Kilian Jornet and Hillary Gerardi win Salomon Glen Coe Skyline 2018
Spain’s Kilian Jornet and USA's Hillary Gerardi battled strong winds and rain in the Scottish Highlands to triumph in the Salomon Glen Coe Skyline® race.
Winner Hillary Gerardi on Curved Ridge. Credit: No Limits Photography
More than 200 athletes from across the world took on the 'bad weather' 32km Salomon Glen Coe Skyline race, which is part of the 2018 MIGU Run Skyrunner® World Series.
Although the route was shorter than the full 52km route, the race still included a total ascent of 2700m and took in the exposed Grade 3 scramble of Curved Ridge on Buachaille Etive Mòr.
Salomon Glen Coe Skyline 2018
Kilian Jornet and Hillary Gerardi crowned king and queen of Glen Coe after 200+ competitors battle against the elements, the course, and themselves today in the final race at Salomon #SkylineScotland #SWS2018 #SkyrunningPosted by Salomon Glen Coe Skyline on Sunday, 16 September 2018
Kilian came home more than three minutes ahead of the field, in 03:37:17, crossing the finish line in Kinlochleven with the sound of the crowds loudly cheering the undisputed champion.
The dominant Salomon Team runner said: “I love to do races like this. It was hard and technical, which I like. Although the weather made the course wet and slippery and the winds high up were very strong, it was still such a fun race. To win is a bonus.”
Kilian won last year’s Salomon Glen Coe Skyline® and yesterday became the 2018 SKY World Champion by winning the Salomon Ring of Steall Skyrace, also part of Skyline Scotland’s festival weekend of Skyrunning.
André Jonsson, of Sweden, races to silver place. Credit: No Limits Photography
For the second year in a row, André Jonsson, of Sweden, was runner up to Kilian. André was also runner up in Friday’s ULTRA Skyrunning World Championships race, the Ben Nevis Ultra.
Today, he finished in 03:40:33. He said: “Scotland is an amazing place to run in the mountains. The weather made it wet and slippery, especially on Curved Ridge, but I think I went up faster than last year. I ran the best I could.”
Daniel Jung, of Italy, was third in 03:42:33. He said: “It was an amazing race and I am tired but so happy now. On the uphills I felt so happy because I love scrambling.
“It felt good to be in a strong position and to be running at my limits. I like to do the technical routes and I love Scotland.
“It is a dream to race with Kilian and Andre – and to be on the podium. I love Scotland.”
Italian athlete Daniel Jung was thrilled to take third place. Credit: No Limits Photography
The bad weather route missed out the UK’s infamous Aonach Eagach Ridge, where wind speeds were reported to be hitting 100kph.
Kilian summed up the day’s racing for many athletes, saying: “It might have been a shorter course than many of us hoped to run, but it was still very hard and technical. Scotland’s terrain makes these races tough but a lot of fun.”
Hillary Gerardi is thrilled to win. Credit: No Limits Photography
Thrilling finish to female race
It was a nail-biting finish in the female Salomon Glen Coe Skyline® race with a sprint for the finish line between the two top placed runners.
After more than 30km of running, US athlete Hillary Gerardi won in 04:17:48, just seven seconds ahead of Britain’s Jasmin Paris.
Hillary, who is now second in the overall World Series rankings and first in the Sky Extra category, praised Jasmin’s running.
She said: “Jasmin is a machine on the downhills. I was a bit faster going uphill but she is so strong on the downhills. It was such a good race.”
In reply, Jasmin, who won the race in 2016, said: “Hillary says I am a machine on the downhills but she is a machine on the uphills.”
Brit Jasmin Paris came home second after a tight battle with Hillary. Credit: No Limits Photography.
Hillary added: “While I was disappointed that we did not get to run the full course it was the right decision by the race officials. It was cold, wet and very, very windy on the mountains today.
“I enjoyed the competition with Jasmin and we were so close, with Jasmin stronger than me on the downhills.
“I had asked her what would happen if we crossed the finish line together and she told me: ‘That won’t happen because we will sprint to the end.’
“This is what we did and I had to give it everything to win. She is a great athlete.”
Jasmin, who had a daughter 10 months ago, said: “It would have been nice to win but I gave it my very best shot.
“The weather suited me because I like the cold and I am used to it. I am a Scottish runner and this is typical of what I train in.”
She added: “I am pretty pleased with my race today but I think I need to work on my speed on the flat. It doesn’t feel like I am fully fit yet but there is the incentive to get back out there and train more.”
Top three females, as well as Jasmin's young daughter. Credit: No Limits Photography.
In third place, almost eight minutes later was Brittany Peterson, also from the US, in a time of 04:25:44.
Brittany, ranked 10th place in the overall 2018 MIGU Run Skyrunner® World Series, said: “It was a good race but because it was shorter it was much faster. I am really happy to be third.
“Curved Ridge was great and I liked the course, which was super fun and super technical. I love the Scottish terrain and I think the wet, slippery, mossy and muddy terrain simply adds more elements of fun to the running here.”
A runner tackles the scramble up Curved Ridge. Credit: No Limits Photography.
2018 MIGU Run Skyrunner® World Series rankings
After today’s Salomon Glen Coe Skyline® race, in the 2018 Skyrunner® World Series, the men’s rankings are:
- Kilian Jornet, Spain
- Petter Engdahl, Sweden
- Jonathan Albon, Britain
- Ragna Debats, The Netherlands
- Hillary Gerardi, USA
- Lina El Kott, Sweden
There are still three races to complete this year’s world series.
The Salomon Glen Coe Skyline® race is part of the Sky Extra category. There are still two more races to complete the series.
- Dmitry Mityaev, Russia
- Pere Aurell, Spain
- André Jonsson, Sweden
- Hillary Gerardi, USA
- Ragna Debats, The Netherlands
- Brittany Peterson, USA