25 JUL 2013 Preview Kamnik, Slovenia

Teklay and local star Kosovelj are the favourites for the 3rd WMRA Grand Prix in Kamnik

Azeira Teklay winning the 2012 WMRA Grand Prix race in Kramnik (LOC)Azeira Teklay winning the 2012 WMRA Grand Prix race in Kramnik (LOC) © Copyright

More than 200 runners from 14 countries have entered the 15th edition of The Grintovec Mountain running race which will be held close to the Slovenian town of Kamnik on Sunday (28).

The third stage of 2013 WMRA Grand Prix is a real mountain course, taking the trail from the Kamniska Valley, which starts at an elevation of 602m up to the Grintovec summit at 2554m.

In the men’s division, Eritrea’s three-time World Championships silver medallist Azeira Teklay will try to repeat his success from 2012. His strongest opponents appear to come from Italy in the shape of Alex Baldaccini and Stefano Abate. 

Slovenia’s Nejc Kuhar and Simon Alic, local experts with the steep climbs, will surely try to also show their strength on the home mountain and there are strong runners from Great Britain, Japan and the USA.

In the women’s race, local star Mateja Kosovelj, a bronze medallist from the recent European Championships and second at the WMRA Grand Prix race at the Italian venue in Arco di Trento last Sunday is one of the main favourites, along with Czech runner Iva Milesova.

With almost two kilometres of elevation in less than 10km; normal hikers need around six hours to reach the summit and another six to go back. By comparison, the course records have both existed for seven years are held by New Zealand’s Jonathan Wyatt and Anna Pichrtova, who ran 1:15:43 and 1:31:50 in 2006.

The weather forecast promises hot and sunny weather, which is not ideal for the runners, but the high altitude of the race should mean that the summer temperatures get lower as the runners reach the summit.

Tomo Sarf (LOC) for the IAAF