Il Campionato del Mondo IAU 24 ore di corsa su strada (alla sua 10^ edizione), abbinato a quello europeo (alla sua 19^ edizione) si è svolto tra l'11 e il 12 maggio 2013 a Steenbergen (Olanda), accoppiato alla 36^ edizione della rinomata manifestazione 24h Ultraloop Steenbergen, valevole altresì come Campionato nazionale olandese di specialità.
Le condizioni meteo non sono state ideali: sioprattutto durante le ore notturne, ha piovuto, ha grandinato e ha tirato vento, sottoponendo gli atleti in gara ad una vera e propria tortura.
Ma, alla fine, il giorno è passato e, nel corso del tempo, si sono delineate le posizioni finali.
I più resistenti, alla fine, sono stati premiati.
USA e Giappone sono risultati al vertice della specialità mondiale individuale (rispettivamente Jon Olsen e Mami Kudo), mentre per quanto la classifica a squadre sono stati gli USA a realizzare la doppietta.
Sul podio individuale europeo, salgono come campioni 2013 di specialità, il tedesco Florian Reuss (campione europeo 2012) e la francese Anne Marie Vernet, mentre nella competizione a squadre europea il titolo è andato a Germania (per quanto gli riguarda gli uomini) e a Francia (per quanto riguarda le donne).
L'Italia - nella competizione a squadre - sale sul terzo gradino del podio maschile. E' un risultato di cui andare fieri.
Le compagini maschile e femminile della delegazione italiana hanno avuto una condotta di gara ineccepibile. Tutti gli atleti hanno avuto una magnifica tenuta, malgrado le condizioni meteo avverse.
Di ciò, vi è la prova nell'evidenza che alcuni degli atleti azzurri hanno ritoccato la loro migliore prestazione di specialità o ci si sono avvicinati di molto.
Solo che, alla fine, molto semplicemente, gli avversari più diretti sono stati più forti.
Ed è così che che nello sport vero vanno le cose.
Questa la notizia pubblicata sul sito ufficiale della IAU (International Association of Ultrarunners).
Olsen and Kudo win in Steenbergen 24 Hour World and European Championships
The International Association of Ultrarunners organized the 10th IAU World and 19th European Championships in Steenbergen, the Netherlands on May 11-12th 2013.
The day-night event was organized on May 11-12th 2013 and saw 261 athletes participating from 22 federations.
The race was organized on a fairly flat course measuring 2.34 kilometers in the heart of Steenbergen. The picturesque town is a 2 hour drive from Amsterdam and is set in a beautiful region.
Jon Olsen (USA) took top honours in the men’s race. He ran a distance of 269.675km leading the way. John Dennis (USA) finished in 2nd place running a distance of 262.734km followed by Florian Reus (GER) running 259.939km.
In the absence of Mike Morton (USA), winner of last year’s championships, Reus and Ludovic Dilmi featured as pre-race favourites. As the race progressed, there were several lead changes in the men’s field. Toshiro Naraki (JPN), Janis Actins (LAT) and Andrzej Radzikowski (POL) all took share in the leads first the first half of the race.
Around the 12 hour mark Olsen took the lead running strong and never relinquished it after that. Even when the weather was harsh at night with hail stones and thunder showers, Olsen continued his strong performance, never really slowing down to jeopardise his placing.
However, behind him big changes were being made. Naraki move down from the lead spot but attempted to hold on to a podium spot battling briefly with veteran 24 hour runner Anatoly Kruglicov (RUS). Both these runners finished in the top 10 at the end. Dennis made his move in the last three quarters of the race shortly followed by the ever efficient Reus who saw his opportunity in the early morning hours to firm up a podium spot.
In the European Championships, defending champion, Reus took home the gold. He was followed in the silver and bronze medal spots by Kruglicov (RUS) and Timur Ponomarev (RUS) with distances of 257.040km and 256.666km respectively. In the team world championships, United States of America took home the gold followed by Japan and Germany. In the European team competition, Germany won gold with Russia and Italy in the silver and bronze medal positions, respectively.
In the women’s race, Mami Kudo (JPN) won the gold medal with a distance of 252.205km. Sabrina Little (USA) finished in 2nd place running 244.669km followed by Suzanna Bon (USA) who ran 236.228km.
The women’s race, shaped up pretty fast with Mikie Sakane (JPN) taking the early lead and Elizabeth Hawker (GBR) running a consistent 2nd until the 9 hour mark when Kudo made her move from the bronze medal position to move up a spot.
However, Kudo seeing several goals in sight was not contend in that spot and moved past her teammate Sakane in the 15 hour mark to hold on to her lead until the noon stoppage time on May 12th. When the final gun went off, Kudo had not only become a world champion but also established a new World’s Best Performance (WBP) for 24 Hour Roads. The previous WBP was held by Lizzy Hawker and stood at 247.076km.
This was truly a brave performance considering the tough weather conditions the athletes had to endure for majority of the night. However, this did not deter Kudo and several other athletes who established continental, national and personal bests.
Also, around the same time, in the third quarter of the race, Little made her move to solidify her strong pre-race showing to firmly lock up the silver medal spot. Following her Bon concentrated on a strong night running to establish her in the ultrarunning ranks by finishing in 3rd place.
In the European Championships, former world champion Anne-Marie Vernet (FRA) took home the gold with 229.393km, followed by Cecile Nissen (FRA) and Sharon Law (GBR) who ran 227.618km and 226.107km, respectively. In the world team competition, The United States of America took gold, followed by Japan in silver and France in bronze. In the European team competition, France took home the gold, followed by Great Britain and Germany in silver and bronze positions, respectively.
The race was outstanding to watch. Several national records, national age group records and personal bests were set on this course.
Director of Communications
Results 24hr World & European Championships 2013, Steenbergen, the Netherlands
Gold --- Jon Olsen USA 269.675 km
Silver --- John Dennis USA 262.734 km
Bronze --- Florian Reus GER 259.939 km (1st European Championship)
4th Place --- Anatoly Kruglicov RUS 257.040 km (2nd European Championship)
5th Place --- Timur Ponomarev RUS 256.666 km (3rd European Championship)
Gold --- Mami Kudo JPN 252.205 km
Silver --- Sabrina Little USA 244.669 km
Bronze --- Suzanna Bon USA 236.228 km
5th Place --- Anne-Marie Vernet FRA 229.393 km (1st European Championship)
7th Place --- Cecile Nissen FRA 227.618 km (2nd European Championship)
8th Place --- Sharon Law GBR 226.107 km (3rd European Championship)
Team Competition Men:
Gold --- United States of America 780.552 km
Silver --- Japan 752.567 km
Bronze --- Germany 752.007 km (1st European Championship)
4th Place --- Russia 748.162 km (2nd European Championship)
5th Place --- Italy 715.739 km (3rd European Championship)
Team Competition Women:
Gold --- United States of America 710.599 km
Silver --- Japan 705.582 km
Bronze --- France 670.698 km (1st European Championship)
4th Place --- Great Britain 658.357 km (2nd European Championship)
5th Place --- Germany 651.117 km