UTMB 2018 Results

CamelBak Ultra Pro VestFrance’s Xavier Thévenard took home his third win while Italy’s Francesca Canepa earned her first victory at UTMB 2018. The men’s and women’s fields faced challenging weather conditions paired with hyper-dynamic competition, which together required not only strong physical performances but perhaps even stronger psychological performances of these champions.

In the men’s race, emergent Romanian runner Robert Hajnal had the race of his life to take second, while Spain’s Jordi Gamito racked up perhaps his biggest performance among a number of big performances over the years to take third. For the women, it was Spain’s Uxue Fraile who returned from major injury to her previous form to take second, and France’s Jocelyne Pauly, who battled long and late in a close women’s podium race for third, her top ultra-trail race result by far.

In a race that was informed in great part by a decimation of the frontrunner field–especially on the men’s side–it was hard to track exactly how many lead shifts happened over the course of the day or so of Alpine trail racing. In our results articles, we typically talk about those who had their best days at the front of the race. With so very many drops among the men’s favorites, a conversation about those who didn’t make it seems warranted, too. First things first, we’ll start at the top of the women’s and men’s fields and, then, work our way down.

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As usual, we’ll be updating this article with additional results as well as links to race-related articles, photo galleries, and race reports. Check back.

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2018 UTMB - La Fouly

The fog rises above La Fouly, Switzerland at dawn. Photo: iRunFar/Bryon Powell

2018 UTMB Women’s Race

Let’s begin with two important and race-informing facts:

  • Last year, there was a spread of three hours and 55 minutes between the first and 10th women. This year, that time difference was about 90 minutes.
  • The men’s top-10 time spread was two hours and 45 minutes, and, again, the women’s just 90 minutes.

What a year for the upper-echelon women at UTMB!

Italy’s Francesca Canepa (post-race interview), she’s probably a name that newer fans of international trail ultrarunning don’t recognize. In looking through her decade or so of trail and ultrarunning race results, you might think that on paper she’d reached her ultrarunning peak in the 2012 to 2014 range. For instance, in 2012, she went back-to-back to take second at (one of the weather-shortened versions of) UTMB and, then, win Tor des Géants a couple weeks later. But here we all are in 2018 with a UTMB champ in Francesca.

What we also have in Francesca is a woman who didn’t slow down while surrounded by a field of women who did, and her speed and pace results on the race tracker phenomenally demonstrate this. Her lowest ranking in the overall field was 157th place at Saint-Gervais (21km), and her best was at the finish when she was 33rd overall. Francesca moved inside the women’s top 10 between the descent from Col de la Seigne into Italy (at around 65km) and her hometown of Courmayeur (80km). The rest was history as woman by woman, she passed them all, until she arrived to the 135km checkpoint as the women’s leader. Her gap to the other women was never big–less than five minutes at the finish–but it was plenty for her arrival as the 2018 champ.

Francesca Canepa at La Fouly in Switzerland at dawn on Saturday, on her way to winning UTMB 2018. Photo: iRunFar/Bryon Powell

I’m not going to lie, Spain’s Uxue Fraile (pre- and post-race interviews) is always a force to be reckoned with. But she’d been injured for a long time, so going into this year’s UTMB, I was unsure if she’d be back to her previous form. When I caught a glimpse of her in Chamonix a couple days before the race, I was sure she’d compete for the podium. Holy smokes, was she fit!

Early race, Uxue was smack dab in the middle of the women’s top 10, in fifth at 21km. From there until about 124km, Uxue’s position in the women’s top five shifted around. At Les Chapieux (50km), she was second, while at Grand Col Ferret (90km), she was fourth. This was the result of women coming and going from in front of her, time and again. She would say after the race that the fluidity with which women moved in front of and, then, behind her was actually sort of confusing, in terms of the sheer number of times it happened and who those runners were. By 140km, she settled into second place, where she would stay. Ultimately, she caused a little excitement as she cut over half her deficit to the lead in a couple kilometers over the race’s final 10km, on the steep descent to Chamonix from La Flégère. But when the route flattened out again with a couple kilometers to go, her pace evened out relative to that of Francesca in front of her, and the pair finished about 4.5 minutes apart.

Uxue Fraile elated with second place at UTMB 2018. Photo: iRunFar/Bryon Powell

Third-place Jocelyne Pauly (post-race interview) of France was this year’s women’s breakout runner. She’s been a strong ultrarunner for a number of years, but this was far and away her strongest result–by a country (or Alpine?!) mile. A mom and an educator living in the French Pyrenees, Jocelyne was unaffected by the difficult weather conditions which persisted for most of the first 12 hours of the race, including rain, frozen precipitation, and cold temperatures. As early as 21km into the race, Jocelyne was well inside the top 10. She said after the race that this positioning surprised her, but that she went with it since it felt good. She was still outside podium position at the start of the final climb, and once she moved her way into third place, she said that her competitive instinct made her want to fight for that spot.

The women’s podium of UTMB 2018 (l-to-r): 2. Uxue Fraile, 1. Francesca Canepa, 3. Jocelyne Pauly. Photo: iRunFar/Bryon Powell

Fourth place was the U.K.’s Beth Pascall, who put on what looks like a textbook performance, running outside the women’s top 10 to start, easing into it mid-race, before coming on strong in the final 25km to move up from seventh to fourth place.

Rounding out the women’s top five was Italy’s Katia Fori, who was one of those people whose position in the race moved around, from higher, to lower, to higher, and to lower again. At one point she was actually leading the race before she ultimately finished fifth.

Katia Fori running toward fifth place. Photo: iRunFar/Bryon Powell

In sixth was France’s Juliette Blanchet, who avenged last year’s DNF with a strong 2018 finish. Seventh place was the always-impressive Ildikó Wermescher (post-race interview) of Hungary. The USA’s Cat Bradley took eighth. Bulgaria’s Mariya Nikolova (pre-race interview) took ninth for the second year in a row. The USA’s Kaci Lickteig, who sat outside the women’s top 10 until the final kilometers, sprinted it in for 10th place.

Drops were an influential part of the storyline of both the women’s and men’s races, though as we shall see below, the DNF influence was really heavy among the men. iRunFar had 34 women in its preview who actually ended up starting the race, and I believe that 12 of them didn’t finish, a 35% drop rate. There were 782 DNFs among 2,561 total starters, a 31% overall drop rate. So the frontrunner women’s DNF rate was a little higher than the average drop rate for the whole field. Interestingly, seven of those 12 women were from the USA.

