Velika planina

velikaplaninaUntouched nature, summer freshness surrounded by the Kamnik Alps, rich tradition of the shepherds and variety of opportunities for recreation. These are the reasons that attract numerous guests to Velika Planina.

We suggest you a nice walk to the shepherd village, which is the rarity also according to its size in the whole Europe. In the summer between June and September, you will be shown their typical huts or so-called “bajte«“where you will be offered home-made traditional dishes.

The mountain-bikers could take the biking tracks that lead from the top of the mountain back to the valley. Tha transport of the bike is possible either by cabin lift or by the chair-lift from the station Zeleni Rob.

The lower cabin station is found in the small place Kamniška Bistrica, 10 km from Kamnik.When leaving Kamnik just follow the traffic signs to Kamniška Bistrica and Gornji Grad. After 5km-drive, you reach the village Stahovica, where you turn left. Follow the signs indicating Kamniška Bistrica and after 5km-drive, you can find on your right the parking place of the cabin-lift station for Velika Planina.

Welcome of WMRA president

Bruno Gozzelino, WMRA president.

135135134For the first time, the World Mountain Running Championships will be held in Slovenia, a country that for many years has been very profitable in this splendid discipline of athletics.
The City of Kamnik enters into the story of athletics and of the mountain running with a world event of character that will certainly stay in the memory of all those who take part, the participants, the event organisers and the spectators. Everyone will experience a wonderful September weekend of mountain running on the picturesque Slovenian mountains.
The WMRA are very happy and grateful that Slovenia will host the event and it is fully appreciated by the IAAF – its President, Lamine Diack, and the General Secretary Pierre Weiss, who, as always give their full support to the Championships. Mountain running is a discipline that excites each individual athlete but it also emphasizes the strength and the spirit of a team, of each nation represented with the opportunity to compete and contribute their best.
As the World Mountain Running Association President and on behalf of all of the members of the WMRA Council, I would like to offer the warmest welcome to all those who will participate in 26. World Mountain Running Championships in Slovenia.

At the same time, I want to thank – on behalf of the WMRA – all those who gave us back the possibility of organizing the 26. World Mountain Running Championship, in particular, the Slovenian Athletic Federation, the Community of Kamnik and the whole of the LOC led by its President Dusan Papez.

As always we must thank the sponsors (always fundamental in the accomplishment of a major sports event), the journalists and the television companies (to recount the sporting deeds of the athletes) and all the many volunteers who will work together for the accomplishment of a successful 26. World Mountain Running Championships.

For the World Championships 2010, I offer the most cordial of greetings from the WMRA to all National teams, to the Managers, to the Coaches and to the Athletes that will give Slovenia another important moment for the discipline of the mountain running.

Welcome of IAAF president

Lamine Diack, IAAF president

asd135135On behalf of the IAAF, I am happy to write this message of support for the organizers of the 26th edition of the WMRA World Championships which takes place in the beautiful town of Kamnik, in the Slovenian Alps, and will mark the peak of a busy 2010 season for international mountain racers. Kamnik was founded in 1229, when it was an important trading post on the road between Ljubljana and Celje. This makes the town one of the oldest in Slovenia and I am certain that the world’s top mountain runners will be warmly welcomed and find all the necessary conditions to compete at the highest level.

The IAAF is very happy to continue strongly supporting the WMRA, representing the world of mountain running, and this partnership is underlined by the fact that the “World Trophy” – the most important mountain running worldwide event – was renamed the WMRA “World Championships” with last year’s edition (the 25th) a notable success.

I am also glad to see that this sport is moving outside its traditional heartlands to new parts of the world. In 2009, Africa held its first official Mountain Running Championships as part of the Obudu Mountain Race in Nigeria, and this spirit of global development matches that of the IAAF.
Mountain running requires the athletic virtues of endurance and speed, but something special as well, in the sense that instead of a stadium, men and women are able to compete in harmony with some of nature’s most marvelous landscapes.

Andrea Mayr and Samson Gashazghi are new World Champions in mountain running

13135135“The 26th World Mountain Running Championship is officially closed,” are the words with which Mr. Bruno Gozzelino, the president of the World Mountain Running Association, yesterday closed the championship which he had opened a day before. Last weekend, Kamnik and Velika Planina hosted more than 400 best mountain runners of the world, who arrived at the beautiful realm of the Kamnik Alps from more then 39 countries. On Sunday, they competed in the race to Velika Planina and now we have 4 new World Champions and 4 new best teams in the world in the categories of junior women, junior men, women, and men. At the end of the championship, it can be concluded that the European and American runners are seriously challenged by the runners from the African continent.

