Slovenian Mateja Kosovelj and Eritrean Teklay Azeria are the winners of Grand Prix race in Slovenia.
Slovenian Mateja Kosovelj and Eritrean Teklay Azeria Weldemariam won the third stage of the WMRA Grand Prix 2013 at Kamnik, Slovenia.
258 Runners from 14 countries gathered on the start line of the 15th Grintovec race in a beautiful valley of Kamniska Bistrica 25km north from Ljubljana.
Some world top mountain runners attended: 2012 winner and the winner of the first Grand Prix race Azerya Teklay Weldemariam from Eritrea, European silver medallist Italian Alex Baldaccini and his team mate Gabrielle Abate, British Robbie Simpson and Sam Tosh, Japanese Yujiro Iida and Fujio Miyachi, etc.
Eritrean runner started with a high pace that no one could follow, so he run his own race all along the 9,6km course with extreme 2000 elevation gain. He crossed the finish line with a smile on his face in a decent time of 1:22:14, which was far away from the course record and also from his winning time from the last year - but still a very good results when respecting the extreme conditions - it was the hottest day of this summer with 38degC in the valley.
All the others were fitting for the rest 2 medals and the strongest was local Nejc Kuhar, third from the last year, specialist for extreme mountain running races like kilometre vertical.
Baldaccini, who was the only one who even tried to follow the late winner, paid the price of too fast beginning and finished third.
A short view to the start list of the women's race shows only one candidate for the top position: Mateja Kosovelj, bronze medallist from Borovets did not disappoint her fans and finished clearly in fort of the others.
Ex-Croatian mountain running team member Veronika Jurisic was a big surprise finishing on the second position and Iva Milesova, the 2012 winner, finished third.
Both course records will remain a challenge for the next years; Anna Pichrtova and Jonathan Wyatt will stay on the top positions of the "all times top results".
The organizers did a really great job; all the runners enjoyed the hospitality and excellent course preparation with lots of well supplied refreshing stations along the course.
In the Grand Prix, after the third race, all the leading 4 ladies finished 2 races but Mateja Kosovelj took the lead; in the men's competition, Teklay with 2 finished races came closer to Baldaccini, but both Italians on the first and third position finished 3 races.
The next station of the WMRA Grand Prix will be the World Championships at Krynica Zdroj in Poland in begin September.
Tomo Sarf for LOC
Source of the pictures: Tomo Sarf.
- on front page: Mateja Kosovelj;
- on second page Eritrean Teklay Azeria Weldemariam: one moment of relax, immediately before the prize flower ceremony.