News27 Sep 2005

20,000 witness double triumph for hosts at World Mountain Running Trophy


Jonathan Wyatt on his way to victory in Wellington (© Tomo Šarf)

The 21st edition of the World Mountain Running Trophy, the premier fixture of the WMRA calendar ,drew enormous crowds of spectators to Wellington, New Zealand, on Sunday (25). Approximately 20,000 visitors were rewarded by individual title wins for home favourites Kate McIlroy and Jonathan Wyatt. They also witnessed double victories for two strong Italian squads, who especially packed well in the men’s race taking the next three places behind Wyatt.


The 32-year-old Wyatt sped to his fifth World Mountin Running title over a 13.5km course in a time of 53:23, deftly fending off the expected challenge from the Italy - Gabriele Abate (2nd 55:35), Davide Chicco (3rd 55:41) and Marco Gaiardo (4th 56:08). Wyatt defended the Trophy title he won last year in Italy.

Wyatt, who took a creditable 21st place in the Olympic Games Marathon last year, is fast becoming a legend in the Trophy, even more so because his win in Wellington marks his first ever win on an 'up and down' course. The best he had ever done on similar terrain had been a seventh place finish in 1999 in Borneo.

In fact, on Mount Victoria course in a strong north westerly wind with temperatures of 16 degrees C, Wyatt’s win was never truly in doubt. He started strongly, taking the initiative and building up his lead lap by lap. Already at the top of the climb on the second lap he had over a minute lead on his nearest pursuer who was then Marco Gaiardo, and by the same point on the third and final lap he had extended that margin to over two minutes. The only significant change occurred behind the New Zealand legend as another Italian, Davide Chicco had by that time taken second place, only later to be overtaken for silver by another Italian Gabriele Abate.


Later in the day Kate McIlroy gave New Zealand their second gold medal, winning the women’s 9.1km race in a time of 39:40. Though McIlroy had not been as lauded as Wyatt before the race, along with her team mate Melissa Moon, the hosts had always held hopes for the women’s title too.

Unfortunately, it seems an ankle injury earlier on this year had perhaps hampered the preparations of Moon, as the 36 year-old who was World champion in 2001 and 2003, could ‘only’ manage to place 8th in Sunday’s tough race.  But the hosts didn’t need to worry because in her stead McIlroy, who like Moon hails from Wellington, used her ‘home advantage’ to the good to romp home with a massive margin of victory over Scotland’s Tracey Brindley (41:42) and Czech Anna Pichrtova (41:59).

McIlroy took the race firmly from the gun, and was grimly followed by Moon, who had to let go of her colleague on the second loop dropping down to 4th, with the eventual silver and bronze medallists moving into and holding those positions from that point on in the race. McIlroy held over a two minutes lead on Brindley in second place, a margin which she conserved until the finish. By the finish Moon had further dropped back to 8th having been passed by Mary Wilkinson of England, France’s Isabelle Guillot and Vittoria Salvini during the final ascent.


The junior men’s 9.1km race was won Vedat Gunen of Turkey in 36:48 and Turkey also won the team title.  The junior women’s title went to defending champion Jioulia Mochalova from Russia. She completed the 4.7km race in 21:50 to win by 10 seconds  Slovenia took the team title.

Chris Turner for the IAAF

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Senior Women
1 Kate MCILROY NZL 39:40
2 Tracey BRINDLEY SCO 41:42
3 Anna PICHRTOVA CZE 41:59
4 Mary WILKINSON ENG 42:39
5 Isabelle GUILLOT FRA 42:47
6 Vittoria SALVINI ITA 42:56
7 Melissa MOON NZL 43:21
8 Laura HAEFELI USA 43:38

Senior Women Teams
4 in a team but only first 3 members count for team points

1 ITA 6 9 10 (25) = 25
 Vittoria SALVINI
 Maria Grazia ROBERTI
 Elisa DESCO

2 SCO 2 16 20 (44) = 38
 Angela MUDGE

3 CZE 3 19 26 (58) = 48

Senior Men
1 Jonathan WYATT NZL 53:23
2 Gabriele ABATE ITA 55:35
3 Davide CHICCO ITA 55:41
4 Marco GAIARDO ITA 56:08
5 Helmut SCHIESSL GER 56:22
6 Dale WARRANDER NZL 56:24
7 Ricardo MEJIA MEX 56:28
8 Emanuele MANZI ITA 56:47

Senior Men Teams Result
6 in a team but only first 4 members count for team points

1 ITA 2 3 4 8 (11) (44) = 17
 Gabriele ABATE
 Davide CHICCO
 Emanuele MANZI
 Alessio RINALDI

2 NZL1 6 31 37 (48) (49) = 75
 Jonathan WYATT
 Benjamin REVELL
 Michael WAKELIN

3 FRA 12 15 20 54 (60) = 101
 Julien RANCON
 Jean-Christophe DUPONT
 Thierry BREUIL
 Thierry ICART

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