This Week In Running: October 23, 2023

This Week in Running’s trail and ultra recap for October 23, 2023.

By on October 23, 2023 | Comments

This Week in Running Justin Mock TWIRBig Dog’s Backyard Ultra is still going on and the Golden Trail World Series concluded. We’re here for all of it, and we highlight Grand Trail des Templiers and Diagonale des Fous too, among other racing.

Il Golfo Dell’Isola Trail Race – Noli, Italy

Spread over four days with separate men’s and women’s races, the event was this year’s Golden Trail World Series Final. The top 30 world series runners were all invited to compete with national series and other open runners mixed in too.

Women’s Prologue

The action got started on Thursday night with an 8.8-kilometer race that picked up 450 meters (1,476 feet) of elevation gain. The women went first and hit the fast lane one at a time, racing the clock more than each other.

Mădălina Florea (Romania) scored an upset victory ahead of series leaders Sophia Laukli (U.S.) and Judith Wyder (Switzerland). Florea had earlier challenged for the wins at Sierre-Zinal and the Mammoth 26k before falling off late, but the 30-year-old stormed through all of this one. Florea finished in 39:01, and Laukli and Wyder followed in 39:39 and 40:33, respectively.

Mădălina Florea takes the win at the 2023 Golden Trail World Series Finals Women’s Prologue race. Photo: @GoldenTrailSeries|@Il Golfo Dell’Isola Trail Race|@the.adventure.bakery

The full top 10 was:

1 – Mădălina Florea (Romania) – 39:01
2 – Sophia Laukli (U.S.) – 39:39
3 – Judith Wyder (Switzerland) – 40:33
4 – Malen Osa (Spain) – 42:31
5 – Sylvia Nordskar (Norway) – 42:42
6 – Sara Alonso (Spain) – 42:44
7 – Allie Ostrander (U.S.) – 43:09
8 – Elise Poncet (France) – 43:10
9 – Emilie Menuet (France) – 43:19
10 – Miao Yao (China) – 43:42

(In 2023, Ostrander was suspended for four months after testing positive for canrenone, a metabolite of spironolactone, after it was determined that she mistakenly took the drug without first obtaining a World Anti-Doping Agency Therapeutic Use Exemption.)

Full results.

Men’s Prologue

One day later, the men’s raced the same battleground trail in the same time trial format. At the high point it looked like Rémi Bonnet (Switzerland) would win again, but Elhousine Elazzaoui (Morocco) blasted the descent to vault into the lead. Elazzaoui won in 33:24.

Elhousine Elazzaoui - 2023 Men's Prologue Golden Trails World Series Finals winner

Elhousine Elazzaoui winning the Men’s Prologue race at the 2023 Golden Trails World Series Finals. Photo: @GoldenTrailSeries|@Il Golfo Dell’Isola Trail Race|@the.adventure.bakery

Official results still show Bonnet as second in 33:43, but a one minute time penalty actually bumped him back to third. Bonnet took a wrong turn that added 30 meters to his run. That pushed Bonnet to third in 34:43 with Sierre-Zinal winner Philemon Kiriago (Kenya) becoming the new runner up in 34:41.

The TL:DR men’s top 10:

1 – Elhousine Elazzaoui (Morocco) – 33:24
2 – Philemon Kiriago (Kenya) – 34:41
3 – Rémi Bonnet (Switzerland) – 34:43
4 – Patrick Kipngeno (Kenya) – 34:48
5 – Linus Hultegard (Sweden) – 35:34
6 – Matthias Kyburz (Switzerland) – 35:37
7 – Daniel Pattis (Italy) – 35:53
8 – Eli Hemming (U.S.) – 36:02
9 – Thomas Roach (U.K.) – 36:03
10 – Roberto Delorenzi (Switzerland) – 36:05

(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 in Stubai, Austria.)

Full results.