Mimmi Kotka was one of the women’s favorites, but she dropped in Les Contamines, early in the race. Photo: iRunFar/Meghan Hicks

2018 UTMB Women’s Results

  1. Francesca Canepa (UGlow) –26:03:48 (post-race interview)
  2. Uxue Fraile (Vibram) –26:08:07 (pre- and post-race interviews)
  3. Jocelyne Pauly (Kiwami)– 26:15:11 (post-race interview)
  4. Beth Pascall (Raidlight) – 26:26:40
  5. Katia Fori (Columbia) – 26:40:43
  6. Juliette Blanchet (Vibram) – 26:48:44
  7. Ildikó Wermescher (Hoka One One) – 27:19:36 (post-race interview)
  8. Cat Bradley (Salomon) –27:22:11
  9. Mariya Nikolova – 27:23:20 (pre-race interview)
  10. Kaci Lickteig (Altra) – 27:31:39
  11. Fernanda Maciel (The North Face) – 27:35:11
  12. Sophie Grant – 27:51:07
  13. Emilie Lecomte – 28:10:03 (pre-race interview)
  14. Nathalie Henriques – 28:38:57
  15. Teresa Nimes (Compressport) – 28:50:12
  16. Kaori Niwa (Salomon) – 28:52:10
  17. Irene Kinnegim (Raidlight) – 29:16:34
  18. Manu Vilaseca (BUFF) – 29:28:05
  19. Jo Meek (SCOTT) – 30:16:38
  20. Fu-Zhao Xiang (Toread) – 31:29:47

Full results.

2018 UTMB Men’s Race

To be honest, I think a number of us wondered about Xavier Thévenard’s (pre- and post- race interviews) ability to recover from both those 91 miles of the Hardrock 100 that he did run as well as the psychological outwash of the nine miles he didn’t with his disqualification a scant six weeks ago. But if there was any lingering fatigue, you couldn’t see it. He was solid all day long, not only efficient in his trail time, but also efficient in his aid-station transitions. And he also kept his cool as lead change after lead change happened around him until there was just him left. Sometimes it’s hard to tell if Xavier enjoys what he does when he’s out there–he’s a quiet guy who keeps his thoughts to himself and the emotions off his face. But he let his feelings out at the finish with a sweet celebration.

At the outset and for something like half the race, Xavier sat in the middle of the top 10. Then, from about midway up until the 50-kilometers-to-go mark, he moved up until he eventually was the solo race leader starting at Champex-Lac (124km). His lead was modest at first, but he really opened it up in the final race segments, ultimately winning by some 45 minutes.

Xavier Thévenard, UTMB 2018 champion. Photo: iRunFar/Bryon Powell

Second-place Robert Hajnal (post-race interview), of Romania… wait, stop the ‘press.’ Who’s that? I know, I know, iRunFar has a small yet passionate collection of Romanian readers who did know of this guy before this weekend, but the rest of us, let’s get to know Robert. I took notice of him when he finished 15th at the 2018 Trail World Championships, but his accolades go farther back than that. Last year, he earned a pair of fifth places at the Lavaredo Ultra Trail and Ultra-Trail Cape Town.

The first time Robert caught my attention at this race was in the dark, cold, wind, and below-freezing temperatures on the descent from Col de la Seigne on the border of France and Italy, at about 65km. He was bundled up enough that it was hard to figure out who he was while he ran just outside of the men’s top 10. The next time we saw him in the bustling Courmayeur aid station (80km), he’d passed a bunch of people and moved solidly into the lead group. That’s where he stayed all day, moving up sequentially until, after 124km, he found his ultimate finishing position. Our eyes are squarely on you now, Robert. What’s your next move?

Robert Hajnal after taking second at UTMB 2018. Photo: iRunFar/Bryon Powell

Spain’s Jordi Gamito (post-race interview) has a lot of feathers of success adorning his trail-ultrarunning hat from the last half-decade-plus of high-level ultrarunning. I believe he had two previous finishes of 12th and 10th places at UTMB to his name, as well as podium finishes at other important races. At the finish line, Jordi said that earning a UTMB podium position was like a dream to him, something he’d thought a lot about, but thought he might never achieve. Well, Jordi, dreams do come true! Like Xavier and Robert in front of him, Jordi started out a little conservatively, and got closer to the front of the race as time went on. He found his third-place position with about 60km to go, and he never was closely challenged for it, nor did he challenge for a higher ranking. This year, the podium is his.

Jordi Gamito celebrates his third place with the crowd gathered at the UTMB 2018 finish line. Photo: iRunFar/Bryon Powell

Here we go, Norway’s Hallvard Schjølberg, who are you? He’s the dude who took 28th place at UTMB last year and fourth place this year. Talk about some improvement! Hallvard was a quintessential honey badger, never really caring about or being bothered by difficult conditions, soldiering on in it all.

Rounding out the men’s top five was the U.K.’s Damian Hall (post-race interview). Check out his UTMB progression: 29th in 2015, 19th in 2016, 12th last year, and, now, this. With such significant leaps forward, the only question is what his UTMB ceiling might be.

Damian Hall on his way to fifth place. Photo: iRunFar/Bryon Powell

Sixth place was Latvian Roman Evarts, who turned up in the men’s top 10 at 124km, after running over half the race in 20th-30th place overall. Seventh was Italy’s Stefano Ruzza, who employed the same move-up strategy, though not entering the top 10 until even later. Erik Clavery, of France, surprised me. I tend to think of him as a relatively aggressive runner who sometimes sticks it and sometimes doesn’t. I was, thus, surprised to see him taking it easier early and running around 20th place before watching him turn up in the top 10 later in the race. Austria’s Florian Grasel finished ninth, and Spain’s Javi Dominguez took 10th.

To put it mildly, there were some DNFs in the men’s field. At quick count, it looks like there were 25 drops from the 39 men in our preview who ultimately started the race, or a 64% drop rate among iRunFar’s men’s favorites. This statistic sits in stark contrast to the race’s overall drop rate of 31%. Some of those drops were the result of weird stuff, like a pre-race bee sting that manifested in mid-race health issues for three-time champion Kilian Jornet, as well as during-race slips, trips, and ankle rolls that created race-ending injuries for Tim Tollefson (pre-race interview) who’s taken third at UTMB twice, previous second-place-finisher Luis Alberto Hernando (pre-race interview), and Alex Nichols who was debuting at UTMB but who has a plenty-strong racing resume. This is a significant number, sure, but there’s still much more to the story, and that has to be the general wear and tear of running 100 miles in difficult weather conditions catching up with a lot of men, including two-time top-10er Zach Miller (pre-race interview) who I also think hurt his ankle after going into the energetic hurt bucket, Jim Walmsley (pre-race interview) who was fifth last year, three-time top-10er Gediminus Grinius, Scotty Hawker who was last year’s 11th-place finisher, and more.

