TRAIL NEWS: Course record & a race to the finish at Sierre Zinal + more news from w/ending 12/8/19

Having completed pacer duties at NDW100, Cajsa is in Sweden tapering for TDS at the moment and writes:

Greetings and here is the round up from the motherland, where they show the Orienteering World Championships on live TV! Jaw is dropped.

SIERRE ZINAL, 31 km (2200 m) 

(Photo by: Ian Coreless)

(Photo by: Ian Coreless)

This oldest European mountain race never fails to attract a stacked field of versatile runners and is self described by the organisers as the New York Marathon of mountain running. Hitting relatively low on the technicality scale and measuring just over 30 k of beautiful trails it attracts athletes from all sides of the running spectrum, from off piste seasoned orienteering aces to speedy tarmac pounders. The 2019 edition was just like last year not only hosting the Mountain Running World Cup but also the fourth race of the Salomon Golden Trail series which meant that there was live screening from the Swiss trails to be enjoyed from the Sunday sofa. Sadly the cameras seemed to be focusing on following Kilian Jornet’s rapid journey at the front end of the race but at least we got to enjoy some insightful commentary from Emelie Forsberg (who frequently pointed out that it’d be nice to see some more footage of the chase pack and leading women). 

The lady who deservedly got the most screen time and might partially be to blame for the lack of female featured footage was Switzerlands own Maude Mathys, she took control of the race from the initial first climb out of Sierre and kept extending not only her lead but also the gap to the previous course record. Looking strong and relaxed every time she was in frame Mathys ran an impressive race and crossed the finish line in Zinal after 2 hours and 49 minutes, obliterating the 10 year old record set by Anna Pichrtová with over 5 minutes. Incredible performance from the Swiss Skyrunner who clearly has her focus on the Golden Trail series this year, she placed 3rd at the previous instalment (Dolomyths Run) last month. At the top of the podium in that race was this Sunday’s runner up Judith Wyder who with a strong finish also dipped under the previous course record. Wyder is another talented Swiss runner who has her background in orienteering and ski orienteering and after becoming World Champion in the former last year she decided to ditch the map and compass and try her legs on longer distance trails, so far she has had incredible results from that switch and I’m eager to see how she will progress over the coming years.

Breaking up the Swiss domination in third was Italy’s Silvia Rampazzo, she’s also hitting the Golden Trail series big this year with a seventh place at Dolomyths and second at Marathon du Mont Blanc so far. Behind Rampazzo we got to see a battle for forth as french runner Anais Sabrie got caught by Ruth Croft on the final descent and the two hit the last stretch of tarmac together for a sprint to the finish. Croft stretched out her mountain goat stride and managed to get across the line just fractions of a second ahead of Sabrie in 3:01.

Big home girl shout out to Holly Page who somehow managed to recover enough from Tromso Skyrace last week to nip 8th and Charlotte Morgan who raced strong and finished in 11th just three minutes behind Page.   

1. Maude Mathys (SUI), 2:49
2. Judith Wyder (SUI), 2:54
3. Silvia Rampazzo (ITA), 2:56
4. Ruth Croft (NZE), 3:01
5. Anais Sabrie (FRA), 3:01
6. Simone Troxler (SUI), 3:03
7. Elisa Desco (ITA), 3:08
8. Holly Page (UK), 3:08
9. Oihana Kortazar (ESP), 3:09
10. Gisela Carrion (ESP), 3:10

Next up in the Golden Trail Series is the equally legendary Pikes Peak Marathon. Emelie Forsberg predicted that Mathys will continue her CR breaking trend and take down Megan Kimmels record from last year in two weeks time. 

STOUR VALLEY PATH 50/100, 100 km & 50 km / (elevation unknown but think PB flat)

This ultra n00b friendly ultra follows the Stour Valley Path from Newmarket to Brantham and has due to its unchallenging (but pretty) underfoot and next to zero elevation gain become a big team event for local clubs and it is in this category where the focus of this event is. As much as I love a team encouraging race this is still a women’s running appreciation blog so let’s have a look at how ‘the single ladies’ performed. 

On the 100 k route Helen Putnam took the win in 11:18:36. Seven minutes behind in 11:25 was Maryann Devalley who in her turn had an hour down to Alex Marshall in third. In the 50 k race KC Lloyd was first woman across the line, her speedy finishing time of 4:42 was fast enough to place her on the top 10 in the overall rankings. Second in 5 hours sharp was Miranda Frudd and rounding up the podium just five minutes behind was Fliss Tournant. 

100 km

1. Helen Putnam, 11:18:36
2. Maryann Devalley 11:25:08
3. Alex Marshall 12:28:09

50 km 

1. KC Lloyd, 4:42:17
2. Miranda Frudd 5:00:11
3. Fliss Tournant 05:05:42

THE RAT - The Plague, 64 miles 

SVP was not the only popular 100 k race on the UK trail calendar the past weekend. The Roseland Trail in Cornwall was equally busy with hundro sheros taking on the longest event of the MudCrew’s RAT series. You might remember the name Mary Menon as a frequent visitor of last years trail round ups. Her 2019 has been more of a quiet one, until now that is ... In true Menon tradition she did not only win the women’s race but took a place on the OA podium as she crossed the finish line in 13:20 and as third human plague survivor. Charlie Ramsdale took second and 6th OA with a 13:37 finish and third lady and 8th OA was Amy Sole in 13:52. Way to crush it RAT-gals! 

1. Mary Menon 13:20:26 (3 OA)
2. Charlie Ramsdale 13:37:57 (6 OA)
3. Amy Sole 13:52:08 (8 OA) 

You can read Gill’s interview with Mary from last year here;



It’s time for that “race across the sky” again, 100 miles out and back over high altitude Colorado rocks. The course record for this beast of a race which introduced us to WS100 winner Clare Gallagher back in 2016 was set by Ann Trason TWENTY-FIVE  years ago. 

I have searched and searched and searched some more but have clearly not got them sleuth skills as i could not find any list of buckle and possibly CR hopefuls for this years edition. The only elite runner I know for a fact is going to be on the start line this weekend is Magdalena Boulet. After having to drop out of Lavaredo earlier in the summer suffering from an ear infection she should be hungry for revenge and i cant think of a better course record holder replacer for Trason than her! Go Magda! 

Other noteworthy events taking place this weekend is Gary Robbins stunner of a race in Canada’s British Colombia, the highly popular SQUAMISH 50, the 100 k long TWISTED BRANCH TRAIL in New York (the state not the apple), SWISS ALPS 100 and in Sweden it is time for the running version of the long distance XC ski-classic ULTRA VASAN. 

Let’s finish this week’s shenanigans off with the inspiring picture that decorates Maude Mathys ITRA profile, may it influence your behaviour for the days until it’s next time to top up on shredder news ... Cake In Mouth.