At 8.30 am, the elite athletes once again assembled before the grounds of Ancient Sparta. A slight course alteration allowed them to take a running start from the arch. The start was staggered; based on yesterday’s race times. This saw Jon Albon set off 37 seconds before his nearest rival, Albert Soley and Zuzana Kocumova head off 2m28s ahead of Janka Pepova.
Not much was to change over the course of the picturesque trail through the Spartan countryside. Rivers and mountains provided the natural obstacles to complement the familiar, branded structures that littered the landscape.
In the ladies race, Nicole Mericle worked hard to close the gap between herself and Pepova, and succeeded in the middle section of the race. After some obstacle failure yesterday, Mericle enjoyed a clear race. Zuzana though, didn’t give either of the other ladies a look in, completely dominating the race from start to finish, with an even pace and a somewhat inefficient but safe technique through the technical obstacles, she sailed over the line long before the rest of the podium made it into the village. A deserved win for the Czech.
A familiar pattern emerged in the men’s race, with Richard Hyneck going all out to close the gap between himself and Soley. They battled throughout the majority of the race, but Soley came unstuck at the memory test, mere spitting distance from the home straight. Despite some heavy and long carries, Jon stayed fast and smooth through every obstacle he encountered, with a comfortable first place in the bag, with insurance time for any mistakes. It wasn’t needed though, and he sauntered over the line with a dainty pirouette.
The course setters have excelled themselves with a challenging and dynamic route in this beautiful, historic town, and the locals have been really accommodating to its presence. A true festival atmosphere surrounds the event, providing much hype for what is to come in Iceland…
That’s it for the Spartan Trifecta World Championships. On to the next!