If you weren’t in Chamonix, France, do you even trail run!? Pfff, I jest, and I’ve actually never been to Chamonix myself. There was a lot happening in Chamonix this past week courtesy of the UTMB Mont-Blanc festival, but there was also a lot happening in other places too. On top of the TDS, OCC, CCC, and UTMB, we’ve got the Comrades Marathon, Challenge Stellina, and the IAU 100k World Championships. Let’s come down slowly from that giant week and weekend of racing.
Comrades Marathon – Durban, South Africa
It was the historic race’s 95th year, and it ran downhill from Pietermartizburg to Durban. The race is usually around 90 kilometers in length. Top finishers this year were nearly exclusively from the host country.
Tete Dijana (South Africa) beat out defending champ Edward Mothibi (South Africa) for the win, 5:30 to 5:33. Dan Moselakwe (South Africa) was third in 5:36
The rest of the top 10 included:
4 – Bongmusa Mthembu (South Africa) – 5:38
5 – Johannes Makgetla (South Africa) – 5:41
6 – Nkosikhona Mhlakwana (South Africa) – 5:43
7 – Joseph Manyedi (South Africa) – 5:44
8 – Solly Manduwa (Malawi) – 5:46
9 – Charles Tjiane (South Africa) – 5:47
10 – Lutendo Mapoto (South Africa) – 5:47
Alexandra Morozova (Russia), a 2:31 marathoner, dominated the women’s run. She was seven minutes better than everyone else with a 6:17 winning time. Dominika Stelmach (Poland) and Adele Broodryk (South Africa) was third in 6:25 and 6:26, respectively.
Also in the top 10 were:
4 – Jenna Challenor (South Africa) – 6:42
5 – Galaletsang Mekgoe (South Africa) – 6:42
6 – Camille Herron (USA) – 6:44
7 – Helena Joubert (South Africa) – 6:55
8 – Janie Grundling (South Africa) – 6:59
9 – Annerie Wooding (South Africa) – 6:59
10 – Yolande MacLean (South Africa) – 7:00
IAU 100k World Championships – Berlin, Germany
iRunFar dug deep in the IAU 100k World Championships, the first happening of the race since 2018.
Japan placed three men inside the top six, winning overall and as a team. Haruki Okayama (Japan) was five minutes better than everyone else in 6:12. Jumpei Yamaguchi (Japan) and Piet Wiersma (The Netherlands) were second and third in 6:17 and 6:18.
For the U.S., Eric Lipuma was 29th in 6:53, Geoff Burns was 41st in 7:09, and Kris Brown was 45th in 7:14.
French women went one-two at the top of the race, but the U.S. won team gold. Floriane Hot (France) was the champion in 7:04, and Camille Chaigneau (France) was runner-up in 7:06. Caitriona Jennings (Ireland) took the final podium spot in 7:07.
For the U.S., Courtney Olson was fourth in 7:15, Anna Kacius was seventh in 7:24, and Nicole Monette was 11th in 7:34.
Challenge Stellina – Susa, Italy
The race hosted internationally deep competition, and paid 600 euro to the race winner with money going 10 deep. There was also a 300 euro course-record bonus for Jonathan Wyatt’s 1:14:37 course record from 2004 and Andrea Mayr’s 1:29:41 from 2021. The uphill course runs 14k (8.5 miles) while gaining some 5,000 feet.
Joseph Gray (USA) beat defending champ Henri Aymonod (Italy) to the line by 27 seconds, winning in 1:20 to Aymonod’s 1:21. Third-place Chris Richards (U.K.) was only another 21 seconds back of Aymonod, also in 1:21.
Other Americans in the race included 14th place Andy Wacker and 16th place Dan Curts.
Back from injury, Grayson Murphy (USA) looked back in form. She took the women’s crown in 1:32. Scout Adkin (U.K.) and Gloria Giudici (Italy) were second and third in 1:35 and 1:36.
Other Americans racing were eighth place Lauren Gregory and 12th place Rachel Tomajczyk.
Trofeo Kima – Val Masino, Italy
This event only happens every other year, but always on a super-technical route that stretches some 52k with 4,200 meters (13,800 feet) of elevation gain.
Finlay Wild (U.K.) topped the men’s group in 6:10. It appears that Stian Angermund (Norway) and Alexis Sévennec (France) finished second together in 6:22.
Hillary Gerardi (USA), already the 2018 winner, won again and broke a longtime course record. Gerardi’s 7:30 finish bettered Nuria Picas‘s previous best. Marcela Vasinova (Czech Republic) was second in 7:58, and Karina Carsolio (Mexico) was third in 8:02.
