For most people, even experienced runners, running a marathon is a major undertaking. Imagining running a 100-mile ultra is beyond daunting.
Then, the fact that there are even 200-mile ultra marathon races may seem completely ludicrous.
However, some of the grittiest ultra runners in the world take on 200 mile ultra trail races as their bread and butter, and dominate this massive endurance challenge.
One of the biggest 200-mile ultramarathons in the world is the Bigfoot 200 miler, which is held every summer in the Cascade Mountains in Washington, USA.
The 2023 Bigfoot 200 Ultramarathon just concluded after a grueling few days for the runners.
On the men’s side, Canadian runner Ryan Shephard took the overall win, crossing the finish line in the 208-mile ultra marathon trail race in 54:24:20.
This is about 2 1/4 days of running, eating, and pushing on foot!
Ryan Shephard’s Bigfoot 200 ultra finish time is the second fastest time run on the course in the history of the race.He ran most of the race himself, finishing four hours ahead of the women’s champion and over six hours ahead of the second-place finisher on the men’s podium.
Shephard is having a strong year in the ultra running scene, as he also won the BC Backyard Ultra in April.
Kilian Korth came in second (60:43:49) and Ismael Röthlisberger (64:26:40) rounded out the third podium spot for the men.
On the women’s side, American ultra runner Mika Thewes smashed the women’s course record by over eight hours (a time of 66:43:45 set by Sofi Cantilo from Argentina in 2019)!
Mika Thews traversed the 208 miles through the Cascade Mountains to finish in 58:21:12.
This was her fifth time running Bigfoot 200 miler.
In all five finishes, Mika Thews has placed in the top eight women, and she now has two victories at the 200-mile ultra trail race under her belt, after clinching the win in 2021.
Thews has gotten notably faster in the past two years, as her 2021 Bigfoot 200 ultra finish time was 76:15:57, which is about 18 hours slower than this year’s performance.
The runner-up in the women’s race was Aliza Lapierre and Allison Powell took third place.
Aliza Lapierre also broke the previous record, finishing in 65:13:31.
She has also had a strong year of ultrarunning, after landing a podium finish at the Western States 100 ultramarathon and winning the Vermont 100 miler.
Even Allison Powell, the third-place finisher, would have broken the previous Bigfoot 200 Miler course record by just over 26 minutes.
It just goes to show how strong the women’s ultra running scene is right now!
You can find the full results of the 2023 Bigfoot 200 Ultramarathon here.
If you are interested in trying some trail running yourself, check out our guide to trail running for beginners here.