Courtney Dauwalter : « the ultra-trail world is a fun big puzzle to solve »

Courtney Dauwalter during the Western States, last 24th of June ©Salomon

Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc, Western States, Diagonale des Fous, Hardrock… nothing stands in her way. On the 24th of June, 2023, Courtney Dauwalter finished the Western States 6th overall, breaking the women’s record time of 1 hour 18 minutes. The American is THE utra-trail phenomenon. She tells us more about her unplanned training sessions, her favorite foods during races, her approach to the discipline and presents her welknown long shorts, the ‘Shortney’.

She is the only woman athlete to have won all four of the major trail running events (like Kilian Jornet): Western States, Hardrock, UTMB and Diagonale des Fous. A phenomenon, Colorado-based American Courtney Dauwalter is regarded as the best female ultra-trailer in history, with record-breaking times in almost every race.

Always in the top 10 (or even 6) overall in the ultra-trails she takes part in, she has no sports coach, no planned training or controlled food list. At 38 years old, she says she’s always looking to surprise herself by pushing her limits, always with a smile on her face… and wearing her legendary Shortney long shorts – doubleXL t-shirt combo.

We chatted with her a few days after the Western States, a 100 miles trail with 6,000 meters of ascent, where Courtney finished 6th overall and lowered the women’s reference time to 15h29min33sec (the previous record was held by Ellie Greenwood at 16h47min19sec).

Courtney Dauwalter arrivée Western States 2023

Courtney Dauwalter at the finish of the Western States on the 24th of June 2023, breaking the previous women’s record and finishing 6th