Tag Archives: Melanie Rousset

Marathon des Sables – Day 4/5 Results

El Morabity and Barnes hold on to their leads despite strong competition

It’s the long stage and time to sort the field out. It’s the most feared and probably most critical stage of this race. This year’s fourth stage was 86.2km long and with seven checkpoints it provided enough distance that any mishaps within the leading pack were going to be punished. Overall leader Rachid El Morabity won the stage by eleven minutes, but it wasn’t from a fellow Moroccan, it was from Britain’s Thomas Evans who had an outstanding stage to take second place (must be the highest placing Brit ever!). In third place Mohamed El Morabity now has a thirteen-minute gap on fourth placed Abdelaziz Baghazza. Strong contender for the podium this year was Abdelkader El Mouaziz but he dropped out at the fifth checkpoint to end his 2017 MDS campaign.

Overall Rachid El Morabity extended his lead to thirteen minutes from second place Mohamed El Morabity. Thomas Evans is now in third five minutes behind and has a forty-eight minutes lead on fourth placed Baghazza.

Place Name Time
1st Rachid El Morabity 8:16:14
2nd Thomas Evans 8:27:46
3rd Mohamed El Morabity 8:28:33

Top Brits

Andy Symonds ran for most of the stage with fellow Brit Damian Hall and finished the stage together with less than a second splitting them. But in contrast just look at Thomas Evans time for the stage, a full two hours ahead …. what a stellar performance.

Andy Symonds lies second overall in the Top Brit table. Evans 16:33:13, Symonds 18:48:43 and Hall 20:12:56.

Place Name Time
5th Thomas Evans 8:27:46
16th Damian Hall 10:26:43
17th Andy Symonds 10:26:44

France’s Nathalie Mauclair managed to grab 90 seconds from Sweden’s Elisabet Barnes in this long stage. Barnes remained solid and tracked Mauclair throughout the course of the stage always within two minutes. Barnes overall lead is twenty-three minutes so a similar performance tomorrow in the marathon long stage will secure victory.

Brazil’s Fernanda Maciel ran strong securing third place in the stage and overall and she has almost a two cushion to fourth place Emilie Lecomte who also finished fourth in the long stage.

Place Name Time  
1st Nathalie Mauclair 9:39:58 9th overall
2nd Elisabet Barnes 9:41:16 11th overall
3rd Fernanda Maciel 10:00:58 12th overall

Other contenders

Emilie Lecomte                         11:10:17

Melanie Rousset               11:27:03

Aziza Raji                             12:00:13

Top Brits

A solid performance in this long stage from Jennifer Hill will secure her top Brit.

Place Name Time
70th Jennifer Hill 12:26:24
150th Jessica Hook 14:25:09
182nd Jane Keenan 14:58:23

 

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Marathon des Sables – Day 3 Results

El Morabity and Barnes continue upfront 

The third stage of this year’s Marathon des Sables at 31.6km had only two checkpoints. The Moroccans remained in front with overall leader Rachid El Morabity winning the stage and adding a further minute to his overall lead. Abdelaziz Baghazza stepped up to take second place in a joint time with Mohamed El Morabity.  Fourth place in the stage was taken by Abdelkader El Mouaziz dropping Britains Thomas Evans to fifth place.

Overall Rachid El Morabity has a ten minute lead over second place El Moauaziz with Mohamed El Morabity in third place by only two seconds.

Place Name Time
1st Rachid El Morabity 2:33:14
2nd Abdelaziz Baghazza 2:34:26
3rd Mohamed El Morabity 2:34:26

Top Brits

Andy Symonds had another solid day and retains his place as second Brit behind Thomas Evans. Symonds has a sixteen minute gap to close which is achievable in tomorrow’s long stage of 86.2km. Damian Hall had a strong third day, taking third place and also third Brit overall as Andrew Fargus slipped back giving away a costly thirty minutes.

Place Name Time
5th Thomas Evans 2:38:53
7th Andy Symonds 2:44:53
14th Damian Hall 3:12:16

Sweden’s Elisabet Barnes and 2015 MDS winner looks serene as she gained a further two minutes today to make her overall lead exactly twenty four minutes on second placed Nathalie Mauclair from France.  Brazilian Fernanda Maciel placed third today and is third overall twenty five minutes behind and with a thirty nine minutes lead on fourth placed Emilie Lecomte.