Cirque Series – Grand Targhee, Wyoming
The latest from the team went 7.1 miles and with 2,212 feet of elevation gain. Sam Hendry, winner a week ago at Cirque Series – Alta, Utah, did it again with a 53:03 first-place finish. Janelle Lincks dominated the women’s run, just like she did last week, too. Her 1:03 run was six minutes up on the field. Full results.
TDS – Chamonix, France
iRunFar earlier reported on TDS. The 145k (90 miles) run from Courmayeur, Italy, to Chamonix, France, totaled 9,100 meters (29,855 feet) of elevation gain.
Forty-seven-year-old Ludovic Pommeret (France) ran away from the field towards an 18:37 winning time. Pommeret’s rich history with the UTMB Mont-Blanc festival includes a comeback win at UTMB itself in 2016, and a 2019 TDS third-place finish. Joaquin Lopez (Ecuador) outran Elias Kadi (France) for second, 19:32 to 19:49.
Martina Valmassoi (Italy) edged Claudia Tremps (Spain) in a close women’s race. The pair finished in 22:42 and 22:59, respectively. Katharina Harmuth (Germany) was third in 23:22.
The top American finishers were Matt Palilla in 18th at 23:13, and sisters Stacey and Jessica Marion in 27:11 for ninth and 10th.
OCC – Chamonix, France
iRunFar earlier reported on OCC too, with results going 10 deep and highlights of the American runners. The 55k (34.2 miles) race went between Orsières, Switzerland, through Champex-Lac, Switzerland, and to Chamonix, France. Typically challenging, the course collected 3,500 meters (11,480 feet) of elevation gain. Neither course record was approached, but both races were compelling.
Manuel Merillas (Spain) and Antonio Martínez (Spain) dueled late. Martínez charged on an uphill but Merillas blasted the last downhill to win in 5:18. Martínez was second in 5:21. 2021 runner-up Robbie Simpson (U.K.) was third in 5:24.
The first American man was 12th-place Justin Grunewald in 5:56.
Sheila Avilés (Spain) moved into the lead late race and finished first in 6:10. Núria Gil (Spain) edged Dani Moreno (USA) for second. The pair ran 6:16 and 6:17, and were only 62 seconds apart.
CCC – Chamonix, France
Yes, iRunFar earlier reported on CCC with expanded detail on the race itself and more results. The Friday race hit many of the same spots as other races from Courmayeur, Italy, through Champex-Lac, Switzerland, and to Chamonix, France. The 101k (63 miles) course totaled 6,100 meters (20,000 feet) of elevation gain.
Both Petter Engdahl (Sweden) and Blandine L’hirondel (France) led from the start and both set new course records. Engdahl finished in 9:53, breaking a one-year-old course best, and L’hirondel’s 11:40 reset a record that had stood since 2018.
Engdahl was not seriously threatened late and instead second-place Jonathan Albon (U.K.) worked to hold off Andreas Reiterer (Italy). The two finished in 10:16 and 10:23, respectively.
The first American man was 13th-place Caleb Olson in 11:13.
L’hirondel though did take a big push from second-place Sunmaya Budha (Nepal) through the race’s second half. Budha’s breakthrough run saw her eat up L’hirondel’s lead late, but not fully cover the gap. Budha was second in 11:45, also under the old course best. Abby Hall (USA) was third in 12:12.
UTMB – Chamonix, France
If you’re reading this, you most likely already know who won, and who some of the other top finishers were. iRunFar has separately recapped the race too. I’m always left wondering, “What about so and so, how did they finish?” So here we’ll pick up every person who was named in iRunFar’s pre-race previews.
Kilian Jornet (Spain) stayed in when Jim Walmsley (USA) broke the race open, and then found another gear when Mathieu Blanchard (France, lives in Canada) threatened to drop him to third. Jornet, and Blanchard, overtook Walmsley and ran the race’s first sub-20 hour finishes on the modern version of the course. Jornet finished first in 19:49, his fourth UTMB win, and Blanchard was second in 19:54.
Jornet’s win incredibly comes just a month after setting the Hardrock 100 course record and two weeks after finishing fifth at Sierre-Zinal. Blanchard moved up from last year’s third-place finish.
Tom Evans (U.K.) was third in 20:34, Walmsley held on for fourth in 21:12, and Zach Miller (USA) was fifth in 21:27.
