MacMahon 6th at World long-distance challenge

Monday, September 10th, 2012

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The World Mountain Running Association long-distance challenge was held in Interlaken Switzerland as part of the Jungfrau marathon. The race finishes at the base of the Eiger mountain and it is promoted as the most beautiful marathon in the World. The marathon has 1,829 metres of ascent with a flat first 10 miles. That makes pace judgment difficult and you really need to be consciously holding back over the first half.

At the half-way point, Brian MacMahon was 9th out of 3,250 competitors. His time at hallway was 1:16:02. Austrian Markus Hohenwarter and Kenyan Tuei Hosei were leading and 4 minutes 17 seconds ahead of Brian. Two Ethiopians were 49 seconds behind him. Hohenwarter has a marathon best of 2:15:34 from April 2012 in Linz and won the 2011 Jungfrau.

At 30.3 km, Hohenwarter and Hosea were still leading. Mitja Kosovelj (SLO) was third around 2:20 behind but he gained 20 seconds in those 9 km. American Sage Canaday was fifth and had stayed in Europe after finishing12th the previous weekend in the World championships. MacMahon had moved into 8th at 5:25 behind the leaders and the two Ethiopians were 9th and 10th. One of these, Berhanu Meleyo Kassa, has a 2:12:29 marathon so was still in with a chance of challenging the leaders if he could run the steep finish.

At Wixi (37.9 km), the two leaders Hosea and Hohenwarter were still together. MacMahon was eight and Scot Robbie Simpson had moved into 13th, moving at the same pace as MacMahon.

Hohenwarter (AUT) broke away on the steep last six kilometres and experienced mountain runner Mitja Kosevelj (SLO) moved into silver ahead of Tuei Hosea (KEN). MacMahon finished well and gained two places to take sixth. Robbie Simpson (SCO) had the fastest last segment to move into ninth.

1. Markus Hohenwarter (AUT) 2:59:42; 2. Mitja Kosovelj (SLO) 3:00:47; 3. Tuei Hosea (KEN) 3:01:27; 4. Patrick Wieser (SUI) 3:03:11; 5. Sage Canaday (USA) 3:06:47; 6. Brian MacMahon (IRL) 3:07:44 ; 7. Gerd Frick (ITA) 3:08:17; 8. Paul Maticha Michieka (KEN) 3:08:41; 9. Robbie Simpson (SCO) 3:10:23; 10. Marco Sturm (GER) 3:10:52

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