2023 Hardrock Endurance Run Recap

“All you gotta do is walk 2MPH. How hard can that be?” - Dale Garland.

Since 1992, runners have been attempting to circumnavigate this historic loop in the San Juans in 48 hours or less. This tongue in cheek quote by race director Dale Garland downplays the difficulty of the race but is, in fact and simply true. On July 14th, 146 runners lined up to face a forecast of no rain and record high temperatures. Also record breaking was the number of women starting this race this year at 29. With an overall finisher rate of 76%, the women showed out with a finisher rate of 93%. The runners also contend with high altitude and constant wet feet. The highest point of the course is Handies Peak at 14,048 feet and the town of Ouray being the lowest point at 7,680 feet above sea level.

Leading that charge was our very own Courtney Dauwalter.  A mere three weeks off an astonishing course record at Western States in 15:29:33, she once again defied what we thought humanly possible in less than ideal conditions.  Courtney didn’t lead the entire race wire to wire as she sometimes does. Anne-Lise Rousset Seguret pushed the pace and lead early.  Eventually, Courtney’s ability to push through any pain or fatigue got her the definitive lead in the back half of the race. She crossed the finish line with a new CCW record in 26:14:08. (Courtney also holds the CW record which she set last year in 26:44:36.)


Courtney Dauwalter stands in front of the Hardrock at the finsih with her arms back with an expression of joy and relief

Annie Hughes, not without her own trials and tribulations on the course, ultimately pushed through for a solid 3rd place finish in 32:13:03 in her first ever Hardrock attempt. She was the youngest competitor in the field and the only person representing the under 30 age group. 


Annie Hughes kisses the iconic rock at the finish line of the Hardrock race

On the other end of the age spectrum, is Pam Reed age 62, who is possibly the oldest female competitor in the field (pending confirmation of Betsy Kalmeyer’s birthday who is also 62 years old. If anyone can find that info... kudos!) Pam’s career and accomplishments would take a whole other blog to write. Most recently this finish marked the end of her “Pam Slam” (or what she is calling “My Three Runs.”) On June 25th she completed the Western States Endurance Run, then on July 6th she completed Badwater 135 and then 7 days later started what is arguably the hardest of the three; Hardrock. She got it done during golden hour (the last hour before cut-off) finishing in 47:19:36.


Pam Reed stands next to the rock after finishing the Hardrock 100 and talks to a staff member

To close out the weekend, our athletes gathered at the Silverton visitor center to compete in the Post Hardrock Depletion Mile. Pam didn’t quite make it out of the shower in time but showed up to spectate just as it began. Also showing up to spectate was Annie Hughes who was easily coerced into running the mile instead. Only having Hoka slides on her feet didn’t stop her from taking the Post Hardrocker female division and winning in around 7 minutes flat.  Courtney Dauwalter managed the four loops in a chill 10:30 pace. She was greeted at the finish as second to last finisher with a spirit fingers tunnel.  Last overall finisher was Post Hardrocker Rick Hodges, oldest competitor at age 74. 


All participants in the depletion mile which takes place the day after Hardrock

We are sad it is all over this year but we look forward to next year when we reunite with our Hardrock family in this little mountain town of Silverton, CO.  Unique to this year and possibly a new continuing tradition was a livestream of the entire race (including the Depletion Mile!)  Run Steep Get High orchestrated some fantastic coverage of the entire weekend. If you missed the fun check it out on their YouTube Channel. And if you are in the area next year, we encourage you to come out and be involved. There are numerous volunteer opportunities and we love sharing our local mountains with our ultrarunning family. Until next year! 


By Maggie Guterl. Photos by Megan Jurgens 

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