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Spain Do The Double At International U18 Mountain Running Cup In Annecy

Annecy, 27th May  – the 16th edition of the International U18 Mountain Running Cup in stunning Annecy showcased the best young mountain runners from around the world.  

U18 Cup Annecy 2023 2The MaXi-Race in Annecy provided a breathtaking venue for the 16th International U18 Mountain Running Cup. With the area’s rich heritage for mountain sport and the event’s reputation for organising world class races, it was a perfect arena for the under 18s to compete in.

The women and men followed a circular 4.7km route, which started at 1,477m and then climbed steadily for 2.1km to top out at 1,699m at the summit of Semnoz, before beginning a fast and furious 2.6k descent, looping back round to the finish. The course promised some exciting racing, and it didn’t disappoint.

Photo copyright: MaXi-Race/David Gonthier


The women’s race

U18 Cup Annecy 2023 4The women set off at 11am CET and it was close at the front on the long climb up to Semnoz.  Keeghan Edwards of the USA got to the summit first, but Ines Herault Sicilia of Spain was hot on her heels. Amelie Lane of England was just behind them. This was all going to be decided on the long downhill to the finish.

In the end Herault Sicilia overtook Edwards in the last 1.5k and managed to open a small gap to take the gold medal in 20.19. Edwards took the silver in 20.46 but it was extremely close with Lane just behind her in 20.51 to take the bronze. Nadia Soto Perez of Spain was fourth (21.09), and Lauren Russell of England in fifth (21.13).

In the women’s team competition, which is decided by the positions of the three counters for each country, Spain came out on top with a total of 15. The USA took team silver in a very close contest with 16, and England placed third with 23.

Photo copyright: MaXi-Race/David Gonthier

The men’s race

U18 Cup Annecy 2023 1The men set off at 11.45am CET and, just like the women’s race, it was expected to be very close. With strong teams from several countries, it was going to be a fast and competitive race.

It was certainly close at the front and although Oscar Gaitan Mordillo of Spain led throughout, he was certainly challenged along the way. Matthew Edwards of the USA constantly tried to vie for the lead but eventually it was Gaitan Mordillo who took the gold in a blistering 17.45, with Edwards just 8 seconds behind in 17.53.

The battle for the bronze was an exciting one. Randy De Jesus Garcia of Mexico, for whom it was touch and go to even get to the race due to a volcano erupting in Mexico and affecting flights, made the summit in fifth place. But the descent in the men’s race shook up the places considerably and Garcia fought his way to third place in a really impressive run, to finish in 18.10. Ewan Busfield of England was fourth in 18.27 and Benjamin Anderson of the USA fifth in 18.33.

The men’s team competition wasn’t quite as close as the women’s with the USA taking gold (18), Spain silver (35) and England took their second team bronze of the day (39). France were fourth (42) and Hungary fifth (48).

Photo copyright: MaXi-Race/David Gonthier

It was a hugely exciting competition, showcasing younger runners who we hope will go on to senior success in the coming years.

Women’s top 5 Women’s team competition U18 Cup Annecy 2023 3
  1. Ines Herault Sicilia (Spain) 20.19
  2. Keeghan Edwards (USA) 20.46
  3. Amelie Lane (Eng) 20.51
  4. Nadia Soto Perez (Spain) 21.09
  5. Lauren Russell (Eng) 21.13
  1. Spain (15 points)
  2. USA (16 points)
  3. England (23 points)
  4. France (32 points)
  5. Slovenia (58 points)
Men’s top 5 Men’s team competition
  1. Oscar Gaitan Mordillo (Spain) 17.45
  2. Matthew Edwards (USA) 17.53
  3. Randy De Jesus Garcia (Mex) 18.10
  4. Ewan Busfield (Eng) 18.27
  5. Benjamin Anderson (USA) 18.33
  1. USA (18 points)
  2. Spain (35 points)
  3. England (39 points)
  4. France (42 points)
  5. Hungary (48 points)

 Photo: MaXi-Race/David Gonthier

Final Results: click here