9 Jul

No Uphill Battle For Simpson In Zermatt Victory

Scotland’s Robbie Simpson continues to impress in 2018 with four Swiss race victories in the past six weeks.

In late May, Simpson won the Gamperney Mountain Run for the second time. On 17 June, he was joined by two other Scots (Andy Douglas and Jacob Adkin) on the podium at Neirivue le Moleson; just a week later, he won the Aletsch half marathon.

Robbie’s July began in much the same winning way. On the first of the month the Commonwealth Games marathon bronze medallist won the Montreux les Rochers de Naye mountain race in Switzerland for the third year in a row. While his time of 1.26.56 was 52 seconds off his course PB, Simpson now holds three of the five fastest times recorded for the event – and has been granted the right to keep the gigantic winner’s trophy.    

And this Saturday (7 July), the seemingly tireless Scot won the prestigious Zermatt Marathon in his first attempt, his most important race since the Gold Coast.

With over 1800 metres of ascent, the Gornergrat Zermatt Marathon is one of the most demanding marathons in Europe. Starting in St Niklaus, the course runs through Switzerland’s deepest valley up to the Riffelbert at Gornergrat, where the race finishes at 3089 m above sea level. 

Simpson told Aberdeen’s Evening Express: “It has been on my list of races to do for many years as it’s a classic Alpine marathon and runs all through the Zermatt valley with views to the Matterhorn and surrounding peaks.”

“It’s one of the biggest Alpine races after the Jungfrau marathon and the Sierre-Zinal.”

Robbie made his intention to win the event clear early on in the race. He left the field behind in the first half of the course, coming into the second half a minute clear of the next competitor.

Robbie continued to dominate throughout the final stages of the race, finishing in just a shade over three hours (3.00.39). Rival Patrick Wieser finished second, more than 15 minutes behind the Scot in a time of 3.16.04.

As reported in runABC Scotland online earlier this year, Robbie’s next major challenge will be an attempt to win the testing Jungfrau Marathon – for the second time – in early September.  

Image: Zermatt Marathon