McCormack and Aymonod Victorious at Chiavenna Lagunc
Chiavenna Lagunc is the most famous vertical uphill race in Italy and all over Europe. A true mountain running atmosphere requiring technical skills, due to the tricky, natural path (use of poles is banned).
Chiavenna has a lovely centre, with lots of history and huge cultural history. From the small church of Loreto (at 320 meters) the runners climb up for 3,5 Km and 1000 meters to Lagunc (1320 meters) running on an historical track used in the past by the inhabitants of Lagunc to reach the town for school, doctors and to go to work.
The race path has been certified by an architect and patented by the Italian Athletics Federation to become the 1st certified vertical kilometer.
Legends are a born here : Bernard Dematteis ran up in 30â€™27â€ť in 2013, still standing as the best world performance on a vk without poles. Andrea Mayr set the women record two years ago at 35â€™40â€ť.
The 2020 edition was selected to host the grand final of the WMRA mountain runnning World Cup, which was then unfortunatlely cancelled due to the pandemic.
But the organizers kept the faith and the race was held as scheduled yesterday to celebrate the VK Italian Championship and host some top international runners for a spectacular field.
In the women's race a thrilling ending brought cheers for the victory of Irish athlete Sarah McCormack (above) with final time of 39â€™03â€ť, 35 hundreths of a second faster than Italian Legend Valentina Belotti, who gained another crown as Italian Champion. Third place overall for went to Elisa Sortini and fourth for Ilaria Bianchi, a former national star in uphill competitions who was able to recover the old form and get on the national podium.
In the menâ€™s field an hard struggle involved the vest Italian rising star of vertical uphill running, trying to defeat the invincible Henri Aymonod, the master and commander of uphill at this moment in Italy, unbeaten since August 2019 in a vertical uphill race.
Aymo managed to win again in 32â€™31â€ť, but the opponents trailed by just a few seconds with the newcomer Tiziano Moia in 2nd place with a very close 32â€™33â€ť , third place went to Switzerlandâ€™s Roberto De Lorenzi in 32â€™36â€ť
Over 330 athletes took part in the event, with demanding protocols applied by organizers to guarantee the safety and social distancing.
This Mountain Running Italian Classic showed again to be stronger than everything.
Next stop the monument: Trofeo Vanoni Relay Morbegno.
Here is a photo gallery (Credit Marco Gulberti) : https://www.flickr.com/gp/mountainrunning/6L4800