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This Week In Running: May 15, 2023

This Week In Running’s trail and ultra recap for May 15, 2023.

By on May 15, 2023 | Comments

This Week in Running Justin Mock TWIRA triple header of UTMB World Series races and the start of the Golden Trail World Series highlighted another big weekend of international racing. From Argentina to Australia, and Thunderbunny to Hellbender, we’re here for all of it.

Zegama-Aizkorri Marathon – Zegama, Spain

The race was again the first of six Golden Trail World Series contests. The event is best known for its enthusiastic crowd support, and that happened this year despite heavy rain. iRunFar earlier reported on the best parts of the race.

Men

2022 OCC winner Manuel Merillas (Spain) ran a strong second half to give the host country victory. He finished in 3:42, 27 seconds in front of Elhousine Elazzaoui (Morroco). Both Elazzaoui and Merillas moved up through the field over the race’s later stages, and ultimately finished well clear of any would-be chasers.

2023 Zegama Marathon - Manuel Merillas

Manuel Merillas on his way to winning the 2023 Zegama Marathon. Photo: Golden Trail Series | Zegama Aizkorri Marathon | Martina Valmassoi

Jon Albon (U.K., lives in Norway) led as late as 28k into the marathon-distance race and ultimately finished third in 3:45.

The first-10 men all ran under four hours on a wet day of racing.

4 – Rémi Bonnet (Switzerland) – 3:48
5 – Robert Pkemoi Matayango (Kenya) – 3:49
6 – Bartłomiej Przedwojewski (Poland) – 3:49
7 – Thibaut Baronian (France) – 3:50
8 – Thomas Roach (U.K.) – 3:58
9 – Christian Minoggio (Italy) – 3:58
10 – Leonard Mitrica (Romania) – 3:58

Women

Many series veterans were absent from the race, and newcomer Daniela Oemus (Germany) surprised the group with a 4:31 winning time. She led from near halfway to the finish.

2023 Zegama Marathon - Daniela Oemus

Daniela Oemus of Germany on her way to winning the 2023 Zegama Marathon. Photo: Golden Trail Series | Zegama Aizkorri Marathon | Martina Valmassoi

Caitlin Fielder (New Zealand) was two minutes back in second at 4:34, and Theres Lebouef (Switzerland) ran 4:37 for third.

All of the top-10 women finished in under five hours.

4 – Sylvia Nordskar (Norway) – 4:43
5 – Blandine L’Hirondel (France) – 4:48
6 – Mirosława Witowska (Poland) – 4:52
7 – Oihana Kortazar (Spain) – 4:55
8 – Marta Martínez (Spain) – 4:56
9 – Martina Cumerlato (Italy) – 4:57
10 – Naiara Irigoyen (Spain) – 4:58

Full results.

The next Golden Trail World Series is the June 26 Marathon du Mont Blanc in France.

Ultra-Trail Snowdonia by UTMB – North Wales, United Kingdom

100 Mile

Josh Wade (U.K.) was the day’s best over 100 miles, running 23:51 to be over an hour better than everyone else. Second-place Gregoire Curmer (France) finished in 25:15 and David Hedges (USA) was third in 26:36.

Josh Wade - 2023 Ultra-Trail Snowdonia 100 Mile men's winner

Josh Wade takes victory in the 2023 Ultra-Trail Snowdonia by UTMB 100 Mile. Photo: Ultra-Trail Snowdonia by UTMB

Women’s winner Emma Stuart (Ireland, lives in the U.K.) finished in 28:23. She was even more dominant than the men’s winner, finishing over two hours ahead of the pack.

Sabrina Stanley (USA) was second in 31:09 and Claire Bannwarth (France) was third in 31:54.

Emma Stuart - 2023 Ultra-Trail Snowdonia by UTMB - women's winner

Emma Stuart smiling her way to victory in the 2023 Ultra-Trail Snowdonia by UTMB 100 Mile. Photo: Guillem Casanova/UTMB

100k

Less than five minutes separated the front three men. Jean-Philippe Tschumi (Switzerland) broke free from British pair Tom Owens and Keith Wigley to win in 13:27. Owens followed in 13:31 and Wigley was two minutes slower in 13:33.

Jean-Philippe Tschumi - 2023 Ultra-Trail Snowdonia by UTMB 100k - men's winner

Jean-Philippe Tschumi at the finish of the 2023 Ultra-Trail Snowdonia by UTMB 100k. Photo: Ultra-Trail Snowdonia by UTMB

Lizzie Atkins (U.K.) gained the women’s victory in 16:44, pursued most closely by Robyn Cassidy (U.K.) in 16:59. Rachel Fawcett (U.K.) was further back in third at 17:46.

