The final stop on the Golden Trail Series welcomes an incredibly competitive field to Mammoth Lakes, California.
Five races down in the 2023 Golden Trail World Series (GTWS) and the last stop before the finals is taking place this weekend. The best trail runners from across the globe have descended on the western US over the past week to tackle the final two stops on the tour with Pikes Peak Ascent and the Mammoth Trail Fest taking place on back to back weekends. On September 22nd, 640 runners will take off on a beautiful single loop course that will cover 26-kilometers (16.1 miles) with 1200 meters (3,900 feet) of climbing. The course features buttery Sierra singletrack, rocky technical ascending and descending, and hits a high point of just over 11,000 feet. Who will come out on top and clinch their spot in the top ten of the GTWS ahead of the finals? Only one way to find out! Watch live here with co-hosts Dylan Bowman and Katie Asmuth – but before time runs out (and the gun goes off) get your Freetrail Fantasy picks in!
Slyvia Nordskar – Running for Hoka and Dæhlie Sportswear, the Norwegian athlete has been on a tear this season and comes into the weekend as the highest ranked starter in the GTWS currently sitting in 4th postion. Currently this year she’s finished fourth at Zegma, 13th in the Short Trail race at the World Mountain and Trail Running Championships (WMTRC), 5th at Marathon du Mont-Blanc, and 10th at Pikes Peak Ascent. The one real blip is a disappointing 24th place at Sierre-Zinal.
Tabor Hemming – Running for Salomon the American is the other starter in the women’s race that is currently ranked in the top ten of the GTWS. Sitting in 10th currently can Tabor hang on for a top ten to head to the finals? Tabor started the season with wins at the Desert Rats Half Marathon and Breakneck Point Trail Runs 21-kilometer before finishing 3rd at the Broken Arrow Skyrace 23-kilometer, 10th at the Marathon du Mont-Blanc, and 9th at Pikes Peak Ascent.
Anna Gibson – Making a bid for rookie of the year the recent college graduate and newly sponsored Brooks athlete has made a big splash in 2023. After a win at the Broken Arrow Skyrace Vertical Kilometer, a 2nd at the Broken Arrow Skyrace 23-kilometer, a 3rd at Challenge Stellina, and a 3rd at Pike Peak Ascent her stock is certainly on the rise.
Sara Alonso – Running for Asics the Spanish runner has made a splash on both the skyrunning and GTWS scene over the last several years. An athlete we are used to seeing most race weekends had a slower start to usual in 2023 after being diagnosed with a stress fracture at the end of last year. What’s scary about that? We are likely to see a very fresh Sara on the start line this weekend. Despite the slow start to the year Sara won the ETC 15-kilometer event at the UTMB World Series Finals and a recent 5th place finish at the Pikes Peak Ascent.
Dani Moreno – Running for Adidas TERREX the American is a late add to the women’s field this weekend. After getting sick and having to withdraw early from OCC 55-kilometer during the UTMB World Series Finals we are excited to see Dani back on the start line (and on home trails). After opening her season with a marathon debut at the Boston Marathon in April (running 2:38:23) she took the win at the Eiger Trail 35-kilometer race.
Elise Poncet – Running for Team Sidas x Matryx the French runner is known to be one of the best downhillers in the field and is someone we expect will keep the second half of this race very interesting. In 2023 Elise ran her way onto the French Mountain Running Team with a 3rd place at French National Mountain Running Championships and went onto finish 24th in the Classic Up & Down race at the WMTRC. Currently running her way towards the top ten in the GTWS standings she finished 6th at the DoloMyths Run and 8th at Pikes Peak Ascent.
Other women to watch: Malen Osa Ansa, Julia Font Gomez , Allie Ostrander, Lara Hamilton, Alicia Vargo, and Rachel Tomajczyk.
Rémi Bonnet – Running for Salomon the Swiss ski mountaineer comes in as the hands down favorite this weekend. Ranked first in the GTWS standings and coming off of a win and course record at the Pikes Peak Ascent last weekend has us wondering, ‘what can’t he do?’ This season Remi also took 4th at Zegama and 1st at Marathon du Mont-Blanc. Once regarded mostly as a climber, I think it’s finally time we consider him an all-around contender.
Eli Hemming – Running for Salomon the American really broke onto the trail season during the 2022 season and has made good on his promised talent in 2023. Early this year Eli took wins at both the Breakneck Point Trail Runs 21-kilometer and the Broken Arrow Skyrace 23-kilometer before finishing 2nd at the Marathon du Mont-Blanc, 15th at Sierre-Zinal, and 3rd at Pikes Peak Ascent.
Roberto Delorenzi – Probably under the radar for much of the US audience the Swiss athlete running for Brooks has been on an absolute tear in 2023. This year alone Roberto was 2nd at the Transgrancanaria Marathon, 2nd at the Lavaredo Ultra Trail 20-kilometer, 1st at the BancaStato Morobbia Trail 33-kilometer, 7th at the Schlegeis 3000 Skyrace, 5th at Sierre-Zinal, 1st at the ETC 15-kilometer by UTMB Mont Blanc, and 6th at the Pikes Peak Ascent. We’re winded just thinking about it.
Patrick Kipngeno – Maybe the man most likely to give Rémi a run for his money, the Kenyan running for On has been dominate on the World Mountain Running Association races for the last two years. This year alone Patrick won the Classic Uphill race and finished 5th in the Classic Up&Down race at WMTRC. He also has wins at the Grossglockner Mountain Run, the PizTri Vertikal, Montée du Nid d’Aigle, the Vertical Nasego, and Dolomitenmann. Not enoug for you? Patrick was also 2nd at Sierre-Zinal, Trofeo Nasego, and Pikes Peak Ascent.
Anthony Felber – Running for Team Sidas x Matryx the French runner is looking to defend his current top ten ranking in the GTWS. Although his two most recent GTWS races have been a little rocky with an 18th at Sierre-Zinal and a 16th at Pikes Peak Ascent Anthony has shown a lot of strength and versatility over the course of his season. With a 3rd at the Maxi Race, a 9th at the Marathon du Mont Blanc, and 7th at the OCC 55-kilometer race during the UTMB World Series Finals just a few weeks ago.
Dan Curts – Running for Brooks the American athlete is looking to make good on what is more or less his sophomore trail season. In the spring he took 3rd at the Sunapee Scramble Vertical and 1st in the Sunapee Scramble Classic Up&Down race. Those performances qualified him for his second WMTRC team in just an eight month span. Unforunately Dan got Covid in Europe that left him with lingering health effects through the middle of the summer. Healthy and back on the start line this weekend we are excited to see what Dan can do.
Other men to watch: Chad Hall, Daniel Osanz, Max King, Meikael Beaudoin-Rousseau, Francesco Puppi, and Darren Thomas.