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The Cinque Mulini is an annual cross country running race in San Vittore Olona, Italy. First held in 1933, the course is unusual in that it revolves around a number of water mills, which lend the competition its name – meaning Five Mills in Italian.[1] It is one of the IAAF cross country permit meetings that act as qualifiers for the IAAF World Cross Country Championships.[2] As one of the most prestigious meets, numerous world record holders and Olympic champions have competed at the Cinque Mulini throughout its history.[1]

Cinque Mulini
San Vittore Olona-Mulino Montoli.jpg
The Montoli mill, one of several near the course.
DateLate January or
Early February
LocationSan Vittore Olona,
Italy Italy
Event typeCross country
Distance9.8 km for men
5.5 km for women
Official siteCinque Mulini
Participants74 (2019)


Giovanni Malerba organised the first competition in 1933 as a reaction to a competition in a neighbouring village which revolved around seven clock towers.[1] The competition has been held every year since its inception, including throughout the Second World War and in 1939 when the Federazione Italiana di Atletica Leggera (FIDAL) ordered that all cross country competitions be postponed.[3] The course was altered from 10 km to 12 in the late 1930s, in order to accommodate all five mills.[1] The race began to grow after being selected as the course for the Italian Cross Country Championship in 1946 and 1949. The competition became an international one in 1952 and Tunisian runner Ahmed Labidi became the first foreign winner two years later. By the early 1960s, Olympic silver medallist Franjo Mihalić had brought the race to new heights, taking three victories over five editions.[3]

A junior race was introduced in 1960,[3] the first international women's race was held in 1971, and student races were added to the program in the late 1970s. Olympic and World champions graced the course at every edition in the 1970s. By the mid-eighties, East African runners had established themselves, frequently reaching the podium in the senior races. It was part of the IAAF World Cross Challenge the following decade, remaining at the forefront of European cross country running. The course was significantly changed throughout the 2000s,[3] only the Cozzi and Meraviglia mills remained as part of the course and gradually only the semi-functioning Meraviglia was included.[1]

Both former champion David Bedford and meet organiser Vito Garofalo stressed that the competition's longevity is due to, in part, the support the race receives from the local community.[1] The race was elected to serve as the Italian national cross country championships in 1996; Gennaro Di Napoli and Patrizia Di Napoli took the honours.[4]

The event hosted the European Cross Country Club Championships alongside the traditional race in 2011; Portuguese club Grupo Desportivo e Recreativo Conforlimpa won the men's team title while the women's title went to Turkey's Üsküdar Belediyesi Spor Kulübü.[5]

Past senior race winnersEdit

National eraEdit

Edition Year Men's winner Time (m:s) Women's winner Time (m:s)
1st 1933   Mario Fiocchi (ITA) Not held
2nd 1934   Luigi Pellin (ITA) Not held
3rd 1935   Luigi Pellin (ITA) Not held
4th 1936   Luigi Pellin (ITA) Not held
5th 1937   Romano Maffeis (ITA) Not held
6th 1938   Umberto de Florentis (ITA) Not held
7th 1939   Vittorio Avila (ITA) Not held
8th 1940   Antonio Vitali (ITA) Not held
9th 1941   Romano Maffeis (ITA) Not held
10th 1942   Salvatore Constantino (ITA) Not held
11th 1943   Salvatore Constantino (ITA) Not held
12th 1944   Giuseppe Beviacqua (ITA) Not held
13th 1945   Armando Cesarato (ITA) Not held
14th 1946   Aldo Rossi (ITA) Not held
15th 1947   Sestini Cristoforo (ITA) Not held
16th 1948   Giuseppe Italia (ITA) Not held
17th 1949   Giuseppe Beviacqua (ITA) Not held
18th 1950   Giuseppe Italia (ITA) Not held
19th 1951   Luigi Pelliccioli (ITA) Not held

