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Molly Seidel to tackle Canyons Endurance Run 50K in her ultra debut

The U.S. Olympian will join an intense lineup of elites in California

Molly Seidel Chamonix 2023-35 Coros(1) Photo by: COROS

Olympic marathon bronze medallist Molly Seidel is hitting the trails (again) on April 26, this time at the renowned Canyons Endurance Run by UTMB in Auburn, Calif., which is also home to the Western States 100 (WSER). In 2023, Seidel made her trail racing debut at the UTMB Speedgoat Mountain Race in Sandy, Utah. Seidel ran the 28K in a time of 4:13, finishing 35th overall and eighth among the women.

Molly Seidel jumps into the trail running scene

Runners at Canyons traverse some of the WSER trails in each of the four distances featured at the event: a 100-miler, 100K, 50K and 25K. Seidel will take on 1,864 metres of elevation over 50 kilometres.

Canyons is a qualifier for the UTMB World Series Major races, and the 100K distance is also a WSER qualifier and the final race in the Golden Ticket series, meaning the top two athletes (male and female) in the 100K secure automatic entry to WSER.

Seidel is returning to racing after an injury caused her to pull out of the U.S. Olympic trials, something she announced on Instagram a few days before the event. After her bronze-medal performance at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, 28-year-old Seidel has battled to get back to form. In 2022, she also pressed pause on competition pre-World championships due to a sacral stress reaction (later diagnosed as a full sacral stress fracture).

Molly Seidel Chamonix Coros(2)
Photo: COROS

At the 2023 Chicago Marathon on Oct. 8, Seidel finished eighth, in 2:23:07, in her first marathon since April 2022 (she took fourth place at the 2021 NYC Marathon). “It was so powerful finishing that last mile, just because it has been a really difficult last few years,” Seidel said post-race to Olympics.com. “It’s been a lot, and I’ve worked really, really hard to get back to this, and to just be a better person overall.”

Seidel has also candidly shared the ongoing mental health challenges she has faced (she was diagnosed with ADHD in February 2022), discussing her eating disorder recovery on social media and stressing the importance of reaching out for help.

 

Seidel will be joining a world-class trail running field at Canyons, with fellow Americans Dani Moreno (winner of Kodiak Ultra Marathons by UTMB 50K in Big Bear Lake, Calif., in 2023), Jennifer Lichter and Tabor Hemming (winner of The Big Alta 28K in Marinwood, Calif., in February) all joining her in the 50K event. Her recent posts on social media have featured some trail running views and technical climbs, suggesting she is well-prepared for the hot, challenging terrain at Canyons.

To learn more about Canyons Endurance Runs by UTMB, click here.

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