The final day of TORX® saw the presentation of awards to the winners, as well as the assigning of a number of special prizes. There was an impressive turnout yesterday for the arrival of the final competitors, who were welcomed with enthusiasm and affection, in line with the true spirit of the event.
TOR is over, long live TOR! TORX®, the international trail-running event that stirs the emotions of lovers of the mountains and running like no other, has drawn to a close. The 2021 edition – which saw the return of the event – has closed on a decisively positive note, as confirmed by the closing speech addressed to the athletes and volunteers by Alessandra Nicoletti, the president of VDA Trailers and race director, from Parco Bollino in Courmayeur: “As organisers, it was our sincere desire to once again allow you to run, and we are delighted to have managed. I would like to thank all the runners who succeeded in getting here, above all those who arrived from abroad, despite the countless complications. I would like to thank those who, like me, have put their faith into this project, first and foremost the incredible staff behind the scenes of TOR, a small but incredibly strong team supported by more than 2200 volunteers who have been working non-stop. We have all worked together, driven by a genuine passion for this sport and for the mountains”.
Yesterday saw the last athletes reach the finish line; as always some of the most moving moments, with all the athletes, from the first to the last, receiving the same cheers and celebrations as the winners of the races. This can be confirmed by Roberto Zanco, the last runner (who was enrolled in the TOR330 – Tor des Géants®) who, on his arrival in Courmayeur yesterday evening at 7 p.m. after 151 hours, was received with an ovation and was accompanied for the last few metres with the same honours as the first to arrive – and in his own way, he was a champion – and symbolically welcomed at the finish line by the first to arrive, the winner Franco Collé and the French Jonas Russi. The same welcome was reserved soon after for the final two participants in the TOR450 – Tor des Glaciers, Ponce Sebastien and Vincent Wendling, both French, who reached the finish line after 186 hours and were welcomed by Jules Henry Gabioud to a background of applause from spectators. It was the same story for the Japanese Takano Hideo, exhausted after 146 hours of racing, who stoically passed the finish line supported by two volunteers but determined to get to the end. This is the authentic spirit of TOR!
Then there are the numbers representing the personnel deployed by the race organisers: 13 Alpine guides, 20 doctors, 30 nurses and 19 specialised technical operators all set out along the route in bivouacs, refreshment points, rest areas and operational centres. A team of more than 2200 volunteers – or as they called themselves, the volunTORs – who ensured the safety of the runners for 190 hours of racing overall.
During the award ceremony that ended the day, there were also special mentions and awards. The most significant was assigned to the Canadian Stephanie Case, classified third overall in the TOR450 – Tor de Glaciers, presented to her – beyond her undeniable sporting achievements – in her role as founder of Free to Run, a non-profit association dedicated to favouring freer sporting activities for women, above all in more hazardous areas of the world. In recognition of her efforts, a cherry tree has been dedicated to her, which will be planted at the start of the Skyway Monte Bianco cable car.
TORX® looks forward to seeing you in 2022!