Few days ago, the decade 2010-2019 ended. Before looking forward the new era, I decided to spend some time to look back to the last decade and analyse which nations left the most relevant highlights into the Trail Running world.
To this purpose, I decided to evaluate the top ten results (both males and females) of the international event, which characterized this era: the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc (UTMB) (UTMB® (utmbmontblanc.com)).
To have a more relevant statistics database, I considered the results from UTMB (nine editions), TDS (nine editions) and CCC (ten editions) for a total of 560 entry values.
The most relevant nations in the last ten years
France results to be, without any doubt, the best performing nation, having 213 athletes in the first ten positions over the last decade. Spain ranks second, far away from France, with 90 athletes. United States occupies the third place of the podium with 54 athletes. Italy follows in fourth position with 45 athletes. Fifth position for the Great Britain with 31 athletes. Sixth position for the Switzerland with 15 athletes. Portugal and Australia share the seventh position with 9 athletes. Sweden and Hungary close the top ten with 8 athletes.
The hypothetical podium does not change if the analysis only focuses on the victories of these races. France is still first with its 24 triumphs, Spain is second with 12 and United States is third with 6 victories. At bottom of the podium, Great Britain gains the fourth place with 4 victories.
To make a confirmation run of these results, I decided to look at the top ten results (again both males and females) of the Trail World Championship, considering the last 5 editions (100 entry values). Any surprise? Not at all. France is still the leader nation with 34 athletes, followed again by Spain with 25 athletes. The United States with 6 athletes loses the podium in favour of the Great Britain with 8 athletes.
Therefore, France and Spain were certainly the undisputed protagonists of the past decade.
What should we expect for the next decade?
Well, looking to the trend in the last few years, even if the leadership should remain between France and Spain, a greater balance could be expected. In particular, United States could confirm and even reinforce its position on the podium while new emerging nations like China could become a stable presence in the top ten. It would be also interesting if eastern European countries (like Poland, Russia and Romania) and northern European countries (like Sweden, Norway and Finland) will bring a higher number of athletes in the top ten, considering the exploits in the last three years.
We just need to wait other ten years to give the final answer!
Andrea De Filippo
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