U.S. Cross Country Skier Sophia Laukli won the Sierre-Zinal trail run in Switzerland, the fourth race in the Golden Trail World Series. With this victory, the cross country athlete made history, becoming only the fourth American to win the race and the first since 2014. This is the second race in the series she has won, after winning the Mont-Blanc Ultra Marathon, and she now leads the Golden Trail World Series overall rankings.
“Everything I did today worked out and I’m mega proud. It was really hard, but I had a lot of fun. I knew I had to take it easy at the start and I pushed hard on the climb without overdoing it. I think it’s the first race where I’ve managed to be tactical and it worked!”
The 2023 Golden Trail Series consists of seven spectacular alpine runs across the globe. After four races in Europe, which started in Zegama, Spain, and finished in Sierre-Sinal, Switzerland, the series moves to America, where race five will be the Pikes Peak Ascent, CO, and race six the Mammoth 26K, CA. From there, the top athletes from each race will qualify for the final, which will be held at Il Golfo del Isola, Italy.
Sophia Laukli is an incredible endurance athlete who has proven her successes in both cross country skiing as well as trail running. The University of Utah graduate was part of the 2022 U.S. Olympic Team and had her first FIS Cross-Country World Cup podium in the 22/23 season. The 23-year-old is fluent in English, Norwegian and French.
Laukli has been training cross country skiing this summer in Norway, her father’s home country and the home of cross country skiing, while also competing at the Golden Trail World Series. She will return home to America for the Mammoth 26K race, which will be held September 22, 2023. The 26K race is part of the annual Mammoth Trail Fest.
- Related: U.S. Cross Country Ski Team’s Sophia Laukli Wins Marathon du Mont Blanc in Chamonix, France
In an interview with U.S. Ski & Snowboard, the talented athlete said about her training:
“I’m honestly quite surprised at how well my ski training has prepared me for these races. This summer, I’ve actually been doing a bit less running and more roller skiing instead. So, naturally, I’ve been a bit hesitant or worried coming into each of these races because I’m so unsure of my running shape. But obviously, it seems to be working great. I think the main reason is that I’ve been able to train at a much higher volume with all the roller skiing (less impact/toll on the body compared to running), which has really built up my endurance even more to excel in these running races. I also think that having so much training outside of running helps the body be much more rested and recovered for the races.”