The weekend ahead brings just 2 of several judgement days in store for our hero, Jon Albon.
We’re jetting off to Sparta, where ancient heroes battled for survival and supremacy. A bit like an OCR, really, but with less barbed wire.
Fresh from his clean sweep at the 3k and 15k OCR World Championships and a casual jaunt to the OMM last weekend, is Jon Albon recovered enough to smash out a win at this weekend’s Spartan Trifecta World Championships? His skyracing pedigree should serve him well over the elevation profiles of Sparta, and there’s no denying his prowess on the world stage of OCR. After winning the Spartan World Championships in Tahoe in a blistering time of 2.07.04, Jon is the only man standing in the race to grab the biggest prize in OCR history; one million dollars. All (all!) he needs to do is win this weekend, and take the top spot in Iceland next month.
There are over 3000 athletes from 57 countries converging on the historic ground of Sparta this weekend, each having gained at least one Trifecta this season, some just aiming to get through the weekend, but others vying for the $20,000 USD prize. But is anyone truly in contention to snuff out Jon’s hopes of winning both this, and getting ones step closer to clinching the million dollar prize from Spartan? Let’s take a closer look.
Snapping at the podium is Sergei Perelygin, of Russia. He’s no stranger to racing (just behind) Jon, but he is the current European champion, and should not be discounted. He’s been dominant in Middle Eastern races, and beavering away at his purpose built training facility in Sochi. His history in championship races is chequered, because he either performs exceptionally or burns out. With the stakes so high this weekend, we could be in for a good show with Sergei.
Other contenders to look out for will be Albert Soley Castells, runner up in the 2017 and 2018 Euro Championships and a killer on rough terrain. Young challenger Thibault Jean will also be out to prove himself too; the man can take Mont Blanc in half a day, so this course shouldn’t phase him too much. The Spartan Nomad himself, Miguel Labranche will also be in attendance, and he’ll certainly have the support of the crowds around him in this close-knit community. Could they all be out for the blood of the Englishman?
Once again, the ladies race is going to be tight and tense, with Nicole Mericle, Zuzana Kocumová, Alyssa Hawley all well placed to nab the title. It hasn't been all that long since Nicole and Zuzana crossed the OCRWC finish line as winning teammates, but you can bet your bottom dollar that the fight will be fair but fierce on the course. It's so close, we can't even call it. All we know is we're excited. Who will take the Sparta Trifecta World Title?
SUPER: 7:45am GMT+2 Saturday November 3
SPRINT: 12:15pm GMT+2 Saturday November 3
BEAST: 8:15am GMT+2 Sunday November 4