2023 UTMB Men’s Preview

An in-depth preview of the men’s field at the 2023 UTMB.

By on August 22, 2023 | Comments

Hoka - 2023 Western States 100

It’s August and we all know what that means in trail ultrarunning: UTMB is upon us!

What does this year’s edition have in store in the men’s race? Some fascinating storylines that are sure to keep us entertained, that’s what. Unfortunately, last year’s champion, Kilian Jornet, has recently withdrawn from the race due to a bone injury, from which we wish him a speedy recovery. But for the moment at least, that still leaves nine of the top-10 men from last year on this year’s entrants list.

Next we have numerous 100-mile debutants with all kinds of cred at shorter mountain ultras, a few guys with enormous UTMB potential who’ve not yet realized it, and a long line of chasers who’ll fill in the gaps as some top runners inevitably falter. All in all, we’re looking at a showy race.

The now-iconic course typically covers 171 kilometers (106.2 miles) and has almost 10,000 meters (32,700 feet) of climbing as it encircles the Mont-Blanc massif in a counterclockwise direction from Chamonix, France, through Italy and Switzerland, before finishing back in Chamonix again. On August 23, the race organization announced a course change to the last segment of the route, which looks like it’ll increase the distance by just under 2 kilometers (about 1.2 miles).

While the UTMB Mont Blanc festival has expanded to fill a week with eight races, three of which — the CCC, TDS, and OCC — are themselves among the most competitive trail ultras in the world, UTMB remains the queen race of the festival and the crown jewel of the trail ultramarathon year.

Interestingly, the race is starting a week later than usual. What does this mean for its conditions? Who knows, but it creeps the event closer to fall, which can be glorious at times and stormy in others.

A special thanks to HOKA for making our coverage of UTMB possible!

goodr_logo_brandcolors - 100pxThanks also to Goodr for its support of our UTMB coverage.

Tune in to our UTMB live race coverage starting at 6 p.m. CEST (10 a.m. MDT in the U.S.) on Friday, September 1 right here on iRunFar. Stay tuned!

You’ll want to also read our in-depth 2023 UTMB women’s preview for a look at the women’s race.

You can also see the race organization’s top runners list.

2022 UTMB start

The start of the 2022 UTMB. Photo: iRunFar/Kirsten Kortebein

The 2023 UTMB Men’s Favorites for the Win

Let’s begin this preview by looking at the men who we think have the best potential to win this year’s race.

Mathieu Blanchard (pre-race interview)

Mathieu Blanchard - 2023 Marathon des Sables

Mathieu Blanchard

When it was all said and done, there was just one man who gave last year’s UTMB champion a real run for the money, and that was Mathieu Blanchard. The Frenchman finished less than six minutes back of winner Kilian Jornet to take second, and that was a follow-up to a third place at the 2021 UTMB. While Blanchard was seemingly on the fence on whether he’d race this year’s UTMB, he recently announced that he’s in. Blanchard is a prolific racer who, since last year’s UTMB, took sixth at the 2023 Western States 100 and third at the 2023 Marathon des Sables. In our minds, there’s only one thing a guy who’s taken both second and third at UTMB before could still want, and that’s victory.

Tom Evans (pre-race interview)

Tom Evans - 2023 Western States 100

Tom Evans

Tom Evans could very well become the 2023 UTMB champion. While the U.K. athlete has been in the upper echelon of trail ultrarunning for a couple years, he may be entering the peak of his career right now. Ten weeks ago, Evans won the 2023 Western States 100 with a methodical, professional approach. Last year at UTMB, he used the same preparation and race-day tactics to solidly secure third place, though he was a bit distant at 45 minutes back from the winner. While getting the Western States 100-UTMB double right is tricky, Evans has got another year of consistent training and racing under his belt and will surely put on a good show.

Jim Walmsley

2022 UTMB - Jim Walmsley

Jim Walmsley

If you’re not familiar with American Jim Walmsley’s relationship with UTMB, get comfy. It began in 2017 when Walmsley debuted at the event with a fifth place, which he then followed up with two DNFs in 2018 and 2021. Ahead of the 2022 event, he went all in by moving to France to give race preparations his best. What that yielded last year was a fourth place. Since last year’s UTMB, Walmsley won the 2023 Istria 100 Mile and the 2022 Les Templiers. A relevant memory for us all, Walmsley is the Western States 100 course record holder, a record he earned through a multi-year commitment to seeing through the highs and lows that achieving such a result involves. His UTMB commitment looks so similar, and we are so curious of what Walmsley can do after another year of living and training in the French Alps.

