Grotta Gigante, Trieste (Italy), Sunday 27 November 2011

Grotta Gigante Cronotraversata - Cave Bear (Copyright © 2011


On a beautiful warm autumn day on the northern Adriatic, over 200 runners took part in this year's Cronotraversata del Maestro, a unique running race through the world's largest show cave, the Grotta Gigante near the port city of Trieste, Italy.

The race was run in time trial format, with runners starting at 30-second intervals.

At first, participants ran an 800-metre loop on roads and trails through the village of Borgo Grotta Gigante, situated on the Karst Plateau that rises steeply from the coast.

Then, competitors ran a loop through the gigantic limestone cave, which is almost 100 metres high. Runners descended 500 steps to the bottom of the cave where they ran through a fairyland of stalacmites and stalactites before they climbed 500 steps to get to the finish line at the exit of the cave.

Peter Kastelic from Ljubljana in neighbouring Slovenia, winner of last week's Palmanova Half Marathon, set a new course record time of 8 minutes 17 seconds.

The fastest woman was Italy's ultra and mountain runner Daniela Da Forno who completed the course in a time of 10 minutes 22 seconds.

After the race and the pasta party, runners got the opportunity to take part in a guided tour through the Grotta Gigante. Each participant received two entry tickets.


Matic Slabe, 5th Place Grotta Gigante Cronotraversata  2011 (Copyright © 2011

The first 800 metres were run on roads ...


Daniela Morassi, 2nd woman Grotta Gigante Cronotraversata 2011 (Copyright © 2011

... and trails around the Karst village of Borgo Grotta Gigante.


Grotta Gigante Cronotraversata del Maestro (Copyright © 2011

A last handshake before ...


Grotta Gigante Run 2011, 500 steps downhill (Copyright © 2011

... the steep descent into the cave.


Amedeo Sturam, Grotta Gigante Cronotraversata 2011 (Copyright © 2011

At the bottom of the Grotta Gigante, runners passed countless stalacmites.


Grotta Gigante Cronotraversata - 500 steps uphill (Copyright © 2011 Hendrik Böttger /

Then came the toughest part of the race, ...


Grotta Gigante Cronotraversata - salita (Copyright © 2011

... the 500 steps to get ...


Luca Favro, Grotta Gigante Race 2011 (Copyright © 2011

... out of the cave!


Peter Kastelic, winner Grotta Gigante Cronotraversata 2011 (Copyright © 2011

The fastest finisher 2011 - Peter Kastelic of Slovenia


Results: Grotta Gigante - Cronotraversata del Maestro 2011

Men: 158 finishers

1. Peter Kastelic SLO 0:08:17
2. Michele Ermacora ITA 0:08:24
3. Alessandro Morassi ITA 0:08:38
4. Emiliano Paoletti ITA 0:08:51
5. Matic Slabe SLO 0:08:52


Women: 43 finishers

1. Daniela Da Forno ITA 0:10:22
2. Daniela Morassi ITA 0:10:48
3. Serena Kuhar ITA 0:11:28
4. Giulia Della Zonca ITA 0:11:38
5. Michela Facchin ITA 0:11:40


Map of the venue: Grotta Gigante, Trieste, Italy


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