GROSSGLOCKNER BERGLAUF 2022: VICTORIES FOR PATRICK KIPNGENO AND JOYCE NJERU
GROSSGLOCKNER BERGLAUF 2022: VICTORIES FOR PATRICK KIPNGENO AND JOYCE NJERU. Our WMRA section bring us today the results of the WMRA World Cup 2022 , from Sunday 10th July cellebrated in Austria at the Grossglockner Berglauf.
This race has provided some epic mountain running races over the years and excitement is high for this year’s race, which features some of the best in-form athletes of the moment.
GROSSGLOCKNER BERGLAUF 2022:
VICTORIES FOR PATRICK KIPNGENO AND JOYCE NJERU
The race starts in the mountain-climber village of Heiligenblut am Grossglockner at 1250m altitude. A reasonable flat first 2km will see runners on to forest paths and then to the hiking trail to the Trogalm. Participants will get a glimpse of the whole Pasterze, the longest glacier in the Eastern Alps, before taking on the cruel 521 steps to the finish, which involves around 300m of climb in the last 1.25km.
GROSSGLOCKNER BERGLAUF 2022: THE RACE | 13,4 KM| 1265M+
The Grossglockner Berglauf route starts in Heiligenblut and follows the river initially, before climbing up to the famous Briccius Chapel, past the quaint Trogalm hut, then the ‘Pasterze’, the longest glacier in the Eastern Alps, before the final lung-busting climb of 900m to the summit. The summit finish at the famous Kaiser-Franz-Josefs-Hohe, with (hopefully) stunning views all around – a great reward for all who run the race.
GROSSGLOCKNER BERGLAUF 2022: RACE CHRONICLE
For both Kenyans these represented their second wins from the two Gold Label events thus far in the 17-race series.
As the runners set off from the mountain climber village of Heiligenblut, rain clouds concealed the imposing Grossglockner, Austria’s highest mountain. However, despite earlier rain and some more during the race, conditions were much better and less slippery than for last year’s on this runnable course.
The relatively flat first two kilometres of the 13.4km saw the leading group trimmed down to just three as Kenya’s Philemon Kiriago and Eritrea’s Petro Mamu challenged the eventual winner. As they left the road and entered the dampened forest, the climbs had begun on this 1265m-ascent route.
It was after around 8km that Kipngeno, the Kenyan mountain running champion, started to pull away. Running with a spectacular backdrop including Pasterze, the longest glacier in the Eastern Alps, Kipngeno gave himself enough of a cushion before the last tough climb — 300m of ascent over the last approximately 1.25km, which involved 521 tough steps to the finish.
He crossed the line in 1:08:22, 1:41 in front of Kiriago, who was engaged in a dramatically close finish with Mamu, ultimately a further two seconds back.
Recently crowned European uphill champion Cesare Maestri of Italy was next in 1:13:47, ahead of Austria’s Manuel Innerhofer (1:14:06). Defending champion Lengen Lolkurraru of Kenya was ninth.
The winner has clocked 62:42 for the half-marathon and is now translating his speed well to the mountains in his first year on the European circuit. The 29-year-old said afterwards: “The course was good. It was a little muddy and windy at the finish. I will come back next year.”
Njeru’s break away from the field came much earlier, in the second kilometre. At the first checkpoint, after 12 minutes of running, she already had a lead of 15 seconds over compatriot Lucy Murigi, the twice world mountain running champion. Her lead was 2:06 at the second checkpoint, with 40 minutes under her belt, and she stretched away another 26 seconds on the final section. She crossed the line in 1:25:56, 2:32 in front.
Murigi clocked 1:28:28 and Czech Republic’s Adela Stranska was third in 1:30:21. Ethiopia’s Worke Amena and Italy’s Camilla Magliano were fourth and fifth.
Njeru, ranked No.1 on the World Mountain Running Association’s global rankings, said: “In the first kilometre, I had to see who was strong and who was keeping the pace. In the second kilometre I decided to push. It was not slippery like last year. I was feeling positive from the beginning. It went as I expected. I think I am in good shape. My target is to once more become the overall winner [of the World Cup].”
The next race in the World Cup series is the La Montée du Nid d’Aigle in St Gervais, France, on July 16. With higher points available for the Gold Label races and a 100% record, Njeru and Kipngeno have naturally stretched their lead in the overall standings, though the official full list will be published in due course.
