Kilian Jornet and Eli Anne Dvergsdal, winners of a hot Zegama – Aizkorri
Zegama continues adding years, emotions, epic and magic. The XVIII edition, under a hard and strong June heat, has made vibrate and put the goosebumps once more to the whole world. Kilian Jornet (3:52:47) and Eli Anne Dvergsdal (4:36:06) have been the fastest to complete the course and have won.
Radiant and intense sun, clear blue sky and gentle breeze. And the mountains dyed deep green around expectant to everything that was going to happen. That was the weather at 9 in the morning in the center of Zegama for all the runners. A calm and unusual weather that would influence the course of the race, both for runners and spectators, who have filled every meter of the course to give all their encouragement to the participants. A calm climate that would have nothing to do with the intense and exciting show that the 42 km and 5,472 m of elevation gain, the first date of the Golden Trail Series, were going to offer.
For days the expectation was maximum and Zegama, once again, has not disappointed anyone. The Catalan runner Kilian Jornet has made his ninth victory in this race with a time of 3:52:47, in a race that he has comfortably led from start to finish. For its part, the Norwegian Eli Anne Dvergsdal, who was premiering in Zegama, has also managed to defend her first position since the beginning (4:36:06). Three minutes after Jornet, the Polish Bartlomiej Przedwojewski reached the finish line (3:55:26), who already knew the taste of the podium, as he won a third position last year. And just a minute behind him, the Frenchman Thibaut Baronian (3:56:20) appeared with a smile from ear to ear for this third position. Everything pointed to that it would be a record race but finally the suffocating heat has knocked down some of the favorites and only three riders have been able to get out of the 4 hours. Behind the surprise of the champion Eli Anne Dvergsdal, two more surprises, the Italian Elisa Desco (4:47:30) crossed in second position and the French Amandine Ferrato (4:47:38) in third place. The event has kicked off the Golden Trail Series, a circuit made up of the most emblematic mountain races in the world.
Kilian Jornet returns to Zegama and wins again
Nine victories and ten participations. Since 2016 that Kilian did not step on Zegama and his return has not disappointed anyone. From the beginning, the Cerdanya runner has set a good pace and has remained in the top positions to reach and not abandon the first place from kilometer 16 to the end. “In today’s race the main rival was the heat and this has made it even harder. We came out very fast and I was afraid of bursting but I managed to manage it, the environment of Zegama is indescribable“declared Jornet after his arrival at the finish line.
A good group of runners aspiring to victory have come out like a bolt of lightning with the kick-off at 9 am amid shouts from the public. The American Andy Wacker has defended the first place until kilometer 16 (Aratz) when Kilian has imposed his pace and has stolen the position of leader to make it his. Behind him and trying to hold the pace were chased by Aritz Egea, Oriol Cardona, Thibaut Baronian or Bartlomiej Przedwojewski. Jornet, securing his first place, would be the first to receive the shouts and feel the euphoria of spectators totally delivered in Sancti Spiritu (km 19.6), the most magical segment of the race, to fly to the top of the Aizkorri ( km 22). At this point the winner of the last edition, Rémi Bonnet, dropped down and left the race and the rear positions began to be defined at the same time that the heat began to affect various favorite runners leaving them behind, such as Aritz Egea, Andy Wacker or Petter Enghdal. Thus, Bartlomiej Przedwojewski took second place with Thibaut Baronian on his heels in third place. Already in Oltze (km 26.6), about to face the last climb up to Andraitz (km 30), the holder of the race record, Stian Angermund-Vik has also asserted his name and sneaked into the fourth position , maintaining it and finally obtaining the chocolate medal. In this way, in the last 26 kilometers, the first four positions have been maintained until reaching the center of Zegama exhausted. For the ninth time Jornet has entered triumphant between applause and shouts from the public, recognizing that this is one of his favorite races. “Finishing first, second, third or tenth in a race like that is not important. What is spectacular is the atmosphere, without all the public cheering this would not be the same “, has been the first thing Jornet said when crossing the finish line very grateful and satisfied. Thus, for the second year in a row, the male podium of the Zegama-Aizkorri is once again 100% Salomon.
Eli Anne Dvergsdal, first mountain marathon, first Zegama and victory
As in 2016 history repeats itself and another young Norwegian girl gives the surprise in Zegama. Three years ago it was Yngvild Kaspersen who surprised everyone and this year has been a compatriot of his, Eli Anne Dvergsdal (4:36:06), who has reached the goal exhausted but happy. “It’s my first marathon, it’s been very hard but the mood of the audience and the whole environment has made it wonderful,” he declared after recovering. This 27-year-old runner was premiering in the marathon distance and was treading for the first time Zegama and could not do better. In the women’s starting line there were great names like Megan Kimmel, the same Yngvild Kaspersen, Oihana Kortazar or Maite Maiora but finally it was Dvergsdal who took the victory against all odds. From the beginning Dvergsdal has strengthened the first position and has maintained it until the end. Behind him several names fighting for the first positions: the Italian Elisa Deco and the French Amandine Ferrato, who finally finished second and third respectively. Without forgetting Megan Kimmel, who was looking to get rid of the thorn of the sixth position last year, the holder of the record of the race, Maite Maiora and the Basque runners Oihana Kortazar and Oihana Azkorbebeitia. However, from kilometer 19.6, in Sancti Spiritu, the three positions were maintained until a few kilometers from the end, Elisa Desco has overtaken Amandine Ferrato and has taken second place, leaving the third drawer for the French, which in 2017 was third and first in Sierre Zinal and the OCC, respectively. Both have arrived with a few seconds difference and almost 10 minutes from the winner. In fourth place came the Catalan Gisela Carrión, who was premiering in Zegama and the fifth position was for Oihana Kortazar.
In its eighteenth edition, the Zegama Aizkorri has returned with a unique atmosphere, with thousands of fans distributed throughout the course to give shape to a marathon that nobody wants to miss and that this year has crowned an acquaintance and a surprise: Kilian Jornet and Eli Anne Dvergsdal. All this without forgetting the volunteers, faithful to Zegama, who take care of even the smallest detail so that, year after year, everything goes perfect and the magic continues to shine in this small town of Guipúzcoa.
Zegama-Aizkorri Junior Trail
With the marathon already under way, at 10:30 am the seventh edition of the Zegama-Aizkorri Junior Trail has started. 10.4km and 1,016m of altitude that test the future of the trail, dozens of young people who also want to be part of the Zegama party. Gontzal Murgoitio (45:52) and Laia Gonfaus (57:50) have written his name as winners of this youth version of the Guipuzcoan race. Albert Perez and Íker Diges have completed the podium in the men’s category; while in the female Andrea Sinfreu and Alba Mendiolagoitia have accompanied Iturra in the second and third drawer.