how Mike Foote and Mike Wolfe wrap themselves in the Montana flag (literally and figuratively) rather than the US one. (I recognize that this is different from the Basque/Catalan example.)

  18. MarkinPolska

    BTW, I wanted to complement Bryon on the photography. You find great backdrops for the photos of the athletes. I especially like the finish line photos with the arch framing the mountains in the background.

  19. Fred

    You say you're not Spaniard? Well, let me tell you that you think like most of them… How many times have I heard… “You say you’re Catalan? Well that’s not what your passport says..” Who cares if Kilian, Nuria or whatever athlete prefers to be called Catalan or Basque rather than Spaniard. It’s a matter of how they feel not politics.

    Regards from Barcelona from a “friendly separatist". Hope you had a great time in our city…


  20. thomas

    Sage is not the better runner, may be until 100 k, o.k., if he would run Ws 100 or UTMB he would have no chance against Timothy.

    For me this year Timothy Olsen is for sure the UROY! Why ?

    I wrote it allready as comment to his interview:

    To run his time and finish 4. place (I guess best american runner in this race ever ?) under this personal difficult conditions, overcoming every struggle and just moving on, is outstanding, awesome, without words. For me he is the winner of the race. He is such a motivation and inspiration for me and thousands of other runners, please keep going and share your passion with us.

    If Timothy ist 100% fit, I guess he is beside Kilian the man who can, under top conditions, run this race UTMB unter 20 h.

    One can not compare 100 k with 100 mile, if all races where sage beats Timothy were 30 longer, Timothy would have won.

    Thats only my opinion,


    1. Alex

      So we should base awards on pure hypotheticals? Beyond ridiculous.

      And AGAIN, it's Ultra Runner of the Year, NOT 100 miler of the year.

      Finally, who or what inspires you is irrelevant in determining who has had a better year.

  21. GMack

    My fellow Americans, I’ve got to break some news to you, so pull up a chair.

    We’re a bunch of pansies. Not all of us mind you, and certainly not our women like the Krissys and Rorys, et al., but most of us. Dudes especially. And the rest of the world knows it.

    We DNF for all sorts of minor reasons, we need pacers, we need lots of drop bags, we need encouragement to persevere, we enjoy the outdoors, but fear the wilderness. Take the French for example, who many Americans view as culturally weak (i.e. prone to surrender easily in battle). These guys are tough as nails in an ultra. They seem to embrace ultrarunning as a tough sport, that’s why they do it.

    Conversely, the rest of the world seems to celebrate during ultra events more than we do. I run a lot internationally and this is what I’ve seen – In Europe, ultras frequently make for a big party with raucous crowds. South Americans can be the same. In Japan, it’s a big communal bonding thing. For us, it tends to be an intentionally low-key suffer-fest. This flows over to how we treat our elites. We admire them, but don’t like it when they receive too much money or publicity. It’s just not the ultra way.

    Basically, we’re mired in the origins of the sport of ultrarunning and it wouldn’t hurt to adapt to what is truly an international sport now. Toughen up and celebrate more – the two go hand-in-hand.

    1. Randy

      Oh boy,now you've gone and done it,GMack.Telling it like it is is NOT the "way",so stop that right now,remember,don't say anything here you wouldn't say to your worse enemy,(or something like that,can't remember exactly?).

  22. Linn

    Great coverage of the UTMB, but what about the other three races? No love for the CCC, TDS, or the insane PTL? I was in Chamonix all week and witnessed the struggles and triumph of runners from all four events. It is a shame to only mention one of them here. I know that it is a lot to cover, but highlights of the respective winners would be nice!

  23. Logan

    Out of curiosity, does anyone, especially those on the inside, know if Tony K is still planning on racing UROC on the 28th? I figure that with the recent injury at UTMB that he could pull out the rest the injuries. I will be there spectating and was curious as to who would be stepping the line.

  24. Guy C.

    Thanks for posting this, Wyatt. I've read so many silly comments about Anton over the past few months (who I don't know, but like many, yes, I read his blog) that this response was a welcome blast of clean mountain air.

  25. Jake

    The transition direction is fundamentally unequal hate to break it to you. There is not going to be an equivalent to an Aish making the podium on an ultra running major the other way around. That's probably not even the best example.

  26. Carey

    Thanks, Bryon. Great coverage as always from you and your iRunFar colleagues.

    I wonder if the decision on the part of trail runners to wrap themselves in flags from local regions (catalunya, jura, montana, etc) rather than those from nations reflects an attachment to the land that develops from running trails in those places.

    One road is much like another, but trails may be something else. For example, the trails around Chamonix remind me so much of the Cascades in BC/Wash/Ore and much less of the Rockies in Colorado/Wyoming/Montana. So if I ever raced the UTMB I'd be tempted to wrap myself in a Colorado flag at the finish, in homage to the trails that I loved and that helped me train up for the race.

  27. Respect

    Had a great time in Barcelona. And proud to have catalan friends but i am just curious on this, what is the problem if thinking like other spanairds or other catalans on this matter ? Dont tell people that ALL catalans think the same way because is not true. Just refer here to results in last elections or surveys. By the way never heard about that problem you refer to in barcelona. Surprisingly i have heard it the other way round ….

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