This Week In Running – April 17, 2023 – iRunFar

This Week In Running - April 17, 2023 – iRunFar

This Week in Running Justin Mock TWIRPack a suitcase, we’re jetting around this week. There was the Desert Rats Trail Running Festival by UTMB in Colorado, Istria by UTMB in Croatia, the Two Oceans Marathon in South Africa, and the Patagonia Run in Argentina, all among other adventures.

Desert Rats Trail Running Festival by UTMB – Fruita, Colorado

It was the event’s 20th year, but Friday’s 100-kilometer race was canceled when heavy rainfall limited access to some of the trails. Everyone entered in the 100k was moved to a next-day 50k, on the same course as the already scheduled 50k, but with a later start.

Start of 2023 Desert Rats by UTMB 50k

The start of 2023 Desert Rats by UTMB 50k. All photos: Donald Miralle for Desert RATS Trail Running Festival by UTMB


Brian Whitfield got around the high desert route in 3:31, and that was a new course record. Arnaud Bonin (France) was second in 3:35, and Jeff Colt ran 3:39 for third.

2023 Desert Rats by UTMB 50k - men's podium

The 2023 Desert Rats by UTMB 50k men’s podium (l-to-r): 2. Arnaud Bonin (France), 1. Brian Whitfield, 3. Jeff Colt.

Only 34 seconds separated lead two women Meghan Cihasky and peyton thomas in 4:14 and 4:15. Gabriella Brinkley was third in 4:31.

Meghan Cihasky - 2023 Desert Rats by UTMB 50k female winner

Meghan Cihasky winning the 2023 Desert Rats by UTMB 50k.

50k (100k group)

Craig Hunt’s busy and successful spring racing campaign kept going. He was first here in 3:39. Hunt was second at FOURmidable 50k in February, won the Way Too Cool 50k in March, and was second at the American River 50 Mile just two weeks ago.

Craig Hunt - 2023 Desert Rats 50k (100k group) male winner

Craig Hunt was the 2023 Desert Rats 50k (100k group) male winner.

Jon Rea went a few seconds faster than his old course record from 2021, but it was only second this year in 3:41. Yutaro Yokouchi (Japan) was third in 3:52.

There were only 11 female finishers in the women’s race. Arden Young (Canada) led 2013 Ultrarunner of the Year Michele Yates to the line, 4:41 to 4:47. This might’ve been Yates’s first ultra finish since 2019, and she ran 10 minutes faster than she did here eight years ago.

Elena Ormon was third in 5:08.

Full results.

Arden Young - 2023 Desert Rats 50k (100k group) female winner

Arden Young winning the 2023 Desert Rats 50k (100k group).

Istria by UTMB – Rovinj, Croatia

100 miles

Fourth at last year’s UTMB, Jim Walmsley (USA) was left without an automatic entry back, and so he did the work to get into the UTMB field. Walmsley won the mountain-to-sea 100-mile race here in 17:40, and it was a new course record. For perspective, Robert Hajnal (Romania) won last year’s race in 18:26, and dylan bowman (USA) won the 2017 race in 17:51.

Arthur Joyeux Bouillon (France) kept Walmsley company for part of the race and was second in 18:46, and Pavel Kruljac (Croatia) was third in 19:17.

women’s winner Kimino Miyazaki (Japan) was over two hours better than everyone else. She finished in 23:11.

Mariya Nikolava (Bulgaria) and Stefania Burzincu (Romania) were second and third in 25:28 and 26:26, respectively.


The men’s race ran really close. Theo Le Boudec (France) got just ahead of helium smoke (Portugal) at the front, and the pair finished in 9:55 and 9:58. martin halasz (Slovakia) was third in 10:08.

The women ran for an even tighter finish. Sarah Vieuille (France) came in at 11:13 with Paulia Tracz (Poland) two minutes back in 11:15. Ida-Sophie Hegemann (Germany) was third in 11:27.


The finish line was the tie that binds Stian Angermund (Norway) and Andrzej Witek (Poland). The two shared first at 5:19. Andrew Davies (UK) was third in 5:37.

