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Race Preview: International Under 18 Mountain Running Cup

Saluzzo will be the scene of the International Under 18 Cup 2022. Between Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th of June, at least 90 young runners will compete in the hills of the Italian city.

SMLU18 PosterWith the summer solstice behind our backs, we can only think of warmer days and the International Under 18 Mountain Running Cup, a yearly event for junior runners between 16 and 17 years old. Tomo Sarf, president of the WMRA, mentioned that the age range that has been set is an excellent stage to start looking for a new level, and younger athletes should enjoy the game pressureless. The first edition of this Cup was in Italy in 2006 under the name "International Mountain Running Youth Challenge". After two years of a pause due to the pandemic, the Under 18 International Cup is back in its birth country.

Eleven different nations will be running in this 2022 International Under 18 competition. The countries competing will be Wales, France, England, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Italy, Poland, Scotland, Slovenia, United States, and Hungary. The athletes will be grouped into teams of maximum of five runners. The expectation is high in each participant because "the athletes are very young, most of them have not competed in international events yet. We will see this weekend who we will need to keep an eye on in the next future”, mentioned Arianna Dentis, member of the Local Organizing Committee.

The 15th edition of the Cup will have an uphill/downhill course on two loops that start and finish at the same place. The first will be the shortest, composed of 550 m followed by the second round of 3800 m. The total distance of the course will be 4350 m with an ascent descent amount of +/- 155 m. The terrain consists mainly of cobblestone and grass, with small sections of asphalt. The racetrack will pass close to historical monuments such as the ancient residence of the Marquises and the Civic Tower. The start line will be located 550 m from the race village.

SML48613170586 e36100949c kThe Local Organizing Committee has established a Race Village with a Technical Information Center (TIC) to facilitate the communication with Team Leaders, the LOC, the WMRA Delegate, and the competition Management. Results will be handed out and protests forms can be generated at the TIC in Caserma Mario Musso, Piazza Montebello 1. Team members must get an accreditation card that has to be worn at all times. This accreditation can be obtained at the Race Office at Caserma Mario Musso. The cards will allow them to access the warm-up area, changing facilities, and shuttle service.

Team members will be able to perform a course inspection. The route will be fully marked and accessible from Saturday 25th between 9h00 and 15h30. The technical meeting will be celebrated during the opening on Saturday 25th at 17h00. The competition will take place on Sunday 26th. The WMRA Under 18 Cup will start at 10h15 with the Girls race, followed by the Boys at 11h00. Athletes must report to the Call Room 20 minutes before their turn; failure to do so may result in their exclusion from participation. The Award ceremony will take place at 18h00 in Piazza Ludovico Vieneis.

SMLU18 MapSaluzzo will host the Cup for the first time. Located in the province of Piedmont, this city became Italy's first European Region of sport. Saluzzo consists of an area of 80 km2 and 17,348 inhabitants. Arianna Dentis points out that "is the ideal scenario for this IU18MR CUP because it lays in the alpine foothills, at the same time it is a lively and young city. It's the perfect mix between nature and city life." Mount Viso is the most iconic peak visible from the zone.

Saluzzo was the capital of the ancient Marquisate from 1142 to 1548. The Marquis Manfredo I ordered the building of a massive castle called Castiglia, which is still standing there. The oldest part of the city has a history dating from medieval gates with cobbled streets and noble houses.

Check out the results of previous editions here. The winners from the last celebrated U18 Cup were Italy on the Girls category with six points and France on the boys with the same punctuation. We invite you to follow the competition on our social media and look for the official results on our web page to find out this year winners.

Written by María Ávila for WMRA, photos by Damiano Benedetto. Find a full gallery here.