Zach Miller (pre-race interview)

Zach Miller Sprint - 2022 UTMB - feature

Zach Miller

While I’m certain that we all race with our heart and minds deeply committed to the cause, Zach Miller of the U.S. wears his heart on his sleeve when he races, which just plain makes watching him race enjoyable. Like countrymate Jim Walmsley, Miller’s got an involved UTMB history. He’s taken sixth and ninth at the 2016 and 2017 UTMB respectively, then he DNFed the next two years in 2018 and 2019. He circled back last year, after working through a long injury period that included foot surgery, to take fifth place, exceeding his past results in the event. How will he fare with a full year of consistent training and racing? So far this year, he’s had  some good success, including taking sixth at the 2023 Trail World Championships 80k and winning the 2023 Tarawera 100 Mile.

Petter Engdahl (pre-race interview)

2022 CCC mens champion - Petter Engdahl

Petter Engdahl

Winning UTMB as one’s debut 100 miler has been done before in the men’s race, though in the event’s more distant and less competitive history. If there’s anyone who can do it in this modern era, we think it’s Petter Engdahl. Last year, the Swede who lives in Norway shredded the CCC history books in winning and setting a course record. He’s had some other real strong performances in recent years, including winning the 2022 Transvulcania Ultramarathon and taking third at the 2021 OCC. Perhaps more than past performances, though, is the confident, yet patient, mindset with which he’s raced some of the longer ultras he’s done so far. This mindset is critical to success at UTMB and 100 milers in general, so Engdahl will be real fun to watch.

2022 UTMB mens podium - Kilian Jornet - Matthieu Blanchard - Tom Evans

The 2022 UTMB men’s podium (l-to-r): 2. Mathieu Blanchard, 1. Kilian Jornet, and 3. Tom Evans. Photo: iRunFar/Bryon Powell

The Rest of the Returning 2022 UTMB Men’s Top 10

With so many of last year’s top 10 returning, here’s a look at the sixth- through 10th-place men from last year who are back for the 2023 edition.

Beñat Marmissolle

Benat Marmissolle - 2023 Hardrock 100 - Maggie gulch

Beñat Marmissolle

Beñat Marmissolle of France is trying to pull off quite the challenging 100-miler triple in 2023: the Hardrock 100 in July, UTMB in September, and Diagonale des Fous in October. In the first of those challenges, Hardrock, he took second. In 2022, his top results were a sixth at UTMB and then a win at Diagonale des Fous, which is in and of itself, quite the double. If we go back to 2021, he was third at Diagonale des Fous. As time goes on, we wouldn’t be surprised to see Marmissolle continue to improve at 100-mile racing. At Hardrock, we saw Marmissolle as a happy-go-lucky, calm, and talented mountain ultrarunner, all the qualities needed for this distance. Let’s see what he does at UTMB after a seven-week break since Hardrock.

Arthur Joyeux-Bouillon (pre-race interview)

In our UTMB preview last year, we said that France’s Arthur Joyeux-Bouillon “sure brings his best self to the UTMB [Mont Blanc festival] races …” and he did it again. He was the seventh man at the 2022 UTMB, and before that he was third at the 2021 TDS, and ninth at the 2018 CCC. In 2023, Joyeux-Bouillon was seventh at the Trail Andorra 100k behind several men he’ll see again in this race, and he took second at the Istria 100 Mile, an hour distant from winner Jim Walmsley. Will he again perform highly at this festival?

Jonas Russi

On paper, Switzerland’s Jonas Russi is poised to be the men’s breakout performer. His 2022 racing season represented a significant improvement over his prior years of racing and included taking eighth at UTMB in addition to winning the Tor des Géants and taking sixth at the Lavaredo Ultra Trail. He followed that up into 2023 with a win at the Lavaredo Ultra Trail some 45 minutes faster than in 2022. If he improves at UTMB to the same degree as he did at Lavaredo, this puts him in 20:30 finishing time territory, very likely a podium performance.