International eraEdit

Paul Tergat took the title in 1996 and 1998.
Charles Kamathi won consecutively in 2000 and 2001.
Olivera Jevtić was the 2001 and 2002 women's champion.
Maryam Yusuf Jamal won the 2007 women's race.
The 2003 and 2007 winner, Serhiy Lebid, was also European Champion both years.
Edition Year Men's winner Time (m:s) Women's winner Time (m:s)
20th 1952   Luigi Pelliccioli (ITA) Not held
21st 1953   Agostino Conti (ITA) Not held
22nd 1954   Ahmed Labidi (TUN) Not held
23rd 1955   Giacomo Pepicelli (ITA) Not held
24th 1956   Rino Lavelli (ITA) Not held
25th 1957   Franjo Mihalić (YUG) Not held
26th 1958   Franjo Mihalić (YUG) Not held
27th 1959   Francesco Perrone (ITA) Not held
28th 1960   Gianfranco Baraldi (ITA) Not held
29th 1961   Franjo Mihalić (YUG) Not held
30th 1962   Michel Jazy (FRA) Not held
31st 1963   Michel Jazy (FRA) Not held
32nd 1964   Antonio Ambu (ITA) Not held
33rd 1965   Billy Mills (USA) Not held
34th 1966   Mike Turner (GBR) Not held
35th 1967   Nikolai Dutov (URS) Not held
36th 1968   Gaston Roelants (BEL) Not held
37th 1969   Kipchoge Keino (KEN) Not held
38th 1970   Naftali Temu (KEN) Not held
39th 1971   Dane Korica (YUG)   Rita Ridley (GBR)
40th 1972   David Bedford (GBR)   Rita Ridley (GBR)
41st 1973   Frank Shorter (USA)   Paola Pigni (ITA)
42nd 1974   Emiel Puttemans (BEL)   Rita Ridley (GBR)
43rd 1975   Filbert Bayi (TAN)   Gabriella Dorio (ITA)
44th 1976   Filbert Bayi (TAN)   Renata Pentlinowska (POL)
45th 1977   Yohannes Mohamed (ETH)   Bronisława Ludwichowska (POL)
46th 1978   Willy Polleunis (BEL)   Grete Waitz (NOR)
47th 1979   Léon Schots (BEL)   Grete Waitz (NOR)
46th 1980   Léon Schots (BEL)   Grete Waitz (NOR)
49th 1981   Mohamed Kedir (ETH)   Grete Waitz (NOR)
50th 1982   Eshetu Tura (ETH)   Grete Waitz (NOR)
51st 1983   Robert de Castella (AUS)   Margaret Groos (USA)
52nd 1984   Bekele Debele (ETH)   Grete Waitz (NOR)
53rd 1985   Fesseha Abebe (ETH)   Betty Springs (USA)
54th 1986   Alberto Cova (ITA)   Lynn Jennings (USA)
55th 1987   Paul Kipkoech (KEN)   Lynn Jennings (USA)
56th 1988   Paul Kipkoech (KEN)   Annette Sergent (FRA)
57th 1989   John Ngugi (KEN)   Jacqueline Perkins (AUS)
58th 1990   Moses Tanui (KEN)   Nadia Dandolo (ITA)
59th 1991   Khalid Skah (MAR)   Luchia Yishak (ETH)
60th 1992   Fita Bayisa (ETH)   Luchia Yishak (ETH)
61st 1993   Fita Bayisa (ETH)   Esther Kiplagat (KEN)
62nd 1994   Fita Bayisa (ETH)   Albertina Dias (POR)
63rd 1995   Fita Bayisa (ETH)   Albertina Dias (POR)
64th 1996   Paul Tergat (KEN)   Merima Denboba (ETH)
65th 1997   Girma Tolla (ETH)   Gete Wami (ETH)
66th 1998   Paul Tergat (KEN)   Merima Denboba (ETH)
67th 1999   Salah Hissou (MAR)   Anita Weyermann (SUI)
68th 2000   Charles Kamathi (KEN)   Asmae Leghzaoui (MAR)
69th 2001   Charles Kamathi (KEN)   Olivera Jevtić (FRY)
70th 2002   Kenenisa Bekele (ETH)   Olivera Jevtić (FRY)
71st 2003   Serhiy Lebid (UKR)   Alice Timbilil (KEN)
72nd 2004   Boniface Kiprop (UGA)   Zakia Mrisho (TAN)
73rd 2005   Saif Shaheen (QAT)   Benita Johnson (AUS)
74th 2006   Paul Koech (KEN)   Anikó Kálovics (HUN)
75th 2007   Serhiy Lebid (UKR)   Maryam Jamal (BHR)
76th 2008   Zersenay Tadese (ERI)   Pauline Korikwiang (KEN)
77th 2009   Saif Shaheen (QAT)   Anikó Kálovics (HUN)
78th 2010[6]   Hunegnaw Mesfin (ETH) 28:03   Nancy Langat (KEN) 19:25
79th 2011[5]   Ayad Lamdassem (ESP) 28:03   Alemitu Degfa (TUR) 20:28
80th 2012[7]   Thomas Longosiwa (KEN) 30:04   Priscah Cheronno (KEN) 21:32
81st 2013[8]   Muktar Edris (ETH) 30:08   Afera Godfay (ETH) 21:56
82nd 2014[9]   Paul Tanui (KEN) 29:59   Faith Kipyegon (KEN) 20:54
83rd 2015[10]   Muktar Edris (ETH) 33:50   Violet Jelagat (KEN) 24:40
84th 2016[11]   Jairus Birech (KEN) 34:38   Faith Kipyegon (KEN) 18:15
85th 2017[12]   Selemon Barega (ETH) 33:43   Beyenu Degefa (ETH) 18:23
86th 2018[13]   Jacob Kiplimo (UGA) 34:00   Letesenbet Gidey (ETH) 18:14
87th 2019[14]   Jairus Birech (KEN) 33:05   Winfred Yavi (BHR) 17:50


