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 / Abel de Frutos.
The sixth race of the 2021 WMRA Mountain Running World Cup took place this past Sunday at the Krkonossky Half Marathon in Janské Lázně, Czech Republic. This was the first time that the race has formed part of the World Cup giving top international mountain runners the chance to experience a new countries and event.
As well as the Mountain Running World Cup, which attracted some great international runners, this race also served as the Czech Republic Long Distance Mountain Running National Championships, so it also attracted the best Czech runners, several of whom had performed really well in the 2019 World Mountain Running Championships.
At 13.1 miles, with a total elevation gain/loss of 3,344 feet, Krkonossky was classified by the WMRA as a “classic” mountain race for the World Cup. The race starts in the centre of town (Colonnade Square), then proceeds to climb the mountain path across the top of Černá Hora Mountain to the small ski resort town of Pec Pod Sněžkou and then comes back down in a loop, finishing back at the square.
The weather conditions were already hot as the runners set off at 9 am, and they were only going to get hotter. Right from the start three men formed a group and it was Timothy Kurui, Geoffrey Ndungu and Marek Chrascina. They ran together for the first 3 miles, emerging at the first checkpoint neck and neck. In the women’s race Joyce Njeru struck out alone, opening up a gap to Barbora Macurova and Pavla Matyasova. Njeru had put 1 minute 50 seconds of daylight between her and Macurova, who in turn had a 10 second gap to Matyasova at the 3 mile point.
By the Černá Hora summit at 9 miles the top 3 men were still together, with Timotej Becan, Evans Kiptum and Jiri Cipa chasing hard, but Ndungu had clearly decided that enough was enough and started to drop the hammer. At the same point in the women’s race Njeru had opened a gap of 1 minute 45 seconds on Macurova, with Matyasova a little further behind. As they started the last descent, it was still quite open in both races.
Coming into the finish of Krkonossky, Ndungu had managed to open a gap between the two chasers and eventually won in 1:32.30, with Kirui coming in just under a minute behind in 1:33.22. Chrascina chased him hard and took third spot in 1:33.35. In the final stages of the women’s race Macurova did manage to claw back some of the gap to Njeru, but Njeru won in 1:50.02, with Macurova just 25 seconds behind her. Matyasova took third in 1:52.45.
Krkonossky full race results: https://results.onlinesystem.cz/ResultsDetail/Mobile/?Id=2016&trackId=4508
Next stop in the 2021 Mountain Running World Cup is Italy’s Vertical Nasego and Trofeo Nasego on September 4th and 5th.
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