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Julien Chorier and Francesca Canepa dominate the 177km 2013 Ronda dels Cims.the second race in the Skyrunning Ultra series.
It was without doubt an incredible and dramatic race in Andorra. Due to late season snow and potential storm risk on Friday night of the race, certain safety measures had to be made and the course was modified to ensure runners safety. It did mean a little less elevation, however, this was compensated for by the race organisers adding additional km’s, making the final distance 177km with a total elevation gain of 12,200m.
An International field lined up in Ordino, Andorra on Friday 21st June for the 0700 start. The awards ceremony on Sunday afternoon affirmed the International representation present at the race with five different nationalities on the podium.
Described as one of the hardest 100+ mile races in the world, it did not disappoint. Warm sunshine in the early stages of the race where followed with torrential downpours of rain and cooler temperatures as night arrived. However, the weather cleared and as the full moon glowed in the night sky, temperatures dropped. It was a long and cold night for the runners turning many sections of the course into unpredictable slippery sections. A new dawn and a new day, the sun burnt the mist away and temperatures rose revealing blue skies and a perfect day and night in the mountains to welcome runners home.
Frenchman Julien Chorier dominated the race from the front and I have to say, it is possibly one of the most impressive performances I have been fortunate to witness. He looked so calm, relaxed and focused. Kenichi Yamamoto from Japan placed second and along with his impressive entourage of photographers and camermen proved not only his ability to run but also how popular he is with the crowds and supporters. Matt Copper from Australia completed an impressive podium and produced a really solid run. He had been at the front of the race over the initial twenty kilometers and then settled in third, however, a fall into a stream during the night meant extended time at a refuge to warm up, this saw him loose a couple of places and drop to fifth. However, as daylight broke his batteries became recharged and he pushed as hard as he could to gain places and eventually finish third.
For the ladies, Francesca Canepa from Italy dominated after 65km’s and never looked back. She is a specialist in long distance races such as TNF UTMB and Tor des Geants, so, a top performance was expected here; she didn’t disappoint. She did say after the race that it was the hardest race she has ever done!. A late surge by Olga Mankò from the Ukraine elevated her to second on the podium and Emilie Lecomte, from France, after leading the race over the first 35% of the race faded but bravely battled for a hard won final podium place.
1. Julien Chorier (FRA) – Salomon – 28h41’06”
2. Kenichi Yamamoto (JAP) – Houdini) – 31h12’00”
3. Matt Cooper (AUS) – Salomon – 31h24’54
1. Francesca Canepa (ITA) – Montura-Vibrio – 36h18’55”
2. Olga Mankò (UKR) – 38h19’47”
3. Emilie Lecomte (FRA) – Quechua -39h30’14”