V INTERNATIONAL ELBRUS RACE
September, 7-9, 2009
Organizers: TOP SPORT TRAVEL and WWW.RUSSIANCLIMB.COM
The Anatoli Boukreev Memorial Fund
FUND's GOALS ARE: To promote mutual understanding and friendship across cultures through a shared love of mountains and mountaineering.
To support the styles of high-altitude training, ascent, and environmental sensitivity that Anatoli exemplified.
Saint Petersburg, Sep.14, 2009
Elbrus accepted the fifth annual International ELBRUS RACE competitions very graciously: the weather was picturesque in the day of qualification race and in the main race day. The athletes have a real pleasure to work on a good track. 38 people have applied to participate. These were the guys from Russia, Ukraine, Bielorusssia, Czech Republic and Italy.
With financial assistance of the general sponsor of the competition - BASK company - and prize fund, provided by the Anatoly Boukreev Memorial Fund, Elbrus Race is not only successful now, but was able to significant development.
For the fifth year we run the race on Mount Elbrus, and each time the competition differ from each other. Different athletes, mood, a different shape training and the circumstances of the event. This year, for example, the opening day of competition, it was appeared that the cableway does not work. Therefore, during all the competitions it was only possible to go by foot or by car to reach the Barrels (3708 m). On the way to the Caucasus, the organizers got call from one of the main contenders for victory in the "Extreme" Roman Gubanov. He said he would not be able to take part in the race, having problems with his foot. There were also calls from two high-altitude judges too sudden, circumstances did not allow them to come to the competition. Therefore, at the opening, we were a bit worried, but soon realized that to no avail: an application for "Extreme" showed a great list of participants - 9 athletes instead of usual 3-4. Some of them tried to force there, while others who were already familiar with the route, hoped to improve their results. Since judging team, too, everything turned out well.
Serguey Fursov participated in the International ELBRUS RACE fot the third time. In 2008 he won the "Classic", and now he became a winner in the "Extreme" with a magnificent result 4 hrs19 min.
Serguey Fursov reached Elbrus West Top (5642) running from Azau (2400) in 4 hrs 19 min. Photo: Igor Novak
Six athletes in "Extreme" class had results times less than 5 hrs. Of course, the record of Dennis Urubko is yet unattainable, but the density of the results, which the guys showed today, suggesting that the time of running of "Extreme" route will be decline in the future. For example, Andrew Mariev, who took second place (4 hrs and 30 min), improved his result from last year at 1 hour 17 minutes! And Vladimir Kuznetsov - on 37 minutes! Alexander Sidorenko reach the top a little behind Mariev, and he he became the third medal in the class of "Extreme". But Alexander took part in Elbrus speed climb in Baldyberdin race 1990! The vast experience allows him now to compete with younger athletes now.
Fursov Serguey 4 hrs 19 min 09 sec
Mariev Andrew 4 hrs 30 min 09 sec
Sidorenkov Alexander 4 hrs 34 min 26 sec
Berezovsky Denis 4 hrs 39 min 52 sec
Shkel Vitaly 4 hrs 41 min 38 sec
Marhan Milan (Czech) 4 hrs 47 min 22 sec
Kouznetsov Vladimir 5 hrs 31 min 04 sec
Soushko Pavel 5 hrs 55 min
Vorobjev Maxim 6 hrs 55 min 36 sec
But the application to the class of "Classic" showed that the International ELBRUS RACE becoming popular among young people. And if the previous records on the "Classic" belonged to an experienced Asian high-altitude climbers Andrew Puchinin, Semjon Dvornichenko, now frisky young guys from Omsk and Rostov-Don showed that they afford to press Elbrus champions. Valentin Vergilyush (Rostov-Don), 23 y.o. set a new record on the "Classic" route "Barrels - West top" - 2 hours 36 minutes. And the judges on the top had noted that he had obviously more reserve forces. Anton Proshchenko from Omsk was the route for 2 h 43 min. Mikhail Klimov (Moscow) for 2 h 45 min.
Valentin Vergiljush - the Winner in "Classic" (3708 m - 5642 m) - 2 hrs 36 min. Photo: Igor Novak
Among the girls Maria Khitrikova (Ukraine) won with time 3 hours 48 minutes on Classic route. In her 19 years Masha, the daughter of a famous soviet mountaineer Vladimir Khitrikov, has already climbed Lenin peak (she was 15 y/o/ and climbed in Alpine style), then Ama Dablam in 2007, then Khan Tengri and Korjenevskaya peak. Natalia Kurakina was a second girl who had reach the top, her time 4 hr 42 min. (Four girls had applicated to the competition)
19-old Maria Khitrikova - the Winner among women in "Classic" - 3 hrs 48 min. Photo: Lena Laletina
The Ministry of Sports and Tourism of the Republic of Kabardino-Balkaria had greatly supported our competitions. The head of Tourism Department Mahti Otarov welcomed athletes at the open and the awarding ceremony. Beautiful Caucasian prizes (artfully decorated daggers) were awarded to the winners of all nominations, and also (it was so unexpected and pleasant!), to organizers of the competition Shustrov Nikolai and Elena Laletina, Chief Judge Vladimir Shopin and the head of BASK company (the general sponsor of the event) Vladimir Bogdanov.
I want to commend separately the excellent judging panel. The Chief judge of the competition Honoured Master of sports in mountaineering Vladimir Shopin has extensive experience not only as a strong athlete and coach in the past (he was a member of the first and the second Soviet Himalaya Expeditions - to Everest (1982) and Kangchenjunga (1989), but also as a judge, and even was the judge on balyberdin's Elbrus competition in 1990. Responsibility for the athletes, fast competent decision-making, clarity and finesse - that's Vladimir's leadership style. All this combined with his real great prestige did it possible to organize the competition on a good level.
The head of Tourism Department of the Ministry of Sports and Tourism of the Republic of Kabardino-Balkaria Mahti Otarov awards Vladimir Shopin by Caucasus dagger. Photo: Igor Novak
Dmitry Krasnov, champion of Russia on mountaineering in the winter class of 2008, was the senior among high-altitude jugges team. He has worked already at the International Elbrus Race last year. His duties included not only competently prepare all the necessary equipment to work on the saddle and the top, place judges according to the conditions, but also to keep filming.Thanks to its cadres at the top, and during the opening and closing events, the result will be a film about Elbrus Race 2009
An event was broadcast on the official site www.elbrusrace.ru, in the News ITAR TASS, www.gazeta.ru. TV channel Vesti (Nalchik), and TV "1 channel" gave a report from an altitude of 3700 m (despite the dead cableway).
Photo: Dmitry (Volgograd)
Italian Luca Colli Tibaldi on the West Top ("Classic", 3 hrs 08 min)
Milan Marhan (Czech Republic) on the West Top ("Extreme", 4 hrs 47 min)
Lena Laletina ,