Zak Hanna nails fifth spot at World Mountain and Trail Running Championships

Down runner beats several of the very best including a former world champion

A superb effort by Zak Hanna saw him nail a fifth-place finish in the uphill event at the World Mountain and Trail Running Championships staged in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

Hanna finished ahead of some of the very best athletes, including a previous world champion, to cross the 8.5km route in 49.32, a naturally demanding course that included 1,065m of ascent.

Patrick Kipngeno of Kenya made the decisive break late on to claim the gold in 45.51, a first Kenyan win in the event, 90 seconds ahead of his team-mate and compatriot Philemon Kiriago, with Alex Garcia of Spain third in 49:03

The American Joseph Grey, a former world champion, finished one place behind Hanna in sixth, the 26-year-old from Dromara in Co Down already looking to go better again next time.


The event sees the best trail runners and mountain running specialists lock horns in what is the inaugural World Mountain and Trail Running Championships, the three-day event a collaboration between World Mountain Running Association, International Association of Ultrarunners and the International Trail Running Association, in partnership with World Athletics.

Kerry mountain running legend John Lenihan is the only Irishman to previously win a World Championship title after victory in Switzerland 31 years ago.

Ian O'Riordan

Ian O'Riordan

Ian O'Riordan is an Irish Times sports journalist writing on athletics