Kilian Jornet and Maude Mathys Set Records at European Classic Sierre-Zinal Mountain Race

Written by Corsa in Montagna for the World Mountain Running Association. ATRA executive director Nancy Hobbs is the treasurer of the World Mountain Running Association. Photos by Corsa in Montagna.

It was a day of the records in Sierre-Zinal for race #5 of the WMRA Mountain Running World Cup. Kilian Jornet Burgada (ESP) smashed the course record of Jonathan Wyatt (2:29:12 set in 2003) by clocking an incredible 2 hours 25 minutes and 35 seconds. The Catalan runner built a solid lead since the beginning of the race with an incredible pace.

American Jim Walmsley raced to a 3rd place finish. Photo: Corsa in Montagna.

At Ponchette and Chandolin splits the Kilian was ahead by over 2 minutes over the 2016 winner Petro Mamu (ERI) and was also faster than Jonathan Wyatt’s course record pace. Between Chandolin and Hotel Weisshorn, Kilian Jornet relaxed a bit going 20 seconds over Wyatt’s record while Mamu had reduced the gap to 1 minute 27 seconds.

What happened from Weisshorn to finish was something amazing with both athletes literally flying to the finish at Zinal. Kilian made big difference today with an uphill so powerful that he earned so much time over everyone and in second part of the race such that he was able to push hard, ending an historical race and beating one of the oldest course record in mountain running.

Sage Canaday (USA). Photo: Corsa in Montagna.

Kilian Jornet Burgada won the 2019 Sierre-Zinal race in 2 hours 25 minutes 35 seconds while second place was for a superb Petro Mamu (ERI) who clocked 2 hours 26 minutes 17 seconds going also under former record by around 3 minutes. 50 mile road running record holder Jim Walmsley (USA) made the podium with a time of 2 hours 31 minutes 52 seconds after a very positive debut for him in this European mountain running classic. Juan Carlos Carera and Robbie Simpson (GBR) completed the top five.

WMRA Mountain Running World Cup leader Andrew Douglas (GBR ) placed sixth and consolidated his leadership in the overall World Cup standings.

Other American men’s finishes included Sage Canaday (11th), Max King (17th), Christian Gering (28th), Eric Blake (45th), Andy Wacker (55th), Galen Burrell (61st), Jackson Brill (78th) and Matt Daniels (85th) and Christopher Chidley (211th).

Mathys Maude winning the women’s race. Photo: Corsa in Montagna.

History was made also in the women’s race where Maude Mathys (SUI) wrote a legendary page in the mountain running book of records by dominating a race that she completed in many times but never won.

Set in 2008, 2 hours 54 minutes 26 seconds was the old record belonging to Anna Pichrtova (CZE) but today the Swiss athlete and back to back defending European Mountain Running Champion broke the record with magic 2 hours 49 minutes 20 seconds, a time impossible to predict.

She dominated race without any trouble and her gap was increasing each kilometer taking 51st place overall. With this being the best ever men’s field ever assembled, her result was all the more impressive.

Crossing the finish in 2 hours 54 minutes 20 seconds, Judith Wyder (SWI) completed a terrific 1-2 punch from Swiss team and she went under the old course record as well.

After an exciting battle with Wyder, third place went to Silvia Rampazzo (ITA) in 2 hours 56 minutes 17 seconds, the Italian female fastest result on the legendary Swiss course.

There was a sprint battle for fourth place where Ruth Croft (NZL) was able to beat Anais Sabrie (FRA).

Other American women’s finishes included Yiou Wang (53rd), Jessica Brazeau (56th), Emily Clark (69th), Kristin Burrell (80th), Lisbeth Brooks (80th), Niveen Ismail (103rd), and Sylvie Houbart (190th).

As Douglas did in the men’s World Cup competition, Sarah McCormack (IRL) gained some more important points for her leadership in WMRA Mountain Running World Cup as well. Her 12th place and the DNF by Lucy Murigi due to injury could represent the final step to the crystal world trophy for her come October.

Next race for the WMRA Mountain Running World Cup in scheduled for the 14th of September at Drei Zinnen in Sexten, part of the Italian Dolomiti mountains. The final race will be held at the historical Smarna Gora, in Slovenia, on October 12th.

Complete results at:

Max King (USA). Photo: Corsa in Montagna.

Here are some social media posts from the American athletes who raced at Sierre-Zinal:


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