The World Mountain Running Association (WMRA) World Cup heads to Gagliano del Capo, Italy, this Sunday for the uniquely challenging Trofeo Ciolo race.
Round 11 of this season’s competition sees the sprawling Alpine mountain region swapped for the rugged coastal trails of eastern Italy, where runners will face steeper, shorter ascents and descents.
The previous round just less than a fortnight ago saw Grayson Murphy (USA) set a new course record in the women’s Canfranc Skyrace, while Antonio Martinez (ESP) took victory in the men’s event.
Which runners to look out for
Current women’s World Cup leader Charlotte Morgan (GBR) comes into Trofeo Ciolo off the back of an impressive win at Canfranc-Canfranc Marathon. The 2018 World Long Distance Champion has also claimed victory at Tatra Race Run this year, as well as a podium finish at Tatra SkyMarathon.
Reigning WMRA World Cup winner Sarah McCormack (IRL) will provide Morgan with stern competition for the win in Italy – she finished ninth at Trofeo Nasego on her return to World Cup racing.
Other names to look out for include Charlotte Cotton (BEL), Kitti Posztos (HUN) and Timea Merenyi (HUN), who have all picked up solid results in this season’s World Cup.
In the men’s race, current World Cup leader Henri Aymonod (ITA) will be looking to follow up on his success at Vertical Nasego. The World #1 has also picked up podium finishes at Tatra Race Run and La Montee du Nid d’Aigle.
Sandor Szabo (HUN) is Aymonod’s nearest challenger in the World Cup standings after his second place finish at Canfranc Skyrace, while Petro Mamu (ERI) is fresh from winning Trofeo Nasego and grabbing third at Vertical Nasego.
Krkonossky Half Marathon winner Geoffrey Ndungu (KEN) is another athlete who is backed to challenge for the podium places at Trofeo Ciolo.
The Trofeo Ciolo course features a rocky, technical path littered with short climbs and drops. The 11.7km route, which rarely flattens out, packs in 640m of ascent and 518m of descent.
The start of the race in Ponte Ciolo will see runners immediately take on a steep uphill section, while a similarly challenging ascent awaits at the finish line, just east of Gagliano del Capo.
The top men’s athletes are expected to finish in around 51:00, while the leading women are predicted to complete the course in roughly 1:00:00.
How to follow the race
You can follow latest news and results via WMRA social media channels – Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
The women’s Trofeo Ciolo race will get underway at 10am local time on Sunday 26th September, with the men’s event starting four minutes later.