Gunn-Rita Marathon to host European marathon championships in June

Race gears up to host worlds in 2011

The Gunn Rita Marathon will double as the 2010 European Marathon Championships on June 27. The race will take place in the Italian city of Montebelluna, situated near Treviso in the Veneto region.

The course highlights a variety of local scenery including the plain to the Treviso Alpine Foothills, the rolling Prosecco hills and the Montello and Cansiglio woods.Montello Mountain, at 350m above sea level, is well known for its many singletrack trails.

Also known as the Granfondo del Montello, the event drew more than 2300 participants from 18 nations in 2009, when Olympic Champion Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjaa and World Marathon Champion Roel Paulissen won the elite women's and men's races respectively. The marathon has been named after Dahle Flesjaa since 2007.

For 2010, about 3,000 racers will take on one of three courses: The "classic distance" of 51.1km, the Gunn-Rita Marathon distance of 76.2km (with 1,946m of climbing), and the "extreme" distance of 119.4km (2,880m of climbing).

Participation on the extreme course is open to the professional racing categories, men and women, athletes selected by their national teams and UCI license holders. License holders of any national federation may compete in the marathon and classic distances.

Other festivities, including concerts, a fun race, an expo, a trials show, a bike school and a parade will take place during the weekend of June 25-27 in Montebelluna.

Next year, in 2011, the Gunn Rita Marathon - Granfondo del Montello race will serve as the UCI Marathon World Championships.

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