In the men’s race (12 km, 1295 m assent) among 149 contestants, runners from Eritrea were absolute winners. With an amazing time of 56:25 Samson Gashazgi was the first, Teklay Weldemariam was the second and the last year’s champion from Uganda Geoffrey Kusuro finished third. After the race, Gashazgi said that the course was extremely difficult which made his victory even more meaningful.
Two more contestants from Eritrea Patro Mamu Shaku and Abraham Habtom came through the finish line as the fourth and the sixth, and the fifth place went to Stephan Kiprotich from Uganda. The European champion Ahmet Arslan from Turkey was the seventh and the 8th place went to Jonathan Wyatt from New Zealand, who at the age of 37, when he is slowly saying goodbye to competing, couldn’t win the seventh title of the world champion. The best Slovenian runner was Mitja Kosovelj in the 70th place with the time 1:05:39. This time, he couldn’t repeat the performance from the 1st race to Velika Planina. Other contestants from Slovenia were: Simon Alič 82nd, Sebastian Zarnik, Gašper Bregar 97th (he was in the Slovenian team instead of the injured Peter Lamovec ), Hrovat Boštjan 99th and Kuhar Nejc 103rd. In the team competition the Italians were third, the Americans second and with a great advantage, the Eritreans were the winners.
In the women’s race (8.5 km, 1035 assent, 69 contestants) the first three places went to the favourites. Andrea Mayr was the first with the time 49:30, the second was Valentina Belotti from Italy and the third Martina Straehl from Switzerland. Mateja Kosovelj with the time 51:24 was the fifth, which is the best Slovenian result in the history of mountain running. Other contestants from Slovenia were Krkoč Lucija 24th, Mateja Šuštaršič 57th, and Valerija Mark 59th. In the team competition, the Italians were the first, runners from Switzerland were the second and the Russians were third.

In the junior women competition (4.5 km, 1035 assent, 51 contestants) the first two places went to Turkey. Yasemin Can be the first with the time 24:04, Burcu Dag was the second and Adelaide Pantheon from France was the third. Lea Einfalt was the 6th, Kaja Obidič was the 26th and Katja Kozjek was 35th. In the team competition, runners from Turkey were the first, Romanians were the second and the contestants from Great Britain won the third place.

In the junior men competition (4.5 km, 1035 assent, 76 contestants) Yosef Andemichael from Eritrea was the first with the time 42:30, Ridvan Bozkurt from Turkey was the second and Jen Joly from Belgium was the third. Joly was a pleasant surprise of yesterday’s race and he was really excited about his success. In the team competition, runners from Turkey were the first, the Americans were the second and the Italians won the third place.

In the morning hours an Open race on the 12-kilometre course took place. In the men’s category, the first place went to Emanuele Manzi from Italy, the second went to Cliff Bowman from New Zealand and an Austrian Andreas Stitz was the third. In the women’s race, the first place was won by Mihaela Tušar, Katja Slanc was the second and Nancy Hoobs from the USA was the third.

The atmosphere in Velika Planina was amazing, not even the fog could spoil the day. When the competition finished the president of the Papež mountain runners clubs, Dušan Papež who organized this world championship was really satisfied. He said: ”Excellent! Everything is as it should be, the results are amazing. The contestants were really satisfied with the course which was clearly marked so that nobody got lost in the fog. I’m really sorry that due to the fog the competitors could not see this beautiful mountain and the Kamnik Alps behind.” At the end, he pointed out that his family and more than 400 volunteers are the ones that made this day possible.

The Opening ceremony of the World Championship took place on Saturday afternoon when a Parade of all teams walked through the ancient Kamnik city centre. At the Main Kamnik square, they were greeted by a crowd of spectators. At the opening ceremony speeches were given by the mayor of Kamnik municipality Tone Smolnikar, the president of the WMRA Bruno Gozzelino, representative of IAAF Mr. Otto Klapert, the president of AZS Dr. Peter Kukovica, the president of the mountain running committee with the AZS, the member of the WMRA and a coordinator and advisor with the LOC Mr. Tomo Šarf and the president of the LOC Dušan Papež. A special letter of congratulations from the president of the Republic of Slovenia Dr. Danilo Turk, who is also the honourable president of the Local Organizing Committee, was presented on stage to Dušan Papež and his family, by the president’s personal advisor mag. Franc Hočevar.
The Parade of the teams was presented by sports commentator Tomaž Kovšca.
At the Opening ceremony, Tone Smolnikar said: ’’I am really proud of this event that is taking place in Kamnik today. Velika Planina is an amazing mountain with incredible nature and it is great that you, athletes and visitors from the whole world have a chance to visit it.
From the moment we were trusted with the candidacy, Dušan Papež, his family and the volunteers have worked really hard on this project. In this time of recession, it wasn’t easy to make this happen. I’m convinced that this weekend’s events are an important promotion for the city, municipality and the Republic of Slovenia.’’

The 26th World Mountain Running Championship is a success. A lot of people were inspired by the Papež family’s enthusiasm and with their help success was possible. We have new World Champions, the names of Velika Planina, Kamnik and Slovenia are travelling around the world. Next year in September the runners will meet again in Albania.

First official presentation of the 26th WMRC to Slovenian media

a134135he first official presentation of the 26th World Mountain Running Championships to the host city of Kamnik took place in the offices of the Slovenian Athletic Federation with the main representatives of the Slovenian media present.

The LOC President and Mayor of Kamnik Tone Smolnikar confirmed the importance of this event for the local community by declaring it as “the greatest sporting event ever in Kamnik”. The LOC Director Dusan Papez highlighted the roles of the organizers, the course and all other technical aspects of the event. President of the Slovenian Athletic Federation Peter Kukovica described the organization of Mountain Running within the Athletic Federation and the WMRA representative Tomo Sarf explained the WMRA competition system and the current situation with the mountain running scene worldwide.

The contract was signed between the WMRA, NAF and the LOC and consequently the official organizing procedure was put in place (photo 1).

Some of the best Slovenian Mountain runners were also present. Lucija Krkoc, the winner of many World and European Trophy-Championships medals in the junior women category described her expectations. Slovenia’s top Junior Women Kaya Obidic presented her plans for the Championships and Mitja Kosovelj, several times a medalist, also presented his plans for the future, where the 26. World Mountain Running Championships will be his first endeavor.