A new film has been released documenting Canadian ultrarunning superstar Marianne Hogan’s podium finishes at Western States Endurance Run and Ultra-Trail du Mont Blanc (UTMB) last year. Hogan, who is from Montreal, achieved a rare double in 2022, finishing third at Western States (her first 100-miler) and second at UTMB in the same year, despite sustaining a serious injury during her UTMB run.
Hogan first captured the attention and imagination of the trail running world when she won the Bandera 100K in Texas in January 2022, which earned her a Golden Ticket to Western States. She was relatively unknown at the time, having spent some time as a guide for a visually impaired triathlete (including at the Tokyo Paralympics in 2021) while she recovered from a spiral fracture of her tibia and fibula during a trail run in 2018. Canadian Running ran a profile of her in the 2022 Trail Special Issue as she prepared for her 100-mile debut at Western States, where her fellow Canadian, Ailsa MacDonald, finished second to New Zealand’s Ruth Croft. Hogan was third.
She went on to race UTMB the same season, and became the first natural-born Canadian ever to reach the podium in the race’s 19-year history. (Her good friend, Mathieu Blanchard, who became a Canadian citizen last year, finished second overall.)
Hogan races with an attitude of joyous smiles that she says comes from having successfully recovered from serious setbacks. There were times when she wondered how she could possibly return to high-mileage training and racing, and she says that having done so successfully gives her confidence and happiness.
Hogan led for a good part of UTMB, but felt a sharp pain in her hip partway through the race, which only got worse as she continued to run. Eventually she was passed by Katie Schide of the U.S., who went on to win, and Hogan struggled on in spite of the worsening pain, walking as much as she could but fearful of losing her position. (She learned later that she had torn her psoas muscle.) Near the end of the film, she talks about her desire to return to UTMB, not necessarily to improve her position on the podium, but simply to have a better race. Unfortunately it won’t be this year, since she is still recovering from injury, but Canadians can count on her to be back one day soon, and better than ever.