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World Cup 2021 Races

The 2021 World Cup has something for everybody – 8 countries, 12 locations, some old favourites, some new soon-to-be favourites. Let’s take a closer look at the 16 races which make up next year’s competition.

broken arrow skyrace 2The World Cup kicks off on 18 June with a race which made its debut in the 2019 World Cup, Broken Arrow. This time there are 2 races, a short uphill only race of 5.1k with 900m of ascent on the Friday, then the 26k race with 1700m, which featured in the 2019 competition, on the Sunday. The race describes itself as ‘European-inspired mountain running characterized by off-trail scrambling, steep terrain, and massive amounts of vertical gain and loss’ and the majority of it takes place at over 6000 feet.

Next is a new race for the World Cup and the first of 2 visits to Poland for us, Tatra Race Run on 26 June. This is our second long mountain race, at 24k with 2019m of up and down running. We’re really looking forward to exploring the Tatra Mountains, which look stunning. They are part of the Tatra National Park and  part of UNESCO's World Network of Biosphere Reserves.

From there we head to familiar ground when we return to Grossglockner Berglauf in Heilenblut, Austria on the 11th of July for our next classic mountain race. Runners will take on the 13k race with 1265m of uphill (no down) against the stunning backdrop. 0124eb46f6 z

Then it’s over to another new World Cup event in France on 17 July, La Montee du Nid d’Aigle. This takes place in beautiful St Gervais in France and it’s our next classic mountain race at 19.5k with 2000m of ascent, up to Refuge du Nid d’Aigle, and just 100m of descent. Could this be the year that the women’s record is broken? Isabelle Guillot has held it since 2006!

Next we take our second trip to the Tatra Mountains for Tatra Sky Marathon on 24 July. This is our next long mountain race at 42k and runners will take on a huge 3300m of ascent and descent. This race looks epic, but don’t take our word for it, watch this video:

It’s back to an old favourite for another long mountain race next – it’s the one and only Sierre Zinal! Who could forget the level of competition at the 2019 race when both the men’s and women’s records fell? Could we see something like that again in 2020 with athletes itching to return to competition? We’ll find out over 31k with 2200m of ascent from Sierre to Zinal.

50415828183 f58bd2ec9e cThen it’s on to the most northern part of the Czech Republic for the Krkonossky Half Marathon, which had to wait an extra year to debut in the World Cup. This race is just a week after Sierre-Zinal and it will be our next classic mountain race, at 21k with 1200m of climbing.

Next we travel to northern Italy for Vertical Nasego and Trofeo Nasego. On 4 September the short uphill race will take place, over a distance of 4.2k with 1000m of ascent and the following day the classic mountain race will be contested over a 21.5k course with 1336m of climbing.

Then we head to another race which had to wait a while to make its World Cup debut – Canfranc-Canfranc in the SpanishCanfranc 1 Pyrenees. This rugged race will take place on 11 and 12  September and the runners will have a choice between the 45k (and an incredible +3910m) long mountain race or the classic mountain distance with 1195m of ascent. 

From there we head to a race which served as the World Mountain Running Championships for Masters runners in 2019, Trofeo Ciolo. This race on 26 September isn’t in the mountains, it’s along the stunning, jagged coastline in Gagliano del Capo, Puglia, but at 11k with 496m of short and sharp ascent this classic mountain race will be a fast test for athletes.

zumaia flysch trail 2016 fotos Then it’s out second trip to Spain of the World Cup for Zumaia Flysch Trail Mendi Maratoina on the 3 October. There will be a long mountain race, with 42k with 3000m of ascent, and also a classic mountain race of 14k with 425m of ascent.

Lastly, we round out the 2020 World Cup with one more short uphill race on the 10th October – the Kilometro Verticale Chiavenna-Lagunac in Italy. This classic of Italian mountain running has already been a WMRA affiliated race and it’s known as the ‘vertical race of the records’. Will it live up to that reputation in 2021 with the added attraction of inclusion 50450582672 24eba5daec bin the World Cup? We hope so!

The global Covid-19 pandemic may yet create some adaptations or even cancellations of events and the individual race organisers, as well as the WMRA, will continue to monitor the situation going forward. Local restrictions will be observed and athlete and volunteer safety will be paramount. 

The 2021 World Cup in numbers:

8 Countries

12 Event locations

16 races in 3 categories

10,000+ participants