Robert Hajnal

2018 UTMB - Robert Hajnal

Robert Hajnal

We don’t think our community should ever forget when Robert Hajnal, of Romania, took second at the 2018 UTMB. It was a breakout race for Hajnal by a long shot, but what’s most memorable was that he crossed the finish line in pants (!!!) while thriving in that year’s awful weather conditions which chewed up and spit out so many. Last year, Hajnal finished ninth at this race, though sandwiched in between these two really strong UTMB performances are a pair of DNFs and an off-potential finish. Also on his resume from the last couple years are a second and a seventh place at the 2023 and 2022 Lavaredo Ultra Trail, respectively, the former behind winner Jonas Russi, who also beat him by a position at last year’s UTMB. In 2022, he won the Istria 100 Mile.

Thibaut Garrivier

Thibaut Garrivier - 2023 Trail World Championships 80k - fourth place

Thibaut Garrivier

Frenchman Thibaut Garrivier rounds out the returning top-10 men from last year’s UTMB. He also has plenty of other results from the UTMB Mont Blanc festival, which include a win at the 2021 CCC and a second place at the same race in 2019. He’s been largely on a roll since UTMB last year, since then winning the 2023 Madeira Island Ultra-Trail 85k and taking sixth at the 2022 Trail World Championships 80k.

2022 UTMB - top 10 men - top 10 women

The top-10 men and women of the 2022 UTMB. Photo: iRunFar/Meghan Hicks

Potential Top-10 Men at the 2023 UTMB

We think these men have great potential to finish in the top 10 this year.

Germain Grangier (pre-race interview)

At this point, Germain Grangier of France has an involved history with the UTMB Mont Blanc festival races. He’s got two finishes, a fifth in 2021 and ninth in 2019 at UTMB, a fifth at the 2018 CCC, and a third at the 2015 OCC. While he DNFed UTMB last year, that looks like a blip in his running radar as since then he’s won the 2023 Mont-Blanc 90k and finished fifth at both the the 2023 Transvulcania Ultramarathon and 2022 Diagonale des Fous. There’s no reason Grangier can’t run into the top five like he did two years back.

Hannes Namberger

Hannes Namberger - 2021 UTMB sixth place - feature

Hannes Namberger

Germany’s Hannes Namberger has two visits to UTMB in his pocket, a DNF last year and a sixth place in 2021. Since UTMB last year, he won the 2023 Eiger Ultra Trail 100k, took 14th at the 2023 Trail World Championships 80k, and shared the win at the 2022 Ultra-Trail Cape Town 100k. If we go into slightly deeper history, we find two wins at the Lavaredo Ultra Trail in 2022 and 2021, one win at the 2021 Madeira Island Ultra-Trail, and plenty of other strong international-level performances. Namberger’s potential is within the top five of this race.

Jean-Philippe Tschumi

Jean-Philippe Tschumi, of Switzerland, comes to the 2023 UTMB with a seventh-place finish at last year’s CCC. A couple months ago, he tied for the win with Ben Dhiman at the 2023 Trail Andorra 100k, and last fall he took second at the 2022 Diagonale des Fous, behind winner Beñat Marmissolle and ahead of third place Dhiman. Among his other top finishes through the years are a win at the 2023 Ultra-Trail Snowdonia 100k, second place at the 2022 Eiger Ultra Trail 100k, and two podiums at the Madeira Island Ultra-Trail in 2022 and 2021.

Ben Dhiman

We love following the storylines of this sport, and can’t wait to see Ben Dhiman’s UTMB story unfold. An American living in France, each passing race sees Dhiman improving relative to the fields in which he runs. In 2022 at the Diagonale des Fous, he finished third place behind champ Beñat Marmissolle and second place Jean-Philippe Tschumi. In 2023 so far, he tied for the win at the 2023 Trail Andorra 100k with Tschumi and won the 2023 Penyagolosa CSP 106k. Dhiman’s potential at UTMB is high, so let’s see how close he presses up to it.

Ludovic Pommeret

Ludovic Pommeret - 2022 TDS men's winner - feature

Ludovic Pommeret

We should expect nothing less than France’s Ludovic Pommeret finishing in the top 10. It’s hard to summarize his career accomplishments, but let’s try. Beginning with the UTMB Mont Blanc festival races and working backward, he won the 2022 TDS, took fourth at the 2021 UTMB, was third at the 2019 TDS, was third again at the 2017 CCC, won the 2016 UTMB, was 20th at the 2012 UTMB, and took another third at the 2009 CCC. Looking elsewhere over the last couple years, he’s been 12th and sixth at the 2023 and 2022 Western States 100, respectively, he won the 2021 Diagonale des Fous, and he’s run on the French national team at the Trail World Championships at least six times. Now 48 years old, Pommeret’s longevity at the upper echelon of the sport as a masters runner is historic.

