WMRA World Cup 2020: Mountain running goes further than ever. Zumaia Flysch & Canfranc Canfranc to represent Spain

The World Mountain Running Association is proud to present its 22nd edition of the original and most prestigious mountain running circuit in the world, which now grows up to 12 races held at 9 iconic venues spread over Austria, Czech Republic, Italy, Switzerland, Spain and the USA.


Sierre Zinal course in the swiss alps. Photo: Mayayo.



WMRA created the first Mountain Running World Championship in the history of the sport, back in 1985 with the Vertical Mountain Race held at the Italian village of San Viglio di Marebbe over a 14k/D+1.080m. Ever since, the WMRA World Champs have been the annual highlight for mountain runners with the 35th edition held last November at the iconic k42 Patagonia.  Haria Extreme Lanzarote will host the 2020 edition on November 14-15.

Following the World Championship development, the need for a circuit for the best mountain runners to race each other over the year became evident and thus in 1999 the WMRA WORLD CUP was born.

Ever since, the best mountain runners in the world have always been at the top of WMRA World Cup. From the legendaty 8 times winner Jonathan Wyatt from New Zealand (current WMRA President) to icons such as italians Marco de Gasperi, kenian Lucy Murigi,  or austrian Andrea Mayr

Highlights of the 2019 season include the championship titles for scot Andrew Douglas and irish Sarah Mc Cormack, plus the historic duel at Sierre Zinal between spaniard Kilian Jornet and eritrean Petro Mamu that resulted in victory for Kilian and a new record to replace Wyatt´s legenday mark of 2003.

Now, the 22nd edition is growing further and wider than ever: Not only will Spain host WMRA world cup events for the first time in history, but there will now be three separate rankings for the Vertical Mountain Race; Classic Mountain Race and Long Distance Mountain Race, plus an Overall ranking.






The 2020 calendar provides a unique combination of races which will make up the 2020 World Cup a most appelaing event, not only for the best mountain runners of the world to race together, but also for the popular runner to follow on their footsteps and enjoy some of the greatest mountain views and events in the world.


Spain kicks off the series in gran style, with the unique basque passion for mountain running to welcome mountain runners from all over the world at Zumaia Flysch Trail Mendi Maratoia on the 3rd of May. There will be a long mountain race, with 42k with 3000m of ascent, and also a classic mountain race of 14k with 425m of ascent. http://www.zumaiaflyschtrail.com/

Photo Mayayo


Next, the series travels to northern Italy for Vertical Nasego and Trofeo Nasego. On the 16th May the vertical uphill race will take place, over a distance of 4.2k and the following day the classic mountain race will be contested over a 21.5k course with 1336m of climbing. http://www.trofeonasegocorsainmontagna.com/


After making its debut in 2019 we will again return to the Broken Arrow Skyrace in Squaw Valley, California. The series of races span 3 days, from 19th to 21st June, but it’s the 26km race, with 1700m of ascent, which will form part of the World Cup Series as a long mountain race. The race describes itself as ‘European-inspired mountain running characterized by off-trail scrambling, steep terrain, and massive amounts of vertical gain and loss’ and the majority of it takes place at over 6000 feet, racing over snowfield and even climbing some fixed ropes https://www.brokenarrowskyrace.com/

Photo: WMRA


The next couple of races look quite familiar. We return to Grossglockner Berglauf in Heilenblut, Austria on the 12th of July for the next classic mountain race. Runners will take on the 13k race with 1265m of uphill (no down) against the stunning backdrop of the highest mountain in Austria. http://www.grossglocknerberglauf.at/berglauf.html


Then it’s back to the iconic Sierre-Zinal in Switzerland, which provided such an incredible race in 2019. It takes place on the 9th August in 2020 and consists of 31km, making it our next long mountain race, with 2200m of ascent. The 2019 race was absoluttley magic, with Kilian Jornet and Maude Mathys setting new records. Will we see records tumble again? https://www.sierre-zinal.com/

Photo Mayayo


Then it’s on to the most northern part of the Czech Republic for the Krkonossky Half Marathon. This race is just a week after Sierre-Zinal and it will be our next classic mountain race, at 21k with 1200m of climbing. http://www.maratonstav.cz/

And for the final long mountain race in our series we go to Canfranc in north eastern Spain in the Pyrenees for Canfranc-Canfranc. This rugged race will take place on the 12th and 13th of September and the runners will have a choice between the 45k (and +3910m) long mountain race or the classic mountain distance with 1195m of ascent. https://canfranccanfranc.com/

Then just a week later the World Cup is off to Nordkette Vertical in Innsbruck, Austria, which is described as ‘the jewel in the Alps’. This vertical uphill race takes place on the 19th of September and actually has 1400m of ascent over its 6k route.

Lastly, we round out the 2020 World Cup with one more vertical uphill race on the 4th October – the Kilometro Verticale Chiavenna-Lagunac in Italy. This classic of Italian mountain running has already been a WMRA affiliated race and it’s known as the ‘vertical race of the records’. We’re sure it will live up to that name now it’s part of the World Cup! http://www.kilometroverticalelagunc.it/


All in all, as said at the start, it will a great step forward for the history of the WMRA World Cup. THe 22nd edition offers 9 events with 12 possible races to choose from – 3 vertical uphill, 5 classic mountain and 4 long mountain. ¿Will the brits sweep both titles again? ¿Will the africans come back stronger than ever? ¿How will the spaniards perform in this brand new circuit for their elite runners?