MOUNTAIN RUNNING WORLD MEDALISTAS INTERVIEW: Francesco Puppi (Silver) and Oriol Cardona (Bronze)


Our MOUNTAIN RUNNING section welcomes world medalists FRANCESCO PUPPI and ORIOL CARDONA. We interview them as the 2020 season gradually comes nearer the 2020 WMRA World Championship at Lanzarote. Italy´s Francesco Puppi and Spain´s Oriol Cardona took the Silver and Bronze medals in a race won by Jim Walmsley over the 42km of the World Mountain Running Championships in Villa La Angostura 2019.

Walmsley covered the 41.5km course in 3:12:16 to beat Italy’s Francesco Puppi by nearly a minute. Simion clocked 3:49:57, beating Frenchwoman Adeline Roche by nearly two minutes. Both Francesco and Oriol share with us their memories from Patagonia 2019…and also their expectations for upcoming 2020 WMRA World Championship at Lanzarote (ESP) for NOV 14-15.






Jim Walmsley of the US and Cristina Simion of Romania raced to victory in the long races as the World Mountain Running Championships concluded in Villa La Angostura, Argentina, on Saturday (16). Walmsley covered the 41.5km course in 3:12:16 to beat Italy’s Francesco Puppi by nearly a minute. Simion clocked 3:49:57, beating Frenchwoman Adeline Roche by nearly two minutes.

The course, with a total ascent of 2184m, began in the centre of Villa La Angostura, a Patagonian city of about 12,000, with a road section, before heading north along a dirt track and into a dense forest. The first 2.5km were quite flat until an initial climb through the forest, quite steep in places. The runners had to endure a fairly high river crossing twice, which proved tricky for some.

The second part of the course then took runners on a long but gradual climb up to the Cerro Bayo ski station where the really difficult work began – the long, steep and arduous climb up to the summit of the snow-capped 1785m-high Cerro Bayo. Besides snow, they were forced to negotiate a technical ridge section before returning to a faster section which eventually led them back down to the finish line.

Both races were fast at the front. Walmsley forged an early lead but never managed to open much of a gap on Puppi, the 2017 WMRA long distance champion. Behind them, Hayden Hawks of the US, Spaniard Oriol Cardona and Jonathan Albon of the UK, this year’s world trail running champion, took turns battling for position

.Walmsley looked comfortable as he approached the second half of the course, but was still unable to stretch his gap on Puppi to more than a minute by the time they reached the summit. In the women’s race, Simion took the lead as they approached Cerro Bayo, with Roche and L’Hirondel in pursuit.

While he couldn’t quite shrug off Puppi on the first half, Walmsley’s speed allowed him to maintain his lead once they hit the flat. He crossed the line unchallenged in 3:12:16 with Puppi next in 3:13:04. Further back, Cardona clocked 3:20:24 to round out the podium.


In the women’s race, world trail running champion Blandine L’Hirondel was the early leader, with Ayde Lozoya, Sara Willhoit of Great Britain, Adeline Roche and Simion maintaining contact. Likewise, Simion couldn’t be caught in the women’s race. She claimed the title in 3:49:57, well clear of Roche, who clocked 3:51:56. L’Hirondel finished third in 3:52:07.

Photogallery by Mayayo –








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.








Info by Mayayo for Trailrunningspain