The final of the Golden Trail World Series marks the end of the trail running season. It is also the culmination of the first year of our partnership with this spectacular circuit which shares our own ambition: to contribute to the development of trail running by making it attractive and more visible to the general public. For 5 days, the best athletes in the world gathered on Madeira for a final reminiscent of the Tour de France: 5 crazy stages covering a total of 115 km and more than 7000 m of positive altitude difference! On this occasion, Sara Alonso, Élise Poncet, Thibaut Baronian and Anthony Felber, our 4 runners, fought harder than ever to earn a place on the podium of this Golden Trail World Series. Throughout this final, their feet were put to the (very hardest) test and pushed to their limits each and every day. Go behind the scenes of their Golden Trail World Series and find out how they made foot care a tool for both fun and performance!
Sidas and the Golden Trail Series share a common goal: to accelerate the development of trail running by making it attractive and more visible to the maximum number of runners possible. But how? By creating the most beautiful mountain sports show in the world, bringing together all the best actors (i.e. the athletes) in the most breathtakingly atmospheric stages (i.e. the iconic arenas that are Zegama, the Mont Blanc Marathon or Sierre-Zinal).
François Duvillard, general manager of Sidas, perfectly sums up the common ambition that has emerged from this partnership: "The extremely striking format of the Golden Trail Series seduced us. It corresponded with our vision of sport, combining fun, sharing and performance. It makes you want to put on your running shoes and get out on the trail yourself! It's not just a matter of injecting money into the sport, but also supporting the transformation of trail running itself".
"Accelerate the development of trail running by making it attractive and visible to the maximum number of runners possible".
After 6 rounds of the Golden Trail World Series - Zegama, Mont Blanc Marathon, Stranda Fjord Trail Race, Sierre Zinal, Pikes Peak Ascent and Flagstall Sky Peaks - held all over the world, it was time for the 30 best male and female athletes in international trail running to compete in a final with a new format. A stage race, inspired by the Tour de France, which provided a sensational show with multiple twists and turns.
On the menu of this Golden Trail World Series final, 5 stages across the ultra-demanding trails of the island of Madeira, covering a total of 115 km and more than 7000 m of positive altitude difference:
- Stage 1: 24.5KM/1540M +.
- Stage 2: 26.6KM/1425M +.
- Stage 3: 6.6KM/350M +.
- Stage 4: 26.2KM/1940M +.
- Stage 5: 30.5KM/1555M +.
"A stage race, inspired by the Tour de France, which provided a sensational show with multiple twists and turns".
Fighting with every climb, suspense on every descent and strong strategic choices at every moment to help them shine at every stage without compromising their place in the general classification... This was the plan of our 4 athletes - Sara Alonso, Élise Poncet, Thibaut Baronian and Anthony Felber - each of whom came with their own individual grand ambitions.
Sara Alonso, the Spanish gem who without a shadow of a doubt can be proclaimed "rookie of the year" with the amount of talent she showed during this Golden Trail World Series season, came to this final ready to punctuate her crazy year with an overall podium finish. This was a challenge she took up heroically, with all the enthusiasm and commitment that has come to characterise her performance. In this video you will discover how she managed to find the resources to cross the finish line of the 2nd stage, her face stained with blood after having cut her head open in the initial kilometres. At the end of a well-run final, with the regularity and tenacity that go beyond her young age, Sara Alonso finishes in 3rd place in the Golden Trail World Series, after completing the 5 stages in 6th, 6th, 4th, 8th, and 6th place respectively.
Élise Poncet, the most wonderful surprise and certainly the best downhiller in this Golden Trail World Series, also shone on the trails of Madeira! Thanks to 5 exceptional days, she succeeded in making a memorable comeback in the general ranking to end just a few points behind Sara Alonso. The runner from Saint-Gervais, which lies at the foot of Mont Blanc, impressed with her ability to fully throw herself back into the struggle day after day. The result? Two 3rd places, a 4th place and a 9th place which placed her 4th in the Golden Trail World Series as a whole and positions her among the very best trail runners in the world.
Thibaut Baronian, a valuable trail running asset and the most successful French trail runner for several years, did as he always does: shining and running with all the panache, generosity and strength that we know him for. 6th overall in the Golden Trail World Series before the final, he made an exceptional climb to finally finish his journey on the podium in 3rd place. Epic! With his three 4th places and two 5th places, our own Thibaut Baronian made his experience and ruggedness prevail to earn himself a top 5 spot onevery single day! Hats off to you, Thibaut!
Finally, Anthony Felber, the young rising star of French trail running, followed in Baronian's footsteps, demonstrating wisdom and bravery from the first kilometre to the last in this Golden Trail World Series final. After arriving injured due a sprained ankle suffered during his FKT (Fastest Known Time) in Triglav, where this son of Annecy set the record for the fastest ascent and descent of Slovenia's highest peak, Anthony Felber ran intelligently, regaining confidence with every passing day. 20th, 12th, 24th, 12th again, then finally 10th, he has consolidated his top 10 performance and ends the season in a superb 9th place overall!
At Sidas, we have the deep conviction that the adventure shared with these 4 athletes and the Golden Trail World Series is a valuable one. Our mission as a brand is extremely clear: to allow runners to forget about their feet and focus solely on their performance and the pleasure of running. We see comfort as a chain. A chain made up of four links: the shoe, the sock, the sole and the care given to the feet. Many of our comfort solutionswere brought to be tested under real (and extreme) conditions during this Golden Trail World Series final.
The idea was to offer runners the right sock, the right insoleand above all, the right care, in order to prevent friction, blisters, black nails and the arch collapse that characterises a tired foot... This is a major challenge, especially during a stage race, where day after the day the feet are put back into the firing line!
Over 5 days, Marie Maligorne, our resident podiatrist and expert in foot care, ran her very own ultra. Every morning, then again every evening, she treated her blisters and black toenails. which, despite initially seeming to be relatively minor problems, can eventually prove to be inconveniences that could "shatter the dreams" of a potential champion.
"Allow athletes to forget about their feet and focus solely on their performance and the pleasure of running".