The 18th staging of the European Championships will take place on Sunday, 7th July 2019, as part of the Gornergrat Zermatt Marathon. Around 330 entrants from approx. 25 countries are expected to participate. In the main "Senior Women + Men's" category, the fascinating, yet extremely demanding course will take entrants along a 10.1 kilometre route from Zermatt onto the Riffelberg. This will entail a climb of 1,030 metres.
The athletes will be entered by their national associations and need to run elimination rounds to qualify for the event. The same naturally applies to the Swiss runners whose qualification runs are scheduled to take place in the spring of 2019. In the summer of last year, the national team already spent two weeks at a training camp in Zermatt in order to prepare as well as possible for the course and familiarise themselves with local conditions. Swiss Athletics wishes to field a sizeable and strong team of entrants for these 'home-turf' European Championships.
Before the official opening ceremony which will include a parade from the railway station to the event marquee on 6th July 2019 at 5 p.m., the event organisers will need to overcome numerous organisational challenges. These include finding event sponsors, booking sufficient accommodation capacities for both athletes and coaches, signposting the course as well as undertaking planning for information stands, the Technical Operations Centre and the event marquee. Embedding these international championships into the weekend of the Gornergrat Zermatt Marathon which will be held on the day preceding the European championships and, coincidentally, also for the 18th time, will be a great help since a lot of the necessary infrastructure and logistics will already be in place and organised.
Additional details and facts about the 18th European Mountain Running Championships
- Opening celebration: Saturday, 6 July 2019 at 5 pm – Procession from Kirchenplatz via Bahnhofstrasse to the tent at the Obere Matten area
- "Flower Ceremony": Sunday, 7 July 2019, 10 - 15 minutes after the third place finish on Riffelberg.
- Award ceremony: Sunday 7 July 2019, 5 pm, categories: U20 women + men, senior women + men, team ranking in all categories (the three best running times per category are placed) in the Riffelberg finish area
- Senior Women and Men route: Zermatt – Riffelberg, 10.1 km, 1,030 m difference in altitude
- U20 Women and Men route: Riffelalp – Riffelberg, 5.9 km, 440 difference in altitude
- Start U20 Women: 9.30 am, Start U20 Men: 10.15 am, Start Senior Women: 10.15 am, Start Senior Men: 11:15 am
- Expected winning times: U20 Women: 33 minutes, U20 Men: 28 minutes, Senior Women 58 minutes, Senior Men: 53 minutes
More information on European Mountain Running Championships is available on the official website: www.em-zermatt.ch/en.