Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Sierre- Zinal top US runners

Paul Low posted results from this years Sierre-Zinal race where Rickey Gates ran an excellent 2:38:52. Paul noted that Rickey’s time was “the fastest that any USAian (I am specifically not saying American so as to exclude the ageless Ricardo) since the (correct me if I am wrong) great Pablo Vigil”. I was pretty sure there might be a couple of fast times besides Pablo’s so I went to the scrapbook and the internet. I have a cool Sierre Zinal 20th anniversary book from when I ran in 1994. It looks like Paul is correct, no one has run faster since Pablo’s 1982 run. I did find that Dave Casilla and Chuck Smead had run faster when the US took three of the top four spots in 1979. I thought Jay Johnson might have a fast time but could not find his results from 1987 and 1988. I seem to recall that at least one of those years Jay may have been evacuated from the course via a helicopter. For a long time (maybe until Wyatt’s record) Jay had the fastest split at a few of the checkpoints along the way, including an impressive 1:45:00 to the Hotel Weisshorn, which is the highest point on the course. Below are all of the times under 3 hours that I could find by US runners.
Pablo Vigil & Chuck Smead

Time--- Place---Year--- Name
2:33:49---1--- 1979--- Pablo Vigil
2:35:09---1--- 1980--- Pablo Vigil
2:35:46---1--- 1981--- Pablo Vigil
2:37:57---1--- 1982--- Pablo Vigil
2:37:58---3--- 1979--- Dave Casilla
2:38:37---4--- 1979--- Chuck Smead
2:38:52---4--- 2009---Rickey Gates
2:38:59---2--- 1982--- Chuck Smead
2:40:17 ---3--- 1980--- Chuck Smead
2:40:55---6--- 2004---Paul Low
2:41:18 ---1--- 1977--- Chuck Smead
2:42:31 ---7--- 1994--- Dave Dunham
2:43:32---3--- 1978--- Chuck Smead
2:43:51 ---9--- 2003---Paul Low
2:57:26---21-- 2007---Rickey Gates

Jay Johnson - Pics from the 20th Ann. book


GZ said...

Good stuff! I love this history. Those pix are great - I will need to forward that one to Jay.

paulo said...

Thanks for doing the legwork on this one. I thought that Matt Carpenter was also in there as well but I often confuse him with Dave Dunham.

Marie-Catherine Dotta said...
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Marie-Catherine Dotta said...

We've heard about Pablo Vigil in Green River - Wyoming in 2012. We were on a 4 months vacation trip and we went to a mexican restaurant The Don Pedro. We wore teeshirts with a Two Swiss Hikers print together with a Swiss flag. When exiting the restaurant, a guy came to us asking if we were Swiss. Yes we are, we answered. Then he told us that his brother, Pablo Vigil was the winner of Sierre-Zinal for 4 consecutive years. After a few googling, we got the confirmation and found your blog. The world is really a tiny place!

double-d Mountain runner said...

Small world indeed! :-)