Leanne Callaghan reports on the first two days of the Ski Mountaineering World Championship taking place currently in the Ercrin mountains of France.
Our new team suits arrived at the eleventh hour after being passed like a baton from the Italian Dolomites to here via various motorbikers, donkeys and hitchers.
The GB team have good reason to celebrate: four teams finished the team race event this weekend. Promising newcomer Ursula Moore and athlete Janine Frost did us proud and made it round the 25km course in 4hrs 28m, just seconds ahead of the Belgian national champions Carolyn Goffin and Anouk Doore. Sadly Gaby and I were unable to race as Gaby awoke with a fever and vomiting that morning. There is always a silver lining though and this meant I was free to get my camera out and climb to the highest summit to support all the GB racers.
First to the top for the women were the superhuman French duo of Letitia Roux and Axelle Mollaret, who were faster over the finish line than any of the top GB men to finish in 2hrs 59m. The GB men had some frantic last minute re- shuffles due to Jon Bracey also being struck down with flu. First over the line were Es Tressider and Jon Morgan in 3 hrs 19 with Carron Scrimegeour (current GB champion) and Ben Bardsley in hot pursuit. More disappointment followed for injured Ivor Ligertwood and he and teammate Chris Barnes had to abandon after having finished most of the ascent, but would probably have been third Brit team otherwise. Well done to top British fell runner and climbing legend Paul Cornforth for being drafted in as a reserve at the last minute to race with the experienced Kirk Wadsworth.
Next race on the agenda was the sprint, which, for the first time ever, saw a full team from GB with 4 women and 4 men. Normally we all dread this one as it relies on explosive running power and the ability to move like lightening uphill on skis; NOT something the Brits consider themselves good at, and definitely something that the snowy alpine nations ARE good at! It relies also on a certain amount of luck, route selection and slick equipment transitions.
We had a good race and Janine, Leanne, Gaby and Ursula were all very close and finished in times of 4.24, 4.27, 4.33 and 5.11. fastest woman went to Swiss Mireille Richard in 3.29, a whole minute ahead of the rest of us. The fastest man overall was the powerful young German Josef Rottermoser in 2min35. Fastest GB man was Es in 3min35, then Ivor 3.47, Ben 4.03 and finally Jon M in 4.16 (muttering that that was definitely his last ever sprint race).
Many thanks to the BMC for supporting the GB Team.
GB Ski Mountaineering Championships
Never mind spending all day getting fat on chocolate on Easter Sunday 31st March- come and enter the 2013 British Ski Mountaineering Championships. The course is an established race near Grenoble- the Belle Etoile
Check out the fun to be had from last years race
This is the second year there has been a British Ski Mountaineering Championships and the emphasis is very much on participation and fun.
Entry is not yet possible but keep the date free and factor in the Easter eggs as essential post race nutrition. This article will be updated when entry is available.
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