Südtirol Drei Zinnen Alpine Run


September 15th 2018

Palzer and Michelle Maier triumph at the Südtirol Drei Zinnen Alpine Run in Sesto


Anton Palzer | Südtirol Drei Zinnen Alpine Run 2018


Michelle Maier | Südtirol Drei Zinnen Alpine Run 2018

Anton Palzer (Ramsau/Berchtesgaden) and Michelle Maier (Bad Aibling) are the winners of the Südtirol Drei Zinnen Alpine Run 2018.The 21st edition of the classic South Tyrolean mountain race on Saturday in the Dolomites UNESCO World Heritage was thus dominated by athletes from Bavaria. Maier not only set a new track record with a winning time of 1:42.34 hours - it was also the first triumph of a German mountain runner in the 20-year history of the Südtirol Drei Zinnen Alpine Run in Sesto.

With high fog and temperatures around 13 degrees Celsius - perfect running weather - the start gun for the Südtirol Drei Zinnen Alpine Run was fired at Casa Sesto at 10:00 am. After the traditional round through the village, a group of six including the two Kenyans, Robert Surum and Francis Njoroge, the Italian Luca Cagnati, Hannes Perkmann from Val Sarentino, the German Anton Palzer and the Austrian Manuel Seibald had already run some meters ahead of the rest of the field. After about 8 kilometres, after a little more than half an hour, a group of five consisting of Njoroge, Surum, Palzer, Perkmannn and Cagnati arrived at Rifugio Fondo Valle. Then the ascent began and Palzer and Perkmann soon set themselves apart from the rest of the field.

On the section to Rifugio Comici, Palzer left Perkmann behind and gained a one-minute lead over the South Tyrolean. Cagnati and Njoroge followed behind. At the highest point of the race, at Forcella Pian di Cengia, Palzer was already two minutes ahead. Now it was clear that the 25-year-old from Bavaria could no longer be deprived of victory. And indeed: After 1:29.31 hours Anton Palzer, who had already won the ski touring race Drei Zinnen Ski Raid in March, reached the finish and claimed victory. Luca Cagnati from Belluno (Canale d'Agordo) finished second 2.08 minutes behind Palzer, while Hannes Perkmann made third place on the podium (1:33.01). For Cagnati it was the first top 3 result at the Südtirol Drei Zinnen Alpine Run, for Perkmann it was his third after he had won third place in 2015 and second place in 2016.

Superior start-finish-victory by Michelle Maier with new track record

Among the women Michelle Maier was in a class of her own. Just one week after finishing second in the Jungfrau Marathon, the 27-year-old already gained the lead in Sesto just a few metres after the start, did not hang about over the 17.5 kilometre long course with 1350 metres elevation and crossed the finish line at the Rifugio Antonio Locatelli, 2405 metres above sea level after 1:42.34 hours. Michelle Maier improved the nine-year old track record by Anna Frost from New Zealand by 25 seconds and also secured the first victory for a mountain runner from Germany at the Südtirol Drei Zinnen Alpine Run.

In second place came Swiss runner Victoria Kreuzer, who clocked in with a time of 1:48.21 hours. The athlete had won the mountain running in the Dolomites UNESCO World Heritage in 2014. In 2016 she came third. This year’s third place in the Südtirol Drei Zinnen Alpine Run 2018 went to Petra Pircher from Lasa. The 47-year-old mastered the demanding mountain run in a time of 1:53.08 hours.

The happy Chair of the Organising Committee takes stock

During the Südtirol Drei Zinnen Alpine Run 2018, the 15,000 finisher crossed the finish line since the first edition in 1998. Interestingly, it was a South Tyrolean athlete: Angelika Hinteregger from Castelrotto running for LG Schlern came in in 233rd place with a time of 2:18.32 hours. A total of 1000 mountain runners from 23 countries had registered for the Südtirol Drei Zinnen Alpine Run. The South Tyrolean mountain running spectacle was once again sold out.

“Today we saw another great race on the original track and in good weather conditions. I am very happy that the popularity of our beautiful mountain run remains unbroken and that it went off without an accident. I am even happier that our many volunteers are part of it, with so much commitment and passion. Together with our many sponsors, they are what makes the Südtirol Drei Zinnen Alpine Run. And they deserve my thanks and recognition for that," said Chair of the Organising Committee Gottfried Hofer of the ALV Sextner Dolomiten. The 22nd Südtirol Drei Zinnen Alpine Run will take place on Saturday, 14 September 2019.

Voices of the participants in the 21st Südtirol Drei Zinnen Alpine Run

Anton Palzer (winner):"For the first few kilometres we ran really fast. But I was able to keep up very well on the flat and I am a little proud of that. I felt very comfortable on the steep sections and controlled the race. When I saw the sign indicating the route a kilometre before the finish, I was very happy because I had a cramp. I had to fight hard."

Luca Cagnati (second place):"I knew Anton was better uphill than we were. He's a worthy winner. I myself am satisfied with today's result and am happy that I could finally run the original track. Two years ago, when I first started here, the track was shortened. It's a really great race."

Hannes Perkmann (third place):"I am very happy, because being beaten by Anton (Palzer) and Luca (Cangati) is certainly no shame. The track is beautiful, it contains everything. On the flat section you just have to stay calm and keep reminding yourself that the steep part where we play to our strengths is still ahead".

Michelle Maier (winner):“The route is epic. I was never really under pressure during the run and that's why I looked around from time to time. But the last kilometre was unexpectedly long. Of course, I'm very happy with my victory."

Victoria Kreuzer (second place):"Second place is more than okay and I am happy about being third on the podium at the Südtirol Drei Zinnen Alpine Run. My coming plans? Actually only a few short races in Switzerland, after that I will start to focus on the winter season with the ski touring competitions".

Petra Pircher (third place):"What's there to say about this fantastic mountain run? It is simply wonderful here in the Sesto Dolomites. I'm a little scared running downhill, but I've mastered that well. Third place is more than I expected.”