Jim Walmsley running at 21k into UTMB 2018 before his DNF. Photo: iRunFar/Meghan Hicks

2018 UTMB Men’s Results

  1. Xavier Thévenard (asics) – 20:44:16 (pre- and post- race interviews)
  2. Robert Hajnal (CEP) – 21:31:37 (post-race interview)
  3. Jordi Gamito (Compressport) – 21:57:01 (post-race interview)
  4. Hallvard Schjølberg (inov-8) – 22:06:59
  5. Damian Hall (inov-8) – 22:35:13 (post-race interview)
  6. Roman Evarts – 22:38:29
  7. Stefano Ruzza (Vibram) – 23:02:19
  8. Erik Clavery – 23:07:53
  9. Florian Grasel (BOA) – 23:12:03
  10. Javi Dominguez (Vibram) – 23:27:08
  11. Petter Restorp – 23:34:35
  12. Christopher Hammes – 23:47:39
  13. Mathieu Blanchard (Salomon) – 23:53:02
  14. Sacha Devillaz – 23:59:55
  15. Jim Mann – 24:07:27
  16. Emir Grairi – 24:16:21
  17. Gregoire Curmer (Compressport) – 24:26:59
  18. Matthieu Bosquet – 24:27:00
  19. Roberto Mastrotto (La Sportiva) – 24:28:23
  20. Bertrand Collomb-Patton – 24:33:26

Full results.

2018 UTMB Articles, Race Reports, and More

Coverage Thanks

It takes a village! Thank you so much to our office and field teams for forgoing sleep, putting in hundreds of miles of driving and hiking to report from remote locations, standing on frozen mountainsides for hours on end, and staring at computers all night and day. We are so grateful to Kirsten Kortebein, Marissa Harris, Mauri Pagliacci, Casey Szesze, Tim Peeters, Kate Cooke, Eóin Lennon, Gaël Revelin, Fabrice Van De Cauter, Tom Van De Cauter, Antonio Gassi, Rebecca Gassi, Cass Chisholm, Fabrizio Lavuri, Martina Demateo, Amy Leedham, and Braden Engel!

Meghan Hicks

is iRunFar.com's Managing Editor and the author of 'Where the Road Ends: A Guide to Trail Running.' The converted road runner finished her first trail ultramarathon in 2006 and loves using running to visit the world's wildest places.

There are 129 comments

  1. Spencer

    What a disappointing race for the US men. I thought for sure we would have a win, or at least 1 top 3 man, if not all 3! Very unfortunate Tim, Jim, Alex and Andrew all DNF’d. Also western states dark horse Mark Hammond. Random Oddities mixed with tough conditions. Or maybe just lack of mental toughness…

    1. Plub

      as an American male who roots for American males (and females) very hard… I have to say I am not so ready to spurn this group of dudes. they are all champions, some of whom were dealt a bad hand, others who made mistakes, but none of whom deserve anything but the utmost respect.

      it made me happy to see XT get the redemption he wanted after what went down at HR. I look forward to seeing the American men get redemption on 2018 UTMB.

      and of course hats off to Cat B and Kaci L…. and especially hats off to Francesca Canepa. would love to hear her backstory as I assume it’s interesting

      1. Davide

        Totally agree, after the huge success for US runners at Lavaredo (top of the podium for male and female on quite all the races) I thought that this was the good year, but a 100 miles (and UTMB in particular) are exponentially tougher and more inpredictable than a 100 or 120 K…

  2. Peter

    Thank you for a great coverage! You are the essence of ultra running!Halvard in 4 th place is a veteran by the way 41 or 42 years old. Many great stories in this race. The woman’s race was so close and exciting! Felt good about Xavier getting the win and being salouted by his home crowd. Great race.

  3. p.o.s.

    15 years US “superstars” tray to win utmb, from Jurek to Walmsley… real 100 miles with 10000+ is unknown territory for US trailers…

      1. Soon-Chul Choi

        Karl could you expand on this thought? I did both Speedgoat and UTMB this year and thought that UTMB is comparable to at least the Speedgoat 50k x 3 if you extrapolate out your race over the 106 mile distance. As we both know Speedgoat 50k is no joke! The UTMB steep descents really wear you down. Just looking for deeper insights, not an attack in any way.

        1. speedgoat

          all good. :-) I’m not saying it’s “easy” but the trails are buffed. Sure, mud can be an issue sometimes too, but I think what makes the race tough is the competition….all the hype, so stress and simply a fast pace wears the fastest runners down. Having done Hardrock 13X and the AT a few times, my perception is certainly skewed a bit, but I’ve run the course and I thought it was like disneyland of singletrack. Not “tough” mountain running. There are, of course, some ugly climbs…

          The altitude does not really play a factor as far as I’m concerned, so it’s a “hilly mountain run” at almost sea level in my book.
          For the record, it is the greatest race of all. It’s a perfect mix of fast trail and tough trail.

          1. Markus

            What make UMTB tough for most American’s is that you can’t have a pacer.
            Since a lot of US runners rely on pacers, they are not mentally prepared to go through rough times on their own.

            1. Frederic

              Not just the lack of pacer…. the mandatory gear, the limited crew, UTMB being a “night race”…etc.
              But those are only hypothesis.
              Krissy Moehl and Rory Bosio have shown that an American can win UTMB.

  4. Dominick Layfield

    Would love to hear some more detail about what happened to the bewilderingly large number of DNF’s, particularly among the elite men. I know much of this may have already been reported on the IRF Twitter feed, but I would love to know what happened to Jim, Zach, Tim, Mark etc.

    I find it hard to believe that the weather would have been a factor for anyone with Alpine racing experience. Overall, I thought conditions were unusually benign. It was mostly cool and damp, but the rain was light. I only wore my waterproof jacket briefly. Otherwise it was the usual routine of putting on hat, gloves, long-sleeve top, as you ascended to the high passes, and removing them when you descended to the milder valleys. There wasn’t enough rain to make the trails muddy and slippery, and no ice, snow etc. Last year’s weather was far worse.

    Anyway, thanks for the great race coverage. Must be an exhausting week for you guys!

