Record Runs at Sierre-Zinal

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Maude Mathys (2:49:20) and Kilian Jornet (2:25:35) are the winners of this year’s Sierre-Zinal. In the star-studded field, both the women’s and men’s course records were broken. The course records fell so surprisingly clearly that in our quiz almost nobody, even close to guessing the right winner time.

Sierre-Zinal is a legendary trail race because of its nearly five decades of history and revered athletic performances, and on Sunday along its famed trails in the Swiss Alps another trail running legend added yet another chapter to both his own storied legacy and the race’s as well. Setting out with a blazing fast pace, Spain’s Kilian Jornet (Team Salomon) ran away from one of the most competitive trail running fields in recent memory to win in 2:25:35, shattering Jonathan Wyatt’s longstanding course record of 2:29:12 by three minutes and 37 seconds. It was Jornet’s seventh win at Sierre-Zinal in nine tries.

On the women’s side, Switzerland’s Maude Mathys (Team Salomon) also broke the Sierre-Zinal course record, winning in 2:49:20 to best Anna Pichrtova’s 2008 time by nearly five minutes. Both Jornet and Mathys won from the front, surging to the lead on the challenging early uphill.

Jornet was chased valiantly by 2016 winner Petro Mamu from Eritrea, who also broke the former course record, finishing just 56 seconds behind the Spaniard in 2:26:31. American runner Jim Walmsley (Team Hoka), competing for the first time at Sierre-Zinal, was 3rd in an impressive 2:31:52. Juan Carlos Carera was 4th in 2:32:52 and Great Britain’s Robbie Simpson was 5th in 2:33:55. Jornet athlete grabbed the lead a few strides into the race and was alone from there on out. The course gains 2,200 meters from the start in Sierre to the finish line in the idyllic alpine village of Zinal, rolling along before a big downhill finish. Jornet wasted no time letting the competition know he was going for broke. At the Chandolin checkpoint he was ahead of Mamu by two minutes 1:05:59 and in hot pursuit of the course record set by Wyatt in 2003.

In the women’s race, Mathys made sure Jornet wasn’t the only one breaking a record on the day. Her time of 2:49:20 was five minutes ahead of fellow Swiss Judith Wyder (Team Salomon) who finished in 2:54:20, and it broke the former course record of 2:54:26 by five minutes and six seconds. Wyder was also under the former record by six seconds.

Mathys was 3rd at the Dolomyths Sky run in Italy a couple of weeks back, but on Sunday she used her strength in the uphill to put distance between herself and the field in the early going. She was more than three minutes ahead at the Chandolin checkpoint and was never seen again by the rest of the pack.

Italy’s Silvia Rampazzo (Team Tornado) was 3rd with another strong effort on the Golden Trail World Series. She finished in 2:56:17. New Zealand’s Ruth Croft (Team Scott) continued her amazing consistency with a 4th place finish in 3:01:56, while France’s Anais Sabrié was 5th in 3:01:58.

Record times in the overview, including split times:

SierreZinal 2019 Record Runs
SierreZinal 2019 Record Runs

The whole livestream of the race can be watched here::

All  Results can be found here: https://www.datasport.com/live/ranking/?racenr=21138

 

running.COACH Quiz

And here is the results and the winners of our quiz. The winners all win a free running.COACH 3-month subscription:
1.) Winner women’s race + winning time
Correct answer: Maude Mathys / 2.49:20.
Bet on the right runner and estimated with the best finish time: Christoph Kellerhals (SUI), his estimated time: 2:52:58

 

2.) Winner men’s race + winning time
Correct answer: Kilian Jornet / 2.25:35.
Bet on the right runner and estimated with the best finish time: Quentin (SUI), his estimated time: 2:27:45.

 

3.) Best estimated winning time in women’s race:
Correct answer: 2.49:20.
Guillermo Morea (ARG) estimated best with 2:50:00 (His tip for the best woman was ‘Eli Anne Dvergsdal (NOR)’).

 

4.) Best estimated winning time in the men’s race:
Correct answer: 2.25:35.
Quentin (SUI), see number 2, estimated best. The next closer tip is from Dirk (LUX) inherits the prize with 2:27:48 2:50:00 (his bet for the fastest man was also Kilian Jornet).

 

5) a) Which country has the most top 10 placings? (W+M) + b) Will the records in women’s and men’s races be broken? + c) how many men run under 2:40h? how many women under 3:10h?

