This Week In Running: August 28, 2023

This Week in Running’s trail and ultra recap for August 28, 2023.

By on August 28, 2023 | Comments

This Week in Running Justin Mock TWIRIt’s the final countdown! This week, of course, is the UTMB Mont Blanc festival in Chamonix, France, with the UTMB, OCC, TDS, CCC, and several other races.

But first, a look back at this past weekend’s racing, and we’ve got Italy’s Challenge Stellina and Switzerland’s Matterhorn Ultraks races, among a few other highlights.

Matterhorn Ultraks – Zermatt, Switzerland


The Skyrunner World Series contest went for 25k (15.5 miles) and 2,900 meters (9,514 feet) of gain.

Manuel Merillas (Spain) is rolling. This year’s Zegama Marathon winner was back on top with a 3:19 finish time, thanks to a late pass on the final descent. Merillas was over a minute ahead of second-place William Boffelli (Italy) and his 3:20 mark. Frédéric Tranchand (France) was a distant third in 3:27. Boffelli won the race in both 2020 and 2021. The 2019 winner Daniel Antonioli (Italy) and Cristian Minoggio (Italy) were fourth and fifth, both in 3:32, but 31 seconds apart.

Manuel Merillas - 2023 Matterhorn Ultraks 25k men's winner

Manuel Merillas, the 2023 Matterhorn Ultraks 25k men’s winner. Photo: Brian Sharp Creates

Several newcomers to the series were at the top of the women’s ranks, and it was the winner’s first-ever world series race. Anastasia Rubtsova (Russia) gapped the field in 4:10 for the win. Maria Christen (Switzerland) also separated from the pack in 4:18 for second. Third- and fourth-place Karina Carsolio (Mexico) and Myrielle Weingand (Switzerland) were barely a minute apart in 4:23 and 4:24, and Amélie Bertschy (Switzerland) was fifth in 4:32.

The next Skyrunner World Series race is the September 16 Grigne Skymarathon in Italy.

2023 Matterhorn Ultraks 25k women's podium

The 2023 Matterhorn Ultraks 25k women’s podium: (l-to-r) 2. Maria Christen, 1. Anastasia Rubstova, 3. Karina Carsolio. Photo: Brian Sharp Creates


The longer race took off on Saturday and the front men finished close together. Andy Symonds (U.K.) closed the big loop in 5:24, beating a string of Swiss chasers. Alexandre Bugnard (Switzerland) was second in 5:27 and Andrin Näpflin (Switzerland) was third in 5:29.

Only the first four women finished the challenging route in under seven hours. Marine Quintard (France) gapped the field with a 6:21 winning time. Giulia Saggin (Italy) and Ragna Debats (The Netherlands, lives in Spain) were second and third in 6:32 and 6:38, respectively.

Full results.

Challenge Stellina – Susa, Italy

It was the race’s 35th year and it’s a celebratory “Meeting of Nations” where athletes from the countries that fought in World War II in Italy are invited to race in a team competition. The race was of course open to runners of other nationalities too, however. It was meant to be run on an uphill 14.3k course with 1,630 meters of elevation gain, but weather pushed it to a significantly shorter route. There was a €1,000 first-place prize and money stretched 10 deep.


Christian Allen (U.S.) broke things open right away with an opening 4:37 downhill mile, but Joe Steward (U.K.) was the first to high point finish in 34:33. Allen was second in 34:47, and Sylvain Cachard (France) was third in 35:02.

The full top 10 was:

1 – Joe Steward (U.K.) – 34:33
2 – Christian Allen (U.S.) – 34:47
3 – Sylvain Cachard (France) – 35:02
4 – Hannes Perkmann (Italy) – 35:47
5 – Luciano Rota (Italy) – 35:55
6 – Joseph DeMoor (U.S.) – 36:01
7 – Timotej Becan (Slovenia) – 36:12
8 – Andréa Elia (Italy) – 36:16
9 – Theodore Klein (France) – 36:21
10 – Henri Aymonod (Italy) – 36:28


Andrea Mayr (Austria) set the course record here in 2021, and even if running a shorter course this year, it still had enough climb for Mayr to outpace everyone else. She topped out in 40:17. Scout Adkin (U.K.) and Anna Gibson (U.S.) were second and third in 40:45 and 41:14, respectively.

The full top 10 was:

1 – Andrea Mayr (Austria) – 40:17
2 – Scout Adkin (U.K.) – 40:45
3 – Anna Gibson (U.S.) – 41:14
4 – Christel Dewalle (France) – 42:05
5 – Joyce Muthoni Njeru (Kenya) – 42:13
6 – Philippa Williams (U.K.) – 42:31
7 – Sara Willhoit (U.K.) – 42:57
8 – Silvia Schwaiger (Slovakia) – 43:31
9 – Lucy Wambui Murigi (Kenya) – 43:33
10 – Kirsty Dickson (U.K.) – 43:50

Dewalle previously served a four-month doping ban after a positive test for the stimulant Heptaminol at the 2016 Skyrunning World Championships.

Full results.

Additional Races and Runs

World Athletics Championships – Budapest, Hungary

He’s still only 23 years old, but Victor Kiplangat (Uganda) won the senior race at the World Mountain Running Championships in 2017. He was third a year later in 2018. And now he’s the marathon World Champion. The entire World Athletics Championships have been hot, but the men’s marathon happened on Hungary’s hottest day of the year. Kiplangat, who has a 2:05 marathon best, won the race in 2:08. Full results.

Oregon 200 Mile – Oakridge, Oregon

It was the race’s inaugural running, and Benjamen Dullum won in 56:46. Women’s leader Emily Keddie is 187 miles deep into the race at the time of this writing. Tracking.

Oregon Cascades 100 Mile – Sisters, Oregon

Davis Cutter and Lindsey Hagen finished first in 18:01 and 19:40. Full results.

Cirque Series – Grand Targhee, Wyoming

This time the series covered 7.1 miles with 2,212 feet of elevation gain. And as with all Cirque Series races, the winners pocketed $1,000. Meikael Beaudoin-Rousseau pushed David Norris into his frequent runner-up spot. Beaudoin-Rousseau won in 50:47 and Norris was second in 52:56. Third-place Ali Papillon went up and down in 53:42. Women’s winner Giselle Slotboom dipped under the hour mark in 59:48, and Mariah Bredel edged Jamie Brusa for second, 62:17 to 62:21. Full results.

Continental Divide Trail Run 50k – Steamboat Springs, Colorado

Samuel Collins set a new course record in 4:03 and Lauren Puretz won the women’s race in 4:56. Full results.

Race to the Top of Vermont – Stowe, Vermont

Joseph Gray topped out first on the 4.3-mile climb and, with course record bonus money, won $1,000. Official results aren’t yet online, but can a reader share who won the women’s race? Full results (when available).

Call for Comments

What other end-of-summer fun happened this weekend?

Justin Mock

Justin Mock is the This Week In Running columnist for iRunFar. He’s been writing about running for 10 years. Based in Europe, Justin has run as fast as 2:29 for a road marathon and finished as high as fourth in the Pikes Peak Marathon.