The 2014 GB ski mountaineering championships took place at Le Tour, in Chamonix, on Sunday March 9. This was the third edition of this annual event and serves to select the UK ski racing teams.
The race took place on a test course – there was a lot of technical icy skin and several steep icy descents with frozen ski slopes and avalanche debris. If it would have been a pleasure to have powder, it would be a good test of all the disciplines of ski mountaineering. Fortunately, we didn’t encounter the ‘crust of death’ I anticipated when I helped ‘map out’ the course the day before!
The weather was excellent, with no clouds in the sky; this was the case the previous days – hence the icy nature of the course.
The men’s race turned out to be a battle to the end between Carron Scrimgeour and Ben Bardsley. Although Ben was the first to come out of the boulders, at the top of the first climb Carron had taken the lead with Ben on his heels. This was how the race would continue to the end – with every transition Carron would have started when Ben arrived. Carron won his second British title after winning the inaugural race in 2012. Misha Gopaul put in a strong performance to complete the men’s podium.
The women’s race was wide open to three prospects – Ursula Moore, Gaby Lees and Janine Frost. Sadly, Ursula fell on the second run and had to give up with a suspected tear in her adductor muscle, which had been in spasm since completing a road marathon a week before !. The day it turned out that Janine’s enviable speed on the climb couldn’t compete with Gaby’s superior skills on the descent. Gaby rightly won her second British title. MegÃ¨ve local and wildcard Francesca Eyre put in a strong performance to complete the women’s podium.
A big thank you to all the runners who made the effort to come and compete in the championships and support the race. It was a beautiful day of sport under a radiant sun. This annual event is open to everyone, is non-elitist and welcoming.
1. Carron Scrimgeour 2h – 14min – 42sec
2. Ben Bardsley 2h – 17min – 41sec
3. Misha Gopaul 2h – 34min – 25sec
4. Dan Gay 2h – 40min – 57sec
5. Tarka L’HerpiniÃ¨re 2h – 43min – 13sec
6. Stuart Johnston 2h – 45min – 26sec
7. Anthony Roberts 3h – 14min – 02sec
8. Dave Cumming 3h – 49min – 35sec
9. Oliver Webb 3h – 56min – 45sec
10. Ben Gibbison 4h – 07min – 59sec
11. James Parker 4h – 23min – 39sec
1. Gaby Lees 2h – 48min – 21sec
2. Janine Frost 2h – 56min – 25sec
3. Francesca Eyre 3h – 28min – 17sec
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