MONTÉE DU NID D’AIGLE 2022: WMRA WORLD CUP RECORDS AND VICTORIES FOR KIPNEGO AND NJERU
MONTÉE DU NID D’AIGLE 2022: WMRA WORLD CUP RECORDS AND VICTORIES FOR KIPNEGO AND NJERU. Our WMRA section bring us today the results of the WMRA World Cup 2022 , from Saturday 16th July cellebrated in France at the Montée du Nid D’Aigle and its 35th Edition.
Unprecedented times and new names marked the 35th edition of the Montée du Nid d’Aigle. Kenyans Patrick Kipnego and Joyce Muthoni Njeru set new records in the traditional race at the foot of Mont Blanc.
MONTÉE DU NID D’AIGLE 2022:
WMRA WORLD CUP RECORDS AND VICTORIES FOR KIPNEGO AND NJERU
The 19.5 km course featured an outstanding performance by Patrick Kipnego and Philemon Ombogo Kiriago, who led the race from the start. The two Kenyans were shoulder to shoulder until the seventh kilometer. Later, Patrick arrived alone beating his teammate and taking first place with a record time of 1:38:54. Kipnego states that he was “feeling nice all along the course, and the landscape was breathtaking”.
On his side, Kiriago was seven minutes behind his partner. For him, “the race was fantastic, but the altitude was challenging.” The French flag also joined this podium with a third place obtained by Théodore Klein, who set a time of 1:45:03.
In the women’s category, Joyce Muthoni Njeru had the mountain to herself for the entire route. The Kenyan maintained an impeccable execution with a steady pace throughout the race. Her high performance resulted in a new record for the women’s category, subtracting six minutes from the mark set in 2006. Only two minutes later, the French runner Blandine l’Hirondel arrived, still breathing enough to chat and joke.
Her time also beats the previous record, but it was not enough to obtain the highest place. The women’s podium reflects the variety of this race, waving the flag of Kenya in the first stair, France in second, and Italy in third, with Camilla Magliano holding a time of 1:13:37.
At the moment of comparing this race to last year’s, there is an increasing interest from new athletes to join and a rapid ascent in the level of performance. In the previous edition, the winners were Lucy Wambui and Xavier Cheverier, who were present on this occasion too and occupied the 5th and 12th places respectively.
The past year Cheverier got the new record of time in the course by completing the route in 1:44:25 however, Patrick Kipnego took his title away by marking 1:38:54. On the women side, after 16 years of what seemed an unbeatable time of 2:06:06 from Isabelle Guillot, finally, Joyce Muthoni Njeru set a new record with 2:00:31.
The 35th edition of the Mont du Nid was part of the Valsir World Cup 2022. It was a Gold Label race, meaning the first place took 50 points to the ranking. This date marks a turning point in the standings of the Valsir Mountain Running World Cup 2022. In the men’s category, Philemon Kiriago scaled to second place, which means Zak Hannah’s relegation to third position. Patrick Kipinego continues to hold the lead with 150 points.
In the case of women, there are also some movements on the table, with a consolidated first place under the name of Joyce Muthoni Njeru accumulating 150 points after her previous victories in Portugal, Austria, and now France. Just behind her, the Italian Camilla Magliano claimed her second position in the ranking. Magliano climbed two spots after today’s splendid performance. The novelty in the results is Blandine L’Hirondel, whose name just appeared in the Cup with 40 points positioning herself as a threatening competitor.
The World Mountain Running Cup’s next date is July 30th. This time the challenge will be in Premana with Giir di Mont in short uphill and long mountain categories. Certainly, a date to start forecasting the final results.
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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