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. 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…


  2. 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.

  3. 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?).

  4. 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!

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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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