Sepp Kuss conquered the Vuelta, Emma Stuart the Tor des Geants and Remi Bonnet set a new record on the Pikes Peak Ascent. Yes, it's been an impressive week on Strava...
Kuss conquers the Vuelta
Few people - team Jumbo Visma included, apparently - anticipated Sepp Kuss would be standing on the top step of the podium when the 2023 Vuelta a España kicked off back in August. But Kuss overcame multiple attacks, many from within his own ranks, to return to Madrid as an impressive champion - the first American to win a Grand Tour since Chris Horner back in 2013.
Stuart dominates Tor des Geants
If you haven't come across the Tor des Geants, we need to change that. One of - if not the - toughest ultras out there, the 205 mile / 330km race through Italy's Aosta Valley features more than 78,740 feet / 24,000m of elevation gain, with a punchy 150 hour cut off.
In the women's race, Emma Stuart took a commanding win in 82 hours, 21 minutes and 44 seconds - some two hours ahead of France's Jocelyne Pauly. Stuart, who described the race as a 'wild ride' on Strava, took control at the midway point and didn't look back. In the men's race, Franco Collé broke his own course record, taking the win in 66:39:16.
While we're on the Tor des Geants, we want to give one quick shout out to Strava Pro John Kelly who summed up the feelings of many an ultra runner after a race. Kelly, who finished in 85:28:17, reflected: "Basically, it went well, then suddenly absolutely terrible, then ok, then really great, then just kind of meh." We've all been there, Jon (although not many of us over that kind of distance).
Bonnet breaks 30-year record
Some races just have 'something' about them. A certain reputation. Pikes Peak Ascent is one such race. Half marathon distance, the race is a straight 'sprint' up Pikes Peak in Colorado. Over the course of the 13.2 miles / 21.1km, runners ascend 7,800 feet / 2,377m to the summit of the mountain. And this year, Swiss runner Rémi Bonnet broke a record that has stood for 30 years. Bonnet, who also won the race in 2022, finished in 2:00:02, just over a minute faster than Matt Carpenter's record set in 1993 (2:01:06).
Every week, in fact every day, we see remarkable people doing remarkable things in Strava. Russ Cook is one such person. Yesterday, Cook ran 37 miles / 60km through the Congo. That's pretty remarkable in itself. But when you look at what he did on Saturday (another 60km), and scroll back through the last 145 days, you'll see that Russ is doing something pretty special.