Sunday, October 24, 2010

Mount Kinabalu Climbathon 2010 - Albets nabs women's open title

Kundasang: When Nuria Picas Albets first got started in the sport of mountain running she never imagined she could win a world championship event in her debutant year of competing.

Her unexpected victory in the Women's Open race at the 24th Mount Kinabalu International Climbathon, yesterday, led her to discover how much a first world series victory could mean to an athlete who is as tough and competitive as the sport itself can be.

The joy she felt from winning the race reduced the 33-year-old Spaniard to tears as she crossed the finish line with arms held high in disbelief and celebration.

"I cannot believe it that I wonÉthis is my first year competing and to win this World Series event is the most happy feeling I can experience.

"It is incredibleÉI was in tears at the finish I could not believe that I won," said Nuria, who completed the race in 3:28.07s.

The time it took for her to reach the 4095.2m summit was 2:15.15s.

"I enjoy all kind of sports but mostly I do cycling. I never competed in running before so I took time to train and prepare.

"I took part in many events back in Spain and managed to finish second in the World Series in Italy and fourth in another race before that," said Nuria, adding that she was invited by her team to compete in the Climbathon.

Nuria said she enjoyed the race here and would like to return next year to compete again.

For her efforts, Nuria pocketed the US$4,500 winner's purse.

Meanwhile, Italian runner, Emanuela Brizio, who was forced to be content with a third place finish, said she suffered muscle pains and cramps in her legs.

"I tried my best to win the race but was fourth as I reached the summit and on the way down I went as fast as I could but fell and scraped my arms and legs," said the 42-year-old nurse.

Brizio, who was the 2009 champion, completed the race in a time of 3:34.22s to earn a US$3,500 cash prize.

The third place finish however was enough to give Brizio the Skyrunners Worlds Series title after accumulating a total of 381 points.

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