  5. Andy

    Fantastic coverage, as always. So happy to be a patron! As an aside, did anyone observing live or watching the live video notice XT’s conspicuous consumption of water in the finishing chute? It wasn’t even hot! Subtle, but maybe not so. “So there, Hardrock!” Haha. Sweet redemption for sure.

  6. the truth

    I’m a big fan of Walmsley, dude has absolutely beautiful form. But it just seems like he’s refusing to grow up a bit and save his front running races for the days he feels excellent.

    1. Daniel B

      Refusing to grow up or just prefers to race out front. He trains and races to be a front runner because thats how he is. Although I’ll agree that he should of stayed back since his crew mentioned his legs werent feeling great at the start. But I still think he wouldnt of had a good race either way if that was the case.

  7. s.c

    Euros are generally less competitive at runable American ultras, unless they choose to focus on that. Americans are generally less competitive in slow steep Euro races, unless they choose to focus on that. Nothing new. People are better at that in which they have more experience.

    As for Walmsley, it’s good that he’s failing so much. He’s very talented, for an ultrarunner, but his ego was just too much – – made an @$$ of himself in interviews, raced like a fool. If he’s to realize his potential, he needs to take his rivals seriously and stop thinking he’s so much better than everyone else. He could use a coach, too. Or at least get advice from some older runner that knows how to perform every time. No Koop, though.

    1. Mary

      I’ll agree with you on the first part, exactly right.
      I’m confused. Hasn’t he proved himself yet from winning, placing well, and setting course records at multiple events? Just because someone struggles with a certain distances/terrain then how is that failing?
      Just a question too, why is being confident in this sport so bad? I see all of this “being humble” and yet when someone shows confidence they are usually looked down upon.

    2. Nelson

      The comment by s.c. is actually my own, which I wrote in letsrun.com under the handle Mizuno fanboy. Are you guys aggregating comments from other sources using bots or something?

      Anyway, replying to Mary, there’s a difference between confidence and some of the claims Jim made in the build up to Western States last year. I, and many others, have a problem with that kind of boasting. Otherwise, he’s a fenomenal runner and I hope he achieves most of his goals.

    3. Davide

      I doesn’t agree with you about Walsmley and race strategy: Last year the conditions were even worst, and d’Haene won racing all the time in front of the pack. When you race like Thévenard, only caring of your splits, you take also a risk: the people in front doesn’t blow up (and if Kilian is in front, normally he doesn’t blow up), you can’t win. Even Tim Tollefson tried this year to race less conservative: I think he learned that you have to take a risk to win UTMB… In fact, the good strategy doesn’t exist, and even if you are super fit and prepared like I think Jim was, you can have fatigue, sleep deprivation, gastric issues, falls, etc. it’s the beauty of the Ultras, it’s the beauty of UTMB.

    4. AJW

      Interesting comment s.c. Quick question: what type of coach do you think would benefit Jim? I happen to agree with your general sentiment in this case but as the market is flooded with many different types of coaches I wonder what type would best fit Jim’s style? A top-down dictatorial type, a collaborative problem solver, a grizzled old Jedi Master? Some combination thereof? From my perspective it’s an interesting conversation.

  8. AJS

    Would be interesting to hear the thoughts from the community about the higher than normal American elite DNF rate. Bad luck? Bad race strategy? Not tough enough? Either way, the Americans always put on a hell of show – hopefully it works out for them the men one day and for the women again!

    1. Daniel B

      Think bad strategy and bad luck. Tim, Alex, and Zach all obtain injuries during the race which prevented them from showing their final results. Zach might have gone out too hard but he had good odds when hearing about his training. Jim, as I have heard, had beat up legs at the start which could of ended him no matter what. Note: he didnt go out much faster than last year.

      1. Ronan

        Zach runs the way he runs and that’s why we love him. But that crazy uphill sprint on already beaten up legs? What’s the point apart from having to spend 20 minutes at the following aid? Running fast and in front is a strategy, crazy sprints are reckless and on a 170km race in the mountains

        1. Runntee

          You never know what happens when you overtake again.. maybe Xavier would have broken down or backed down.. Or even Zach would have felt better himself after taking back the lead. It’s so much mental games going on

          1. Nelson

            I’ve seen some interview where Xavier says he was puzzled to see Zach pushing so hard with so much race left, that it didn’t make sense to him. Wish I had the link, though.

          2. Jay

            Xavier back down?……you might want to rethink that. He is now a 3 time winner of UTMB and I think has every one of the other races as well. Would of won Hardrock if not for the DQ. He is a quiet assassin. The americans can learn a little bit from him imho.

    2. CapeCrusader

      Put on a show? If you mean inflating their capabilities, the bowing out as usual, they sure do put on a show. Face it American men can only win races the Euros dont care about. Once again hype over quality.

      1. Daniel B

        “American men can only win races the Euros dont care about.” As I know Europe has some amazing athletes, this comment is totally incorrect. American men have won many Europe races before. Look at CCC for example last year and previous years. Lot’s of other examples if you do your research. In the end it’s a friendly competition.

  9. IDoNotRunVeryFar

    Interesting dynamic for sure this year. As it may have been alluded to, it looks like the typical mountain weather conditions may sorted out who are really the mountain runners used to long days outside in the cold, rain, muddy, slippery, night etc… it’s likely that the result would have been drastically different with the initial cool and perfect weather that was forecast several days before. Turned out mother nature wanted mountain conditions in the mountains.

    While not an elite, I’m a bit confused at the strategy of going balls out in this environment, the weather was making the terrain no doubt more challenging so keeping the effort measured would probably have been a decent idea especially heading into the night, yet some of them (men and women) went for the 30M stage win in a 100M race.

    Alex Nichols, Luis Hernando, Kilian Jornet and Tim Tollefson having some pretty bad luck.

    On the positive notes:
    – iRunfar coverage
    – UTMB Live was pretty amazing at times, thank you Sebastien Chaigneau for doing some interval training to capture some great footage.
    – Thank you Hillary Girardi for the interviews on UTMB Live.
    – Kilian Jornet skimo technique on a uphill road and so relaxed run overall.
    – Xavier Thevenard – all business. Job done.
    – Cat Bradley, also got the job done, no fanfare. Kudos to her.
    – Timothy Olson. Gutting it out.
    – CCC: Tom Evans – Amazing progression in 2 years, didn’t feel well at the beginning and unleashed at the end to take the win
    – CCC: Min Qui and Miao Yao. The North Face, please bring them to TNF California 50M to dynamite the field
    – CCC: Katie Schide. Like Hillary Girardi she might be a US runner under the radar because living outside the US but she had great results in the last 2 years. Please interview her.
    – TDS: Dylan Bowman, all class, humble and got the job done
    – TDS: Top 3 men ripping it out and sprinting to the finish
    – UTMB: Caroline Chaverot. Only 3 weeks of training with 40mi/week on average after a long sickness and she’s hanging there. Wow.

