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History made at first ever Puerto Vallarta México by UTMB

As part of a double UTMB® World Series race weekend, Puerto Vallarta México by UTMB® welcomed more than 2,500 runners to their first ever event on 28-30 October. Elite and amateur participants from 32 countries discovered Mexico’s charm up close and personal as they ran through beautiful colonial villages, through the jungle and wild rugged trails of Puerto Vallarta before hitting the Malecon boardwalk to reach the Pacific Coast and the hard-earned finish line, collecting their valuable Running Stones in the process.

In the Wixárika 100-mile race, Dave Stevens (CAN) and Genevieve Harrison (USA) made history, claiming the honours as the first male and female champions.

Despite the win, it didn’t come easy for Stevens who finished in an impressive time of 23.45.04, ahead of John Barrera (COL) and Jeff Mogavero (USA). He said, “It was awesome, an amazing race. The first 35km is beautiful and the rest is just crazy. My biggest challenge was not to drop out. I sat on the side of the road and wanted to give up because everything hurt but I carried on finishing this hard but beautiful event!”

Stevens was joined by Barrera for sections of the course. For the second-placed Colombian runner, this was one of the highlights. He said, “Me and Dave were running together up La Buffa and the sunset at the summit was just incredible. That was a high point for me!

“It is so cool to have experienced this course here in Mexico and discovered a place that I never would have seen otherwise,” added the Colombian runner who achieved his goal of qualifying for the UTMB race at the UTMB World Series Finals 2023.

In the women’s race, Genevieve Harrison crossed the line in 35.26.00, establishing over an hour lead on second-placed Catherine Bradley (USA). Kertu Palo (USA) crossed the line in third to round out the podium after a tough day out.

Echoing earlier sentiments, Harrison said, “It was wild and beautiful. I enjoyed the course a lot, the people that I met and the towns that I went through. There were a lot of technical sections that I found challenging, but I got through it and bounced back!”

Comparing it to the UTMB, second-placed Bradley said, “This is more difficult than that race in my opinion. It was very rugged and very hard, but I loved the atmosphere and energy of the race. I would recommend this race to anyone that is after a true challenge!”

In the Hikuri 100km, Emmiliese von Avis (USA) crossed the line first female. Her incredible time of 20.27.00 also earned her sixth place overall in the standings. Hannah Lafleur (USA) and Erin Clark (USA) rounded out the all-American female podium. In the Men’s race, Yun Yanqiao (CHN) secured the victory, joined by Alexander King (USA) and Seth Ruhling (USA) in second and third.

The celebrations continued with Ryan Becker, Zachary Sonoga and Hector Rodriguez making up the top 3 in the Nakawé 50km race while Tara Fragrance, Natalia Chirgwin and Nayeli de la Torre Segura made up the female podium.

An unforgettable first edition, Puerto Vallarta México by UTMB has made a name for itself on the UTMB World Series as runners got to experience the true beauty of the country while testing their own limits in the process. And with all finishers banking Running Stones which can be used to entry the UTMB World Series Finals lottery, for many it is the start of their quest to reach the home of UTMB and the pinnacle event of the year, UTMB Mont-Blanc.

Next up on the UTMB World Series, we head to the cooler climes of Sweden for the Kullamannen by UTMB on 4 November.

View the full Puerto Vallarta México by UTMB results here