Tag Archives: Zegama

Ultra Running News from Around the Globe

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

 

Marathon des Sables

Probably the stand out event in a busy April, the Marathon des Sables never fails to disappoint. This year’s event had some surprises in store as the six stage race unfolded. From a British perspective the performance of Thomas Evans was stunning. It must have been disconcerting for the Moroccans to see him in contention and leading stages. But of course it was a Moroccan victory and a one two by the El Morabity brothers with Rachid coming out on top of younger brother Mohamed by twenty three minutes. Abdelkader El Mouaziz dropped from the race and that opened up the podium opportunity for Evans which he grabbed with some phenomenal running.

The women’s race was controlled by Sweden’s Elisabet Barnes looking for and achieving her second MDS victory. Her margin increased daily from Nathalie Mauclair of France but Mauclair clawed back some time in the long stage that is her specialty. Barnes kept close to her in the long stage to ensure she did not drop too many minutes.  Brazil’s Fernanda Maciel claimed the final podium place but was adrift of the top two by over an hour.

The prize of top Brit was of course claimed by Thomas Evans with that impressive third place overall. Andy Symonds was a clear second from Damian Hall. On the women’s side Jennifer Hill ran strong throughout and claimed the top spot from Jessica Hook and Elizabeth Currie who were within twelve minutes of each other but a distant five hours from Hill.

Results

Men Time
1 Rachid El Morabity 19:15:23
2 Mohamed El Morabity 19:38:21
3 Thomas Evans 19:49:33

 

Women Time
1 Elisabet Barnes 23:16:12
2 Nathalie Mauclair 23:36:40
3 Fernanda Maciel 24:44:59

 Results – Top Brits

Men Time
1 Thomas Evans 19:49:33
2 Andy Symonds (9th overall) 22:19:39
3 Damian Hall (15th) 24:09:43

 

Women Time
1 Jennifer Hill (73rd overall) 29:36:50
2 Jessica Hook (182nd) 34:30:34
3 Elizabeth Currie (184th) 34:42:01

 

100 Miles of Istria

The distance 100 miles, the elevation 7,210M, the country Croatia, the first time on the UTWT, the fifth running of the event and two stand out performances by American Dylan Bowman and Italian Francecsa Canepa to win.  The organisers must also be very happy with the result from their first UTWT outing.  Bowman won by over an hour from Italian Oliviero Bosatelli.  Canape was the pre-race favourite and won with a seventy eight minute margin from Slovenian Alenka Pavc.

Results

Men Time
1 Dylan Bowman 17:51
2 Oliviero Bosatelli 18:54
3 Paul Giblin 19:21

 

Women Time
1 Francesa Canepa 23:34
2 Alenka Pavc 24:52
3 Ulrike Striednig 25:07

 

Patagonia Run

The Patagonia Run is a new entrant to UTWT in 2017. With a total of 8,000M vertical ascent and a distance of 145km there is plenty of time to take in the impressive landscape of the Andes mountain range. Five time winner Sergio Trecaman probably didn’t stop a lot as he only took eighteen hours to complete the course just ahead of his fellow Argentinian Jose Manuel Gasca. The women’s race was won by Adriana Vargas with who had a thirty-five minute cushion over second place Teresa Nimes of Spain.

Results

Men Time
1 Sergio Trecaman 18:10
2 Jose Manuel Gasca 18:22
3 Gustavo Ismail 18:52

 

Women Time
1 Adriana Vargas 21:01
2 Teresa Nimes 21:36
3 Laura Gordiola 22:59

 

Madeira Island Ultra Trail

Madeira Island is located in the North Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Portugal. It’s a beautiful island with spectacular cliffs and even more spectacular roads for nervous drivers. The interior is extremely mountainous and has a fabulous network of footpaths called levadas that criss-cross the island. The MIUT traverses the island from North West starting in Porto Muniz to South East in Machico with a staggering 7,100M of ascent in 115km.

