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The world’s best mountain runners raced 32km over challenging terrain in Ponta do Pargo, Madeira, Portugal on the second day of the 22nd World Masters Mountain Running Championship.

WMMRC MADEIRA Long startM credit WMRA Paulo Sardinha 2While day one was all about strength and power in the uphill-only 9.2km event, day two came down to endurance and tactics and a touch of technical skill as the runners faced 1191 metres of ascent and descent in the up and down race.

The championship usually involves races of around 10km, but the addition of a long course event for the first time proved to be hugely popular as more than 200 competitors aged 35 and older (the oldest being in the M75 age group) took part.

Under beautifully cool, clear skies the runners quickly made their way out of town, climbing into the hills and the cool mists seen at this time of year on this wonderfully picturesque sub-tropical island. And it was Germany’s Simone Raatz, running in the W45 category who seized the early initiative not just in her category but in the overall race as well.


By checkpoint one she had built up a two-minute lead on Ireland’s Dee Collins, winner of the W35 short race on the Friday. And by the top that lead had extended to more than three minutes and the title was pretty much secure given Raatz’s undoubted pedigree. A champion in 2020, she relentlessly built up a commanding lead to cross the line in 2:45:08                                                                                            

“It went very well today,” said Raatz. “On the start line I thought my rivals were perhaps not so strong on the climb, so I really went hard early on. And actually, I don’t like trails so much, but today, for me the paths were great.” Behind her, Portugal’s Vera Bernardo (W40) enjoyed a great second half to ease into second overall.

WMMRC MADEIRA Long startM credit WMRA Paulo Sardinha 1

Equally Spain’s Ana Cristina Aguado Mori was overjoyed to take the W60 title, adding it to the only she won on day one. “This victory comes after many years of mountain running,” the silver medallist from 2021 said after crossing the line first in 3:12:28 having dominated the race from the gun. Mori and Collins were the only women to win two titles over the weekend.                                                     

In the men’s race, also on the hunt for a double was Bulgaria’s Shaban Mustafa. He led early on and was never challenged. Winner of the M45 race on Friday (and the 45km Davos X-Trails this season, not to mention a former winner of the Jungfrau Marathon), he quickly built up a three-minute lead on the field over the peak and remained in full control on the slippery descent to take the gold in 2:11:52, fully 15 minutes clear in his age group.

* Spain will host the WMRA World Mountain Running Masters Championship for the first time in 2024.

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Titles were awarded in every age category, which use five-year bands starting from 35.

In the women, the winners were Dee Collins (IRL, W35); Vera Bernardo (POR, W40); Simone Raatz (GER, W45); Isobel Sandoval (ESP, W50); Nicoletta Ferrari (ITA, W55); Ana Mori (ESP, W60); Maria Romero (ESP, W65); Elfriede Ganter (GER, W70)

WMMRC MADEIRA Long 1 credit WMRA Nancy Hoobs 1Vera Bernardo (POR, W40), Simone Raatz (GER, W45), Dee Collins (IRL, W35). Photo © Nancy Hobbs

And in the men’s races, the gold medals and the title of world champion was awarded to Edward Connor (IRL, M35); Bernardi Massimiliano (ITA, M40); Shaban Mustafa (BUL, M45); Andrew O’Brien (AUS, M50); Miguel Molero-Eichwein (GER, M55); Mike Whyatt (GBR, M60); Bojan Galin (SLO, M65); Vasile Harjoc (ROU, M70); Geoffrey Howard GBR (M75)

WMMRC MADEIRA Long 1 credit WMRA Nancy Hoobs Tiago Aires (POR, M40), Shaban Mustafa (BUL, M45); Bernardi Massimiliano (ITA, M40). Photo © Nancy Hobbs



Full results can be found online; here are the top 3s in each age category:


1 Dee Collins (IRL) 2:49:32; 2 Helen Fallas (GBR) 3:03:18; 3 Barbara Correia (POR) 3:07:05


1 Vera Barnardo (POR) 2:48:39; 2 Rose Wetzel (USA) 2:51:47; 3 Kerstin Esterlechner (GER) 2:54:19

Teams: 1 Portugal 14


1 Simone Raatz (GER) 2:45:08; 2 Ghizela Vonica (ROU) 3:02:54; 3 Sharon Woods (IRL) 3:04:29

Teams: 1 Germany 12; 2 Ireland 20; 3 Romania 14


1 Isabel Sandoval (ESP) 3:08:58; 2 Irina Margaretescu (ROU) 3:18:30; 3 Lesley Watson (GBR) 3:19:06

Teams: 1 Portugal 18


1 Nicoletta Ferrari (ITA) 2:58:04; 2 Sabina Russell (GBR) 3:00:09; 3 Elke Keller (GER) 3:05:39

Teams: 1 Great Britain 6; 2 Slovenia 11


1 Ana Mori (ESP) 3:12:28; 2 Jane Wickham (ESP) 3:30:04; 3 Barbara Murray (ESP) 4:098:34

Teams: 1 Spain 6


1 Maria Romero (ESP) 4:23:19


1 Elfriede Ganter (GER) 3:42:52; 2 Hilda Coulsey (GER) 4:25:06



1 Edward Connor (IRL) 2:23:40; 2 Roman Bak (SVK) 2:27:04; 3 Joel Farre (ESP) 3:30:04

Teams:1 Portugal 20; 2 Spain 7


1 Massimiliano Bernardi (ITA) 2:19:22; 2 Tiago Aires (POR) 2:20:22; 3 Andrew Fallas (GBR) 2:22:24

Teams: 1 Portugal 18; 2 Japan 26; 3 Great Britain 14

M45 1 Shaban Mustafa (BUL) 2:11:52; 2 Americo Caldeira (POR) 2:26:50; 3 Raul Garcia (ESP) 2:37:33

Teams: 1 Portugal 12; Spain 21; Italy 22


1 Andrew O’Brien (AUS) 2:26:41; 2 Ivan Bourgeois (FRA) 2:27:14; 3 Paul Faulkner (GBR) 2:27:33

Teams: 1 France 16; 2 Spain 35; 3 Portugal 42


1 Miguel Molero-Eichwein (GER) 2:23:46; 2 Petras Rostislav (CZE) 2:33:01; 3 Americo Pereira (POR) 2:35:34

Teams: 1 Portugal 24; Romania 30; 3 Ireland 48


1 Mike Whyatt (GBR) 2:37:00; 2 Josef Attenberger (GER) 2:43:32; 3 Huber Winfried (GER) 2:44:50

Teams: 1 Spain 22; Germany 23; Great Britain 24


1 Bojan Galin (SLO) 3:03:21; 2 Michael Plattner (AUT) 3:06:55; 3 Sepp Sidler (SUI) 3:11:20

Teams: 1 Germany 28; 2 Romania 15; 3 Italy 17


1 Vasile Harjoc (ROU) 3:11:06; 2 Tadeusz Jasek (POL) 3:22:25; 3 Jose Perez (ESP) 3:31:18

Teams: 1 USA 17; 2 Spain 8


1 Geoffrey Howard (GBR) 3:52:08; 2 Michel Regis (FRA) 4:11:03; 3 Alois Fink (AUT) 4:26:36


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