Each week Cajsa and I bring you the news from the roads and the trails. If you have any races your want covered or running-women you want applauded just let us know. Scroll down to find all the results from the weekend just gone and some previews for those ahead.
Cajsa brings you all the news from the trails:
So whilst Kipchoge was out on the streets of Berlin doing his very best to show us that we've entered peak Road Running season there were quiet a few trail rippers out contradicting him by obliterating course records on the crunchy side of the tarmac too! Not Off-Season for Off-Roading just yet.
Starting up norff of the island where its definitely high time to squeeze the most out of daylight before the inevitable snow storms start rolling in and what better way to celebrate the astounding beauty of the Scottish Munros in fall than hosting three cloudberry-jam-packed races over a weekend.
RING OF STEALL 29 km / 2382 m
This short version of the Glen Coe Skyline got to play host to, not only the penultimate instalment of the Salomon Golden Trail Series but also the World Championship in Skyrunning. This meant the starting field was stacked to the brim with incredible mountain runners and as expected the race went off like fire.
Lina El Kott, Laura Orgue, Victoria Wilkinson and Tove Alexandersson (all featured in my last weeks preview *pats own shoulder*) were pushing the pace together at the 5 k mark with Sheila Aviles and Holly Rush hot on their heels and a chase pack including the other El Kott twin and Silvia Rampazzo not far behind.
During the most technical part of the race where the course is taking runners up, over and down the Devils Ridge, at times in torrential down pour, the multiple orienteering World Champ Alexandersson took control of the race and by the 12 k mark in Ben Nevis she had created a 2 minute gap down to Aviles in second and Wilkinson in third. From there on the gap steadily grew bigger and as the speedy Swede came flying down the last ascent into the finish line she had 8 minutes down to Victoria Wilkinson in second and was running 20 minutes under the course record set by Laura Orgue last year. Incredible racing from someone with so little experience from the international trail scene and in such a stacked field as well. I think we all should take note and schedule some time for off-piste running on our training plans for next year!
Holly Page battled her way up the rankings over the last part of the course and finished as third lady and second brit! What a performance by Wilkinson and Page to run so strong on home turf in a race that saw all top 6 ladies run under Orgues old course record.
1. Tove Alexandersson (SWE), 3:46:28 (old course record was 4:05:12 … )
2. Victoria Wilkinson (UK), 3:54:01
3. Holly Page (UK), 3:57:57
4. Sheila Aviles (ESP), 4:01:20
5. Laura Orgue (ESP), 4:03:36
6. Fanny Borgstrom (SWE), 4:04:47
BEN NEVIS ULTRA 47 km / 1750 m
Due to traditional Scottish weather (read storms, winds, cold temperatures) the race directors made a decision to alter the original 51 km course and opt for a slightly shorter and much flatter route to avoid the exposed summit of Ben Nevis. This alteration changed the nature of the race from being one for the gritters featuring gruesome climbs and challenging underfoot to a flat and runable one favouring the faster runners of the pack. I can imagine that quiet a few of the women lining up was not too happy about this change of events. Ragna Debats however originally hails from the pan cake flat landscape of The Netherlands and true to her roots she showed that she can be as fast on horizontal trails as vertical ones. Debats took the lead from the gun and as she came into the finish-line she had ran the entire race completely unchallenged and had over 14 minutes down to the rest of the field. The battle for the rest of the podium was a tight one though with Spain's Gema Arenas and Maria Mercedes from Ecuador coming into the last stretch neck to neck. After a successful sprint finish Arenas managed to take second place a mere 4 seconds ahead of Mercedes.
In team GB news Katie Kaars Sijpesteijn squeezed into the top 10 by finishing in 05:05:40.