Francoise D’Haene crushed the course record set last year by Zach Miller, the Frenchman recording 13:05:44 and a full forty six minutes faster showing that he is back in form. In fact, second and third placed Pau Capell and Xavier Thevernard all beat that previous course record.

Andrea Huser dominated the women’s race to claim yet another deserved victory. Her time of 16:30:47 was well short of the superbly fast time of 14:34:30 that Caroline Cheverot posted last year. Britains Beth Pascali claimed second place ahead of Italian Lisa Borzani by over an hour.

Results

Men Time
1 Francoise D’Haene 13:05:44
2 Pau Capell 13:28:01
3 Xavier Thevenard 13:42:16

 

Women Time
1 Andrea Huser 16:30:47
2 Beth Pascali 17:11:49
3 Lisa Borzani 18:19:10

 

Penyagolosa Trails

This is the first year that Penyagolosa has been on the UTWT. Timothy Olson joined a mainly Spanish field of four hundred plus runners who tackled the 115km and 5,500M of ascent and it was Olson who came out on top. A jubilant Olson was followed by Yeray Duran Lopez around twenty two minutes later. Remi Queral Ibanez took the final podium spot.

The women’s race was a Spanish affair with Gemma Arenas Alcazar topping the list by a mere two minutes from Maria Mercedes Pila Veracocha. Leire Martinez Herrera was third fifty minutes later.

Results

Men Time
1 Timothy Olson 12:23:58
2 Yeray Duran Lopez 12:45:34
3 Remi Queral Ibanez 12:52:51

 

Women Time
1 Gemma Arenas Alcazar 15:01:19
2 Maria Mercedes Pila Veracocha 15:03:42
3 Leire Martinez Herrera 15:53:43

 

Thames Path 100

This was the sixth running of this flattish 100 mile race from London to Oxford. A course record from last year of 14:09 by Craig Holgate was the target. An initial early charge by Steven Lord was thwarted as he suffered hip issues from mile 51 onwards, this opened the door for eventual winner Michael Stocks to move up. Dan Masters and Jeremy Isaac showed how a steady and conservative pace can prove the winning strategy as they were both out of podium places until roughly ninety miles.

Ladies winner Mari Mauland took another conservative approach banking the early miles and well outside the top ten overall for a good seventy or so miles. She would eventually finish in fifth overall with a fantastically fast time of 16:55. The gap to second placed Sarah Sawyer was a full four plus hours. Third placed Naomi Moss was only six minutes behind.

 

Results

Men Time
1 Michael Stocks 14:57:53
2 Dan Masters 15:30:03
3 Jeremy Isaac 16:25:55

 

Women Time
1 Mari Mauland 16:55:43
2 Sarah Sawyer 21:09:10
3 Naomi Moss 21:15:53

 

 

News from the blogs

Elisabet Barnes

Winner of the 2017 edition and now two time winner of Marathon des Sables, Elisabet Barnes, she offers coaching via her website www.ultra.coach . She is a multi-stage race demon and Elisabet will be at the Ultra Festival in early June so catch her there live.

Anna Frost

Anna is heading to Madeira for the Ultra Skymarathon in May, she will also be in Bhutan later in the year. You can keep up to date with Frosty and her adventures via Twitter and her Facebook page.

https://frostysfootsteps.wordpress.com/

Timothy Olson

Tim is back! A fine win at Penyagolosa has confirmed that Tim is back on form after what for him has been a quiet eighteen or so months with some less than optimal performances. Although there is no confirmation of his June /July race schedule Tim will be at Diagonal des Fous in October, how good is that!

http://www.timothyallenolson.com/

Paul Capell

Pau Capell’s ascendancy to one of the top level ultrarunners has been a marvel to observe. His win at Transgrancanaria this year must rate as his best performance to date and he followed that with a second place at last month’s Madeira Island Ultra Trail. He is stepping up to UTMB this year, his first 100 mile race, it will be interesting to see how he performs and his approach to this tough and competitive race.

