|

Trail Runner of The Year: Seventh

Share the love:

Both of the athletes we are going to highlight today put together phenomenal seasons despite having rocky starts to their springs. They stepped up in distance, showed us their range, and performed against incredible fields independent of terrain. Lesson learned, bumps are normal in trail and ultrarunning. Let’s celebrate this lucky pair of sevens! If you have missed any of the inaugural TROY awards coverage you can catch up here: eighth, ninth and tenth.


In seventh position we have Evadict’s Blandine L’hirondel and adidas Terrex’s Petter Engdahl.

Blandine finds herself in 7th position in the 2022 TROY awards

If I told you that Blandine had a major surgery in April and still won eight races during 2022 including CCC and the long distance event at World Mountain and Trail Running Championships, would you believe me? Well you should – the french OB/GYN physician seems to be that good! Another athlete with immense range, she also won the European Trail Championship title for the marathon distance, and less the a month after CCC she finished sixth at the highly competitive Pikes Peak Ascent as part of the Golden Trail World Series. While we are not sure what Blandine has on her race calendar for 2023 she is an athlete that has proved time and time again that she can not be counted out (take note you Fantasy Freetrail fans).

FT: What was your personal highlight from 2022?

BL: The victorious arrival in Chamonix during the CCC!

FT: What was a struggle or something you learned in 2022?

BL: In April 2022 I had an operation for external iliac artery endofibrosis in my leg (seen more commonly in cyclists). It was a very big surgery with a lot of risk and a long rest time to recovery afterwards. Despite that, I had one of my best seasons, because the desire and the motivation was there!

FT: What are you looking forward to in 2023?

BL: As many happy momentsΒ as in 2022 (but without surgery)!

Petter Engdahl finds himself in 7th position in the 2022 TROY awards

Petter had planned to kick off his running season with his first ever 100-kilometer + event at the Madeira Island Ultra Trail race in April, only to discover once on the island that he had COVID and would have to sit out the event. He then planned to race the Mont-Blanc 90-kilometer race, only to have it cancelled due to inclement weather. Can this Swedish athlete, who is a student in Norway, catch a break? These hiccups meant that CCC would be a debut in his longest trail race ever – but that didn’t deter Petter who went on to run a record setting performance for the win. It would have been easy to have called it a season, but instead he got on one more start line in October and took home the win at Transvulcania – a capstone to an incredible 2022 season. We do know that Petter will be making his debut in the 100-mile distance at UTMB in 2023, and for the student who has Jonathan Albon and Kilian Jornet for training partners the sky is certainly the limit.

FT: What was your personal highlight from 2022?

PE: Spending the summer in Chamonix with my teammates from adidas Terrex and then finishing the summer with a victory at CCC was my biggest highlight of 2022.

FT: What was a struggle or something you learned in 2022?

PE: It is hard to point to just one thing I learned this year… but I guess I have learned that I like ultras!Β 

FT: What are you looking forward to in 2023?

PE: I am looking forward to a lot of good training with Jonathan Albon and Kilian Jornet here in Romsdalen (Norway) and then hopefully I will have a good run at UTMB in September.


Trails are bumpy, rocky and racing on them doesn’t always go completely to plan. It teaches us to roll with the punches and both Blandine and Petter showed us that they are more than students of the sport in 2022. Congratulations on incredible seasons – we can not wait to see what you accomplish in 2023! Which two athletes found their way into 6th position? Come back tomorrow to find out.

Keep exploring

|

Trail Shoes: Class of 2024

|

Trail Performance of The Year: 2023

|

Trail Runner of The Year 2023: First

Become a Freetrail Pro member

Get exclusive access to premium content, our private trail community, and more. Just $10/month or $96/year.