Top names set for inaugural edition of European Off-Road Running Championships

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by Trail Running staff |

Some of the continent's top trail athletes will be in action at the first staging of the European Off-Road Running Championships in El Paso, La Palma this weekend (July 1-3).

The event in the Canary Islands will incorporate not only the established European mountain running championships, with both uphill-only and up-and-down races, but also a 47.4km trail race.

Britain's Jacob Adkin will defend the uphill-only title he won in 2019 as the event makes a return after a three-year hiatus due to the pandemic. France's Xavier Chevrier, who won bronze on that occasion, will hope to challenge him.

Multiple British international Andrew Douglas is entered for both the uphill (8.95km) and and up-and-down (18km) races.

Italy's World Cup champion Henri Aymonod, could be a threat too, if he has recovered from the injury which kept him out of a race last weekend.

Slovenia's Timotej Becan, plus Italy's Cesari Maestri and Alberto Vender will be other contenders.

On the women's side, three-time defending European mountain running champion Maude Mathys of Switzerland is entered for both mountain races. Four-time winner Andrea Mayr, an uphill specialist, is back after running Mathys to within a second in 2019.

France's Christel De Walle, third last time, is entered for both. Italy's Alice Gaggi will be a strong competitor in the up-and-down race. Another in that race will be Ireland's former World Cup champion Sarah McCormack.

Leading British hopes will be trials winner Scout Adkin, while another interesting name on the team is that of former European cross-country silver medallist Kate Avery.

The men's trail race will feature some of the world's top skyrunners, such as Spain's Oriol Cardona and Zaid Ait Malek. Switzerland's Stephan Wenk and 2016 European mountain champion Martin Dematteis should be other challengers.

Britain will have Ricky Lightfoot, world trail champion in 2013, and Brennan Townshend, winner of the trial race at the Three Peaks Fell Race.

The women's equivalent will include France's current trail world champion (from 2019), Blandine L'Hirondel. Also going for France will be Audrey Tanguy, sixth in the Western States last year and a former UTMB TDS winner.

Germany's team includes 2:26 marathoner Anna Hahner, while Spain's Marcela Vasinova could be prominent. Sharon Taylor, top Brit in the trial race, will be hoping to be up there too.

The event will be streamed on European Athletics' YouTube channel.

Pic credit: European Athletics

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