Place Name Time  
1st Elisabet Barnes 3:13:07 16th overall
2nd Nathalie Mauclair 3:15:14 17th overall
3rd Fernanda Maciel 3:27:11 29th overall

Other contenders

Melanie Rousset              3:28:02

Emilie Lecomte                         3:33:44

Aziza Raji                             3:47:23

 

Top Brits

Place Name Time
109th Jennifer Hill 3:18:45
173rd Josephine Adams 3:40:13
189th Susannah Chan 3:43:22

 

 

Marathon des Sables – Day 2 Results

El Morabity and Barnes take control

The second stage of this year’s Marathon des Sables was 39km with three checkpoints. The trio of top Moroccan runners remained at the top although finishing this second stage in a different order with 2016 winner Rachid El Morabity taking the stage win and adding eight valuable minutes.

Thomas Evans from the UK ran the stage in fourth place to keep within a few seconds of the leaders and still well in contention of third place.

Place Name Time
1st Rachid El Morabity 3:04:52
2nd Abdelkader El Mouaziz 3:12:15
3rd Mohamed El Morabity 3:14:31

Top Brits

Place Name Time
4th Thomas Evans 3:14:35
6th Andy Symonds 3:21:19
12th Andrew Fargus 3:49:52

Winner in 2015 Sweden’s Elisabet Barnes continued her strong MDS challenge and eclipsed Brazilian Fernanda Maciel by over eleven minutes. Barnes now has a seventeen minutes lead overall going into tomorrow’s third stage of 31.6km.

Place Name Time  
1st Elisabet Barnes 3:49:04 11th overall
2nd Fernanda Maciel 4:00:42 19th overall
3rd Nathalie Mauclair 4:04:14 20rd overall

Other contenders :

Emilie Lecomte – 4th             4:31:11

Aziza Raji – 5th                    4:41:37

Melanie Rousset – 7th    4:58:00

Top Brits

Place Name Time
67th Jennifer Hill 4:45:52
114th Josephine Adams 5:11:02
164th Jane Keenan 5:31:31

 

Marathon des Sables – Stage 1 Results

The Marathon des Sables started for the 32nd time on Sunday and as predicted the racing was fierce.   The first of six stages had the runners cover 30.3km, a good Sunday run!

The top three in the men’s race was a Moroccan affair but they have some British company hot on their heels.

Place Name Time
1st Mohamed El Morabity 2:10:36
2nd Rachid El Morabity 2:10:54
3rd Abdelkader El Mouaziz 2:11:17

 

Top Brits

Place Name Time
4th Thomas Evans 2:11:58
8th Andy Symonds 2:15:46
12th Andrew Fargus 2:23:56

 

The women’s race has opened up with previous MDS winner Elisabet Barnes leading the way by six minutes.

Place Name Time  
1st Elisabet Barnes 2:38:13 21st overall
2nd Nathalie Mauclair 2:44:57 28th overall
3rd Aziza Raji 2:54:36 43rd overall

 

Other contenders

Fernanda Maciel – 4th         3:01:36

Emilie Lecomte – 5th             3:03:57

Melanie Rousset – 6th    3:04:31

 

Top Brits

Place Name Time
109th Jennifer Hill 3:18:45
173rd Josephine Adams 3:40:13
189th Susannah Chan 3:43:22

 

Its early days in the MDS with five stages of racing left including the long stage on day 4 of 86.2km.

Marathon des Sables

Event preview

Marathon Des Sables – Kirsten Kortebein

The 32nd edition of the fabled Marathon Des Sables is due to start in several days. The circus will be back in the desert corralling over thirteen hundred participants to cover roughly 250km over six days. MDS is a foot race where participants have to be totally self-sufficient carrying all food and mandatory equipment. But the whole event would be nothing without the support staff, one for every two participants, the 2 helicopters and 1 light aircraft, 25 buses, 4 camels and 57 medical staff, the list goes on…….  It’s a logistics exercise comparable with an army brigade making sure that there is ample water, tents and manned check-points etc.

Race preview

We are in line for some very exciting multi day desert racing at this year’s Marathon des Sables. The men’s race could be summarised as potentially a repeat performance of previous year’s but El Morabity’s gap last year was reduced to only a few minutes so it could lead to a shake up on the podium. The women’s race has all the ingredients for some very exciting racing.  There are probably five or six fighting it out for the top spot which could make every day a challenge and any slip up absolutely crucial.

