We can now confirm Courtney Dauwalter as the official queen of trail running. Fans from around the world reached fever-pitch excitement levels as they watched the much-loved 38-year-old trail runner cross the finish line in Chamonix, claiming her third win at the UTMB.
Dauwalter was already the course record holder for the UTMB, the Western States 100 and the Hardrock 100, and with an hour lead over her nearest competitor, the women's race ended very much in a case of Dauwalter vs Dauwalter.
"The entire second half of the race was really, really hard. My body was not wanting to run anymore and my stomach was a little finicky. I almost lost my lunch," recounts Dauwalter, saying that in the end she willed herself to the finish line.
The Colorado-based runner stopped after her final climb at La Flégère to chug a Coke and fold her running poles away then hit the pain train on a harsh 7 km descent to Chamonix, her gait making it clear how much her quads were protesting. However in true Dauwalter fashion, she turned the tunes up, dug in and got herself down the mountain in one triumphant piece.
Nearing the end of the race, she dished out high fives and was chaperoned by an entourage of about 30 other trail runners eager to see her take another win. From the finish line, she thanked her husband, her brothers and her "crazy fans out there on the course" for helping her to succeed.
The win secures Dauwalter's Triple Crown of winning the UTMB, Western States 100 and Hard Rock 100 in a single summer. It also concludes an impressive showing from US trail runners this year – Phoenix native Jim Walmsley took first place in a record-breaking 19:37:42, shaving 12 minutes of Killian Jornet's record time in 2022, then Zach Miller took second.
US women have long enjoyed success at the iconic race –Krissy Moehl, Nikki Kimball, Rory Bosio and Courtney Dauwalter have all won in previous years.
We've been covering UTMB live from Chamonix this year with Merrell.