This Week In Running: June 12, 2023

This Week In Running’s trail and ultra recap for June 12, 2023.

By on June 12, 2023 | Comments

This Week in Running Justin Mock TWIRWow, that was a lot! There was of course the World Mountain and Trail Running Championships in Austria, and then the biggest ultra in the world — the Comrades Marathon — and the prize-money heavy GoPro Games in Colorado, all among other summer fun this weekend.

Take a breath and then let’s dive in!

Comrades Marathon – Durban, South Africa

Nicknamed the Human Race, it was incredibly the event’s 96th year (but that doesn’t even make it the oldest race in this week’s column!) The course direction alternates each year and this year’s run went 89 kilometers (55 miles) downhill from Pietermarizburg to Durban, South Africa. It’s both the biggest ultramarathon and the richest ultramarathon in the world. There was a field of 17,000 runners and a prize purse totaling 4.31 million South African rand, or roughly $230,000.

South Africans Gerda Steyn and Tete Dijana both broke course records, and pulled course-record bonus money and first South African money into their prize purse. Each winner earned 1.2 million South African rand, and that’s about $64,214.

The women’s race wasn’t close with Steyn way out front, but Dijana was barely ahead at the end of the men’s race.

The race doesn’t capture a 50-mile split, but Steyn was way under the world’s best 50-mile time, and Dijana just a bit faster too.


Steyn shattered a course record that dated back to 1989 by almost 10 minutes. She finished in 5:44. Steyn won the race in 2019 too, and is a three-time winner of South Africa’s Two Oceans Marathon.

The full top 10 included:

1 – Gerda Steyn (South Africa) – 5:44
2 – Adele Broodryk (South Africa) – 5:56
3 – Carla Molinaro (U.K., lives in South Africa) – 6:00
4 – Dominika Stelmach (Poland) – 6:06
5 – Caitriona Jennings (Ireland) – 6:10
6 – Alexandra Morozova (Russia) – 6:14
7 – Petra Pastorova (Czech Republic) – 6:22
8 – Noora Honkala (Finland) – 6:25
9 –  Camille Chaigneau (France) – 6:25
10 – Jenet Mbhele (South Africa) – 6:27

Adele Broodryk - 2023 Comrades Marathon second female

Adele Broodryk, the 2023 Comrades Marathon second female. Photo: Tobias Ginsberg


Men’s winner Dijana repeated as victor, adding to his 2022 uphill crown, and his 5:13 finish was four minutes better than the record that had stood since 2019. Dijana broke free from the pack with 15k to go, and barely held off a fast-closing Piet Wiersma from The Netherlands. Wiersma was third at the last IAU 100k World Championships.

Almost all of the top 10 was from South Africa.

Tete Dijana - 2023 Comrades Marathon male winner

Tete Dijana, the 2023 Comrades Marathon male winner. Photo: Tobias Ginsberg

1 – Tete Dijana (South Africa) – 5:13
2 – Piet Wiersma (Netherlands) – 5:14
3 – Edward Mothibi (South Africa) – 5:17
4 – Gordon Lesetedi (South Africa) – 5:20
5 – Rufus Photo (South Africa) – 5:21
6 – Johannes Makgetla (South Africa) – 5:23
7 – Teboho Sello (South Africa) – 5:24
8 – Aleksei Beresnev (Russia) – 5:24
9 – Gift Kelehe (South Africa) – 5:27
10 – Joseph Manyedi (South Africa) – 5:29

Full results.

World Mountain Running Championships Uphill Race – Innsbruck, Austria

The second-ever combined World Mountain and Trail Running Championships ran over four days from Wednesday, June 7, to Saturday, June 10, and we loved following along!

iRunFar earlier covered each race (uphill, 40k trail, 80k trail, up and down) in greater depth, and so we’re going to quickly highlight the top finishers, the top teams, and the American runners here. It’s a lot of data all at once, so let’s break it up.

First, the uphill race, which was run on Wednesday, June 7. It climbed 1,020 meters over 7.1k. That’s 3.346 feet over 4.4 miles.

Women’s Results

Andrea Mayr (Austria) fought off a late challenge from Philaries Kisang (Kenya) to win in front of her home country. It was Mayr’s seventh world championships title.

1 – Andrea Mayr (Austria) – 48:14
2 – Philaries Kisang (Kenya) – 48:51
3 – Grayson Murphy (U.S.) – 49:22

The 2023 World Mountain Running Championships Uphill women's top three

The 2023 World Mountain Running Championships Uphill race women’s podium (l-to-r): 2. Philaries Kisang, 1. Andrea Mayr, and 3. Grayson Murphy. Photo: Marco Gulberti

Women U.S.

