Success in the stunning Slovenian mountains as Hrastovec and Pascall shine at Julian Alps by UTMB and attentions turn to Wildstrubel by UTMB next weekend
Slovenian victory in the 100M race at Julian Alps by UTMB for Ivan Hrastovec, while British runner Fiona Pascall takes the women's title, finishing in an incredible second place overall.
Upcoming Wildstrubel by UTMB promises the 4,000 runners exceptional, wild, unspoilt landscapes, Alpine passes and picturesque mountain pastures.
The Slovenian mountains delivered stunning conditions this weekend for the Julian Alps Trail Run by UTMB®, as runners gathered in Kranjska Gora ready to be part of Slovenia’s biggest trail running event and earn precious Running Stones for next year’s UTMB® World Series Finals.
Ivan Hrastovec (SVN – UTMB Index 798) returned to defend his title from 2021 in the I Feel Slovenia Ultra Trail distance. Crushing his previous time by almost two hours, Hrastovec celebrated another victory on home soil after completing the 170km race with a two-hour buffer on second-placed male Kevin Biggs (CAN – UTMB Index 778) and Fernando Alvarez (ESP – UTMB Index 742) in third.
“With Julian Alps by UTMB now being a UTMB event, winning also means I qualified for the UTMB World Series Finals in Chamonix. Now that I have been offered it and have earned it, I will probably take advantage of that and give UTMB a go!” said Hrastovec who was buzzing after the race.
The performance of the weekend came from British runner, Fiona Pascall (UTMB Index 708). Completing the course in 24:39:07, Pascall crossed the line second overall behind Hrastovec and first female by a huge margin in her debut 100-mile race.
“I have been to Slovenia before but have never experienced the Julian Alps and had heard great things about it. I wanted to do a UTMB World Series event and Slovenia made me pick this one. It certainly delivered” commented Pascall.
“My favorite part was a little village around the 50km mark. There was a street party going on and there were three generations of locals all giving me high fives and ringing cow bells. They were so into it, and it was so lovely to see.”
Having suffered a DNF at the UTMB TDS® in Chamonix earlier in the month, Esther Fellhofer (AUT – UTMB Index 718) bounced back to take second place, with Barabara Jolić (SVN – UTMB Index 688) rounding out the podium in third.
The 100km Ultra Sky Trail proved to be a battle from start to finish, with just over 15 minutes separating the top 5 runners. It was all to play for halfway through the race when race leader, Aleksander Badowski (POL – UTMB Index 771) conceded two places atop Stol. He found more fighting spirit and energy to claw back the lead however, crossing the line in first ahead of Markus Mingo (GER – UTMB Index 795) and Alexandros Karykas (GRE – UTMB Index 723).
Juliane Rössler (GER – UTMB Index 656) ticked off her 100km debut in style, taking the tape ahead of Lenka Hiklová (SLO – UTMB Index 649) and Tajda Knafelj (SVN – UTMB Index 638). Having finished second at the 50K Restonica Trail by UTMB, Rössler is proving to be a strong force on the trails.
In the 50km Sky Trail, Tobias Geiser (ITA - UTMB Index 845) added another victory to his accolades, crossing the line ahead of Janez Klancnik (SVN – UTMB Index 819) and Andrei Gabriel Dragan (ROU – UTMB Index 732). It has been a busy year for the Italian runner, who has taken the opportunity to experience and explore many of the UTMB World Series events, including a victory at Mozart 100 by UTMB®, alongside racing Istria 100 by UTMB®, Transvulcania La Palma Island by UTMB®, and Eiger Ultra-Trail by UTMB®.
In the women’s race, Sabine Wurmsam (GER – UTMB Index 671) secured one of her best victories to date, with Barbora Cicha (CZE – UTMB Index 637) and Olivia Taylor (GBR – UTMB Index 565) crossing the line in second and third place respectively.
In the Kranjska Gora Trail, Szabo Sandor (HUN – UTMB Index 558) was first across the line in a speedy 1:50:51. As one of five athletes to cross the line under the two-hour mark, Sandor was joined on the podium by Dimitri Chapelle (FRA – UTMB Index 780) and Edoardo Rossano (ITA – UTMB Index 717) in second and third.
Track runner, Marguerite Richart (FRA – UTMB Index 595) surprised herself with victory in the women’s race, clinching the win by less than one minute ahead of Kitti Posztós (HUN) and closely followed by Barbora Marková (CZE – UTMB Index 624) in third.