Blandine L’hirondel (France) is one of the best in the world, and she took this crown in 5:56. Anna-Stiina Erkkila (Finland) and Fabiola Conti (Italy) followed in 6:13 and 6:18, respectively.


Andreas Reiterer (Italy) beat out Simon Gosselin (France) in the marathon-distance run, 2:45 to 2:49. Dario Moitoso (Portugal) was third in 2:54.

Less than five minutes separated the front three women. Eleanor Davis (UK) hit the finish banner in 3:18, and Audrey Tanguy (France) and Emily Schmitz (USA) came next in 3:22 and 3:23.

Full results.

Two Oceans Marathon – Cape Town, South Africa

The Two Oceans Marathon isn’t really a marathon, but instead a 56k (35 miles) road ultra, and a really competitive one.

Givemore Mudzinganyama (Zimbabwe), a 2:14 marathoner, broke up the late lead pack and won in 3:09. second place Dan Matshailwe (South Africa) was only 22 seconds back in 3:10, and third-place Nkosikhona Mhlakwana (South Africa) was third in 3:10 and only 44 seconds back from the winner.

Gerda Steyn (South Africa) won the women’s race for the fourth time in a row and broke her own course record with a 3:29 finish. Steyn was 36 seconds faster than a year ago. Well off the lead pace by the finish, Amelework Fikadu Bosho (Ethiopia) was second in 3:41 and Carla Molinaro (South Africa, lives in UK) was third, also in 3:41, and only nine seconds back of the runner-up.

Full results.

Patagonia Run – San Martin de Los Andes, Argentina

100 miles

Sergio Pereyra scored one for the host country and won the 100-mile race in 19:26, 12 minutes in front of Pau Capell (Spain). Pereyra’s raced in Europe before, and was 19th at last year’s CCC and eighth at last year’s Lavaredo Ultra Trail.

third place Alexei Tolstenko (Russia) finished in 20:14.

Claudia Tremps (Spain) took the women’s victory in 22:50, outpacing Argentinian runners Claudia Ramirez and Maria Gabreielli and their 24:48 and 26:30 podium marks.


Spain’s antonio martinez and Nuria Gil won the marathon race in 3:28 and 4:09

Full results.

Additional Races and Runs

Ultra-Trail Ninghai by UTMB – China

A big field of 565 finished the 100k race. Ji Duo (China) and Miao Yao (China) ran 10:46 and 11:35 at the front. Full results.

Oriflamme 50k – Julian, California

ben townsend and Anna Henning went the fastest in 5:04 and 5:48. Full results.

Whiskey Basin Trail Runs – Prescott, Arizona

The Aravaipa Running event celebrated Jonathan Kuplock and Sarah Zelt as 91k winners in 8:31 and 10:51, and Isaiah Ford and Angie Hodge-Zickerman as 60k best in 5:22 and 6:42. Full results.

Sergenti 50k – Erda, Utah

Brian Tolbert and Meghan Adair won the first-year race in 5:05 and 5:37. Full results.

Flint Hills 50k – Manhattan, Kansas

jacob cofer went a quick 3:23, leading everyone by 20 minutes, and Sydney Sorkin was first woman at 5:50. Full results.

Bull Run Run 50 Mile – Clifton, Virginia

The race’s 29th running went to James Blandford and Leah Yingling in 7:27 and 7:35. Full results.

Trarock 50k – Slimsbury, Conn.

Official results for the three-loop course aren’t yet online, but social media points to the men’s podium as Matt Pacheco, Jacques Saarbachand Lee Davisand a top three women’s group of Kehr Davis, Jessica Crandalland Jamie Miller. Full results (when available).

Call for Comments

It’s boston marathon Monday. CJ Albertson will be there, and he did a 178-mile training week to get ready. Dani Moreno is chasing an Olympic Trials Marathon qualifying time. Nienke Brinkman (Netherlands, lives in Switzerland) could challenge at the front. Who else is racing the historic marathon?

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