Full results HERE
WMRA MOUNTAIN RUNNING WORLD CUP 2022
WMRA WORLD CUP 2022: THE RACES
GOLD LABEL RACES
The 2022 World Cup kicked off on June 19th with its first ever visit to Portugal for Montemuro Vertical Run, a race making its first appearance on the circuit in only its second edition. Although it comes in the Classic category it’s short and sharp. At just 9.5km and 980m+, it will be an hard race for anyone who comes into the World Cup season at anything less than 100%.
From a new addition, we go to an established classic. On July 10th it’s the 23rd edition of Großglockner Berglauf. This is a spectacular race, climbing 1,265m+ in 13.4km against the backdrop of Austria’s highest mountain. From the valley, it first follows the river, then passes the Pasterze glacier, before a savagely steep final climb takes the runners to the finish at the Kaiser-Franz-Josefs-Höhe.
Next we go to France La Montée du Nid d’Aigle on July 16th, a race which made its first appearance in the World Cup in 2021 and returns for 2022. From Saint Gervais to Refuge du Nid d’Aigle, runners climb 2,000m in 19.5km with only 100m of descending. In 2021 we saw furious racing and fast times; a new men’s course record for Xavier Chevrier and Lucy Murigi coming within 2 seconds of Isabelle Guillot’s long-standing mark.
Two weeks later we have the first double-header of the World Cup at Giri di Mont in Premana, Italy. The short uphill race on Saturday 30th July is a new addition but its double status as a World Cup race and the Italian uphill championship is sure to draw a quality field. Sunday 31st sees the classic long race, which hosted the World Long Distance Mountain Running Championships in 2017. At 32km with 2,400m+, it’s the longest race in the World Cup this year.
Then on 13th August we go to Switzerland for The Race of the Five 4000s, Sierre-Zinal. Despite attracting the deepest field in mountain running, Maud Mathys and Kilian Jornet have had a stranglehold on this race in recent years, racking up consecutive wins and breaking course records in the process. Will 2022 be the year Maud and Kilian are finally beaten? Would-be successors have 32km with 2,200m+ and 1,100m- to make an impression.
September brings 2 more double weekends. First, on the 3rd and 4th, it’s Vertical Nasego and Trofeo Nasego. The uphill race climbs 1,000m in 4.2k, while the long race is 21.5k, 1,336m+. We saw some fantastic racing here in 2021 with Grayson Murphy and Andrea Mayr going toe to toe on consecutive days and coming away with a win and a second place each. You can be sure these classic races will provide similar excitement in 2022.
Then we head to Canfran-Estación in the Aragonese Pyrenees for Canfranc-Canfranc. Again, there are 2 races here but this time the athlete’s get a day off in between. The uphill race, 4.4km and 927m, appears in the World Cup in its very first edition on Friday the 9th, while the classic 16km, with 1,195m of climbing, is on Sunday the 11th. These are hard races on rough, technical terrain. Will the extra rest time tempt athletes to try the the double?
October comes around and only 2 races remain. First, on the 2nd, we say goodbye to the high mountains and kaixo to the Basque Country for Zumaia Flysch Trail, 22km and 850m+. The only coastal race in the calendar this year is an opportunity for the athletes to experience the stunning scenery of a UNESCO Geopark and the overwhelming Basque enthusiasm for mountain running.
The season closes, as it did last year, with KV Chiavenna-Lagunc on the 8th of October. Climbing 1,000m in just 3.2km, this is the place to come for a fast vertical kilometre times; Bernard De Matteis and Andrew Mayr’s course records, 30’27” and 35’40” respectively are positively eye-watering. With bonus points on offer in the last race of the season, athletes have every incentive to give it everything here.
SILVER LABEL RACES
In addition to the 12 World Cup Gold Label races, this year we are introducing 5 World Cup Silver Label races, giving athletes further opportunities to earn World Cup points in countries such as Peru, Czech Republic, Ireland, Slovenia and Portugal.
The 5 Silver Label races are:
- 22/05 Seven Sisters Skyline (IRE) Long
- 02/07 One Hundred Douro-Paiva (POR) Long
- 07/08 Krkonossky Half Marathon (CZE) Classic
- 25/08 Andes Race (PER) Long
- 01/10 Smarna Gora (SLO) Classic
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