Course records galore for French stars in California at Kodiak Ultra Marathons by UTMB, with more incredible performances anticipated at China’s Ultra-Trail Mount Yun by UTMB next weekend
Double celebrations at Big Bear Lake, California, as Kodiak Ultra Marathons by UTMB celebrates 10th birthday alongside UTMB World Series debut.
Vincent Bouillard and Claire Bannwarth dominate the 100-miler, securing course records and a two-hour buffer on their closest counterparts.
Star-studded line-up for 5th anniversary edition of Ultra-Trail Mount Yun by UTMB, as the event makes its debut on the UTMB World Series stage.
Ji Duo (CHN), Xu Meiling (CHN), Anna Li (CHN) amongst ones to watch in the 100K, with Jiasheng Shen (CHN) and Tao Luo (CHN) set to go head-to-head in 50K.
Kodiak Ultra Marathons by UTMB® celebrates 10th anniversary, as Vincent Bouillard (FRA) and Claire Bannwarth (FRA) deliver a masterclass over 100-mile distance
Big Bear Lake, California, played host to a special anniversary edition of Kodiak Ultra Marathons by UTMB® this weekend, as over 1,300 runners joined together to celebrate the events 10th birthday and tick-off their own personal milestones in the process. New to the UTMB® World Series for 2023, the event also attracted world-class runners from around the globe, with Vincent Bouillard (FRA, UTMB Index 816) and Claire Bannwarth (FRA, UTMB Index 696) dominating the 100-mile race to take a commanding win in their respective races.
Tackling key sections like the Sugarloaf Mountain at nearly 10,000ft, the Siberia Canyon and sections of the Pacific Crest Trail, Bouillard covered the course in an outstanding 16:22:08. Michael Tappel (USA, UTMB Index 783) and Jhon Barrera (COL, UTMB Index 841) were his closest competitors, crossing the line with times of 18:15:29 and 19:24:51.
Bannwarth also proved unstoppable on the course, cruising down Knickerbocker Road to finish in downtown Big Bear with a time of 21:10:28, enough to also earn her a top-10 result overall. Genevieve Harrison (USA, UTMB Index 646) and Caroline Himbert (USA, UTMB Index 572) had strong races to finish second and third and well within the top-15.
In the 100K race, Rod Farvard (USA, UTMB Index 858) secured his first UTMB World Series victory off the back of a strong season. Taking the tape in 09:18:22, Farvard adds another Kodiak title to his name, having previously won the 100-mile race in 2019. He was joined on the podium by Valentin Bernard (FRA, UTMB Index 436) and Tommy Sullivan (USA, UTMB Index 801).
Amanda Basham (USA, UTMB Index 678) celebrated an incredible victory in the women’s race, with Amy Sturgill (USA, UTMB Index 627) and Brigette Takeuchi (USA, UTMB Index 681) rounding out the all-American podium.
“I came to Kodiak to learn. This entire year has been trial and error. Trying to figure this running thing out again while also not really knowing where my fitness is,” said Basham on Instagram as she spoke about the trials of returning to racing post children.
“My main goal here was to try a completely new approach to race day execution on top of having a solo vacation…’Slow is steady and steady is fast’ is what I repeated all day in my head thanks to my wonderful friend Lucy Bartholomew. I think I finally figured it out. My fitness is back, and I have successfully executed a race well.”
It was an exciting battle in the women’s race, with Dani Moreno (USA, UTMB Index 773) eventually taking the win ahead of Bailey Kowalczyk (USA, UTMB Index 750) and Tabor Hemming (USA, UTMB Index 736), setting a course record in the process with a time of 4:19:08.
“From the get-go I was so happy sharing miles with Rachel Drake, Tabor Hemming and Anna Mae Flynn as we went out into the night and watched the sunrise together. I then went on an adventure to try and catch up to Bailey who was crushing it up front. I made a move around mile 16 but she was still close on my tail and then I threw in a couple more attacks in the last 12km to bring it home” commented Moreno on Instagram.
She added, “I have fond memories of Big Bear from my childhood and high school days during cross-country camp. It has always been a haven for many of us from Los Angeles and I had a feeling a lot of So Cal runners were giving it their all on the trails today.”