The Men’s race

Top Moroccans

2016

2015 2014 2013

2012

Rachid El Morabity

1st

1st

1st

Abdelkader El Mouaziz

2nd

2nd

7th

Aziz El Akad

3rd

3rd

5th

3rd

Samir Akdar

6th

4th

8th

Salemeh Al Aqra

5th

2nd

2nd

1st

Mohamed Ahansal

11th

3rd

1st

2nd

The table above shows the top Moroccans performances over the last five years. The podium has been dominated by these guys and it would come as a huge surprise if it wasn’t the same this year.

The following guys are confirmed for this year.

Rachid El Morabity – El Morabity has got to be the one to beat having won the last three editions of the race.  Morabity’s winning gap last year was only four minutes compared to fourteen minutes the previous year, both times to El Mouaziz.  He also came second at OCC in 2016 and is entered for CCC this year.

Abdelkader El Mouaziz – El Mouaziz has a deep marathon pedigree with a 2:06 PB and having raced some of the most competitive road marathons over a decade or more, mainly London & Chicago.  He has translated that marathon speed to the rough terrain of the desert and multi day racing.  The last two years placing second to El Morabity but having a healthy gap to a third placed El Akad.

Aziz El Akad – El Akad has placed third in the last two years but will he have enough to challenge the likes of El Morabity and El Mouaziz?  The one hour gap to second at this level is substantial amount to bridge.

Samir Akhdar – A solid top five finisher but Akdar will be looking to make the podium for the first time.

Andy Symonds – Symonds has got to be the top non Moroccan at this year’s event. He has lots of talent, fast and excels on mountain courses. How will he fare in the desert against some of the best multi day racers in the world?  It certainly will be interesting to track his progress.

Tsuyoshi Kaburaki – Kaburaki has tons of mountain racing pedigree earned at UTMB, Hardrock, & Western States, although a few years ago. He placed second last year at Ultra Fiord Patagonia.  A top ten finish would be a good result.

Marco Olmo – Olmo has raced MDS many times and has won the various age categories from M55, M60 and now M65 for the last three years.  Who else can beat the Italian Olmo?

 

Women’s Race

Nathalie Mauclair – Second at last year’s MDS, Mauclair will undoubtedly be seeking the top spot this year, especially as last year’s winner Sedykh is not competing. Her closest rivals are likely to be 2015 winner Elisabet Barnes and Brazilian Fernanda Maciel. Mauclair has won Diagonal des Fous twice and UTMB during 2013 to 2015, by comparison 2016 was a much quieter racing year for her.

Elisabet Barnes – Winner of MDS in 2015, last year’s race did not go to plan and she missed out on the podium. Since then she has placed second at the Grand to Grand ultra and a fourth place at this year’s The Coastal Challenge in Costa Rica.  Barnes will be looking to regain that top spot for sure!

Fernanda Maciel – A tough competitor who regularly places top five or podium at some of the world’s toughest mountain races.  Last year placed third at MDS.  Maciel will surely be looking to move further up the podium this year.

Emilie Lecomte – In 2016 Lecomte raced the Grand to Grand ultra a similar multi stage race in the US and won. She also placed third at the Madeira Island Ultra Trail.  Lecomte seems to excel on the tough gnarly courses like Diagonal des Fous and UTMB. How will she perform on the fabled dunes at MDS?

Melanie Rousset – A recent third place at Transgrancanaria will surely boost Rousset’s confidence coming into MDS.  She has placed sixth, fifth and fourth at Diagonal des Fous in recent year’s.  It will be interesting how she tackles multi day desert racing.

Ester Alves – Alves has recent experience of multi day racing at The Coastal Challenge placing third. She won the Madeira Island Ultra Trail in 2015

Federica Boifava – Italian Boifava has won a lot of races many of them in the marathon to 80km range. It will be exciting to see how she performs in multi day desert racing. Likely to place highly if she doesn’t go off to fast in the early stages.

Moroccans

Aziza Raji – Top Moroccan in 2016 placing fifth.

Meryem Mahfoud – Second at Nomads Run 60km 2017.

Houda Taoufiq Mabileau – Third at Nomads Run 60km 2017.

Touda Didi – Tenth at MDS in 2011.

