The 3rd edition Matterhorn Ultraks 46K kicks off on Saturday, August 22. As the name suggests, the magic Matterhorn mountain provides a stunning backdrop to this iconic race.
Stevie Kremer, 2014 world champion for the combined title and race winner of 2014, return to Zermatt and will look to defend her title. Recent success in America and 4th place at Sierre-Zinal shows the pocket rocket is in form!
Italian Elisa Desco, placed 3rd at Sierrie-Zinal just 2 weeks ago and has had a mixed 2015 so far. Placing 2nd here last year she will without doubt look to take the top slot.
Megan Kimmel is on fire on 2015 and is my hot tip for victory in Zermatt. A stunning victory at the Dolomites Skyrace and 2nd at Sierre-Zinal shows that the American not only has climbing and descending legs but also plenty of speed.
Maite Maiora, currently ranked third on the Skyrunner® World Series always is a strong and consistent performer, Azara Garcia de Los Salmones has struggled with injury and currently it is questionable if she will run. Paola Cabrerizo, placed 2nd at Zegama-Aizkorri and may well contend the podium, Anna Comet Pascua has been a revelation in 2015 and Eva Maria Moreda.
Stephanie Jimenez and Czech Anna Strakova along with Holland’s Ragna Debats are top 5 contenders.
Italy’s Tadei Pivk currently leads the SWS ranking with two straight wins in Zegama and Dolomites, without doubt he is a strong contender for the win.
Spain’s Manuel Merillas and Romanian Ionut Zinca however would love to beat Tadei in the pursuit for the top of the podium. Ranked 2nd and 3rd respectively in the SWS. Britain’s Tom Owens may well stir up the apple cart and has all the ability to win this race.
Aritz Egea was 3rd last year and is always a contender for the top-5. Sintu Vives and Jessed Hernandez are among other strong Spaniards and Moroccan Hassan Ait Chaou and Norwegian Eirik Haugsnes will place in the top-10 if all goes well/
Tromsø SkyRace® winner, Jonathan Albon may well be the surprise podium contender. He is an obstacle racing world champion who surprised everyone in Norway.
The records to beat? Kilian Jornet’s 2013 time of 4h43’05” and Stevie Kremer’s 2014 record of 5h18’43”.
The 46 km course takes on a tough 3,600m of ascent and descent. The famous Gornergrat observation station marks the highest point of the race at 3,100m altitude, overlooking the Grenz Glacier and Monte Rosa, Europe’s second highest summit. The entire course is overshadowed by the iconic Matterhorn peak.
Nearly 700 runners from 34 countries will be toeing the line in Zermatt Saturday.
Some 2,000 participants from 44 countries will participate overall in the weekend’s four events – a 30% increase on last year’s figures.