    – The loud arrogant sadly stereotypical attitude prevalent among some of the US elites runners (men and women alike)
    – Rory Bosio on UTMB Live. See previous point. Trying to avoid to say more here.
    – Coconino cowboys. “Show up and blow up”. Bonus point for trying but maybe tame the message.
    – Zach Miller – The writing was on the wall, he was working so hard to move. Kilian and then Xavier likely added extra pressure keeping up that made him go over the edge. Kudos for giving it all however but if anything like that is going to work, that is going to be by accident.
    – Thibault Baronian (CCC) and Alex Nichols (UTMB) tramped over at the start. Maybe time for UTMB to do a staggered start. What a sad outcome for Alex Nichols.
    – livetrail.net is still not able to run a site without everything falling over
    – The UTMB announcers are still incredibly annoying

    Note to self: Looking forward to see the El Kott twins race UTMB in the future if they decide to go. I think this is a race tailored for them.

    Thank you again iRunfar for the great work

    Those are armchair comments and purely my own opinion of course.

    1. RunningFarAbroad

      ^^^ This

      Gerardi and Schide have been tearing it up the entire season over here. So while they’ve been under the radar in US coverage, they’ve been a force to be reckoned with in Europe and great cheering on. And yes, expat fanboy.

      #1: Madeira, Salomon Maxi-Race, Trail des Balcons, 2 Alps Outdoor Festival, Pierra Menta Ete w/ Gerardi (2h45 gap on #2)

      #1: Tromso, Kima, Mt Blanc Vertical KM, Pierra Menta Ete w/ Schide
      #2: Dolomites Skyrace, Yading Skyrunning Vertical KM

      Schide and Nilsson both debuted at the 100km with CCC so it will be interesting to see if they jump into longer distances in the future. It was exciting watching them chase down Yao who I’m going to keep my eyes out for now.

    2. Stephanie

      I was most impressed with Hillary on the live UTMB tv. I didn’t know it was her until well after the event. Would be cool to see an interview with her (and Katie Schide). Also, thank you irunfar and team for the great coverage!

    1. Daniel B

      I thought I heard his crew say during an interview Jim’s legs felt heavy and worn out at the start of the race. If thats the case im assuming he mightve not recover from his intense training block. So being a 100 mile mountain race and legs already feel trashed, thats rough.

      1. WeiDe

        I an earlier interview he mentioned, that due to a quad injury he did less for WS100 and that worked a charm. I am not sure why that approach would not have been feasible for UTMB? I dont think there are many people that can put in monster mileage and recover on time. There might only be one come to think of it…

  10. Mike

    Seems to me a year in large part of just bad luck for some: Tollefson, Hernando,Kilian, Nichols… , and for others maybe pacing strategy. I would love to see Zach stay between 5th and 12th position up until about milw 65 or 70 then slowly start pushing as his trademark style is. I think that is his route to 1st place as long as Kilian isn’t in the mix. But you can’t say he isn’t tough enough, he gives everything and then some, unfortunately it isn’t a lack of Will but of the body failing him.
    Tollefson, I thought he was going to be first American until I saw pics of him in the aid station close to tears, it’s really too bad but of any American, I think he’s doing whatever needs to be done in the most right ways.
    Kacie is a beast of a performer considering there’s no mountains near her to train on! Wow. Amazing runner.
    Cat BeRad quietly gets the job done and shows she’s a journeywoman on the rise ready to grind it out if that’s what it takes.

    Those who raced to finish rather than podium ultimately stood on the podium and those who raced for a podium spot, saw the finish line from a fan’s position.

  11. Lightning

    My expectations of Xavier were different than Meghan’s. I thought he should have been billed as a co-favorite before the race. He was clearly on great form at Hardrock, much better than his first Hardrock (where I was expecting more), and had won this twice. His prerace interview with iRunFar also reconfirmed my belief the rules were totally lost in translation at Hardrock – there was no deliberate cheating.

    I liked Bosio commenting on the live feed.

    Walmsley just didn’t have it from the start, I’ve heard through the grapevine. He probably misjudged his training and came I overtrained. He wasn’t really pushing the pace at any point where it would make sense to say that he blew himself up. The easy front running at the start was just his great running efficiency, and Zach and Kilian were with him soon enough.

    1. Daniel B

      I agree, Xavier was one of my top four people to be on the podium. He is a strong mountain runner!
      And Jim, I agree he mightve been overtrained and not fully recovered. It was obvious something was wrong when he began to go from 1st – 3rd – 5th – 10th – 15th and so on within the first 50 km or a little further in of the race. Sometimes the legs aren’t there, especially after a large training block that he did! Hopefully he can rest up and give it a good run at North Face 50.

  12. David Lockyer

    Thanks for the great summary. I was in the foray so not able to follow as it was unfolding. Fascinating developments and a reminder of the way in which 100 miles in the mountains throws up all sorts of variables. Patience and humility are certainly the kind of virtues needed to succeed here.

  13. Soon-Chul Choi

    Great interviews and coverage iRunfar! Nice seeing you Megan having lunch as I ran into the finish chute too. Proud to be part of the Patreon crew since the beginning!

    1. Meghan Hicks


      Congrats on your finish and thanks so much for your support on Patreon. I’m afraid you must have seen my look alike whilst finishing the race, as I believe I was staring at my computer screen in my apartment when you finished. Thanks again and a massive congrats! :-)

  14. Florian

    Maybe some of these guys should listen to some podcasts with speedgoat. And I thought after the krupicka story its common knowledge where all that massive volume leads to.

