The 2022 Hardrock 100 was one for the record books, literally. While strong from the start, neither field went out blazingly fast, at least in relation to the fastest times run previously in this year’s clockwise direction. (The course alternates directions every other running.)
However, a day later, both Kilian Jornet of Spain and Courtney Dauwalter would shatter not only the slower clockwise course records, but the overall course records, previously set in the opposite direction with Dauwalter running 26:44:36 and Jornet recording 21:36:24. The two runners ran their respective records in very different fashions, with Courtney dominating the women’s field from “go” and Kilian having to race France’s François D’Haene and Dakota Jones before finally pulling away for good on the last climb of the day.
Before diving into the exciting stories from the front of both races, what was the arena where this would take place? The 2022 Hardrock 100 kicked off at 6 a.m. on Friday, July 15. The notoriously challenging loop around the San Juan Mountains starts in Silverton, Colorado, and runs clockwise through Telluride and Ouray before heading east in the direction of Lake City and then returning to Silverton. This year, a few key changes to the course brought the total distance up to 102.5 miles, packing 33,000 feet of elevation gain and loss, all at high altitude and over rough terrain.
Pre-race discussion largely focused on the meeting of Jornet and D’Haene, respectively, the clockwise and the counter-clockwise course record holders, on the men’s side, and UTMB course record-holder Courtney Dauwalter’s second attempt at the Hardrock 100. These expectations didn’t disappoint, with Jornet and D’Haene running neck and neck for 95 miles for the win and a new overall men’s course record, and Dauwalter finishing more than seven hours ahead of her nearest rival, also setting an overall course record for women. On to the full story!
2022 Hardrock 100 Men’s Race
The men’s race at the 2022 Hardrock 100 finished pretty much in line with expectations — with an epic showdown between two of the greatest talents ever seen in the sport – Kilian Jornet (pre– and post-race interviews) and François D’Haene (pre– and post-race interviews). But there was plenty more action along the way, with bold moves from Dakota Jones (pre– and post-race interviews), and some strong running further back the field. Here’s how this year’s clockwise action played out.
From the start, the runners made a fairly predictable formation at the front of the field. Dakota Jones, Francois D’Haene, and Kilian Jornet led the charge, running together, with Jones joking with one of our reporters that they had agreed to finish in the aforementioned order. A very happy-looking Dani Jung (pre-race interview) followed close back from the leaders in fourth at the KT aid station at mile 11.5, with John Kelly three minutes later in fifth. There was a gap of 10 minutes or more from this front pack to Jeff Browning and Luke Nelson, who looked to be taking it very easy in sixth and seventh.
The front trio remained within a few strides of each other the whole way into Ouray at mile 44, and although looking relaxed, they were already 12 minutes up on course record pace. Jung still followed in fourth, but the gap had widened to almost half an hour. He still looked very fresh and appeared to be taking the high road and running his own race, rather than getting caught up in anything outside of his comfort zone. The next three positions — Kelly, Browning, and Nelson — also remained unchanged with Kelly appearing more somber than the others, but still making a fast turnaround in the aid station.
Jones was the one to make the move that cracked the front trio, and he came into the Engineer aid station at roughly the halfway point 11 minutes clear of Jornet and D’Haene, who remained together. Jung held on steadfastly in fourth, and former Hardrock champion Browning had moved up to take fifth from a struggling John Kelly.
Jones continued to lead the way through Grizzly Gulch, two-thirds of the way into the race, but the Euro duo of Jornet and D’Haene had begun to close. By Sherman at mile 73, the two had joined forces, entering and leaving the aid station together eight minutes ahead of Jones.
They continued to run within seconds of each other, but by Cunningham Gulch at mile 93, there was a notable shift in tone as the race had begun in earnest. Jornet was the first to leave the aid station with D’Haene following seconds later. D’Haene looked strong and can never be underestimated in the finish, but after the headtorches began to flicker on the final descent through Arrastra Gulch, it was Jornet who emerged first from the darkness, having put five minutes on his friend and opponent in the roughly four-mile stretch.
Jornet powered through to the finish, taking his fifth victory in five Hardrock starts, and a clockwise and overall course record in a time of 21:36:34. D’Haene followed and touched the rock at 21:51:21, which was also under the original clockwise record from Jornet’s 2014 run.
Further back, despite losing hold of first place, Dakota Jones never stopped pushing and took third in a strong 23:06:19, making his pre-race goal of breaking 24 hours.
An emotional Dani Jung came home in fourth, a position he held essentially all race, in a time of 25:53:47. This is just the beginning of Jung’s season, with UTMB and Diagonale des Fous still to come, and it will be interesting to watch him build on this performance.
Jeff Browning was next home, finishing his sixth Hardrock in a time of 26:17:47, saying at the finish, “It doesn’t get any easier.”
