IAU WORLD TRAIL CHAMPIONSHIPS – ANNECY 2015

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The world trail championships are this coming weekend. Yes! This weekend. What, you mean the same weekend as Comrades? I am afraid so. So while Ellie Greenwood looks to do the double we are going to need to keep an eye on Annecy too… yes! But wait a minute, isn’t Sage Canaday and Max King also running at Comrades?

Yes.

Okay, okay, split screen computer screen required.

I joke of course and ironically while the World Trail Champs kick off in Annecy and Comrades kicks of in Durban, South Africa I will be in another part of SA at the Richtersveld Wildrun with Nikki Kimball, James Cracknell and a whole host of talented runners.

It’s going to be a busy weekend!

The last world championship was in the UK. Wales actually and it took part over a lapped course. Ricky Lightfoot won for the men and Nathalie Mauclair for the ladies.

This year, the Worlds takes place on a course that in my opinion is a proper trail running race. At 85km in length and with 5000+m of climbing the race should test the men and ladies from the boys and girls.

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However, the race is not without controversy.

The race will take place on the Technica Maxi-Race course with two starts! Yes folks, the world championship race starts 90-minutes before the annual open race. Wait a minute! I thought trail running was all about being inclusive?

Well it would appear that I am not the only one thinking that way. Francois d’Haene (Salomon), unbeatable in 2014, made it quite clear that he would not race. Anna Frost today (28th May) posted this, and I quote:

I will not be at one of my favourite races – the Maxi-Race – because I do not want to support the IAAF movement in our sport.

The sport will officially become an international ‘athletic’ discipline at the IAAF conference in August and I believe that changes will be implemented to make trail running fit into the IAAF philosophy rather than following the values that our trail running community have created.

Don’t know what I am talking about? Here are some examples:
• You race to be part of a running community? To have an oportunity to line up with the best of the best? I do too! But that does not happen in this race. The elites will start seperatly to all of you. It is no longer an open race.
• You like the freedom to enter any trail race you want? I do too! But that does not happen in this race. I need to be selected. I can not race for the brand that supports me. And if I do, and I manage to get a podium finish time…I wont be on the podium.
• If you have done the race course before it was fabulous. But not in this race. They have changed the course to faster, easier, flatter trails for access. That does not inspire me.

Trail running is fun, we can share it with everyone from volunteers, supporters, family and friends. It is open, we are free and inspired!

Read this great post by Andy Symonds http://www.andysymonds.blogspot.co.uk/2015/05/trail-politics.html?m=1

So what we have is a world championship race, with selected individuals racing ahead (90 minutes) of the open race. But what if someone in the open race runs quicker than the world championship race? Unlikely I know but not impossible?

Annecy is an amazing place and quite the setting for a stunning race like this. It really is an adventure playground.

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Staring at 3:30am (really?) on Saturday May 30th the best in the world will do battle on the trails in and around Annecy.

Ricky Lightfoot, Max King, Anton Krupicka, Sage Canaday, Kilian Jornet, Rob Krar, Francois d’Haene, Michel Lanne, Jason Schlarb, Tofol Castanyer, Iker Karrera, Ryan Sandes, Emelie Forsberg, Nuria Picas, Anna Frost, Rory Bosio, Lizzy Hawker….

Will NOT toe the line.

So if this is a World Trail Championship race; who is running?

For the Ladies:

Nathalie Mauclair ©iancorless.com

Nathalie Mauclair is the reigning champ and will look to defend her title and I expect her to do well and more than likely win again.

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Caroline Chaverot had a great run at Transgrancanaria earlier this year placing 2nd and she placed top 5 at the Skyrunning world championships in Chamonix.

Aurelia Truel placed 2nd behind Mauclair in 2013 but I don’t think this course will allow her to make the podium.

Cassie Scallon on paper has the race speed for a great result but Annecy has its challenges that I am not sure Cassie will be prepared for.

Uxue Fraille would probably prefer this race to be longer; she will play the waiting game and then pick people off.

