French won Championships by team

Post race report - 2019 Trail World Championships

In Miranda Do Corvo, athletes from fifty-three nations set off on the trails of the Trilhos dos Abutres race in Portugal, on Saturday June 8. Once again this year, trail-running values resonated at the heart of the Trail World Championships. The values of Humility, Fair Play, Authenticity and Respect all showed themselves, along these steep trails.

jonathan albon  blandine l hirondel
Jonathan Albon and Blandine L'Hirondel at the finish line - credit photo: benoit Roux ITRA

The British Jonathan Albon (911 ITRA Performance Index) and the French Blandine L'Hirondel (747 ITRA PI), respectively won in 03h35min34s and 4h06min15s over 44km and 2,120m of elevation gain and 1,970m of elevation loss. On the team side, the French dominated the Championships and got the top spot on the podium.


Womens ranking

  1. Blandine L’Hirondel (747 ITRA PI) – France : 4.06.15
  2. Ruth Croft (791 ITRA PI) – New Zealand : 4.14.27
  3. Sheila Avilés (764 ITRA PI) – Spain : 4.15.03
  4. Azara Garcia de los Salmones (785 ITRA PI)– Spain: 4.15.42
  5. Denisa Dragomir (750 ITRA PI)– Romania: 4.15.42

Mens ranking

  1. Jonathan Albon (911 ITRA PI) – Great Britain: 03:35:34
  2. Julien Rancon (885 ITRA PI) – France: 3:37:47
  3. Christian Mathys (844 ITRA PI) – Switzerland: 3:40:34
  4. Francesco Puppi (893 ITRA PI) – Italy: 3:40:44
  5. Nicolas Martin (905 ITRA PI) – France: 3:42:27 

Womens team results

  1. France 12:50:53
  2. Spain: 12:51:58
  3. Romania: 13:36:28
  4. Italy: 13:44:38
  5. Great Britain: 13:51:28

Mens team results

  1. France : 11 :03 :35 
  2. Great Britain : 11 :13 :28
  3. Spain : 11 :18 :35 
  4. Italy : 11 :20 :46 
  5. Portugal : 11 :32 :11

The race of the Championships

The race started in the center Mirando Do Corvo. The Portuguese city hosted several hundred international supporters. Cheers echoed around the city walls as fans cheered support for the fifty-three delegations represented at the event.

Runners moved out quickly, to place themselves near the lead as they reached the narrow and technical trails at the beginning of the route. Swiss Christian Mathys came first at the 16th kilometer mark in Senhora Da Piedade, followed very closely by British athlete Jonathan Albon and the Spaniard Luis Alberto Hernando. In the women's competition, French runner Blandine L'Hirondel calmly led the way, followed by the Romanian Denisa Dragomir. The two Spaniards Sheila Avilés and Azara Garcia de los Salmones, were quick to make their way into the top five, determined not to give up the race lead. 

christian mathys  jonathan albon
Christian Mathys and Jonathan Albon leading the race. Credit photo Benoit Roux ITRA
sheila aviles  blandine l hirondel
Sheila Avlies and Blandine L'Hirondel - Crédit Photo Benoit Roux ITRA

At the 26th kilometer, before Mestrinhas, the Swiss runner Mathys still led the race. Albon, just behind, had more energy and resources to finish his race. The leaders held on, trying not to let their positions slip away. Two young trail runners earned a place in the top five, French runner Alexandre Fine and the Italian Francesco Puppi, both of whom passed just ahead of the Spaniard Luis Alberto Hernando, who tried valiantly to hold onto his position in the lead pack. On the women's side, Blandine L'Hirondel, smiling, stayed in first place with a 6-minute lead. Then came, the Spaniard female stars, Sheila Avilés and Azara Garcia, arrived in a hurry to close the gap with the Romanian in second place. In 5th position, slightly behind, came the New Zealander Ruth Croft. 

julien rancon Ruth Croft
Julien Rancon and Ruth Croft following the head of the race. Credit photo Benoit Roux ITRA

Back in Miranda Do Corvo, Briton Jonathan Albon crossed the finish line in 03h35min34s. Two minutes later, it was Julien Rançon from France taking second, followed by Christian Mathys from Switzerland.  French runner Blandine L'Hirondel to become the Trail World Champion in 4h06min15s. Six minutes later came the New Zealander Ruth Croft, who made a dazzling comeback to take second place in the championships. The Spanish Sheila Avilés closes the podium, followed closely by her compatriot Azara Garcia and the Romanian Denisa Dragomir.

blandine l hirondel  jonathan albon
Blandine and Jonathan at the finish line - credit photo : Benoit Roux ITRA

In the team competition, the French men and women won the Trail World Championships and covered the two podiums with their national color. In the women's category, the Spaniards went on to take second place. For the first time in the history of trail-running, Romanian women reached the third step of the team podium. In the men's second place was the British team, followed by the Spaniards on the third step of the podium.


julien rancon  Ruth Croft
Julien Rancon and Ruth Croft both, second. Credit photo: Benoit Roux ITRA
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