Norway went bigtime. Both the Skyrunner World Series and Golden Trail World Series coincidentally had races in Norway on the same day. There were several other internationally competitive races in Europe too.
Stranda Fjord Trail Race – Stranda, Norway
The 25-kilometer race was the year’s third Golden Trail World Series, and it was said to be the most technical race of the series. Many athletes commented on the precipitous downhill toward the finish.
Sophia Laukli (USA), new to the Golden Trail World Series (GTWS), surprised the series veterans with a 2:57 win. Laukli is also a new member of this year’s U.S. Mountain Running Team.
Less than two minutes separated the next three women’s finishers with Elise Poncet (France) second in 3:00 and Emelie Forsberg (Sweden, lives in Norway) third in 3:01.
The rest of the top 10 included:
4 – Blandine L’hirondel (France) – 3:01
5 – Sara Alonso (Spain) – 3:03
6 – Caitlin Fielder (New Zealand) – 3:07
8 – Julie Roux (France) – 3:08
9 – Bailey Kowalczyk (USA) – 3:08
10 – Sanna El Kott Helander (Sweden) – 3:10
Jon Albon (U.K., lives in Norway) is something of a race local, and he just rarely loses. First place again, this time in 2:24, adding to an earlier GTWS win at the Marathon du Mont Blanc. Albon is said to be contemplating next week’s Sierre-Zinal race too.
Manuel Merillas (Spain) and Bart Przedwojewski (Poland) were second and third in 2:26, 14 seconds apart. Merillas too remarked about the potential for next weekend’s Sierre-Zinal race.
Also in the top 10 were –
4 – Frederic Tranchard (France) – 2:27
5 – Davide Magnini (Italy) – 2:29
6 – Thibaut Baronian (France) – 2:30
7 – Roberto Delorenzi (Switzerland) – 2:30
8 – Elhousine Elazzaoui (Morocco) – 2:31
9 – Anders Haga (Norway) – 2:32
10 – Sam Hendry (Canada) – 2:32
The next Golden Trail World Series race is Sierre-Zinal on August 13 in Switzerland.
Tromsø Skyrace – Tromsø, Norway
The Tromsø Skyrace is held up as the bad boy of the Skyrunner World Series, thanks to its notorious three-kilometer Hamperokken Ridge scramble. The full route runs 57k and with 4,800 meters of elevation gain.
Oihanna Azkorbebeitia (Spain) and Sandra Sevillano (Spain) were the only two to finish the challenging route in under 10 hours. Azkorbebeitia was first in 9:04 and Sevillano followed in 9:23. It was Azkorbebeitia’s second series win of the year. Johanna Gelfgren (Sweden) was third in 10:02.
Louison Coiffet (France) was a runaway winner in the men’s race at 7:10. The 23-year-old moved to the front on the race’s second climb and gradually put time on the rest of the field. Second- and third-place Raul Butaci (Romania) and Erland Eldrup (Norway) dueled to 7:32 and 7:36 finishes.
The next Skyrunner World Series contest is the August 19 Matterhorn Ultraks race in Switzerland.
Thyon-Dixence – Thyon, Switzerland
It was the race’s 40th year, and it again was a prelim run toward next weekend’s Sierre-Zinal race for many. The race runs 16k with two big climbs.
Kenyan runners incredibly took the top-five finish spots. Philiaries Kisang , Joyce Njeru, and Teresiah Omosa finished in 1:20, 1:21, and 1:22. Njeru has gone undefeated in World Mountain Running Association races this year.
Lucy Murigi, a past two-time Sierre-Zinal winner, was fourth in 1:23.
The Kenyan men weren’t quite as dominant, taking finish spots one and two, nine, 10, and 11. Up front, both Patrick Kipngeno and Mark Kangogo went under the old course record. The two finished in 1:06 and 1:07, 33 seconds apart. Petro Mamu (Eritrea) was third in 1:09.
[In 2017, Mamu failed two doping tests, after both the World Mountain Running Championships and the World Long Distance Mountain Running Championships. He was given a nine-month ban starting in September of 2017 by the IAAF for testing positive for fenoterol.]
Joseph Gray (USA) was eighth in 1:13.
Fletta Trail – Malonno, Italy
Saturday’s uphill race crowned Andrea Mayr (Austria) for the fifth time. Her 37:53 finish this year was way ahead of everyone else. Sarah McCormack (Ireland) and Maddalena Somà (Italy) were second and third in 40:30 and 40:56, respectively.
Men’s winner Andrea Rostan (Italy) topped out in 33:38, beating Philemon Kiriago (Kenya) and three-time winner Henri Aymonod (Italy). Kiriago and Aymonod finished in 34:05 and 34:38. Rostan’s finish marked a new record.
It was incredibly the race’s 59th edition. Uphill specialist Andrea Mayr doubled back on the up-and-down course, winning again in 1:39. It was the first time that a woman has won both races on the weekend, and this one too was again well clear of everyone else. Sara Bottarelli (Italy) and Arianna Dentis (Italy) were second and third in 1:44 and 1:47.
Philemon Kiriago, second a day earlier, won the classic race in 1:26. Micael Saoli (Kenya) was second in 1:27, 56 seconds behind, and Chris Richards (U.K.) was third in 1:29.
Additional Races and Runs
Fjällmaraton – Åre, Sweden
It’s eight races over eight days, and it’s happening now. Ida Nilsson (Sweden, lives in Norway) and Oscar Claesson (Sweden) won the 45k race in windy and muddy conditions in 4:07 and 3:20. Full results.
Volcanic 50k – Cougar, Washington
Tara Fraga and Alex King led the trip around Mount St. Helens in 6:10 and 5:13, respectively. Full results.
Angeles Crest 100 Mile – Wrightwood, California
Ashley Hall and Wyatt Million triumphed in 25:53 and 21:09. Full results.
Rodeo Valley Trail Run 50k – Sausalito, California
The Inside Trail race organization crowned Pamela Ross and Eric Noel as winners in 4:52 and 4:13. Full results.
Cirque Series Brighton – Snowbird, Utah
The year’s third Cirque Series race went 8.7 miles and with 3,566-feet of elevation gain. Allie McLaughlin is having a year on the trails. She followed up a new Mount Marathon Race course record with a big six-minute win here in 1:26. Janelle Lincks was second in 1:33. Christian Allen won the men’s race in 1:17. Full results.
Rendezvous Mountain Hill Climb – Jackson Hill, Wyoming
Kim Dobson and Tyler McCandless both earned $1,000 for the win, and McCandless narrowly missed a $1,000 bonus if going under one hour. Full results (when available).
TransRockies Run – Buena Vista, Colorado
It’s more of a good time than a competitive time, but lots of familiar names take part in the six-day, 120-mile stage race each year. Runners can complete the run solo or as a two-person team. Courtney Barnes and YiOu Wang went one-two in the women’s solo run in 19:56 and 20:20, and Brian Condon won the solo men’s race in 17:26. And in the team competition, Emelie Mann and Arden Young (both Canada) were the best women’s duo in 20:05, and Drew Miller and Caleb Schiff teamed to finish first in 17:51. Rob Krar and Buck Blankenship were just behind in 18:07. Full results.
Call for Comments
- Woohoo, things are running hot in Europe. What else is happening?
- Leave a comment to share results from a race you were at or followed this past weekend. Thanks!