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Jornet and Mathys smash course records at Sierre-Zinal

Both men's and women's course records went down in spectacular fashion at today's historic race in the Swiss Alps

Kilian Jornet

Kilian Jornet won the historic Sierre-Zinal race in the Swiss Alps today for the seventh time, and his 2:25:35 finish smashed almost four minutes off Jonathan Wyatt’s course record of 2:29:12 from 2003 (and six minutes off Jornet’s own best time at this race). And Swiss ski mountaineer Maude Mathys similarly shattered Anna Pichrtova’s 2008 record by almost five minutes with her 2:49:20 finish. The grueling 31K course, the fourth of six races in the Golden Trail Series, features 2,200m of elevation gain and 1,100m of descent. Both Jornet and Mathys led the field from early in the race.

Petro Mamu of Eritrea (who won in 2016), though almost a minute behind Jornet in second place (2:26:31), also ran a course-record-breaking time. 2019 Western States winner and course record-holder Jim Walmsley of Flagstaff, Arizona finished third, in 2:31:52 in his first appearance at this race. It was the first time Walmsley and Jornet had faced each other since last year at UTMB, when both ended up dropping out of the race, which was won by Xavier Thevenard.

RELATED: Walmsley and Jornet going head-to-head Sunday at Sierre-Zinal


Mathys was five minutes ahead of second-place finisher Judith Wyder, also of Switzerland, whose 2:54:20 finish was also slightly faster than the course record. Wyder beat New Zealand’s Ruth Croft and Mathys at the Dolomyths Run Skyrace on July 21. Silvia Rampazzo of Italy finished third today, in 2:56:17.

In Salomon’s blog about the event, Jornet reports that knew he had a shot at the course record, and made that his focus this year, racing less than usual this spring in order to train fully. His next race will be the Pike’s Peak Marathon in Colorado on August 25, the fifth race in the Golden Trail Series.

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The Golden Trail World Series includes Zegama, the Mont-Blanc Marathon, the Dolomyths Run, Sierre-Zinal, Pikes Peak Marathon and Ring of Steall. The final takes place in Nepal in October. To be eligible to compete at the final, runners must compete in a minimum of three of the six races in the series, earning points with each finish. The 10 men and women with the most points in their top three races earn a spot in the final. See the standings in the Golden Trail Series here. Jornet is currently ranked fourth, Petro 15th, and Walmsley 18th. Davide Magnini of Italy (who finished 10th today) is first. Mathys is sixth among the women, Wyder is fourth, and Rampazzo second behind Croft. 

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