Posts Tagged ‘Tek Na Kalvarijo’

Christof Grossegger and Martina Potrč were the fastest finishers at the 454-step Tek Na Kalvarijo in Maribor, Slovenia on Saturday.

Austria’s Grossegger put in a brilliant performance to dip under the coveted 1:50 marker on his way to victory in a time of 1:49.33.

He chopped a massive eight seconds off the time he set at last year’s event, where he finished in third place.

Christof Grossegger on his way to victory at Tek Na Kalvarijo

“It was a gorgeous race today,” said Grossegger. “I started a little bit too fast and suffered at the last few steps – but I’m still very satisfied.”

“This staircase is really special. At the beginning it’s relatively flat, but the longer you run the steeper it gets. Just brutal. I was completely destroyed at the finish area for at least 20 minutes.”

The Covid-19 pandemic and a calendar clash with the popular Smarna Gora mountain race, also in Slovenia, meant the field of runners at Saturday’s stair race was slightly diminished.

2019 champion Klemen Španring opted to compete at Smarna Gora, as did last year’s fourth-place finisher Matjaz Miklosa, meaning some of Grossegger’s toughest rivals were missing from the action.

But, regardless, it would have taken a special performance to deny the in-form Austrian from taking victory.

Already boosted by his win at the Pyramidenkogel back in September, Grossegger was further full of fire following the strategic mishap in the qualifiers at the previous weekend’s Red Bull 400 Bischofshofen, which cost him a spot in the final.

As such he was untouchable in Maribor, with Martin Höck (2:02) and Uroš Pinter (2:03) rounding out the podium some way behind the Austrian.

Tek Na Kalvarijo men’s top three (image: Zdrava Zabava)

In the women’s division, Martina Potrč was also a clear winner as she finished the course in 2:31.

Martina Potrč on her way to victory

Second place went to Špela Jelovčan, fresh from her course record breaking run at Juriš na Hmezad a fortnight ago. She clocked 2:45.

Third place went to Valentina Videčnik who ran the 454 steps in 3:04.

See all the results from Tek Na Kalvarijo 2020.

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.