Matterhorn Ultraks 2017 Race Summary – Migu Run Skyrunner World Series

The Matterhorn provides a stunning backdrop for Switzerland’s Matterhorn Ultraks race, a 49km Skyrunning race with 3600m of positive and negative gain. Now in it’s 5th edition, the race once again is in the Migu Run  Skyrunner® World Series.

It is a magical race that provides a circular journey that starts and concludes in the picture postcard mountain town of Zermatt with the towing Matterhorn ever-present to inspire the runners.

The day started with rain and cloud. It was an ominous beginning. But by the time the runners had reached the high-point of the course at thee Gornergrat, the rain was easing, the cloud was clearing and suddenly the sun broke through. What followed was a glorious and hot sunny day.

Whispy white clouds penetrating the blue of the sky, we all knew though that it wasn’t going to last… with 2 hours of running the sky turned grey, the rain arrived and low mist enveloped the mountains; the beautiful Matterhorn was gone!

Wild expansive space, high mountains and the 3100m Gornergrat provides the high point of the race and the first indication of how the race would play out. Marco De Gasperi was pushing the pace closely followed by Aritz Egea and Eugeni Gil.

In the ladies’ race, Ragna Debats was already dictating the race and the pace but Sheila Aviles and Laia Andreu were very close and chasing together.

A 1000m drop from the summit is broken by a small climb at Riffelalp and then Furi follows at 24km at 1880m. Two short sharp climbs follow, the first to Schwarzsee at 2583m and approximately 28km covered. Here De Gasperi was leading Gil Ocana, Anthamatten and Egea – it was all too close to call! For the ladies, Debats was still at the front, but like the men, anything could happen.

A drop down to 2200m from Schwarzsee was followed with another 500m+ climb and then what follows is mostly a flat runnable plateau that gently weaves up, down and left to right all the way to Trift. De Gasperi had taken the lead now and was flying, Gil Ocana chased but the Italian was looking too strong – he really wanted this victory, it was clear to see. Anthamatten was now in 3rd and Egea in 4th.

A short kick up of 100 to 200m follows Trift and then a fast and furious drop of almost 1000m over a distance of 6km leads to the finish line in Zermatt and the assembled crowds. De Gasperi sealed victory in a new course record, bettering Kilian Jornet’s time and this 2017 course was 1km longer – an incredible run.

Gil Ocana held on for an excellent 2nd and Anthamatten placed 3rd. Once again Egea ran an excellent 4th place.

We also witnessed the race of a rising star, Petter Engdahl who placed 5th.

Debats finally managed to open a gap in the latter stages taking a convincing victory ahead of Laia Andreu who had shadowed Debats all the way to Trift.

Aviles placed 3rd followed by Laurance Yerly and Michaela Mertova.

Skyrunning is not just about the uphill and more often than not, it’s the downhill that determines the winner. Today was all about patience and consistency. Racing is often a mental journey as much physical, De Gasperi and Debats today proved this at the Matterhorn Ultraks.

A full gallery of images are available at iancorless.photoshelter.com

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Results:

1. Ragna Debats (NED) 5h52’05”
2. Laia Andreu (SPA) 5h53’22”
3. Sheila Avilés Castaño (SPA) 6h00’17”
4. Laurence Yerly (SUI) 6h15’45”
5. Michaela Mertova (CZE) 6h20’36”

‪1 – Marco De Gasperi (4h42’31”)‬
‪2 – Eugeni Gil Ocaña (4h45’15”)‬
‪3 – Martin Anthamatten (4h48’59”)‬
4 – Aritz Egea (4h53’50”)
5 – Petter Engdahl (5h00’46”)

Matterhorn Ultraks 2015 Race Summary

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The 3rd edition of the Skyrunning Matterhorn Ultraks Trail took place at the weekend in Zermatt. Once again, the sun and the stars of the Trail kept on shining all day long. The Swiss Martin Anthamatten imposed himself on the men’s main distance, part of the Skyrunner® World Series, while the Italian Elisa Desco won the female’s race. Nearly 1’800 participants took the start of the “16K”, “30K”, “46K” and “VZR”.

This year, the Spanish armada of the Trail couldn’t cope with the local runner and ambassador of the Matterhorn Ultraks, Martin Anthamatten. “To win such an important race here in Zermatt is a real dream. It’s for sure the greatest victory of my career”, commented the Valais winner after his race. He ran ahead the Spanish Manuel Merillas (4:54’32’’) and Aritz Egea (4:56’13’’). Just shortly ahead until he reached the Schwarzsee, Anthamatten finally managed to clearly step ahead over the last 20kms.

On the women’s side, the winner’s podium remained unchanged with the exception of the Italian Elisa Desco, who took her revenge on Stevie Kremer (USA). Second last year after the American, she managed the perfect race this year, imposing herself in 5h23’46’’ and only 59 seconds ahead of her rival, but still not breaking her record. The third place goes once again to the Spanish Maite Maiora (5:31’30’’). To note that the American Megan Kimmel dominated the race until the last quarter, she had to abandon a few kilometers from Zermatt.

_JKA4162In total, 1797 adults and 101 children of 58 nationalities and coming from 46 different countries took part in the third edition of the Matterhorn Ultraks Trail. When crossing the finish line, they all looked radiant after their experience within/through an outstanding mountain environment. It was unique! The barrier in Riffelalp with the sound of the alphorns echoing in front of the Matterhorn – This was one of the most beautiful moments in my life. I truly had tears in my eyes”, commented Antoine, participant of the “16K”. At the same time, the atmosphere was festive all through the day at the “Espace Ultraks”, where hundreds of spectators had come to support their favorite participant. Thanks to the video screen, they were able to follow the most significant moments from the heart of the village of Zermatt.

​« 46K » MEN
1. MARTIN ANTHAMATTEN (SUI) 4:45’11”532
2. MERILLAS MOLEDO MANU (ESP) 4:54’32”702
3. ARITZ EGEA (ESP) 4:56’13”303

​« 46K » WOMEN
1. DESCO ELISA (ITA) 5:23’46”293
2. KREMER STEVIE (USA) 5:24’45”578
3. MAITE MAIROA (ESP) 5:31’30”936

The inscriptions for 2016 will open during the month of September. Stay tuned: www.matterhorn.ultraks.com

Images by ® Juerg Kaufmann

Press Release by Matterhorn Ultraks race office