Sierre-Zinal 2014‏ & The Rest Of The Weekend’s Action

Sierre-Zinal 2014‏

‘Throughout the race there was enthusiastic spectator support; brass bands, alpine horns and children offering sponges, drinks and food. We all received medals, certificates and a timely massage at the finish’

A small band of claytoners and friends traveled to Zinal a small village, a typical alpine village, in the Swiss Alps for the famous Sierre-Zinal Mountain race; known as the 5 4000m peaks (views).  We caught the 0730 bus down to Sierre for the start at 9:30.This was preceded by 2000 walkers covering the same route starting at 0500 and a junior race (from Chandolin) at 0915.

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All 1500 runners set off to the first checkpoint after 5 miles and 4300 ft of continuous climbing. After this checkpoint the course flattened out and the route was on forest roads to Chandolin, the route undulated on mountain paths to top of the course at Nava (alt: 8000 ft) then a short descent to Zinal through forests. Throughout the race there was enthusiastic spectator support; brass bands, alpine horns and children offering sponges, drinks and food.  We all received medals, certificates and a timely massage at the finish.

Race: 19 miles / 7200 ftWeather: 18(deg) / cloudy but good visibility
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Results:
Killian Journet (Spain)2:31first male
Stevie Kremer (USA)3:03first female

Rob Simpson (GB)2:35 (5th overall) first GB male
Victoria Wilkinson (GS)3:19 (9th overall lady) first GB female
Mick Dobson 4:08
Ivan Whigham 4:18
Andrew Firth 4:51
Pete Thompson 5:33
Robin Nicolson 5:41
Pete Dugdale 6:25
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Mick Dobson had a superb run, Ivan Whigham suffered from cramp, Andrew Firth had a storming run, Pete Thompson was his first race after major surgery (on his big toe), Robin Nicolson treated this as a training run for his first “ben” whilst Peter Dugdale (King of Pendle) suffered from altitude & dehydration
Thanks to Ivan Whigham for this week’s race report!
The Rest of the Weekend’s Action
The harrowing realisation of how tough Sedbergh Hills Fell Race has swept the Harrier camp this week. There have been several cries and declarations that it was the toughest race of their lives, and with over 6000ft climb overall, it’s easy to understand why!
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We had nine Harriers complete the race, who are all very fragile in the days after (especially Ryan Wilkinson). A fantastic effort by Spencer Riley led our runners home, when he finished in 15th place, with a time of 02:19:11. He finished only 1 place behind Rob Hope and 2 places in front of Mark Mcgoldrick, highlighting what a super effort this really was!
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David Bagot was our next Harrier home in 02:49:07, whilst bruised and battered Ryan was home in just under the 3 hour mark in 02:58:46. Next over the finish was Jean Brown 03:02:38, shortly followed by Kieran Carr in 03:04:27. Wendy Dodds put in another stellar effort, finishing home in 03:07:32, and Katy Thompson finished in 03:50:01. Both ladies were the only F60s to compete at the race! Richard Briscoe ended his torturous adventure around the fells in 03:24:50, whilst John Russius brought the men home in 03:43:21. Great performances from all!
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