  15. Linn

    Isn’t it remarkable how three of the top seeded athletes got airlifted by helicopters..? Some even bragged about it later..Helicopter rescue in the Alps is used in extrem cases and not as a taxi service for pro runners who underestimate the terrain and overestimate their own abilities. Just a reflection…

    1. Mk.

      Actually, helicopter rescue is for everyone. Regardless of whether it’s an extreme case or a runner, hiker, climber overestimating themselves and not being prepared. There’s a reason why most of the races require an insurance which covers mountain rescue.
      We only know about the top runners, because they are in the spotlight. I’m sure that many other UTMB participants had to be airlifted from inaccessible places.
      If I decide to hike to a remote mountain pass and cannot make my way back because of my own stupidity, they’ll rescue me just as quickly as they would a stranded pro mountaneer. It’s then up to the insurance company to decide whether they cover the costs or not. :-) And believe me, this helicopter “taxi service” is ridiculously expensive.

          1. David

            Bryon, can you explain why not? Zach was clearly part of the race story and helped shape it. Ignoring him afterwards just because he didn’t finish feels…incomplete.

            You guys are awesome in every other respect, but this is an obvious gap in your coverage.

            1. Gideon

              Perhaps Jim and Zach don’t want to be involved in irunfar’s post-race coverage, rather than irunfar not including them?

        1. b

          Irunfar’s policy has been to interview top 3 plus one other. It’s not a media outlet for simply popular athletes. I can think of a few (maybe one?) rare cases where athletes have gotten interviews otherwise, but my memory is that the justification was more than a simple DNF.

          1. Meghan Hicks

            That is precisely it. Post-race, we always endeavor to interview the race’s highest achievers, the men’s and women’s podiums.

            A couple of times a year (twice or perhaps three times), we add in two more interviews, interesting people/stories who weren’t quite podium finishers but who performed quite well. At UTMB this year, we chose Damian Hall and Ildiko Wermescher for those extra interviews because they are fascinating people who we hadn’t interviewed before and who had great races among already great careers.

            Additionally, of course, time/workload factors into the post-race interview collection. It may not be evident from the outside looking in, but you need to know that it’s a massive workload to produce the six podium finisher interviews. Each interview involves a few hours minimum of work and depending on situational logistics it can be more, all crammed into a tiny window of time between race end/an appropriate amount of time for athletes to recover from the race until they leave the race site. Getting six quality interviews post-race is really hard work, and eight interviews once in a while is just nuts–worth it for the stories, but nuts.

  16. Karife

    For some time I’ve been mildly but increasingly curious if the age of peak performance for women ultra runners is later than than men. It strikes me that the top female performers might be 5 years older than male runners based purely on appearances –which can certainly be misleading– but I’ve never seen any real analysis of this. I can’t actually think why this should be the case however. Maybe male runners just tend to burn out at a younger age on average?

    The ages of the top three women here were 46, 44, and 45.
    The men: 30, 29 and 36.

    That seems like a statistical huge difference (13 years older on average) for such a race under such competitive pressure.

      1. Karife

        Wow. I wasn’t familiar with those age designations:


        But, as I interpret your numbers, those totals make it obvious there is a large and significant difference– men peaking at a younger age (or having shorter careers).

        Only 20% of male top 3 finishers were Masters (VH1 or VH2) vs 42% for female.

        But VH2 and VF2 had the same incidence (3) so the shift really occurs between SE and V categories.

        Lot’s of possible factors could play into this but it seems the overall age disparity is real.

        1. Brock

          Top 10 are 28.6% (males) and 38.8% (females) for masters (V1 and +). Age would be better, but it was just easier and faster to do the categories. There are also some differences regarding Top 3 Vs Bottom 7. Younger guys at Top 3 and older guys at bottom 7. Young women at Top 3 and even younger women at bottom 7. I don’t have time do more…

  17. Jadan

    Without doing the detailed research I wonder if that is because some of these women were less focused on elite level ultra trail racing whilst they were having children in their 20s and 30s? It has also been reported (I’m not sure if scientifically proven) that some women become stronger at endurance events after child-birth. In any case many women certainly come back strongly into endurance sports in their 40s these days and the rapidly increasing popularity of trail running in recent years has given them a great outlet to show off their latent abilities.

  18. Pavlina

    Awesome summary! I especially love how you dealt with reporting on relatively unknown runners :-)
    This year was such an interesting race, and I’m glad that some of the quieter, hard-working guys and gals came into spotlight!

  19. Alex

    I’m not surprised. I think this year Jim made the mistake of “running the race before running the race”. Read the IRF pre-race interview – he did an INSANE training block in the San Juans between Western States and UTMB. With only about nine weeks between the two events, it’s not surprising that asking his body to 1) recover from a CR effort at Western, 2) run 435 miles in three weeks in the high mountains (!), and then 3) recover from THAT in time to be ready for UTMB turned out to be too much, and he was flat on race day.

    1. Bryon Powell

      Sorry, we didn’t interview Hallvard this time. Generally, we interview the podium and, sometimes as a bonus, another person from the top ten that we’ve seen a bunch, but not otherwise interviewed.

      1. Steve

        I understand the sentiment behind focusing interviews on the podium, and wouldn’t suggest eschewing those. But isn’t the story of the race (at least this year) just as much the high profile DNFs and so wouldn’t hearing from those runners after the race be of equal value to those of us following the race from home?

        1. G

          I agree…I’m sure a lot of people would like to know about what happened out there. We always get the same interviews before the race with mostly the same racers…why not ask about the race for them after?

        2. NorCal

          I would not want to hear from DNFers. Podium finishers performed and deserve the spotlight. Plus the people that did DNF usually explain on some sort of social media forum. Not difficult to find

          1. g

            Didn’t say the podium finishers should not get the spotlight…merely that people may want to know what happened out there with the contenders that had a rough go.

          2. Steve

            It’s not about deserving the spotlight or not. They should absolutely interview the podium. But as a journalistic matter, the high profile DNFs are a huge part of the story of UTMB 2018.

          3. Steffen

            My thoughts exactly. And I also imagine that it’s very tricky to line up those interviews. Everyone has their travel plans, everybody needs sleep. Good to focus on the podium and (if possible) get a bonus. The DNFs might or might not be around anymore by the time the interviews are conducted.

  20. TDW

    Say what you will about Jim W. He’s a great runner and always will be even with one or more DNFs. I just wish the “reports” about the race and Walmsley in particular were more explicit and informative as to what exactly happened to cause his DNF and other predicted front-runners. Perhaps I’m missing something in the report above but to say that he (and others) succumbed to inclement weather says painfully little. Surely he (or someone on his crew) must of said something at the time he dropped by way of explanation. If any of you out there have more information in this regard please share with the rest of us who have an interest and have neither the desire or opportunity to review 24 hours of race footage to try and find out. Thank you

  21. GirlPower

    Rory Bosio’s commentating was a highlight. Finally some UTMB recognition for the women’s field that matches IRunFar’s spectacular reporting. Hope to see/hear more of RoryB, who is a legend in her own right. And what an amazingly competitive women’s race!

