2018 Trail World Championships: the last news! 

The International Association of Ultrarunners (IAU) and the International Trail Running Association (ITRA) are proud to present the World Trail Championships, organized by the Penyagolosa Trails HG and the Real Federación Española de Atletismo and taking place in Spain in Castellón from May 10th to May 13th 2018. 

The place:

In the north of the Valencia region, amidst the foothills of the Iberian System and the Catalan Coastal Range, lies the province of Castellón, the second most mountainous province in Spain. The area is ideal for hosting the Trail World Championships, offering magnificent vistas to the runners, who will discover the rich and varied nature of the province. Leaving the city behind, the competitors will soon find themselves on winding trails leading them through typical Castellón backcountry landscapes and onward along ancient paths and through villages rich in history, art, gastronomy and cultural heritage, where the athletes will be greeted with an unforgettable warmth.


The history of the Championships:

The number of participants in the Championships of the World 2018 bears witness to the rapid growth of trail-running worldwide. In 2007, in Houston (USA), 12 delegations were represented by 33 athletes, 16 women and 17 men. Today, there are 354 athletes participating (142 women and 212 men, representing 49 delegations. By comparison with previous championships, the increase in the average ITRA Performance Index (PI) for the top 50 athletes (male and female) reflects an enormous enthusiasm for the young discipline of trail-running - even if the respective levels of the different delegations remain somewhat disparate.

The favorites (men):

Leading the top 10 men on the basis of the ITRA Performance Index is the defending Champion, Luis Alberto Hernando (ITRA PI score 921), with two British runners, Tom Owens (ITRA PI score 912, photo) and Jonathan Albon (ITRA PI score 911) hot on his heels. Also in the top 10 are two Americans, Zach Miller (ITRA PI score 906) and Mario Mendoza (ITRA PI score 886), with the French runners Sylvain Court (ITRA PI score 889), Sébastien Spehler (ITRA PI score 886) and Ludovic Pommeret (ITRA PI score 884) just behind. Finally, two Spaniards, Christofer Clemente(ITRA PI score 879, photo) and Pablo Villa (ITRA PI score 874) will also be at the starting line for this Trail World Championships. There promises to be fierce competition from some of the outsiders too, notably Adrien Michaud from France (ITRA PI score 874), Thorbergur Jónsson from Iceland (ITRA PI score 872), Marcin Swierc (ITRA PI score 872) from Poland and Dimitrios Theodorakakos (ITRA PI score 864) from Greece. 

The favorites (women) : 

Competition amongst the top 10 women, on the basis of the ITRA Performance Index, promises to be exciting and full of surprises. At the top of the group and on home territory is the Spaniard Maite Maiora (ITRA PI score 776, photo) followed by the American Clare Gallagher (ITRA PI score 769) and  Nathalie Mauclair  (ITRA PI score 767) from France. Just behind them in the top 10 are three Spanish runners, Azara García (ITRA PI score 763), Gemma Arenas (ITRA PI score 753), and Laia Cañes (ITRA PI score 738) who knows the region well and was last year's winner of the MIM (one of the Penyagolosa races). Amandine Ferrato and Adeline Roche of France (equal ITRA PI scores 761), who finished one behind the other last year's World Short Trail Championships (2017), will also be at the starting line. Completing the top 10 are Anne-Marie Madden (ITRA PI score 752) from Canada and Magdalena Laczak (ITRA PI score 737) from Poland whilst a number of outsiders may well surprise the favourites; these include Glykeria Tziatzia (ITRA PI score 730, photo), Kristin Berglund (ITRA PI score 728), and Michaela Mertova (ITRA PI score 725) of Greece, Sweden and Czech Republic respectively. 

The races:

The athletes taking part in the Trail World Championships will have to contend with a distance of 85.3 km and 4,900m of ascent 3,690m of descent. The race will start from Castellón at 6.00 am on Saturday, May 12th.
The World Championships course profile:

To allow the greatest possible number of athletes to take part, there will be two races open to the public, allowing lovers of the sport to tread the Championship Trails and to join in this historic and unforgettable experience. 

The first of these, the CSP (Castellón Penyagolosa Ultra; part of the Ultra Trail® World Tour circuit), run over a distance of 109 km with 5,600m of ascent and 4,400m of descent, will start from Castellón at 0.00 am on Saturday, May 12th.

The MIM (i Mitja Marató) will start at 7.00 am on Saturday, May 12th and will cover 62 km with 2,300m of ascent and 1,900m of descent.  


  • Thursday, May 10th at 7.30 am: opening ceremony (Castellón) 
  • Friday, May 11th at 12.30 pm: WTC press conference (Raval Theatre in Castellón 
  • Friday, May 11th from 4.00 to 6.00 pm: ITRA Health Conference (Benicassim)
  • Saturday, May 12th at 0.00 am: start of CSP 
  • Saturday, May 12th at 6.00 am: World Trail Championships race
  • Saturday, May 12th at 7.00 am: start of MiM 
  • Sunday, May 13th at 11.00 am: prize-giving and closing ceremony


Several of the favorite athletes have been obliged to pull out of the race just a few days before the competition because of injury or for other, personal reasons. Two French runners, Cédric Fleureton (ITRA PI score 892) and Nicolas Martin (ITRA PI score 894), will not start, nor will American runners Tim Freriks (ITRA PI score 912) and Tim Tollefson (ITRA PI score 902). Amongst the women, two of the favorites,Caroline Chaverot (highest ITRA PI score 806 (General)) from France and Jasmin Nunige (ITRA PI score 766) from Switzerland, will not take part.
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