Ultrarunning News from Around the Globe

In this month’s column we bring you news from the opening rounds of the Ultra Trail World Tour and the latest UTWT standings, as well as a selection of news from the blogs.

Vibram Hong Kong 100

The opening round of the 2017 Ultra Trail World Tour in Hong Kong had improved conditions with some milder temperatures and rain. Yanqiao Yan from China captured the win but a decent margin of twenty six minutes over Italian Daniel Jung. Sage Canaday was the top American in third place. Other notable finishers in this early season head to head were Didrik Hermansen 4th, Tim Tollefson 5th, Seth Swanson 6th and Julien Chorier 10th.

Nuria Picas returned to her winning ways in dominant fashion with an emphatic victory over China’s Linming Chen by some thirty five minutes and in the process besting the old course record by over forty minutes.DSC_5103
New Zealand athlete and Hong Kong based Marie McNaughton took third place in what appears to be her fastest time on this course.

 

 

 

Vibram Hong Kong 100

Men Time
1 Yanqiao Yun 09:35:11
2 Daniel Jung 10:01:35
3 Sage Canaday 10:03:50

 

Women Time
1 Nuria Picas-Albets 11:18:57
2 Linming Chen 11:53:47
3 Maria McNaughton 12:26:19

Tarawera Ultramarathon

American Jim Walmsley cruised to victory unchallenged in an incredibly fast record time of 7:23 leading from virtually the get go. Walmsley was more than forty five minutes ahead of second placed Jonas Buud who is no slouch when it comes to fast trails.

Tarawera Ultramarathon

The final spot on the podium was for New Zealand’s Sam McCutcheon. Other notable finishers in this hotly contested race in New Zealand were Gediminas Grinius in 5th, Matt Flaherty 7th and Michael Wardian 8th.

In a similar vein the women’s race was won by leading from the front, Camille Herron beating second place Magdalena Boulet by around twenty four minutes. It was a narrow margin for third placed Cecilia Flori who was only ninety seconds behind Boulet. Fiona Hayvice who won last year in 10:34 finished sixth in 10:06 such was the step up in competition this year. Fernanda Maciel took 7th and Sophie Grant 10th.

Tarawera Ultramarathon 102km

Men Time
1 Jim Walmsley 07:23:32
2 Jonas Buud 08:10:58
3 Sam McCutcheon 08:12:35

 

Women Time
1 Camille Herron 08:56:00
2 Magdelena Boulet 09:20:13
3 Cecilia Flori 09:21:42

Transgrancanaria

Trangsrancanaria is the first UTWT race of the season in Europe with a distance of 125km and with 8,000 metres of ascent it is a serious early season challenge. The runners traverse from the north of the island to the south and the massed crowds on the beach of Maspalomas.

This year’s men’s winner was a richly deserved Pau Capell in a fast time of 13:21 beating Didrik Hermansen’s winning time from 2016 by a huge twenty minutes. Lithuanian Vaidas Zlabys placed second fourteen minutes later with Hermansen settling for third place this year.

Other top ten finishers included Diego Pazos 8th, Andy Symonds 9th and Timothy Olson 10th.

The women’s race was dominated by Spain’s Azara Garcia in her first race of over 100 kilometres. A challenging last 40 kilometres where she had difficulty eating and drinking made the closing efforts more intriguing but Garcia still managed to eclipse second place Andrea Huser by over forty five minutes. In third place was Melanie Rousset less than fifteen minutes behind.

Other top ten finishers Ildiko Wermescher 5th, Juliette Blanchette 7th, Lisa Borzani 8th and Manuela Vilaseca 10th.

Transgrancanaria

Men Time
1 Pau Capell 13:21:03
2 Vaidas Zlabys 13:35:38
3 Didrik Hermansen 13:50:06

 

Women Time
1 Azara Garcia 16:25:20
2 Andrea Huser 17:15:45
3 Melanie Rousset 17:30:40

 

News from the blogs

Kilian Jornet

In the continuing adventure ‘Summits of My life’ Jornet recently announced he will once again go back to Everest. On his return he has a full bag of trail racing, Marathon du Mont Blanc, Hardrock and UTMB amongst others. Somewhere in all this racing he will travel to the UK to take on the famous Bob Graham Round.

http://www.kilianjornet.cat/en/blog/2017-calendar/ 

Manuela Vilaseca

Brazilian ultra runner and mountain biker, Manuela “Manu’ Vilaseca trains hard and invariably finishes top ten in some of the tougher mountain races such as UTMB and Transgrancanaria. ‘Catch me if you can’ is Manu’s catch phrase!   More regular updates on her athlete Facebook page.

http://manuvilaseca.com/site/

Andrea Huser

Find out more about Andrea Huser on her Facebook page.  Swiss athlete Huser loves the mountains. Looks like this year she will spend some time in the US in preparation for Western States at the end of June.

