2016 World Masters Mountain Running Championship Preview

Press release from Atletica Susa – hosts of the 2016 World Masters Mountain Running Championships.


World Masters Mountain Running Championships in Susa (Italy) 2016 are ready to start with great numbers: 700 athletes enrolled in the master race and in the open race, 27 countries including Italy. These numbers increase abundantly those of Betws Y Coed 2015 edition, and are bound to increase as the registration for open race will close on Saturday, August 27. Among the countries with the highest number of athletes, are Italy with 325 athletes, Great Britain, with 65 members, Germany (39) and Slovakia (33). Ireland (23), Czech Republic (22), Norway (14), Spain (13), France (9), Poland (9), Malta (6), Switzerland (6), USA (5), New Zeland (4), Austria (4), Serbia (3), Sweden (3), Netherlands (3), Australia (2), Slovenia (2), Portugal (1), Hungary (1), Denmark (1), Cuba (1), Belgium (1), Belarus (1), Mexico (1) will also be present.


The World Masters Mountain Running Championships, are hosted by Italy for the third time after the 2004 edition in Sauze d’Oulx (Turin) and the 2011 edition in Paluzza (Udine). The ones of 2016 are the 17th edition of the event. The World Championships in Susa will be a race run through history: the start will take place under the Arch of Augustus in Susa, a splendid example of archaeological remains of the Roman Empire, while the arrival of the male master classes (age 35 – 50) will be at Costa Rossa where a memorial stone celebrates the deeds of Partigiani who fought fascism, a group led by Commander “Laghi”, alias Giulio Bolaffi, in the battle of Grange Sevine of August 26, 1944. This is the Stellinarace, the Memorial the partisans of Stellina, which this year celebrates its 28th edition. Compared with the 2015 event in Wales, when the path was of ascent and descent, the route of Susa is only ascent.


TOP RUNNERS. Many prominent names in the history of mountain running and especially in the history of Stellina will be present. Among them Antonio Molinari and Jonathan Wyatt, two icons, world champions in the past who share the roll of honour of the Stellinarace. Was the absolute world champion in 1996 in Telfes (AUT) and world champion master in 2011 (M40 category); in his palmares in the World Championships over 35 there are two silvers (2007 and 2012) and one bronze (2014). A great friend of the Stellinarace, he won without interruption from 1995 to 1998 and climbed on the podium several times, recently in 2007 when he won silver. Wyatt, from New Zeland, was world champion in mountain running for 6 times (1998, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2008). He is the king of the Stellinarace as won 15 editions (1999-2009, 2013 and 2014). He is also the testimonial of Master Susa 2016 World Cup with his wife, Antonella Confortola (it’s exactly on the path on the path of Susa that they met for the first time). Among the Azzurri the name of Marco Olmo, M65, is linked to the dawn of Italian trail; after years of racing in the most extreme races and the longest trails, always present from 1996-2015 in the Marathon de Sable, extreme 240km race across the Sahara in Morocco (he climbed the podium in 1996 and in 1997, winning the third place). Now Marco Olmo is back to where it all started, the mountain running. One of the opponents of Olmo will be Elio Ruffino, holder of the record ascent and descent of Rocciamelone departing from Susa. The world champion Marino Portigliotti will run in the M60 category.

Among the top foreign runners, a prominent place is held by Cesar Costa (M40) a Portuguese living in Switzerland; several times in the absolute national of his country, he climbed the podiumof the Sierre-Zinal, one of the historical mountains race, four times. The British Martin Cox (M45)will also be present. He was on the podium of Stellina in 2001 (2nd) and 2002 (3rd), silver at the 2015 World Master Mountain Championships. Another British runner is Ben Mounsey, born in 1981, at the start of the M35, who only a few months ago participated at the Europeans Mountain Championships in Arco di Trento. The races of the World Championships Zac Freudenburg (M35) from Netherlands, the British Karl Grey (M45), Robert Craig (M50), Bernard Grant (M65) and Geoffrey Howard (M70), the German Franz Prager (M55) will also deserved to be watched with interest. Other stars of the British team (World Champions in 2015), Anna Lupton (F35), Ali Keates (F50) and Ann-Marie Jones (F60) will be in the race and the the Czech Jana Matyasova, absolute national of her country will run in the F50 category.


PROGRAM. The 2016 World Championship event of Susa kicks off with a non-competitive race on Thursday, August 25 “Waiting for the World Master Mountain Running Championships” will take place at 18:00 in Susa (on-site registration open until departure). On Friday will be the turn of the official opening ceremony at 18.00 in Principe Oddone Square in Susa with a parade of the participating nations. On Saturday and Sunday the open race and the world master races will take place in the morning, while in the afternoon there will be the award ceremonies in Principe Oddone Square where the World Championships Village is placed. Excellent food and wine, hand craft objects of the Susa Valley and the exhibition point of Mizuno, technical sponsor of the event, will be in the same square. On Saturday afternoon starting at 16:00 there will be a ceremony in honour of the Partigiani with the reading of some pages from the diary of Giulio Bolaffi, Commander “Laghi”. On Sunday, August 28 at 16:00 the closing ceremony will start in the Italian national team who will participate at the World Championships in Mountain Race scheduled on September 11 in Sanpareva Banya in Bulgaria will be presented to the public and to the media. The passage of the flag to the delegation of Dubnica nad Vahom (Slovakia), organizer of the 2017 World Masters Mountain Running Championships, will follow. Everything is ready in Susa for the 2016 edition of the Masters World Mountain Champions. You will be welcome!

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