 

Correct answers: :
a.) Best Trailrunning Nation: Switzerland
Sierre Zinal 2019 Top Men and Women
Sierre Zinal 2019 Nunber of  Top 10 Men and Women by Country
b.) Record broken women: yes
b.) Record broken men: yes
c.) Number of Top Men/Women 2019 Men 16, Women 9.
Sierre Zinal Top Men Women
The figures prove very well that this year was quite a special year in terms of level.
Gabe from Catalonia (ESP) has solved this task best. She estimated the number of top men and women exactly and also predicted it on the men’s record. However, she was betting on Spain for the best trail running nation.
6.) Chance winner:
Paul Halford (GBR)
We are looking forward to the race becoming a great spectacle in 2020! And who knows, next year maybe the National Television will also be there.
Jim Walmsley Sierre Zinal
Jim Walmsley Sierre Zinal

Sierre-Zinal 2019 – the battle of the giants!

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Sierre-Zinal is not a normal mountain or trail race. What Wimbledon is for tennis, the Wacken Open Air for heavy metal fans or the Lauberhorn descent for skiers, Sierre-Zinal is for mountain and trail runners: something extraordinary.

The course measures 31 kilometres and takes the runners from Sierre (570 m.a.s.l.) to 2425 m.a.s.l. for the first two thirds of the course, before descending 750 m to Zinal for the last third. This results in a total of 2200 metres ascent and 1100 metres descent. (19 miles, 7,200 feet of uphill and 3,600 feet of downhill)

Map and profile of the race: https://runningcoach.me/en/events/2313

Since 1974 the traditional event has been taking place, making Sierre-Zinal the oldest mountain race among the great European competitions in the mountains. There is much to be said for the fact that this year’s edition will be a very special one!

The reason for this are the numerous top athletes who will make the running course between Sierre and Zinal unsafe this year. Some of them in the shortest portrait:

MEN

Kilian Jornet, Spain, age 31
The Catalan set out to claim his seventh (!) victory at the Sierre-Zinal. He won the first race of the Golden Trail World Series and has the track record firmly in his sights.

You can read more about Kilian Jornet in the running.COACH blog post from 2018.

Jim Walmsley, USA, age 29
This will be his first start at the traditional mountain run. Actually a specialist for the ultra distances, the special distance profile could accommodate him however.

Davide Magnini, ITA, age 21
Coming from ski touring he is the shooting star of the scene. He won both the Mont Blanc Marathon and the Dolomyths Run. Last year, he finished 7th in Zinal, 5 minutes behind Jornet – betting that he will be a top performer again this year?

Nadir Maguet, ITA, age 26
His compatriot Davide Magnini stood in front of the sun twice this year – both the Mont Blanc Marathon and the Dolomyths Run Maguet finished 2nd.

Bart Przedwojewski, POL, age 26
The Pole is the leader of the Golden Trail World Series after the first three runs.

Marc Lauenstein, SUI, age 38
Unforgotten his triumph in 2013, when he won the race in the final descent. After a foot injury, Lauenstein is now back and wants to intervene again this year.

Article about Marc Lauenstein in the running.COACH Blog (2018)

Jacob Adkin, GBR, age 23
The British runner became European mountain champion in Zermatt in June. What can we expect from him on the 2.5 times longer course?

More favorites in the men’s race:

  • Robbie Simpson, GBR (2nd 2018)
  • Robert Surum, KEN (3rd 2018)
  • Francesco Puppi, ITA ( 4th 2018)
  • Petro Mamu, ERI (1st 2016)
  • Rémi Bonnet, SUI (4th at Mountain running European Championships 2019)
  • Stian Aarvik, NOR (2nd at Mountain running European Championships 2019)
  • Elhousine Elazzaoui, MAR
  • Jan Margarit, ESP
  • Teboho Noosi, LES (Wants to break the record)
  • Max King, USA (1st Mountain running World Championships 2011, 3rd 2017)
  • Yokouchi Yutaro, JAP
  • Florian Neuschwander, GER
  • Sage Canaday, USA
  • Julien Rancon, FRA
  • Andrew Douglas, GBR
  • Petter Engdahl, SWE
  • Juan Carlos Carera, MEX
  • Geoffrey Gikuni, KEN

Strong locals – Ready for a top placement

  • Stephan Wenk, SUI
  • Jonathan Schmid, SUI
  • Joey Hadorn, SUI
  • Pascal Buchs, SUI
  • Stefan Lustenberger, SUI
  • Martin Anthamatten, SUI
  • Werner Marti, SUI

WOMEN

Lucy Murigi, KEN, age 34
This year the Kenyan woman sets out to bring home the hat trick. After two victories in the past two years, this year she could take her third consecutive victory at Sierre-Zinal.

Ruth Croft, NZL, age 30
After a victory at the Mont Blanc Marathon and a second place at the Dolomyths Run she is the current leader of the Golden Trail World Series.