You can catch all the updates via Twitter.

Dakota Jones

Dakota Jones just enjoys life. Read this post http://www.irunfar.com/2017/04/the-most-harm-principle.html from his column at www.irunfar.com . It just about sum’s up Dakota’s approach to life and racing.  He is heading off to ‘Europe for the next two months, first in Spain with @deparunner and then in France for the Maxi Race and Mont Blanc Marathon. Really though, my main goal is to learn some Spanish and French. But these races will be cool too. Stay tuned!’

Stay tuned indeed through his Twitter, Instagram and Facebook posts.

 

Up and coming races

UTWT races

Ultra-Trail Australia – May 18th -21st

Mozart 100 – June 17th

Lavaredo Ultra Trail – June 23rd

Western States 100 – June 24th-25th

 

Sky Races

Yading Skyrun – May 2nd

Transvulcania – May 13th

Zegama – May 28th

 

UK Races

North Downs Way 50 – May 13th

Grand Union Canal race – May 27th

South Downs Way 100 – June 10th

 

Advertisements

ULTRA RUNNING NEWS FROM AROUND THE GLOBE

In this month’s column we bring you news from the Sky Running World Series, the Ultra Trail World Tour and latest UTWT standings, Thames Path 100, as well as a selection of news from the blogs.

Transvulcania

Since 2012 only three guys have broken seven hours for the Transvulcania course, Dakota Jones, Kilian Jornet and Luis Alberto Hernando. Hernando has an awesome record at Transvulcania, second to Jornet in 2013, and winner in 2014 and 2015. He was the red-hot favourite in this year’s edition and he didn’t disappoint. Hernando took his third successive win in just over seven hours. American Sage Canaday who led the race all the IMG_0673way to Roque de los Muchachos took a third place podium finish after Frenchmen Nicolas Martin reeled him on that long descent for second place.

Sweden’s Ida Nilsson surprised everyone with a terrific performance that demonstrated total dominance of the field, the tough course and hot conditions. Her lead grew as the race progressed, finishing seventeen minutes ahead of Anne-Lise Rousset of France. Ruth Croft completed the podium only two minutes behind.

Transvulcania

Men Time
1 Luis Alberto Hernando 07:04:44
2 Nicolas Martin 07:10:40
3 Sage Canaday 07:14:16

 

Women Time
1 Ida Nilsson 08:14:18
2 Anne-Lise Rousset 08:31:53
3 Ruth Croft 08:33:32

 

Marathon des Sables

Rachid El Morabity of Morocco celebrated the win after a dominating display of running in the 32nd edition of this classic multi day race across the Saharan sands of Morroco. The podium was an all Moroccan affair with compatriots Abdelkader El Mouaziz and Aziz El Akad taking second and third spots.

Russian Natalia Sedykh won four of the five stages and had an incredible forty five minutes lead over second place Nathalie Mauclair of France. Mauclair won the long stage on day four to cement her second place. Brazilian Fernanda Maciel demonstrated her tenacity over these demanding desert multi day races by finishing strongly in third place.

Marathon des Sables

Men Time
1 Rachid El Morabity 21:01:21
2 Abdelkader El Mouaziz 21:05:38
3 Aziz El Akad 22:07:30

 

Women Time
1 Natalia Sedykh 24:45:26
2 Nathalie Mauclair 25:30:55
3 Fernanda Maciel 27:58:43

 

Thames Path 100

The Thames Path 100 is the first race of the Centurion Running grand slam. With minimal elevation gain or loss and run on the tow path it is a fast course. Craig Holgate held the course record (15:11:15) from 2012 and proceeded to crush that time by over an hour and completely dominated the field. His winning time and course record is even more impressive given that he went off course and lost over an hour and a half. Sam Pullan and Mark Greyner completed the podium for the men.

