18. WMRA World Cup 2016: Tek na Smarno Goro final stage!
The 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 1, with its 37th edition as the final Mountain Running World Cup 2016 race.
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 envisioned that it would become such a massive event with worldwide popularity.
The mountain running 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 World Cup and since then it has been the final World Cup event on fourteen occasions.
In the last 36 years many World and European Championships medallists 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.
After the World Cup race in Bergen last Sunday, this will be the second 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 serial World and European Champion Andrea Mayr (AUT), and Alice Gaggi, Italian specialist for technical descents, also world champion 2013.
In the men’s event, favourite No1 is Smarna gora 2014 winner Eritrean Petro Mamu who is almost unbeaten in the last 2 seasons.
Alex Baldaccini (ITA), returns to defend his Smarna Gora title from 2012, when he set the course record; in 2013 and 2014 he finished 3rd and in 2015 second.
Ugandans not even 20 years old Joel Ayeko and Victor Kiplangat, actual junior World Champion and Vice-champion, will test their skills on the Smarna Gora course for the first time.
Andrew Douglas, representing GBR, is one of the strongest mountain runners of this season; he finished in top positions wherever they raced.
In this strong international competition, Slovenian runners will try to use the benefits of home soil.
The weather forecast promises excellent running conditions and maybe even course records.
Edited from Tomo Sarf (WMRA Council mmber)
Source of the pictures (Tomo Sarf - WMRA):
on front page:
- top runners in action.