Women’s Final

The women had Friday off for recovery, and came back on Saturday for a 26k (16 miles) race that totaled 1,460 meters (4,790 feet) of gain. The race was run as a series of laps in and out of town.

2023 Golden Trail World Series Finals - Women's Final startline

The start of the Women’s Final at the 2023 Golden Trail World Series Finals. Photo: @GoldenTrailSeries|@Il Golfo Dell’Isola Trail Race|@the.adventure.bakery

Double or nothing! That’s how Mădălina Florea raced. Already the Women’s Prologue winner, Florea held off a late charge from Judith Wyder for her second straight series win. She was clearly emotional at the finish while collapsing with the finish tape. Florea clocked 2:18:05 to Wyder’s 2:18:21. Sophia Laukli locked up the overall series win with a third-place 2:22:25.

All of the top 10 was:

1 – Mădălina Florea (Romania) – 2:18:05
2 – Judith Wyder (Switzerland) – 2:18:21
3 – Sophia Laukli (U.S.) – 2:22:25
4 – Miao Yao (China) – 2:27:15
5 – Malen Osa (Spain) – 2:28:19
6 – Julia Font (Spain) – 2:29:40
7 – Sara Alonso (Spain) – 2:29:47
8 – Elise Poncet (France) – 2:30:36
9 – Alice Gaggi (Italy) – 2:31:58
10 – Eef Van Dongen (Sweden) – 2:33:10

Full results.

Men’s Final

First and second in the Men’s Prologue, Elhousine Elazzaoui and Philemon Kiriago were together at the front for almost all of the race, but Elazzaoui slipped ahead on the final downhill to earn his second win of the weekend. Elazzaoui finished first and Kiriago was second in 1:56:15 and 1:56:30. Uphill all-star Patrick Kipngeno was a close third in 1:57:15.

2023 Golden Trail World Series Finals - Men's Final start

A fast start to the Men’s Final at the 2023 Golden Trail World Series finals. Photo: @GoldenTrailSeries|@Il Golfo Dell’Isola Trail Race|@the.adventure.bakery

Overall series winner Rémi Bonnet was fourth in 1:59:36.

And that’s it for this year’s Golden Trail World Series. Many of these European runners will conclude their trail running seasons and switch over to ski mountaineering.

The men’s top 10 was:

1 – Elhousine Elazzaoui (Morocco) – 1:56:15
2 – Philemon Kiriago (Kenya) – 1:56:30
3 –Patrick Kipngeno (Kenya) – 1:57:15
4 – Rémi Bonnet (Switzerland) – 1:59:36
5 – Eli Hemming (U.S.) – 2:03:45
6 – Matthias Kyburz (Switzerland) – 2:04:19
7 – Thomas Roach (U.K.) – 2:04:35
8 – Bartłomiej Przedwojewski (Poland) – 2:05:03
9 – Kevin Kibet (Kenya) – 2:05:39
10 – Meikael Beaudoin-Rousseau (U.S.) – 2:05:56

Full results.

Grand Trail des Templiers – Millau, France

Fourteen, is that right? There were 14 different races at the big Festival des Templiers multi-day event. The most competitive race, the Grand Trail des Templiers, or simply Les Templiers as it’s called, ran 80k (50 miles) with 3,530 meters (11,580 feet) of elevation gain.

Julie Roux (France) took the women’s race in 7:58, and was closely chased by Adeline Martin (France) just over five minutes back at 8:04. Gemma Arenas (Spain) was the third woman home in a more distant 8:22.

In the men’s race, this year’s CCC winner Jonathan Albon (U.K.) picked up another win. Albon clocked 6:42, seven minutes better than second-place Francisco Puppi (Italy). Third-place Ben Dhiman (U.S., lives in France) finished in 7:00.

Full results.

Big Dog’s Backyard Ultra – Bell Buckle, Tennessee

The elimination-style race goes 4.167 miles each hour, on trail during the day and on road at night, and 75 of the world’s best backyarders from 40 different countries are there. The race began on Saturday morning, October 21.

