The 7th IAU 24 Hour World Challenge & European Championship will take place on 2-3 May 2009 in Bergamo, Italy. 3-time consecutive men’s champion Ryoichi Sekiya (Japan) is absent from the race and so there will be a new men’s winner. Returning women’s champion from 2007 IAU World Challenge, Anne-Marie Vernet (France) is back to defend her crown.
Bergamo, Italy has the honour of hosting the 7th IAU 24 hr World Challenge & European Championship. The race returns to Europe after a 2-year absence. The host city has a population of 100,000 and is in the town of Lombardy in northern Italy, about 40 km from Milan.
The opening ceremony for the World Challenge is on 1st May at 5:30pm. The race starts on 2nd May 2009 at 10am. This race also doubles up as the IAU 24 Hr European Championships.
The course is on an 1133.945m loop that runs through the city centre in Bergamo. The course is relatively flat and is run mainly on asphalt.
The men’s race will be significant with the absence of 3-time consecutive champion Ryoichi Sekiya (JPN). As a result a new champion will be crowned, first time in 3 years at the end of the men’s race. Fabiean Hoblea (FRA) and Yuji Sakai (JPN), last year’s second and third place finishers respectively, are back this year.
In 2008 we saw a close race between the top three female runs from France. All three — Anne-Marie Vernet, Anne-Cecile Fontaine and Brigitte Bec are back this year. The race also sees the return of Lyudmila Kalinina (RUS), winner of Women’s 2007 IAU 24hr World Challenge.
In conjunction with the IAU World Challenge there will be a race for open athletes vying for the Italian Championship.
Top runners in the Men’s field include (based on 2007-2009 performances):
1) Fabien Hoblea (FRA) 267.074 km
2) Yuji Sakai (JPN) 264.389 km
3) Anatoly Kruglicov (RUS) 257.358 km
4) Vladimir Bychkov (RUS) 257.327 km
5) Mohamed Magroun (FRA) 257.018 km
Top runners in the Women’s field include (based on 2007-2009 performances):
1) Anne-Marie Vernet (FRA) 239.685 km
2) Anne-Cecile Fontaine (FRA) 239.252
3) Lyudmila Kalinina (RUS) 236.848 km
4) Connie Gardner (USA) 233.84 km
5) Brigitte Bec (FRA) 233.137km
Director of Communications
-The Irish team is: Eoin Keith Captain, Dara O’ Kearney, Thomas Maguire and Eddie Gallen.
Team manager. Tony Mangan.