Defending champions Giorgio Calcaterra of Italy and Russian Marina Zhalybina (nee Bychkova) will be defending their titles at the 26th IAU 100km World and European Championships in Seregno, Italy, on Sunday (22).
The event will feature 222 athletes from 36 countries, a new record for the number of nations participating.
Italy has had the opportunity of hosting the 100Km World championships distance for the second time in four years. Seregno, located in the northern part of the country, is about thirty kilometres from Milan. The race takes place on a 20 kilometre loop with time recorded at several points on the course.
Calcaterra’s winning time from the 25th IAU World and European Championships was 6:27:32. US Teammates Michael Wardian (6:42:49) and Andrew Henshaw (6:44:35) who finished on the podium, are also back this year.
Italy’s Alberico Di Cecco is one of the leading men in the race having run 6:28:48 at the Passatore 100km. He will be joined at the start line by another top 2011 performer, Asier Cuevas (ESP), who ran 6:38:56 at the Santander ultra run.
In the women’s race, Zhalybina (nee Bychkova) will be the focus. Her winning time from last year was 7:27:19. Zhalybina also led the Russia to team gold. Podium finishers from Winschoten, Joanne Zakrzewski (GBR) and Lindsay Anne van Aswegen (RSA), are not starting in this year’s field.
Multiple podium finisher Monica Carlin (ITA) is back as well. She ran a 7:30:50 at the 25th World Championship in Gibraltar finishing second. Marija Vrajic (CRO) is also one of the top leading women in the field. She has run 7:37:40 at the Night of Flanders in Belgium. Top Japanese performers include 48 Hour World’s Best Performer Mami Kudo and Asian 100km Champion, Mai Fujisawa.
The World Championships also have a European championship component. European athletes will be vying for the best in Europe title in addition to competing for the World title. Furthermore, the race also has a Masters component. This is being organised with the World Masters Athletics (WMA) and will be running concurrently with the World and European Championships.
Start time is 8 a.m. Live updates will be available at www.iau-ultramarathon.org
Nadeem Khan for the IAAF
Top runners in the Men’s field include (based on 2010-2012 performances):
1) Giorgio Calcaterra (ITA) 6:25:47
2) Alberico Di Cecco (ITA) 6:28:48
3) Asier Cuevas (ESP) 6:38:56
4) Yoshikazu Hara (JPN) 6:41:17
5) Jonas Buud (ITA) 6:41:50
Top runners in the women’s field include (based on 2010-2012 performances):
1) Marina Zhalybina (RUS) 7:27:19
2) Monica Carlin (ITA) 7:30:50
3) Marija Vrajic (CRO) 7:37:40
4) Irina Vishnevskaya (RUS) 7:45:27
5) Meghan Arbogast (USA) 7:46:00