NEWS

SIERRE-ZINAL: THE KENYANS TAKE CONTROL!

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!

We all knew they were very strong, but an African runner has never won a stage in the Golden Trail World Series until now! In both the men’s and women’s race, Mark Kangogo (Team Daudin/On Running, Kenya) and Esther Chesang (Team Skyrunners Kenya, Kenya) were victorious. Setting off at an alarming rate they were quickly leading the race and gave us an exceptional show!

 

Mark Kangogo, in a league of his own!


We’d believed for a long time that he could beat Kilian Jornet’s (Team Nnormal, Spain) record time but even if he’d been a bit slower in the final descent, Mark Kangogo literally flew across the course from start to finish to claim a regal victory in this super-stacked field for this 2022 edition of Sierre-Zinal; a first-time win for an African runner on a stage of the 
Golden Trail World Series"This race was really tough, but I managed to do what I wanted to do. I’m really happy! I trained very hard in Kenya to be able to have this result and try to be the best. I fell in the last section, and I was afraid I’d hurt my knee badly but I’m super happy. I go back to Kenya tomorrow to join my family after what is definitely the best result in my career so far." While Kilian Jornet seemed to be the only one able to compete with the Africans today, it was another Spaniard who took everyone by surprise in the second part of the race. Andreu Blanes (Team Hoka One One/Cárnicas Serrano, Spain) did a storming descent to claim an incredible second place. An orienteering specialist who has suffered post-Covid vaccine health complications since the beginning of the season. "It's just incredible, he confides in tears at the finish line. I didn't want to believe it, but when I overtook Kilian, I just said to myself, now I have to give it my all for the podium. In the end I finished second and wow it feels so good! I had so many problems after the Covid vaccineI couldn't do anything anymore. This year has been a f***ing nightmare, and so now this is just pure joy. I’ve really had 7 months of hell. It’s probably not the best result in my career but it's definitely the best thing that's happened to me in a long time!" In third position we have another Kenyan: Patrick Kipngeno (Team Run2gether, Kenya). Exhausted at the end of the race, he was thrilled with his result for his first race over 30km. "It was a very hard race. I didn’t have any problems in the climbs and on the flat, but it was hard in the downhill. I didn’t fall but I was exhausted. I wasn’t expecting this podium finish because this is my first race more than 30 kilometres, but I’ll be back again next year!" An interesting event happened just behind: the sprint from Petro Mamu (Team Scarpa, Eritrea) who surprised Kilian Jornet (Team Nnormal, Spain) to slip past and take fourth place on the finish line.  

 

Esther Chesang, white-knuckle finish

 

She dug a serious gap with her pursuer Maude Mathys (Team Salomon, Switzerland) and even looked like she would beat the current women’s record. But Esther Chesang saw her lead melt away like snow in the heat of the midday sun at the end of the race. Fortunately, the Kenyan kept her twenty-second lead in front of Maude to be victorious. "I’m so happy with this result particularly as it’s my first real trail running race! I made handmade bracelets and sold them to finance my trip here, so I’d like to thank all those who bought them! My husband Matthew Kiptanui was also supposed to race but they put the wrong date on his visa, and so he couldn’t come. I can’t wait to join him and celebrate this victory and I hope we will be able to come back soon for other races. I don’t know when, but I hope it will be very soon because I Iove the atmosphere of European races!" Hot on her heels was Maude Mathys, exhausted but thrilled. "I’m really happy with this second place. Of course, you are bound to be a bit disappointed when there’s just a 30-second gap, but even if I could’ve gone faster at certain times, I would’ve finished worse off. The end was tough, I was drained and getting cramps. I was missing a bit of running training as I’d done 90% bike training to allow my tendon to rest. But at the end of the day, I’m really happy because I was worried the others would catch up!" And just behind her was another Kenyan, Philiaries Kisang (Team Daudin/On Running, Kenya). "It was my first race with so much uphill, she confided. I’m more used to flat races. I didn’t have any major problems except that it was hard! I will do more uphill training for the next races. And the downhill, I had to walk, even in the downhill! But I am really very happy to have kept my podium spot!"

 

Let’s go to the USA! 

 

After this incredible 4th stage in Switzerland, it’s time for runners to have a month’s rest before heading to the USAwhere two legendary races await them! The first will take place on 17th September: see you in Manitou Springs in Colorado to experience the Pikes Peak Ascent!

 

Results

 

Men

 

1 – MARK KANGOGO (KEN – DAUDIN / ON RUNNING): 02:27:31 (+200 pts)

2 – ANDREU BLANES (ESP – HOKA ONE ONE/CARNICAS SERRANO): 02:29:19 (+176 pts)

3 – PATRICK KIPNGENO (KEN – RUN2GETHER): 02:29:35 (+156 pts)

4 – PETRO MAMU (ERI – SCARPA): 02:30:18 (+144 pts)

5 – KILIAN JORNET (ESP – NNORMAL): 02:30:19 (+136 pts)

 

Women

 

1 – ESTHER CHESANG (KEN – SKYRUNNERS KENYA): 02:52:01 (+200 pts)

2 – MAUDE MATHYS (CHE – SALOMON): 02:52:32 (+ 176 pts)

3 – PHILIARIES KISANG (KEN – DAUDIN / ON RUNNING): 02:58:00 (+ 156 pts)

4 – TERESIAH OMOSA (KEN – RUN2GETHER): 03:01:13 (+144 pts)

5 – SARAH MCCORMACK (IRL – INOV-8): 03:04:12 (+136 pts)

 

Check out the Sierre-Zinal 2022 full ranking here: 
https://www.datasport.com/live/ranking/?racenr=24138

 

Find the Golden Trail World Series 2022 overall ranking here: https://goldentrailseries.com/series/gtws.htm

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