Senior Men’s and Women’s Results: Aarhus World XC Championships, Denmark, March 30, 2019 – and that course!!!

By Clay Shaw

The course was planned to be remarkable in many ways.  “Hard” would be an understatement.  The winners would be forever known as the “World’s Toughest Runners.”  Anyone who took part in the World XC Championships would always remember, and should be proud of being part of this epic event.  From a time standpoint, world-class runners often run several minutes faster than they would at Aarhus. The course featured an uphill start, a beer tent known as “Runner’s Valhalla,” the Club Zone, the Water Splash (RG photographer Karen Mitchell ended the day quite muddy and wet), the Mud Pit, the Sand Pit, the Viking Gauntlet, the Moesgaard Museum Roof (a 10% Grade), The Berm before an uphill, then a hairpin turn and a downhill finish.  The winning times in the 10K were 31:40 for men and 36:14 for women.  That’s how hard the course was, as they had to repeat the 2K course five times.  Weather in Denmark, could be rainy, windy, and cold in March; however, it was sunny, dry, and in the upper 50s with reasonable winds. 

Senior Men:  Uganda Dominates, Cheptegei Makes Amends

Joshua Cheptegei thrilled the home crowd in Kampala, Uganda in 2017.  He led by a huge margin for much of the race, and then totally fell apart in the final lap and staggered to the finish in 30th place.  Since then, he has had great results and was looking for redemption.  He had a teammate, 2017 World XC junior champ, Jacob Kiplimo, to contend and work with against two-time World XC champ and three-time World XC Gold Medalist, Geoffrey Kamworor.  This was an epic race, with a huge lead pack, with Kiplimo doing most of the leading.  The Ugandan pair broke away to finish one-two, with Cheptegei winning in 31:40.  Kiplomo was second in 31:44.  Kamworor was third in 31:55.  Showing class, Kamworor was quick to congratulate the pair upon finishing.  USA runners Shadrack Kipchirchir and Stanley Kebenei finished 34th and 35th.  140 men finished the race.  Uganda won its first team World XC title ever, Kenya was 2nd, Ethiopia was 3rd, Eritrea was 4th, Burundi was 5th, and Bahrain taking 6th.  The USA finished 11th.

Senior Women:  Obiri Wins; Denmark’s Moller Thrills Crowd

Hellen Obiri of Kenya was the winner in 36:14. Dera Dida of Ethiopia was second in 36:16. Letsenbet Gidey of Ethiopia, a two-time U20 champ, was third in 36:24. Denmark’s own Anna Emilie Moller was 15th in 37:51 to lead the non-East Africans. Fionnuala McCormick of Ireland was 18th, Genevieve LaLonde of Canada was 20th. Stephanie Bruce of Flagstaff, AZ was 33rd and first USA in her second World XC event. 115 women finished the race. Ethiopia won their third team title of the day, followed by Kenya in 2nd, Uganda in 3rd, Great Britain in 4th, Australia in 5th, Bahrain in 6th, Canada took 7th, and the USA took 8th.

USA runners Stephanie Bruce (33rd), Courtney Frerichs (75th), and Sarah Pagano (50th) run through the “Water Splash.”
Hellen Obiri of Kenya shares the water splash with Letesenbet Gidey and Dera Dida of Ethiopia, who would both join Obiri on the podium.
Anna Emilie Moller of Denmark thrilled the home crowd with 15th place. Francine Niyomukunzi of Burundi fell back a bit, placing 74th.
Fionnuala McCormick of Ireland, a veteran of many World XC events, placed 18th. Genevieve Lalonde of Canada placed 20th in a solid run.
Marielle Hall of USA glides through the water splash. Hall placed 58th. Natasha Wodak of Canada placed 43rd, Kate Avery of Great Britain placed 30th.
Karissa Schweizer of USA splashes out of the “Water Splash.” Paige Campbell of Australia, who placed 29th, and fellow Aussie Caitlin Adams, who placed 69th, join in the splash mess.
Courtney Frerichs of the USA negotiates the “water splash.” Moira Stewartova of Czech Republic (70th) and Anne-Marie Blaney of USA (51st) go through the water.
Peruth Chemutai of Uganda who finished fifth runs with podium finishers. Hellen Obiri of Kenya (1st), Dera Dida (2nd), and Letesenbet Gidey (3rd), both from Ethiopia.
Anna Emilie Moller of Denmark placed 15th overall, thrilling the home crowd as first European.
Fionnuala McCormick of Ireland pushes hard through the mud. Elena Burkhard of Germany joined in the fun. McCormick was 18th and Burkhard was 23rd.
Stephanie Bruce of USA, a veteran of two World XCs, heads through the mud just ahead of three USA teammates. Dolshi Tesfu of Eritrea placed 38th and Emily Brichacek of Australia placed 35th.
Floriane Chevalier-Garenne of France (54th) and Anne-Marie Blaney of USA (51st) race through the mud pit.
Kelsey Bruce of Texas was sponsored by LetsRun.Com and had a great experience and solid showing.
Hellen Obiri of Kenya wins World XC 2019 in Aarhus.
Hellen Obiri of Kenya is all smiles in her first and last World XC (her words after the event).
Team Australia: Melissa Duncan, Leanne Pompeani, Paige Campbell, Emily Brichacek, Marine Ponton, and Caitlin Adams.
Sara Louise Treacy and Fionnuala McCormack of Ireland.
Joshua Cheptegei and Jacob Kiplimo of Uganda share the front running with Geoffrey Kamworor of Kenya.
Stanley Kebenei of USA placed 35th.
Joshua Cheptegei of Uganda is a very happy winner.
Joshua Cheptegei of Uganda is overjoyed with the World XC title he worked hard to win.
A true sportsman, two-time champ Geoffrey Kamworor congratulates Uganda’s Jacob Kiplimo and Joshua Cheptegei.
Uganda men won their first World XC title ever. Joel Ayeko (10th), Jacob Kiplimo (2nd), Joshua Cheptegei (1st), and Thomas Ayeko (7th).
Team USA: Marielle Hall, Courtney Frerichs, Karissa Schweizer, Stephanie Bruce, Anne-Marie Blaney, and Sarah Pagano.