The Golden Trail World Series is back in Europe, and it’s in the Basque Country on the trails of the legendary Zegama-Aizkorri where the world’s top trail runners will by facing off on the last weekend of May. The race route remains the same – 42km and 2,736 metres of elevation gain –, and the fervour too! Who will take the lead in the mythical Sancti Spiritu climb, driven by the ear-piercing roars of 30,000 crazy Basques? Who will prefer to wait for the downhill to put the pedal to the metal and turbocharge up the ranks? Will the weather be heavenly or hellish? There’s no half measures in Zegama! Find out on 26th May!

The times to beat

Men’s record: 3:36:40 Kilian Jornet in 2022

Women’s record: 4:16:43 Nienke Brinkman in 2022

Here’s a rundown of the favourites for the Zegama-Aizkorri, GTWS 2024 3rd stage:

The women’s line-up


She won the race last year, Daniela Oemus (GER – Nike Trail) returns to Zegama with a longing for a repeat performance. But she will be up against many rivals including Caitlin Fielder (NZL – Salomon), who finished hot on her heels last year, is back after physical issues upset the end of her 2023 season. Theres Leboeuf (CHE – Compressport/Leboeuf) has got off to a blinding start with 3rd place in Japan, and will no doubt be pushing for better than 3rd – her result in the 2023 Zegama-Aizkorri – for the 2024 edition. Sara Alonso (ESP – Asics) made her presence known on the trail running scene by finishing 3rd at Zegama in 2022. The young Asics runner has victory on her mind (cf. “Local Legends”). Every European race that Dani Moreno (USA – Adidas Terrex) participates turns into an event, so we can count on the American runner to bring some spice to the edition. Plenty of other women are chasing down the podium so, keep an eye on Malen Osa (ESP – Salomon), Naiara Irigoyen (ESP – Salomon), Sylvia Nordskar (NOR – Hoka), Sunmaya Budha (NPL, Kailas Fuga) and Bailey Kowalczyk (USA – Nike Trail).

Local Legends

While the competition promises to be a heated affair on both the women’s and men’s sides, there is one particular duel that is grabbing a lot of attention in the run up to Zegama-Aizkorri 2024. This duel is between two local legends: Sara Alonso and Malen Osa. Both Basque and both intent on shining in a race dear to their hearts. Sara may have already proved herself on this legendary race, Malen Osa on the contrary will be toeing the line for the very first time on 26thMay, with the additional challenge of running her first marathon distance. These two friends, who are often pitted against each other in races, know full well that their performances and their sporting rivalry will be under the microscope at this edition.


“Obviously, my aim is to win Zegama,” admits Sara Alonso. “Since I learned that Sophia (Laukli) is out of the running due to injury, I see myself jostling for victory with Malen, Dani Moreno and Theres Leboeuf. I think Malen knows the terrain better than anyone, but it will be her first ever marathon. Last year, following my injury, she was ahead of me in all the races. This year, I beat her in Japan, and then she beat me in China. We’re really very close, so whoever manages her race the best will win. The fact that we are both locals obviously adds spice to the battle.”


“My main aim for Zegama is to enjoy it to the max and perform as well as I am currently in my training,” declares Malen Osa. “I just want to finish the race with a smile on my face and be proud of my strategy. Honestly, my training has been really great, much better than I expected, and I feel in much better shape than I did in Asia. So, even if it’s my first marathon, I’m dreaming of a podium spot, and if all goes well I really think it’s possible. And as for Sara, I know she’s my biggest rival, so I want to beat her more than anyone else! That said, our friendship has really grown and so I really wish her the best too. So, even if I’d be really bummed if she beat me, I’d also be happy if she achieves the result she deserves!” 

The men’s line-up

After being victorious 10 times out of 11 participations, Kilian Jornet (ESP – Nnormal) is back again on the Zegama trails, and obviously the Catalan is the big favourite. However, he should keep a wary eye on Manuel Merillas (ESP – New Balance) who took all the runners by surprise at last year’s edition by winning it in Dantean conditions. Winner of the Golden Trail Championship in 2020 also in wild conditions is Bart Przedwojewski (POL – Salomon), he is yearning for Dantean conditions to go up against Kilian. Elhousine Elazzaoui (MAR – Nnormal) will be looking to hold his own, having missed out on beating Manuel Merillas last year by just a few seconds. Robert Pkemoi (KEN – Joma) will be wanting to improve on his 5th place finishes in 2022 and 2023. And that’s not all, we have men like Robbie Simpson (GBR – Adidas Terrex), Marcin Kubica (POL – Salomon), Kevin Kibet (KEN – Milimani Runners), Jan Margarit Sole (ESP – Salomon) and Aritz Egea Caceres (ESP – Domusa Teknik).

See you on 26th May from 8:45 am (CET) to follow the race live!