Gran Trail Courmayeur,
the Italians win big
1500 athletes from 40 countries, enthusiasm and emotions for an eleventh edition who finally brings joy to Emilia-Romagna with a treble in the three races, GTC100, GTC55 and GTC30.
A lot of people in the centre of Courmayeur and a wonderful atmosphere for a real trail running festival.
Top athletes in the main race, with a touching start at 22 from piazza Abbé Henry in headlamp light and a thrilling challenge between two habitués of VDA Trailers races, Simone Corsini and Franco Collé.
After a night spent in company between fog and rain, the Emilian born in 1992 decided to keep for himself last year’s win speeding up on Collé and Augrit between Mont Fortin and Rifugio Elisabetta, increasing his advantage as kilometres went by. A perfect performance for Corsini, who had a better pace than Collé.
Corsini won in 15h02’36”, 8 minutes less than last year, while Collé, winner in 2018, finished in 15h29’13”. Third place for Swiss Nico Lacher in 16h19’15”.
“It is always nice to win, doing it in Courmayeur it is a particular emotion – says Corsini. Today it was tough, running with Collé was demanding but also an incitement. In the descent from Col de la Seigne I changed my pace and managed to go away”.
A competition which can be replicated in September: “At Tor des Géants Franco is the master, but never say never”.
Lisa Borzani, third last year and winner in 2019, ran by herself with a 7th position in the scratch ranking. She changed her pace in the night leaving behind Melissa Paganelli, first in last year’s GTC55 and second at Tor des Géants. Borzani, who won two TOR, arrived alone in 17h28’31”, more than one hour before Paganelli (18h55’23”). On the podium Basilia Förster, third in 19h32’45”.
“Today it was good, I am very happy of what I have done – Borzani explains. Me and Melissa stayed together in the night, then after 30 km I tried running on the Col d’Arp uphill. The weather was bizarre, cold above and very hot down”.
GTC2023 – Fabiola Conti – Photo Alessandro Zambianchi | Zzam! Agency
Tight battle in GTC55, where Emilian Gianluca Galeati managed his energies despite a fast rhythm, and won in less than 6 hours for the first time with a magnificent 5h33’58”.
Good performances also for Alessandro Macellaro, second in 5h38’52”, and Ben Bradford, third in 5h54’41”.
“These places give me a special energy, today I felt good and I’m happy about this victory – says Galeati. Then a thought for his region: We are living very tough times, it is hard to explain it”
She was favorite and she did not disappoint: Giuditta Turini arrived in Jardin de l’Ange after 6h36’21”, winning the battle with Agnese Valz Gen, second in 6h49’40”, who was 1’10” faster than Irene Mantica.
“A tough race, I wasn’t prepared enough – says a tired Turini. Luckily the weather for perfect for running”.
GTC2023 – Giuditta Turini – Photo Leonardo Betolin | Zzam! Agency
The first ones to raise their hands at the finish line were athletes of GTC30, which started at 9 in the morning. In less than three hours Mattia Reggidori won (2h57’35”), before American Zach Violett(2h59’26”) and French Pierre Arz (3h02’38”).
“Running last year surely helped because I knew where uphills and descents were – Reggidori comments. I tried to not stay too much behind Violett in the uphills and then on the ways down I managed to win. Next year I would like to run GTC55”.
As predicted Fabiola Conti – who registered last minute – realized an impressive performance: 6th scratch with a record of 3h22’10” before American Kaitlin Allen (3h29’06”) and Agnese Sobrero (3h50’31”).
I really want to run this race because I couldn’t last year – says the winner. I’ve been through a difficult period so I’m glad I won. I ran faster in the Val Ferret balcony and descents”.
A special Fair Play Prize from La Sportiva was awarded to Hong Kong runner Au-Yeung Cham.
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