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Maud Gobert, has great potential for victory, particularly on home soil. On her day she can make it happen, don’t rule her out!

Lisa Borzani also has some great results coming into this race, 2nd at Tor des Geants being one of them, but there is a big difference between TDG and 85km in Annecy.

Krissy Moehl, Anne Lise Rousset, Andrea Huser, Ester Alves, Lucy Bartholomew, Sally Fawcett, Simona Morbelli and many more will contest top honours but lets give out a shout to Brit Lizzie Wraith.

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Lizzie is the Lakeland 100 course record holder and currently preparing for the Dragon’s Back Race. Notable runners missing from the UK are Jo Meek and Holly Rush. Prety darn sure had these ladies been fit they would have raced well.

 For the Men:

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Luis Alberto Hernando well and truly heads up the men’s field after his recent victory at Transvulcania Ultramarathon and as we all know, over 80km he is the one to beat as he proved at the Skyrunning World Championships in Chamonix.

Tom Owens at Trofeo Kima

Tom Owens at Trofeo Kima

Tom Owens is back on form and although he may well prefer the marathon distance he has a great record of top results at 50-80km with podium places at Trofeo Kima and Ice Trail Tarentaise.

©iancorless.com-0271Kima2014_Manuel Merillas had a great 2014 and was a revelation and a hot-tip as a star for the future. At the recent Transvulcania he detonated and moved from top 5 to outside the top 15. Showing incredible recovery, just one week later Manuel made the podium at Zegama-Aizkorri. I do wonder though if 85km is outside his race at the moment.

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Alex Nichols is a fast guy and on his day, he recently beat Rob Krar at MoabRed Hot and he placed 3rd at Templiers in 2014. No stranger to racing Europe on the Skyrunning circuit. Alex may well make an impact at the front.

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UTMB winner Xavier Thevenard has seriously blown hot and cold over the last couple of years. He did win the TDS last year and in doing so became the only runner to win CCC, TDS and UTMB. Racing on French soil must have his passions and desire to do well very high, but maybe they will be too high?

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Gediminas Grinius nailed Transgrancanaria recently and that is backed up by an incredible series of results and races in 2014. I can’t help but think though that he will probably just be getting warm as the finish arrives!

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Dani Garcia just rocked the field at  Transvulcania with 2nd place ahead of serious competition so who knows what he can do in Annecy. A real surprise package.

Kim Collison at Mourne Skyline MTR

Kim Collison at Mourne Skyline MTR

Kim Collison from the UK may also turn some heads. He will certainly be off the radar but he has the background to do well. He won the British Trail Championships, the Mourne Skyline MTR and as an adventure races and fell runner he is one of the best in the world.

Patrik Bringer has solid results at Transvulcania (5th in 2013) and has been on the podium in Annecy before, so he knows what he needs to do, always an advantage.

Julien Rancon, Fabien Antolinus (won Templiers, 2nd at Ice Trail and 2nd in Annecy – one to watch) and Sylvain Court head up the local French talent and then we have Pablo Vila, Iain Ridgway, David Laney, Paul Giblin, Eirik Haugsness and a whole host of other talent that will be looking to take top honours.

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In particular I think the Norwegian entries will make a few people turn their heads. They often fly under the radar but Lars-Erik Skjerveihm and Didrik Hermansen (2nd at Transgrancanaria) will rock the top end of the race.

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But the complete dark horse may well be Iain Don-Wauchope from South Africa. He is a complete unknown in Europe and having watched him race in SA and in Costa Rica, he is the real deal and if his travel goes well, watch out!

 Race website HERE

 You can follow the racing HERE live

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*Please note, the opinions of those who boycott the IAU World Championships are provided to give a perspective why some key names are missing from the competition. Anna Frost has vocalised those viewpoints and we provide them to provide information. This is in no way meant to distract from the ability of those who will race. We fully acknowledge to represent your country is a great honour.

Great Britain and Northern Ireland Team announced – IAU World Trail Championships 2015

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Jo Meek at Lakeland 50

News from ©britishathletics.org.uk

A 12-strong Great Britain and Northern Ireland team has been selected for the IAU World Trail Championships, Annecy, France on Saturday 30 May. Ricky Lightfoot, champion in 2013 will lead the team.

