2023 OCC Results: McCann and Angermund Run to Victories

Toni McCann and Stian Angermund claim victories in the 2023 OCC.

By on August 31, 2023 | Comments

The 2023 OCC race left Orsières, Switzerland, at 8:15 a.m. on Thursday, August 31, and sent 1,729 runners through Champex-Lac, Switzerland, and on to the finish in Chamonix, France. The point-to-point route through Orsières, Champex-Lac, and Chamonix, with the abbreviated race name coming from the town names, is often called the Little Swiss Sister of UTMB.

While the course is a relatively short 55 kilometers (34.2 miles), it’s packed with an impressive 3,500 meters (11,480 feet) of elevation gain through the high mountains. With a rockslide closing one of the trails between Trient and Col de Balme, runners took a slightly more direct route than in years past, which together with cool and dry conditions, plus the ever-increasing depth of competition at this event, meant fast times.

Last year’s winners, Manuel Merillas (Spain) and Sheila Aviles (Spain) did not return to defend their titles, but there were many fast women and men to challenge for the win.

You can also check out more results from the week’s UTMB Mont Blanc festival:

2023 OCC Women’s Race

The depth of the women’s field for the 2023 OCC was impressive, but after 55k, it was Toni McCann (South Africa) who ran into Chamonix solo for the win with a time of 5:18:21. Last year’s OCC fifth-place finisher put together a solid race start to finish and looked absolutely ecstatic, if a little bit shocked, when crossing the finish line with plenty of time to celebrate her win. The South African runner is coming off a string of victories this season already, including the Davos X-Trails and Transvulcania by UTMB 50k.

2023 OCC - Toni McCann looking shocked at winning

The 2023 OCC women’s champion Toni McCann looks absolutely stunned at her victory. All photos: UTMB

All eyes were on the 2022 UTMB champion and 2023 Western States 100 second-place finisher, Katie Schide (U.S.), and she didn’t disappoint at this much shorter distance. An American living in France, Schide has a long history with the UTMB race festival events, including an additional two top-10 UTMB finishes in 2019 and 2021 and a second place at CCC in 2018.

In the final kilometers of the race, it was clear that Schide would earn a podium spot, but it was unknown whether she’d be able to hold off a charging Miao Yao (China). With the gap hovering at 15 to 20 seconds through the final minutes of the race, it seemed possible that Yao, a 2:37 marathoner, would have the leg speed to close the gap on the longer-distance specialist.

But in the end, by running the steps and squeezing every last second out of the course, Schide was able to hold on to second with a time of 5:26:25. Yao finished in 5:27:07.

2023 OCC Women’s Results

  1. Toni McCann (South Africa) – 5:18:21
  2. Katie Schide (U.S., lives in France) – 5:26:25
  3. Miao Yao (China) – 5:27:07
  4. Caitlin Fielder (New Zealand) – 5:36:25
  5. Daniela Oemus (Germany) – 5:38:22
  6. Rachel Drake (U.S.) – 5:40:27
  7. Candice Fertin (France) – 5:41:39
  8. Louise Serban-Penhoat (France) – 5:44:41
  9. Núria Gil (Spain) – 5:44:58
  10. Anna-Stiina Erkkilä (Finland) – 5:45:16

Full results.

2023 OCC - womens podium Toni McCann and Katie Schide and Miao Yao

The 2023 OCC women’s podium (l-to-r): 2. Katie Schide, 1. Toni McCann, and 3. Miao Yao.

2023 OCC Men’s Race

Stian Angermund (Norway) was first across the line for the 2023 OCC on a beautiful day in Chamonix with a time of 4:42:40. A blistering fast day on the course saw close times between the top four men in the final kilometers, but it was the Norwegian who was able to hold on to a lead that he established just over halfway through the race. Sitting in third at just under 30k into the day, he made his move on the climb up to the Col de Balme and never looked back.

This win is another in a long line for Angermund, who has already run away with victories in the Trail World Championships 50k and the Trail des Hauts Forts 20k this year. Surely this win was sweet redemption after his DNF at CCC in 2021.

2023 OCC - Stian Angermund wins

Stian Angermund (Norway) took over the lead just over halfway and never looked back.

The battle for the final podium spots remained close between Francesco Puppi (Italy), Antonio Martínez (Spain), and You-Sheng Guan (China). Puppi ran a smart race throughout, staying near the front, but was as far back as ninth place at 23k into the race, and was able to put on the gas to slowly but surely move himself into second by the end. With a final time of 4:44:58, he was able to just stay ahead of Martínez, who finished on the final podium spot in 4:45:19. Puppi has already had a successful season with these shorter distances, including wins in the Lavaredo Ultra Trail by UTMB 50k and the Andersen Half Marathon Trail.

2023 OCC Men’s Results

  1. Stian Angermund (Norway) – 4:42:40
  2. Francesco Puppi (Italy) – 4:44:58
  3. Antonio Martínez (Spain) – 4:45:19
  4. You-Sheng Guan (China) – 4:45:49
  5. Jeshurun Small (U.S.) – 4:48:18
  6. Robbie Simpson (Great Britain) – 4:55:33
  7. Anthony Felber (France) – 4:55:50
  8. Guang-Fu Meng (China) – 4:56:14
  9. Tao Luo (China) – 4:57:54
  10. Jan Margarit Solé (Spain) – 4:59:46

Full results.

[Editor’s Note: On February 10, 2024, Stian Angermund, the 2023 OCC champion, revealed via Instagram and in an interview with Norwegian media, NRK, that he had received notice on October 20, 2023, from the French Anti-Doping Agency, of a prohibited substance, chlorthalidone, found in his urine in a test following the 2023 OCC. Chlorthalidone, a diuretic, is on the World Anti-Doping Agency Prohibited List because it can be used to mask the presence of other substances in the body. No public comment has been made by the French Anti-Doping Agency, the outcome is still pending, and we’ll update this story as needed. Updated, February 10, 2024.]

2023 OCC - top three men Stian Angermund and Francesco Puppi and Antonio Martínez Pérez

The 2023 OCC men’s podium (l-to-r): 2. Francesco Puppi, 1. Stian Angermund, and 3. Antonio Martínez.

Eszter Horanyi

Eszter Horanyi identifies as a Runner Under Duress, in that she’ll run if it gets her deep into the mountains or canyons faster than walking would, but she’ll most likely complain about it. A retired long-distance bike racer, she gave ultra foot racing a go and finished the Ouray 100 in 2017, but ultimately decided that she prefers a slower pace of life of taking photos during long days in the mountains and smelling the flowers while being outside for as many hours of the day as possible. Eszter will take any opportunity to go adventuring in the mountains or desert by foot, bike, or boat, and has lived the digital nomad lifestyle throughout the west for the past seven years.