Janelle Lincks Wins, Darren Thomas 4th at GTNS Final Stage 2

Announcement from the Golden Trail Series supported by American Trail Running Association (ATRA) member Salomon. Photos: Golden Trail Series.

Between the scorching sun and heavy rain, the Golden Trail National Series (GTNS) athletes were up against the elements in the second stage of the Grand Final in the Azores.

Saturday, October 23rd – Sao Jorge Island, The Azores, Portugal. The day appeared to be a stunner on the beautiful São Jorge Island. In the distance Pico was silhouetted in the warm rays of sun that danced on the ocean waves creating thousands of glittering reflections.

But logistical blips forced the organizers to delay the start, originally scheduled at 11 am, by one hour, and what had until then been a gentle warm caress suddenly turned into stifling heat. In the distance, clouds heralding a sudden change in the weather seemed drawn towards the volcanic shores. Runners were still making their way along the coastline when the rain suddenly engulfed them on the 29K course with 1,700 meters of vertical. Between relief and disillusion, they had to choose their mood!

Photo: Golden Trail Series.

Women’s Race

She appeared way too strong. Right from the first kilometers Janelle Lincks (USA) took the lead and didn’t let anyone overtake, creating a greater and greater gap over her pursuers as the kilometers passed. “I don’t think I set off too fast, she confided at the finish. But as soon as I hit the first climb, at km 13, I pushed. I had to manage the technical sections, and I fell twice… But over the last five, fairly flat, kilometers I gave it full gaz because I knew they could catch up with me. I’m pretty happy with my race and I feel like I managed it well. For tomorrow, obviously, the aim is to defend this first place, but I don’t want to kill myself either. I have a big race in Moab in November and I’d like to be able to do it well.”

Third in the first stage, Eleanor Davis (UK) gained one position on this second stage. “I’m so glad it rained… It was really hot at the start, and it really helped. The course route was magnificent and was much more suited to me with flatter sections and I especially liked the downhills. Thanks to that I was one place higher today. It’s great but we’ll see what the body says tomorrow because I never do more than 80 kilometers a week, otherwise I get injured. Usually, I compensate with a lot of cycling, so we’ll see how the last stage pans out.”

Anna-Stinna Erkkilä (Team Salomon, Finland), second yesterday, finished third this time. “It was pretty hard today, she confides. I pushed as much as I could, but I never managed to catch them. I could see them in front of me throughout the race, I thought I could catch up to them in the downhills, but no. I’m still thrilled to be so consistent after having run at El Hierro. Tomorrow, I’ll have to run a smart race to keep my place on the podium.”

Men’s Race

On the first day they were discreet, the Hispanic runners have now taken over and the leader of the revolution: Abrahan Hernandes (MEX) finished more than two minutes ahead of his pursuers. “It was a very tough stage but the race course gave me an opportunity that I wanted to grab. So, I set off in the lead and I’m really proud that I kept it. For tomorrow, I will just give everything I have, and obviously my goal is to go for the podium.”

Behind him is the Spaniard Daniel Castillo Fernadez (C.A.A Marathon Crevillent, ESP). ” There was good and bad today but I’m happy with my race as I could catch up on some time and most importantly, some places. Now, I need to keep an eye on the top 5 and I’m going to do what I can for the podium.”

It is another Mexican, Juan Carlos Carera (Team Buff, MEX) who completes the podium. “The race was really fast in comparison with yesterday. It was very hot at the start and then it rained. You had to manage all that but I’m still very pleased with my race. I tried to find my rhythm with some very stony and tricky sections. Tomorrow I am of course going to try for the podium.”

Photo: Golden Trail Series.

Race Results

Men
1 –ABRAHAN HERNANDES (MEX) 02:24:43
2 – DANIEL CASTILLO FERNANDEZ (ESP – C.A.A MARATHON CREVILLENT) 02:26:54
3 – JUAN CARLOS CARERA (MEX – BUFF) 02:27:31
4 – DARREN THOMAS (USA – SALOMON) 02:27:50
5 – MORITZ AUF DER HEIDE (GER – ADIDAS TERREX) 02:28:39

Women
1 – JANELLE LINCKS (USA) 02:47:48
2 – ELEANOR DAVIS (GBR) 02:50:41
3 – ANNA-STINNA ERKKILÄ (FIN – SALOMON) 02:51:05
4 – KATARINA LOVRATOVA (SVK) 02:59:17
5 – JAEL MORALES (MEX) 03:00:06

Overall GTNS Ranking

Men
1 – DARREN THOMAS (USA – SALOMON) 05:17:49
2 – JUAN CARLOS CARERA (MEX – BUFF) 05:20:24
3 – MORITZ AUF DER HEIDE (GER – ADIDAS TERREX) 05:21:38
4 – DANIEL CASTILLO FERNANDEZ (ESP – C.A.A MARATHON CREVILLENT) 05:23:46
5 – ABRAHAN HERNANDES (MEX) 05:28:37

Women
1 – JANELLE LINCKS (USA) 06:14:29
2 – ANNA-STINNA ERKKILÄ (FIN – SALOMON) 06:18:49
3 – ELEANOR DAVIS (GBR) 06:20:23
4 – KATARINA LOVRATOVA (SVK) 06:36:19
5 – JAEL MORALES (MEX) 06:36 :37

Check out the full race results here: https://resultados.stopandgo.pro/643/Live

What’s next on the program:

Sunday 24th October: stage 3 – 31km/1,350 m V+ (Faial Island) – Course Map

Follow the LIVE stories during the race on the Golden Trail Series Instagram page, as well as the live streaming on the Golden Trail Series Facebook page.

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