2024 Madeira Island Ultra-Trail Results: New Winners with Valmassoi and Dhiman

Results from the 2024 Madeira Island Ultra-Trail 115k won by Martina Valmassoi and Ben Dhiman.

By on April 27, 2024 | Comments

Leaving the seaside village of Porto Moniz at midnight on Saturday, April 27, runners in the 2024 Madeira Island Ultra-Trail (MIUT) set off from northwest Madeira on their 115-kilometer (72 miles) run across the small Portuguese island in the Atlantic Ocean. When all was said and done, Martina Valmassoi (Italy) and Ben Dhiman (U.S., lives in France) took home the women’s and men’s victories.

But there was a lot of landscape and racing in between.

With 7,200 meters (23,600 feet) of climbing, the route is technical, steep, and demanding. Starting at sea level and finishing on the far eastern end of the island at Machico, back at sea level again, runners travel over countless mountains, including the route’s high point, Pico Ruivo at 1,800 meters (5,900 feet). Thousands of stairs are also infamous on this race course, which adds a unique element to the racing experience. The route treats runners to stunning views of big mountains, the ocean, and everything in between.

2024 Madeira Island Ultra-Trail 115k - start

The 2024 Madeira Island Ultra-Trail 115k getting underway. Photo: MIUT/João M Faria

While last year’s race was less competitive than other editions, this year promised to serve up fast racing on the women’s side with a list of starters including Anne-Lise Rousset Séguret (France), Martina Valmassoi (Italy), Claire Bannwarth (France), and Maite Maiora (Spain), who all had the potential to mix it up at the front of the race.

On the men’s side, the likes of Miguel Arsénio (Portugal), Ben Dhiman (U.S., lives in France), Arthur Joyeux-Bouillon (France), and Sebastian Krogvig (Norway) promised a show.

Last year’s French sweep of the event was not to be repeated with new faces dominating the podium this edition. On the men’s side, Dhiman, who placed third at the 2023 Les Templiers, ran near the front of the race for its entirety and pulled away from the rest of the field after the high point, 75 kilometers into the race, to reach the finish line first.

The top 2 of the women’s race stayed tight, and the gap between Valmassoi and Rousset did not open up until well into the second half. Valmassoi, the 2022 TDS winner, ultimately broke the tape at Machico first in a time of 16:14:10.

Read on for the in-depth race story.

2024 Madeira Island Ultra-Trail Women’s Race

While on paper, a number of names were vying for the top spot in the women’s race, it ended as a duel between Italy’s Martina Valmassoi and France’s Anne-Lise Rousset Séguret. After running within minutes of each other for the majority of the race and opening up a seemingly insurmountable gap on the rest of the field, it was Valmassoi who reached the oceanside at Machico first in a time of 16:14:10. Rousset was second with a time of 16:28:27, and Maite Maiora of Spain rounded out the podium with a time of 17:12:22.

Rousset was the first to make her intentions for the race known as she went straight to the front and created a nearly 2-minute gap on the rest of the field just 22 kilometers into the race. Valmassoi along with Fiona Porte (France), Sandra Sevillano (Spain), Maiora, and Aroa Sío (Spain) followed to make up the top 5 in the early hours of racing. As the racers traversed the rugged mountains of Madeira, it became clear that it was shaping up to be a 2-woman race between Rousset and Valmassoi. Just 30k in, they’d stretched the gap to third-place Maiora to more than 15 minutes.

Anne-Lise Rousset Seguret - 2024 MIUT 115k - second woman - night in rain

Anne-Lise Rousset Seguret covering kilometers at night in the rain. Photo: MIUT/João M Faria

By the time the women reached the course high point at Pico Ruivo, nearly 75k into the race, the gap between the top 2, Valmassoi and Rousset, who were still close to each other, and third-place Maiora was up to 30 minutes. Claire Bannwarth of France was another 30 minutes back in fourth, with Sío in fifth just 30 seconds behind her.

From Pico Ruivo, at an elevation of 1,800 meters, it’s a long 40k downhill run to the ocean, with plenty of climbs included to keep things interesting. As the women headed toward the ocean, Valmassoi increased the 3-minute lead she held on Rousset as the 2 had crossed over the course high point. By Chão da Lagoa at the 84k mark, the gap was up to about 7 minutes.

Meanwhile, Maiora kept pace with the lead duo and maintained the 30-minute gap up to second. Behind her, Bannwarth and Sío continued to run near each other an additional 35 minutes in arrears.

Valmassoi was first to Machico, holding on to a 14-minute gap over second-place Rousset. Maiora rounded out the podium in a time of 17:12:22.

Claire Bannwarth and Aroa Sio finished fourth and fifth respectively, with times of 17:50:24 and 18:14:53.

