A big congratulations to Katya Rakhmatulina, who just became the first woman to cross the finish line in the 2023 Colorado Trail Race, setting an impressive new course record. Learn more about Katya’s ride and find a few photos from the finish here…

Photos by Diane Roher with additional input from Josh Hicks

Just after 5:00 a.m. today, Katya Rakhmatulina rolled into Waterton Canyon on the south side of Denver to become the first woman to finish this year’s Colorado Trail Race, a 527-mile ride from Durango to Denver. Katya finished with an official time of 5 days, 1 hour, and 53 minutes (5:01:53). In doing so, the 28-year-old from Oakland, California, bested the women’s record by nearly a full day and set a new women’s “North/East” Colorado Trail Race course record—the previous record of 6 days, 1 hour, and 34 minutes (6:01:34) was held by Alexandera Houchin since her win in 2019. This comes just shy of two months after Katya took second place in the women’s category at this year’s Tour Divide.

  • Katya Rakhmatulina, 2023 Colorado Trail Race Record
  • Katya Rakhmatulina, 2023 Colorado Trail Race Record
Katya Rakhmatulina, 2023 Colorado Trail Race Record

“Right now, I’m just feeling too tired to even think about how I’m feeling. I haven’t really stopped much or slept since Buena Vista (estimated 245 miles),” she said. Kayta started the race by sleeping about four hours per night, but then decided to sleep in her riding clothes and forgo her sleeping pad to save time.

Katya Rakhmatulina, 2023 Colorado Trail Race Record

Kayta was quick to share that her lows were running on less and less sleep, paired with running low on battery for her lights coming into the technical singletrack to finish the race. “I did the Colorado Trail Race last year, but I don’t remember that final section at all. It was tough and seemed never-ending. Sleep deprivation and just wanting to be done didn’t help,” she added. Katya made note that the weather was pleasant the entire race, and she encountered several bouts of light rain, which helped her lungs and breathing. “That was something I remember enjoying along with doing Tenmile Range at night,” she said.

Katya Rakhmatulina, 2023 Colorado Trail Race Record

Katya appeared to have a consistently strong race throughout her five days on the trail. She took the lead early on day one, but was later passed by Lael Wilcox. However, Katya remained within 20 miles of Lael over the first couple of days and scrambled ahead of her on Wednesday night near Copper Mountain. She retained a significant lead ever since, and at the finish line this morning, she was nearly 40 miles ahead of Lael, who looks on track to be the next woman to complete the race. While it seemed like Katya took a long rest last night near the end, she reported only laying down for 45 minutes and said she hasn’t had any real sleep since Buena Vista. “I’ve lost my voice, and I don’t know who I am,” she joked with her boyfriend Jackson at the finish. Once her mom heard the news about her daughter’s record setting race, she said “this is not surprising, she is iron.”

When asked if she stuck to her race plan, Katya commented, “I never have a plan. I just let my body do what it wants and decide the plan for me.”

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