KILIAN MAKES IT THREE WINS & STEVIE KREMER FINALLY GETS TOP SPOT ON THE PODIUM
The 41st edition of Sierre Zinal took place in the heart of Valais Alps yesterday. Sierre Zinal or the ‘Race of Five 4000m Peaks’ is a mountain marathon of 31km with 2,200m of ascent and 800m of descent. It is the third race in the SkyRunner World Series.
Sub 2:34 was what you needed for the podium and Kilian Jornet had that this weekend to edge out race leader Jo Gray from the US to take his third win at Sierre Zinal in a time of 2:31:54. His fastest time on this course by a good two minutes. Jo Gray finished second in 2:32:58 and Costa Cesar took the final podium spot in 2:34:07.
Impressive run by UK athlete Rob Simpson finishing 5th for the second year in a row in a time of 2:35:13 – 19 seconds faster than in 2013. His time in 2012 was 2:54 so he has made huge improvements. Fourth place by Francois Gonon in 2:34:56 and Jonathan Wyatt still proves he has it in him with a 8th place finish in 2:38.
But, as I predicted, the Jonathan Wyatt course record of 2:29:12 set in 2003 did not go down. Its a very stout CR and whilst I believe KJ has the credentials to smash it, that was not his focus this weekend. KJ is now 3 wins a piece with Marco de Gasperi. He finished 69th in 3:03.
Another nine make the sub 2:40 club on this course compared to 7, 3, 5 and 5 in 2013, 2012, 2011and 2010 respectively, so the standard is getting much higher year on year.
Well I predicted a 1- 2 between Elisa Desco (DNF) and Stevie Kremer but hedged my bets. Stevie Kremer showed us what a strong and tactical mountain runner she is and that she can cruise those downhills. Kremer finished in 3:03:12 ahead of second place Maude Mathys in 3:03:59. Third place was taken by 2012 winner Aline Camboulive in 3:08:13.
The Spaniard Laura Orgue who has had a strong season so far and would have appeared to be strong contender for the final podium spot ran strongly for a 5th position in 3:13:04. Fourth place was taken by Christel Dewalle in 3:08:32.
But for sure the course record held by Anna Pichrtova (2:54:26) set in 2008 was going to be intact.
Another 16 make the sub 3:30 club compared to 12 in 2013.
All images are copyright – Ian Campbell – Photgraphy