Lorblanchet and Mora to defend titles at the IAU Trail World Championships
The 3rd IAU Trail World Championships will take place on 9 July in Connemara, Ireland. Both the men’s and women’s winners from the 2nd edition held in Serre Chevalier, Thomas Lorblanchet (FRA) and Cecilia Mora (ITA), will be at the start line in Connemara.
Connemara resides on the western part of Ireland and is a short drive from Galway. The region is marked by majestic boundaries of the Atlantic Ocean on the western, northern and southern regions. This is complemented by numerous cliffs painting the scene for a picturesque setting.
The race will take place through Connemara National Park.
The Trail World Championships are currently on a two year rotating schedule. For the first time in the short history of this event, the IAU and Local Organizing Committee (LOC) have introduced the team concept to the championships. This is similar to the team events held in conjunction with the individual 24 Hour and 100km World Championships.
Since every trail is different in its terrain and altitude, athlete performances do not accurately translate from race to race. So the list is compiled on the basis of past performances and participation in IAU major events.
In the Men’s event, the winner of the 2nd edition of this event from Serre Chevalier, Thomas Lorblanchet (FRA) is back to defend his title. He will be accompanied by Dachhiri Sherpa (NEP) who finished second at the same event. Lorblanchet’s teammate, Thierry Breuil finished fifth in Serre Chevalier and will try to move up the standings in Connemara. Other notable runners include multi-talented Daniel Oralek (CZE) and 100km specialist Allen Smalls (GBR). The Irish men’s team led by veteran Thomas Maguire will try to get the home team on the podium.
Mirroring the men’s event, last edition’s winner Cecilia Mora (ITA) will be running in Connemara trying to replicate her performance from Serre Chevalier. Other podium finishers from 2009 are absent but the field is stacked by several fast 100km runners, namely, Margrethe Logavlen (NOR) who had an outstanding 2010 season and Denise McHale (CAN) set a personal best at the 100km World Championship in Gibraltar. Commonwealth Championship 100km bronze medalist Lucy Colquhoun (GBR) will be toeing the line too. First time participant Jeannie Bomford (RSA) is coming off a strong showing in trail ultra races in her home country winning the three-day trail race Africa X. The same is true of her teammate Katya Soggot who has an outstanding trail season.
Athletes will start at Kylemore Abbey near the village of Letterfack. They will run through the Diamond Hill which reaches an altitude of 442 metres. This will be followed by passages through Twelve Ben Mountains and Kylemore Lough. The runners will get a myriad of surfaces, including (but not limited to), mountains, grassland trails, compacted gravel trails, open countryside amongst other terrain.
The Championship race starts at 0700 Hours (GMT +1). It will be an exciting event with several top athletes vying for the top spots.
Top runners in the Men’s field include (based on previous trail and road performances):
1) Thomas Lorblanchet (FRA)
2) Dachhiri Sherpa (NEP)
3) Thierry Breuil (FRA)
4) Daniel Oralek (CZE)
5) Allen Smalls (GBR)
6) Thomas Maguire (IRL)
Top runners in the women’s field include based on previous trail and road performances):
1) Cecilia Mora (ITA)
2) Margrethe Logavlen (NOR)
3) Lucy Colquhoun (GBR)
4) Denise McHale (CAN)
5) Jeannie Bomford (RSA)
6) Katya Soggot (RSA)
Nadeem Khan for the IAAF