World Masters Mountain Running Championships 2011 - Paluzza (Italy)
Paluzza (Italy), Saturday 17 September 2011
The first part of the course looks so easy - but ...
Shortly before the big event we have visited the course of the WMMRC 2011 in Paluzza, a very small town in the Carnic Alps in the Province of Udine in north-eastern Italy.
Paluzza sits in a narrow valley at an elevation of around 600 metres. The town is surrounded by several mountains over 2000 metres high. Very well known is the Monte Zoncolàn (1750m) which has been included four times in a mountain stage of the Giro d'Italia bicycle race.
The WMMRC course is lovely and very challenging. Start and finish are on the relatively small main square in the centre of Paluzza. The route is 5.5km long. Runners aged 35-54 will run two loops. Runners aged 55-79 will run a shorter loop of 3.2km, and then a 5.5km-loop.
The first part of the course is undulating on a mix of paved roads and grass. Then, the route goes up into the forest. There are no long climbs or descents but the course is highly technical, always up and down, left and right on narrow trails, over tree roots, rocks and old cobbled roads, and the route features some very steep short climbs.
Back in town, there is a long finishing straight, which will probably be packed with spectators.
The event is organized by the "Unione Sportiva Aldo Moro" which is very experienced of staging mountain running races, among them the Skyrace Carnia in June and the Memorial Erwin Maier in September. About 1000 runners have registered already for the World Championships.