This Week In Running: November 27, 2023

This Week in Running’s trail and ultra recap for November 27, 2023.

By on November 27, 2023 | Comments

This Week in Running Justin Mock TWIRThe Thanksgiving holiday dulled the race schedule in the U.S., but Ultra-Trail Cape Town put on a full slate of races in South Africa. And we’re excited about the trail runners and ultrarunners lining up at next weekend’s California International Marathon too.

Ultra-Trail Cape Town – Cape Town, South Africa

100 Mile

The 100-mile course ran as a big loop that gained 7,516 meters (24,659 feet) of elevation. Just over 100 runners started the challenge. A rich prize purse sent 60,000 Rand ($3,190) to the winners with prize money going three deep.

Aleksei Tolstenko (Russia), second last year, won this year’s race in 21:53. That’s 27 minutes slower than in 2022. South Africans Douglas Pickard and Chris Ngaka were second and third in 23:53 and 25:53.

Aleksei Tolstenko - 2023 Ultra-Trail Cape Town 100 mile men's winner

Aleksei Tolstenko celebrates winning the 2023 Ultra-Trail Cape Town 100 Mile. Photo: Sam Clark

The women’s podium was entirely made up of South African runners. Nicolette Griffioen finished in 26:11 to lead the group. Naomi Brand, last year’s third-placer, was second in 29:47, and Jo Keppler was third in 31:59.

Nicolette Griffioen - 2023 Ultra-Trail Cape Town 100 Mile women's winner

Nicolette Griffioen on her way to winning the 2023 Ultra-Trail Cape Town 100 Mile. Photo: Sam Clark


The event’s most competitive distance, the 100-kilometer race, pushed two big climbs into the race’s first half. Race winners each earned 40,000 Rand, or roughly $2,100. iRunFar earlier shared the greater race dynamics.

A year ago Dmitry Mityaev (Russia) finished in a first-place tie. This year, no one could keep up. Mityaev won in 10:43. Caleb Olson (U.S.) and Anthony Costales (U.S.) were second and third in 11:02 and 11:24.

Dmitry Mityaev - 2023 Ultra-Trail Cape Town 100k champion

Dmitry Mityaev on his way to winning the 2023 Ultra-Trail Cape Town 100k. Photo: iRunFar/Neville Sharwood

Ruth Croft (New Zealand) championed the women’s race in 12:12. That’s three minutes better than Camille Bruyas’s 2022 winning time, though the course has some changes. Marianne Hogan (Canada) and Ekaterina Mityaeva (Russia) came through in second and third in 12:39 and 12:44, respectively.

Ruth Croft - 2023 Ultra-Trail Cape Town 100k champion

Ruth Croft doing a bit of beach running en route to winning the 2023 Ultra-Trail Cape Town 100k. Photo: iRunFar/Neville Sharwood


Almost 500 runners started the 55k, run as a point-to-point peninsula traverse that totaled 2,706 meters (8,878 feet) of elevation gain. The 55k gave out prize money too with 20,000 Rand, or just over $1,000, going to the winners.

Robbie Simpson (U.K.) repeated as men’s victor, this year in 5:31. South African runners Mvuyisi Gcogco and Joshua Chigome were second and third in 5:43 and 6:10, respectively.

Robbie Simpson - 2023 Ultra-Trail Cape Town 55k men's champion

Robbie Simpson takes victory at the 2023 Ultra-Trail Cape Town 55k. Photo: Sam Clark

Women’s winner Toni McCann (South Africa) finished a breakout 2023 with a 5:47 run. That smashed the previous course record. McCann’s year was earlier highlighted by a win at the OCC in France. Second-place Caitlin Fielder (New Zealand) got under the old course best too with a 5:56 run, and Lisa Wimmer (Germany) was third in 6:27.

Full results.

Toni McCann, the 2023 Ultra-Trail Cape Town women’s champion. Photo: Devin Paisley

Quad Dipsea – Mill Valley, California

There have been a lot of milestone anniversaries this year, and it was Quad Dipsea’s 40th year. The race is run as a double out-and-back on the famed Dipsea Trail, totaling over 28 miles with 9,000 feet of elevation gain.


Nick Handel repeated as men’s winner in 3:48. That’s the race’s third-best finish ever, and seven minutes faster than he ran in 2022. Adam Loomis was second in 3:56, and Mario Mendoza finished in 4:01 for third.

Nick Handel - 2023 Quad Dipsea men's winner

Nick Handel, the 2023 Quad Dipsea men’s winner. Photo: John Medinger


There were four lead changes in the women’s race and it wasn’t until the fourth lap that 2021 winner Arden Young (Canada) moved to the front. Young won this year’s race in 4:39. That ranks as the course’s second-fastest ever and is eight minutes better than Young’s previous winning time.

Lindsay Allison was second in 4:41, and Zuzana Trnovcova was third in 4:49.

Full results.

Additional Races and Runs

Himan Trail Run Race – Oman

Way out in the Middle East on a course in part in the Al Hajar Mountains, Hamdan Al Khatri won the 110k race for the host country in 16:55. Jason Schlarb (U.S.) was second in 17:23. Aziza El Amrany (Morocco) led the women’s finishers in 23:53. Full results.

The Derby 50k – Ellerbe, North Carolina

Radha Sahoo and Danielle Soroka won the race in 4:09 and 4:24. Full results.

Next Weekend – IAU 24-Hour World Championships – Taipei, Taiwan

The world’s best 24-hour runners are descending on Taipei, a city of 2.6 million people. The race starts on Friday, December 1, at 10:00 a.m. local time and will be run over a 2k lap. The current 24-hour world-record holders Aleksandr Sorokin (Lithuania) and Camille Herron (U.S.) are both racing and favored to win. Sorokin’s best for the fixed time is 198.6 miles, run in September 2022, and Herron totaled 167.8 miles in 2019.

Full entrant list.

Next Weekend – California International Marathon – Sacramento, California

We don’t talk too much about road marathons, but the California International Marathon (CIM) is a great chance to qualify for the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials, and several trail runners and ultrarunners will try to do just that, or to further improve their personal bests. The men need to run under 2:18 and women under 2:37 to qualify for the Olympic Marathon Trials.


  • CJ Albertson – 50k world record holder
  • Zack Beavin – 1st 2022 Mad City 100k
  • Seth Demoor – 4th 2023 Pikes Peak Ascent
  • Willie Milam – 1st 2023 and 2022 Imogene Pass Run
  • Rajpaul Pannu – 2nd 2023 Tunnel Hill 50 Mile


  • Rachel Drake – 4th 2023 Kodiak by UTMB 50k
  • Courtney Olsen – 4th 2022 IAU 100k World Championships
  • EmKay Sullivan – 1st 2023 Mammoth 50k
  • Devon Yanko – 1st 2022 Javelina 100 Mile

Top entrants.

Call for Comments

Gobble, gobble! How many miles did you run on Thanksgiving Day?

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.