Lidingöloppet – a wonderful manifestation of cross country running

Lidingöloppet – a wonderful manifestation of cross country running
European Athletics

Sweden’s Annelie Johansson won the women's 30km in the Lidingöloppet on Saturday 26 September. (Photo by Peter Holgersson)

Close to 45,000 runners participated in the 51st edition of the Lidingöloppet, located north of Stockholm from 25-27 September, which makes it the largest cross country race in the world and the season’s first European Athletics Cross Country Permit Meeting.

The winners at the main 30km distance were William Morwabe from Kenya in 1:37:37 and Sweden’s Annelie Johansson in 1:58:15.

The weather conditions were perfect throughout the weekend, the sun was shining and the temperature was neither too hot nor cold, ideal for running.

The three-day-event included 13 different competitions and a total of 57 age categories ranging from 3 to 80 years with the hilly 30km course as the distance for the elite runners.

Despite the absence of Kenyan Lewis Korir, who won the four latest editions but was forced to miss this year's race due to an injury, his compatriots dominated the race once more.

Ethiopian Dante Taye, and Kenyan trio composed of Hosea Tuei, 2010 winner Japhet Kipkorir, and William Morwabe, second in 2013, broke away almost immediately after the start. After 4km, debutant Taye left the others behind running solo for 15k.

But at the 20km mark, Morwabe was only four seconds behind, and was able to finish strong as he won in 1:37:37, Kipkorir taking second place only 12 seconds behind. The time was still four minutes slower than the 17-year-old course record set by Isaac Chemobwo but the Kenyans dominated the race taking the first five spots followed by two Norwegian runners, Eirik Gramstad finishing best European in sixth.

William Morwabe of Kenya, winner in the men's 30km. (Photo by Peter Holgersson)
William Morwabe of Kenya, winner in the men's 30km. (Photo by Peter Holgersson)

Annelie defended her victory

The fastest woman in the 30km race was Sweden’s Annelie Johansson who ran the marathon at the 2014 European Athletics Championships in Zürich as well as at the 2015 IAAF World Championships in Beijing where she was 33rd.

At 20km she had an advantage of 38 seconds over Ida Nilsson, a former Swedish record holder at the 3000m steeplechase, and held on to win by 34 seconds in 1:58:15, which meant she successfully defended her victory from last year.

Sweden took the first three places since Malin Ewerlöf, who won silver at 1998 European Athletics Championships in Budapest, was third here in 2:00:09.

Lidingöloppet is named after Lidingö which is an island situated just north of Stockholm and has 45,000 residents. The population doubles during the Lidingöloppet weekend.

Click through for the full list of Results.

For more information visit the Event Website.