Trail World Championships 2016 / Pre-race Report

2016 Trail World Championships

An IAU competition in conjunction with ITRA
Braga, Portugal

The IAAF recognised the Trail, since 2015, as a distinct discipline and acknowledges the Trail of Trans Peneda-Gerês in Portugal as the only World Championship for the 2016 edition.

This competition will take place in the Portuguese World Biosphere reserve (declared by UNESCO in 2009): The Peneda-Gerês National Park. The National Park has a total area of about 70290 hectares. It’ is located in the extreme northeast of Portugal, covering the regions of Minho and Trás-os-Montes, which are deeply rural. It is characterized for being a zone with stark relief and pronounced slopes, with a maximum elevation of 1545 m.

LOC calls for athletes, all the participants and assistant’s attention to the absolute respect for the preservation of nature, following the principal: « Don’t leave more than footprints, don’t take more than pictures ».

Why Peneda-Gerês?

The National Park of Peneda-Gerês seemed to be the perfect place for the 2016 Trail World Championships, offering a diversity of nature and terrain which allows competitors to challenge eachother on a variety of technical aspects. The location in Portugal is also interesting for all the 37 delegations who are ready to compete next Saturday, as most of them are from Europe (23 upon the 37).

Carlos Sá Nature Events

Carlos Sá organise 4 different challenges: The Peneda-Gerês Trail Adventure (PGTA 7 days - 220 km, PGTA 4 days - 125 km and Trail Solidário - 25 km), the Grande Trail Da Serra D'Arga (53 km, 33 km, 23 km, 13 km, Km Vertical...) and Gerês Extreme Marathon (42 km, 21 km and 13 km).


The Trail World Championships are co-organised by the IAU and the ITRA. Their roles is to put in common their respective knowledge in the World Championships organisation and the trail-running domain. The purpose is to offer to the competitors a quality event with a deep and complementary collaboration.

The Competition

The race will be a 85 km with 5 000m D+ with the following repartition of refreshments points and aid stations:

Endurance Difficulty = 3 old points, 4 new ITRA points;

Mountain Level = 7;

Finisher Criteria = 490 (corresponding to a cut-off time of 16h)

List of confirmed delegations

The Trail World Championships 2016 in Gerês are only open to the runners selected by their national federation or association, member of the IAU, each country has its own selection modalities.

This year, 37 nationalities will be represented: Algeria - Argentina - Australia - Austria - Belgium - Brazil - Canada - Croatia - Czech Republic - Denmark - Finland - France - Germany - Greece - Iceland - Ireland - Israel - Italy - Japan - South Korea - Letvia - Lituania - Luxembourg - Nepal - Netherland - New-Zealand - Norway - Portugal - Sierra Leone - Spain - Sweden - Switzerland - Ukraine - United Kingdom - United States - Uruguay - Venezuela.

The list of selected runners is available here.

Pre-race updates

Portugal must be committed to see their favourite runners crossing their maravellous lands, like Ester ALVES for the women selection and Luis FERNANDES for the men part.

But, we will rely on the French team again, winner in 2015 of the female and male titles, in individual as in team. The Spanish team is also highly anticipated by the public !

Sylvain COURT and Nathalie MAUCLAIR, the lasts world champions in Annecy 2015, will attend the competition, as Luis Alberto HERNANDO and Caroline CHAVEROT, who both finished at the second place. No doubt, they are back for revenge !

The American team seems to be less prepared than last year because of little injuries that some runners encountered, but their leader, Alex VARNER will be present. We will also count on the british Tom OWENS and the german Stephan HUGENSCHMIDT for great performances.

A good surprise on the men side might come from the nepalese Bhim GURUNG or the norvegians Torbjørn LUDVIGSEN and Lars ERIK-SKJERVHEIM. The swedish Emelie FORSBERG is one of the big favourites with the aforesaid french women and the americans Yiou WANG and Larisa DANNIS.

Another surprising performace should come from the spanish women Azara GARCIA and Uxue FRAILE or the polish Ewa MAJER. The start is announced on Saturday, 22nd of October at 5:00 AM.

The other races organised this weekend

The IAU and ITRA encourage all the runners who want to participate to this great event. This is the reason why it has been decided that 3 different races, open to the runners will take place on the same weekend: 55 km « solo », 3000m D+, 55 km « relay » of 3 runners, 3000m D+ and 16 km, 500m D+.

All the runners are invited to participate to these 3 challenges to make the TWC 2016 more attractive and exceptional. Running on the same amazing lands as the top athletes do, be part of the event all day long and follow the Trail World Championships from the organisation’s heart, are a guarantee of a wonderful experience.

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