The Drei Zinnen Alpine Run, the sixth event in the World Mountain Running Association World Cup, delivered an exciting race at the weekend, with some more great success for GB and Ireland athletes.
Against the stunning backdrop of the Dolomites, including the Forcella Pian de Cengia and the Tre Cime di Lavaredo, which will be familiar to anybody who’s run the Lavaredo Ultra Trail, the runners took on his 17k race, which packs in 1300m of ascent. It was Sarah Tunstall (GB) and Petro Mamu (ERI) who took the wins in two new course records. See how all the action unfolded in this video:
The race started with a lap around the town of Sesto and it was an incredibly fast start. In the women’s race Sarah Tunstall soon established a lead and by the 7k point (at Fondavalle Hut) she had a minute on second placed Sarah McCormack, the leader of the World Cup. The chasing pack, which indluded Kenyan Wanja Nganga, Czech runner Lucie Marsanova, Timea Merenyi from Hungary and the Swiss ski mountaineering athlete Victoria Kreuzer, was a further minute behind.
In the men’s race it was the Eritrean Petro Mamu who made the first move attacking the race before the climbing began in earnest at 7k. Running with him was Joe Gray (USA) and compatriot Filimon Abraham, while the World Cup leader Andrew Douglas held a position just behind with the Italians Francesco Puppi and Hannes Perkmann who were slightly further back.
Once the steep climbing started Sarah Tunstall remained strong and managed to stretch out her lead, with Sarah McCormack chasing hard in second, and the women’s record looked in jeopardy. In the men’s race Petro Mamu and Joe Gray were battling it out with neither able to strike out in a lead on their own. They remained neck and neck with the lead changing hands until Gray stumbled in the very last section and Mamu managed to open a lead.
Sarah Tunstall won the women’s race in a new course record of 1.41.45, with Sarah Mccormack second in 1.46.21, and third place went to Victoria Kreuzer in 1.47.40. Mamu held onto his lead in the end, setting the new course record of 1.22.37. Joe Gray was second in 1.23.09 and Filimon Abraham third in 1.25.55. GB’s Andrew Douglas was fifth and Ireland’s Zak Hannah seventh.
Andrew Douglas is now unbeatable in the World Cup, with 525 points. Filimon Abraham is also untouchable in second with 320 points but it’s still possible that Zak Hannah could get third as there are several athletes with around 200 points. Sarah McCormack is also confirmed as World Cup champion, with 395 points. Her victory at Drei Zinnen takes Sarah Tunstall into second place with 200 points. Behind her is Andrea Huser, then Emma Clayton, Louise Mercer and Charlotte Morgan in fourth to sixth. Could we see a British and Irish 1-2-3 in the women’s World Cup? It will all be decided at the final race, the Smarna Gora Race in Ljubljana, 12th October 2019.
See the current standings for the World Cup.
All images copyright Marco Gulberti/Corsa in Montagna