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Smarna gora to host the WMRA Grand Prix 2013 final. Print
2013_gpfinalmatejakosovelj.jpgThe International Smarna Gora Mountain Running Race remains one of the highlights of the mountain running season, and its rich tradition will continue on Saturday, October 5, with its 34th edition.
In the fall season of 1979 running enthusiasts from Ljubljana, Slovenia's capital, decided to organize a race to the top of one of the most popular mountains in Slovenia at Smarna Gora.
Nobody envisaged that it would become such a massive event with worldwide popularity. 
The WMRA Grand Prix champions of the world will again be crowned this Saturday at this magnificent mountain peak. In the early 1990s the event was the first national championships in the new state of Slovenia and later that decade, world champion Lucio Fregona (ITA) made the Smarna Gora race an internationally recognized event.
After the millennium, the Smarna Gora race became one of the founding members of the WMRA Grand Prix and since then it has been the final Grand Prix event on eleven occasions.
In the last 33 years many world championships medalists have been tested on the demanding course that takes runners 360 meters uphill to the first summit, followed by 300 meters of technical descent before a 300 meter climb to the finish. The top men will race just over 40 minutes for this 10-kilometre course.
This Saturday, the best mountain runners will again meet to test their strength, speed and skills.
This will be the first official WMRA meeting after the World Championships and many will strive to climb the famous podium at Smarna Gora.
This will be a tall order, as the top female runners will include World Championship winner Alice Gaggi (ITA) and Mateja Kosovelj (SLO) who took fourth place.
Antonella Confortola (ITA), the 2013 WMRA World Long Distance Challenge winner, will also try to earn a spot on the podium.
Slovenia's Lea Einfalt, the World Junior Championships silver medalist, is expected to be a factor at some stage of this wonderful festival of mountain running in Slovenia
2013_gpfinalteklaybaldaccini2012.jpgIn the men's event, Alex Baldaccini, returns to defend his Smarna Gora title from 2012.
Strong Eritrean team members will test their skills on the Smarna gora course also this year; Teklay Azeria, 3-times world vice-champion and Grand Prix current leader will do his best to improve his second place from 2012.
His fellow team member Tekle Yossief, 2010 junior world Champion (Kamnik-Slovenia, 5th at Smarna gora 2012) will try to repeat his successful runs on Slovenian soil.
Mitja Kosovelj of Slovenia is well positioned to offer a strong challenge since he knows the course very well. 
David Schneider (SUI, 3rd 2012) is also making a return.
Abate Gabriel (ITA, 6th 2012) and Manzi Emanuelle (8th 2012) are amongst the other top runners to attack the podium.
A strong England team will again be present with their upcoming stars (U23 team).
Eight men from the top nine in the current GP ranking will be present.
Results will be available just after the race on  http://www.timingljubljana.si/

Edited from Tomo Sarf (WMRA)

Source of the pictures: Tomo Sarf
on front page:
- Mateja Kosovelj
on second page:
- Alex Baldaccini (16) and Azerys Teklay (12)


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