“My distance is normally 1,500m on the track but I am travelling Europe and have been in Slovenia for a month now so thought it would be a good idea to do this race while I am here. I am glad I did, it was a nice race,” said Richard.
Closing out the event, last finisher Sofija Vušović (SVN – UTMB Index 429) was welcomed across the line after enduring 45:55:34 to complete the 170km race. The town square came alive as the trail running community lined the finish line to celebrate an unforgettable Julian Alps by UTMB and the achievements of runners across the distances.
Next up, UTMB World Series heads to Switzerland for Wildstrubel by UTMB®.
Three days to go to the second edition of the Wildstrubel by UTMB
4 races ranging from 100M to 20K
A race for people with disabilities and 2 joëlettes for an inclusive event
Entertainment and concerts featuring Mike le Troubadour over the weekend
100% Wild. A byword and a promise. The event, which straddles the cantons of Valais and Bern and crosses 5 iconic tourist destinations, promises the 4,000 runners exceptional, wild, unspoilt landscapes, Alpine passes and picturesque mountain pastures during this second Swiss epic.
With an extra race on the program this year, and a short format in Crans-Montana dedicated to people with disabilities, the Wildstrubel by UTMB® has rounded off its line-up offering a weekend packed with sport and festivities for all.
The competition gets underway on Friday morning at 05:00 at Place Ycoor in Crans-Montana with the start of the Wild 110, which will take almost 800 runners around the Wildstrubel massif, via the Cave du Sex and the Gemmi pass, before reaching Kandersteg, then Adelboden on the Bernese side via the Bunderschrinde – the wildest pass on the route. From there, it’s on to the Hahnenmos Pass and the Iffigenalp waterfall, a haven of peace at the entrance to the Lenk. New for runners this year: the route passes through the Cabane Wildstrubel – the highest point of the course at 2,800m – and the Rawil pass, before heading back to Valais and Crans-Montana for a finish at around 18:00 on Friday for the frontrunners and up to 11:00 on Sunday for the last finishers.
On Saturday, there will be two starts in Bern: the first at 07:00 in Kandersteg for the Wild 70 (100K category) and the second at 08:30 in Adelboden for the Wild 50 (50K category). Both courses are centred around the Wildstrubel massif and Crans-Montana. The event concludes on Sunday with the shortest format of the weekend: 25km and 1,150m D+ between Leukerbad and Crans-Montana.
Kathrin G[OETZLink (UTMB Index 724),Sara ESCOBAR CARRON (UTMB Index 690), Tristan BLANCHARD (UTMB Index 817), Ramon MANETSCH (UTMB Index 873) and Aurélien BERTHOLET (UTMB Index 776) – there is a strong Swiss presence at the front of each of the event’s four races over the weekend. Kathrin G[OETZLink (UTMB Index 724),Sara ESCOBAR CARRON (UTMB Index 690), Tristan BLANCHARD (UTMB Index 817), Ramon MANETSCH (UTMB Index 873) and Aurélien BERTHOLET (UTMB Index 776) – there is a strong Swiss presence at the front of each of the event’s four races over the weekend.
There is also a remarkable international field with Vincent VIET (FRA - UTMB Index 835), Andy SIMONDS (GBR - UTMB Index 845) and Arnaud LEJEUNE (FRA - UTMB Index 813) running the 100M. And an exceptional elite group running the Wild 70 with Anne-Lise ROUSSET (FRA - UTMB Index 748), Claire BANNWARTH (FRA - UTMB Index 696) and Simone SCHWARZ (GER - UTMB Index 654) in the women's race, while Aurélien DUNAND PALLAZ (FRA - UTMB Index 896) and Alexis COME (FRA - UTMB Index 784) will be challenging Ramon MANETSCH in the men's race.
The Wildstrubel by UTMB® is more than just a sporting event, it's also festive and inclusive! New for the second edition is a race dedicated to people with disabilities. With 30 entries, the event – which is free to enter – will see 30 participants discover the pleasures of running. It will take place on Friday evening in Crans-Montana in collaboration with the Sport Handicap Association in Sierre. The association will also be present on the Wild 25 trail (from the bottom of the Varone mountain pasture) on Sunday morning to take two people with disabilities on a joëlette along the route.