Summary: Merhawi Asmelash (Birsfelden) and Lucia Mayer (Stans) won the Elite Men’s and Women’s events, respectively, at the 32. Bremgarter Reusslauf in Switzerland.
Despite the marvelous location and unseasonably fine weather, there was still a distinct air of disappointment at this year’s Bremgarter Reusslauf, due largely to the absence of Swiss long-distance running star Viktor Röthlin, who had to drop out at the last minute owing to illness.
This being Röthlin’s last year as a professional athlete, a huge crowd of spectators had turned up to support him in his run up to the marathon at the European Athletics Championships which will be held in August this year in nearby Zürich. The good news is that, according to his website, he will still be entering the 15km Kerzerslauf in March, which will afford his fans another opportunity to see him in action.
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Today’s Elite Men’s race was still an exciting affair, with Merhavi Asmelash narrowly beating Bruno Albuquerque into second place in a frantic sprint and Basel-based Brit Neil Burton coming in third. However, despite the favourable conditions, the winning time of 33:13 was a full 40 seconds slower that Perrett’s record of 32:27, set in 2012. Perhaps things would have been different if Röthlin had been present…
World champion orienteer Matthias Kyburz from Möhlin also had a great race, coming in fourth place just ahead of East African favourites Hailemichael (ERI), Hamd (ERI) and Nesero (ETH), with Fabian Downs half a minute ahead of Kuert, Fikiru (ETH) and Berhe (ERI).
In the Elite Women’s race, Lucia Mayer of Stans won with a time of 38:54.4, some six seconds ahead of Martina Strähl and Ursula Spielmann-Jeitziner and Daniela Aeschbacher came third and forth, respectively, followed by Bayush Eshtuu.
Full results for all of the race categories at the event can be found here.
All in all this was a well organised and popular event – a fitting start to the 2014 Swiss running calendar.