The 2023 Golden Trail World Series continues this Sunday with a stacked field slated for the Marathon du Mont-Blanc in the Chamonix Valley of the French Alps. Twenty out of the top 25 men who finished at the kick-off event of this year’s series—the Zegama-Aizkorri Marathon in Spain in mid-May—will be on the start line in Chamonix. Seventeen of the top 25 women will also be there vying for stack up points for the overall rankings. Both the men’s and women’s races will have at least eight runners from the top 10 on the start line.
Spain’s Manuel Merillas will be sporting the GTWS yellow leader jersey following his hard-fought win at Zegama, which saw runners struggle on a course awash in rain and mud. Merillas will have his work cut out for him in his quest for back-to-back victories as he faces stiff competition from Morocco’s Elhousine Elazzaoui—currently just behind Merillas in the rankings and second in last year’s overall ranking—and British runner Jonathan Albon, the winner of last year’s Marathon du Mont-Blanc, who placed third at Zegama this year.
Switzerland’s Remi Bonnet, the 2022 Golden Trail World Series champion, will be seeking redemption on the Marathon du Mont-Blanc course after having to pull out of the race last year with stomach issues. polish runners Bart Przedwojewski and Andrzej Witek, eli hemming of the United States, France’s Anthony FelberSpain’s Daniel Osanz and Manuel Innerhofer are other strong contenders to claim the crown in the second leg of the series.
Wearing the yellow jersey in the women’s race will be Germany’s Daniela Oemus. She’ll need to fend off the likes of American Sophia Laukliwho made her mark last season by winning the Stranda Fjord Trail Race and finishing second in the overall rankings. Caitlin Fielder of New Zealand, who finished second at last year’s Marathon du Mont-Blanc, will be looking to improve on her second-place finish at Zegama this year. swiss runner Theres Leboeuf will try to keep the momentum going following her third-place finish at Zegama.
All will be up against tough competition in the women’s race from Norway’s Sylvia NordskarChina’s Miao YaoItaly’s Fabiola ContiSpain’s Ohiana KortazarFrench Mathilde Sagnes and American runner Tabor Hemming.
Following the Marathon du Mont-Blanc, the seven-race Golden Trail World Series will move to Italy for the Dolomyths Run on July 15, followed by Sierre-Zinal in Switzerland on Aug. 12, the Pikes Peak Ascent in the US on Sept. 16, the Mammoth 26K in the US on Sept. 26 and the Golfo Dell’Isola Trail Race in Italy on Oct. 19.