Sam Amend in her first 100 miler ran an extremely impressive 16:00:09, was second overall, and had a margin of three hours over Norwegians Mari Mauland in second and Hilde Ackenhausen in third.

Thames Path 100

Men Time
1 Craig Holgate 14:09:54
2 Sam Pullan 17:01:15
3 Mark Greyner 17:11:54

 

Women Time
1 Samantha Amend 16:00:09
2 Mari Mauland 19:11:25
3 Hilde Ackenhausen 19:34:57

Yading Skyrun

The Skyrunner World Series opened the season with a first race in China. A 30km route reached altitudes of 4,664M and the finishing point was at a temple was at 4,000M. This is Sky Running following its ethos of ‘Less cloud. More Sky’.

The race was won by Nepalese Bhin Gurung in a fast time and a small cushion of less than two minutes ahead of Italian Tadei Pivk.

American Megan Kimmel certainly made her trip to China worthwhile with a solid win ahead of Chinese Wenrong Zhen by thirty six minutes and picking up a $3000 winners prize.

Bryon Powell of irunfar.com completed the race in 4:18 for fourteenth place as part of his Hardrock 100 training.

Yading Skyrun

Men Time
1 Bhin Gurung (Nepal) 03:08:30
2 Tadei Pivk (Italy) 03:10:18
3 Marc Casal Mir (And) 03:11:28

 

Women Time
1 Megan Kimmel (USA 03:20:39
2 Wenrong Zhen (China) 03:56:17
3 Ragna Debats 03:57:39

 

News from the blogs

Dakota Jones

DJ has been travelling to Europe and has taken the unusual option to cross the pond by cargo ship in an effort to be ecologically friendly. Read his article on iRunFar as he debates with himself and the reader with the realities of this chosen method and whether it is indeed saving the planet.   http://www.irunfar.com/2016/05/dakota-on-the-dalian.html

During his trip to Ireland  DJ hooked up with legends Scott Jurek & Rickey Gates before heading across to Wales and then the Lake District for Salomon Advanced week. Check out his athlete Facebook page for the updates.

http://thatdakotajones.com/

Ellie Greenwood

In preparation for Comrades Ellie raced Chuckanut 50k for yet another win. then it was off to the UK and the Lake District for Salomon Advanced Week. The athletes generally have a great time taking the opportunity to train together but more importantly testing out new kit and giving feedback. The results of which go back into the end product that we see as the consumer.  To round the week off many of the team tried out a fell race, The Coledale Horseshoe – check out the results The Coledale Horsehoe Results 2016 .

Watch out for Ellie as she takes on the Russian twins on the Comrades down run at the end of this month.

http://elliegreenwood.blogspot.co.uk/

Sage Canaday

Sage Canaday has a great You Tube channel V02max Productions and you will find a wealth of information as he chronicles the various stages of his training and racing. Towards the latter part of last year and early this year he was focussed on making the US Olympic Trials, narrowly missing qualification by 12 seconds.  His times over four marathons were between 2:19:12 and 2:20:32, very consistent but as Sage opens up in his review he was perhaps overcautious and should stepped up his mileage from an average 80 miles a week to an average 120-130 miles a week. Its an interesting read and provides a useful process emphasizing the importance of having a good training diary and post event analysis to improve future training.

http://sagecanaday.com/

Jason Schlarb

Skiing the Hardrock 100 course has never been done before. Jason and friends took on the mighty course in a counterclockwise direction over four days and nights in March. Hear all about it on this podcast from the US  Ultra Runner.

http://www.jasonschlarb.com/

Sondre Amdahl

Fresh from Marathon des Sables Sondre Amdahl tells all about his experience of racing in probably the most iconic desert multi day stage race where he finished ninth overall.  His report provides some great explanation of his approach to the race including gear and nutrition and mistakes he made. Great reading!

