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North Wales set to host World Mountain Running Championships

by Press Release
Thursday 17th September 2015

Race feature: 31st World Mountain Running Championships 2015 - Wales, September 19, 2015

Leading mountain runners from around the globe descend on North Wales this Saturday (19 September) for the 31st World Mountain Running Championships.

Among them will be a 17-strong team from Great Britain and Northern Ireland hoping to make the most of home advantage to win individual and team medals.

Competition is anticipated to be fierce once again after 2014’s hugely successful event in Casette Di Massa, Italy, with 28 countries taking part and more than 300 athletes expected in Betws-y-Coed.

Senior men compete over a 13km course (two laps), with senior women and junior men over 8.9km (two laps) and junior women racing 4.7km (one lap). There is more than 250m of elevation gain on each lap for the competitors to tackle.

The GB & NI men’s team is made up of GB trails winner Robbie Simpson, fellow Scot Andrew Douglas, Tom Adams, Tom Addison, Ben Mounsey and Chris Smith. The team has genuine medal prospects with Simpson looking to emulate the form which saw him take a silver medal at the European championships in 2014.

Defending champion Isaac Kiprop from Uganda returns to defend the crown he won on the uphill-only course in 2014 and while his teammates haven’t raced the Championships in the last two years they will be favourites to take gold.

USA arrive in Wales will ambitions to win team gold in the men’s competition, led by 2:14 marathon runner and former World Cross Country Championships finished Ryan Bak.

Italy are once again expected to be strong having finished second behind Uganda the last time the race was run both up and downhill and Bernard Dematteis will be aiming to be top European and break the Ugandan domination.

In the women’s senior race GB & NI’s Emma Clayton, a silver medallist at the championships in 2013, will once again have her eyes on the top prize. A bronze medal in Porto Moniz at the European Mountain Running Championships in July has given the Yorkshire woman great confidence as she heads into her next major international for Britain.

She will be joined by Sarah Tunstall, who showed her class to win the trial race, GB debutant Emily Collinge and Hatti Archer, who returns to a British team for the first time since the European Championships in 2012.

Britain are likely to be challenged by a strong American team and although largely unknown, Uganda are also expected to challenge at the front of the field.

Alica Gaggi from Italy won the event two years ago and should be among the leading contenders but Austria are without Andrea Myer, a potential gold medallist, which will weaken their team.

GB & NI’s Max Nicholls and Jacob Adkin, 5th and 6th respectively at the European Championships last month, will be aiming high in the junior men’s race. They will be joined by John Spill and Jacob Boyle who will both make their maiden appearances in a British vest.

The junior teams from Italy, Turkey, Czech Republic and USA are tipped to battle it out for the gold medal.

A trio of athletes have been selected for the junior women’s event for GB & NI including trial winner Heidi Davies, former European champion Georgia Malir and Scarlet Dale, who is added to the fold for the first time.

The WMRC is the finale to a week-long festival of activities in Betws-y-Coed, which got underway with the World Masters Mountain Running Championships last Saturday.

Other activities have included film screening and talks featuring six-time world champion Jonathan Wyatt and ultra-distance mountain runners Nicky Spinks and Steve Birkinshaw, school races, open races, which included an uphill only race to the summit of Moel Siabod on Wednesday and an international mountain running coaches’ forum.

Further updates on the 2015 World Mountain Running Championships are available via the WMRC Wales website www.wmrcwales.orgTwitter and Facebook pages


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