2012 Zegama-Aizkorri Marathon Results

Zegama Aizkorri MarathonSunday morning in Zegama, in the Basque Country of northern Spain, dawned chilly (10 degrees Celcius/50 degrees Fahrenheit) and wet (spitting rain), but not enough to dampen the spirits of the Zegama-Aizkorri Maratoia runners. 450 athletes climbed up, up, and up into even colder temperatures and a bit of snow as they crossed four major mountain summits in the Basque Mountains and over 5,400 vertical meters of ascending and descending.

In the men’s race, a group of five men quickly broke from the peloton, solidifying that split by the 13-kilometer point. As they climbed higher, men dropped back until it was just Kilian Jornet, Luis Hernando, and Max King pushing the pace. By the race’s last high point, Max dropped from contention (He finished in 15th place.), leaving it a two-man race between Kilian and Luis. In the end, Kilian descended faster and harder, crossing the finish line more than 4 minutes ahead of Luis. Kilian said that it was, indeed, a cold day on the mountain, though he smiled as he said so. In Max’s absence, Tom Owens filled out the men’s podium.

Kilian Jornet wins the 2012 Zegama-Aizkorri Marathon (Bryon Powell/iRunFar.com photo credit).

The ladies race was led out by last year’s winner Oihana Kortázar. From the get go, she rarely relinquished her lead nor relaxed her off-the-front running style. Emelie Forsberg played chase for much of the day, coming through the checkpoints in the first half of the race within a minute or two of Oihana. In the last third of the race, she was overtaken by Nuria Picas and her fierce ability to close a race. Nuria finished second and about 10 minutes back from Oihana with Emelie and a host of other women in hot pursuit. Fourth-place woman Lauren Jeska made a mid-race push into the lead. Her stay at the front, however, was brief. On the long, 10+-kilometer descent out of the mountains and back into Zegama, she couldn’t hold pace and slipped into her final, fourth position.

Oihana Kortazar wins the 2012 Zegama-Aizkorri Marathon (Bryon Powell/iRunFar.com photo credit).

As usual, we’ll be adding info and race reports as we learn more over the coming days.

 2012 Zegama Marathon Men’s Results

  1. Kilian Jornet (Salomon) – 3:56:06 (post-race video interview)
  2. Luis Hernando – 4:00:42
  3. Tom Owens (Salomon) – 4:06:05
  4. Michel Lanne (Salomon) – 4:06:22
  5. Jokin Lizeaga – 4:09:58
  6. Miguel Caballero – 4:11:50
  7. Fulvia Dapit – 4:14:39
  8. Tofol Castaner – 4:14:40
  9. Jose Gutierrez – 4:14:54
  10. Greg Vollet (Salomon) – 4:15:33
  11. Check out the full results from the race.

2012 Zegama Marathon Women’s Results

  1. Oihana Kortázar (Salomon) – 4:52:30
  2. Núria Picas – 5:01:26
  3. Émelie Forsberg (Salomon) – 5:01:57
  4. Lauren Jeska (Arc’teryx)- 5:04:11
  5. Oihana Azkorbebeitia – 5:08:07
  6. Sarah Ridgeway (Inov-8) – 5:09:53
  7. Uxue Fraile – 5:20:57
  8. Nikki Kimball (The North Face) – 5:21:06
  9. Nerea Amilibia – 5:22:38
  10. Elena Calvillo – 5:27:29

Race Reports (and the like)

Meghan Hicks

is iRunFar.com's Senior Editor, the author of 'Where the Road Ends: A Guide to Trail Running,' and a Contributing Editor at Trail Runner magazine. The converted road runner finished her first ultramarathon in 2006 and loves using running to visit the world's wildest places. For more information on Meghan and her adventures, please visit her personal website.

There are 25 comments

  1. Oscar

    Hi Bryon, thanks a lot for the nice and extensive coverage at Zegama (and Transvulcania). Keep up the good work guys! Congrats to the winners and all the finishers on such a tough race. Maybe I'll try it next year :-)

  2. Mark T

    Awesome coverage! Very much appreciated..

    1. Mountain slayer Kilian. Wow! The guy just makes it look easy.

    2. Oihana Kortázar- Sweet victory.. Way to push it..

  3. Russell

    Thanks Bryon. You guys just keep delivering time and time again. Keep it coming.
    Can't wait for iRunFar to get its own helicopter with camera crew ;o)

  4. Michael

    Thanks Byron! It's really cool to pop open irunfar every day and see your awesome articles and video interviews! Much appreciated!

  5. Roger

    Thanks again Bryon for the great coverage. Were the weather

    conditions as bad as they sounded?

    Any idea how Dakota. Joe Grant and Nick Clark placed?

    1. Bryon Powell

      Roger,
      Nick, Joe, and Dakota were a ways back, so I've no real idea on their place. Not easy for me to get those places either.

      The weather was cold and wet. Mostly light rain where I was all day with the occasional switch to just drizzle or a more persistent rain. It was snowing at the very top, but definitely liquid rain at 1,000 meters.

  6. Paul Nelson

    Aww man that's to bad with Maxx King I have run with him here in Oregon and hes a true champion! Well I hope hes OK. Congratulations to Kilian to winning this race! I watch your Youtube Videos once a week to get me pumped up :)

  7. Ally

    Kilian demonstrates again that he is (in the best possible way) a total freak. Good to see Tom back on form after his trouble at the 3 peaks too.

    Any idea what happened to Max? Food issues or just not used to the mountains?

    Add mine to the list of thanks for your coverage.

    1. Alex

      Yeah, he mentions that in his last interview. He had done, I think, 3 runs before racing Transvulcania. He was skiing all winter, so he probably kept pretty good conditioning. Still, to be able to run this well before "getting sharp" is mind-boggling.

  8. hp

    Great coverage Bryon and Meghan! You are pioneering a whole new form of sports coverage.

    Once again Salomon team members dominate- they are scary good.

  9. Russell

    I think Mike Wolfe's performance was stellar. Max King though, I had picked to finish a lot higher (top 3 atleast) . He got a bit of a whipping in the end. The one thing the likes of Kilian do unbelievably well is descend.

  10. dan

    how long was this race? and you mention 5000 meters of climbing? 15,000ft? do we have races in the US that compare? i've heard of some races in alaska that climb a lot but not 15,000ft in a marathon. pikes peak is only 7k or so in a 1/2 marathon so this is like a double climb of PPA?

  11. dan

    sorry, ignore the above. i just read over the "preview" and realize i misread the elevation gain. still a tough race.

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