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iaaf.org - Kosovelj and Maddams take World Long Distance Mountain Running Challenge titles

#1 20 June 2011 04:46 AM
Chris Nickinson 
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Sunday, 19 June 2011
Kosovelj and Maddams take World Long Distance Mountain Running Challenge titles
 
Podbrdo, Slovenia - Mitja Kosovelj defended home turf to take the WMRA World Long Distance Mountain Running Challenge in Podbrdo, Slovenia, on Sunday (19).

405 runners from 18 countries competed in the eighth edition of the event - 320 men and 85 women. The race was linked with the 10th Gorski Maraton štirih obcin (GM4O) run on a 37.5Km course with a 5000 metre altitude differential.

Kosovelj finished his job on home soil with some aplomb, beating the competition by more than four minutes in 3:22:32, beating a trio of Scots to the finish line. Thomas Owens finished second in 3:26:59 with the bronze medal going to his younger countryman Robie Simpson (3:29:05). The podium was just a step away from another Scotsman, Jethro Lennox (3:33:21), with Ralf Birchmeier of Switzerland fifth and Czech Petr Pechek sixth.

“Sometimes you dare to dream about such an achievement, but despite all the hard work you do before the race you need sporting luck as well,” a humble Kosovelj said. “Today it all went the right way for me even though I was in such pain on the last descent because blisters completely damaged the skin of my heel.”

The top end of the women’s competition was an Anglo-Irish affair. Englishwomen Philippa Maddams grabbed the gold in 4:08:46, with Ireland taking silver courtesy of Karen Alexander (4:16:21). Her English neighbour Helen Fines (4:19:14) took bronze.

“I really didn't expect this, but I felt very well on the course,” Maddams said. “I am very tired, I have a few scratches because I fell but I am also thrilled to have won this hard race.”

In the men’s team ranking a dozen nations were classified with full teams. Scotland defended their title and claimed team gold with a massive margin. The top-three Scots combined for a time of 10:29:15. There was a very close battle for the runner-up position claimed by host country Slovenia in 10:57:20, one minute better then England who finished in 10:58:46. Switzerland, Poland, Wales, and the Czech Republic followed.

In the women’s team race, seven nations reached the finished. The title and gold medal went to England (12:54:49), ahead of Russia (13:24:37) and Scotland (13:41:07). Poland finished fourth, Slovenia fifth, Wales sixth and Croatia seventh.

Among those who attended to the event were WMRA President Bruno Gozzelino and WMRA Council Member Tomo Sarf who also represented the Slovenian Athletic Federation.

The Local Organising Committee, led by Director Janko Humar, and Joze Dakskobler, who came up with the idea for this competition a decade ago, were praised by participants and officials alike for their organisation of the races. The most interesting aspect of the competition is that four different Slovenian municipalities – Tolmin, Zelezniki, Cerkno and Bohinj - were involved in the organisation, a beautiful example of the mountain and mountain races unite people everywhere.

WMRA for the IAAF


at http://www.iaaf.org/...sfeed&att=index


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