The WMRA World Cup heads to Austria this weekend for the epic event that is Grossglockner Berglauf 2021.
Sunday July 11 will see the 22nd running of a race which already has a rich history, and with the promise of more to come this wekeend.
Grosscklocker Berglauf takes place in a jaw-dropping setting in Heiligenblut, with Austria’s highest mountain as the backdrop (3798m).
The race has a star-studded roll of honour, with previous winners including the likes of Jonathan Wyatt, Anna Pichrtova, Andrea Mayr, Antonella Confortola, Filimon Abraham, Petro Mamu and Sarah Tunstall.
Where does the race take place?
The 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 900m to the summit.
The summit finish at the famous Kaiser-Franz-Josefs-Hohe, with (hopefully) stunning views all around – a great reward for all who run the race.
How to follow the race live
You can follow latest news and results during Sunday via WMRA social media channels – Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
You can also check out the official race website for coverage on race day.
Start lists – Women
Charlotte Morgan, seventh here in 2019, will look to increase her lead in the women’s early standings after claiming the recent season-opening Tatra Race Run.
Morgan will again do battle with a number of athletes she defeated at Tatra, including Alice Gaggi (second), Lorenza Beccaria (fourth) and Lucie Marsanova (fifth).
2017 World Champion Lucy Murigi (KEN), will always be an athlete to watch. She’ll also be joined by strong compatriot Purity Kajuja Gitonga, who finished second here in 2019.
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).
Start lists – Men
This looks equally exciting, with 2019 winner (and our second-placed athlete in the 2019 World Cup) Filimon Abraham (GER), returning.
Henri Aymonod of Italy, fresh from his third place at Tatra, will be one to watch, and with a lot of success at vertical kilometres he’s always strong at uphill-only races. Cesare Maestri, also of Italy, was second in the World Championships in 2019 and second in the recent 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.
Local boy Manual Innerhofer (AUT) was third in the 2019 Grossglockner Berglauf and recently won the Austrian National Championships. Zak Hanna (IRE) meanwhile is definitely an athlete to watch this year, having just won the Marathon du Mont Blanc VK and finished 5th at ChieseRun, the Italian National Championships. Geoffrey Gikuni Ndungu (KEN), who finished 2nd at Grossglockner in 2019 will also be a leading contender.
Other men expected to be in contention include: Ondrey Fejfar (CZE); Alex Jodidio (SUI); 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).
What is the WMRA World Cup?
Races take place between June 2021 and October 2021 in eight 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 seven 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 a single 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.