And Ben Nevis is a wrap. Finlay Wild repeats as winner. Reports suggest he trailed Lloyd Taggart at the 4400ft. summit, but by finishing a good 2 minutes ahead of the current English Fell Champ, Wild’s descent and final kick were indeed pretty wild. Congratulations, Sir Wild! Danny Hope was third, 2002 and 2005 English Fell Champ and fell veteran Simon Booth took fourth, with Ricky Lightfoot, running for his Ellenborough AC, rounding-out the top 5. Angela Mudge won the women’s race.
The 2011 Goretex Trans Alpine Race (or mountain traverse) has a very Spanish feel following the second and third stages. David Lopez Castan and Miguel Caballero Ortega continue to put time between them and the rest of the field. They have won all three stages through both the heat and the cold of the German and Austrian Alps. In the third stage, the leading Spanish team
from Trangoworld Gore-Tex Spain used some classic race tactics to demoralize the only team still in contention (certainly free of any – yet plausible – game-changing setbacks). Castan and Ortega used the 3rd stage’s long 29 kilometer climb to create the gap needed to cruise to a convincing win. According to Ortega, “We decided to increase our speed from one moment to the next and indeed managed to get away relatively easily. Let’s see what the next few days hold for us. We take it stage by stage.” The Scottish Team Inov-8 of Symonds and Lennox had no answer for the surging Spaniards. The runners did have to deal with a course alteration because of heavy downpour, and, of course, much work still to do as the runners head for Switzerland as they make their way to Italy with 5 stages still to complete.
The women’s race appears all but settled as the Salomon international team of Stephanie Jimenez and Miro Mireia continue to dominate, sitting currently 17th overall!