3 – Grayson Murphy – 49:22
13 – Allie McLaughlin – 52:27
38 – Rachel Tomajczyk – 55:47
94 – Alex Lawson – 71:58

Philaries Kipsang and Grayson Murphy - 2023 World Mountain Running Championships Uphill race second and third place

Philaries Kisang (left) and Grayson Murphy (middle) run close together in the early kilometers of the 2023 World Mountain Running Championships Uphill race. Kisang would finish second, and Murphy third. Photo: iRunFar/Meghan Hicks

Women’s Teams

1 – Kenya – Philaries KisangValentine RuttoJoyce Muthoni Njeru
2 – Germany – Laura HottenrottDomenika MayerHanna Gröber
3 – United Kingdom – Scout AdkinSara WillhoitPhillipa Williams

Men’s Results

Patrick Kipngeno (Kenya) dominated with a 93-second win over second-place Levi Kiprotich (Uganda). For Kipngeno, it was his second win alongside victory last year in Thailand.

1 – Patrick Kipngeno (Kenya) – 40:18
2 – Levi Kiprotich (Uganda) – 41:51
3 – Josphat Kiprotich (Kenya) – 42:04

2023 World Mountain Running Championships Uphill - men's podium

The 2023 World Mountain Running Championships Uphill race men’s podium (l-to-r): 2. Levi Kiprotich, 1. Patrick Kipngeno, and 3. Josphat Kiprotich. Photo: Marco Gulberti

Men U.S.

5 – Joseph Gray – 42:32
41 – Dan Curts – 47:06
52 – Liam Meirow – 48:03
72 – Morgan Elliott – 49:48

Joseph Gray

Joseph Gray, first U.S. male in the 2023 World Mountain Running Championships Uphill race. Photo: iRunFar/Sarah Brady

Men’s Teams

1 – Kenya – Patrick KipngenoJosphat KiprotichPhilemon Kiriago
2 – Uganda – Levi KiprotichEliud CheropDismas Yeko
3 – Switzerland – Roberto DelorenziDominik RolliJonas Soldini

Full results.

Trail World Championships 40k – Innsbruck, Austria

Run on Thursday, June 8, the Trail World Championships 40k race actually covered 45k — just longer than the marathon distance — but with 3,132 meters (10,275 feet) of elevation gain on a net uphill course through the mountains.


Clémentine Geoffray (France) ran down longtime leader Judith Wyder (Switzerland) near the course high point, and then parachuted — figuratively, of course — down the long descent to win the race two minutes in front of Wyder.

Clementine Geoffray - 2023 Trail World Champiionships 40k winner

Clémentine Geoffray, of France, 2023 Trail World Championships 40k winner. Photo: Roast Media/World Mountain and Trail Running Championships

1 – Clémentine Geoffray (France) – 4:53
2 – Judith Wyder (Switzerland) – 4:55
3 – Theresa Leboeuf (Switzerland) – 5:09

Women U.S.

4 – Jennifer Lichter – 5:11
9 – EmKay Sullivan – 5:19
16 – Kimber Mattox – 5:22
21 – Klaire Rhodes – 5:29
DNF – Brittany Charboneau
DNF – Bailey Kowalczyk

Women’s Teams

1 – France – Clémentine Geoffray, Louise Serban-PenhoatLucille Germain
2 – Switzerland – Judith Wyder, Theresa Leboeuf, Nina Zoller
3 – United States – Jennifer Lichter, Emkay Sullivan, Kimber Mattox

2023 Trail World Championships 40k - Women - Flower Ceremony

The 2023 Trail World Championships 40k women’s podium (l-to-r): 2. Judith Wyder, 1. Clémentine Geoffray, and 3. Theres Leboeuf. Photo: Roast Media/World Mountain and Trail Running Championships


Stian Angermund (Norway) repeated as men’s winner, matching his victory from a year ago in Thailand. He was alone at the front for most of the race, but not by too much. Angermund finished in 4:19, and runner-up Thomas Roach (U.K.) was two minutes back at 4:21.

Stian Angermund - 2023 Trail World Championships 40k winner

Stian Angermund, of Norway, on his way to winning the 2023 Trail World Championships 40k. Photo: Roast Media/World Mountain and Trail Running Championships

[Editor’s Note: Thomas Roach served a three-month World Athletics doping ban from October 2021 to January 2022 after testing positive for Carboxy-THC at the 2021 World Masters Mountain Running Championships, also held in Stubai, Austria.]

1 – Stian Angermund (Norway) – 4:19
2 – Thomas Roach (U.K.) – 4:21
3 – Luca del Pero (Italy) – 4:22

Men U.S.

14 – Garrett Corcoran – 4:35
19 – Max King – 4:41
30 – Jackson Brill – 4:46
37 – Craig Hunt – 4:53
58 – Jon Aziz – 5:05

Men’s Teams

1 – United Kingdom – Thomas RoachJon AlbonKristian Jones
2 – Italy – Luca Del PeroFrancesco PuppiCristian Minoggio
3 – France – Thibaut Baronian, Frédéric Tranchand, Thomas Cardin

Full results.