Pau Capell

2022 UTMB - Pau Capell

Pau Capell

If we look into Pau Capell’s running history, we see a deep set of results at the UTMB Mont Blanc festival, which includes his UTMB win in 2019 and a sixth-place finish in 2017. The Spanish runner has a podium finish at the 2018 CCC and also won the 2016 TDS. Last year at UTMB, he DNFed, but we recall he was pushing up against a pretty fast recovery from knee surgery. Since then, he was third at the 2023 Trail Andorra 100k, fifth at the 2023 Transgrancanaria Classic 128k, and third at the 2022 Ultra Pirineu 100k. In all those races he was mixed amongst a bunch of the lads he’ll see again at this year’s UTMB.

Jeff Mogavero

We all know that the UTMB is a tough nut to crack, and Jeff Mogavero, of the U.S., made it look pretty easy last year when he debuted to finish 16th. He’s back and carrying with him another year’s worth of experience. His top result since last year’s UTMB was seventh place at the 2023 Transvulcania Ultramarathon, where he finished amongst some of the men he’s racing again at this event. Among his other strong results from the last couple of years are a pair of podiums at the 2023 and 2022 Broken Arrow Skyrace as well as third place at the 2021 Run Rabbit Run 100 Mile. Oh, and he just took 14th at the 2023 Sierre-Zinal, three weeks before UTMB.

Arlen Glick

Arlen Glick - 2023 Western States 100

Arlen Glick

Arlen Glick has withdrawn from the race and plans to run Run Rabbit Run 100 Mile instead. [Updated August 28, 2023] Arlen Glick of the U.S. is another man in the midst of a challenging trio of 100 milers in 2023: the Western States 100 in June where he finished 13th, the Hardrock 100 in July where he was fourth, and now UTMB. Before Hardrock, Glick was most known for excelling at the more runnable 100 milers, but that Hardrock performance tells us he can also move well in the mountains. His 26:43 Hardrock finishing time, if compared to folks who’ve run about that there, might convert to something like a 22-hour UTMB. And a 22-hour UTMB puts you in the second half of the top 10, which would be another excellent mountain performance for Glick.

Tim Tollefson

Where to put the U.S.’s Tim Tollefson in this preview? His potential is high, as evidenced by two past UTMB podiums, third place in 2017 as as well as another third place in 2016. But since then he’s been under something of a UTMB curse, racking up four DNFs, including last year. A few of Tollefson’s top results from the last couple years include eighth place at the 2023 Transvulcania Ultramarathon, a win of the 2022 American River 50 Mile, and fifth place at the 2021 Western States 100. Could this be the year that reverses Tollefson’s UTMB trend?

Daniel Jones

Daniel Jones - 2023 Tarawera Ultramarathon by UTMB 102k champion - feature

Daniel Jones

Daniel Jones is on a fast upward trajectory in ultrarunning. The New Zealander, like a few other men in the field, is attempting the Western States 100-UTMB double, the former of which he took fifth at some 10 weeks ago. Jones’s credentials also include winning the 2023 Tarawera 100k, finishing 10th at the 2022 Canyons 100k, and winning his home country’s famous mountain race, the Kepler Challenge, numerous times. This looks to be Jones’s first time turning out to the UTMB Mont Blanc festival, and we’ll be watching to see what he does with all that potential.

2021 UTMB - Saint-Gervais aid station

The Saint-Gervais aid station during the 2021 UTMB. Photo: iRunFar/Meghan Hicks

Still More Men to Watch in the 2023 UTMB

We’ll be looking to these men to influence the race for the top 20.

José Fernández 

Jose Fernandez - 4th 2022 Trail World Championships 80k

José Fernández

Spain’s José Fernández has a string of strong performances over at least a half decade in races with regional to national level competitiveness. A highlight among these are a win, a fifth place, and a second place at the 2023, 2022, and 2021 Penyagolosa MiM 60k, an event that’s consistently nationally competitive. Then, in 2022, he had an outlier performance when he took fourth at the Trail World Championships 80k, beating a bunch of top international athletes to the line that day. It doesn’t appear he’s finished a 100 miler yet, though it looks like he’s started at least one.

