This Week In Running: September 18, 2023

This Week in Running’s trail and ultra recap for September 18, 2023.

By on September 18, 2023 | Comments

This Week in Running Justin Mock TWIRAh geez, friends, there’s a lot here. We’ve got the Pikes Peak Ascent and Marathon, the Run Rabbit Run 100 Mile, The Rut 28k and 50k, the NACAC Mountain and Trail Running Championships, the Skyrunner World Series, and a bunch more. Get comfy!

Pikes Peak Ascent – Manitou Springs, Colorado

iRunFar earlier shared results from the 13.3-mile Pikes Peak Ascent, and in greater detail. The race climbed 7,800 feet to finish on the 14,115-foot summit.

Sophia Laukli won her third Golden Trail World Series race of the year. She topped out in 2:35:54, separating from Judith Wyder (Switzerland) only in the last two miles. Wyder was second in 2:39:35, and trail upstart Anna Gibson impressed with a third-place 2:43:59.

Sophia Laukli - 2023 Pikes Peak Ascent champion 2

Sophia Laukli, 2023 Pikes Peak Ascent champion. Photo: Golden Trail Series | Pikes Peak Ascent | The Adventure Bakery

Rémi Bonnet (Switzerland) repeated as men’s winner, but did it seven minutes faster than a year ago and became the fastest person ever up Pikes Peak. Bonnet’s 2:00:20 finish beat Matt Carpenter’s longstanding 2:01:06 record. Carpenter ran his time in 1993 as part of the Pikes Peak Marathon, then setting what’s been widely regarded as an almost unbeatable mountain running record — until now. As with women’s winner Laukli, Bonnet too earned a $3,000 first-place prize.

Remi Bonnet - 2023 Pikes Peak Ascent champion - new record 2

Rémi Bonnet winning the 2023 Pikes Peak Ascent and setting a new course record. Photo: Golden Trail Series | Pikes Peak Ascent | The Adventure Bakery

Patrick Kipngeno (Kenya) was second in 2:04:09, and that’s the third-best time ever up the mountain. Eli Hemming was third to the top, first American, in 2:07:40.

Full results.

Pikes Peak Marathon – Manitou Springs, Colorado

Sunday’s Marathon was a roundtrip from town to the 14,115-foot summit and then back down, and it was a full 26.2 miles. Race winners each collected a $2,000 first-place prize.


Kristina Mascarenas hit the top in 2:56, seven minutes better than everyone else, and the expert downhiller wouldn’t be caught from there. Mascarenas didn’t let up and came down in 1:34, the race’s sixth-fastest descent. She won in 4:31, placing eighth overall, and cartwheeled across the finish. Mascarenas won here in 2022 and 2017 too.

Second- and third-place Sarah Guhl and Gabriella Brinkley finished in 4:51 and 5:05, respectively.


The men’s marathon was a showdown between the last two race winners. Jonathan Aziz won in 2022, and Seth DeMoor won in 2021 and 2020. DeMoor’s winning times were four minutes faster than Aziz’s, but DeMoor came into this year’s race having just finished fourth in 2:09 in the day prior’s Ascent.

Aziz led to the top in 2:19, and DeMoor was hot on his heels only 21 seconds back. DeMoor’s best descent from 2020 was over seven minutes back of Aziz’s 2022 downhill though, and that was the tell for the 2023 race.

Aziz outpaced his chaser on the way down and won this year’s race in 3:43, three minutes slower than in 2022.

DeMoor was second in 3:51, and of course was the weekend’s fastest doubler.

Mark Schenberger was third across the finish in 4:08.

Full results.

Run Rabbit Run 100 Mile – Steamboat Springs, Colorado

It’s the richest race in trail running with an almost shocking amount of prize money. This year there was again a $75,000 prize purse that sent a whopping $15,000 to each of the 100-mile winners. But still, the race doesn’t draw a deep competitive field to match that giant cash haul.


Kristi Knecht had a 13-minute lead at halfway, but Tara Dower jumped in front just 10 miles later. At mile 70, Dower’s lead was less than two minutes, and only after that did she start to gain separation. Dower finished first in 20:32 and Knecht was second in 20:53. Dower was second a year ago in 23:08, whereas this was Knecht’s first-ever 100 miler.

Karen Holland was third in 22:14, and earned $5,000.

