Stunning. Beautiful. Amazing. I just need those few words to describe what we lived during the three-day stage race, El Cruce, this weekend in the Cordillera de los Andes.
Crossing from Chile to Argentina in three days through some of the most beautiful trails in the biggest mountain range of South America? Well, what a good scenario for a race. And if you add to that two camps, 2,400 trail runners, and world-class competitors… I guess there is nothing else to say.
As we said in the preview, this edition’s slogan was “Through the Volcanoes.” One each day: the Villarrica, the Quetrupillan, and finally the Lanin.
The first two stages, against all forecasts, bright sun and clean sky gave the athletes the possibility of enjoying the stunning landscapes and the still-snowed volcano summits. But on the last day, the not-so-wished-for rain arrived for the fastest stage of the three. The Lanin was completely hidden under the clouds, but nothing stopped the happiness of the athletes. El Cruce Columbia 2013 has already gone, leaving a new page of South American trail running written.
Men’s Solo Race
What can we say about Max King, who was the first one in crossing the Andes? He just flew through them, winning the three stages and having a hard battle with François D’Haene. However, I think that is not the most important thing. Their smiles and camaraderie show healthy competition and friendship above all.
And what adjective should I use for the fight for the third place in the podium? Epic? Grand? Magnificent? Iker Karrera and Gustavo Reyes pulled the whole race together, getting to the last day with a difference of about 50 seconds for the Argentinian. Both went all in, pulling the lead group for the first 15k. An attack of Reyes, a counter-attack of Karrera, and two star spectators as King and D’Haene are. Last climb… last try of Karrera. And with him goes Max and François, leaving Gustavo in fourth position. A very emotional finish for them, fighting side-by-side. A couple of minutes away and completing the top 5, Nelson “Spicy” Ortega from Argentina came up with great effort and sacrifice to give fight to the international runners.
- Max King (Montrail, USA) – 7:56:36
- François D’Haene (Salomon, France) – 8:05:30
- Iker Karrera (Salomon, Spain) – 8:21:43
- Gustavo Reyes (Salomon, Argentina) – 8:27:05
- Nelson Ortega (Columbia, Argentina) – 8:46:48
- Daniel Simbron (Argentina) – 9:14:08
- Pablo Tosoni (Argentina) – 9:24:01
- Lucio Perez (Argentina) – 9:27:27
- Chico Santos (Brazil) – 9:39:58
- Leandro Martin Esconjauregui (Argentina) – 9:50:23
Full solo race results are online here. (Place the word “caballeros” in the “buscar”/search box to list the men’s race only.)
Women’s Solo Race
The men’s field was not the only one filled of stars. Having Oihana Kortazar, Emma Roca, and Anna Frost on the start line is a really big deal for South American trail running. And they also pulled it out until the end, being the Fast Basque Kortazar the winner over the still sparkling Roca. And to complete the podium, the great comeback of Frosty, getting fit again and preparing for a bright 2013 season. We should not leave away the amazing race made by Argentinian Adriana Vargas, with no more than two seasons on trails and arriving fourth and quite close to the majestic podium.
- Oihana Kortazar (Salomon, Spain) – 9:44:42
- Emma Roca (Buff, Spain) – 9:56:54
- Anna Frost (Salomon, New Zealand) – 10:39:57
- Adriana Vargas (Argentina) – 11:06:05
- Rosalia Camargo Guarischi (Brazil) – 11:19:14
- Roxana Del Cid (Argentina) – 11:40:23
- Andrea Moneta (Argentina) – 11:40:28
- Estela Laura Muñoz (Argentina) – 11:56:57
- Nelsa Maria Valenzuela (Argentina) – 12:00:09
- Haydee Torres (Argentina) – 12:17:12
Full solo race results are online here. (Place the word “damas” in the “buscar”/search box to list the women’s race only.)
The big show was certainly the individual race, but we can’t leave away the teams. It was a battle between Argentina and Brazil as we anticipated. Team Columbia Dole (Pablo Ureta and Ezequiel Morales) from Argentina took the lead from the very beginning, taking a considerable advantage over Brazilians Carioca Runners (Iazaldir Feitoza and Jose Virginio de Morais). The race was almost defined on the second day, with another win for the Argentinians and a big advantage over Cariocas. But the final day, Iazaldir and Virginio smashed the fast course and got the win for the stage. A mixed team completed the overall podium, Nucleo Aventura/Quasar Lontra, containing superfast female Tessa Roorda and male Miguel Mitne Neto.
Between the women’s teams, Nucleo Aventura/Prolheto Mujer (Cristina de Carvalho and Cilene Santos, Brazil) got it also from the beginning, leaving behind GR Team 1 (Laura Lucero and Soledad Seewald, Argentina) and Dermaglos Team (Sofia Cantilo and Virginia Galvez, Argentina).
For the mixed teams, the win was also for Brazil with team Nucleo Aventura/Quasar Lontra (Tessa Roorda and Miguel Mitne Neto), which, as mentioned above, finished as the third overall team of all genders and an amazing 2 hours, 45 minutes faster than all the other mixed teams! Behind them, Go Team 1 from Argentina (Oscar Garcia and Patricia Fernandez) and Correrayuda Grandes Esperanzas (Santiago Garcia and Demelza North) completed the podium.
Full team race results can be found here. (Place the word “damas”, “caballeros”, or “mixtos” in the “buscar”/search box to list only teams from the women’s, men’s, or mixed team races.)
All photo credits to Thiago Diz, Roberto Schwarz, or Diego Winitzky.