Diagonale des Fous, Grand Trail des Templiers, and Transvulcania by UTMB. The biggest stuff was in places other than the U.S. this weekend. But the U.S. was represented well, with winners in all of the above! Grab your favorite beverage and dive into this week in running.
Diagonale des Fous – Réunion Island, France
The far-off island traverse went for 104 miles and with some 31,500 feet of elevation gain. Oww, oww! The fact that Réunion Island is so far out there and that Diagonale des Fous is an end-of-year race maybe keeps this one from greater mass appeal, but some of the sport’s all-timers have raced here and created some real history.
There’s been a lot of first-place ties here over the years, and it looked like it might be that way again this year too, but nope!
Beñat Marmissolle (France) left Jean-Philippe Tschumi (Switzerland) on the final descent and finished in 23:14. Tschumi closely followed in 23:20. Marmissolle was sixth at this year’s UTMB and third at this very race last year in 23:45.
Ben Dhiman was third in 24:20. We’re going to ask for a little help here, as I think Dhiman’s new to the column. It looks like he’s an American living in France, and get this, fellow Buckeyes, he was rocking an Ohio hat during the race.
The 2019 winner Gregoire Curmer (France) and 2021 winner Dani Jung (Italy) did not finish.
Courtney Dauwalter (USA) came back from her earlier Hardrock 100 win, and came back from an early fall too. She won in 24:37. The course has varied some over its history, but looks to have been at least 162 kilometers ever since 2010. And so Dauwalter’s finish was a new course record, by almost two hours. The late, great Andrea Huser (Switzerland) won in 2017 in 26:34. She won the year prior in 27:44 and those are now the race’s second- and third-fastest finishes behind Dauwalter’s new mark.
Dauwalter finished her competitive year with wins at the Madeira Island Ultra-Trail, Hardrock 100, and here at Diagonale des Fous, and she set a new course record at each of those races too.
Anne-Lise Rousset (France) was second in 28:58 — over four hours back of the race winner — and third-place Anna Carlsson (Sweden) finished in 30:59.
The 2019 race winner Sabrina Stanley (USA) did not finish.
Grand Trail des Templiers – Millau, France
There are some 12 different races and over 10,000 participants as part of the mega Festival des Templiers five-day event. The premier race, the Grand Trail des Templiers, ran 80k (50 miles) with 3,530 meters (11,580 feet) of elevation gain.
Jim Walmsley (USA) ran to a 6:56 first-place finish. The only thing surprising about the result is that it was 24 minutes slower than what Jon Albon (U.K.) ran to win last year’s race. Sébastien Spehler (France) was second for the second straight year. Spehler’s 7:13 finish was way off his last year’s 6:39 run. If the courses were the same, the race was run much differently than a year ago. Mathieu Simon (France) was third in 7:19, and the rest of the top finishers were all French, too.
Camille Bruyas (France) toppled 2021 winner Ruth Croft (New Zealand) to win the women’s race in 8:23. Croft was second in 8:33. Similar to the men’s race, she was off the 2021 pace too. She finished in 7:51 a year ago. Third-place Oana Mihalcea (Romania) came through in 8:52.
Transvulcania by UTMB – Canary Islands, Spain
There were four races on the Transvulcania weekend, and the biggest went for 75 kilometers (46 miles) and with 4,735 meters (15,535 feet) of elevation gain. The race shifted from its typical June timing.
Petter Engdahl (Sweden) destroyed the CCC field back in August, and he beat up on everyone pretty well here too. The new star finished first in 7:10, and that was 32 minutes better than second place.
And second place, that was Miguel Heras (Spain)! Working on short recovery from Ultra Pirineu, he came back for a 7:42 run. Cristofer Clemente (Spain) was third in 7:45.
After that, the race perhaps wasn’t as deep as in previous years.
Maybe there’s something about CCC turning to Transvulcania, because it went really well for 2022 CCC third-placer Abby Hall (USA) too. She was tops among the women in 8:29.
Yngvild Kaspersen (Norway) chased to second in 8:47, and Jessica Tipan (Ecuador) was a distant third in 9:28.
Big’s Backyard Ultra – Bell Buckle, Tennessee
Just phenomenal. Maybe it’s that the race format is still newer or that I just can’t imagine going that long without good sleep, but these super-long backyard ultras blow my mind. And that was my thought about Tennessee. Things went late late late in Tennessee, and then even later around the world, and it was so fun to follow.
In Tennessee, Piotr Chadovich totaled 316.66 miles over 76 hours for the win. The 2021 winner Harvey Lewis missed a time cutoff after lap 75. The two finished short of Lewis’s 2021 85 hours/354 mile total.
World Backyard Team Championships – Around the World
Simultaneous to the Tennessee race, 36 other countries with 15-person teams raced in locations around the world, too. The U.S. won the team contest, but Japanese race winner Shibawaki Daiki individually got to 86 hours and 358 miles, more than U.S. winner Chadovich, and Belgium teammates Merijn Geerts and Ivo Steyaert both went super long. They completed 101 laps, so four days and five hours, and 421 total miles. They stopped running together, and so neither was awarded the race win.
The finish bettered Geerts’s former 375-mile, 90-hour world record from May 2022.
Additional Races and Results
One Hundred Gran Sasso – Abruzzo, Italy
Cody Reed (USA) and Leticia Saltori (Brazil) won the 100-mile race in 18:00 and 22:19, respectively. Full results.
SAMO Trail Runs – Pacific Palisades, California
The race ran out and back from Will Rogers State Park through the Santa Monica Mountains to Topanga State Park. Tim Comay and Annie Thwing won in 4:11 and 6:00. Full results.
Bobcat Trail Races – Colorado Springs, Colorado
Colorado Springs’s Palmer Park was featured at the Mad Moose Events race. Over 50k, Gil Algood set a new course record in 4:25, and women’s winner Monica Taylor closed in 5:53. Joseph Gray caught a tree branch across the forehead during the 25k and finished bloodied but in first in 1:36. That was almost a minute better than his third-place time here last year. Emma Sjolund won the women’s race in 2:04, and that was a new course record too. Full results.
Door County Fall 50 Mile – Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin
Fall colors and a fast course feature at the Door County Fall 50 Mile. Men’s winner Zach Ziesemer took the point-to-point course in 6:11 and Carolyn Smith grabbed the women’s win in 7:12. Full results.
Mammoth Cave 50k – Mammoth Cave, Kentucky
Racing out and back on trails above Mammoth Cave, Nick Brown and Traci Falbo were first and second overall in 4:39 and 4:57. Full results.
Pine Lake Ultramarathon – Bainbridge, Ohio
The 57k race happened over five laps. Race winners Zach Crim and Hannah McCorkle each earned $600 for their first-place 6:22 and 8:23 finishes. Full results.
Stone Steps 50k – Cincinnati, Ohio
Isaac Leighninger and Linnea Kunesh won in 5:03 and 5:54. Full results.
Self Transcendence Race – Queens, New York
The scoreboard’s up to 49 days, with things ending after 52 days. Andrea Marcato (Italy) reached 3,100 miles on day 44 to repeat as the men’s winner and Susan Marshall (New Zealand) is closing in on the women’s win with 3,037 miles done. Scoreboard.
Uwharrie 100 Mile – Troy, North Carolina
Jeremy Smith and Holly Howell took the multi-lap run through the Uwharrie National Forest in 23:38 and 32:06. Full results.
Call for Comments
- The Golden Trail World Series Final is next week over five days in Madeira, and the Javelina Jundred Mile is next weekend in Arizona. Are you excited to follow along, and who are you rooting for?
- What else happened this weekend that you can fill us all in on in the comments section?