Sylvian Cachard wins the 2020 Smarna Gora Mountain Race in Ljubljana (© Organisers)
Sylvian Cachard of France and Slovenia's Mojca Koligar triumphed at the 41st Smarna Gora Mountain Running Race near the Slovenian capital Ljubljana on Saturday (10).
The annual fixture is traditionally the final stop of the World Mountain Running Association Grand Prix, but the series was cancelled in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. Organisers of the event still managed to attract an international field to the two day event which culminated in the 10km race which features 710m of ascent and 350m of descent.
Cachard clocked 41:47, well clear of Eritrean Filimon Abraham who clocked 42:24. Cesare Maestri of Italy was third in 42:59.
Koligar clocked 52:22 to take the women's race and leading a sweep for the host nation ahead of Nusa Mali (53:04) and Katja Podobnik (55:11).
The course records, 41:32 by set by Italy’s Alex Baldaccini in 2012 and 47:40, set by Austrian Andrea Mayr in 2017, remained firmly intact.
The weekend began on Friday with the Smarna Gora Record, a race over the shortest route to the summit of the popular summit, a demanding 1.8km course with a 360m climb in elevation: "Short, steep and tough," is how organisers describe it.
Abraham, runner-up on the traditional course, won the shorter race in 10:59 to become the first runner to cover the route in under 11 minutes. Cachard was second three seconds adrift.
Koligar also won the shorter women's race, clocking 14:28.
Both events were held in line with local recommendations and restrictions in place due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
Bob Ramsak for World Athletics