2023 Ultra-Trail Cape Town 100k Results: Mityaev and Croft Dominate the South African Race

Results from the 2023 Ultra-Trail Cape Town 100k in South Africa where Dmitry Mityaev and Ruth Croft led the race from start to finish.

By on November 25, 2023 | Comments

After a day of fierce heat and competition, the 2023 Ultra-Trail Cape Town 100k crowned Dmitry Mityaev (Russia) and Ruth Croft (New Zealand) as this year’s champions.

The race started at 6 a.m. local time in Cape Town, South Africa, on Saturday, November 25. The 98-kilometer (61 miles) race is one of several that took place during the weekend festival. It is unique in its landscape, with mountains, beaches, and cityscapes throughout the ultra. The race began at Gardens Rugby Football Club and covered 4,972 meters (16,312 feet) of elevation gain. The route is front loaded in its climbing, with 1,700 meters of gain in the first 25k, scaling Table Mountain and Suther Peak.

Race day was a hot one, with athletes drinking as much water as possible on route and at the checkpoints. At the checkpoints, race crews poured ice cubes in athletes’ packs and placed socks filled with ice across their necks to stop the athlete’s body temperature from rising in the midday heat.

The race was set to be an exciting one, with last year’s men’s champion Mityaev returning to compete against favorites such as Thibaut Baronian (France).

Unfortunately, Tom Evans (U.K.), one of the men’s favorites, was missing from the start line after being held at knifepoint in Cape Town while training for the race. However, that didn’t stop him from cheering his Adidas Terrex teammates during the event.

The women’s race appeared to be just as dramatic, with Marianne Hogan (Canada) competing in her second go at this event, after having taken second two years ago. However, she was a bit of a wild card given she’s been returning from injury. All things told, international superstar Croft was probably the women’s favorite.

Read on for the full race story.

Dmitry Mityaev - 2023 Ultra-Trail Cape Town 100k champion

Dmitry Mityaev on his way to winning the 2023 Ultra-Trail Cape Town 100k. Photo: iRunFar/Neville Sharwood

2023 Ultra-Trail Cape Town 100k Men’s Race

Dmitry Mityaev’s (Russia) running career has gone from strength to strength in recent years, after running the fastest time ever in the mountain race at Mount Elbrus and winning this event last year, he was always going to be one of the strongest contenders. Right from the beginning Mityaev dominated, staying at the front of the pack up to the first checkpoint until he decided to break away and run alone for the rest of the race, and he never stopped.

Between Table Mountain at 31k and Llandudno 41k, it appeared that Mityaev had taken a fall with a nasty gash on his left thigh. This was followed by a wrong turn after hopping from the roads and onto trails just before the Llandudno checkpoint. He could be forgiven because the rugged trail looked more like someone’s back garden than a running route. Needless to say, none of these setbacks stopped him and Mityaev came through the finish line at 10:43:06, 19 minutes ahead of his next opponent.

Whilst Mityaev took the lead, competition was heating up between second, third, and fourth places. Caleb Olson (U.S.) and Thibaut Baronian (France) were 10 minutes behind Mityaev coming into the checkpoint at Llandudno, followed closely by Anthony Costales (U.S.) and Darren Thomas (U.S.). Although as predicted Olson came in second at Hout Bay checkpoint at 57k, Baronian dropped back to fifth place behind and seemed to be dipping. However, Baronian managed to climb back up to fourth position for the remainder of the race until he crossed the finish line. Thomas would lose ground later, easing back to finish 10th.

Whilst Mityaev crossed the line in first, the gaps grew larger between the rest of the competitors toward the end of the race. Americans filled the rest of the men’s podium, with Olson placing second at 11:02:28, followed by Costales in 11:24:08.

Caleb Olson - 2023 Ultra-Trail Cape Town 100k second place

Caleb Olson crosses the 2023 Ultra-Trail Cape Town 100k finish line in second place. Photo: iRunFar/Neville Sharwood

2023 Ultra-Trail Cape Town 100k Men’s Results

  1. Dmitry Mityaev (Russia) – 10:43:06
  2. Caleb Olson (U.S.) – 11:02:28
  3. Anthony Costales (U.S.) – 11:24:08
  4. Thibaut Baronian (France) – 11:36:29
  5. Simon Desvaux De Marigny (Mauritius) – 11:42:01
  6. Mads Louring (Denmark) – 11:48:35
  7. Johannes Löw (Germany) – 11:55:46
  8. Ryan Sandes (South Africa) – 12:02:58
  9. Ricardo Cherta (Spain) – 12:11:55
  10. Darren Thomas (U.S.) – 12:29:29

Full results.

2023 Ultra-Trail Cape Town 100k Women’s Race

This year’s winner was Ruth Croft (New Zealand), also the 2022 Western States 100 champion. To win this race, Croft put in an incredible effort and dominated the women’s race throughout the course. She began head-to-head with Marianne Hogan (Canada), but after the fourth checkpoint at Table Mountain, 31k into the race, the gap began to increase between the two athletes.

By checkpoint five at Llandudno, just 10k later, Croft had increased her lead by nine minutes and passed through at 4:55, just a few minutes behind Beth Pascall’s course record pace. However, since Pascall’s record, the course has changed, making it harder to compare the course times. As the race progressed, Croft became an even stronger athlete and increased her lead.

Whilst Croft appeared to be running her own race at the front, the competition was fierce between Hogan and Ekaterina Mityaeva (Russia) for second and third place. At Table Mountain there was a widening gap, with Hogan seemingly taking the lead. This was promising for an athlete who was recovering from injury and matching similar times from her performance at this event in 2021 when she placed second. But during the latter half of the race, Hogan took a fall on a gravel sidewalk, and after this she was passed by Mityaeva who moved in to second place.

Whilst the battle continued for second and third, Croft crossed the finish line to win in 12:12:20. Hogan managed to push back and finished in second place at 12:39:53, followed by Mityaeva in third in a very close 12:44:07. In doing so, Mityaeva improved upon her fourth-place finish at the race last year.

Ruth Croft - 2023 Ultra-Trail Cape Town 100k champion

Ruth Croft doing a bit of beach running en route to winning the 2023 Ultra-Trail Cape Town 100k. Photo: iRunFar/Neville Sharwood

2023 Ultra-Trail Cape Town 100k Women’s Results

  1. Ruth Croft (New Zealand) – 12:12:20
  2. Marianne Hogan (Canada) – 12:39:53
  3. Ekaterina Mityaeva (Russia) – 12:44:07
  4. Varvara Shikanova (Russia) – 13:20:15
  5. Samantha Reilly (South Africa) – 13:31:09
  6. Kerry-Ann Marshall (South Africa) – 14:46:08
  7. Olivia Dubern (France) – 14:49:18
  8. Corrine Malcolm (U.S.) – 15:36:27
  9. Lisa Geffen (South Africa) – 15:43:30
  10. Chloe Bishop (South Africa) – 16:30:58

Full results.

Marianne Hogan - 2023 Ultra-Trail Cape Town 100k second place

Marianne Hogan would go on to take second at the 2023 Ultra-Trail Cape Town 100k. Photo: iRunFar/Neville Sharwood

Eryn Barber

Eryn Barber is a freelance writer at iRunFar. For the last five years she’s also written for publications like “Ultra Runner Magazine” and “Like The Wind Magazine.” She works as a personal trainer, has a master’s degree in strength and conditioning, and has been featured in “Women’s Health” magazine. Eryn has transitioned over the last decade from sprinting on the track to running on the trails and fells, distances anywhere from five to 50 kilometers. In her spare time she enjoys reading, drinking Earl Grey tea, and learning French.