    1. KH

      I completely disagree. Whilst of course, I respect Rory as a runner, she is a very poorly informed and naive American. At least she comes off that way. I found her commentary, emotionally erratic and quite irresponsible. She could very well comment on a US mountain race, but I was disappointed she was chosen to represent the US at such a large international event; CR holder or not, there are other runners who wouldn’t be as embarrassing.

      1. David

        “a very poorly informed and naive American”

        Not sure why you need to add “American” to your assessment here. It does nothing to strengthen your argument but it does perpetuate negative stereotypes. It’s unnecessary and, frankly, offensive. I’m sure you don’t mean to offend, but I thought I would point out that it does since that sort of characterization has come up multiple times on this thread.

        I say this, btw, as a dual citizen of Europe and the U.S.

        1. KH

          I do apologize David. Dual citizen Scotland/USA here. And yes, you are correct, I did not mean to offend. I feel like I spend too much time defending Americans from the “ugly American” stereotype, which most ultrarunners do not represent. Although lately I am finding this USA/EU thing disturbing and I don’t think there is a place in the sport for divisiveness. This is why Rory’s comments bothered me. I sloppily wrote American in my description, referring to the stereotype and I apologize. I guess I called out Rory for being careless with her words and I just did the same thing. Mea culpa.

  22. Mk.

    Reading these comments, I’m getting uneasy about where this whole America vs. Europe rivalry is going. Some healthy competition is great, it may keep motivation and passion high. As an European myself, I like to see euros do well at any race, and also have my favorite runners.
    But some of these comments seem to me borderline offensive. I think the reason why a lot of us love mountain running is the sense of camaraderie and community, which is not really present in other sports. I don’t like to see this spirit pushed into background for such “petty” things as winning a race, even if said race might be one of the most prized races in the world.

    1. Lizzy

      I had not detected anything off with regards to this, till Rory Bosio’s live-feed comment just before the start (non-joking) to her GB co-presenter: “We won the war for you, or you’d be speaking German”. I couldn’t believe something like this could be so disrespectfully stated to European listeners during a sporting event. Is her attitude representative? Why is this something she thinks about at this incredible, happy, meeting of nations? (I am not angry – just disappointed to lose respect for her over this as I admire her as an athlete.)

      1. Andrew S

        This attitude is not representative of Americans who have any clue what they are talking about. I think she maybe meant it as a joke, but I’m pretty sure UTMB should have classy, professional coverage like iRunFar. Given the circumstances, it was a tasteless and insensitive joke at best, or a totally uninformed statement at worst.

      2. Mk.

        Yes, I heard that WW2 comment on live feed, and it shocked me. But I decided to ignore it, because bad jokes aside, I found her commentary very informative. She knows more about the sport and the other runners than the 2 official commentators combined.
        What I was referring to in my previous post were some of these written comments on iRF about “Jim’s ego” and “Zach’s pacing” and “americans cannot race in ‘proper’ european mountains”… to extrapolate a bit.

        1. Plub

          thanks for saying that, Mk. As someone who made vague “go American boys” comments before the race, I think I’ve actually seen MORE nationalistic talk after the race than before! A little bit of fun cheering for your nation is healthy, but some of this “Americans just aren’t tough enough” kind of talk is not only antagonistic, it’s also just not logical (how could nationality determine something like mental toughness? silly).
          Let’s focus on the things we love and not let the trashiness of the internet invade our mountain running community.

    2. JFrench

      I didn’t care for that WW2 comment either. There were several other comments she made that made ask why she said that. Good runner, just not a fan of her commentary over the weekend.

  23. Andrew S

    “Americans only win races Europeans don’t care about.”

    Um, what? Did Kilian not care about his first run at Western? Has Francois never cared about Western?

    There are amazing runners worldwide. Can’t we just enjoy it? This comments section is unnecessarily vitriolic. UTMB is supposed to be a celebration of the great things in the sport, but reading this thread is a letdown.

    1. Nelson

      Some people get their History lessons from Spielberg movies, and never heard of the Russian front in WWII, which is where Hitler lost the war thanks to the millions of lives of Russian soldiers who died there fighting the German army.

      1. Emerson Thoreau

        You are telling us that ET is fiction? Which has as much relevance to ultra running as does your WWII “revelation.” Congrats to all runners who put it on the line at UTMB and elsewhere last weekend and all soldiers of whatever stripe that helped take down Voldemort.

        1. Nelson

          Sorry, it seems I replied to the wrong comment. It was about Rory Bosio’s joke which, joke or not, I’ve heard way too many times already and, as an European, annoys the heck out of me. Especially since I’m Spanish and the US supported a genocidal dictator in my coutry, General Francisco Franco, just because of his position against Communism.

          Otherwise, Rory is a fenomenal runner and seems really nice in interviews.

  24. dogrunner

    Another comment – iRF does a fantastic job keeping us posted before, during, and after the race. Bryon and Meghan are always honest, unbiased, and work incredibly hard (my $ contrib will be arriving shortly :) ). I don’t think any of these posts suggest otherwise, but I think the iRF team is telling us what they know as soon as they can. News will never be 100% complete and comprehensive, but info does come in at different times, so ask questions, sure, but remember that we are the beneficiaries of one of the best values on the internet !!

    FWIW, the Euro vs US thing seems to come up at least a little every year. I think it is normal sports tribalism (why is the Olympics “won” by medal count anyway, isn’t it bunch of separate sports ;) For me, I have a ton of admiration for all the athletes from all over the world who can complete a race like this, and the performances at the top are incredible. I enjoy the drama as the race unfolds (thanks for the live feed), and the stories and interviews just enrich the whole vicarious experience. So thank you iRF!

  25. Meghan Hicks

    Hello everyone,

    Thanks for commenting, your interest in the race, and your interest in our coverage of it. You might be new here or you might have forgotten, but we have a comment policy which requires respectful discourse. Please read it before commenting to this or any other article, https://www.irunfar.com/irunfar-comment-policy. It’s okay to disagree with another commenter here, but your disagreement must be presented respectfully. As you form your comment, consider the people who read it as people with whom you share the trail while running or in a race. We talk about everything on the trail, and we disagree with each other, but we treat each other well even when we disagree. Please bring this same treatment of others to the comments section of iRunFar.

    Thank you.

