The Ultra-Trail World Tour (UTWT) has had a fractured season, and many of the series’s races have been cancelled due to COVID-19. The UTWT’s lone Canadian event, the Ultra-Trail Harricana (UTHC) in La Malbaie, Que., was able to go ahead as scheduled, and on September 10 to 12, more than 600 runners raced across three distances. In normal years, the event holds twice as many races, but this year’s event was limited to a 65K, an 80K and a 125K. The race hosted one of the largest fields of runners that any Canadian event has seen since the start of the pandemic.
A local affair
The UTHC traditionally offers 5K, 10K, 28K, 42K, 65K and 125K options for runners, as well as a 1K run for kids. Like all UTWT events, the UTHC usually attracts hundreds of participants from all over the world. In 2019, runners from more than 20 countries showed up in the small Quebec town to race, but this year’s event was overwhelmingly Canadian, with just a few international entries on the start list and the vast majority of runners hailing from Quebec.
Montreal resident Martin Dagenais won the 65K race in 5:32:52, crossing the line with a three-minute lead over second place. In the women’s race, Quebec City’s Sarah Bergeron-Larouche crossed the finish line well ahead of the next closest runner, finishing in 6:04:36. Bergeron-Larouche improved on her last performance at the UTHC, which came in 2018 when she finished in eighth in the 65K in a time of 6:08:54.
In the 80K, professional Ironman triathlete Antoine Jolicoeur Desroches took the win in 7:06:40. Jolicoeur Desroches is self-described as a “wannabe ultrarunner” in his Instagram bio, and based on his run over the weekend, he can probably drop the “wannabe” and confidently move forward with the official title of ultrarunner. On the women’s side, Claudine Soucie of Rockland, Ont., won by a whopping hour and a half, finishing in 8:02:21.
Finally, in the longest race of the weekend, the winners were David Savard-Gagnon and Catherine Lemire. Savard-Gagnon finished the 125K route in 13:58:57 and Lemire won the women’s race in 20:10:13, a full two hours faster than second place. For full results from each of the three UTHC events, click here.