Andrea Mayr shatters the course record at the PIZTRIVertical race in Malonno, Italy (Marco Gulberti (organisers)) © Copyright
Report Malonno, Italy

Mayr and Puppi take mountain victories in Malonno

Andrea Mayr of Austria shattered the course record at the PIZTRIVertical race in Malonno, Italy, the second stop of the WMRA World Cup, on Saturday (4).

Mayr clocked 38:11 over the challenging 3.5 kilometre course with a vertical 1000m ascent, knocking more than two minutes from the previous record.

Attacking fast from the outset, the race soon became a solo run for the Austrian, winning by more than four minutes.

"I have never ran in such a nice place and today was all fantastic for me," Mayr said. "I felt very good and decided to push hard from the start.

"The World Cup is my main goal for the season and I will be back in September stronger than now. Today I am really satisfied with my result in Malonno.”

Italy's Valentina Belotti was second, clocking 42:48. 

"It was so hard and hot today but I was so excited to run in a World Cup race so close to where I live," Belotti said. "I am going to be in my top shape very soon and today I gave more trust in my training for upcoming races."

Sarah McCormack of Ireland ran well over the closing stages to secure her place on the podium, reaching the finish in 43:26.

"I've never been on similar hills in Great Britain so for me this was something unbelievable. I am really happy with my competition.” 

Gloria Giudici was seventh to add more points to her World Cup tally after her brilliant opener in the GrossGlockner race. Only Purity Gitonga of Kenya, who finished 11th here after a runner-up finish in the series opener, didn't earn any points.


Francesco Puppi en route to his victory at the PIZTRI Vertical race in Malonno, Italy (Damiano Benedetto (organisers))Francesco Puppi en route to his victory at the PIZTRI Vertical race in Malonno, Italy (Damiano Benedetto (organisers)) © Copyright


The men's race was much closer, with Italy's Francesco Puppi taking the victory. Puppi finished the climb in 34:51 to defeat compatriot Hannes Perkmann who clocked 35:15.

"I started controlled until the 600m level, then I went to the front to discover my shape, and then went to the front to push (the pace) a little," Puppi said. "In the last portion I was happy because I maintained my pace. When the hills where not so hard I was good, but on the tougher hills I was not so brilliant. Now the World Cup will be my focus."

Puppi confirmed that he'll race next weekend at the Sierre Zinal race in Zinal, Switzerland.

Spurred on by the vociferous crowd at the finish area, Perkmann held his form to finish runner-up.

“I have prepared for this race so I am really satisfied about my result," Perkmann said. The Kenyans kept the race very fast but when the course became tougher I gave my best.”

Timothy Kirui of Kenya finished third in 35:35, defeating teammate Geoffrey Gikuni Ndungu, the winner of the GrossGlockner race last month.

In a high quality competition, European champion Bernard Dematteis of Italy was fifth with Italy's Marco DeGasperi sixth. 

Alberto Stretti (organisers) for the IAAF