In it’s second year, Sweden’s UltraVasan 90k yielded still faster times under perfect conditions and a slightly speedier course. That doesn’t take away from the course-record performances by local Jonas Buud (post-race interview) or Switzerland’s Jasmin Nunige (post-race interview), as Jonas had plenty of company early and Jasmin had a late race scare.
Thanks to the Vasaloppet organization for making our coverage of UltraVasan possible!
2015 UltraVasan 90k Men’s Race
In 2014, Sweden’s Elov Olsson took UltraVasan out in a blazing pace in search of the first prime. With Elov resting for UTMB there were thoughts the race would go out a bit more relaxed. Not so much. Seven men–Jonas Buud, Max King, Arnaud Perrignon, Helder Ferreira, Emmanuel Gault, Tom Erik Halvorsen, and Matt Flaherty–went through the 13km mark a minute faster than last year’s pace. The pace picked up as Flaherty edged out Hermansen for the first 600€ prime at Mångsbordarna (23.5 km).
After Mångsbordarna, the lead pack shrank to four–Buud, King, Portugal’s Ferreira, and France’s Perrignon–with Norway’s Didrik Hermansen 20-30 seconds back. This setup held until King surged in pursuit of the 1200€ prime in Evertsberg (46.7 km) with Buud the only one staying close. While the American would nab the cash, his effort would set up Buud taking the lead and dominating the field the rest of the way. He seemed to put 20-30 seconds per kilometer on King (and the rest of the field), while continuing to move ahead of his course record splits from last year, a performance he’d considered one of his very best. Well, Buud has a new standard as he took nearly 17 minutes of his existing course record.
While King held the sole lead just after mid-race, he never had more than three minutes on various third-place runners. By Hökberg (70.9 km), Hermansen settled into that spot and closed the gap to less than a minute at the final major checkpoint in Eldris (81.1 km). However, King pushed the final 40 minutes to hold off the Norwegian.
A bit of a surprise from our end, Arnaud Perrignon ran with the lead group until Buud and King surged mid-race. After that, he ran in third or fourth the entire race. Late in the race he was caught by fellow Frenchman and ASICS teammate Emmanuel Gault who ran in as far back as eighth place at Mångsbordarna. The pair crossed the line together.
Helder Ferreira and Tom Erik Holvardsen ran hard early before fading, respectively, to finish ninth and tenth. Matt Flaherty, who’d claimed the first prime, looked quite bad mid-race while holding tenth place at Oxberg and Hökberg. However, a couple on-course pancakes fueled a late-race surge that moved him into seventh. Previously-unknown-to-us runners, Jarle Risa of Norway and Ranno Erala of Estonia impressively took sixth and eighth places in a race where barely seven minutes separated fourth from ninth.
2015 UltraVasan 90k Men’s Results
- Jonas Buud (ASICS) — 5:45:08 (pre-race and post-race interviews) (Course Record, Old Record: 6:02:03, Buud, 2014)
- Max King (Salomon) — 6:06:11 (pre-race interview)
- Didrik Hermansen (ASICS) — 6:08:10
- Arnaud Perrignon (ASICS) — 6:15:14
- Emmanuel Gault (ASICS) — 6:15:14
- Jarle Risa — 6:18:57
- Matt Flaherty (Salomon) — 6:21:05
- Ranno Erala — 6:21:58
- Helder Ferreira (Compressport) — 6:22:27
- Tom Erik Halvorsen — 6:29:32
2015 UltraVasan 90k Women’s Race
Jasmin Nunige of Switzerland went out strong and quickly built a lead on the rest of the women’s field. She had a two-minute lead at Smågen (9.2 km), seven at Mångsbordarna (23.5 km), and nine at Risberg (34.3 km). She built her largest lead of the day at 10-11 minute by mid-race.
However, local runner Ida Nilsson, who had been running strong in second all race, cut that lead to less than 7 minutes at Hökberg (70.9 km) and less than 6 minute at Eldris (81.1 km). The Swede continued moving up, but there wasn’t enough real estate before the finish. Nunige would win in a new course-record time of 7:02:35 with Nilsson less than three-and-half minutes back in her ultramarathon debut.
Sweden’s Petra Kindlund, who was also running her first ultra, held third position from wire-to-wire.
2015 UltraVasan 90k Women’s Results
- Jasmin Nunige (adidas) — 7:02:35 (post-race interview) (Course Record, Old Record: 7:09:04, Holly Rush, 2014)
- Ida Nilsson — 7:05:56
- Petra Kindlund (Salomon) — 7:34:02
- Sara Göthe — 8:09:00
- Jaana Nehez — 8:23:53
- Mia Gyllenberg — 8:29:00
- Patrizia Strandman — 8:44:41
- Anna-Carin Söderström — 8:46:33
- Maria Lundgren — 8:49:04
- Hilde Johansen — 8:50:43