Judith Wyder, SUI, age 31
In the Dolomyths Run, the 31-year-old Swiss shocked her opponents by improving the course record by seven minutes. This makes the former world class orienteer one of the favourites on home ground as well.

Maude Mathys, SUI, age 32
The highest ranking is probably the current and triple European champion in mountain running. At the Dolomyths Run she showed what she can do at the uphill. Her roller qualities are also very good. Last year she ran a street marathon in 2:31:17.

Eli Anne Dvergsdal, NOR, age 27 
A victory at the beginning of the Golden Trail Series and the second place in the intermediate ranking speaks for itself. The Norwegian should be hot for a top place.

Simone Troxler, SUI, age 23
The third Swiss runner who can achieve a lot on home ground. At the last event in 2018, she showed what she was capable of and surprisingly finished third.

More favourites in the women’s race:

  • Sarah Tunstall, GBR
  • Elisa Desco, ITA
  • Carrion Gisela, ESP
  • Lina El Kott Helander, SWE
  • Ragna Debats, NED
  • Eli Gordon, ESP
  • Yiou Wang, USA
  • Silvia Rampazzo, ITA
  • Sarah McCormack, IRL
  • Holly Page, GBR

Strong locals – Ready for a top placement

  • Theres Leboeuf, SUI
  • Victoria Kreuzer, SUI
  • Maya Chollet, SUI
  • Alessandra Schmid, SUI

Who are your favorites? Are you a connoisseur of the trail and mountain running scene? Then prove it to us: https://forms.gle/Cr2YLY7ixcrpNkwB6

Start is on Sunday 11 August 2019 at 10:00 CET.

Race Planning / Runtime Calculator

If you are one of the 5200 participants and would like help with the race tactics, we can highly recommend our race calculator to calculate your possible finish time and your splits:

Written by Jonas Merz / Gabriel Lombriser

The 10 most beautiful marathons

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Marathon is the supreme discipline of long-distance running. They are not only attractive for top athletes, but also for hobby runners. The choice of events is almost endless. So which marathons are the most breathtakingly beautiful ones? We have put together our top 10.

Jungfrau-Marathon

With its 1,829 meters of altitude (of which approx. 1,500 meters only start from kilometer 25), the Jungfrau-Marathon, might not be a marathon for beginners. The finish is at 2,320 meters above sea level. This means that – after you have already run 25km on flat terrain –  the actual showdown only really begins with the remaining 1,500 meters of altitude difference in ever thinner air. It is therefore important to divide up your forces well so that you don’t experience any nasty surprises at the end. But the long ascent is definitely worth it and the view is truly magnificent.

Image: sbb.ch

Website: https://www.jungfrau-marathon.ch/en/

Country: Switzerland

Month: September

Course records: 2:49:02 (Jonathan Wyatt, 2003), 3:12.56 (Maude Mathys, 2017)

Number of participants: Record at 8,572

 

Tromsø Midnight Sun Marathon

The exceptional thing about this race is certainly the midnight sun, which gives it a unique atmosphere – granted that the weather plays along, of course. The combination of snow-covered mountain peaks and the sea is also very special. The course runs almost exclusively along the sea and is therefore much flatter than that of the Jungfrau-Marathon. On this course it is therefore much easier to achieve a good marathon time.

Tromsø Midnight Sun Marathon

Image: msm.no

Website: https://www.msm.no/en/

Land: Norway

Month: June

Course records: 2:20:31 (Ebrahim Abdulaziz, 2019), 2:38:22 (Brynhild Synstnes, 2019)

Number of participants 2019: 1,022

 

Queenstown International Marathon

Although, for most people, New Zealand doesn not exactly lie around the corner, this running experience is definitely worth the trip. Queenstown is located in the southern part of New Zealand’s South Island. On the course you will pass several smaller lakes in an idyllic landscape consisting of mountains, meadows and forest. The last 10 kilometers lead along the famous Lake Wakatipu to the center of Queenstown. This marathon is a relatively “pleasant” run with its approx. 330 m altitude, the alternating surface (tar and gravel path) and the moderate climate. According to the motto of the relaxed New Zealanders: Stay relaxed and enjoy!

Queenstown International Marathon

Image: queenstown-marathon.co.nz

Website: www.queenstown-marathon.co.nz

Country: New Zealand

Month: November

Course records: 2:23:56 (Samuel Wreford, 2017), 2:52:21 (Hannah Oldroyd, 2017)

Number of participants: 11,062 (so far registered for 2019)

 

Big Sur International Marathon

This marathon follows the Californian coast from Big Sur to Carmel (between Los Angeles and San Francisco). From Big Sur Station, 108m above sea level, the route goes 665m uphill and 770m downhill, so that in Carmel you almost reach sea level (3m above sea level). The endless expanse of the Pacific Ocean, the beaches, cliffs and gentle hills make this marathon a wonderful experience.

