Posts Tagged ‘Rok Kuserbanj’

Christof Grosseger and Rok Kuserbanj will be among the top athletes in Maribor, Slovenia on Saturday competing for top spot at the 11th edition of Tek Na Kalvarijo.

The 454-step outdoor race has been switched from its traditional atmospheric Friday night setting and will now take place on Saturday morning.

2019 champion Klemen Španring will not be returning to defend his title on the weekend. The Slovenian mountain runner will instead be competing at Smarna Gorna, one of the biggest mountain races on the international calendar.

Part of the course in Maribor

That leaves the door open for the in form Christof Grossegger to do better than the third-place finish he earned at last year’s race.

Grossegger recently took a confidence boosting win at the Pyramidenkogel in his native Austria.

But a mishap at last weekend’s Red Bull 400 race in Bischofshofen, Austria has left Grossegger frustrated and ready to make up for it.

“I can’t wait to do the race”, Grossegger told Tower Running UK.

“Confidence is of course pretty high, because I am in good shape. But my motivation is also high, because I’m angry about last weekend.

“I missed the finals at the Red Bull 400 because I tried to save as much energy as possible in the qualification run. But in the end I missed the cut-off time by one second. I really saved energy by going that slow – but for nothing.

“So therefore, new tactics for Maribor – just full gas from bottom to the top.

“I will miss the night race and the special colorful lights. It was an incredible atmosphere last year.”

In among those looking to compete with Grossegger will be Slovenia’s Rok Kuserbanj.

He won a couple of weeks back at the 265-step Juriš na Hmezad in Zalec, Slovenia, dethroning the two-time winner Rene Sluga.

Kuserbanj also held off the challenge of Simon Kmet at that race, who finished third.

Kmet took second at Tek Na Kalvarijo in 2019, so expect to see Kuserbanj finish higher than the 10th place finish he earned last year.

Also expect to see four-time winner Matjaz Miklosa among the tough Slovenian runners competing strongly for the podium, having narrowly missed out on third spot last year.

Špela Jelovčan set a new course record at the third edition of Juriš na Hmezad in Zalec, Slovenia on Saturday.

Jelovčan ran the 265-step course with the required 5kg bag of hops on her back in 1:29.78, to take five seconds off the previous best time set by fellow Slovenian Petra Pogačar at last year’s event.

It was a huge improvement for the athlete from Polhov Gradec who finished fourth at the race in 2019.

Jelovčan was a clear winner, finishing 15 seconds ahead of Maruša Stermecki (1:44.96) in second. Karmen Štih took third in 1:49.23.

Špela Jelovčan sets off on her record-breaking run at Juriš na Hmezad
Kuserbanj puts an end to Sluga’s winning run

Rok Kuserbanj put in a solid run in the men’s race to stop Austria’s Rene Sluga from winning Juriš na Hmezad for the third time in a row.

Course record holder Sluga was the pre-race favourite coming into Saturday’s event, but Kuserbanj put in a powerful run to shock the Austrian and take first place with a 1:12.95 finish.

Kuserbanj had finished second behind the experienced Sluga in 2018 and then took third in 2019. The athlete from Braslovče finally completed his collection of every podium position with this impressive win.

The men’s top six (plus Karmen Štih, 3rd woman) at Juriš na Hmezad 2020

Rene Sluga was just over one second behind, finishing in 1:14.01. Simon Kmet was third in 1:16.69.

For more race-day images, head to Atletsko tekaško društvo Savinjčan ŽALEC.