Francesca Canepa

Italian Francesca Canepa looks like she is heading to Croatia to compete in the 100 miles of Istria a UTWT event. Checkout her Facebook page to keep up to date.

Gediminas Grinius

Lithuanian athlete Gediminas Grinius came on the scene about two years ago at Lavaredo Ultra Trail and has continually impressed showing it was not a fluke performance. I like his mantra ‘Time is Time’ so don’t look for his blog which is not regularly updated but check out his Facebook page for updates. He is currently running in the US.

Mike Wardian

Does he really need an introduction… Mike races practically every weekend and sometimes both days or indeed in the morning and then in the evening. He is scheduled to run Western States at the end of June and then Hardrock three weeks later. Even with MW’s prodigious racing calibre that is a tall ask…. bring it on!!

http://mikewardian.com

UTWT Standings

Here is a recap on scoring for UTWT events. These are points awarded to the winner of the various category races.

Three rounds of this year’s Ultra Trail World Tour have been raced, Vibram Hong Kong 100 (Pro), Tarawera Ultramarathon (Pro) and Transgrancanaria (Series).

 

Place Series with Bonus Series Pro Challenger
1st 1300 1000 700 400
2nd 1124 865 605 346
3rd 1021 785 550 314
4th 948 729 510 292
5th 891 685 480 274

Leading the way after three races are Didrik Hermansen with 1,295 points and Azara Garcia with 1,000 points. IMG_2256Transgrancanaria as a Series race commands more points than the Pro races (Vibram HK and Tarawera). Critically, later on in the season Marathon des Sables and UTMB are the only two Series with Bonus races and could prove crucial to who wins the 2017 UTWT.

 

Up and coming races

Marathon des Sables – April 7th-17th

100 Miles of Istria – April 7th-9th

Patagonia Run 2017 – 145k – April 7th-8th

Madeira Island Ultra Trail – April 22nd

Penyagolosa Trails – April 22nd

Thames Path 100 – April 29th – 30th

 

MADEIRA ISLAND ULTRA TRAIL – RESULTS

MIUT 10624623_769447663134382_2276331123363407845_nThe USA’s Zach Miller and Caroline Chaverot of France storm to convincing wins at the fifth Ultra Trail World Tour event  on the pretty island of Madeira (Madeira Island Ultra Tour).  Both Miller and Chaverot reset the course records in the process.

Miller (13:52:17) won by twenty minutes ahead of Spain’s Tofol Castanyer who had Frenchman Sebastien Camus only six minutes behind.  Defending champion Luis Fernandes came in seventh and the top Portuguese athlete.

Chaverot (15:00:55) was once again in a race of her own. Her lead over second place Andrea Huser was a mighty eighty two minutes. Incredibly Chaverot was in eigth place overall. Third place went to Emilie Lecomte of France.

Notice how many French runners made the top ten in both the mens and womens’ fields.

Men’s Results

  Name Country Time
1 Zach Miller USA 13:52:17
2 Tofol Castanyer Spain 14:12:45
3 Sebastien Camus France 14:18:45
4 Fabien Antolinos France 14:34:13
5 Cyril Cointre France 14:35:19
6 Fulvio Dapit Italy 14:38:54
7 Luis Fernandes Portugal 14:48:02
8 Benoit Girondel France 15:07:04
9 Antoine Guillon France 15:17:01
10 Armanda Teixeira Portugal 15:21:35

 

Women’s Results

  Name Country Time
1 Caroline Chaverot France 15:00:55
2 Andrea Huser Switzerland 16:22:46
3 Emilie Lecomte France 17:56:17
4 Juliette Blanchet France 18:56:18
5 Melanie Rousset France 19:03:28
6 Sofia Roquete Portugal 19:36:49
7 Sylvie Hascoet France 19:48:19
8 Susana Simoes Portugal 21:07:06
9 Henriette Brynthe Norway 21:55:43
10 Olivia Sousa Portugal 22:01:23