Trail World Championships 80k – Innsbruck, Austria

The long day sent runners from the Stubai Valley to Innsbruck, and on a wildly challenging course that actually pushed 87k with 6,500 meters of elevation gain. That’s 54 miles and 21,325 feet. France won both individual titles, and both team titles too.

Marion Delespierre - 2023 Trail World Championships 80k - winner

Marion Delespierre, 2023 Trail World Championships 80k winner. Photo: iRunFar/Bryon Powell


1 – Marion Delespierre (France) – 11:22
2 – Katharina Hartmuth (Germany) – 11:29
3 – Manon Bohard (France) – 11:34

Women U.S.

6 – Allison Baca – 11:56
7 – Emily Schmitz – 11:58
24 – Sarah Keyes – 12:51
33 – Shea Aquilano – 13:09
65 – Clare Gallagher – 14:46
DNF – Hannah Allgood

Women’s Teams

1 – France – Marion DelespierreManon BohardAudrey Tanguy
2 – Germany – Katharina HartmuthRosanna BuchauerIda-Sophie Hegemann
3 – Italy – Martina ValmassoiGiuditta TuriniMartina Cugnetto

Manon Bohard Cailler - 2023 Trail World Championships 80k - running at 41k

Manon Bohard Cailler of France climbs out of the Axamer Lizum ski area at 41 kilometers into the 2023 Trail World Championships 80k. She would eventually take third. Photo: iRunFar/Meghan Hicks


1 – Benjamin Roubiol (France) – 9:52
2 – Andreas Reiterer (Italy) – 10:00
3 – Peter Fraňo (Slovakia) – 10:02

Benjamin Roubiol - 2023 Trail World Championships 80k - winner

Benjamin Roubiol, 2023 Trail World Championships 80k winner. Photo: iRunFar/Bryon Powell

Men U.S.

5 – Drew Holmen – 10:15
6 – Zach Miller – 10:15
7 – Eric LiPuma – 10:16
89 – Caleb Olson – 12:58
DNF – Preston Cates

Men’s Teams

1 – France – Benjamin RoubiolThibaut GarrivierBaptiste Chassagne
2 – United States – Drew HolmenZach MillerEric LiPuma
3 – Italy – Andreas ReitererDavide CherazPhilipp Ausserhofer

Full results.

World Mountain Running Championships Up and Down Race – Innsbruck, Austria

The up and down race ran over two laps, in and out of town, for a 15k total that gained 751 meters of elevation. That translates to 9.3 miles and 2,463 feet.

2023 World Mountain Running Championships Up and Down Women - start

The start of the 2023 World Mountain Running Championships Up and Down women’s race. Photo: iRunFar/Sarah Brady


Grayson Murphy (U.S.) doubled back from the Uphill race three days earlier and broke free from a challenge by Tove Alexandersson (Sweden) in the second lap for a big win. Murphy was the only runner to win two individual medals across the event’s four days.

1 – Grayson Murphy (U.S.) – 64:29
2 – Tove Alexandersson (Sweden) – 65:26
3 – Joyce Muthoni Njeru (Kenya) – 66:40

Women U.S.

1 – Grayson Murphy – 64:29
25 – Allie McLaughlin – 72:36
35 – Rachel Tomajczyk – 73:58

Grayson Murphy - 2023 World Mountain Running Championships Up and Down race - winner

Grayson Murphy, 2023 World Mountain Running Championships Up and Down race winner. Photo: iRunFar/Sarah Brady

Women’s Teams

1 – Kenya – Joyce Muthoni NjeruValentine RuttoPhilaries Kisang
2 – United Kingdom – Alice GoodallScout AdkinPhilippa Williams
3 – France – Cecile JarousseauChristel DewalleElise Poncet

[Editor’s Note: Christel Dewalle previously served a four-month doping ban after a positive test for the stimulant Heptaminol at the 2016 Skyrunning World Championships.]


Leonard Chemutai (Uganda) improbably won the senior race a year after winning the junior race in Thailand.

1 – Leonard Chemutai (Uganda) – 56:14
2 – Philemon Kiriago (Kenya) – 56:22
3 – Filimon Abraham (Germany) – 56:27

Leonard Chemutai - 2023 World Mountain Running Championships Up and Down race - winner v2

Leonard Chemutai of Uganda wins the 2023 World Mountain Running Championships Up and Down race. Photo: iRunFar/Meghan Hicks

Men U.S.

Just eighth at the U.S. championships selection race, Casey Campbell certainly outperformed expectations here.