1. Ragna Debats, (NED), 04:36:20
2. Gema Arenas, (ESP), 04:50:32
3. Maria Mercedes, (ECU), 04:50:36
10. Katie Kaars Sijpesteijn 05:05:40
GLEN COE SKYLINE 32 km / 2700 m
The most technical of the races during this star studded weekend of Scottish Mountain Running was also forced to run on an alternative route as the wet and wild conditions continued into Sunday. Being part of the Sky Running World Series the 20 k shorter Plan B course was still a gnarly one featuring lots of scrambling over exposed parts of the rugged mountains and this shorter distance provided us with an exciting and fast paced women’s race. At the had way mark American Hillary Gerardi, fresh out from a win (and course record breaking time) at Tromsoe Skyrace was leading the race together with GB shero and experienced sky runner Jasmin Paris. Close behind them was a tight chasing pack including Brittany Peterson and Malene Blikken from Norway. Over the second half of the race Gerardi and Paris pushed the pace and it all came down to a sprint finish between the two of which Gerardi came out as top bird, 7 seconds ahead of Jasmin Paris. The latter has had a couple of quiet years on the international trail scene so it was good to see her back on a podium in such a strong field of runners. Behind the two at the top Brittany Peterson managed to pull away from the others and came in as third lady in 4:25. The top GB performances did not stop at the top 3 though as Sophie Grant bagged 8th place (just two weeks after placing 12th at UTMB … ) and Majka Kunicka came in 10th with Sophie Philbrick just behind her in 11th.
1. Hillary Gerardi, (USA), 4:17:48
2. Jasmin Paris, (GBR), 4:17:55
3. Brittany Peterson, (USA), 4:25:44
8. Sophie Grant 05:16:13
10. Majka Kunicka 05:28:15
11. Sophie Philbrick 05:34:22
Down on the south part of the island the weather was fair and the hills close to non existent on the route of the third of the Centurion 50 mile Grand Slam series.
CHILTERN WONDERLAND 50 miles / 1700 m
Starting and finishing in Goring the course of this annual 50 miler runs on mixed but very runable terrain through the villages and woodlands making up the Chiltern countryside.
Amy White started her ultra career by winning the similarly profiled Race To The King in June last year and followed it up with a second place at Wendover Woods 50 in the autumn. This short but solid race resume made her one of the pre race favourites and I think that is a situation she will find herself in again in the future as she dominated the ladies race from start to finish. Already at the first check point Amy had a two minute lead on the rest of the field and from there on it steadily grew. She won the race in a new course record time of 7:55, (beating the old fastest time set by Eddie Sutton with 3 minutes) well ahead of second fastest female Christine Howard who finished in 8:44. Fourteen minutes behind Howard in third was Rachel Dench.
Amy White will debut on the 100 mile distance at the next Centurion event; Autumn 100 and I'm very much looking forward to seeing how she will fair there!
1. Amy White 7:55:07
2. Christine Howard 8:44:45
3. Rachel Dent 8:58:10
TOR DE GEANTS 353 km /
Last week the ultimate shredders out tackling the beast of the beasts; Tor De Geants could finally sit down and rest after crossing the finish-line in Courmayeur. It is hard to describe the level of grit it takes to complete a race like this and I will be forever in awe of all the bad ass ladies who dare to toe the line for a journey around the intimidating massifs of the Italian Aosta Valley. First woman to cross the elusive finish line after an unfathomable 87 hours and 50 minutes of racing was Spanish runner Silvia Trigueros Garotte. Eight hours later local lady Scilla Tonetti ran home a joint second place together with this years UTS 100 winner and GB lass Jamie Aarons! Incredible achievements from all the finishers. You all rule ok!
1. Silvia Trigueros Garotte, (ESP) 87:50:31
2. Scilla Tonetti, (ITA) & Jamie Aarons (UK) 95:54:35
4. Stephanie Case, 98:17:06
5. Giulia Saggin 104:14:51
There are no major races with elite startlists to feature this week, I mean even the skyrunners are having a week off so over and out from the Womens Trail Round Up HQ for this week!
As always give us a shout if you have a race lined up that you think we should feature!
Berlin, Oslo and more coming shortly..