2022 Hardrock 100 Men’s Results
- Kilian Jornet (NNormal) – 21:36:24 (pre– and post-race interviews)
- New course record (old overall course record – François D’Haene, 21:45:50, 2021) (old clockwise course record – 22:41:33, Kilian Jornet, 2014)
- François D’Haene (Salomon) – 21:51:19 (pre– and post-race interviews)
- Dakota Jones (NNormal) – 23:06:17 (pre– and post-race interviews)
- Daniel Jung (SCARPA/Karpos) – 25:53:43 (pre-race interview)
- Jeff Browning (Altra) – 26:17:43
- Luke Nelson (Patagonia/La Sportiva) – 28:46:19
- Nick Coury (Aravaipa) – 30:37:13
- John Fitzgerald – 31:08:14
- Jeason Murphy – 31:10:03
- John Kelly (Ultimate Direction/La Sportiva) – 31:29:32
2022 Hardrock 100 Women’s Race
The 2022 Hardrock 100 start list included 27 women, the most the race has ever had. As anticipated, Courtney Dauwalter (pre– and post-race interviews) scored a decisive victory, setting a new clockwise and overall women’s course record. Diana Finkel previously held the clockwise record of 28:32 (2010) and the overall record of 27:18:24 (2009). Further back in the field, the top 10 of the field was much more closely packed this year than we’ve seen previously at Hardrock, including last year’s second- and third-place finishers Darcy Piceu (pre-race interview) and Meghan Hicks, late entrant off the waitlist Hannah Green (post-race interview), and 450k Tor des Glaciers winner Stephanie Case (pre– and post-race interviews). Here’s how the race unfolded.
Dauwalter was off to an early lead, but started conservatively enough without trying to gap the course record pace immediately. She got through the Chapman aid station at mile 18 with 4:16 on the clock. Darcy Piceu and Maggie Guterl (pre-race interview) followed in second and third, some 37 minutes back, in jovial humor, waiting for each other at the aid station. They were followed 10 minutes later by Hannah Green in fourth, with Stephanie Case another two minutes back in fifth.
Through Telluride at mile 28, Dauwalter had extended her lead on second place, Guterl, to 67 minutes, with Piceu coming in a close third and leaving the aid station alongside Guterl. Hannah Green followed in fourth, with Stephanie Case in fifth, who was already recovering from some early stomach issues.
Past mile 33 at Kroger’s Canteen, as Dauwalter barreled ahead, the chasing women had paired off and were working together — with Piceu and Guterl still in second and third and all smiles, while Green and Case had joined forces 22 minutes back from that duo.
Dauwalter arrived at the Engineer aid station, just past the halfway point, in sixth-place overall with 12:10 on the clock, still looking strong and in control. The effort was starting to show by Sherman at mile 73, but she was still eating well and focused.
Stephanie Case, who had crept up the women’s field, arrived into Sherman as second woman. Hannah Green followed in third at mile 73 — looking tired, but calm and collected as she had done all race — with Darcy Piceu and Meghan Hicks nipping at her heels in fourth and fifth.
By this point, Dauwalter was more than five hours clear of her nearest women’s competitor, and thoughts were starting to turn to Diana Finkel’s longstanding course records. After a relatively conservative beginning, Dauwalter finally took the lid off of course record pace by mile 93 at Cunningham Gulch, coming in with 24:16 on the clock. She seemed to grow in strength and resolve as the finish line approached, and eventually stormed home in a time of 26:44:38, to add Hardrock 100 to her litany of wins, course records, and other ultrarunning achievements.
Case ran strong to the ending, finishing her first Hardrock 100 in second place in 33:52:46. The town of Silverton came out to celebrate local resident Hannah Green’s third-place finish in a time of 34:26:39, taking nearly two full hours off her time from 2017.
For the first time in her nine starts, Darcy Piceu finished lower than second, but she worked through endless challenges to finish fourth in 35:08:06. And Meghan Hicks was the fifth woman home in 36:32:52.
2022 Hardrock 100 Women’s Results
- Courtney Dauwalter (Salomon) – 26:44:36 (pre– and post-race interviews)
- New course record (old overall course record – Diana Finkel, 27:18:24, 2009) (old clockwise course record – Diana Finkel, 28:32:00, 2010)
- Stephanie Case (The North Face) – 33:52:46 (pre– and post-race interviews)
- Hannah Green – 34:26:39 (post-race interview)
- Darcy Piceu (Smartwool) – 35:08:06 (pre-race interview)
- Meghan Hicks – 36:32:52
- Joanna Ford– 38:17:30
- Emily Halnon – 38:35:23
- Dana Samis – 38:37:27
- Christine O’Gorman – 38:55:40
- Julia German – 38:57:34