Italy plays host to the World Mountain Running Association (WMRA) World Cup finale on Sunday as runners head to Chiavenna-Lagunc in Lombardy.
Sunday’s races in northern Italy will decide the overall winners of the WMRA World Cup in the men’s and women’s categories after 16 gruelling stages.
There will also be the third and final short uphill race of the year, with the male and female standings both incredibly tight at the top.
Which runners to look out for
Joint-leaders in the women’s short uphill category Allie McLaughlin (USA) and Andrea Mayr (AUT) are both on 100 points and set to battle it out for No. 1 this weekend.
Ondrej Fejfar (CZE) leads the men’s section with 110 points from two races, with Darren Thomas (USA) and Henri Aymonod (ITA) joint-second with 100 points.
In the women’s race, the top five runners in the World Cup standings will all be on the start line in Chiavenna.
Leader Joyce Njeru (KEN) is currently on 565 points and five clear of Charlotte Morgan (GBR) in second. Italian Alice Gaggi is in third on 510 points, with Lucy Murigi (KEN) 74 points behind on 436 in fourth. Timea Merényi (HUN) completes the top five with 331 points.
Merényi’s compatriot, Sándor Szabo (HUN) is No. 1 in the men’s World Cup rankings and will start the race on Sunday alongside No. 2 Aymonod (ITA) and third-place Geoffrey Ndungu (KEN).
Szabo, who is 31 points clear at the top, will also face competition from Raul Criado (ESP), Petro Mamu (KEN), and Timotej Becan (SLO).
Steeped in mountain running history and tradition, Chiavenna-Lagunc provides a fitting finale for this year’s WMRA World Cup.
The track, which winds up from Chiavenna at 352 metres to Lagunc at 1352 metres, was actually the world’s first official, certified vertical kilometre.
Part of the Orange Flag programme, Chiavenna-Lagunc has been recognised by tourist organisation Touring Club Italiano for preserving historical areas and making their architectural, artistic and naturalistic resources available to the public.