Austria’s Grossglockner Berglauf Next Up For Mountain Running World Cup

Announcement from the World Mountain Running Association (WMRA). The American Trail Running Association is a WMRA media partner and will be providing coverage of all sixteen events in the 2021 Mountain Running World Cup. ATRA founder Nancy Hobbs is a member of the WMRA Council. Photos: WMRA.

This coming Sunday, July 11th the WMRA Mountain Running World Cup heads to Austria for the Grossglockner Berglauf. This race has provided some epic mountain running races over the years and excitement is high for this year’s event, which will feature some of the best off-road running athletes in the world.

2019 Grossglockner winner Filimon Abraham.

Grossglockner Berglauf takes place in Heiligenblut, under the shadow of Austria’s highest mountain at 12,460 feet, Grossglockner. This is the 22nd edition of the race, so it’s an event with a rich history, and it’s seen the very best mountain runners in the world taking part over the years. Previous winners include six-time World Mountain Running Champion Jonathan Wyatt, Anna Pichrtova, Andrea Mayr, Antonella Confortola, Filimon Abraham, Petro Mamu and Sarah Tunstall.

This race, the second stage of the 2021 Mountain Running World Cup, is categorized as a “classic” mountain race at 8 miles and 4150 feet of ascent. It follows the first Mountain Running World Cup race, Tatra Race Run, which took place on June 27th.

Race finish at the Kaiser-Franz-Josefs-Hohe.

The Grossglockner Berglauf route starts in Heiligenblut and follows the river initially, before climbing up to the famous Briccius Chapel, past the quaint Trogalm hut, then the ‘Pasterze’, the longest glacier in the Eastern Alps, before the final lung-busting climb of 2950 feet to the summit. The summit finish at the famous Kaiser-Franz-Josefs-Hohe, with stunning views all around – a great reward for all who run the race.

Grossglockner Parckplatz in the 1930s. Image courtesy of Nancy Hobbs.

Here are some of the favorites for this year’s race.

In the women’s race Charlotte Morgan (UK), who is fresh from winning the first World Cup at Tatra, will be looking to increase her lead in the women’s competition. She finished 7th at Grossglockner in 2019. Also fresh from success at Tatra are 2nd place Alice Gaggi (ITA), who also finished 3rd at the recent Italian National Championship – up and down, 4th placed Lorenza Beccaria (ITA), (4th at the Italian National Championship) and Lucie Marsanova (CZE), who was 5th at Tatra and also finished 5th in the 2019 Mountain Running World Cup. 2017 World Mountain Running Champion, 2nd placed athlete in the 2019 Mountain Running World Cup and winner of the recent (ChieseRun) Italian National Championship race, Lucy Murigi (KEN), will always be an athlete to watch. She’ll also be joined by strong compatriot Purity Kajuja Gitonga (KEN), who finished 2nd in the 2019 Grossglockner Berglauf.

Other women expected to be in contention include: Louise Mercer (UK); Timea Merenyi (HUN); Camilla Magliano (ITA); Charlotte Cotton (UK); Susanne Mair (AUT); Annika Seedorf (NED); Cecilia Basso (ITA); Joyce Muthoni Njeru (KEN); and Susanna Saapunki (FIN).

Henri Aymonod (right) at the 2019 Broken Arrow Skyrace, part of the 2019 WMRA World Cup.

The men’s race looks equally exciting, with 2019 winner (and our 2nd placed athlete in the 2019 Mountain Running World Cup) Filimon Abraham (GER), is returning for 2021. Henri Aymonod (ITA), fresh from his 3rd place at Tatra, will be one to watch, and with a lot of success at vertical kilometers he’s always strong at uphill-only races. Cesare Maestri (ITA), was 2nd in the 2019 World Mountain Running Championships and 2nd in the recent Italian National Mountain Running Championship (up and down), and could be in contention. Sylvain Cachard (FRA) had a very successful 2020 with wins at Smarna Gora, Trofeo Nasego and the French National Championships. The local Manual Innerhofer (AUT) was 3rd in the 2019 Grossglockner Berglauf and recently won the Austrian National Championships. Zak Hanna (IRE) is definitely an athlete to watch this year, having just won the Marathon du Mont Blanc VK and finished 5th at the ChieseRun, the Italian National Championships. Geoffrey Gikuni Ndungu (KEN), who finished 2nd at Grossglockner in 2019 must also be considered a favorite.

Other men expected to be in contention include: Ondrey Fejfar (CZE); Alex Jodidio (SUI) who represented the United States as a junior at the 2007 World Mountain Running Championships; Alex Baldaccini (ITA); Eric Muthomi Riungu (KEN); Timotej Becan (SLO); Isaac Kipkemboi (KEN); Lengen Lolkurraru (KEN); Giovanni Tacchini (ITA); Luca Merli (ITA); Lorenzo Cagnati (ITA); and Massimo Fracoz (ITA).

The WMRA will be bringing you the latest news and results on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and #WMRAWorldCup

Race start at Heiligenblut.

About the WMRA Mountain Running World Cup:
Races take place between June 2021 and October 2021 in 8 countries. There are 12 event locations and 16 races in 3 categories: short uphill; classic mountain race; long mountain race. Runners can take part in as many races as they want, and they get points for their finishing positions. Their best 7 results in the World Cup races count towards their final ranking. The points scoring format is cumulative. Finishing positions in a WMRA World Cup race range from 100 points for first to 1 point for 30th. There are separate competitions for men and women and athletes must compete in at least two races in order to be considered in the final rankings.

See more information at:
See full calendar for World Cup races at:

The current, reigning World Cup champions are Sarah McCormack and Andrew Douglas.

Andrew Douglas winning the 2019 Broken Arrow Skyrace.

About the World Mountain Running Association (WMRA):
Formed in 1984, we are the global governing body for mountain running and we have the goal of promoting mountain running for all ages and abilities. As well as the World Cup we organize Masters, U18 and regional championships and this year we will work in partnership with the IAAF, ITRA and IAU to deliver the first World Mountain and Trail Running Championships in Thailand.

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