Written by WMRA Council member Tomo Sarf – Kamnik, Slovenia, 24.July
Antonella Confortola (ITA) and Petro Mamu (ERI) are the winners of the 18th Grintovec Mountain Running race, the second stage of the Mountain Running World Cup 2016.
Both were on the top of the list of the favourites already before the start of the race. Antonella, the standard member of Italian mountain running and cross country skiing teams for two decades was today too strong for Lucija Krkoč, the local favourite and Karmen Klancnik, the 2015 winner. Antonella started the race with her own pace that the other ladies could just not follow.
African runners stared the race on the first, not so steep part of the course very carefully. They still had in their minds the steep upper part, where rocky stairs make the steepness even more difficult. On the Saddle, on the 2/3 of the race, the group of 5 runners was still close together, but 2015 winner Kuhar was already missing; it was just too hot for the extreme skier, who is used to compete in winter conditions. The Eritrean runner Mamo was very careful after listening all the stories about this famous course with almost 2 km elevation gain in less than 10km distance. The Kenian runners knew the course but this did not help them to beat Mamo who won the race in a decent time for such summer weather. Wangiri finished second and Rok Bratina was the best local runner on the third position. Kosgei, the 2014 winner, finished as fourth.
But Sunny summer conditions were friendly to the organizer and hundreds of spectators who came to encourage more than 200 runners. Especially in the upper part of the curse, the atmosphere was incredible and runners were extra motivated to run to the limits of their power.
In 2017 the Organizer will host the European Mountain Running Championships on the nearby mountain called “Velika Planina”, so the race will not take place.
Complete results here.
Next stage of the World Cup will be on 31. July in Telfes-Stubaitall/AUT