World Mountain Running Championships Preview
The World Mountain Running Championships and World Long Distance Mountain Running Championships are being held together at Villa La Angostura on 15th and 16th November. The best mountain runners in the world, juniors and seniors, will take on the stunning courses in Patagonia. 450 runners are expected from 42 countries.
On Friday 16th the junior men will set off at 9.45am and the junior women at 10.15am. They will race over a route of 6.6k with 393 metres of ascent. Then at 11.45am the senior menâ€™s race will start, and the womenâ€™s at 12.15pm. The seniors course is up and down this year, on a 14k course with 754 metres of ascent.
On Saturday 17th itâ€™s all about the long distance race. They set off at 8.40am on a 41.5k route, which has 2,184m of ascent.
Find out more about both race routes here http://www.wmra.info/news/latest-news-from-the-wmra/769-two-weeks-to-go-to-the-world-championships
All the events have incredible fields and we are certain to see some really exciting racing. We will mention just a few of the runners to watch (based on the start lists available at the moment).
Womenâ€™s senior race
The 2019 World Cup winner, Sarah McCormack, will be running for Ireland. After a very successful season, where she won the Snowdon Race and was second at the MaXi Race, Drei Zinnen and Smarna Gora, she must be one of the favourites. She will face strong competition from many women. Firstly, the World Cup winner from 2017 and 2018 (second this year), Lucy Murigi, proved that she will be a contender, winning Smarna Gora a few weeks ago in a thrilling race with McCormack.
Sarah Tunstall of GB will also be a favourite, having finished 3rd in the world championships in 2017 and having won Grossglockner and Drei Zinnen this year. Her compatriot Emmie Collinge must also be one to watch. She was 2nd in the world championships in 2015 and won the European Mountain Running Championships the following year.
Other women to watch include Italyâ€™s Elisa Sortini and Alice Gaggi, Franceâ€™s Elise Poncet and Grayson Murphy, who won the US trial.
Menâ€™s senior race
The menâ€™s World Cup winner, Andrew Douglas, will also be in Villa La Angostura, and will be among the favourites, having had an incredible 2019 season. Joe Gray won the US trials and as 2016 world champion and 17 time national champion, he must also be one to watch. Irelandâ€™s Zak Hannah, who finished 6th in the World Cup this year, will also be a strong competitor, as will Sloveniaâ€™s Timotej Becan, who finished 5th.
The Italian team is strong as ever with Xavier Chevrier, Luca Cagnati and Casare Maestri among others who could well feature in the top 10. The French team is also very strong with Julien Rancon and Alexandre Fine. The Kenyan team contains Robert Panin Surum and Timothy Kimutai Kirui, who could feature.
Other runners to watch include Hans-Peter Innerhofer of Austria and GBâ€™s Jacob Adkin, this year's European Champion, is a favourite to be up there.
Womenâ€™s long distance race
Over the longer distance the womenâ€™s race should also be really exciting. One of the most interesting athletes to watch will be Laura Dahlmeier of Germany, who has famously swapped an incredibly successful career as a biathlete for mountain running. Franceâ€™s Blandin Lâ€™hirondel won this yearâ€™s Trail World Championships, so it will be interesting to see how that translates to mountain running. Judith Wyder of Switzerland should also be a strong favourite, having had a hugely successful season in Skyrunning. Her compatriot Maude Mathys will also be a strong contender.
Spain are fielding a very strong team, with Sheila Aviles (who was 3rd at this yearâ€™s Trail World Championships) and Azara Garcia de los Salmones (4th at the Trail World Championships, 2nd at this yearâ€™s OCC), among others expected to feature.
Other runners to watch include Italyâ€™s Sylvia Rampazzo, Adeline Roche of France, Kellie Emmerson of Australia,
Menâ€™s long distance race
The menâ€™s long distance race has had a couple of big names pull out â€“ Luis Alberto Hernando of Spain and GBâ€™s Tom Evans â€“ but it still has plenty of incredible athletes. The 2019 World Trail Champion Jonathan Albon from GB will be among the favourites, as will Italyâ€™s Francesco Puppi. But itâ€™s perhaps the US team which has aroused the most interest. Jim Walmsley, Hayden Hawks and Mario Mendoza are strongly expected to feature in the race.
Other runners to watch include Switzerlandâ€™s Stephan Wenk, GBâ€™s Seb Batchelor and Franceâ€™s Nicolas Martin.
The junior races will be hotly contested and the future of mountain running is looking very bright. Among the runners are the British junior Joe Dugdale, who won this year's European championships, and Joslin Blair of the US, who won the 2018 WMRA International U18 Mountain Running Championships.