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This Week In Running: October 9, 2023

This Week in Running’s trail and ultra recap for October 9, 2023.

By on October 9, 2023 | Comments

This Week in Running Justin Mock TWIRIt was a little quiet on the trails this weekend. South Africa’s Otter African Trail Run and smaller World Mountain Running Association and Skyrunner World Series races were among the highlights. Of course we’ll check in on races around the United States, too.

Smarna Gora – Ljubljana, Slovenia

The 10-kilometer race is mostly up, but hits its high point 4k into the race before dropping and then gaining the ultimate climb to the finish. The longtime race just outside the Slovenian capital was again part of the World Mountain Running Association World Cup.


Less than a minute separated the first six men. Isaac Costa (Italy) finished first in 43:13, and Lengen Lorkurrar (Kenya) and Remi Leroux (Canada) were second and third in 43:21 and 43:31.

Isaac Costa and Lengen Lorkurrar - 2023 Smarna Gora men's top two

Isaac Costa (left) and Lengen Lorkurrar (right) racing to first and second, respectively, in the 2023 Smarna Gora. Photo: Jonathan Wyatt


Women’s champ Susanna Saapunki (Finland) beat host country runners Varineja Drašler and Nuša Mali with a 49:41 finish. Drašler and Mali followed in 52:21 and 53:20. Full results.

Susanna Saapunki - 2023 Smarna Gora - women's winner

Susanna Saapunki, on her way to winning the 2023 Smarna Gora. Photo: Jonathan Wyatt

Other Races and Runs

Otter African Trail Run – Nature’s Valley, South Africa

The point-to-point race goes for roughly 42k, the marathon distance, across varied terrain. Robbie Simpson (U.K.) ran 4:12 for the men’s win. Kane Reilly (South Africa) was second in 4:14, and 2022 and 2021 race winner Johardt Van Heerden (South Africa) was third in 4:18. The women’s race wasn’t close, with a podium all from the host country. Bianca Tarboton was way ahead in 4:52. Lijan Burger and Ruth Cozien were second and third in 5:25 and 5:31, respectively. Full results.

LouzanSkyrace – Lousã, Portugal

The Skyrunner World Series contest went 25k and with 2,250 meters (7,382 feet) of elevation gain. Shoma Otagiri (Japan) and Ikram Rharsalla (Spain) were race winners in 2:56 and 3:31. Full results.

Shoma Otagiri - 2023 LouzanSkyrace - men's champion

Shoma Otagiri on the way to winning the 2023 LouzanSkyrace. Photo: Pedro Seiça

Ikram Rharsalla - 2023 LouzanSkyrace - women's champion

Ikram Rharsalla, the 2023 LouzanSkyrace champion. Photo: Twenty4Media

Grizzly Ultra 50k – Canmore, Alberta, Canada

Race winners Zach Pezderic and Kate Storey finished in 4:56 and 5:06. Full results.

Cuyamaca 100k – Julian, California

Nick Stenger and Jade Belzberg won the longtime race in 10:30 and 11:38. Full results.

2023 Cuyamaca 100k - men's podium

The 2023 Cuyamaca 100k men’s podium (l-to-r): 2. Orion Feist, 1. Nick Stenger, and 3. Evan Goodwin. Photo: Scott Crellin/Jose Sosa

2023 Cuyamaca 100k - women's podium

The 2023 Cuyamaca 100k women’s podium (l-to-r): 2. Brittany McPhee, 1. Jade Belzberg, (and missing, 3. Elizabeth Helland). Photo: Scott Crellin/Jose Sosa

Flagstaff Sky Peaks – Flagstaff, Arizona

The 50-mile winners Scott Traer and Katalin Nagy won in 7:18 and 9:05, and Arrick Nietert and Claire Rogan took the 50k crowns in 5:07 and 6:02. Full results.

Bear Trap 50k – Tooele, Utah

Against a small field of just 15 finishers, it was Samuel Collins and Juliet Fletcher at the front in 5:06 and 7:59. Full results.

Arches Marathon – Moab, Utah

Nathan Kovarik and Cristina Regalado were at the front of the 50k in 4:45 and 4:59, and Colin Gill and Heidi Booher won the marathon in 3:03 and 4:10. Full results.

Above the Clouds Ultra – Woodland Park, Colorado

Course records fell at the second-year 50k. Matthew Galle and Emily Stahl were the race’s best in 4:37 and 5:15. Full results.

Hennepin Hundred – Sterling, Illinois

Taggart VanEtten broke the course record with a 12:45 finish. Chris Stayman was just off the old course best with a second-place 13:09. Rachel Ragona was women’s winner in 14:37, and Lauren Mitchell was second in 16:04. Phil Young and Jaclyn Dziewior won the 50-mile race in 5:44 and 8:21. Full results.

Chicago Marathon – Chicago, Illinois

Sam Chelanga was second at this year’s Mount Washington Road Race, and ran a huge personal best in Chicago, at age 38, with a 2:08:50 finish. That’s six minutes better than his previous best marathon. He was ninth overall. Regular Speedgoat by UTMB 28k racer Molly Seidel had a strong return to the marathon distance too. She scored a new personal best in 2:23:07 for eighth place. The 50k world record holder Des Linden was 17th in 2:27:35, and that was a new American’s masters record. At the front of the race, Kelvin Kiptum (Kenya) set a new world record for the marathon in 2:00:35, the first time anyone has broken 2:01. Sifan Hassan (The Netherlands) won the women’s race in 2:13:44. Full results.

Shawnee 50/50 Trail Runs – West Portsmouth, Ohio

In southern Ohio, Mike Cooper and Hannah Roberts won the 50-mile race in 9:23 and 11:29, and Jared Hites and Claire Barker won the 50k in 5:02 and 6:29. Full results.

Canal Corridor 100 Mile – Akron, Ohio

The top three men all finished under 16 hours. Ryan WitkoJacob Conrad, and Nilesh Shah came through in that order in 15:12, 15:49, and 15:53. Josephine Weeden gapped the rest of the women’s group with a 16:54 win. Jenny Metzler and Melissa Terwilliger came next in 18:01 and 20:32. Full results.

Ryan Witko - 2023 Canal Corridor 100 Mile - men's winner

Ryan Witko on his way to winning the 2023 Canal Corridor 100 Mile. Photo: Joe Viger

Josephine Weeden - 2023 Canal Corridor 100 Mile - women's winner

Josephine Weeden, the 2023 Canal Corridor 100 Mile champion. Photo: Joe Viger

Oil Creek 100 Mile – Titusville, Pennsylvania

There were only 10 finishers, but Jr Schlabach and Rebecca Kosek got it done in 20:27 and 23:35. Full results.

Naturalist 50k – Franklin, North Carolina

We’ll make sure to get this right. It’s Naturalist, not naturist. Matt Koons and Laurel Awald won the race in 4:58 and 5:18. Full results.

Call for Comments

Short week, what can you add?

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.