Hjem

Meghan Arbogast

Meghan Arbogast is a 53 year old ultra runner and she live in Cool California. that is Cool!  She is a mum, massage therapist and coach. How on earth she fits in high quality training into what looks like an incredibly busy schedule I’ve no idea but read her blog and you will out more. Recently running the Moab 55k in 5:21 – 4th female and 1st master.

About Meghan Arbogast

 

UTWT standings after five races

Men Points
1 Jordi Gamito 447
2 Gediminas Grinius 402
3 Cyril Cointre 389

 

Women Points
1 Caroline Chaverot 405
2 Andrea Huser 360
3 Silvia Trigueros Garrote 333

IMG_2280

The next event on the UTWT calendar is the Ultra Trail Australia on May 14th. The race is 100km with 4,200M of vertical ascent held in the magnificent Blue Mountain National Park in New South Wales, Australia. Update : The race was won by Pau Capell & Beth Cardelli

Up and coming races

Zegama – May 22nd

Grand Union Canal Race 145 miles– May 24th

Comrades 89 kms – May 29th

Ultra Madeira – June 4th

South Downs Way 100 – June 11th

 

COURSE DE SIERRE – ZINAL – RESULTS

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.

Kilian Jornet - Roque de Los Muchachos

Kilian Jornet

Men’s Race

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.

Name Place Time
Kilian Jornet 1st 2:31:43
Jo Gray 2nd 2:32:58
Cesar Costa 3rd 2:34:07
Francois Gonon 4th 2:34:56
Rob Simpson 5th 2:35:13

Women’s Race

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.

Name Place Time
Stevie Kremer 1st 3:03:12
Maude Mathys 2nd 3:03:59
Aline Camboulive 3rd 3:08:13
Christel Dewalle 4th 3:08:32
Laura Orgue 5th 3:13:04

 

 

All images are copyright – Ian Campbell – Photgraphy 

 

COURSE DE SIERRE – ZINAL

The 41st edition of Sierre Zinal takes place in the heart of Valais Alps on August 10, 2014. Sierre Zinal or the ‘Race of Five 4000m Peaks’ is a mountain marathon of 31km with 2,200m of ascent and 800m of descent.

Sierre Zinal has a very steeped tradition in European mountain running. The race starts in Sierre at 585m and traverses through forest and mountain trails.  The runners climb religiously for around 24km to the high point of Nava at 2,425m and then it’s a 700m+ descent to the finish at Zinal at 1,680m.  On the way they get to view five 4000m peaks, wow !!

Men’s Race

The men’s race is going to be a cracker with Kilian Jornet and Marco De Gaspari going head to head. They both have stunning records at Sierre Zinal but De Gasperi has the edge in both winning the race three times and by a three minute margin to Jornet’s best time.

Year Kilian Marco
2013 2:33:59 – 4th place
2012 2:31:36 – 1st place
2011 2:34:15 – 3rd place 2:30:18 – 1st place
2010 2:37:27 – 1st place
2009 2:35:30 – 1st place
2008 2:30:50 – 1st place

VK - Transvulcania

For sure it’s going to be exciting watching these two duel it out. But wait, what about the top three from 2013, Marc Laurenstein, Juan Carlos Cardona and Jonathan Wyatt. They are no slouches and what’s for sure is that they are not going to just let it be a two horse race. Wyatt is the course record holder (2:29:12) set in 2003 and he hasn’t lost much speed as ten years later in 2013 he turns in a very respectable 2:33:44 just pipping KJ for 3rd spot. Colombian Cardona with a 2:32:30 was super fast and the Swiss Laurenstein who won last year in 2:32:14 has the seventh fastest time.

So, you have got to expect to be running sub 2:34 to be a podium contender this year. There is enough talent here to push for that Wyatt course record.

My money is on KJ to take out the win for his third time. He has had a superb year so far and is super strong, but I don’t think the course record will go down.

