Thomas Lorblanchet (FRA) and Cecilia Mora (ITA) won the 2nd IAU Trail World Challenge held on 12 July 2009 in Serre Chevalier. Lorblanchet ran a time of 6:38:18 and Cecilia ran 7:53:18 for the mountainous 68km Trail event.
Serre Chevalier is a ski resort village 2.5 hours away from Geneva, Switzerland and 1.5 hours from Turin, Italy.
A total of 54 athletes competed from 19 nations. The event was held on a mountainous terrain over 68km in the French Alps. The race was challenging with 3 major peaks of 2679m (Sommet du Galiber), 2895m (Col des Beraudes) and 2427m (Col de Buffere). A true challenge of strength and endurance with a combined gain and loss of 3500m, participants were asked to carry their gear for the change in climate and terrain.
The men’s race was won by Lorblanchet in 6:38:18. He was followed by Dachhiri Sherpa (NEP) who finished second with Matthias Dippacher (GER) taking the bronze medal. Sherpa completed the course in 6:56:08 and Dippacher in 7:16:58.
Lorblanchet led for most of the course and has trained extensively in the mountains for this event. Sherpa is a regular in the Europen mountain running scene. He ran a steady pace too holding to a top 5 position for the most of the race. Dippacher ran a different race coming from further down in the field to finish 3rd in the event.
In the women’s race, Mora won in 7:53:18. Angela Mudge and Elizabeth Hawker of Britain won the silver and bronze medals respectively. Mudge ran a time of 8:12:29 followed by Hawker who did 8:22:21.
For two-thirds of the race, Mora was running in 3rd place. In the last 20 kilometres of the race she made her move and went by Mudge and Hawker. For most of the race the British runners were exchanging the lead. Hawker is the former IAU World Cup 100km winner and has made a move to Switzerland to train in high altitude for the summer.
IAU has recognized the fact that trail running is an integral aspect of ultrarunning and is confident that this event was a huge success with the running community. The increased participation from athletes and federation in this year’s event is a testament to the sport’s popularity.
Next year’s event is under discussion and member federations will be informed as soon as a site is selected.
Nadeem Khan for the IAAF
Results Trail World Challenge 2009, Serre Chevalier, France
Gold --- Thomas Lorblanchet FRA 6:38:18
Silver --- Dachhiri Sherpa NEP 6:56:08
Bronze --- Matthias Dippacher GER 7:16:58
4th Place --- Gilles Guichard FRA 7:19:44
5th Place --- Thierry Breuil FRA 7:26:28
Gold --- Cecilia Mora ITA 7:53:18
Silver --- Angela Mudge GBR 8:12:29
Bronze --- Elizabeth Hawker GBR 8:22:21
4th Place --- Catherine Dubois FRA 8:42:30
5th Place --- Norimi Sakurai JPN 8:50:04
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