It’s UTMB festival week and races are happening all week long. TDS started on Tuesday, August 24 and went 145 kilometers (90 miles) from Courmayeur, Italy to Chamonix, France. It’s one of the most challenging courses of the week with 9,100 meters (29,855 feet) of elevation gain. The race was first known as Sur les Traces des Ducs de Savoie, and 2019 marked its first year on the new, longer course.
This year’s edition was marked by tragedy which beset a runner from the Czech Republic when they died due to injuries sustained in a fall during a technical descent around 62.5 kilometers into the race. iRunFar is covering the story in a separate article. Our hearts are with the loved ones of this runner and all those affected by the accident. We grieve with you.
As a result of the accident, the race was halted for almost all the runners behind the accident scene, and the race continued for those who had passed the location prior to and immediately following the accident. Lead men and women arrived back to a muted, more-solemn-than-usual scene at the finish line in Chamonix, out of respect for the lost runner. Some top runners arrived to the finish not knowing about the earlier accident or only finding out right before finishing, and a number of runners offered their thoughts and condolences at the finish line.
Manon Bohard (France) won the race in 23:11. At Hauteluce, 97k into the contest, Bohard trailed longtime leader Ekaterina Mityaeva (Russia) by three minutes. Just 15k later and after a big climb, Bohard had turned that into a 19-minute lead and then increased it the rest of the way. The finish time was well back of Audrey Tanguy‘s 21:36 win in 2019. Fun fact, Manon Bohard is the daughter of the inaugural TDS men’s race winner, Patrick Bohard, back in 2009.
Bohard was second at the French Trail des Passerelles du Monteynard 65k in July.
Giuditta Turini (Italy) overtook Mityaeva too, making that pass after the 121k checkpoint, and finished second in 24:11, and Ildikó Wermescher (Hungary) finished in third in 24:29, barely two minutes ahead of Mityaeva. Mityaeva, the 2019 UTMB fourth placer, finished fourth here, too, in 24:31.
The rest of the top-10 women is as follows:
5 – Marie Dohin (France) – 24:48 (exact tie)
5 – Sophie Grant (Great Britain) – 24:48 (exact tie)
7 – Marta Wenta (Poland) – 25:00
8 – Basilia Förster (Italy) – 25:28
9 – Flavie Bruyneel (France) – 26:23
10 – Anete Svilpe (Latvia) – 26:47
Alex Borsuk is the top American runner, finished in 11th with a time of 27:53.
Fellow Americans Meredith Edwards and Camelia Mayfield dropped from the race near 67k and 36k, respectively. Edwards fell before 50k and hurt her leg, and Mayfield entered the race while trying to overcome injury.
Third at the 2021 Lavaredo Ultra Trail in June, and also in 2017, Erik-Sebastian Krogvig (Norway) earned a big win at TDS with an 18:49 finish. As Krogvig reached Chamonix and the finish line, he spun his hydration pack around and slammed it to the ground, then turning to the crowd and flexing his arms in a celebration. A short while later, he cheered “Yes yes yes,” on his social media, also sharing that he didn’t learn of the race’s tragedy until after he finished.
As in the women’s race, the 2019 course record held. Also as in the women’s race, Krogvig was second before beginning the big climb after 100k. There he turned a three-minute deficit at the bottom into a 10-minute lead at the next checkpoint.
Unlike in the women’s race though, Krogvig’s chief rival late into the race, Benoit Girondel (France) didn’t surrender any additional positions, or even any extra minutes, after falling behind on that climb. Girondel held his second-place spot to finish in 18:59, crossing the line with a quick bow to acknowledge the supporters. Girondel is the 2017 Diagonale des Fous winner, among other accomplishments.
Arthur Joyeux-Bouillon (France) was third in 19:34.
The rest of the top 10 includes a pair of Americans, and a third just outside.
4 – Alban Berson (France) – 19:56
5 – Marcos Ramos González (Spain) – 20:05
6 – Gautier Airiau (France) – 20:16
7 – Seth Swanson (USA) – 20:42
8 – Guillaume Berthier (France) – 20:45
9 – Peteris Grivins (Latvia) – 20:48
10 – Tyler Green (USA) – 21:03
Cordis Hall (USA) was 14th in 22:08.