Spanish national team is set to make its debut at the WMRA World Champs 2019 in K42 Patagonia. The RFEA TRAIL RUNNING team will compete for its first time in the TWO official World Championships supported by IAAF. In June the spanish team will run in the 5th edition of the World Championships organized by ITRA en Portugal. And for the first time ever, they will also compete in November the World Mountain Running Championships in Patagonia (Argentina) with two distances 15k and Marathon. 


World Trail Championships IAAF 2021 unification: The World Mountain Running Association (WMRA) held in 2018 in Poland and Andorra the 32º World trail championship. In 2019 the event will be held in K42 La Angostura with two races 15km y 42km. At the same time, Portugal will held in Trihos dos Abutres. the IAAF ITRA World Championships for ultra trail (50km). In 2021 both championships will be unified (WMRA+ITRA) called as “IAAF World Mountain and Trail Running Championships”. Let´s kick-off with the World Mountain Running Championships 2019 teaser video and move on to a a transcription of the interview by Mayayo to Juan Carlos Granados as RFEA trail manager.





The Salomon K42 Adventure Marathon is becoming one of the most important races in South America. In 2017 the event held the championships of Sudamericano de Trail y Montaña and in the last edition in November the  Sudamericano Máster de Trail y Montaña. In this 2019 it is becoming bigger as it will be holding the 33º World Mountain Running Championship from WMRA. During those days we will have the opportunity of enjoy the 35th World Mountain Running Championships on November 15th (4,5Km/D+700m at the same time as the popular K15) and the 16th World Long Distance Mountain Running Championships on November 16th (42k/D+2.300m).




World Mountain Running Championshps WMRA 2019 and k42: The World Mountain Running Association (WMRA) will celebrate in 2019 the 33th World Mountain Running Championship now included in the IAAF which will be the end of the season after completing the seven events of the 21st Mountain Running World Cup. The last race will be in K42 La Angostura (15-17nov) with two events 15km and 42km, African runners will compete against Europe, Asia and America there. So we cannot forget about these seven races of the 21st Mountain Running World Cup. A World Cup in which this year we will have some new iconic races like the first two in the calendar: Maxi Race Annecy in France (16 km) and the Broken Arrow Sky Race (26 km) in USA, as the classics in liike the swiss Sierre Zinal.





 Interview with Juan Carlos Granados, trail RFEA responsible.

Really good news! This November the World Mountain Running Championships 2019 will be held in Patagonia with 15k and 42k distances in a prestigious event as it is the k42 which was born in 2003. A great race in Villa la Angostura, 42k/D+2.300 which starts at Patagonia forest in narrow paths until the base of the Cerro Bayo ski resort. A big ascent there ending at 1800m and descending a ridge in broken limestone, always overlooking the glacier lake of Nahuel Huapi. And we can already announce that Spain will be present at this WMRA World Cup for the first time, as reflected in the official calendar published by the Federation. Is it correct, Juan Carlos?



Sure, that is correct, yes. Fortunately, that’s the way it is. We have done a lot of strength from the trail section within RFEA so that this historical competition is taken into account. And it is true that perhaps due to lack of knowledge, we have not participated before. It may sound incomprehensible but it was like that and since I took management I realized that this championship can not be dismiss. So we were making strength within the federation and taking advantage of the fact that we have really bet on the development of trail running, because we have struggled and struggled until finally this championship is part of the official RFEA calendar and we can confirm that we are attending . I still can not confirm the number of places, nor the technical selection criteria, but what can be confirmed officially is that the Spanish athletics team will attend this Mountain Running World Championship.

Think these are great news. First, because of the history of this World Cup, where idols like Jonathan Wyatt, Marco de Gasperi or Africans like Petro Mamu have won before and at the moment the only great confrontation between the best African teams and the rest of teams from all over the world as the United States, France, Italy or the United Kingdom have been presenting here for years their best teams. Juan Carlos, in the the last years, the 6 places in the podium were for the Africans… Do you think the Spaniards are going to be able to change this?

Well … Here, my heart is divided between my experience from classic athletics and trail running because I also see a bit the same situation as you. I think that when the absolute African elite really comes to the trail, it will be a challenge. I do not think that the Kipchoges will arrive in the short term, but if they arrive … I dare not call them the second line, if African runners will arrive who are a little behind the big dominating names already of the long distance, and they feel motivated economically, I think we are going to attend a revolution in this sport. And I do not know if the traditional countries are going to have many options.

