The 54th running of the famous Trofeo Ezio Vanoni Relays took place on Sunday 23rd October where Welsh athletes found themselves up against some of the best mountain runners in Europe, notably three times individual race winner Julien Rancon of France and this year’s World Long Distance winner Mitja Kosovelj (Slovenia).
As it turned out, and much to the delight of the local community, it was one of their own countrymen who ran the fastest leg and won the individual title, Alex Baldaccini who was 6th in this year’s European Championships in Turkey. Alex’s time was the 2nd quickest ever in the event as he led his team G.S.Orobe.A to the title with an aggregate time of 1.32.23 ahead of the Snowdon Race team of Andi Jones 13th overall – 31.11. 9th Murray Strain – 30.56 and running a superb last leg to take the team from 4th at the highest point to 2nd place overall, 8th individually placed Robbie Simpson – 30.53. (Aggregate Total 1.33.00) Wales team of: 40th individually placed, Mike Kallenberg – 33.13. 47th Felipe Jones - 33.34 and 41st Richard Phillips – 33.13 all ran well to finish 14th team (Aggregate Total 1.40.05) of the 127 teams competing. There were 386 individual competitors in all. The race was run in ideal sunny but cold conditions.
Prior to the Trofeo Vanoni relays, the 28th Trofeo Vanoni individual women’s race (4km/300ft) was run and again it was an Italian, Alice Gaggi took the title in a time of 22.37 ahead of 2nd placed Eva Skalnikova 22.50 with Snowdon Race team athlete Pippa Maddams just missing out on the runner up spot, finishing 3rd in a time of 22.52 as she suffered with a sore and tight quad on the descent having reached the highest point in 1st place. Snowdon Race teams Christina Rankin ran well to finish 11th overall (2nd under 23) in a time of 24.33 with Wales Katie Beecher having a very good descent to finish 20th overall in a time of 26.40. There were 52 competitors in the race.
Overall: An excellent event well worth supporting especially as the men get to run as a relay team on individual legs which makes it all the more competitive, hence the quality of the athletes competing.
Trofeo Vanoni Highlights on the web tv: www.teleunica.tv.
Photos, video and race results on:
ARWEL LEWIS/MOUNTAIN RUNNING SECRETARY