Alongside some of the other biggest ultramarathons in the United States—like the Western States Endurance Run (sometimes called the Western States 100 miler) and the Hardrock 100 Miler—lands the Leadville 100 Mile Ultramarathon.
The Leadville Trail 100, dubbed the “Race Across The Sky” is now nearly 30 years old. The 100-mile course takes runners across the rugged Colorado Rockies, with a course elevation between 9,200ft to 12,600ft. Hello, altitude!
The Leadville Trail 100 is notorious for its very technical out-and-back trail course with lots of steep sections including the infamous Hope Pass, which stands 3,740 meters high.
Although about 800 runners start the race every year, only about half successfully finish it, largely owing to the significant altitude and grueling terrain.
This year, at the 2023 Leadville 100 Ultra, American ultra runners swept both titles, giving a strong showing for the current state of the best US ultra marathon runners.
Jacquie Mannhard was the 2023 Leadville 100 Miler women’s champion while JP Giblin was the men’s 2023 Leadville 100 ultramarathon winner and overall champion at the iconic ultramarathon in Colorado, USA.
Not only did both Americans win their respective gender divisions, but champions Jacquie Mannhard and JP Giblin both dominated the race.
The 2023 Leadville 100 Ultra women’s champion, Jacquie Mannhard, had a huge margin over the runner-up woman in the race, winning by nearly 2 hours.
Mannhard completed the 100-mile out-and-back ultramarathon trail course in a time of 21:24:55.The Leadville 100 ultra is staged in the rugged Colorado mountains, which are not far from the everyday stomping grounds of Jacquie Mannhard, who lives and trains in Boulder Colorado.
Mannhard also won the Kessel Run Ultra (60KM) in November 2022, but taking the win at the 2023 Leadville 100 is certainly a prestigious notch on her ultrarunning belt.
Jacquie Mannhard is your 2023 women’s champion of the Life Time Leadville Trail 100 Run presented by La Sportiva! 🎉— LeadvilleRaceSeries (@LTRaceSeries) August 20, 2023
Jacquie finished at an impressive 15th overall with a time of 21:24:55. She brought smiles and energy throughout the entire day! #LT100Run #LeadvilleLegendary pic.twitter.com/5gW5BXXNDU
JP Giblin, this year’s Leadville 100 ultramarathon winner, and the 2022 Leadville 100 runner-up finisher, clocked a 100-mile time of 17:07:25, which was more than 40 minutes ahead of his closest competitor, Luke Paulson.
Despite dominating performances by both US ultramarathon runners, neither JP Giblin nor Jacquie Mannhard were within striking distance of the Leadville ultramarathon course record times, which stand at 15:42:59 for men (set by ultra runner Matt Carpenter in 2005) and 18:06:24 for women (set by the iconic ultra runner, Ann Trason, all the way back in 1994).
Moreover, although we are certainly not saying this to diminish Mannhard’s impressive victory at the 2023 Leadville 100 ultra, her time of 21:24:55 was the slowest Leadville 100 winning time for women in 13 years.
The second-place woman at the 2023 Leadville 100 was fellow American ultrarunner, Lucie Haines.
Lucie Haines has been racking up experience and wins at Colorado ultramarathons this year, having won the 2023 Valkyrie Trail Race 50K ultra in May and the 2023 Ring the Springs 100K ultra in June.
Both of these ultra trail races are based in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Although Lucie Haines is definitely having a strong season of ultrarunning, she was unable to keep up with the Leadville women’s winner Mannhard, finishing one hour, 51 minutes, and 56 seconds behind in a time of 23:16:51.
The only non-American ultrarunner to claim a podium spot at the 2023 Leadville 100 ultramarathon was Canadian ultrarunner Madeline Wighardt.
Madeline Wighardt took third place in the women’s race, finishing about 16 minutes behind runner-up Haines, in a time of 23:32:57.
At only 22 years old, Madeline Wighardt is showing a lot of promise in her early ultrarunning career.
She finished second in the 2022 Quebec Mega Trail (QC) 110K race and seems to be taking on the longer ultramarathons with command already.
Like his fellow American champion on the women’s side, JP Giblin is also a Colorado native.
The 29-year-old took 18th place at the 2023 Western States 100 in June and second place at the 2023 Bandera 100K in January, so he has also had quite a strong year of ultramarathon performances.
As the runner-up at the 2022 Leadville 100, winning the race this year was a big triumph and exciting comeback for this ever-improving American ultra runner.
Two fellow Americans rounded out the other podium spots for the 2023 Leadville 100 Miler men’s race.
Trailing Gibson by 40 minutes and 30 seconds was 31-year-old Luke Paulson, who finished the 100-mile ultra in 17:47:55.
Paulson won the 2023 Yamacraw 50K ultra in Kentucky in May.
Scott Tarer took third place, just six minutes behind Luke Paulson, crossing the Leadville 100 ultra marathon finish line in a time of 17:54:12.
At 42 years old, Scott Tarer has more than a decade on his spry competitors, but has still had a strong 2023 ultra marathon season.
Tarer won the 2023 Crown King Scramble 50K in May and finished 15th at the 2023 Western States Endurance Run (WS 100 miler) in June.
He has other impressive ultra performances to his name, including a win at the Vermont 100, Javelina Jundred, and Hennepin Hundred ultras, so Scott Tarer is certainly not a novice on these longer, demanding 100 mile ultra trail courses like Leadville.
Finally, Ry Webb from Great Britain also had a strong performance at the Leadville 100 miler, finishing in fourth place with a time of 18:38:13 – an hour and a half behind the race winner.
You can find the full 2023 Leadville 100 Ultramarathon race results here.
If you would like to train to run an ultramarathon, check out some of our free ultramarathon training plans here.