They’re going to be going for quite a while yet. At the time of this article’s publishing on Monday morning, a big group had run 48 yards, or 200 miles, over 48 hours. Still in the race were women’s world record holder Jennifer Russo (U.S.), overall world record holder Phil Gore (Australia), 2022 race winner Piotr Chadovich (U.S.), and last week’s Kodiak by UTMB 100 Mile winner Claire Bannwarth (France).

Full results.

Diagonale Des Fous – Réunion Island, France

The Indian Ocean island traverse went for 102 miles with some 32,800 feet of elevation gain. iRunFar earlier covered the greater race dynamics.


Katie Schide (U.S., lives in France) ruled the women’s race in 27:31. For perspective, that’s almost three hours over Courtney Dauwalter’s time from last year. Nonetheless, Schide was the runaway winner, clear of the rest of the women’s field by some 90 minutes.

Katie Schide - 2023 Diagonale des Fous - women's winner

Katie Schide, the 2023 Diagonale des Fous champion. Photo: CANAL GRAND RAID

Earlier this year, Schide was second at the Western States 100 and at OCC. Despite winning UTMB in 2022, she was only fifth in last year’s “UltraRunning Magazine” (North American) Ultrarunner of the Year ranking. I bet the voters will get that fixed this year with a more appropriate spot higher up the charts.

Second- and third-place Camille Bruyas (France) and Emilie Maroteaux (Réunion Island) finished in 28:57 and 30:38.


Aurélien Dunand-Pallaz (France), this year’s Hardrock 100 winner, led everyone in 23:21. It was just seven minutes behind last year’s winning time. Germain Grangier (France) was second in 24:00, and Jean Philippe-Tschumi (Switzerland) crossed in 24:28 for third.

Aurelien Dunand-Pallaz - 2023 Diagonale des Fous - men's winner

Aurélien Dunand-Pallaz, the 2023 Diagonale des Fous men’s champion. Photo: CANAL GRAND RAID

François D’Haene (France) came back from long-term injury and is said to have suffered cramps mid-race. D’Haene finished eighth in 26:12. The 37-year-old earlier won the race in 2018, 2016, 2014, and 2013.

Full results.

Additional Races and Runs

Lake Sonoma 100k – Healdsburg, California

Nichole Abma and Geoff Burns won the 100k in 12:11 and 9:35, and Zuzana Trnovcova and Ben Gallegos led the 55k in 5:20 and 5:19. Full results.

Blue Sky Marathon – Fort Collins, Colorado

Becca Windell and David Roche won the marathon in 3:58 and 3:10. Full results.

Mines of Spain 100 Mile – Dubuque, Iowa

Women’s winner Ellyse Ungs set a new course record in 22:49, and men’s champ Collin Buck finished in 19:53. Full results.

Wild Duluth Races – Duluth, Minnesota

In the 100k, it was April Anselmo and Kory Kowallis out front in 13:42 and 11:47, and 50k winners Gretchen Metsa and Daniel Pederson came in at 5:22 and 4:15. Full results.

No Business 100 Mile – Jamestown, Tennessee

The race runs over a single loop between Tennessee and Kentucky. Social media shows Lauren Jones and Brian Burke as race winners. Leave a comment to share more details of this event.

Tussey MountainBack 50 Mile – Boalsburg, Pennsylvania

Fifty-mile winners Biana Pourmussa and Brett Mason finished in 8:14 ad 6:38, and Sarah Morrison and Sam Lapp won the 50k in 4:02 and 3:23. Full results.

Uwharrie 100 Ultras – Troy, North Carolina

It was Chase Price winning the men’s 100 mile in 23:57. There were no women’s finishers. In the 100k, Jean Bowman and Sonny Gerardi won in 17:46 and 13:18. Full results.

Call for Comments

  • How long will the backyarders go for in Tennessee?
  • What other results do you want to share from this week in running?
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.