On the third race day of the World Mountain and Trail Running Championships Innsbruck-Stubai 2023 (WMTRC), Benjamin Roubiol and Marion Delespierre, both from France, came out on top and won Gold. The supreme discipline in trail running started in Neustift im Stubai and took both athletes and spectators on an incredible journey around the stunning Kalkkögel - also known as the “Dolomites of North Tyrol” - over a whopping 86.9 km and 6,500 vertical meters.
The race began at 6:30 a.m. local time on Friday, June 9, at the Freizeitzentrum Neustift, Stubai, Austria, and end with a finish in Innsbruck.
‘’During the last few days, we have witnessed the highest level of mountain and trail running competitions that the world has ever seen. Congratulations to all the athletes - you gave it your all and should be proud of what you have achieved. I hope that you will carry this burning light of our sport upon your return to your respective countries and pass on your skills, your experience, your passion, and your commitment to the natural environment to others, whether they are veterans or new joiners to our incredible trail community.
To all the athletes, our hosts in Tirol, all the wonderful volunteers, the event partners, the Local Organising Committee, IAU and WMRA and World Athletics - a huge thank you for creating this amazing experience together. Have good journeys home, enjoy some rest and see you all in Canfranc!’’ says ITRA president Janet Ng.
2023 Trail World Championships Long Trail Women’s Race
Marion Delespierre wins a nerve-wracking Trail Long race
Frenchwoman Marion Delespierre wins the women’s Trail Long over 86.9 kilometers and 6,500 vertical meters in ascent ahead of Katharina Hartmuth from Germany and her fellow French native Manon Bohard Cailler. The best ten women were within minutes of each other for most of the race. Title defender Blandine L’Hirondel had to give up after the first loop in Neustift.
While the women’s Trail Short on Thursday was exciting enough, the decision on the Trail Long was even more suspenseful. The first surprise came only 18 kilometers after the start, when defending champion Blandine L’Hirondel had to abort the race. Following this, Marcela Vasinova from Czechia kept the lead for a long time and was able to play to her strength in the steep parts. However, she had problems in the downhill, which allowed Katharina Hartmuth to come closer and closer before finally gaining on her during the climb to the Hoadl. Then we got to see something that is rather rare at World Championships - the two competitors walking next to each other and chatting for several hundred meters. Behind them, the following seven ladies all came within four to five minutes.
Just like Andreas Reiterer among the men, Hartmuth was the expected winner, but just like him she was overtaken - in her case by Marion Delespierre. On the tar section leading up to the Nordkette, the German tried to keep up but had to admit defeat during the ascent towards the Aspach hut as she just couldn’t keep up with the Frenchwoman’s speed any longer. Not only that, but she also had to fend off Manon Bohard Cailler who kept creeping closer. Her efforts evidently paid off - Katharina Hartmuth won Silver.
“I never expected to win. I wanted to give my best for the French team. But to have won the race - incredible! If anyone was to ask me about it now, I would tell them that doing that many vertical meters and kilometers is not healthy. That being said, I would probably agree to do it again if asked in two- or three-days’ time. For now, I need time to relax and celebrate this victory” the newly minted World in the Trail Long, Marion Delespierre, says.
France won team gold with a total time of 34:58:23 with three results in the top ten women at the finish. Second place in the team results with the total of 35:32:01 was guaranteed to Germany's Ida-Sophie Hegemann, who finished her race in 15th place among women. The Italian women won bronze with a time of 36:20:08.
2023 Trail World Championships Long Trail Women’s Results
Marion Delespierre, FRA – 11:22:31 (814 ITRA Score)
Katharina Hartmuth, GER – 11:29:14 (806 ITRA Score)
Manon Bohard Cailler, FRA – 11:34:22 (800 ITRA Score)
Martina Valmassoi, ITA – 11:44:50 (788 ITRA Score)
Rosanna Buchauer, GER – 11:45:58 (787 ITRA Score)
Allison Baca, USA – 11:56:21 (776 ITRA Score)
Emily Schmitz, USA – 11:58:31 (773 ITRA Score)
Mari Klakegg Fenre, NOR – 12:00:57 (771 ITRA Score)
Akiyama Honoka, JAP – 12:01:23 (770 ITRA Score)
Audrey Tanguy, FRA – 12:01:30 (770 ITRA Score)
2023 Trail World Championships Long Trail Men’s Race
Benjamin Roubiol surprises with victory on the Trail Long
Benjamin Roubiol surprises with victory on the Trail Long. At only 23 years of age, Frenchman Benjamin Roubiol wins the supreme discipline at the World Mountain and Trail Running Championships, the Trail Long, over a royal 86.9 kilometers and 6,500 vertical meters in ascent. Italian Andreas Reiterer was the second to cross the finish line, followed by Peter Frano from Slovakia in third place.
Immediately after the start, a trio of Japanese runners took the lead, with Yamato Yoshino being the first to reach the so-called Naturschauplatz Hühnerspiel. However, once the field returned to Neustift after the initial 17 kilometers of the course, he had fallen back as far as 14 minutes and eventually had to give up.
Italian Andreas Reiterer was in the lead for more than 45 kilometers, at times running solo and leaving a changing field of pursuers up to six minutes behind. But after having passed three peaks as well as the flat approach to Kranebitten, the climb up to the Nordkette caused him trouble, which allowed Benjamin Roubiol to come closer and closer and finally pass Reiterer just before the Aspach hut. On about seven kilometers, the Italian athlete lost eight minutes, but he managed to cross the finish line in second place, 1:23 minutes ahead of Peter Frano from Slovakia. German runner Hannes Namberger, who was one of the hot contenders, especially after Jim Walmsley from the USA had to cancel, didn’t live up to the expectations and came in 14th place with a deficit of 40:19 minutes.
Benjamin Roubiol on his victory: “During the race, I haven’t had time to realize that I was about to win. Even once I passed Andreas Reiterer I wasn’t really sure - in fact, I didn’t realize it until just shortly before the finish line, and I am overjoyed.”
In the team competition, Chassagne was the third Frenchman in 17th place, securing the French victory with a total time of 30:43:09. Strong results from the men of the United States, from fifth to seventh place, gave them second place in the team competition, slightly more than five minutes behind the French, with a total time of 30:48:17. Reiterer secured third place for the Italian team with a total time of 31:29:55.
2023 Trail World Championships Long Trail Men’s Results
Benjamin Roubiol, FRA – 09:52:59 (937 ITRA Score)
Andreas Reiterer, ITA – 10:00:46 (925 ITRA Score)
Peter Fraňo, SVK -10:02:10 (923 ITRA Score)
Thibaut Garrivier, FRA – 10:14:49 (904 ITRA Score)
Drew Holmen, USA – 10:15:40 (903 ITRA Score)
Zach Miller, USA – 10:15:45 (903 ITRA Score)
Eric Lipuma, USA – 10:16:52 (901 ITRA Score)
Ramon Manetsch, SUI – 10:17:13 (900 ITRA Score)
Tomáš Farník, CZE – 10:18:02 (899 ITRA Score)
Wlater Manser, SUI – 10:19:19 (897 ITRA Score)