Women’s Race

In recent years nobody has come close to breaking the course record held by Anna Pichrtova (2:54:26) set in 2008. Only last year’s winner Elisa Desco (2:58:33) has come remotely close. Desco returns this year and will be battling against the American sky runner, Stevie Kremer who will be having her third attempt at taking that coveted winner spot after two successive second places. However, in both attempts she has been just over 3:03-4 so will need to improve by a five minute margin to keep up with Desco. The Spaniard Laura Orgue would appear to be strong contender for the final podium spot.

VK - Transvulcania

I can’t see Desco not winning this. She is on form this year but Kremer with her recent win at Zegama should challenge strongly. We will see…

All images are copyright – Ian Campbell – Photgraphy 

What do you think, is this going to be a replay of Zegama 2014 with KJ, Gasperi, Desco and Kremer taking 1st and 2nd places? 

ZEGAMA RESULTS

Well how about that Kilian Jornet smashed the Robb Jebb course record from 2005 by a solid 6 minutes. Nobody guessed that one!  That takes his winning streak at Zegama to 5 in a row and 7 in total.  Kilian is just unbelievable on this course, he knows it inside and out and can run it comfortably hard, if there is such a thing.

But what about the top 4 this year all beating the Robb Jebb course record and the top 8 all under 4 hours. The standard just keeps getting raised.

Marco de Gasperi  a great sparring partner and friend of Kilian came in second just two minutes later and just barely 19 seconds ahead of Luis Alberto Hernando.  A thrilling race to follow and especially if you were tracking it via the live feed from www.irunfar.com.

In the women’s race it was the American Stevie Kremer back for some more podium entertainment at Zegama and this time she swapped third place for 1st place with a 4:46:43 shaving a cool 3 minutes off her time in 2013. Well deserved.

Elisa Desco took second place just two weeks after her win at Transvulcania VK and Maite Elizonda Mayora third place after her second place at Transvulcania Ultra.

Zegama 2014 Results

Men Women
Kilian Jornet 3:48:38 Stevie Kremer 4:46:43
Marco de Gasperi 3:50:38 Elisa Desco 4:50:20
Luis Alberto Hernando 3:50:57 Maite Elizonda Mayora 4:51:47

WINNING TIMES FOR ZEGAMA

The men’s and women’s course records go back to 2005 and 2009 respectively.

  • 3 hours, 54 minutes, 18 seconds (Rob Jebb) – 2005.
  • 4 hours, 38 minutes, 19 seconds (Emanuela Brizio) – 2009.

My prediction

Men Women
Kilian Jornet Emelie Forsberg
Luis Alberto Hernando Stevie Kremer
Tom Owens Nuria Picas

Mens Race

Lets talk about the mens race. A sub 4 hour time is pretty much de rigueur for the win. In fact, every year from 2007 onwards, with the exception of 2009 its been won by a certain Kilian Jornet, in under 4 hours. And why not 2009, because KJ didn’t compete!!!

How many people can compete with this speed? Not too many by the look of past results. If you take a glance at the previous years results since 2007 a sub 4 hour time has only been achieved 12 times, 6 times by KJ, and the other notable and most recent being Luis Albert Hernando, Tom Owens, Zaid Ait Malek and Tadie Pivk.

There are not too many capable of breaking that 4 hour barrier so for me the race is down to Kilian, Luis Alberto and Tom.

Will Luis Alberto be leading Kilian just as he did at Transvulcania?

Will Luis Alberto be leading Kilian just as he did at Transvulcania?

For the last two years the mens race has been between Kilian and Luis Alberto with Kilian coming out on top twice with last years race right down to the wire by just 12 seconds and only off the course record by 20 seconds!   Also worth noting is that the top 4 were under 4 hours in 2013.

Luis Hernando is just fresh from his victory at Transvulcania reversing the prior years race and beating Kilian. He looked in super form, can he carry he it through to Zegama or will Kilian regain his superiority and take out the win?

