American ultrarunner Courtney Dauwalter was the first woman across the finish line at Ultra Trail du Mont-Blanc yesterday, after running for 24 hours, 34 minutes and 26 seconds. Dauwalter, who was racing UTMB for the first time, was also the second American, male or female, to finish, despite a very deep US men’s field. (Jason Schlarb finished a few minutes ahead of her, in 20th position.) Kristin Berglund of Sweden was second, in 25:34:12 and Maite Maiora Elizondo of Spain was third, in 25:41:30.
— UTMB® (@UTMBMontBlanc) August 31, 2019
Pau Capell of Spain won the men’s race in 20:19:07, the second-fastest time ever, and breaking the streak of winners from France that has been going since 2012. Capell went out aggressively and held the lead throughout the entire race, which is highly unusual in a race that’s said not to really begin until the 100K mark. Three-time winner Xavier Thévenard of France finished in second place, in 21:07:56, and New Zealander Scott Hawker was third, in 21:48:04.
Dauwalter won the Tarawera 100K in New Zealand in February, but a hip injury forced her to drop out of Western States in June.
UTMB, which circumnavigates Mont Blanc over 171 kilometres and features more than 10,000 metres of elevation gain, started at 6 p.m. local time on Friday. There were 2,543 starters, and so far there have been 1,556 finishers and 987 DNF’s, including Americans Tim Tollefson and Hayden Hawks. (Tollefson, who has finished third at this race twice but who dropped out in 2018 also due to several bad falls, was dealing with a headache and vomiting.)
Other notable results
Canada’s Alissa St Laurent dropped out of the race after 143K, her last checkpoint being Trient. She had been on the course for almost 26 hours at this point. St Laurent set a new course record at the Silverton 100K in Colorado earlier this month, after a disappointing finish at Western States in June. St Laurent has a previous sixth-place finish at UTMB.
Ragna Debats of the Netherlands won the 101K CCC race in 12:10:33, and American Amanda Basham was second in 12:27:06. Basham had dropped out of this year’s Western States in June (as had Dauwalter, who won the race in 2018).
Hillary Allen of the US finished second in the 145K TDS race in 21:52:46. Two years ago, Allen fell from a ridge during a mountain race in Norway, sustaining multiple fractures and facing a long recovery, making her podium finish here all the more remarkable.
New Zealand’s Ruth Croft won the 55K OCC race in 5:50:14. Norway’s Stian Angermund-Vik won the men’s race in 5:19:24.