The 2023 Hardrock 100 kicks off on Friday, July 14 with the 146 lucky runners having 48 hours to complete the mountainous loop through Colorado’s San Juan Mountains. Starting in tiny Silverton, the route alternates direction every year with this year headed counterclockwise toward Lake City, onward to Ouray and Telluride, before returning to Silverton.
Along the way, the runners will climb more than 33,000 feet (10,000 meters) at an average elevation of roughly 11,000 feet (3,350 meters) and a high point of 14,058 feet (4,284 meters). With some small changes since the last counterclockwise event in 2021, the course will run about six tenths of a mile longer, at 102.5 miles.
The winter of 2022-2023 was kind to the San Juan Mountains, depositing much needed moisture in the form of unusually high snow volumes. Unlike the last two years, which have seen almost dry course conditions, this year’s course will feature residual snow up high, long transition zones of wet and muddy trail in the middle elevations, and dry course at its lower elevations. While the degree to which runners will experience snow and mud still depends on how much snow melts by race day, we can say with certainty that the course will run quite differently than in recent years.
If we’re talking about this year’s Hardrock, I guess we should start with last year’s women’s champ Courtney Dauwalter (pre-race interview) who just smashed the Western States 100 course record and will be back at Hardrock less than three weeks later. If anyone can challenge her on the women’s side, it’ll be high altitude, long-ultra specialist Annie Hughes (pre-race interview) or France’s Anne-Lise Rousset Séguret.
The men’s field is wide open this year with last year’s fifth-place man, Jeff Browning, the top returnee. Looking a year further back, 2021 runner-up Dylan Bowman (pre-race interview) is back, while six Hardrock debutants — Aurélien Dunand-Pallaz (pre-race interview) and Beñat Marmissolle (pre-race interview) of France, Javier Dominguez of Spain, Avery Collins (pre-race interview) of Silverton, Ohio’s Arlen Glick, and Utah’s Mark Hammond — could all challenge for the podium.
The women’s counterclockwise course record remains Diana Finkel’s time of 27:18:24 from 2009, while François D’Haene holds the men’s counterclockwise record of 21:45:50 from the last counterclockwise running in 2021. Both of the overall course records were set in the clockwise direction last year with Courtney Dauwalter running 26:44:36 and Kilian Jornet running 21:36:24.
A special thanks to HOKA for making our coverage of the Hardrock 100 possible!
Thanks also to LEKI for its support of our Hardrock coverage.
Ahead of the race, we’ll publish interviews with some of the race favorites and, of course, we’ll be covering the race live starting at 6 a.m. Mountain Daylight Time on Friday, July 14. Enjoy!
2023 Hardrock 100 Women’s Preview
At the top of this year’s women’s field we’ve got a pair of runners from Leadville, Colorado — Courtney Dauwalter and Annie Hughes — and another pair from France — Anne-Lise Rousset Séguret and Claire Bannwarth. Read about them and the other women to watch out for below.
So, yeah, Courtney Dauwalter (pre-race interview) … that Courtney Dauwalter is running Hardrock again this year. After her huge course record run at the Western States 100 last month and following her course-record-setting run at Hardrock last year, she’s got to be the clear favorite in the women’s race. Despite being the odds-on favorite, there are two things that could keep her from being a sure thing. First, well, she did just run a 78-minute women’s course record at the Western States 100, so fatigue or injury could catch up to her. Second, anything can happen, as illustrated when an injury took her out of the Western States 100 in 2019 and stomach issues stopped her at Hardrock in 2021. On the other hand, Dauwalter also has the advantage of being the only contender for the women’s win who’s previously run the race.
And if there’s a women’s specialist at high altitude 100 milers, it’s Leadville, Colorado’s Annie Hughes (pre-race interview), who won the Run Rabbit Run 100 Mile and High Lonesome 100 Mile in 2022 and the Leadville 100 Mile in 2021. Seeing Annie run seemingly effortlessly at high altitude is a treat. While Hardrock’s longer time-wise than the other 100 milers Hughes has won, she also won 2022 Cocodona 250 Mile and 2021 Moab 240 Mile, so the extra time on feet shouldn’t be an issue. So far this year, Hughes has won the 50-mile races at Behind the Rocks and Bighorn and taken third at the Canyons 100 Mile.
Over the past decade of running trail ultramarathons, France’s Anne-Lise Rousset Séguret has earned countless victories. However, the vast majority of her racing has come at roughly 50 miles and shorter. Still, Rousset did win the CCC in 2014 and took fourth at the race in 2018. As far as I can tell, she made her 100-mile-race debut last year, where she took second at the Diagonale des Fous, more than four hours behind Dauwalter. That said, earlier in 2022 she set a speed record on Corsica’s GR20, running its 170 kilometers with 12,700 meters of climb in 35:50. She’ll also have spent three weeks in the San Juans by race day.