Womens Race

The women’s race is far more wide open and especially so due to recent performances by some of the leading contenders, Nuria Picas has raced and won hard in the last two months, Emelie Forsberg will no doubt be fresher due to her unlucky DNF due to injury at Transvulcania.

Nuria Picas at Transgrancanaria - Will she be as strong?

Nuria Picas at Transgrancanaria – Will she be as strong?

A sub 4hr 50mins has got to be the winning time. That’s still a long way off the course record of 4:38. There are not many out there that can break that 4:50 time barrier, in fact only 5 women from past results. The top 3 from 2013 all did so being Emelie Forsberg, Nuria Picas and Stevie Kremer but they would need to shave a cool 10 minutes off their times to come close to a course record. My money is on the same 1-2-3 as 2013 but with a slight change in the running order.

What else, but to wait in anticipation and excitement for a great race at Zegama! Let the racing begin………..

All images are copyright – Ian Campbell – Photography

 

ZEGAMA

Zegama is the first of the 2014 Sky Running Series and second race of the Sky World Series, the last being Transvulcania. 

Zegama takes place on May 25th and is marathon distance.   Just saying it is of marathon distance doesn’t really do the race justice. Lets look at some of the statistics of this race:

  • Distance : 42.195km
  • Vertical ascent : 5,472m
  • Max Altitude : 1,551m
  • Min Altitude : 296m
  • Technicality : 70%
  • Mountain route with potential for heat, strong winds, fog or rain.

Compare that to Transvulcania which had 4,415m of vertical ascent in its 73km and you suddenly see how tough this race is going to be coming just two weeks after TV.  Starting in Zegama the runners have an approx 17km sustained climb to Aratz at 1,400m, a short descent of about 4km to drop down 400m and then a steep climb of 500m+ in about 2km to Aikzorri the highest point of the course. From there its mostly downhill for 19km to the finish with a short climb to Andraitz at 1,400m thrown in for good measure.   A tough course compounded by the fact that shoe choice will be paramount.  Back in 2012 several of the American runners made the wrong shoe choice and paid for it when they hit the muddy climbs of Zegama!

Course Records

  • 3 hours, 54 minutes, 18 seconds (Rob Jebb).
  • 4 hours, 38 minutes, 19 seconds (Emanuela Brizio).

This is a tricky technical route across the mountains of the Aratz massif and the Sierra of Aizkorri.  The last two years the mens race has been between Kilian Jornet and Luis Hernando with Kilian coming out on top twice with last years race right down to the wire and 12 seconds!

Luis Hernando is just fresh from his victory at Transvulcania reversing the prior years race and beating Kilian. He looked in super form, can he carry he it through to Zegama or will Kilian regain his superiority and take out the win?

2013 Race results
Men
1. Kilian Jornet (Salomon Santiveri) – 3h54’38”  – only 20 seconds off the course record !
2. Luis Alberto Hernando (adidas) – 3h54’50”
3. Tadei Pivk (Crazy Idea) – 3h58’07”

Women
1. Emelie Forsberg (Salomon) – 4h48’12”
2. Nuria Picas (FEEC) – 4h49’55”
3. Stevie Kremer (Salomon Agisko) – 4h49’58”

2012 Race results
Men
1. Kilian Jornet (Salomon Santiveri) – 3h56’04”
2. Luis Alberto Hernando (adidas) – 4h00’40”
3. Tom Owens (Salomon) – 4h06’05”

Women
1. Oihana Kortazar Aranzeta (Salomon) – 4h52’30”
2. Nuria Picas (FEEC) – 5h01’26”
3. Emelie Forsberg (Salomon) – 5h01’57”

We will look at the confirmed entrants once they are confirmed.

Footnote : Kilian Jornet has always run this race in under 4 hours. Why would 2014 be any different?

  • 2013 – 3h 54′
  • 2012 – 3h 56′
  • 2011 – 3h 57′
  • 2010 – 3h 56′
  • 2009 – did not compete
  • 2008 – 3h 59′