Together with Karhu, we reached the Royal Palace of Venaria Reale and admired the European cross country elite

“If you see Turin and you don’t see the Venaria, you see the mother and not the daughter,” goes an old Savoyard saying. And the best performers of continental cross country saw, but also tasted with their own stride the vibrations of this UNESCO heritage site. Because the SPAR European Cross Country Championships 2022 was a celebration of beauty, of the relationship between top-level running and architectural-naturalistic wonder.

A simple visual postcard is enough to describe the uniqueness of this event: just imagine lightning-fast bodies invading the Mandria Castle, passing through the striking Carriage Gallery of the Royal Apartments, then exiting through the monumental gateway of the Honour Courtyard and launching themselves on rapid descents and dizzying vertical walls…

Elegance and exhaustion. Grass, ice and red carpet. Let’s take a look at some of the most significant highlights of this picturesque ode to cross country: the rhythmic and unstoppable progression of the almighty Norwegian Jakob Ingebrigtsen, sublimated into his sixth consecutive European gold; Gaia Sabbatini’s heart-pounding comeback and exhausted embrace with all the other members of the mixed Italian relay team (Pietro Arese, Federica Del Buono and Yassin Bouih); the final sprint of the senior women’s race, where another Norwegian excellence Karoline Bjerkeli Grøvdal bent the resistance of Germany’s Klosterhalfen; the young queen of Italian middle-distance running Nadia Battocletti, who was able to exalt thousands of Azzurri fans by winning the Under 23 gold medal. Britons Will Barnicoat and Charles Hicks then sent a message for the future from across the Channel by winning the Under 20 and Under 23 men’s races. Finally, the Under 20 women’s title went to Spain’s Maria Forero.

We captured this sunny day of athletic excellence with our lenses, thanks to the support of event sponsor Karhu. Here we propose only a part of the photo gallery that we will show you in the coming days: images that will be accompanied by interviews, testimonials and focus dedicated to the most democratic discipline in the world.

Photo Credits: Rise Up Duo
Text by Gianmarco Pacione