Lizzie Atkins - 2023 Ultra-Trail Snowdonia by UTMB 100k women's winner

Lizzie Atkins celebrates winning the 2023 Ultra-Trail Snowdonia by UTMB 100k. Photo: Guillem Casanova/UTMB

50k

Tom Evans (U.K.) was a near 25-minute winner in the 50k with a 5:27 finish, and Johanna Gelfgren (Sweden) was 30 minutes in front of every other woman with a 6:46 finish.

Full results.

50k presentation

Winners Tom Evans and Johanna Gelfgren (center) at the 2023 Ultra-Trail Snowdonia by UTMB awards presentation. Photo: Guillem Casanova/UTMB

Ultra-Trail Australia by UTMB – Katoomba, Australia

Now in its 15th year, Ultra-Trail Australia by UTMB claims to be the world’s second-largest trail running event with some 7,000 runners scattered between its different race distances. The Blue Mountain event had just 157 runners in its first year back in 2008. This year there were runners from 66 different countries.

100k

George Murray (New Zealand) took the men’s crown in 9:32, 12 minutes better than Mike Carroll (Australia). Third-place Piotr Babis (Poland) finished in 10:01.

George Murray - 2023 Ultra-Trail Australia by UTMB 100k - men's winner

George Murray, the 2023 Ultra-Trail Australia by UTMB 100k men’s winner. Photo: Tim Bardsley-Smith

The women’s podium was entirely Australian. Emily Gilmour-Walsh beat Lucy Bartholomew and Lou Clifton to the finish in 11:33. Bartholomew and Clifton followed in 11:52 and 12:05.

Emily Gilmour-Walsh - 2023 Ultra-Trail Australia by UTMB 100k women's winner

Emily Gilmour-Walsh, the 2023 Ultra-Trail Australia by UTMB 100k women’s winner. Photo: Kurt Matthews

50k

Blake Turner (Australia) led countryman Charles Hamilton and Ben Duffus with a 4:20 first-place run. Hamilton and Duffus finished in 4:24 and 4:37, respectively.

Blake Turner - 2023 Ultra-Trail Australia by UTMB 50k - men's winner

Blake Turner, the 2023 Ultra-Trail Australia by UTMB 50k men’s winner. Photo: Kurt Matthews

The first three women all went under five hours. Hau Ha (Vietnam) won in 4:47, and Stephanie Auston (Australia) and Renee Cardinaals (The Netherlands) were second and third in 4:54 and only 48 seconds apart.

Full results.

Hau Ha - 2023 Ultra-Trail Australia by UTMB 50k women's winner

Hau Ha winning the 2023 Ultra-Trail Australia by UTMB 50k. Photo: Kurt Matthews

Valhöll Argentina by UTMB – Córdoba, Argentina

129k

The race’s longest distance united the valley on a course that pulled in two different mountain ranges.

Miguel Heras (Spain) started his improbable comeback last year and picked up 2023 steam with another victory. Heras, aged 47, pulled away from Cristofer Clemente (Spain) late and won in 14:51. That was 20 minutes better than Clemente’s runner-up 15:11 finish.

Gonzalo Calisto (Ecuador) similarly pulled away from Adrian MacDonald (USA) late and took third in 15:37. MacDonald was fourth in 16:29.

Calisto tested positive for EPO at UTMB in 2015 and served a two-year IAAF ban from March 2016 to March 2018.

The first-six women’s finishers were all from the host country. Veronica Ramirez topped Mariela Vigliocco with a 21:20 finish time to the chaser’s 21:47. Lorena Saravia was third in 23:36.

81k

Cody Lind (USA) and Helen Mino Faukner (USA) were race winners in 7:43 and 8:30, and Mino Faukner was the second overall finisher too.

Alex Espinosa (Ecuador) and TJ David (USA) joined Lind on the men’s podium at 8:34 and 8:46, and Emily Hawgood (Zimbabwe, lives in the USA) was right behind the women’s winner in 8:39. Zoë Rom (USA) was third woman in 10:19.

Full results.

Skyrace des Matheysins – Saine-Honoré, France

The second race of the Skyrunner World Series gained 2,000 meters of elevation, including a trip up “The Devil’s Garden” and its 43 hairpin bends. There was a section of race course under snow still too.