If Rousset is the shorter-ultra specialist of the French women in this year’s Hardrock, then Claire Bannwarth (pre-race interview) is the longer-ultra specialist. As far a I can tell, she went straight from her first ultra in 2016 to running a 109-mile race as her second ultra. An extremely frequent racer, since this time last year, she’s run at least five 100 milers, four races between 187 and 261 miles, and a four-day, 305-kilometer stage race in the middle of last month. Among her top recent performances are a win at least year’s Kullamannen 100 Mile, a win at this year’s Winter Spine Race, and a seventh at this year’s Transgrancanaria.
Looking across the Pacific Ocean, Japan’s Kimino Miyazaki (pre-race interview) should also be a top contender. She’s really taken to 100 milers over the past three years, lining up for at least three 100 milers each year. Highlights from each year include taking second at the 2021 Doi Inthanon 100 Mile, winning the 2022 Ultra-Trail Mt. Fuji, and taking second at this year’s Tarawera 100 Mile. She was second at the 2018 Hasetsune Cup.
Colorado’s Darcy Piceu comes off the waitlist and immediately into contention in the 2023 Hardrock women’s field. This will be her 10th running of the race. Her track record here includes three wins, five second-place finishes, and six sub 30-hour runs. Most recently, she placed fourth last year in 35:08, when the race was ran in the clockwise direction, while she was second in 2021. [Updated July 10]
Next to Piceu, Oregon’s Darla Askew brings the most Hardrock experience to the start line of the top women’s competitors, with her six finishes, most recently taking third in 2018. Last year, she won the Pine to Palm 100 Mile.
More Women to Watch
- Becky Bates (Canada) – 5th 2017 Hardrock 100; 8th 2022 High Lonesome 100 Mile; 10th 2021 Run Rabbit Run 100 Mile
- Christina Bauer — 3rd 2019 High Lonesome 100 Mile; 2nd 2023 Crown King 50k
- Emily Halnon — 7th 2022 Hardrock 100 [Updated July 13]
- Rachel Kelley – 16th 2019 & 21st 2018 Western States 100
- Dana Kracaw – 5th 2021 IMTUF 100 Mile; 24th 2022 TDS
- Whitney Mickelsen – 5th 2022 Swiss Alps 100 Mile; 8th 2021 Wasatch 100 Mile; 4th 2020 IMTUF 100 Mile
Women with a Chance for Last Minute Entry
- Christi Richards (1st Never waitlist) – 1st 2021 & 2nd 2019 IMTUF 100 Mile; 1st 2018 Canadian Death Race
2023 Hardrock 100 Men’s Preview
None of the first four men’s finishers from last year’s Hardrock 100 will be back this year. However, into that void step an interesting mix of a few runners with Hardrock experience and even more without it. With these runners coming to Silverton from around the world with a mix of strengths, it’ll be fascinating to see who comes out on top this year.
France’s Aurélien Dunand-Pallaz (pre-race interview) was to make his Hardrock debut last year, but skipped the race for the birth of his family’s first child. He’ll get the chance to make that debut this year as one of the favorites to win. While Dunand-Pallaz has a decade of ultrarunning success, he made a big leap forward in 2021 when he won Transgrancanaria, took second at UTMB, and was third at Ultra Pirineu. Both last May and this May he was second at the 54-mile race at MaXi-Race Annecy, while he DNFed UTMB last year.
Since Dunand-Pallaz’s second place at UTMB 2021, fellow Frenchman Beñat Marmissolle (pre-race interview) might have the best big mountain ultra results of this year’s men’s field. In 2021 he was third at the Diagonale des Fous before winning the race last October. Last year, he was also sixth at UTMB while winning additional ultras in France. While Marmissolle’s a serious contender for the win, he’s got less experience at longer ultras than many of his competitors, having only gotten into 100-kilometer-and-longer races over the past two years. On the other hand, he’s made the investment of spending a month out in the San Juans ahead of the race.
Experience counts for a lot in ultramarathons and that’s certainly the case at Hardrock. Fortunately for Dylan Bowman (pre-race interview), he comes into this race with a second-place finish at Hardrock in 2021, the last time the race was run in this direction. Since then, he’s run well at a couple local races and taken seventh at Ultra Pirineu last year. He may live in California’s Bay Area these days, but he’s been out in Silverton, training for some three weeks ahead of race day.
Even deeper into the experience category, we’ve got Jeff Browning, who’s got six Hardrock finishes, including taking fifth the past two years and winning just five years ago in 2018. Last October, Browning won the Moab 240 Mile in 57 hours.
