Over the weekend, teammate Corrine Malcolm competed at the IAU Trail World Championships in Portugal. The women’s side originally held five U.S. female competitors, but due to injuries, only three made the trip and toed the line. Through the course of the race, two would drop due to unrelenting stomach issues and another with severe knee tendonitis. This left Corrine as the sole U.S. female competitor, finishing in 26th place in the women’s field, and unable to score, as you need 3 to post a team score.
“Illuminated by the steady glow of runners’ headlamps and a brightly lit archway on the Rio Caldo bridge which spans the Cavado River, the countdown ensued and the field was led by an ATV for approximately 2 kilometers to the first steep ascent on loose, rocky gravel. Darkness added to the challenge of the climb, as well as the first two and a half hours of the race.
By the first aid station 30 kilometers into the race, the US was down to two women insuring the squad would not post a score. Larisa Dannis, last of Team USA into the first aid station, was the first casualty for the team. Struggling into the aid station with severe and unrelenting stomach issues, Dannis was forced to drop.
Second for Team USA to drop was early leader for the US women, YiOu Wang, who called it a day at aid station number two, 54 kilometers into the race. Wang, with tendonitis in her right knee, suffered through the descents and reached the aid station with quivering quads and numbness down to her ankle.
This left just Corrine Malcolm for the women who encountered her own challenges along the way including twice running out of water, and once being saved from a lurking cow by an Argentinian runner.
But Malcolm was steadfast, reaching the final aid station at 74 kilometers still smiling. With a quick change of shoes and replenished fuel, Malcolm zipped out of the aid station ready to tackle the final 12 kilometers to the finish line. She would face just 160 meters of climbing, but a quad-busting 1200 meters of descent.
‘That was a race of attrition from like mile 12,’ said Malcolm. ‘I climbed really well passing women, but I failed miserably on the downhill. I don’t think I have any toenails. I’m down four. I should have changed shoes earlier.’
As for the course, ‘It was awesome,’ said Malcolm. ‘It was really hard, it was really unforgiving. The downhills were really steep and the uphills were really steep and there wasn’t a lot of flat in there.’
Her favorite part was fairly early into the race. ‘The most beautiful section was from mile 11 to 15, or 16’ said Malcolm. ‘I didn’t do real well on this section, but it was beautiful. We finally got a little daylight and then we were in this giant boulder field and then we dropped down into a river basin and it was really pretty.’
As for the toughest part, Malcolm said, ‘For me, downhill was the toughest part because I couldn’t run them very well. It trashed my quads unnecessarily. I was breaking the whole time, which is not a very fun way to run.’
‘I’m dissatisfied with my performance, but I’m happy with my effort,” added Malcolm. “I toughed out a lot of things on the course. I’m bummed that we as a team had a tough day.’
Malcolm was 114th overall and in the top 30 for the women with her finish time of 11:35:50. France’s Caroline Chaverot was first among the women speeding to a time of 9:39:40, good enough for 26th overall.”
– Written & interviewed by Richard Bolt via Trailrunner.com in an article titled, “Trail World Championships Takes Its Toll On Team USA,” posted here: http://trailrunner.com/trail-news/trail-world-championships-takes-toll-team-usa/
“I was asked to sum up the race in one word…and that was a challenge. It was sadistic, astounding, a vision-quest, punishing, and so much more. My day at #iautrailworldchampionships was long and hard but I made it to the finish with a smile on my face. Although I’m not pleased with my result, I’m happy with what I accomplished out there and hungry for so much more! Cheers to the off season and finding my legs, thanks for all your support, I’m already excited for 2017!”
– Corrine Malcolm, via Facebook
Results can be found here: https://lap2go.com/pt/event/trail-world-championships-2016/live-results.html