Day two of the World Mountain and Trail Running Championships brought us a trail marathon unlike any other. The race was roughly 45 kilometers, 28 miles, with 3,194 meters of climbing, 10,479 feet. Spicy! The race started in Innsbruck and finished in the Stubai Valley and while it trended toward a net uphill course the runners were subjected to a grueling descent to the finish where they lost nearly 1,370 meters (4,500 feet) in under 6.5 kilometers (4 miles). For some a blessing, for others a curse.
Two races in two days and again the women’s field kept us on the edge of our seats with the gold medal up for grabs late in the race! In the women’s race World Champion orienteer Judith Wyder took an early lead, pushing the pace and quickly building up a little gap on the field before the halfway mark. However, by the time she reached the final descent French skyrunner and recent national champion (and surprise to many), Clémentine Geoffray was hot on her heels. Clémentine pushed the descent ultimately finishing two minutes ahead of Judith in a time of 5:53:12. Judith Wyder held onto second position and a silver medal with a time of 4:55:13 well clear of third place. Rounding out the women’s podium was Theresa Leboeuf in a time of 5:09:29. Just off the podium was American Jennifer Lichter in her international debut in fourth with a time of 5:11:55, Swedish athlete Emilia Brangefält finished fifth in a time of 5:15:11. In the team competition Clémentine Geoffray led France to a gold medal joined by teammates Louise Serban-Penhoat and Lucille Germain. Switzerland finished second led by individual medalists Judith Wyder and Theresa Leboeuf and joined by Nina Zoller. The American team found their way to the podium securing a bronze medal with Emkay Sullivan and Kimber Mattox joining Jennifer Lichter in team scoring. Other American finishers include Klaire Rhodes, putting all four US women in the top 21. Complete results can be found here.
In the men’s race, a lead pack formed quickly that included reigning World Champion Stian Angermund, Thomas Roach, Jonathan Albon, and Petter Engdahl. While the group came through the first aid station together it quickly became a two-man race at the front between the Norwegian, Stian Angermund, and the British athlete who happens to reside in Innsbruck, Thomas Roach. By the 20-kilometer mark, Stian moved into the front and never looked back securing the win to repeat as World Champion in a time of 4:19:00. The 43-year-old, Thomas Roach claimed the silver in a time of 4:21:18, and the late-charging Italian Luca Del Pero claimed the bronze medal in 4:22:04. Rounding out the top five were Thibaut Baronian in fourth in 4:25:41 and Jonathan Albon in fifth in 4:26:57. With quick times Thomas Roach and Jonathan Albon along with Kristian Jones helped Great Britain secure gold in the team competition. Italy claimed silver with Luca Del Pero joined by Francesco Puppi and Cristian Minoggio, while France claimed bronze with Thibaut Baronian joined by Frédéric Tranchand and Thomas Cardin. American finishers include Garrot Corcoran (14th), Max King (19th), Jackson Brill (30th), Craig Hunt (37th), and Jon Aziz (58th). Complete results can be found here.
Up next, tomorrow Friday, June 9th will be the 80-kilometer Long Trail 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.