06 SEP 2013 Preview Krynica-Zdrój, Poland

Poland's Krynica-Zdrój all set for the WMRA Mountain Running World Championships 2013

Valentina Bellotti winning at the 2013 Montée du Grand Ballon WMRA Grand Prix race (WMRA)Valentina Bellotti winning at the 2013 Montée du Grand Ballon WMRA Grand Prix race (WMRA) © Copyright

The WMRA Mountain Running World Championships 2013, in the Polish town of Krynica-Zdrój, will see 365 runners from 40 countries and five continents on the start line of the four races on Sunday (8).

The leading names in the senior races are: Italy’s 2012 silver medallist Valentina Belotti and Elisa Desco, and France Marie-Laure Dumergues in the women’s race over 9.08km; Eritrea's 2012 silver medallist Azeria Teklay, Italy’s Alex Baldaccini, Xavier Chevrier, Bernard and Martin Dematteis, Uganda’s Geoffrey Kusuro and the USA’s 2011 champion Max King in the men’s race over 13.56km.

Turkish runners could dominate the junior races, over 9.08km for the men and 4.65m for the women.

Ramazan Karagoz is the top name for the junior men’s event while Çesminaz Yillmaz and Burcu Subatan feature in the junior women’s start list, although Great Britain’s Annabel Mason may also have a say in proceedings in the first race of the day.

All four team races look wide open, especially as the 2012 senior men's champions Eritrea are not sending a full team this year.

For local fans lining the course at the 29th edition of these Championships, the main attraction will be Anna Celińska, who took the bronze medal in the recent WMRA World Long Distance Mountain Running Challenge last month, which was also held on Polish terrain at at Szklarska Poręba. In addition, Dominika Wiśniewska-Ulfik has been showing good form in her recent races.

The senior men’s race will be over three laps of the 4,65 km course with a 286m descent and ascent, with the start and finish at the peak of the Jaworzyna Krynicka mountain which is at 1114m. The senior women and junior men will run over two laps and the junior women’s race will be over one lap.

The host town is in in Malopolska region  in the south of Poland, right on the Slovakia border, and has been a popular spa resort since the start of the 18th century. Its fame is due to the healing properties of the local waters which have brought health and strength to thousands of people for more than three centuries.

The WMRA Mountain Running World Championships 2013 is the main attraction of the fourth edition of the local Running Festival, with an estimated 8000 participants from all over the country and overseas expected to participate in more than 30 races for all age groups. The Festival starts on Friday (6).

Grzegorz Rogowski (LOC) for the IAAF