Andrea Mayr after winning at the 2014 WMRA World Mountain Running Championships (© Giancarlo Colombo / organisers)
Andrea Mayr continued her domination of the 2014 World Mountain Running Association (WMRA) World Cup and clinched victory in the season-long series with a win and a course record at the famous Smarna Gora race, near the Slovenian capital Ljubljana, on Saturday (4).
The Austrian covered the 10km course in 48.08 to take 38 seconds off the course record set in 2012 by local star and four-time Smarna Gora senior women's winner Mateja Kosovelj.
She regained the Smarna Gora title she had won for three consecutive years from 2008-10.
Like in so many races this year, Mayr dominated from the gun, coming home 3:40 ahead of her nearest rival.
Mayr had a 1:46 lead over Koovelji by the first summit checkpoint, just over four kilometres into the race following a 400 metres climb, and the advantage just kept on growing.
“It was fantastically beautiful to win again today but I’m glad the season is over because I am bit worn out,” confessed Mayr.
Kosovelji, the 2014 European silver medallist Kosovelj who also finished second behind Mayr in the French city of Gap back in July, crossed the line in 51:44.
Italy’s 2013 world champion and the winner in Smarna Gora 12 months ago, Alice Gaggi, was third on this occasion in 52:15.
Having won at the World Championships in Italy last month as well as two of the other five World Cup events earlier in the season, Mayr also clinched the World Cup with a maximum 420 points.
Getting the World Cup also completed the 'triple crown' for Mayr following her wins at the World and European Championships. She is unbeaten in her four top-level outings on the mountains this summer.
Eritrea’s 2012 world champion Petro Mamu made a successful debut appearance on the Smarna Gora course for his third World Cup win of the year, which also saw him take the overall 2014 title with 366 points despite only finishing seventh at last month’s World Championships.
Like Mayr, he was in front quickly and never headed. Mamo had a 22-second gap over Switzerland’s David Schneider at the first checkpoint and although Schneider reduced to the deficit to just eight seconds by the next checkpoint at just after 6km, following a rapid descent, Mamo pulled away again on the second uphill stretch.
Mamu eventually crossed the line in 41:59 with Schneider second in 43:45 and Italy’s 2012 Smarna Gora winner Alex Baldaccini third in 45:05.
Phil Minshull for the IAAF