We have at least the hope that adapting to the environment will cost them a little more than in the flat races, but I always say that in the hardest crosses, the harder the cross, the more differences they take from other countries . The harder the conditions, they have a plus and we are a proven fact in all the cross championships. It is true that they will have to adapt to the mountain. But let’s be frank, these people with the typology that has up are going to be inaccessible, it will be somewhat exaggerated the way these people can climb.

We have to see the part of the technical downs and see how they develop but let’s say their degree of unconsciousness by personal safety and also have bodies that can be perfectly adapted to technical downturns, at the time this happens not sure if we will be able to fight against them. We have a few years ahead of adaptation for all and the Spanish are in a field where we can still have some advantage, although of course I am little worried that this evolution supposes as in classic athletics where right now it is impossible to touch them in none of the long distance races.

Maybe then we will really value the achievements of all these years, right?

Yes, so far we can say that he had Spanish victories very frequently. Face to the future, I have my doubts managing to maintain so many triumphs. This year I hope there are not many performance decrease compared to the last two world championships though I believe the terrain does not favor us as much as in previous occasions, but I trust a lot in the quality and professionalism of our athletes who will prepare it with all the illusion of the world.

I think we’re going to have a super consistent team. And at an individual level I hope that in the end the elites that we have will be fighting for all, because these people always go for all. They’re going to bite and get the medals. Although I have a little more doubts than in other championships for the course, I think that in the end we will take some good prizes for Spain and that we can continue to be a leading country, the best country in the world in the trail running.

Great. We finish by remembering the congratulations to Zaid Ait Malék and Azara García, individual champions in the Valley Trail. And congratulations to the Catalan team. Finally, all the strength of the world for those who are fighting for last places the last 7 places as Juan Carlos told us before, for the World Trail of Portugal. In return, now we know that who does not achieve it there will be in June an open parentheses and a second chance to go to dispute these WMRA worlds of 15 km and 42 km in full Patagonia Argentina. In short, a fantastic year awaits us, with the first duel for the mountains with the African powers.







The world title of the World Mountain Running Association is the oldest of those that are disputed today between mountain races. Its origin goes to 1985, although throughout the time its denomination and formats have varied. A simple list of the winners of their champions in these decades makes clear the high sport level of the participants, although it is evident that in the last decade the media coverage of the WMRA has shone by its absence in front of the popular fan, unlike the work carried out by ITRA in the official Trail Running World Championships IAAF or the Swiss private company Skyman SA in the promotion of its Skyrunner World Series brand, which celebrated its World Cup in the Vall de Boi in 2016 and is now ready for 2018 in Scotland

For WMRA the 2018 World Cup is subdivided into two events: The first one was already held in Poland. The second will be held in Andorra on September 15 in Canillo. Let’s review the WMRA champions from 1985 to 2017 to see reference names, in their own right: Max King, Marco De Gasperi, Kasie Enman … and Jonathan Wyatt who is today also the president of the WMRA itself, while the founder of the Ultra Trail Mont Blanc, Michel Poletti, is the president of the ITRA.







As it has been made known to the international athletics federations through several channels, such as the last ITRA General Assembly in Penyagolosa where our RFEA was represented, the current proposal coordinated by the IAAF World Athletics Federation is to unify the current modalities in a single biennial appointment from 2021. Thus the odd years would have Trail Running World and the pairs would be held Continental Championships as the European, the South American and others.

The name proposed for this event after 2021 is the IAAF Word Mountain & Trail Running Championships and the transition process would be as you can see below: In 2019 ITRA celebrates its 50km world championship in Trilhos dos Abutres, Portugal. In parallel, WMRA celebrates his by unifying its two modalities of 2018 in a single appointment already at K42 La Angostura, as we already discussed here. By 2020 ITRA will not celebrate anything, while WMRA disputes his championship in Italy. And finally, in 2021 the unified appointment would start with both titles at stake, so that Luis Alberto’s medals would have the same value as those achieved by Jonathan. And so on …







Info by Abel de Frutos for Trailrunningspain