Tara Dower - 2023 Run Rabbit Run 100 Mile - women's winner

Tara Dower on her way to winning the 2023 Run Rabbit Run 100 Mile. Photo: Paul Nelson


The 2021 race winner Dave Stevens (Canada) was again victorious.

Stevens fought off a challenge from Jimmy Elam to win this year’s race in 17:22. He won in 2021 in 18:01. Elam was with Stevens through halfway, and only gave up a little time in the second half toward a 17:45 runner-up finish.

The 2022 second-placer Arlen Glick capped off a three-100-mile summer with a third-place 18:43. Glick earlier ran the Western States 100 and the Hardrock 100. His finish was 21 minutes better than a year ago.

Full results.

Dave Stevens - 2023 Run Rabbit Run 100 Mile - men's winner

Dave Stevens, the 2023 Run Rabbit Run 100 Mile men’s champion. Photo: Paul Nelson

The Rut Mountain Runs – Big Sky, Montana

Tram construction kept runners off the traditional Lone Peak high point and runners instead topped out on the ridge close to the summit.

Vertical K

The 5k race went up 3,623 feet. The winners pocketed $1,000.

Brian Eimstad led the men up in 37:04, and Michelino Sunseri and Griffin Briley followed next in 37:50 and 38:20.

The top three women were even more closely bunched. Danielle Marquette edged out Leah Lange and Katie Follett. Marquette was first in 45:50, Lange was second in 46:07, and Follett took third in 46:39. Before this move to the trails, in July, Follett raced in the 1,500-meter race at the USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships.


The 17.6-mile run gained 7,800 feet of elevation. Race winners earned $3,000.

Bailey Kowalczyk led the women from the start and finished in 3:19. She won in 2022 too. Kelly Wolf and Brittany Charboneau got on the podium with 3:37 and 3:44 marks.

Men’s winner Johnny Luna-Lima pulled away late toward a 3:01 finish. Logan Greydanus and Davin Grapentine ran 3:08 and 3:11, respectively, for second and third.


The long course had 10,500 feet of elevation gain. First-place finishers collected $3,000 here too.

Jennifer Lichter repeated as women’s winner, taking the crown in 5:34. Kristina Trygstad-Saari and Klaire Rhodes were second and third in 5:45 and 5:50.

Vertical K runner-up Michelino Sunseri came back and won the men’s 50k in 4:59. Tyler Fox edged Tyler Courville for second, 5:25 to 5:28.

Full results.

World Masters Mountain Running Championships – Madeira, Portugal


Runners age 35 and up competed on the 9.2k uphill-only course, going up 800 meters. That’s 5.7 miles and 2,625 feet.

Charlotte Cotton (Belgium) was the first woman up. Her 52:41 finish was over a minute faster than anyone else. Men’s winner Eric Blake (U.S.) climbed up in 43:11, and that was 52 seconds better than anyone else.

Long Distance

The event’s second race went for 32k (20 miles) and with 1,151 meters (3,776 feet) of elevation gain. It climbed through the first half, and the second half went downhill.

Simone Raatz (Germany) led all of the women’s race and won in 2:45. She was three minutes in front of everyone else.

2023 World Masters Mountain Running Championships - Long Distance - women's podium

The top three women at the 2023 World Masters Mountain Running Championships Long Distance (l-to-r): 2. Vera Bernardo, 1. Simone Raatz, and 3. Dee Collins. Photo: WMRA/Nancy Hobbs

The men’s race wasn’t at all close. Shaban Mustafa (Bulgaria) finished in 2:11, over seven minutes better than his closest competition.

Full results.

2023 World Masters Mountain Running Championships - Long Distance - men's podium

The top three men at the 2023 World Masters Mountain Running Championships Long Distance (l-to-r): 3. Tiago Aires, 1. Shaban Mustafa, and 2. Massimiliano Bernardi. Photo: WMRA/Nancy Hobbs

Grigne Skymarathon – Pasturo, Italy

The Skyrunner World Series race was pushed back from Saturday to Sunday because of bad weather. The 42k race went across two peaks of the Grigne Massif with ridge crossings, chains, fixed rope sections, and parts that required a helmet.

Hillary Gerardi (U.S., lives in France) repeated as women’s winner, leading throughout toward a 6:12 finish. Ainara Urrutia (Spain) and Kalie McCrystal (Canada) were second and third in 6:36 and 6:37, respectively.

