The Long Trail race at the 2023 World Mountain and Trail Running Championships got a little longer when snow on the higher sections of the original course forced the race organization to make a race week decision to reroute the middle portion of the route. Based on finishing times this 87-kilometer (54-mile) course with roughly 6,500 meters (21,000 feet) of climbing was as challenging as they come for European trail standards. We were treated to gritty performances from the entire field, truly we are blown away.
In the men’s race, it wasn’t incoming favorite Nicolas Martin who came out on top for France, but a newer name to us – 23-year-old and fellow Frenchman Benjamin Roubiol knocked our socks off. Benjamin overtook 2022’s third-place finisher Andreas Reiterer on the final climb to pull off the win in 9:52:59, Andreas finished eight minutes back in 10:00:46. Bettering his eighth-place finish at the 2022 event, and rounding out the podium was Slovakian athlete Peter Frano in a time of 10:02:10. Filling out the top five were two men fighting there way to buoy their countries into team medals with Thibaut Garrivier of France finishing fourth in 10:14:49 and American Drew Holmen in fifth in 10:15:40. In the team competition France claimed a narrow margin of victory over the US with Italy finishing in the bronze medal position. Other US finishers include Zach Miller (6th), Eric Lipuma (7th), and Caleb Olson (90th). You can find complete results here.
In the women’s race, a brand new champion was crowned after reigning World Champion Blandine L’Hirondel dropped from the race after the start loop due to pain from a preexisting foot injury. Marcela Vašínová pushed the pace early in a small group of five women before opening up a gap over the biggest climb of the day, but by the halfway point the fast early pace was clearly taking a toll and she began to fall back in the field. Capitalizing on this the eventual women’s podium began to take shape and by the 65-kilometer mark, it was all but certain. The first woman to cross the line was last year’s sixth-place finisher Marion Delespierre (remember that beautifully dramatic tie between Marion and French teammate Audrey Tanguy) in a time of 11:22:31. Rounding out the women’s podium was German athlete Katharina Hartmuth in 11:29:14 and French athlete Manon Bohard Cailler in 11:34:22. Filling out the rest of the top five were Martina Valmassoi from Italy in a time of 11:44:50 for fourth and Rosanna Buchauer from Germany in a time of 11:45:58 for fifth. In the team competition, it was all about France once again with a combined time putting them 40 minutes out in front of the team for Germany. The Italian women found their way to a bronze medal position, with the team from the US finishing a not-too-distant fourth. Finishing for Team USA were Allison Baca (6th), Emily Schmitz (7th), Sarah Keyes (24th), Shea Aquilano (33rd), and Clare Gallagher (65th). You can find complete results here.
Up next, tomorrow Friday, June 10th will be the final race of these championships with the Classic Mountain (Uphill+Downhill) race. Have you placed your Freetrail Fantasy picks yet? Do so here! Want to follow along live? The race will be live-streamed on the race website, but if you want to jump in the live chat hop on over to the stream on Youtube.