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 / Tatra Skymarathon.
The 4th round of the 22nd annual WMRA Mountain Running World Cup heads back to the Tatra Mountains in Poland for the Tatra SkyMarathon this coming Saturday, July 24th. This long distance mountain running race is 25 miles long and features a lung busting 10,800 feet of ascent!
The 2021 Mountain Running World Cup kicked off last month in the Tatra Mountains at the 15 mile Tatra Race Run which proved that Zakopane is a spectacular venue for mountain running. The Tatra SkyMarathon is starts in Kościelisko, just West of Zakopane where organizers describe the terrain as ‘steep but runnable, with a rocky and gravel surface’. The bulk of the climbing in the course comes from two long ascents, each with over 3,300 feet of climbing.
From the start in Kościelisko, the race route begins to climb almost immediately, before reaching the high point of Krzesanica at 6,876 feet at the 7.3 mile point. This is one of the four Czerwone Wierchy peaks (Red Peaks) in the region. The route then descends back down to about 3,600 feet at Hala Ornak, the 11.8 mile point. But there won’t be any respite for the runners as they will then need to climb 3,200 feet again, all the way up to Starorobocianski Wierch, the highest point on the course, which they’ll hit at the 16 mile mark. Then it’s down, with one final, smaller sting in the tail climb, before the final descent all the way back to Kościelisko.
A long part of the route follows the West Tatra Mountain Ridge which promises some incredible views. As the organizers write, “The Tatra SkyMarathon is fast, it’s technical and beautiful. We’resure you will enjoy it.”
There’s a strong field in both the women’s and men’s races. Some athletes who achieved success in last months Tatra Race Run are back for more. Currently scheduled to race are 2021 Tatra Race Run winner Charlotte Morgan (GBR), 3rd place finisher Iwona Januszyk (POL), 8th place finisher Katarzyna Fraczysta (POL), and 11th place finisher Joanna Piatek (POL). Also racing is Marcela Vasinova (CZE), who was 2nd at last weekend’s DoloMyths Run.
In men’s race, 2021 Tatra Race Run 8th place finisher Kamil Leśniak (POL) returns with hopes of moving up the placings. Tatra Race Run 15th place finisher Raúl Criado Sánchez (ESP) also returns to challenge the Tatras Mountains. Polish champion Marcin Swierc, known for podium finishes at the CCC and TDS, will also be one to watch.
Four of last year’s top five men at the Tatra Skymarathon will return this year including Peter Frano (SVK) who was 2nd, Bartosz Misiak (POL) who was 3rd, Kamil Leśniak who finished 4th, and Andrzej Witek who came home in 5th. Other strong Polish runners to watch include Maciek Dombrowski, Tomek Skupień and Dariusz Marek.
The Tatra Skymarathon start list can be found here: https://bgtimesport.pl/zawody/lista/id/502/bieg_id/706
The race starts at 7 am (Central European Summer Time) on Saturday July 24th. You can follow the action live at: http://event.trackcourse.com/view/tatra-sky-marathon-2021
Results of the World Cup races (and all mountain races) can be found on the World Ranking site: https://ranking.wmra.info/
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 full calendar for World Cup races at: https://www.wmra.info/calendar/2021-major-events
The current, reigning World Cup champions are Sarah McCormack and Andrew Douglas.
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 World Athletics, International Trail Running Association (ITRA) and the International Association of Ultrarunners IAU to deliver the first World Mountain and Trail Running Championships in Thailand. More information at: www.wmra.info