In this month’s column we bring you news from the third round of the Ultra Trail World Tour, the latest UTWT standings as well as a selection of news from the blogs.
Norway’s Didrik Hermansen and France’s Caroline Chaverot improved on their 2015 second places to win the 2016 edition of this race and in the process both smashing the course records by a considerable margin.
Two different race tactics were employed, Hermansen running with the lead group, biding his time and then charging at just over the halfway mark, whilst Chaverot, showing supreme confidence in her ability, charged from the front and just kept increasing that lead as the miles went by.
Gediminas Grinius had a solid race beating his time from last year by thirty eight minutes and adding to his tally of UTWT points and ranking. In joint third was Catalan Pau Capell, running with Switzerlands Diego Pazos for much of the second half of the race.
In the women’s race Chaverot’s lead was nearly a whole two hours ahead of Switzerland’s Andrea Huser followed shortly by Spain’s Uxue Fraile Azpeitia.
Transgrancanaria – 125km
|3 – tied||Pau Capell||14:11:02|
|3 – tied||Diego Pazos||14:11:02|
News from the blogs
Nuria Picas dropped from Transgrancanaria in Artenara (33km) citing a psoas muscle injury to her left leg. It looks like Nuria will be in Soller, Mallorca in the middle of March helping Tofol Castanyer with his training camp over three intense days. One thing is for sure the trails are fantastic in Mallorca and Soller is a really beautiful place to be based.
Obviously excited from her success at Transgrancanaria Caroline was very prompt in her race report, written the same day as she finished. In French, its worth translating and reading – ‘After Teror, I find that I’m way ahead of last year, since I will make all the next climb, which is beautiful at sunrise, at night.’
Emelie Forsberg had a well-publicized ski accident in early February where she tore her cruciate ligament meaning that she will be out of trail running action this season. Her rehab continues with measured amounts of isometric exercises and cycling on a turbo trainer. We wish her a speedy recovery.
Look out for Anna Frost in the Lake District, UK when the rest of the Salomon team meet for the Salomon Advanced Week in April. Anna also has Transvulcania and Hardrock 100 on her schedule as well a trip to Bhutan in October among other things.
Didrik’s Facebook account confirmed that he took it easy as he worked his way up the field at Transgrancanaria before taking first place on the downhill towards Ayaguares with around twenty five kilometres to go. What was not apparent was the back and forth that he and Gediminas Grinius had had leading up to this point. View www.irunfar.com postrace interview for a more in depth analysis.
Hermansen also held a contest to guess his TGC finish time. Fredrik Olmqvist guessed to within eight minutes. Given that Hermansen blew away the old course record by forty two minutes, it was a well-informed guess!
A thoughtful piece from Gediminas about potentially overtraining leading into Diagonal des Fous in 2015 – ‘was a disaster, which I never would like to repeat’ at Diagonal des Fous and refocusing for 2016. Grinius tells us about his race plans for 2016 starting with Vibram HK – ‘A’ race and third place, Transgrancanaria – ‘B’ race not bad as he came second, 3R (rock and roll and recreation), Lavaredo in June ‘B’ race, UTMB – obviously an ‘A’ race and Diagonal des Fous – ‘A+’ race again ‘Put all in – revenge!’ We can’t wait to see how his seasons pans out. What’s clear is that Grinius wants to re-balance his running commitments with the rest of his life.
Tim Tollefson had a character building race at Transgrancanaria. Finishing in 101st place in a time of 19:37:14 it was surely not the plan from the outset. Tollefson’s Facebook post shortly after the race says it all ‘It was absolutely stunningly gorgeous. Objectively if I could’ve appreciated that I would’ve been happy but since I was in so much agony I’d look up and see the view and say “oh that’s cool” and then go back to realizing how horrible this is’ and the reason ‘My quads were shot and blister ridden feet felt like hamburger meat’. Thanks for the insight Tim and massive congratulations on gutting it out for the finish.
UTWT standings after three races
The next event in the UTWT calendar is Marathon Des Sables in Morocco from April 10th to 15th. This will be the 31st edition of this challenging multi-stage event covering 250km. A whole host of quality North African athletes, including several past winners will be taking it out from the front. The notable International athletes competing are: Elisabet Barnes, Erik Clavery, Laurence Klein, Meghan Arbogast, Jason Schlarb, Marco Olmo and Sondre Amdahl.