WMRA 2021 FINAL: AFRICA AND EUROPE BATTLE OUT WORLD CUP WMRA FINALS AT ZUMAIA FLYSCH TRAIL ON SUNDAY OCT3. The WMRA 2021 FINAL will take place on the Basque mountain running event hosting the Classic & Long Distance series.

Africans and Europeans will have the final fight for the 2021 Crown this Sunday at the Basque Country sea & mountain trails of Zumaia Flysch Trai. This has been a year of firsts for the World Cup. Not only did it visit Poland for the first time – twice, at Tatra Race Run and Tatra Skymarathon – but it also ventured into Spain for the first time. After a hugely successful Canfranc-Canfranc in mid-September we’re heading back to Spain for Zumaia Flysch this weekend (3rd October). For the  Classic and Long Distance series finals.


WMRA 2021 FINAL: A GORGEOUS NATURAL PARK Zumaia-Flysch takes place in Gipuzkoa Province in the Basque Country in Northern Spain, near San Sebastian. This area is a UNESCO Global Geopark, so it’s important from a natural and cultural perspective. It’s an incredibly beautiful area sandwiched between the mountains and the sea. Most recently, it stood out for media prominence when its unique seaside cliffs were set as a key location fro Game of Thrones series, where the magic dragonglass cave was found that delivered hope to men vs the white walkers.

As you’d expect for an area of natural heritage, the organisers of this race take their commitment to sustainability very seriously. This year they are trying to secure Europarc Certification for Care for the Environment and they are impressing upon runners the importance of leaving no trace, respecting the paths and using public transport where possible, among many other initiatives. A special weeklong environmental educational week is held with keynote speakers and alpinists present.

The event is the setting for stages 14 and 15 of this year’s World Cup. The first race is 42.8k and it’s our next (and final) long mountain race. One hour later it’s our next (and final) classic mountain race with the 22k. The runners at Zumaia will not only race for the CLASSIC and LONG DISTANCE crowns, but also for the final OVERALL winner, that brinbgs together the best seven combined results in Uphill-Classic-Long Distance. The golden globe will be awarded next week after the UPHILL final is held at Chiavenna, Italy.

Photo: Zumaia Flysch


Peter Frano and Raul Criado to battle world cup title. Charlotte Morgan takes on  Oihana Kortazar.

The marathon distance race should provide a tough final test for the runners who favour the long courses. A classic sea & mountain course, it tops out at a modest 613m over the seaside cliff and green valleys rolling hills. Yet, the constant ups and downs, plus the technical terrain of several parts  over the route add up to a total of D+3.000m.

Charlotte Morgan (GBR)  comes as  the virtual champion at  the WMRA World Cup Long Distance 2021,, with a 115 lead and just 100 points awarded to the winner. However, she will still have to strive for her best as she is  currently lying 2nd in the Overall World Cup rankings, just 5 points behind Joyce Njeru (KEN). The Kenyan  will be doing her part to beat her there, by taking  part on the classic race.

Charlotte took a decisive Long Distance win at Canfranc-Canfranc a few weeks ago and a win at Tatra Race Run at the start of the World Cup, Morgan must be a favourite here. But she will face tough competition from Oihana Kortazar (ESP) who will also be hotly tipped having won Canfranc-Canfranc marathon in 2020 and finished 3rd in Olla de Nuria and the Spanish Mountain Running Championships this year. Furthermore, Oihana comes  back to Zumaia as defending champion, after her 2019 win here. Belen Perez Riveiro, from Cantabria, who took 6th at Canfranc, will strive at Zumaia to make it into the final top5 of the World Cup.

Peter Frano and Raul Criado will battle it out at Zumaia, with only 5 points separating them at the start line.The young Slovenian starts as favourite, given his recent gold over Raul´s bronze at Canfranc Marathon, yet the spaniad did prove brave to the end at the Pyrenees, will sure put an exciting fight to the end.

The main rival for Peter, much as it happens to Charlotte, will also be local defending champion Oiher Ariznabarreta. The basque runner thrives on the passion of the Gipuzkoa fans, a unique crowd whose enthusiasm always gets to the heart of any runner present.

Other relevant men in the race will be Ismail Razga and Hassan Ait, both of Moroccan origin and now living in the Basque Country. France will stand behind Roy Fabien and Sebastien Doumenc while dutch talent Jonathan Van de Krogt should also be considered.


Battle of the africans: Lucy Murigi vs Joyce Njeru. Petro Mamu vs Geoffrey Gikuni.

The 22k classic mountain race looks like it will be a fast affair. It has 850m of ascent in total but the highest point is just 210m and it hugs the stunning coastline, so the shorter, runnable ascents may suit the runners with more speed. And there will certainly be a lot of faster runners on the start line.

For the women we’ll be seeing Joyce Njeru (KEN), our current World Cup leader, straight from her win at Trofeo Ciolo last weekend. Njeru is having an incredible year, having also won at Grossglockner and Krkonossky as well. We may also see a repeat of last weekend’s Trofeo Ciolo, where Njeru and Lucy Murigi (KEN) battled right to the end for victory, by a few seconds.

 Lucy Wambui Murigi, was the 2018 Classic world champion, and also has won key events like Sierre Zinal. Joyce and Lucy both stand now as 1-2 at Classic ranking, with just 35 points separating them for the 2021 CLASSIC crown.With a win at La Montee du Nid d’Aigle and a 3rd place at Grossglockner Murigi is bound to be in contention.

Other athletes expected to feature include Alice Gaggi (ITA), fresh from a 3rd place at Trofeo Ciolo and a string of solid results leading to a 3rd place ranking in the World Cup at the moment, Nadege Servant (FRA), who finished 3rd at Canfranc-Canfranc, Sarah Mc Cormack (IRL) defending World Cup Champion, Kitti Posztos (HUN), Charlotte Cotton (BEL) , Louise Mercer (GBR) Timea Merenyi (HUN) or Fernanda Bravo (ECU),  Neighboring runners will also have their say, with Uxoa Irigoien or Pepa Herrera,

The Classic men’s race should also be very exciting. Petro Mamu (ERI) comes as top favorite, since he was our men’s winner at recent Trofeo Ciolo and at Trofeo Nasego a few weeks ago. With two wins already, a third win will grant him the gold for the Classic WMRA World Cup 2021. Geoffrey Gikuni Ndungu (KEN) has also been having a very good World Cup this year, with a win at Krkonossky and a 2nd place at Trofeo Ciolo, as well as 4th places at Trofeo Nasego and Grossglockner A win here will mean the Classic gold goes to him

Sandor Szabo (HUN) has also had a great run of results in this year’s competition, including a 2nd place at Canfranc-Canfranc and top 10s at Trofeo Ciolo and Krkonossky. This consistency has led him to be ranked 2nd in the OVERALL World Cup so far this year, so a top result here will be vital for his aspirations. Local runners include David Muñoz or Ion Larrañaga relevant contenders as well.

Useful information

42k race starts at 7.30am local time

22k race starts at 8.30am local time

Race website:

Live streaming at YOUTUBE.COM/MOXIGENO



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