On Sunday, June 29, a record 17 nations participated (96 runners in total) in the 9th WMRA International Youth Cup in Arco, Italy, hosted by Castle Mountain Running/Garda Trentino.
The athletes, ages 16 and 17, raced over a varied course starting in the town square.
It was a unique event including cobblestones on the pathway, numerous steps on the ascent toward the 12th century castle, grassy terrain, steep descents, and dirt pathway through olive groves.
Six nations had athletes with medals: France with two gold and one silver and Italy with two gold and one brone were the leaders of this event. Russia and Turkye won one silver and one bronze each; then Bulgaria took one silver and England won one bronze.
It was a very challenging course with the girls running nearly 4 kilometers, and the boys nearly 5 kilometers.
In the girls race, the early lead went to Burcu Subatan (TUR) who was first to reach the flat grassy section just beyond the one kilometre mark. But the course did not stop climbing here. Subatan lead up the roadway toward the castle and more steps and then on the descent, a few of the chase runners - Elsa Racasan (FRA), Tatiana Ivanaeva (RUS), Sinaida Antonova (RUS) started to gain ground.
Coming out of the forest, Racasan took the lead and crossed the finish line in Arco timed in 19:43. Second was Ivanaeva in 19:55, while Subatan was third in 20:02. There were 48 finishers in the girls race (49 at the start).
In the team competition, France won gold with 30 points followed by Bulgaria with 33 points and Russia 1 with 35 points.
The men’s competition also saw a runner from Turkey leading after the first climb. This runner was Abdullah Yorulmaz. But on the descent, Yorulmaz, with a 10 second lead, missed a turn and Davide Magnini overtook him and increased the lead. Yorulmaz was not strong on the descent and even though he made it back on course quickly, he was overtaken by six more runners and ended up in eighth position.
Magnini was cheered by the home town crowd as he finished more than 30 seconds in front of the second runner. Magnini was timed in 21:29 followed by Pierre Xolin (FRA) in 22:07, and Samuele Nava (ITA) in 22:08. There were 47 runners in the boys race.
In the team competition, Italy scored 13 points to take gold, Turkey won the silver medal with 36 points and the English 1 team received the bronze with 38 points (same points of Bulgaria, fourth).
Opening the competition on Saturday evening was a parade of nations and entertainment from a local band and majorettes from the region.
It was a wonderful weekend of mountain running and the weather cooperated for most of the events, although rain started soon after the junior boys began their race and continued for a few hours.
From the FIDAL, Sergio Baldo, from the LOC, president Franco Travaglia, and joining the delegation for the WMRA were president Bruno Gozzelino, Raimondo Balicco, honorary member and technical delegate at Arco, honorary member Pierre Weiss (FRA), Tomo Sarf (SLO), Wolfgang Munzel GER), Andrzej Puchacz (POL), and Nancy Hobbs (USA).
At the WMRA Congress in Casette di Massa in September, a name change to Youth Championships will be considered.
The venue for the 2015 Youth International Cup will be announced in September, also at the WMRA Congress meeting.
Edited from Nancy Hobbs (WMRA)
Source of the pictures:
On front page (from LOC):
- boys team podium;
On second page: (from LOC):
- girls individual podium;
- girls team podium;
- boys individual podium.