After finishing 3rd at the European Championships – Marathon, Nienke Brinkman is now targeting the Golden Trail World Series podium!
Not so long ago, nobody had heard of Nienke Brinkman (Team Nike, The Netherlands) and she sprang to the forefront of running when she finished with an astonishing second place at Sierre-Zinal in 2021. Since then, nicknamed "The Flying Dutchwoman", she never stops surprising! Last season, victorious at Chiemgau, and then at Skyrhune, she finished second at the Golden Trail World Series 2021 just behind the powerful Maude Mathys (Team Salomon, Switzerland). In 2022, Nienke Brinkman crossed a new threshold… After beating her Swiss rival at the legendary Zegama, where she smashed the record, she just won a podium spot at the European Championships – Marathon. So, what are her ambitions for the end of the season?
From hockey to running
Nienke Brinkman was born in Indonesia to Dutch parents and now lives in Zurich where she is doing a PhD in geophysics. This multi-talented traveller has always been a sports fanatic. "I’ve always played field hockey, " she explains. "You need to run a lot in this sport, which explains why I’ve always loved it so much." When she moved to Zurich for her studies, she began taking running more seriously. She joined several university sports clubs, including a running club. "Here I realised that I was pretty good at it because they put me in the best group, which was only boys, and even despite that I wasn’t the slowest!" So, she decided to do a crazy challenge: run the Amsterdam Marathon. "It was a challenge we decided to do with a group of friends, but then Covid knocked on the door and I couldn’t take part for real, so I decided to do it virtually." Her time was 2h41! Easy to see from that how good she was.
After that she took part in the Zermatt Marathon, again with her running friends. She finished 6th and received an invitation to Sierre-Zinal. "I was really pleased to get this invitation but then, when I saw the list of athletes going, I didn’t dare accept it," she confides. "But as the organisers were insistent, I ended up going. To be honest I didn’t know anything about the Golden Trail World Series, but I did know about Sierre-Zinal!" She finished second just behind Maude Mathys and in front of some of the world’s best trail runners. "I knew I was strong in the uphill, so I gave it everything I could there and then no one caught up with me."
Nienke Brinkman flew through the rest of the season winning the two stages of the Golden Trail World Series that she took part in. At the final on El Hierro, she found herself face-to-face with Maude Mathys. "Before the race I thought maybe I could stick with her, but she was way too strong! She finished third overall! It was impossible for me!" She nevertheless finished the GTWS 2021 season in second place.
Running the road and the trails
In 2022, Nienke Brinkman decided to simultaneously aim for the podium at the European Championships – Marathon and at the Golden Trail World Series. To qualify for the Championships, she ran the Rotterdam Marathon where she scooped a new Dutch record in 2h22. This incredible time placed her as a favourite at the European Championships, where she finished third after an incredible sprint finish. "I had stomach issues on the race, as you do in a marathon. It’s not an excuse! But I learned that if you want things to work in a race, everything must be in synch! That day it wasn’t the case. But I’m nevertheless thrilled with this third place. It was an honour for me to wear the National colours." Now focused on the end of the season Nienke is wary about her goals. "This year, the women’s level is impressive," she explains, "and I don’t know if it’s possible to win the two American races. I’ll do my best and we’ll see. If at the end of the season I manage to finish on the Golden Trail World Series’ podium, I’ll be happy." A modesty in complete contrast with this new running gem’s performance level. The Nike athlete may be making it clear she wants to qualify for the marathon distance at the Olympics – "That’s definitely my goal until 2024, and if I go there, I’m going there to perform, which means I’ll have to do even better and train better" – she explains that despite everything she doesn’t want to give up trail running. "For now, I can do both and I love that. I want to carry on doing both road marathons and the Golden Trail Series. I think you can benefit from both sports and as long as I can do both disciplines, I’ll keep doing them. People are always asking me if I had to choose between the two disciplines, which one would it be, I’d like to say: "If someone gives me gin on one side and tonic on the other, and people ask which I prefer, I think it makes much more sense to mix them together!" That says it all!
30th October 2022, Start 9:00 AM, 30.5 KM, 1,555M V+ FUNCHAL, MADEIRA, PORTUGAL Rémi Bonnet and Allie McLaughlin finish the year in style by winning the last stage in the GTWS 2022 Grand Final!