Miguel Heras

Well, look at this, Spain’s Miguel Heras is back racing at UTMB! Heras was a top ultrarunner circa 2010 to 2016, and in that time we believe he had three starts and one finish of the event, the latter being a second place in 2013. Longtime U.S. ultra fans might also remember him as a two-time The North Face 50 Mile Championships winner — in 2012 and 2010. While the years 2017 to 2022 saw him running a couple trail races a year, it appears they were more casual outings. That changed in October of 2022 where in the same month he took second at the Transvulcania Ultramarathon, where he finished about a half hour behind Petter Engdahl, and he won the Ultra Pirineu 100k, ahead of a bunch of gentlemen he’ll see at this race. Earlier this year, he won the Valhöll Ultra Trail 125k, showing his form has continued into this year.

Didrik Hermansen

Didrik Hermansen - 2016 Western States 100 - Foresthill

Didrik Hermansen

Let’s keep with the theme of longtime ultrarunners with Didrik Hermansen, who’s been running ultras for approaching 15 years and excelling at them for most of that. Naturally, for someone who has been at this for so long, there have been some ups and downs. Case in point, the Norwegian took ninth at the 2022 Trail World Championships 80k but finished off his potential at the 2023 edition of that event. In 2022, he was second at the Nice Côte d’Azur 100k and seventh at the Transgrancanaria Classic 128k. For a quick reminder of his top career runs, he took second at the 2016 Western States 100.

Scotty Hawker

Scotty Hawker, of New Zealand, is one of those examples of where the UTMB Index algorithm doesn’t work correctly. How is a guy who took second at the 2021 CCC, third at the 2019 UTMB, and 11th at the 2017 UTMB near the bottom of the UTMB Index-ranked top runners starters list? Anyway, while Hawker DNFed his most recent attempt at UTMB last year, he’s also taken fifth at the 2022 Doi Inthanon 103k and second at the 2022 Ultra-Trail Australia 100k.

Tom Owens

The U.K. runner Tom Owens is back to the UTMB Mont Blanc festival. His past accolades at this festival include fourth place at the 2019 UTMB, 20th at the 2018 TDS, and fifth place at the 2017 CCC. He recently took a close second at the 2023 Ultra-Trail Snowdonia 100k to Jean-Philippe Tschumi. That early 2023 good form plus his history at this event series might be a recipe for success.

Thomas Joly
Another interesting contestant is the U.K’s Thomas Joly, who took 11th at the 2023 Trail World Championships 80k back in June, which was also certainly a breakout race among a string of strong performances. Perhaps the best of those has been a sixth place at the 2022 Doi Inthanon 100 Mile, which drummed up competition from multiple continents.

Sebastian Krogvig

Erik Sebastian Krovig - 2021 TDS Champion

Sebastian Krogvig

Sebastian Krogvig is a strong mountain ultrarunner from Norway, with his best result being a win at the 2021 TDS. Last year, he moved up to the start line of UTMB, but DNFed. Looking among his other top results from the last two years, we see a third place at the 2023 Val d’Aran 100k behind winner Raul Octaviu Butaci and a second place at the 2022 Trail Andorra 100k behind winner Zach Miller.

Guo-Min Deng

China’s Guo-Min Deng may be his country’s safest bet for a top finish. Deng, who’s been racing ultras since around 2016, has two previous experiences at the UTMB Mont Blanc festival, 20th at last year’s UTMB and an off-potential finish at the 2018 TDS. He’s raced successfully in his home country and abroad over the years, with his most successful results being at the Vibram Hong Kong 100k, where he took third this year, third in 2020, and fourth in 2019.

Rod Farvard

2022 Canyons by UTMB 100k - Rod Farvard

Rod Farvard

Rod Farvard, from the U.S., is back for his second UTMB attempt. Last year he yielded a strong result, when he finished 22nd. He, too, is working on that Western States 100-UTMB double this summer, and took 11th at Western States some 10 weeks ago. Looking back a bit further, Farvard was fourth at the 2022 Canyons 100k.

Josh Wade

The U.K. runner Josh Wade seems poised to have a breakout race, in that his race results are on a fast upward trend of late. Looking backward, his top results of the last year are third place at the 2023 Eiger Ultra Trail 100k, a win at the 2023 Ultra-Trail Snowdonia 100 Mile, and a ninth place at last year’s Transvulcania Ultramarathon. Last year, he had an off-par finish at the CCC, in our minds meaning he’s already paid his dues in the steep learning curve that is the UTMB Mont Blanc festival of races. All this seems like the foundation of a great performance this year.

