The famous Campaccio Cross Country race celebrates its 57th edition on 6th January and its third season as an IAAF Cross Country Permit meeting.
The San Giorgio su Legnano race was officially presented to the media today at the Pirelli Tower, the Seat of the Lombardia Regional Administration.
The famous cross country race held on the glorious fields of San Giorgio su Legnano will live up to its reputation as one of the most prestigious cross country in the world.
The men’s field will feature the top two of the 2013 IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Bydgoszcz, World champion Japhet Korir from Kenya and Imane Merga from Ethiopia.
“I have worked for the Campaccio for seven years. Despite the economic crisis, we are pleased that athletes enjoy running in San Giorgio su Legnano in one of the best races in the world. We are pleased to announce the clash between Andrea Lalli and Daniele Meucci who will return to cross country racing after running the marathon. They will face a world-class field which features the top-two of this year’s World Championships Japhet Korir and Imane Merga, World 3000m steeplechase silver medallist Conseslus Kipruto and 5000m world class runner Albert Rop from Barhein and World Cross Country fourth placer Moses Kipsiro. In the women’s race the star is Milcah Chemos, world 3000m steeplechase champion and winner of the Diamond Race with victories in Rome, Birmingham, Monaco and Brussels. She will take on Linet Masai, three time world cross country silver medallist and Italians Veronica Inglese and Elena Romagnolo”, said Marcello Magnani, Technical Director of the Campaccio.
Korir became the youngest ever World Cross Country winner of the senior men’s title at the age of 19. The young Kenyan runner was sidelined by injury problems for much of the summer season, but he is now back in good form. He finished sixth in Atapuerca just 8 seconds behind winner Imane Merga who will be also running in San Giorgio su Legnano.
Merga won the world cross country title in Punta Umbria in 2011 and finished runner-up in Bydgoszcz behind Korir. The Ethiopian runner finished fourth in the 10000m at the World Championships in Berlin 2009 and won the world bronze medal over the same distance in Daegu 2011.
Korir and Merga are just two of the top.five runners from this year’s World Cross Country Championships. The line-up will be completed by Uganda’s Moses Kipsiro, fourth in Bydgoszcz last March. The Ugandan runner won the World bronze medal in the 5000m in Osaka 2007 and fourth at the Olympic Games in Bejing 2008 and at the World Championships in Berlin 2009 in the 5000m.
Another strong contender for the top-three on 6thJanuary is Kenyan Conseslus Kipruto, World silver medallist in the 3000m steeplechase, World Youth champion in the 2000m steeplechase in Lille 2011 and World Junior gold medallist in Barcelona 2012. Last summer Kipruto clinched the Diamond Race title in the 3000m steeplechase with wins in Shanghai, Eugene and Oslo.
Kipruto is also a great cross country runner and finished fifth in the Junior race at the World Cross Country Championships in Bydgoszcz. Another good track runner is Barhein’s Albert Rop who clocked the second fastest time in the 5000m of 12:51.96.last summer in the Monte-Carlo Diamond league meeting.
The Italian challenge will be led by Andrea Lalli, 2012 European Cross Country champion in Budapest, and Daniele Meucci, European silver medallist in the 10000m and 2012 European Cross Country bronze medallist in Budapest. Both Lalli and Meucci will return to Cross Country after running the marathon. Meucci was the first European runner in tenth place at the New York Marathon in 2:12:03. Lalli finished fourth at the Venice Marathon in 2H14:26.
Another Italian runner to watch is Michele Fontana, who finished eighth in the Under 23 race at the European Cross Country Championships.
Kenyan Milcah Chemos, World champion in the 3000m steeplechase in Moscow and Diamond Race winner in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013, will headline the women’s race. Chemos will face Linet Masai, World champion in the 10000m in Berlin 2009 and three-time world cross country silver medallist in 2009, 2010 and 2011 and World cross country junior champion in 2007.
Not to write off is Barhein’s Mimi Belete, Asian Games champion in the 5000m in 2010 and solid performer on the track with personal best times of 8.32.18 in the 3000m and 4:00.25 in the 1500m.
Veronica Inglese, eighth at the European Cross Country Championships in Belgrade on 8th December and Italian champion in the 10000m, and Elena Romagnolo, Olympic 5000m finalist in London 2012, will carry the Italian hopes against a world-class field.
“The Campaccio Cross Country race has an important social role for the young generations. If we have managed to organize this race for 57 years, it is due to the hard work of our volunteers. I am pleased to say that there are a lot of young people who are now involved in the generation. It means that the passion for cross country will be transferred to the younger generations. I also want to thank the Major of San Giorgio su Legnano who strongly supports our event”, said Claudio Pastori, the President of the Local Organizing Club Unione Sportiva Sangiorgese.
“The dream is to see all the inhabitants from San Giorgio at the Campaccio on 6th January. The Campaccio is the queen of cross country racing. We have 500 athletes involved in many different sports disciplines and we want to continue supporting them”, said Walter Cecchin, Mayor of San Giorgio su Legnano.
Daniele Bartelli, Honorary President of the Unione Sangiorgese, expressed his strong support for the historic competition. The Sports Indoor Facility is named after Michele Bartelli, former President of the Unione Sangiorgese. “The Campaccio race attracts people from all over the world. The live pictures of the race are broadcast all over the world. It’s a truly international race. At the same time we should support our local tradition and find a balance between local identity, globalization and progress. I invite the inhabitants from San Giorgio to attend the race and fully appreciate the beauty of our event”, said Daniele Bertelli.