Hillary Gerardi - 2023 Grigne SkyMarathon - women's winner

Hillary Gerardi on her way to winning the 2023 Grigne Skymarathon. Photo: Brian Sharp

The men’s race saw several lead changes and Louison Coiffet (France) upset Manuel Merillas (Spain) for the win. Coiffet was over a minute in front in 4:54 to Merillas’s 4:55 finish. Cristian Minoggio (Italy) was third in 5:00.

Full results.

Louison Coiffet - 2023 Grigne Skymarathon - men's winner

Louison Coiffet, the 2023 Grigne Skymarathon winner. Photo: Brian Sharp

Wildstrubel by UTMB – Valais, Switzerland

The 70k (43 miles) went for 4,600 meters (15,091 feet) of elevation gain, and race winners Anne-Lise Rousset Seguret (France) and Aurélien Dunand-Pallaz (France) finished in 8:32 and 7:36. Dunand-Pallaz, who won this year’s Hardrock 100, was only a minute in front of second-place Ramon Manetsch (Switzerland).

Sara Escobar-Carron (Switzerland) and Andy Symonds (U.K.) were fastest in the long 113k race at 15:33 and 12:51.

Daniela Oemus (Germany) was just fifth at OCC, and she was back to racing here in the 50k. She won in 6:05, and men’s leader Benedikt Hoffman (Germany) won in 4:58.

Full results.

Additional Races and Runs

Le Grand Trail Serre-Ponçon – Embrun, France

Camille Bruyas (France) got back to racing and won the 49k in 5:57. Men’s winner Sacha Duinat (France) finished in 5:31. Full results.

Tor des Géants – Courmayeur, Italy

The big adventure stretched 330 kilometers (205 miles). Emma Stuart (U.K.) and Franco Collé (Italy) won in 82:21 and 66:39. It was Collé’s fourth win here and he broke his own course record from 2021. In the accompanying 130k race (80 miles), Enrica Dematteis (Italy) and Dani Jung (Italy) were tops in 27:56 and 21:11. Jung’s mark too was a new course record. Full results.

Emma Stuart - 2023 Tor des Géants - women's winner

Emma Stuart, the 2023 Tor des Géants champion. Photo: Zzam! Agency/Alessandro Zambianchi

Franco Collé - 2023 Tor des Géants - men's winner

Franco Collé, the 2023 Tor des Géants champion. Photo: Zzam! Agency/Roberto Roux

North America Central America Caribbean Mountain and Trail Running Championships – Saskatchewan, Canada

The first-ever combined North America Central America Caribbean (NACAC) Mountain and Trail Running Championships had an up-and-down 10k race and a 50k race. Gabrielle Orie and Liam Meirow won the 10k in 46:58 and 40:18, and Sarah Biehl and Chris Balestrini won the 50k in 5:10 and 4:11. Full results.

Mountain Lakes 100 Mile – Ollalie Lake, Oregon

Race winners Christine Mosley and Colin Macfarlane finished in 20:30 and 18:49. Full results.

Flagstaff to Grand Canyon Stagecoach – Flagstaff, Arizona

The 100-mile champs Stephanie Leake and Vasileios Paschalidis ran to the line in 24:07 and 20:35. Full results.

Barkley Fall Classic 50k – Wartburg, Tennessee

Obstacle-course pro Christiana Rugloski and Maxime Gauduin (France) won their way into the Barkley Marathons with 9:44 and 9:13 winning times at this event. Full results.

Georgia Jewel 100 Mile – Dalton, Georgia

Laura Dukes and Alex Dedels kept the victories in state. The two winners finished in 25:54 and 19:30. Full results.

Ouray 50 Mile – Ouray, Colorado

With more than 23,000 feet of elevation gain through the steep San Juan Mountains, the event caters to those who can move efficiently in that terrain. This year’s event, the first time the 50 miler was separated from the 100-mile event run in mid-July, served up a perfect fall day. Anita Ortiz won the women’s race ahead of former course record holder Melissa Beaury, with a time of 17:21:58. Erik Sorenson took down the previous men’s course record by 80 minutes with a time of 12:32:04. Full results (when available.)

Anita Ortiz - 2023 Ouray 50 Mile - women's winner

Anita Ortiz, the 2023 Ouray 50 Mile champion. Photo: Eszter Horanyi

Eric Sorenson - 2023 Ouray 50 Mile - men's winner

Erik Sorenson, the 2023 Ouray 50 Mile winner. Photo: Eszter Horanyi

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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.