Masters Athletes in the Spotlight at Euro Trail de la Féclaz
After Madeira in 2019 and Valtramontina in 2021, la Féclaz, at the heart of the Bauges Geopark in Savoie, France, served as the setting for the 3rd European Masters Off Road Running Championships.
The event was supported by the French Athletics Federation, European Masters Athletics and the MaXi Team association. In the presence of Giovanni Tracanelli, vice-president of EMA, Sandra Ferrari, Mayor of the commune of Les Déserts, and Philipe Gamen, President of Grand Chambéry, 19 nations marched through the city center of the Savoyard resort on Friday 8th July. A colorful parade that set the tone for the weekend and competitions offered to runners.
2 race formats were on offer allowing athletes of all types to participate
Opening the program on the Friday afternoon was the Uphill mountain race; 10km and 800m of climbing. A total of 327 athletes (273 athletes at the start and finish) took part to the event. Weather conditions were good: a sunny afternoon with only a light breeze.
Christel Dewalle, bronze medalist at the European Championships in El Paso just a week earlier, added a gold medal to her record in Women 35. The Haut-Savoyarde crossed the line with a handsome margin, finishing in 53:54, almost 5 minutes ahead of her compatriot Celine Jeannier in second. Germany's Monika Pletzer finished third.
Among the men, it is the Frenchman Emmanuel Meyssat, back after a long time out with injury, who crossed the line first in 47min and 12 seconds. Pierre-Andre Ramuz of Switzerland was second, 16 seconds ahead of Yanis Lecompte in third.
On Saturday it was time for the Trail race, a testing course of 38 km and 2000 m of climbing. The route offered some of the most beautiful viewpoints over the Bauges massif with two passes at the Croix de Nivolet Revard, an alpine promontory on Lake Bourget. On a route combining a perfect blend of technical sections and faster, rolling terrain, the race was fast paced. Britain's Andrew Fallas was the first to cross the line in 3:28:40. Two Frenchmen, Nicolas Halgrain and Christophe Polaszek 3:29:53 followed close behind, 3:29:31 and 3:29:53 respectively.
The first female to cross the line also comes from Great Britain; Jill Stephen completed the race's 38 km in 4:01:58. It was 2 podium finishes in 2 days for Monika Pletzer in 2nd, while Spain's Jessica Tipan Gutierrez took third.
All the results of the event, including team prizes in each 5 year age category, are available here: https://sportips.fr/race/EMORC22/resultats
The emotional weekend ended with the Closing Ceremony which allowed to give the organizers' flag to René Fuerste, organizer of the next European Masters Championships which will take place from July 6th to 9th 2023 in Adelboden, Switzerland.