The rest of the top 10 included:
6 – Beñat Marmissolle (France) – 21:28
7 – Arthur Joyeux-Bouillon (France) – 21:35
8 – Jonas Russi (Switzerland) – 21:46
9 – Robert Hajnal (Romania) – 22:07
10 – Thibaut Garrivier (France) – 22:09
And here is everyone else from iRunFar’s men’s preview that finished:
11 – Andy Symonds (U.K.) – 22:24
12 – Thibault Marquet (France) – 22:26
13 – Alban Berson (France) – 22:27
14 – Jimmy Elam (USA) – 22:36
16 – Jeff Mogavero (USA) – 22:52
19 – Mark Darbyshire (U.K.) – 23:03
20 – Guo-Min Deng (China) – 23:04
22 – Rod Farvard (USA) – 23:28
23 – Julien Chorier (France) – 23:32
25 – Ugo Ferrari (France) – 23:38
26 – Maxime Grenot (France) – 23:42
32 – Ho-Chung Wong (Hong Kong) – 24:04
33 – Hirokazu Nishimura (Japan) – 24:05
35 – Sylvain Court (France) – 24:15
36 – David Laney (USA) – 24:16
40 – Walter Manser (Switzerland) – 24:39
42 – Arnaud Lejeune (France) – 24:49
44 – Moisés Jimenez (Venezuela) – 24:57
47 – Seth Swanson (USA) – 25:11
49 – Tyler Green (USA) – 25:22
51 – Jason Schlarb (USA) – 25:30
56 – Rémi Berchet (France) – 26:13
65 – Hallvard Schjølberg (Norway) – 26:48
71 – Marcin Świerc (Poland) – 27:25
103 – Masatoshi Obara (Japan) – 28:44
133 – Can-Hua Luo (China) – 29:34
There’s always a high number of drops among this group, and this year that included:
Gautier Airiau (France), Jonas Buud (Sweden), Sage Canaday (USA), Pau Capell (Spain), Maxime Cazajous (France), Mathieu Clément (Switzerland), Francesco Cucco (Italy), Aurélien Dunand-Pallaz (France), Benoît Girondel (France), Germain Grangier (France), Gediminas Grinius (Lithuania), Scotty Hawker (New Zealand), Luis Alberto Hernando (Spain), Harry Jones (U.K.), Erik-Sebastien Krogvig (Norway), Ionel Cristian Manole (Romania), Karl Meltzer (USA), Ryan Montgomery (USA), Hannes Namberger (Germany), Petter Restorp (Sweden), Lluis Ruiz (Spain), Erik Sorenson (USA), Tim Tollefson (USA), Sean Van Horn (USA), Pablo Villa (Spain), Yan-Qiao Yun (China), Jia-Ju Zhao (China), and Fotis Zisimopoulos (Greece).
Jon Aizpuru (Spain), Avery Collins (USA), Didrik Hermansen (Norway), and Jérôme Mirassou (France) did not start.
The first runner to finish that was not included in the pre-race preview was 15th place Guillaume Deneffe (Belgium) in 22:40.
Katie Schide (USA) went to the front early and built a big lead on the field. Only Marianne Hogan (Canada) dared to match that early pace, from a distance, and Hogan’s chase looked good when she momentarily led after halfway. Hogan went up on Schide, and the two were way up on the field. Hogan suffered an apparent leg injury though and the duel fell apart. Schide returned to the lead and won in 23:15, well clear of every other woman. Courtney Dauwalter’s 2021 course record stands at 22:30.
Hogan held on to second in 24:31 and Kaytlyn Gerbin (USA) was third in 25:07.
The rest of the women’s top 10 included:
4 – Jocelyne Pauly (France) – 26:13
5 – Eszter Csillag (Hungary, lives in Hong Kong) – 26:32
6 – Emily Hawgood (Zimbabwe, lives in the USA) – 26:37
7 – Fu-Zhao Xiang (China) – 27:14
8 – Aroa Sio (Spain) – 27:17
9 – Francesca Pretto (Italy) – 27:31
10 – Eva-Maria Sperger (Germany) – 28:15
Other runners included in the iRunFar women’s preview were:
12 – Emily Vaudan (Switzerland) – 28:36
13 – Kaori Niwa (Japan) – 28:54
14 – Hillary Allen (USA) – 29:09
15 – Basilia Förster (Italy) – 29:10
18 – Katarzyna Solińska (Poland) – 30:35
19 – Claire Heslop (Canada) – 30:38
21 – Claire Bannwarth (France) – 31:29
29 – Anna Troup (U.K.) – 33:43
Key women’s drops included Manon Bohard (France), Elisabeth Borgersen (Sweden), Naomi Brand (South Africa), Ragna Debats (The Netherlands), Azara García (Spain), Lucie Jamsin (France), Mimmi Kotka (Sweden), Maria Nikolova (Bulgaria), Jasmin Paris (U.K.), Brittany Peterson (USA), and Audrey Tanguy (France).
Sabrina Stanley (USA) did not start the race.
The first runner to finish that was not in the pre-race preview was 11th-place Paulina Krawczak (Poland) in 28:21.
Call for Comments
- No room for comments this week. Just kidding, what do you think about all that?
- And, of course there were other races this past week! Leave a comment to share results from a race you were at.