Gearing up for the first UTMB World Series Major of 2023 with The Canyons Endurance Runs

Press Release / 26.04.2023

On 28-29 April, the UTMB® World Series heads to the historic gold-rush town of Auburn, California - also known as the birthplace of mountain ultra-trail running – as over 1,900 runners take on the iconic The Canyons Endurance Runs by UTMB®.

As the first ever UTMB World Series Major to be held in the USA, the determination to get to the finish line will be greater than ever with double the Running Stones on offer for all finishers. The event also offers a unique opportunity for 225 runners to secure direct access to the UTMB World Series Finals by winning their respective age categories or finishing in the top ten men and women in the 100-mile, 100km or 50km race.

From the famous Western States Trails to the leg-burning K2-climb, the natural wonders of the American River and landmarks such as the No Hands bridge, the ever-changing scenery and atmosphere in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountain foothills create the perfect stage for The Canyons Endurance Runs by UTMB.

Race Director, Charles Sheya is looking forward to welcoming runners to California to experience the stunning routes. He said, “We’re thrilled to be welcoming the very first UTMB World Series Major in the US, a fantastic opportunity for all runners to increase their chances to be part of the Finals at Chamonix. With a new exciting re-routes this year, and hosting a departure and finish line at the same location, we’re excited for a festival atmosphere, with the crowd gathered in one place to support and encourage the participants to take part in this adventure.” 

With new courses in place for the 100-mile and 100km routes after historic snowfall in the northern and central Sierra Nevada Mountain range, all races now start and finish under the same finishing arches in Downtown Auburn. An electric atmosphere is guaranteed and a Chamonix-style-festival as spectators head out in full force to cheer on all the incredible athletes across the four courses.

The race has attracted a star-studded line-up, including Hayden Hawks (USA), who with a UTMB Index of 921 is the highest ranked athlete preparing to take to the start across all races. He’ll face some tough competition in the 50K race, notably from the likes of Tom Evans (GBR, UTMB Index 908), who took third place at UTMB in 2022, setting the stage for what is likely to be a tough battle all the way to the finish line in Auburn.

The race has attracted elites from across the world, with China’s Canhua Luo (CHI, UTMB Index 874) and Brazil’s Manuela Vilaseca (BRA, UTMB Index 650) both stand-out names in the 100-mile male and female races, while Sebastien Spehler (FRA, UTMB Index 905) and Ida Nilsson (SWE, UTMB Index 767) are top-ranked in the 100K race.

One inspirational runner taking part is Amy Palmiero-Winters, who can’t wait to get back out on the Western Trails with an important message to spread. As a below-knee amputee, she refuses to let hardships or setbacks define her and has completed grueling events such as the Western States Endurance Run, Badwater Ultramarathon, and the Marathon Des Sables. She said, “I want to get out there and give it my all. I want to make a forever memory with my daughter who will be there with me on her 18th birthday, and I want to be a positive role model to my children. I want to cross that line and gather those Running Stones and get to the UTMB World Series Finals but most of all, I want to get out on the trails and change lives one mile at a time.”

She added, “I have a foundation that helps children and one of the girls, Lily, will be picking out a special toenail polish for me to help me go fast. She made her little Barbie doll have a prosthetic leg like mine and doesn’t care that I am different. She also has differences that make things hard for her, but she just sees me as her hero, and I want to continue to inspire her and help her through sport as I know first-hand what it did for me.”

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