There are several big ultramarathons every year that garner the most prestige in this rising sector of running as a sport.
The Western States Endurance Run 100 Miler, UTMB, Comrades Marathon, and the Hardrock 100 Miler are certainly among the top ultramarathon races in the world every year.
While the Western States Endurance Run happened a couple of weeks ago and we have to wait until September to see the UTMB world series finals, the 2023 Hardrock 100 just happened this past weekend and it was a fantastic ultramarathon race.
The start of the 2023 Hardrock 100 kicked off at 6 a.m. on Friday, July 14 in Silverton, Colorado.
This 102.5-mile ultramarathon boasts an extremely difficult course with over 66,000 feet of elevation change (over 33,000 feet of climbing and 33,000 feet of descent).
Plus, the average elevation of the Hardrock 100 course is over 11,000 feet, posing its own significant challenge of running at altitude. In fact, this demanding 100-miler is the highest ultramarathon in the world.
On the women’s side, arguably the world leader in women’s ultrarunning, Courtney Dauwalter, took the win.
In fact, Courtney Dauwalter won the 2023 Hardrock 100 ultra just 20 days after winning the 2023 Western States Endurance Run and setting a record on that notoriously challenging course.
Well, further demonstrating her unparalleled command in the world of women’s ultramarathon running, Courtney Dauwalter set yet another course record at the 2023 Hardrock 100 miler, finishing in 26:14:08 and placing fourth overall across both gender categories in the ultra.Dauwalter’s 2023 Hardrock 100 finish time sliced over one hour off the counterclockwise course record (27:18:24, set in 2009 by Diana Finkel), and 30 minutes off of the overall course record, which she said last year in the clockwise direction.
Note that like many ultramarathon races, such as Comrades, the Hardrock 100 reverses direction every year.
Plus, Courtney Dauwalter’s Western States/Hardrock 100 double this year was an outright record, meaning that her cumulative time from both races made her the fastest ultramarathoner in history—man or woman—to do this double in the same year, and the first runner to set a course record at both events in the same year!
Talk about wholly impressive!
Furthermore, Dauwalter managed to win the Hardrock ultramarathon and set these monumental records despite making a wrong turn around mile 87, which cost her time because she had to redo part of the 102-mile course.
After the event, Dauwalter took to her Instagram and wrote:
“102.5 miles through some beautiful Colorado mountains and not a single mile came for free. My body and brain felt pretty zapped of energy from the very start, but sometimes the only way to get it done is to put your head down and keep taking another step forward.”
The men’s winner, and overall 2023 Hardrock 100 champion, was Aurélien Dunand-Pallaz of France, who led the entire way uncontested and finished in 23:00:07.
He won the race by over 50 minutes.
You can find the full results of the 2023 Hardrock 100 ultramarathon here.
If you are interested in trying some trail running yourself, check out our guide to trail running for beginners here.