Keegan Swenson demolished an eight-year-old course record at the Leadville Trail 100 on his way to a commanding victory over Alexey Vermeulen, while Sofia Gomez Villafañe held off a charging Ruth Edwards (recent name change from Winder) to take the women’s title.
A new record
- Keegan Swenson came into Saturday’s 2023 edition of the Leadville Trail 100 intent on taking a record that had stood since 2015, when marathon world champion Alban Lakata completed the course in 5 hours and 58 minutes. He ended up taking an incredible 15 minutes off that time, crossing the line in 5:43.31.
- Swenson attacked on the Columbine climb, which tops out at the halfway point of the 100-mile (160 km) race. Only Vermeulen could hang on and the duo distanced themselves from the likes of Lachlan Morton, John Gaston, Howard Grotts, and Cole Patton.
- Making the new record even more impressive, Lakata spent much more of the day in a group, joined at various points by fellow world champion Christophe Sauser and eventual second place Kristian Hynek. Drafting in Leadville can have a large impact. Swenson was solo before he even reached the halfway point.
A day-long chase
- Gomez Villafañe had control of the race throughout the day, dropping eventual third place Alexis Skarda on the Columbine climb and riding solo all the way back to Leadville.
- Ruth Edwards spent most of the day in third, pacing slightly slower than Skarda and Gomez Villafañe on the outbound leg, but caught Skarda on the return and dropped her up the heinously steep Powerline climb.
- The gap between Edwards and Gomez Villafañe shrank through the final 30 miles. A gap of roughly five minutes at Powerline dropped to 90 seconds by the finish, but the former road pro couldn’t overhaul the cross-country specialist.
- Sofia Gomez Villafañe in 7:09:48
- Ruth Edwards in 7:11:12
- Alexis Skarda in 7:19:03
- Hannah Otto in 7:19:10
- Haley Smith in 7:21:26
- Crystal Anthony in 7:30:00
- Sarah Sturm in 7:30:12
- Jenna Rinehart in 7:34:34
- Ellen Campbell in 7:37:01
- Kate McLaughlin in 7:42:11
- Keegan Swenson in 5:43:31
- Alexey Vermeulen in 6:08:01
- John Gaston in 6:08:05
- Cole Paton in 6:09:20
- Howard Grotts in 6:11:14
- Zach Calton in 6:16:17
- Russell Finsterwald in 6:16:20
- Bradyn Lange in 6:16:20
- Lachlan Morton in 6:16:33
- Petr Vakoč in 6:17:40
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