While this will be Javier Dominguez’s first Hardrock, the Spaniard has 100-mile experience that rivals Jeff Browning’s. At UTMB, he’s been 20th in 2021, 9th in 2019, 10th in 2018, and fifth in 2016. He’s won the Ehunmilak 100 Mile in Basque Country five times, including last year. He won the Tor des Géants in 2017. You get the idea. Aside from watching Dominguez in the overall field, it’ll be fun watching him at 48 years old race the 51-year-old Browning for the fastest masters runner.
Although he’s escaped Silverton’s loooong winter of 2022-2023 to train a number of times, Silverton local Avery Collins (pre-race interview) is 100% acclimated to life at the village’s altitude of 9,318 feet and has put in plenty of vert on the local trails ahead of his Hardrock debut. While he doesn’t have the big-race podium finishes of the guys above him (nor those below him) in this preview, he was fifth at last year’s Run Rabbit Run 100 Mile, 11th at the 2021 Madeira Island Ultra-Trail, and 15th at the 2021 CCC.
It’s quite likely that Ohio’s Arlen Glick is the fastest 100 miler in this year’s Hardrock field. Indeed, his resume of stunningly fast 100 milers on flatter courses is too long to list here, but, recently, he ran 13:25 to take third at last October’s Javelina 100 Mile and 12:57 in winning the Umstead 100 Mile this April. Over the past year, Glick’s seen success moving to moderately mountainous 100 milers, taking third at last year’s Western States 100 and second at last year’s Run Rabbit Run 100 Mile, while not having his best day in placing 14th at last month’s Western States 100. At Hardrock, he’ll have two big hurdles to overcome, bouncing back from racing the Western States 100 in less than three weeks and running what could be seen as his first big mountain 100 miler. The combination of those two factors is more than additive. All this makes him one of the most intriguing runners in this year’s race.
Utah’s Mark Hammond comes into Hardrock for the first time off the waitlist. A few years ago, he’d be a couple spots higher on the list, as he placed third, third, and fifth the Western States 100 from 2017 through 2019 and took second at the Run Rabbit Run 100 Mile in both 2017 and 2018. More recently, he was fifth at the 2021 Run Rabbit Run 100 Mile while winning the Jackpot 100 Mile in 2020 and taking fifth last year. Over the past year or so, he’s not quite raced up to his prior standards, but there can always be unknown mitigating factors there. If he’s trained well and he’s on, he could challenge for the podium.
More Men to Watch
- Ryan Burch – 4th 2023 Quad Rock 50 Mile; 3rd 2018 Bighorn 52 Mile; 3rd 2018 Never Summer 100k
- Brian Culmo – 2nd 2022 Hellgate 100k; 2nd 2021 Bear 100 Mile; 1st 2021 Squaw Peak 50 Mile
- Yassine Diboun – 6th 2022 Mogollon Monster 100 Mile; 4th 2022 White River 50 Mile
- Jakub Galczynski – 2nd 2021 IMTUF 100 Mile; 3rd 2020, 12th 2019, & 7th 2017 Bear 100 Mile
- Jesse Haynes – 1st 2023 SAMO 100 Mile; 2nd 2022 & 2023 Leona Divide 100k; 1st 2022 Sean O’Brien 100k; 3rd 2019 Bigfoot 200 Mile
- Chad Lasater – 2nd 2022 Desert Solstice 100 Mile; 4th 2022 Vermont 100 Mile; 1st 2022 Old Dominion 100 Mile; 26th 2022 Leadville 100 Mile
- Michael Owen – 1st 2018 Grindstone 100 Mile; 1st 2023, 2022, 2021, 2019 & 2017 Promised Land 50k; 3rd 2016, 4th 2019 & 2nd 2017 JFK 50 Mile
- Chris Price – 3rd 2022 Bigfoot 200 Mile; 1st 2019 Tahoe Rim Trail 100 Mile; 4th 2015 Hardrock 100
- Sam Ritchie – 4th 2021 High Lonesome 100 Mile; 2nd 2016 IMTUF 100 Mile
- Paul Terranova – 4th 2022 Bighorn 100 Mile; 3rd 2021 Bear 100 Mile; 3rd 2021 High Lonesome 100 Mile; Nolan’s 14 finisher
- Michael Wardian – 25th 2021 & 10th 2018 Hardrock 100
Men with a Chance for Last Minute Entry
- Masazumi Fujioka (2nd Never waitlist) – 6th 2022 Hurt 100 Mile; 1st 2022 Orcas Island 50k; 1st 2022 Lumberjack 50 Mile
Call for Comments
- Who do you think will be the first woman and first man to finish?
- Who do you think will surprise everyone at this year’s Hardrock?
- How do you think this year’s snowy and muddy course conditions will affect the competition and finishing times?