Sierre-Zinal 2012: Pictures and reaction
These images courtesy of Ian Corless (Talk Ultra) nicely capture the essence of the competition at Sierre-Zinal yesterday, with big wins for Aline Camboulive and Marco de Gasperi on a hot day for skyrunning…
Following his win Marco de Gasperi told Ian Corless:
“I wasnt sure without all of the long training if I could manage all of the race, in a good way. But at the end of the last uphill I understood that the Columbian (Cardona) was not very good on the descent and I know that descending is key if you want to win this race.
“To break the record you have to be in very good shape and I knew that in the last two kilometres this would not be possible because I have some cramps and I just had to manage that and made sure that the result was safe and I would arrive here for the victory”.
Talking about the plans for the rest of 2012 he told Corless:
“I will concentrate on the recovery and that look to the Jungfrau Marathon (WLDMRC) in one month. This is a very different race because the first part is road and then the very big climb, but I have won it once and I have the chance to try again, and this is my next goal”.
A big mention goes to former S-Z winner Billy Burns. His knowledge and experience paid dividends and the European-based Brit was also well conditioned for the heat and altitude. Burns is now a veteran and ran superbly for 9th, against some very good quality opposition, including some of the creme of the current UK fell and mountain scene.
Other UK hopes Tom Owens (12th) and Joe Symonds (18th) had what one might call a bad day at the office (but still fantastic results against a top class field) as they both suffered from the heat and what is commonly known as bonking (basically running out of energy / fuel and having a major dip in power, all of a sudden). Joe said: “Tom and I both bonked pretty impressively once it got above 2000m altitude!”
With Tom adding: “That was one hard race. It was going well till 3rd bit of climb and pulling through then sudden energy shut down! Big learning curve for me. There were a lot of of quick runners here, so for Joe and I it was fast from the off. It was a nice course but a toughy for the Scottish runners today!”.
Fellow Scots Robbie Simpson (31st) and Murray Strain (24th) also ran strongly in the top international competition. Read Murray’s blog of the race here
Lizzie Hawker made a suprise visit to the race as well, finishing a very handy 9th and using the race as what she called ‘a training run’ as part of her prep for the UTMB in a few weeks, here is what she had to say.