Raul Octaviu Butaci

Hailing from Romania, Raul Octaviu Butaci looks to be debuting at 100 miles, though he has plenty of trail cred at shorter ultra distances. Last year, he took eighth at the CCC in his first visit to the UTMB Mont Blanc festival, finishing among a number of men we’ll see in this race. Also in the last few years, he won the 2023 Val d’Aran 100k, was fourth at the 2023 Transgrancanaria Classic 128k, and finished 13th at the 2022 Trail World Championships 80k.

Baptiste Chassagne

Baptiste Chassagne is a prolific racer who appears to have competed at the UTMB Mont Blanc festival three times, taking 10th and ninth at the 2023 and 2022 CCC, and finishing sixth at the 2019 OCC. The Frenchman was also 17th at the 2023 Trail World Championships 80k and fourth at the 2022 Lavaredo Ultra Trail. Though he’s been running ultras for at least six years, it looks like this is his first attempt at a 100 miler.

Tyler Green

Tyler Green’s potential at UTMB is high, as evidenced by his top results at other long ultras, including a pair of second places at the 2023 and 2021 Western States 100. That said, the American has not yet run to his potential in European ultras. Green’s been to the UTMB Mont Blanc festival twice now, last year finishing UTMB off his potential and in 2021 taking 10th at TDS. Green is a student of the sport and has shown enormous patience in the face of competitive pressure, so it’s only a matter of time until he lines up the puzzle pieces for an on-par finish, which we think is in the top 10.

Jeff Colt

Jeffrey Colt - 2022 Black Canyon 100k third place

Jeff Colt

Jeff Colt, of the U.S., always contributes to an interesting race dynamic. He has two finishes at the Western States 100, eighth this year and 11th in 2022. He also took 14th at the 2022 Trail World Championships 80k via an outstanding late race surge. It looks like he’s raced at the UTMB Mont Blanc festival once before, DNFing the 2019 CCC, which undoubtedly means Colt is here to put that result to its ultimate rest.

Adrian Macdonald

We should all be watching for the U.S.’s Adrian Macdonald to make a splash at his first UTMB attempt. Macdonald is a two-time champion of the Leadville 100 Mile, in 2022 and 2021. His other top performances of the last year or so are third place at the 2023 Speedgoat 50k in July and a win at the 2022 Ultra-Trail Kosciuszko 100 Mile.

Jordi Gamito

2018 UTMB - Jordi Gamito

Jordi Gamito

Jordi Gamito has a storied history with the UTMB Mont Blanc festival. Let’s recap, working backward. Last year the Spaniard DNFed the CCC. His best career ultra performance has to be his third place at the 2018 UTMB. He also took 10th at the 2017 UTMB and fifth at the 2016 TDS. With his running, Gamito either sticks the landing or abandons the routine somewhere along the way — he’s a hot and cold kind of runner. A short month ahead of race day, he won the 2023 Grossglockner Ultra-Trail 110k. And last fall, he took fifth at the 2022 Ultra Pirineu 100k, amongst some men also in this race.

2021 UTMB - start line - feature

The 2021 UTMB starting line. Photo: Ben Clark

Yes, Even More Men to Keep Your Eye on at the 2023 UTMB

There are dozens of men to watch at this year’s UTMB, including all of these:

