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Swiss, Italian win at Ring of Steall Race

Scotland – It was a day of excitement in the Salomon Ring of Steall Skyrace today as Swiss athlete Judith Wyder ran convincingly to break the female course record and Italian Nadir Maguet claimed his first win in the Golden Trail World Series 2019.

Salomon Ring of Steall Race: Female course record smashed in sunny Scotland

The 29km skyrunning course posed a big challenge with 2500m of total ascent including steep climbs, airy traverses and technical descents.

In addition, many struggled in the unseasonably hot September sun – and then on the final muddy descent.

The fourth edition of the exciting skyrace was won by Nadir Maguet in 3:14:47, medalling for a second time. The 25-year-old Italian was second last year in a time of 3:06:05.

He was followed over the line by Swiss athlete Marc Lauenstein, 39, in 3:19:37 and third was American Max King, 39, just over a minute later in 3:20:42.

Norwegian Stian Angermund-Vik, 33, a regular of the race, has twice triumphed and came third last year. He was just outside the podium today in 3:21:55.

Judith Wyder smashes record

But it was the Salomon athlete Judith Wyder who stole the show today when she was cheered home by an ecstatic crowd in 3:36:46.

She smashed almost 10 minutes off last year’s record female time set by Tove Alexandersson, of Sweden.

Judith, 31, also finished an impressive 10th overall. The six-times orienteering world champion led the female field from the start.

She said: “I am really pleased with my race today. I ran well on the uphills and tried to keep my calm on the ridges, especially the second ridge.

“I am very happy to break the record but I know the conditions were much better this year and Tove was running amazingly great last year.

“It would have been a nice fight this year if she had been here. We are good friends and maybe another year we will race together.”

Second female was Brit Holly Page in 3:54:18. The 29-year-old Adidas Terrex athlete also won silver in last month’s 2019 Tromsø Skyrace. Swedish runner Fanny Borgstrom, 25, took third place in 4:02:01.

Final race of Golden Trail World Series

Some of the top runners today were hoping to win enough points to secure their places in the final of the Golden Trail World Series in Nepal. The Salomon Ring of Steall Skyrace was the last of six races in the 2019 series.

Athletes must compete in three of the races to have a chance of qualifying and points are awarded for placings in each.

Nadir, Marc, Stian, American Canaday Sage and Spain’s Aritz Egea Caceres have done enough to rank in top 10 men, while Judith, Holly, South African Megan Mackenzie and Norwegians Eli Anne Dvergsdal and Yngvild Kaspersen made it into the top 10 female rankings.

They take coveted places in the Annapurna Trail Marathon next month with a chance to win a cash pot.

Nadir Maguet happy with victory

Nadir, a La Sportiva athlete, was delighted with his performance. He said: “It was very hot and very beautiful and I am very happy with my performance today.

“It was a better race than last year because of the sun. It was my best performance of the Golden Trail World Series and I have achieved my objective to go to Nepal.

“It was also great to have so much support on the course. Thank you to everyone.”

Mark Lauenstein, a former silver medallist in the World Orienteering Championships, was exhausted as he finished the Salomon Ring of Steall Skyrace. He said: “It was a tough course both physically and technically and it was hot for me.

“It was gruesome and it was beautiful. I am really, really tired now.”

Max King was thrilled to come home third. He said: “I just wanted to go out and have some fun in the mountains today but then I found my legs felt good.

“Overall I had a great race until Mark passed me and he crushed me! I am very happy with my place, though.”

Judith also praised the Scottish course. She said: “It was very beautiful and I enjoyed the views. I have raced in Scotland before in the 2015 Orienteering World Championships and I had really bad memories because I got injured.

“I wanted a good memory from Scotland – and here it is.”

She has a young daughter and has only just broken on to the mountain running race scene. She said: “I retired from orienteering last year and now I do whatever I like to. I am an athlete and I have a young child but I also like to have fun in the mountains.

“I like to do amazing races with good organisation like in the Golden Trail Series. They are all totally different races and it is so nice to have this variability.”

Earlier: Inaugural Salomon Skyline Scotland 5k race

Angus Wright, a 14-year-old with Team East Lothian AC, crushed the rest of the field of almost 100 runners in the Grey Mare’s Trail Race 5k earlier in the day.

He made speedy work of the technical trail route coming home in 27 minutes 46 seconds.

Almost two minutes later, in 29:23, 33-year-old Graeme Fleming, from Carlisle, took second place. The third place went to Steve Worsley, 56, of Inverness Harriers, in 30:31.

Rickie Cotter, of Great Britain, was first home in the female race in 33:30. She was eighth overall. Second lady was Carrie Banks, of Stirling Triathlon Club, in 36:06 and in third was Irish athlete Fiona Canavan, who runs for Dundee Road Runners, in 36:14.

What is Salomon Skyline Scotland?

The three-day Salomon Skyline Scotland plays out every September in Lochaber, in the mountainous heart of the Scottish Highlands.

Friday saw more than 600 athletes compete in the Salomon Ben Nevis Ultra and the Salomon Mamores Vertical Kilometre (VK).

Saturday’s headline race is the Salomon Ring of Steal Skyrace, which is part of a fiercely competed Golden Trail World Series, and, on Sunday, it’s the flagship Salomon Glen Coe Skyline race.

There are also three new trail races – 5k, 10k and 18k – launched for the 2019 edition of Skyline Scotland.

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