Winners by countryEdit

Country Men's race Women's race Total
  Italy 27 3 30
  Ethiopia 15 8 23
  Kenya 15 8 23
  United States 2 4 6
  Belgium 5 0 5
  Yugoslavia 4 0 4
  United Kingdom 1 3 4
  Australia 1 2 3
  France 2 1 3
  Morocco 2 1 3
  Tanzania 2 1 3
  Bahrain 0 2 2
  FR Yugoslavia 0 2 2
  Hungary 0 2 2
  Poland 0 2 2
  Portugal 0 2 2
  Qatar 2 0 2
  Uganda 2 0 2
  Ukraine 2 0 2
  Eritrea 1 0 1
  Soviet Union 1 0 1
  Spain 1 0 1
   Switzerland 0 1 1
  Tunisia 1 0 1
  Turkey 0 1 1

Multiple winnersEdit

  • Last updated January 2016

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d e f Cinque Mulini: Italy's bonkers cross country race Archived 2011-10-04 at the Wayback Machine. Spikes Magazine. Retrieved on 2009-10-20.
  2. ^ Cross Country Permit Meets. IAAF (2009). Retrieved on 2009-10-20.
  3. ^ a b c d History of Cinque Mulini[permanent dead link] (in Italian). Cinque Mulini. Retrieved on 2010-02-05.
  4. ^ Cinque Mulini. ARRS (2010-02-03). Retrieved on 2010-02-05.
  5. ^ a b Sampaolo, Diego (2011-02-06). Lamdassem and Bekele are triumphant in the Cinque Mulini. IAAF. Retrieved on 2011-02-06.
  6. ^ Sampaolo, Diego (2010-01-31). Mesfin comes of age with 21st birthday victory at Cinque Mulini. IAAF. Retrieved on 2010-02-05.
  7. ^ Sampaolo, Diego (2012-03-18). Kenyan sweep at Cinque Mulini. IAAF. Retrieved on 2012-03-25.
  8. ^ Sampaolo, Diego (2013-02-03). Ethiopia's Edris and Godfay take the Cinque Mulini honours. IAAF. Retrieved on 2013-02-28.
  9. ^ Sampaolo, Diego (2014-01-26). Kenyan double for Tanui and Kipyegon at Cinque Mulini. IAAF. Retrieved on 2014-01-26.
  10. ^ Sampaolo, Diego (2015-02-16). Edris wins second Cinque Mulini title. IAAF. Retrieved on 2015-02-16.
  11. ^ Sampaolo, Diego (2016-01-31). Kenya's Birech and Kipyegon triumph at the Cinque Mulini cross country races. IAAF. Retrieved on 2016-01-31.
  12. ^ Sampaolo, Diego (2017-01-22). Barega and Degefa upstage the seniors at Cinque Mulini. IAAF. Retrieved on 2017-01-26.
  13. ^ Sampaolo, Diego (2018-02-12). Teenage talents Kiplimo and Gidey triumph at Cinque Mulini. IAAF. Retrieved on 2018-02-12.
  14. ^ Sampaolo, Diego (2019-01-30). Beating the snow and cold, Birech and Yavi take Cinque Mulini victories. IAAF. Retrieved on 2019-01-30.

External linksEdit