Previews25 Sep 2008

Wyatt and Mayr on show at Puchberg WMRA Grand Prix - PREVIEW


Senior Women's winner Andrea Mayr (Austria) - WMRA Trophy 2008 (© Pete Hartley)

The sixth of seven WMRA Grand Prix mountain races takes place in south east Austria on Saturday 27 September. It is classed as second level race which means that the points awarded are just 50% of those awarded for first level races.

Starting in the town of Puchberg, south of Vienna, the 10km course climbs 1200m to the top of the Hochschneeberg.

Recently crowned World Mountain Running Champions Jonathan Wyatt (NZL) and Andrea Mayr (AUT) are both entered and should have little difficulty in recording emphatic wins.

A victory for Wyatt will give him a 100% points record (four wins) in the Grand Prix ranking, but since this event only attracts half the points of a first level race he will need to compete in the final Grand Prix in Slovenia to guarantee first place overall in the final standings. Chasing him will be Andrzej Dlugosz (POL) currently ranked 3rd; Markus Kroll (AUT) currently ranked 4th; and Ricky Gates (USA) who finished 12th in the World Trophy.

The women’s Grand Prix leaders are notable for their absence, unless of course they turn up at the last minute! Mayr’s nearest rivals should be Mateja Kosovelj (SLO) currently ranked 7th. With only one Grand Prix race completed, Mayr would need to compete in the final Grand Prix to reach the podium for an overall ranking.

About 400 athletes (men and women) are entered and all compete on the same course in Puchberg.

Danny Hughes for the IAAF