Ricky recorded a time of 5:36.03 two years ago but struggled with injury in 2014. When in form, Ricky is an unstoppable force on the trails and he will be looking to build his fitness in the coming months to top the podium in Annecy.  Paul Giblin was the highest placed Briton at the IAU World 100km Championships in Doha last November where he placed 11th, a great performance! Paul also won and broke the course record at the West Highland Way race in 2014. He is going to be one to watch, for sure.

Kim Collison at Mourne Skyline MTR

Kim Collison at Mourne Skyline MTR

Also joining the strong senior men’s team will be 2014 Lakeland 50 winner Kim Collison who just this last weekend stormed to victory with Adam Perry at the Marmot Dark MountainsPaul Raistrick was the 2011 Commonwealth Ultra-trail running Championships 12th place finisher. Tom Owens had an incredible return to form in 2014 and placed highly at all the Skyrunner World Championship events. In just over one week, Tom will ine up in Hong Kong for the Sai Kung, the first race in the Skyrunning Continental ChampionshipsLee Kemp will also be endeavouring to place highly in the field and guide the team to a podium placing.

Tom Owens at Trofeo Kima

Tom Owens at Trofeo Kima

Jo Meek needs no introduction to readers of this website. I have been talking Jo up ever since meeting her at Marathon des Sables in 2013 and what she has achieved since is quite incredible. In 2014, Jo won the TCC in Costa Rica, won Iznik Ultra, placed 5th at Comrades, won Lakeland 50 and then placed fourth at the IAU World 100km Championships in Qatar. Needless to say Jo is one to watch in Annecy.

Holly Rush will join Jo and after some excellent runs in 2014, in particular a great showing at La Course Templiers (against a strong field) a win at Ultravasen and part of the Asics Outrun the Sun team.  Lizzie Wraith is the Lakeland 100 course record holder and was a recent victor of the 3×3 in the UK. Without doubt, Lizzie will be looking to peak for Annecy. Sarah FawcettSarah Morwood and Bonnie Van Wilgenburg add plenty of experience to the women’s team.

Bonnie Van Wilgenberg at Lakeland 50

Bonnie Van Wilgenberg at Lakeland 50

The full Great Britain & Northern Ireland team for the IAU World Trail Championships in Annecy, France:

Senior Men:

Ricky Lightfoot
Paul Giblin
Kim Collison
Tom Owens
Lee Kemp
Paul Raistrick

Senior Women:

Jo Meek
Holly Rush
Sally Fawcett
Lizzie Wraith
Sarah Morwood
Bonnie Van Wilgenburg

IAU athletes of the year 2012

IAU

 

Calcaterra and Kudo voted Athlete of the Year 2012

It is with great pleasure we announce that Giorgio Calcaterra (ITA) and Mami Kudo (JPN) have been voted as the Athletes of the Year 2012.

Both athetes have had an outstanding season and have proven themselves over and over again under pressure. The athletes were voted by member federations and the IAU Executive Council.

The competition this year was quite close amongst the nominees. This proves the exemplary performances by our athletes in the international and national circuits. The top 3 vote getters in both male and female categories with the percentage of their votes in brackets were:

Male: 

Giorgio Calcaterra (ITA): 34.8%
Mike Morton (USA): 33.0%
Steven Way (GBR): 9.5%

Female:

Mami Kudo (JPN): 25.0%
Michaela Dimitriadu (CZE): 24.8%
Amy Sproston (USA): 17.7%

Calcaterra is a repeat winner of this award having won it last year as well mirroring his world championships in the 100km World and European Championships. Kudo is a first time winner and was nominated based on her world best performance in the 24 hour. 

The IAU would like to congratulate the winners and also all the athletes who made the short list. It was truly an outstanding ultrarunning season. We are looking forward to another exemplary performance season in 2013!

Nadeem Khan
Director of Communications

IAU website available HERE