Big Sur International Marathon

Image: bigsurmarathon.com

Website: www.bigsurmarathon.com

Country: USA

Month: April

Course records: 2:16:39 (Brad Hawthorne, 1987), 2:41:45 (Svetlana Vasilyeva , 1996)

Number of participants 2018: 3,291

 

Great Wall Marathon

The Great Wall Marathon is truly an extraordinary marathon and certainly one of the most demanding. Most of the course is directly on the iconic Great Wall of China! There are several meters of altitude to climb, many of them in the form of stairs. The gradient of the course is up to 10% in some places. Thus, it is not for those aiming for a fast marathon time. However, this run not only offers amazing sceneries, but also an unforgettable cultural experience.

Great Wall Marathon

Image: great-wall-marathon.com

Website: www.great-wall-marathon.com

Country: China

Month: April

Course records: 3:09:18 (Jorge Maravilla, 2013), 3:32:12 (Siliva Serafini, 2013)

Number of participants 2019: 645

 

Patagonian International Marathon

The event takes place at the southern tip of the South American continent in western Patagonia, east of the Southern Patagonian Ice Field (the largest glacier area in the southern hemisphere outside Antarctica) and south of Torres del Paine National Park. The landscape is hilly, quite rough and adventurous and will surely be remembered for a long time.

Patagonian International Marathon

Image: patagonianinternationalmarathon.com

Website: www.patagonianinternationalmarathon.com

Country: Chile

Month: September

Course records: 2:57:36 (Luke Meyer, 2012), 3:30:29 (Inez-Anne Hagen, 2018)

Number of participants 2018: 148

 

Virgin Money London Marathon

If you prefer to a real classic among the marathons, the London Marathon is the right place for you. It doesn’t offer spectacular natural scenery, but a city sightseeing along several landmarks of the British capital. For this day, it seems that the entire population of London is in the streets to cheer on the many runners. The London Marathon is not only popular among hobby runners, is also an absolute favorite among the world’s top runners, as it is considered to be the fastest marathon in the world. Both the women’s and men’s world records were run here.

Virgin Money London Marathon

Image: Derby Telegraph

Website: https://www.virginmoneylondonmarathon.com/en-gb/

Country: Great Britain

Month: April

Course records: 2:02:37 (Eliud Kipchoge, 2019), 2:15:25 (Paula Radcliffe, 2003)

Number of participants 2019: 41,906

 

Mt. Fuji International Marathon 

The Mt. Fuji International Marathon is another jewel among the marathons. The race takes place in autumn, which means that it is relatively cool on the one hand, but at the same time the leaves on the trees have turned mesmerizing shades of red and gold. In combination with the white summit of Mt. Fuji in the background and the water of the two lakes you run around, you get an absolutely stunning landscape.

Mt. Fuji International Marathon 

Image: Spacebib.com

Website: https://fujisan-marathon.jp/english/

Country: Japan

Month: November

Course records: 2:21:36 (Yusuke Kodama, 2018), 2:39:47 (Tomomi Sawahata, 2018)

 

Kilimanjaro Marathon

The event takes place in Moshi, the largest city near Kilimanjaro, which lies about 800m above sea level. The route leads through parts of the city, many small farms and villages, banana and coffee plantations and forest areas, to the great delight of the local people who cheer the runners on. The highest freestanding mountain in the world dominates the whole area in the background with its presence.

Kilimanjaro Marathon

Image: World’s Marathons

Website: https://www.kilimanjaromarathon.com/

Country: Tansania

Month: Late February/ Early March

Course records: 2:13:50 (David Kiprono, 2012), 2:38:03 (Alice Kibor, 2016)

Number of participants 2018: 614

 

Petra Desert Marathon

The Petra Desert Marathon is a challenging adventure marathon in a beautiful desert region of the Jordan River. The race starts in an ancient city called Petra, from where the route leads around the city. The landscape consists of stone mountains, sand and bushes and the heat demands a lot of stamina from the participants. But the unique nature experience is definitely worth the sweat.

Petra Desert Marathon

Image: hdsports.at

Website: https://petra-desert-marathon.com/

Country: Jordan

Month: September

Course records: 3:15:03 (Salameh Abdel Karim Al Aqra, 2009), 3:43:25 (Inez-Anne Haagen, 2015)

Number of participants 2018: 121

 

We would like to emphasize that this list is subjective, and it was very difficult for us to make a selection. If you would like to add other marathons to the list, you are welcome to tell us in the comment field below. 😉

 

Article by: Marion Aebi