Martina Valmassoi - 2024 Madeira Island Ultra-Trail 115k - first woman

Martina Valmassoi cruising on her way to winning the 2024 Madeira Island Ultra-Trail 115k. Photo: MIUT/João M Faria

2024 Madeira Island Ultra-Trail Women’s Results

  1. Martina Valmassoi (Italy) -16:14:10
  2. Anne-Lise Rousset Séguret (France) – 16:28:27
  3. Maite Maiora (Spain) – 17:12:22
  4. Claire Bannwarth (France) – 17:50:24
  5. Aroa Sío (Spain) – 18:14:53
  6. Mélanie Delasoie (Switzerland) – 18:26:57
  7. Robyn Cassidy (U.K.) – 18:33:53
  8. Geneviève Asselin-Demers (Canada) – 18:42:54
  9. Marie Janod (France) – 18:42:55
  10. Celia Neto (Portugal) – 19:49:37

Full results.

2024 Madeira Island Ultra-Trail Men’s Race

While there was plenty of strong racing at the front end of the race in the early hours of the event, it was ultimately Ben Dhiman, from the U.S. but who lives in France, who reached the ocean at Machico first in a time of 13:52:46. He was followed by Norway’s Sebastian Krogvig and France’s Martin Kern who finished in 14:12:54 and 14:15:23, respectively. Fourth place Anthony Costa of France was just 17 seconds behind. The top four men established themselves at the front at Pico de Ruivo, the high point of the race at about 75k, and never looked back.

Early on in the event, all of the expected top names featured at the pointy end of the race, including Miguel Arsénio (Portugal), Arthur Joyeux-Bouillon (France), Luís Fernandes (Portugal), Dhiman, Jeff Mogavero (U.S.), Krogvig, and Kern. This lead group was within minutes of each other for the first 20k of rugged Madeira mountains.

Dhiman and Arsenio seemed to be on a mission to push the pace early on in the race and ran in close proximity to each other until Estanquinhos, 33k into the race. From there, it seemed like the racing was properly on, with the two of them changing leads over the next 30k.

Sebastian Krogvig - 2024 MIUT 115k - second man

Sebastian Krogvig getting it done on the way to placing second. Photo: MIUT/João M Faria

Their pace opened up a large gap on the rest of the field. After 48k of racing, the trio of Krogvig, Kern, and Mogavero were close together coming into the Encumeada checkpoint, with the time gap between them under a minute as they battled for third place on the ground. Their gap to the front 2 leaders was nearly 10 minutes just under halfway into the race. Brian Culmo (U.S.), Francesco Cucco (Italy), and Costa followed the top 5, another 20 minutes back.

As the kilometers ticked by and runners reached the course high point 75 kilometers into the race, Dhiman established a clear lead on the field as Arsénio faded back and eventually dropped from the event. Krogvig, Kern, and Costa made up the rest of the top 5 at the checkpoint, with second through fourth all within 20 minutes of one another. With Arsénio dropping out, there were now 2 podium places to fight for on the back half of the course.

With all the big climbs over, runners simply had to make it back to the ocean. But it was far from all downhill with several significant inclines to negotiate in the final 40k. Still, very little changed at the front of the race from the high point to the finish, with Dhiman continuing to run steady at the front of the field and Krogvig, Kern, Costa, and Mogavero behind, making up the top 5. Portuguese runners Nelson Santos and Fernandez did their best to maintain contact with the lead.

In the final kilometers of the race, first place seemed secured, but the battle between second and fourth stayed tight. Krogvig was able to hold on to second and Kern just edged out Costa by just 17 seconds to capture the final podium place. Santos was able to close the gap to Mogavero to round out the top 5.

Update: Sebastian Krogvig (Norway) was originally reported to have finished second in 14:12, but he received an hour time penalty due to following an incorrect route near Chão da Lagoa at the 84k mark, and, now, he sits in seventh place in 15:12. That moves Kern into third, Costa into fourth, and Mogavero into fifth in 15:01:01.

Ben Dhiman - 2024 Madeira Island Ultra-Trail 115k - first man

Ben Dhiman on his way to the win at the 2024 Madeira Island Ultra-Trail 115k. Photo: MIUT/João M Faria

2024 Madeira Island Ultra-Trail Men’s Results

  1. Ben Dhiman (U.S., lives in France) – 13:52:46
  2. Martin Kern (France) – 14:15:23
  3. Anthony Costa (France) – 14:15:40
  4. Nelson Santos (Portugal) – 14:51:20
  5. Jeff Mogavero (U.S.) – 15:01:01
  6. Sebastian Krogvig (Norway) – 14:12:54
  7. Luís Fernandes (Portugal) – 15:01:15
  8. Ferdinand-Clovis Airault (France) – 15:16:53
  9. Michal Jurek (Poland) – 15:18:19
  10. Richard Lockwood (U.S.) – 15:25:11

Full results.

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.