The 2021 race winner Frederic Tranchand (France) gained the lead 12k into the 25k run and won again in 2:25. The time was four seconds slower than his previous winning time. Early leader Roberto Delorenzi (Switzerland) was second in 2:29, and Antonio Martínez (Spain) ran 2:30 for third.

Daylong leader Clementine Geoffray (France) won the women’s race in 2:54, and it was a new course record. Noémie Vachon (France) and Hillary Gerardi (USA) were second and third in 2:59 and 3:02, respectively.

Full results.

The next Skyunner World Series race is the June 3 Hochkönig Skyrace in Austria.

Additional Races and Runs

World’s Fastest Run 100k – Vilnius, Lithuania

Racing at home, Aleksandr Sorokin (Lithuania) broke his own 100k world record by six seconds with a 6:05:35 finish. iRunFar earlier reported on the effort.

100 km World Record - May 2023 - Aleksandr Sorokin - Running Strong

Aleksandr Sorokin running strong on his way to setting another world record, this time the 100-kilometer world record in 6:05:35, at the 2023 World’s Fastest Run in Lithuania. Photo: NORD Security

Swedish 100k Championship – Bro, Sweden

Madeleine Lundell squeaked under the eight-hour line, officially winning in 7:59:51, and Anton Gustafsson rolled the men’s field with a quick 6:30 finish. Full results.

Wild Horse Traverse – Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada

Simon Widmann (Canada) threatened the 50k course record but didn’t quite get there in 4:22, but women’s winner Joanna Brewer (Canada) did reset the record books with a 5:14 result. Full results.

Tiger Claw – Issaquah, Washington

The weekend opened with a first-year Ascent climb that saw Joseph Gray and Erin Fredrickson top out first in 28:26 and 37:08. Tyler Green and Caitlin Jacobsen won the 50-mile race in 9:39 and 12:24, and Evan Williams and Michelle Lutz led the 50k in 4:53 and 5:34, respectively. Full results.

Grizzly Peak 50k – Berkeley, California

Patrick Yalon and Kirsten Kanarr were the fastest in 6:32 and 6:47. Full results.

PCT 50 Mile – Cleveland National Forest, California

The race ran out and back mostly on the Pacific Crest Trail. Joel Frost-Tift and Kara Olivito won in 8:44 and 10:11. Full results.

Paiute Meadows 50k – Susanville, California

Nick Affleck won the men’s race in 5:20, and 2021 winner Ashley Nordell was victorious again in the women’s race in 4:49. Full results.

Thelma and Louise Marathon – Moab, Utah

The women’s-only race by Mad Moose Events added a 50k option this year. Gretchen Snyder set the benchmark at 5:42. Marathon winner Elizaveta Ershova set a new course best at 4:13 too. Full results.

Ram Party – Colorado Springs, Colorado

Recent storms pushed the second-year race onto an alternate course. Adam Vadeboncoeur and Liz Canty won the 50-mile race in 5:45 and 8:09, and Austin Gliottone and Salynda Heinl won the 50k in 3:36 and 4:35, respectively. Full results.

Ice Age Trail – La Grange, Wisconsin

Sidney Noble and Tiffany Schwartz won the longtime 50-mile race in 6:32 and 8:15, and Tyler Morey and Rachel Weber led the 50k in 3:38 and 4:50. Full results.

Thunderbunny 50k – Athens, Ohio

Uriah Yoder went 5:00 for the overall win, and Alicia Bowling took the women’s win in 6:12. Full results.

Glacier Ridge 50 Mile – Portersville, Pennsylvania

Twenty seven 50-mile finishers were led by Jason Tanner and Tami Sari in 8:21 and 10:54, and 50k leaders Brian Stewart and Francie Dragonjac finished in 4:46 and 6:32. Full results.

Dawn to Dusk to Dawn Track Race – Sharon Hill, Pennsylvania

Harvey Lewis won the 24-hour track race with 137 miles, but failed to improve on his qualifying position toward the U.S. 24-hour team. Women’s winner Micah Morgan stopped short of the full 24 hours, but still won with 110 miles done. Full results.

Hellbender 100 Mile – Old Fort, North Carolina

Tim Nooney beat a couple prior winners to earn victory in western North Carolina. Nooney’s 20:57 was a new course record for the fourth-year race that runs through the Black Mountains. Two-time winner Jonathan Ibach was second in 21:16, and Kincaid Wurl was third in 23:35. Tara Dower won the women’s race in 24:45, and that too was a new course record. Holly Adams was a distant second in 27:18, and Heather Dougherty was third in 28:44. Full results.

Call for Comments

What else was happening this past weekend? Let us know what we’ve missed!

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.