Mountain Running is Back in Italy!
The first mountain running race in Italy after lockdown took place at the weekend. Changes were made to the race to minimise any risk, so it wasn't quite back to normal, but it's certainly a significant step in a return to mountain running competition.
Trofeo Ciolo took place at the weekend, in the stunning location of Gagliano del Capo in Puglia, which was the venue for the World Masters Mountain Running Championship last year. The course was a 4.5k route on the rugged coastline, but there were some major changes to the normal race experience. Most notably, the format for the race was a time trial, with runners going off at staggered starts. Runners had picked up their bibs at an allotted time slot and their race packs included a face mask for them to use when coming into contact with people. Social distancing was of course observed and the route was closed to the public to avoid spectators gathering.
Francesco Puppi emerged victorious in the men's competition with a time of 19.51 and Marta Alo won the women's race in 28.20. Tito Tiberti (22.29) and Emanuele Coroneo (23.09) completed the men's podium and Rosa Rella (29.58) and Maia Passaseo (31.27) the women's.
It was a first experiment in how mountain running may look in the near future, rather than a full return. But it's definitely a step in the right direction. 200 athletes took part.