29th October 2022, Start 9:00 AM, 26.2 KM, 1,940M V+ CURRAL DAS FREIRAS, MADEIRA, PORTUGAL By winning the fourth stage of the Grand Final in Madeira, Rémi Bonnet and Nienke Brinkman are the definitive winners of the Golden Trail World Series 2022!
28th October 2022, Start 5:00 PM, 6.6KM, 350M V+ CANIÇAL, MADEIRA, PORTUGAL In a short but intense time trial Elhousine Elazzaoui and Nienke Brinkman demonstrated their speed.
27th October 2022, Start 9:00 AM, 26.6KM, 1,425M V+ SEIXAL, MADEIRA, PORTUGAL Rémi Bonnet and Nienke Brinkman strengthen their leads by winning the second stage of the Madeira Ocean&Trails® Stage Race.
26th October 2022, Start 9:00 AM, 24.5KM, 1,540M V+ SEIXAL, MADEIRA, PORTUGAL Rémi Bonnet and Allie McLaughlin win the first of the five stages of the Madeira Ocean&Trails® Stage Race, the Golden Trail Series Grand Final.
Newlyweds and currently both ranked in the Golden Trail World Series top 10, Tabor and Eli Hemming are treating themselves to a dream honeymoon in Madeira at the Golden Trail World Series!
Currently second in the GTWS overall ranking, Sophia Laukli is THE women’s revelation this trail-running season. She hesitated a long time about participating in the final, which is very close to her ski season, but she has at last decided she will come to Madeira!
From 26th to 30th October 2022, 5 stages, 109KM, 7,382M V+ Madeira, PORTUGAL / After 6 exhilarating legs in Europe and the USA, the world’s top trail runners will be in Madeira from 26th to 30th October to fight it out on the Madeira Ocean&Trails® Stage Race, in the Golden Trail Series Grand Final.
After Mark Kangogo’s official disqualification for testing positive for two substances banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), we wanted to pass the floor to Pierre Sallet from the Athletes For Transparency Association (AFT) – at the origin of the Health Programme, – to explain the Programme’s precise role, which is now used by the world’s biggest trail running races (Golden Trail Series, UTMB® Mont-Blanc, etc.) and more broadly in sport in general.
Mark Kangogo having accepted his suspension after controlling positive for two substances banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency, the official winner of 2023 Sierre-Zinal is now Andreu Blanes!
On Monday 10th October 2022, the GTS was informed by the Sierre-Zinal Executive Committee that disciplinary proceedings have been brought against the men’s winner of the 2022 edition.
25th September 2022, Start 7:30AM, 26KM, 1,266M V+ FLAGSTAFF, USA Rémi Bonnet and Nienke Brinkman both take the win at the last race of the season and are now leading the Golden Trail World Series before the Grand Final on Madeira Island.
Second in the 2021 GTWS, Francesco Puppi had a difficult start to the season after suffering several elbow injuries. But he proved at Pikes Peak: he is back!
After 8th place at Sierre-Zinal, Danial Osanz just finished an eye-popping 2nd place at the Pikes Peak Ascent, the 5th stage of the GTWS.
17th September 2022, Start 7:00 AM, 21KM, 2,382M V+ MANITOU SPRINGS, USA Rémi Bonnet and Nienke Brinkman win the 5th stage of the Golden Trail World Series
After finishing 3rd at the European Championships – Marathon, Nienke Brinkman is now targeting the Golden Trail World Series podium!
On the sidelines of the 5th stage of the Golden Trail World Series, Rémi Bonnet just beat the record on the legendary Incline at Manitou Springs!
13th August 2022, Start 11:00AM, 31KM, 2,200M V+ SIERRE, SWITZERLAND Esther Chesang took victory at the 4th stage of the GTWS. To finance her trip she sold solidarity bracelets to raise a total of 1,400 euros.
13th August 2022, Start 11:00AM, 31KM, 2,200M V+ SIERRE, SWITZERLAND 5th at Sierre-Zinal this weekend, Kilian Jornet couldn’t find his groove due to cramping!
De pasarse cinco meses afectado por la tercera vacuna contra la Covid a segundo en Sierre Zinal.
