It was a hot day in the mountains at the 11th edition of Eiger Ultra Trail by UTMB®. A day which saw over 4,200 runners from 85 different nationalities race across a 16k, 35k, 51k and 101k race in the Jungfrau Region of the Swiss Alps with the legendary Eiger as the picture perfect backdrop.
E16 – Pleasure Trail (960m+, 20k category)
At only 16 years of age, Lorick Buclin of Switzerland claimed the first win of his career. Buclin only raced for the first time last week, coming 7th in the Trail Verbier St Bernard by UTMB (20K), and today he stormed to victory in an impressive 01:21:26.
Buclin commented: “It was very amazing to win…I’m very happy, it’s a good achievement… My first race was last week, and second today.”
It was another first in the women’s race, with Roxana Elisabeta Rotaru (SUI) winning in her debut UTMB World Series race, following her retirement from professional track and field racing.
Kilian Jornet who was racing in order to secure his place on the start line at the UTMB World Series Finals in September pulled up with an injury, meaning that he finished in 48th position. The top three men and women at UTMB Mont-Blanc must validate their spot by obtaining at least one Running Stone in the race year.
Kilian who is also there to support his wife who is racing the E51, commented: “Today was nice, it’s a beautiful race. Grindelwald is an amazing place…Training was going very well until two days ago when I got an injury. So now I will try and recover from that. I am happy with my shape and how training was going, so I just need to recover from my small injury.”
Lorick Buclin (SUI)
Raphael Devantay (SUI)
Armin Reif (DEU)
Roxana Elisabeta Rotaru (SUI)
Priska Fuhrer (SUI)
Emilie Arsenijevic (SUI)
E35 – North Face Trail (2500m+, 50k category)
British Robbie Simpson took the win in the men’s race, just a month after finishing Comrades Marathon. Simpson was five minutes ahead of Stian Dahl Smmerseth (NOR), whilst Dani Moreno (USA) stormed to win the women’s race, finishing with an 18 minute lead over 2nd place.
Robbie Simpson commented: “It felt really good because all the way I was struggling a little bit to get into my best running. I did Comrades Marathon a few weeks ago, and I’ve only done a few mountain sessions since then so I wasn’t sure how I’d feel. I felt really average, but then I never got worse and I felt stronger and stronger. On the descent I felt good and managed to hang on. I always wanted to do [Eiger Ultra Trail], and the 35k looks like one of the most stunning courses out there.”
Robbie Simpson (GBR)
Stian Dahl Sommerseth (NOR)
Gian Marchet Schicktanz (SUI)
Dani Moreno (USA)
Bianca Tarboton (ZAF)
Julia Peter (SUI)
E51 – Panorama Trail (3100m+, 50k category)
In the E51, Emelie Forsberg (SWE) led the women from the start, finishing with a 12 minute lead on Great Britain’s Eleanor Davis. She said: “I knew the uphill was probably going to be in my favour. I knew that in the last 7k on the flat in the warmth that I was going to suffer a lot. I heard Eiger [Ultra Trail] was really beautiful, and I think this is one of the most beautiful races I’ve done, so I’m very happy we came here…My main focus will now be CCC.”
Davis, who is currently on secondment from her job as a GP, commented: “I was surprised to come second as I felt pretty bad in the first half. I went into second place at the second to last aid station. I really like this area, and I came here because I did the 35k two years ago and absolutely loved it – it’s kind of the reason I switched to trail running. You can’t beat the views here, it’s insane.”
Petter Engdahl winner of the men’s race said: “I felt really good today. I made it hard for the others from the beginning, but then the heat started to kick in from halfway and then it was a real fight. It’s an amazing course, and an amazing race, I really enjoyed it…I’ve never been here before, but I’ve heard so much about it. My friends told me this valley was just amazing. I will spend the rest of the summer in Chamonix to prepare for UTMB [World Series Finals in Mont- Blanc]”.
Petter Engdahl (SWE)
Stephan Wenk (SUI)
Andres Reiterer (ITA)
Emelie Forsberg (SWE)
Eleanor Davis (GBR)
Anne-Cecile Thevenot (FRA)
E101 – Ultra Trail (6700m+, 100k category)
Hannes Namberger is no stranger to winning the uber long distances, having won the 100 miler at Lavaredo Ultra Trail by UTMB in 2021 and 2022, and now he can add King of the Eiger Ultra Trail to his list of accolades.
The German ultra runner said: “It was a very hot day, I was suffering a lot but in the end I am super happy with the success of first place. Now I start to focus on the UTMB training, and we’ll see what happens on Mont Blanc. I’ve got a cold beer in the fridge at the hotel.”
Fellow German, Katharina Harmuth retained her Queen of Eiger Ultra Trail title, beating last year’s time by 20 minutes. Despite this, she didn’t have a great race, she said: “I felt really bad in the first five hours because I couldn’t really eat as my stomach was bad. After 35km, I felt quite good, but then at 60km I had some problems with my glute muscle. Then I had some massive blisters…it was actually not my best day. I will most probably do UTMB Mont-Blanc, but I also really love TDS.”
Hannes Namberger (DEU)
Raphel Sprenger (SUI)
Josh Wade (GBR)
Katharine Harmuth (DEU)
Virginie Quinodoz (SUI)
Jocelyne Pauly (FRA)