The future stars of trail and mountain running race in Italy - Clean Sweep of Boys and Girls Podiums!
Itay hosted a wonderful celebration of history and competition at the U18 International Mountain Running Cup on the weekend. Something that has never happened before saw the top 3 positions on the podium filled by one country in both the boys and girls competitions. Something never before seen at a World Mountain Running event.
The races were held in and around the historic castle and races started under the arch of Augusta dating back to 1st century BC and the course had technical running as well as steep climbs. A theme for both races was that on the 2.5 laps of the track the front runners on the first lap faded and the winners emerged only in the final 800 metres of the race.
Katja Pattis had enough in hand coming into the final climb up to the finish inside the Roman fortifications to win and second position was Luna Giovanetti holding off teammate Axelle Vicari making the first clean sweep of the day. This time going to Italy who duly won the teams medal. Second placed team went to Turkey and third was USA.
The Boys race ran to a similar theme with front runners dropping back and it was USA's Gregory James who held a small lead going into the final loop. The French trio came to the front off the final descent and an epic sprint finish battle had Hugo Schropfer marginally in front on the line ahead of Basile Basset. Third place making an historic triplet in both races was Mael Allaire just in front of James who bravely tried to reach the podium place. France won the team title and it was Wales who packed well to finish in second with Turkey in third place.
Local and regional races were also held for U16 and U14 and the event was organised under the guidance of Atletica Susa who have hosted many World Mountain Running events in the past and Susa is where the U18 (formerly Youth) Cup was born.
The following day the athletes and coaches followed the Stellina mountain race course to reach the site of a famous battle from 75 years ago where a memorial service was held recording events where young people of the same age as our rising stars were instead in war.
A wonderful event that was a solid future with 2020 being hosted by England in the beautiful Lakes District.
Individual Results: U18 International Mountain Running Cup
Photos: Damiano Benedetto Photo