English U23 Mountain runners acquit themselves well in Slovenia

Callum Davidson (Ribble Valley Harriers, self-coached) and Rory Domville (Reading AC / Bath Uni, coach: Derek Hawkins) both performed competently in a top quality field in the Smarna Gora Mountain Running Race in Ljubljana, Slovenia on Saturday. The race was the final round of the World Cup Series of 5 races.

Rory finished the 10km, with 660m climb, in 47:51 (22nd overall); to claim 4th U23 place, with Callum 23 seconds behind for 5th U23. Rory went out a little faster than Callum, whom was more cautious after last year's race where he wasn’t as strong as expected up the last steep climb. The gap was only 5 seconds at the foot of the technical descent which followed the initial 360m Climb, Rory then managed to extended this up the second climb.

Smarna Gora mountain running

The race boasted 160 athletes from 19 different countries. Of the athletes in front of them 13 had competed in the World Championships in Andorra 3 weeks earlier - all finishing top 50. The race has two climbs separated with a steep descent with a technical rockier section at the top.

Luckily the predicted rain held off, as the descent would have become more testing with the rocks being wet.

A tight men’s race where the top 3 were separated by only 14seconds was won by Norwegian Johan Brugge, from European Champion Bernard Dematteis (Italy) with Geoffrey Ndungu (Kenya) taking 3rd.  World Champion Lucy Wambui (Kenya) took the women’s race by 11 seconds from last year's winner and overall World Cup winner Andrea Mayr (Austria), Ireland’s Sarah McCormack finished 3rd. Top British finisher was Andy Douglas (Scotland) in 6th place.