13. European Mountain Running Championships, Gap-France, 12. July 2014
Gap, hosting venue of the next 13. European Mountain Running Championships, has a great mountain running tradition.
There will be 26 European countries present at the 13. European Running Championships.
Gap, the South Alps’ Capital, is located between Chamonix and Nice, between Mediterranean Provence and the high Alps and sits at an elevation of 750 meters with 42,000 inhabitants. Gap lives like a charming Provençal City in the heart of the Alps. Close to the “Parc National des Ecrins” with its 4.000 meters high mountains, Gap has an ideal location for mountain-related sport activities. In a few minutes you have access to hundreds of kilometres of excellent hiking paths and mountain biking routes. Ideal conditions for mountain runners!
In 1993, it was the host city of the 9th World Mountain Running Trophy and the local favourite Isabelle Guillot was the winner of the women’s race. In her long and successful sport career from 1987 to 2008, she participated in 17 World and 11 European major events; she stood 10 times on the podium, 5 times on the highest position. Isabelle designed the course for the races this year. We are all convinced that the 4km long loop with 250 m ascents and descents will include all the elements of mountain running: steep ascents, technical descents and fast sections in the middle. Girls will have to run it once, boys and ladies 2 times and men 3 times.
In July 2013 on the same paths on the slopes of Charence mountain participants of WMRA Youth challenge tested the courses.
A detailed view to the list of the entered runners tells a lot about the favourites, although it is not easy to predict the results on the basis of the results of the 2013 edition, where the course was an uphill one. To compare the 2012 results, where the course was similar to this one is also not the best. Maybe the best comparison would be with the results with the last year’s World Championships.
Especially in the women’s race, where all top ten women were Europeans’, and from those ten, eight will start also in Gap. Italian Alice Gaggi, the World Champion against European Champion Andrea Mayr from Austria, who had a fantastic performance at the second World Cup race in Bludenz. Italian team with defending champion and Elisa Desco will be the favourite for team gold, but the British team with Emma Clayton and Sarah Tunstall could also be a front runner for gold. Mateja Kosovelj of Slovenia, third and fourth from European and World Championships 2013 and Grand Prix 2013 winner is also hungry for a victory. From the World Champs 2013 top ten, Sarah McCormack from Ireland, Dominika Wisniewska from Poland and Burcu Buyukbezgin from Turkey will also compete. Sabine Rainer from Austria had shown some excellent performances this year and will try to help her teammate Andrea Mayr secure a team medal.
In the men’s race, the favourites are probably Turkish runners, who dominated in 2012 and Italian runners who dominated in 2013. Bernard Dematteis and Alex Baldaccini are the Italian top runners and six times European Champion Ahmet Arslan and silver medallist from Denizli, Muslu Ercan are Turkish favourites. Spanish Enriqe Meneses and Czech Robert Krupicka who were in the top ten in 2012 and in 2013 could be also be a factor. Of course local Julien Rancon and Emanuel Meyssat will do their best to earn a medal for France. Slovenian Mitja Kosovelj, twice World long distance Challenge winner and specialist for technical descents could also be a top finisher on this particular course. He will face Romanian Ionut Zinca, bronze medallist from ECh 2012 and silver medallist from Long distance Challenge 2013.
Junior races are always quite unpredictable.
In the boy’s race, last year’s top four Karagoz Ramazan (TUR), Manuel Innenhofer (AUT) and Domink Sadlo (CZE) seems to be the favourites.
In the girls’ race, Catriona Graves (GBR), Andre Piscu (ROU) and Michala Stranska (CZE) are the only ones who finished in top 10 World Championships 2013.
Edited from Tomo Sarf and Nancy Hobbs (WMRA)
Source of the pictures:
On front page (from EAA):
- logo of the event;
On second page: (from LOC):
- landscape and view of Gap (with zone of the race in the circle).