Filimon Abraham (GER) and Francesca Ghelfi (ITA) took wins at the World Mountain Running Association (WMRA) Nations Cup at Val Bregaglia Trail on Sunday.
100 athletes hailing from 15 nations started the race in Chiavenna, Italy, in what was the first chance in two years for many individuals to represent their country in a mountain running competition.
The 19km course in the northern region of Lombardy, close to the Swiss border, featured 660m of ascent.
In the men’s race Abraham left Lengel Lolkurraru (KEN) over the final 5km to finish in 1:18:29 and clinch his victory, 1:19 clear of the second place finisher and 3:41 ahead of Timotej Becan (SLO).
In the women’s race, Ghelfi held off Scout Adkin (SCO) to cross the line 1:47 clear in 1:34:01, with Hanna Grober (GER) edging out Alice Gaggi (ITA) to take third, 1:51 back from the winner.
In the men’s team race, Italy grabbed the win ahead of England, with Romania coming home in third. Meanwhile, in the women’s alternative, England took victory, with Italy second and Czech Republic third.
WMRA President Jonathan Wyatt was full of praise for the race organisers following a quick turnaround to get the event on.
“It is with great pleasure that the WMRA are able to put together an event in the space of only 6 weeks where athletes could compete for their country, and our WMRA and World Athletics members can join after 2 years without a World Championships for our senior athletes,” he said.
“The races have been hard and the competition exciting and it is a pleasure to hear again the National anthems of the winning teams and individuals once again for a senior mountain running competition.
“The WMRA would like to thank the services of the town of Chiavenna and their superb organisation team as well as the support we have received from the Italian Athletics federation (FIDAL).”