  • Gautier Airiau (France) — 6th 2021 TDS; 9th 2023 Mont-Blanc 90k; 6th 2022 Les Templiers
  • Philipp Ausserhofer (Italy) — 6th 2023 Maremontana Trail 60k; 2nd 2022 Val d’Aran 100k
  • Abel Carretero (Spain) — 30th & 8th 2022 & 2021 CCC; 9th 2022 Ultra Pirineu 100k; 7th 2022 Penyagolosa MiM 60k
  • Francesco Cucco (Italy, lives in France) — 14th 2021 CCC; 7th 2023 Maremontana Trail 60k; 5th 2021 Diagonale des Fous
  • Matt Daniels (U.S.) — 6th 2022 JFK 50 Mile; 4th 2019 Western States 100
  • Hugo Deck (France) — 5th 2021 CCC; 3rd 2023 Mont-Blanc 90k; 1st 2022 Nice Côte d’Azur 100 Mile
  • Ji Duo (China) — 1st 2023 Ultra-Trail Ninghai 100k; 3rd 2020 Panda Trail 100 Mile
  • Tobias Dahl Fenre (Norway) — 11th 2022 CCC; 1st 2022 Nice Côte d’Azur 100k
  • Gediminas Grinius (Lithuania) — 8th, 2nd, & 5th 2017, 2016, & 2014 UTMB
  • David Hedges (U.S.) — Men’s supported Nolan’s 14 FKT in 2023; 3rd 2023 Ultra-Trail Snowdownia 100 Mile; 2nd 2022 Breakneck Point Trail Runs Marathon
  • Moisés Jimenez (Venezuela, lives in France) — 16th 2019 UTMB; 9th 2022 Lavaredo Ultra Trail; 10th 2018 TDS
  • Anders Kjaerevik (Norway) — 17th 2022 CCC; 20th 2023 Trail World Championships 80k; 10th & 3rd 2023 & 2022 Penyagolosa MiM 60k
  • Joaquin Lopez (Ecuador) — 2nd 2022 TDS; 6th 2023 Transgrancanaria Classic 128k; 4th 2022 Transvulcania Ultramarathon
  • Cody Lind (U.S.) — 16th, 9th, & 4th 2023, 2022, & 2021 Western States 100
  • Ionel Cristian Manole (Romania) — 19th 2023 Trail World Championships 80k; 4th 2023 Transvulcania Ultramarathon; 4th 2022 & 2021 Ultra Pirineu 100k
  • Diego Pazos (Switzerland) — 7th 2021 UTMB; 5th 2018 TDS
  • Sergio Pereyra (Argentina) — 19th 2022 CCC; 10th 2022 Ultra Pirineu 100k; 8th 2022 Lavaredo Ultra Trail
  • Min Qi (China) — 2nd 2018 CCC; 5th 2023 Chongli Ultra Trail 45 Mile; 1st 2021 Mingyue Mountrain Ultra Trail 50k
  • Ryan Sandes (South Africa) — 8th 2021 Madeira Island Ultra Trail; 11th, 1st, 5th, & 2nd 2019, 2017, 2014, & 2012 Western States 100
  • Jason Schlarb (U.S.) — 51st, 19th, 46th, 4th 2022, 2019, 2017, & 2014 UTMB
  • Yan-Qiao Yun (China) — 6th 2019 & 10th 2018 TDS; 1st 2023 Chongli Ultra Trail 45 Mile; 3rd 2022 Eiger Ultra Trail 100k
  • Jia-Ju Zhao (China) — 11th 2019 CCC; 1st 2023 Ultra-Trail Mt, Fuji; 5th 2022 Eiger Ultra Trail 100k

Men Previously Entered but No Longer Racing The 2023 UTMB

  • Kilian Jornet (Spain, lives in Norway) — 1st 2022 UTMB; 1st 2022 Hardrock 100

Call for Comments

  • Who would you pick as your favorite to win?
  • Who do you call for the men’s top five?
  • Which runner do you think may be the biggest surprise in this year’s UTMB?
  • Care to give a shout out to a possible top contender who isn’t in this preview? If so, also share why you think they are poised to excel.
  • Let us know if there’s someone in this preview who’s definitely not racing. We’ll be updating this article until the race starts.
2022 UTMB finish - kid gives high five

High fives all around at the 2022 UTMB finish. Photo: iRunFar/Kirsten Kortebein

Meghan Hicks

Meghan Hicks is the Editor-in-Chief of iRunFar. She’s been running since she was 13 years old, and writing and editing about the sport for around 15 years. She served as iRunFar’s Managing Editor from 2013 through mid-2023, when she stepped into the role of Editor-in-Chief. Aside from iRunFar, Meghan has worked in communications and education in several of America’s national parks, was a contributing editor for Trail Runner magazine, and served as a columnist at Marathon & Beyond. She’s the co-author of Where the Road Ends: A Guide to Trail Running with Bryon Powell. She won the 2013 Marathon des Sables, finished on the podium of the Hardrock 100 Mile in 2021, and has previously set fastest known times on the Nolan’s 14 mountain running route in 2016 and 2020. Based part-time in Moab, Utah and Silverton, Colorado, Meghan also enjoys reading, biking, backpacking, and watching sunsets.