DAMIAN Hall heads out to the Alps this week with another morale-boosting victory under his belt, writes KEVIN FAHEY.

The Wiltshire ultra-distance star is spending three days in Switzerland reconnoitering the route for his debut in the Ultra Tour Monte Rosa 105 miles race around the Matterhorn, starting on September 5.

So 43-year-old Hall was pleased with his performance in Cornwall at the weekend when he won the Roseland August Trail 50k race along the South West coast path in 4hrs 30mins 56secs.

“I was really delighted to win this race because I was up against some very speedy youngsters” said Hall, who lives in Box.

“It was a tough run and pretty fast for me compared to the distances I normally run, so I was hanging onto the leaders for a long time.

“In fact, it was only in the last four or five miles that my strength and endurance came through and I took the lead for the first time.

“It felt good to win a race again as things haven’t gone as well as I would have wanted this year, so it was good to come back and beat a few younger guys. It was very encouraging.”

It was just the sort of confidence boost Hall needed as he flew out to Switzerland on Wednesday to spend a few days running around the Monte Rosa course which also takes in parts of Italy as the event criss-crosses the daunting Alps.

“For the past four years I have run the UTMB race (Ultra-Trail du Mont Blanc) and I just felt like I wanted a change so entered the Monte Rosa instead,” added Hall.

“It is a relatively new event that was only started a few years ago and is very similar to the UTMB but probably even more beautiful in terms of terrain.

“Obviously it is a lower profile race and won’t have the same calibre of runners as the UTMB but it will still be very competitive and I’m looking forward to a new challenge which is why I am going out the recce the course.”