13th August 2022, Start 11:00AM, 31KM, 2,200M V+ SIERRE, SWITZERLAND The Kenyans Esther Chesang and Mark Kangogo won the 4th stage of the GTWS, a first time for African runners!
Just before the Marathon du Mont-Blanc and after Zegama, Greg Vollet, Director of the Golden Trail World Series, was interviewed by the website lookcharms.com. Greg talks openly about the origins of the GTWS project and of what he's trying to do to grow the trail running sport on a worldwide scale and showcase the athletes.
Les deux coureurs français ont déjà brillé à Sierre-Zinal et ont de grandes ambitions pour cette quatrième étape de la Golden Trail Wold Series.
España tiene hasta cuatro corredores en el top-10 de la GTWS y todos ellos estarán en Sierre Zinal
Les deux coureurs suisses Rémi Bonnet et Maude Mathys font partie des favoris sur l’une des courses les plus mythiques du monde.
13TH AUGUST 2022, Start 11:00 AM, 31 KM, 2,200M V+ SIERRE, SWITZERLAND For the 4th stage of the Golden Trail World Series takes place at Sierre-Zinal and welcomes an unprecedented stacked field!
The surprise winner of the Golden Trail World Series 3rd stage, Sophia Laukli, proved her place in international trail running!
6TH AUGUST 2022, 11am start, 25 km, 1,700 m elevation gain STRANDA, NORWAY The Golden Trail World Series went to a Nordic country for the first time in its history! This weekend, the Stranda Fjord Trail Race was the 3rd leg of the world trail cup. A physically and technically demanding race that attracted the world’s best athletes to Scandinavia for the event.
En terminant sur le podium de la Stranda Fjord Trail Race, 3e manche de la Golden Trail World Series, Emelie Forsberg a prouvé qu’elle était de retour.
6TH August 2022, Start 11:00 AM, 25KM, 1,700M V+ STRANDA, NORWAY Jonathan Albon and Sophia Laukli win the Golden Trail World Series’ most technical race!
Famous for his technical skills, Anders Kjaerevik is running tomorrow at the Stranda Fjord Trail Race, on home ground. He might be confident about being able to bag a top 10 place, but he’s more interested in highlighting the importance of having a Golden Trail World Series stage to be able to promote trail running in Norway.
After a difficult start to the season, Bart Przedwojewski enters the Golden Trail World Series 2022 at the Stranda Fjord Trail Race, and we can certainly say that the winner of the Golden Trial Championship in 2020 has big ambitions.
Jonathan Albon and Sara Alonso take today’s win, Davide Magnini and Sara Alonso lead the overall ranking!
Le brouillard tarde à se dissiper au-dessus du lac de Guerlédan. Un son amplifié d’une sono lointaine fend la brume qui recouvre le parc de l’Abbaye de Bon Repos. Près de 1 000 vaillants traileurs ont accepté le défi breton du Trail de Guerlédan, deuxième manche de la Golden Trail National Series ; un défi repoussé pour certains depuis deux ans pour raisons sanitaires. Un œil sur la ligne de départ révèle de grands absents : les têtes d’affiche de la première étape – l’Ergysport Trail du Ventoux – n’ont pas fait le déplacement jusqu’en Bretagne, à l’exception de Enzo Ratti (Esprit Volcans - 10e au Ventoux) et Anthony Boucard (Team Moonvalley - 18e). Une startlist qui annonçait donc de beaux combats en course et de belles opportunités à saisir.
For the 2022 season, we will release two episodes for each of the 6 stages and the final. In the pre race podcast, we'll discuss race details, athlete's insight, and what to expect during the live video coverage on race day. In the post race podcast, we'll analyse the race highlights, and dive back into the race experience together with the male and female winners.
After four amazing seasons, the Golden Trail World Series returns in 2022 with new ambitions. They include: supporting athletes in their quest to become professionals and above all making trail running a must-see, televisual event.
After an epic week in the Azores, Janelle Lincks and Darren Thomas win the GTNS 2021 Grand Final and three Golden Tickets to be able to compete at the highest international level on 3 of the Golden Trail Championship 2022 rac
Jan Margarit and Nienke Brikman explode the Skyrhune records at the last stage of the Golden Trail World Series.
Maude Mathys and Francesco Puppi are victorious at the Grand Final in El Hierro, Maude Mathys and Stian Angermund win the overall ranking.