30. Tek na Šmarno goro
When cries of fear and panic echo through the forest on Slovenia's most popular hill it's very likely that a trail runner has taken up speed and can't slow down any more. The 2km-long downhill section in the middle of the race is frightening.
Lots of tree roots and leaves on the course complicate the matter, and the terrain can be slippery. Only experienced performers on rough trails should participate in this event.
Nevertheless, it's well worth to travel to Šmarna gora, just 10km north of Ljubljana, if not as a runner then as a spectator.
Mitja Kosovelj of Slovenia, winner 2009
The seventh and final race of the World Mountain Running Grand Prix attracts a large number of the world's best trail runners.
In 2008, Slovenia's Mitja Kosovelj celebrated victory in a time of 40:22, ahead of Robert Krupicka (CZE), Marco Gaiardo (ITA) and Jonathan Wyatt (NZL).
On the women's side, Austria's world champion Andrea Mayr set a new course record (45:24). She was followed by Victoria Wilkinson (ENG), Mateja Kosovelj (SLO) and Anna Pichrtova (CZE).
Victoria Wilkinson of England, winner 2007 and runner-up 2008
The densely wooded hill has two peaks - Grmada (676m) and Šmarna gora (669m).
After a few hundred metres on asphalt you run on forest trails, which are very narrow in parts, to the summit of Grmada, then halfway down the other side of the hill, and finally uphill again to the finish at the church on Šmarna gora. The last 500 metres are on a clean dirt road.
All runners are awarded with a warm meal at the small restaurant on Šmarna gora. Weather permitting, the views of the Alps are beautiful.
Grmada and Šmarna gora
Venue (Map): Tacen (Ljubljana city entre 9km, Ljubljana airport 19km)
Date: 3 October 2009 (Saturday)
Race distance: 9km (+710m, -350m); 2.5km (juniors); 650m (children)
Start: 10.00 at the sports park Rocen in Tacen (ca. 310m)
Finish: on the top of Šmarna gora (669m)
Race course: elevation profile and course map
Entries: on the day at the start
Entry fees (2008): 10 EUR, children 5 EUR
Race centre: at the start
You get: transport of personal clothing to the finish, a present and a warm meal at the finish, results list, finisher photo
Prizes: prize money to the first 15 men and 10 women, trophies to the category winners, medals to the first 3 in the categories
Presentation: 11.15 flower ceremony, 13.00 prize giving ceremony (at the finish)
Number of finishers 2008: 122 men, 35 women; 16 juniors; 49 children
Event website (in English and Slovene): 30th Šmarna Gora Mountain Race
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