A Running Stone was also on offer in the 21K race, with Matthew Siedel (USA, UTMB Index 847) setting a blistering pace ahead of Matthew Salminen (USA, UTMB Index 720) and Barry Weickert (USA, UTMB Index 682) while Helen Mino Faukner (USA, UTMB Index 761) claimed third overall and top spot in the women’s race, ahead of Elaine Carpenter (USA) and Antonella Meinecke (GER).
With the UTMB World Series proving the opportunity for runners from around the world to embark on an extraordinary journey in iconic destinations, Japanese runner Wataru Lino is certainly living by this ethos as part of his Trans Atlas Running Project. Starting in Prudhoe Bay, Alaska on June 2023, Lino ran to Big Bear Lake, California to take part in the 100-mile Kodiak Marathons by UTMB this weekend, before continuing to Ushuaia, Argentina which he expects to reach in February 2025.
Full results can be found here.
Ultra-Trail Mount Yun by UTMB makes its debut on UTMB World Series stage with a stacked elite field
The popular Chinese province of Shanxi will play host to the latest chinese UTMB® World Series event as Ultra-Trail Mount Yun by UTMB® makes its debut on the world stage. Celebrating its 5th anniversary, the event will welcome 3,2000 runners as they prepare to discover the cultural, historical, and natural wonders, from the iconic glass bridges and ice caves to holy sites and ruins.
As the second Chinese event to join the UTMB World Series, it is an important moment for Race Director, Xin Qian. He said, “Joining the UTMB World Series makes a significant impact to the brand image of Ultra-Trail Mount Yun. It is an important milestone which will have a profound impact on the events future and its growth. We look forward to providing a more professional and international running experience for participants.”
“We can’t wait to welcome international runners from around the globe to participate in Ultra-Trail Mount Yun by UTMB and experience a trail running race in China. We hope to show the world the unique natural and human phenomena of Mount Yun. We believe runners will be impressed by the beauty of the mountains and rivers and the intangible cultural heritage of Mount Yun. We look forward to developing the sport in China and connecting runners around the world with a unique friendship and bond.”
With four race distances on offer, including the 100K, 50K and 20K UTMB categories, runners will get the chance to immerse themselves in both the natural and architectural wonders that earns this region the title as the most beautiful in the He-Fen Area. From rocky mountains and red maple trees, to the imposing Jade Emperor Tower that rises above on a hill at 1,629m, this event promises an unforgettable trail running adventure through time.
Three top Chinese runners are amongst those taking to the start line in the Men’s Race. Having finished 14th at Dacia UTMB® Mont-Blanc 100M last month, Ji Duo (CHN, UTMB Index 881) has certainly proved himself amongst a world-class international field and will be on the hunt for another victory after taking the top spot at Ultra-Trail Ninghai by UTMB® in April. Finishing third at TransJeju by UTMB® earlier this month, the question is whether he can freshen up in time to be able to battle against tough opposition, including Qi Min (CHN, UTMB Index 874) and Wang Zhihu (CHN, UTMB Index 855).
The start list in the Women’s Race is equally as world-class, including Xu Meiling (CHN, UTMB Index 733) and Fu Huarong (CHN, UTMB Index 667) amongst the top competitors in the 100K. Having finished third at Ultra-Trail Ninghai by UTMB and second at TransJeju by UTMB, it could be Anna Li’s (CHN, UTMB Index 668) race to lose however as she hunts down her first UTMB World Series victory in China.
Having finished an incredible second at the Dacia UTMB Mont-Blanc CCC® in 2023, Jiasheng Shen (CHN, UTMB Index 910) is also amongst some of the stars taking to the start line and will return to Mount-Yun with experience on his side having won the 100K in 2019. Taking on the 50K, he will face Tao Luo (CHN, UTMB Index 882) who also returns with race-winning experience, having won here in both 2019 and 2020 over the 50K course. Despite a recent DNF at Ultra-Trail Ninghai by UTMB, Luo looks to be back on top form having taken an impressive win at the neighbouring 100K TransJeju by UTMB.
It is set to be an unforgettable 5th edition of Ultra-Trail Mount Yun by UTMB, with 30 runners also celebrating their commitment to the event after having run every year since its inception.
Follow the action live at https://live.utmb.world/