13 – Liam Meirow – 60:26
26 – Casey Campbell – 61:38
65 – Morgan Elliott – 66:31
DNF – Dan Curts

Men’s Teams

Kenya won both the Uphill and Up and Down team races, for both men and women.

1 – Kenya – Philemon KiriagoPatrick KipngenoJosphat Kiprotich
2 – Italy – Cesare Maestri, Xavier ChevrierAlberto Vender
3 – Spain – Alejandro GarcíaAndreu BlanesIbai Larrea

Full results.

GoPro Mountain Games – Vail, California

20k Trail Run

Run on Saturday night, the 20k race had an $11,500 prize purse that paid five deep and awarded the winners $2,500.

Adrian Walsh led the women around the winding, Aspen-tree lined course. She finished in 1:51, and was followed by Grace Morgan in 1:57 and Kasey Sutherlin in 2:05.

Men’s leader Mason Coppi came through in 1:31. He was part of the U.S. team at the World Mountain Running Championships last year. Justin Grunewald was second in 1:34, and Robby Hass ran 1:37 for third.

There were only 65 finishers, and so that was a giant prize purse for such a small field.

10k Spring Runoff

Typically the key running race of the event, this year’s 10k went off on Sunday morning. Like the 20k, it too had an $11,500 purse.

Janelle Lincks raced in front of Dani Moreno and Nicole Mericle in the women’s race. The three finished in 49:24, 50:58, and 51:09, respectively. Last year Moreno won just ahead of Lincks.

Prolific marathoner Tyler McCandless stepped back on the trails and won the men’s race in 42:43. Joseph Demoor and Ace Brown were next in 43:13 and 44:06. Demoor and Brown were second and third in 2022 too, then behind Joseph Gray.

Full results.

Additional Races and Runs

SAMO 100 Mile – Malibu, California

The name’s an acronym for the Santa Monica Mountains 100 Mile, and this year’s winners Megan Zdancewic and Jesse Haynes finished in 25:44 and 19:34. Full results.

Dipsea Race – Mill Valley, California

The age- and gender-graded race is the oldest trail race in America. It goes back to 1905 and it was the 112th running. The race is held on a 7.4-mile trail from Mill Valley to Stinson Beach with lots of stairs. Paddy O’Leary (Ireland, lives in the U.S.) clocked a run split that was nearly three minutes faster than everyone else, and that let him pass everyone in front to get to the finish in 47:23. Julia Maxwell Bailey reached the finish second in 48:07, and past winner Chris Lundy was third in 48:17. Full results.

Cool Moon Trail Races – Cool, California

Nadia Haas and Jake Jackson won the 100-mile race in 25:12 and 19:24. Jackson ran 15:52 at the Nanny Goat 100-miler two weeks earlier. Full results.

Flagstaff Extreme Big Pine – Flagstaff, Arizona

Abby Hall set a new course record at the front of the women’s 53k race in 4:13, and Austin Anderson won the men’s race in 4:47. Full results.

Sinks Canyon 50k – Lander, Wyoming

Lillie Romeiser Rodgers clipped the course record at the eighth-year race, finishing in 5:37. Men’s winner Samuel Collins ran 4:36 and was 41 minutes in from his closest competition. Full results.

Kettle Moraine 100 Mile – La Grange, Wisconsin

It was the race’s 26th year. One-hundred-mile winners Rachel Burke and Reese Slobodianuk ran 22:03 and 15:32, and 100k leaders Jill Wojta and Phil Young finished in 10:23 and 9:22. Full results.

Summer Sasquatch Trail Run 50k – Lore City, Ohio

Salt Fork State Park is the place for Bigfoot in Ohio, and race winners Kaitlyn Yerger and Max Haiss finished in 5:24 and 4:19. Full results.

Laurel Highlands 70.5 Mile – Ohiopyle, Pennsylvania

Sophie McDonald and Eric Kennedy won the race, which dates back to 1980, in 14:59 and 11:27, respectively. Full results.

Drummer Hill Trail 50k – Keene, New Hampshire

First-place finishers Elisa Gardner and Peter Bonito came through with 5:49 and 4:30 on the clock. Full results.

Call for Comments

Did you follow the World Mountain and Trail Running Championships? The U.S. came away with an individual gold, an individual bronze, a team silver, and a team bronze. What do you think, was that right about what you expected for the U.S. teams?

I had a few takeaways from the event too. The first was age. Uphill race winner Andrea Mayr is 43 years old and 40k trail race runner-up Thomas Roach is 42 years old, and their success was pretty remarkable. And then just some of the surprise finishers. The 40k trail race winner Clémentine Geoffray was relatively unknown on the international stage prior to this race, and the same with 80k trail winner Benjamin Roubiol too, for me. And I might’ve expected Patrick Kipngeno to finish higher in the up and down race.

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.