  26. AT

    I, along with others I am sure would love to hear a race recap from Tim Olson. He battled hard throughout the race and finished strong after some mid race struggles. He’s a champion of the sport and wonderful example of balancing a family life while being a pro athlete. Congrats Tim!

  27. Brian Haviland

    I’m interested in the differing perceptions of DNFs between the various levels of racers, from the Elite to those missing the time cuttoff. I’m also interested in perspectives on Elites’ DNFs, particularly across cultures. Future article IRF?
    Everyone seems to have an opinion when it comes to an Elite DNF, but I’m dismayed by the ownership a minority of commenters are showing towards professionals and their performances.

    Dakota wrote an interesting article touching on differences in European and American attitudes towards DNFs.


    1. b

      Great point Brian, I was also thinking back to that article as the DNFs started streaming in last weekend. In a way that article suggests that the run-fast-DNF-early approach that is celebrated in Europe, yet clearly that is not the unanimous opinion from the sound of many posts here. I too appreciate the racer who puts their whole heart into winning and comes up short and yet simultaneously I dislike the hail mary approach or those runners whose egos swell beyond their abilities. But how one distinguishes one case from the other is perhaps more about story telling than facts? Anyways, I agree that there could be an interesting opinion piece on this.

    1. Bryon Powell

      There’s certainly blood testing for some of the ITRA ranked athletes before UTMB as well as for some of the top finishers after the race. I don’t know the exact protocol… for the sake of effectiveness, I doubt they’d want folks how exactly they generate who’s tested.

      Separately, can you perhaps update your name/handle. It’s a pretty negative acronym in English and unnecessary as such. Surely, you can come up with something a bit more positive. :-)


  28. Pat

    Gotta wonder about the factor of all the sponsor appearance obligations for American elites. That’s a lot of extra time-on-feet during race week.

    Some of the top euros are notably quiet before the race.

    1. Markus

      Yep, same old same old.
      Jim Walmsley didn’t learn anything. He is to insecure to train less when he needs to recover.
      While it is always difficult to get two races so close to each other right, he didn’t even try to get it right.

      1. Brian Haviland

        It sounds like he did learn something from this race. Now he knows how his body reacts to a big volume training block between WS and UTMB. He also explained why he thought he would be able complete that training block and taper in a way he wasn’t able to last year.

      2. Daniel Burke

        Wouldn’t call it insecure considering his training method has worked for past races. I wouldn’t hold him back from training the way he knows how or blame him. As Walmsley has mentioned he knew it was a risk to train RIGHT after Western States at such a high volume so he knew what he was doing. He just decided to take the risk and unfortunately it didn’t work out. Perhaps a year when he can focus just on UTMB.

        1. Markus

          I disagree. Jim has not a good record when it comes to 100 milers.

          Here is a list from a letsrun posting:

          “2015 100k world champs- choked
          2016 Western States- choked at 93 miles, sits down and sulks after a wrong turn, takes 4 hours to go 7 miles
          2017 Western States- choked, DNF
          2017 UTMB- choked at 100k, the one and only time he kinda rallied for 5th
          2017 Grand Raid Reunion- choked, DNF
          2018 Western States- his 1 major win out of 7, not as competitive as people think
          2018 UTMB- choked, DNF”

          1. Meghan Hicks

            I think this list inaccurately describes Walmsley’s 2017 UTMB and 2018 Western States 100 performances (but I’m not that surprised given the place it was copy-pasted from, where both unnecessary trolling and a lack of understanding of our sport is common/normal). First, a fifth place at the 2017 UTMB in the field that was assembled last year was a very strong performance, irrespective of the means by which he arrived to it. And his win and course record on the fourth-hottest day in the Western States 100’s 40-plus-year history at the 2018 event is one of the top performances I have personally witnessed in my 12 years so far of covering this sport.

            1. Markus

              I would disagree that all letsrun.com commenters have a lack of understanding of our sport. If you skip the trolls you find some good comments on letsrun about ultrarunning.

              Yes he was 5th at UMTB in 2017. That is very good for most but Jim was aiming a lot higher. And yes he won WS 100 with a course record this year. But it’s WS100 with a small elite field. Not every top runner can run there, if they want to. They have to go through the lottery system or win a race which gives away a starting slot. That does not make it easy for Non US based runner to get in. Well it’s even very difficult for US runners.

              In general to win a trail 100 miler, a lot of local knowledge will help. That is quite different in a road 100k race for example where chances are equal for all of the runners.

            2. Meghan Hicks

              We may have to agree to disagree on all fronts then. ;) Just to clarify, I did not say *all* LetsRun commenters don’t understand our sport. I said that a lack of understanding of our sport is common/normal on that website. As you say, there are plenty of trail and ultrarunners who are regular commenters there, and plenty of fans of the sport who don’t run trails and ultras who have a lot of knowledge–and that number of people who do have understanding is increasing over the years. However, I find it to be normal for people on LetsRun to exhibit misunderstanding of fundamental elements of trail and ultrarunning as they comment.

  29. Davide

    Sorry, but I don’t feel your comment very fair :) … half of the top elite field retired or had a bad race. At the intensity/speed at which the elite race even a little problem can lead to a disaster on a 100 miles, and we can’t resume this to “he overtrained, so he failed”

    1. Meghan Hicks

      Thanks for the comment, and I just want to add a clarification. Over half of the men’s UTMB favorites dropped, about 60%. This is double the drop rate of the race in whole. The drop rate in the women’s UTMB favorites was much closer to normal for the whole race. See details in the text of the article for more. Thanks!

  30. Davide

    Globally, I don’t know if I follow to much social media, but in the “Euro vs US” perspective, sometimes I think that US (athletes) overthink too much, and this can lead to too much pressure. For example: Kilian, François, and Xavier look like quiet happy guys that love to be in the mountains, and this is their job, and they just do it… for americans runners it seems (but maybe, as mentioned, is only the way social media and communication have to build “stories”) they have quite always a quest, a “redemption”, big goal of my life etc. What do you think about that ?

    1. Daniel Burke

      I agree. I’ve noticed that too as Euros are have been more calm and comfortable at UTMB compared to the USA who like you said have “a quest” to complete. USA is a very competitive country when it comes to sports (Not saying other countries aren’t, USA just shows it in a way) and the quest of being the first male winner is very important to them. Even watching them race UTMB you can tell the difference in facial expressions.

    2. Markus

      Sounds about right. Very good European runners usually have a real job, Kilian is the exception. The top US runners try to make a living out of it.

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