BROKEN ARROW VERTICAL RACE: ANNA GIBSON AND ANDREA ROSTAN WIN AT WORLD CUP WMRA
BROKEN ARROW VERTICAL RACE: ANNA GIBSON AND ANDREA ROSTAN WIN AT WORLD CUP WMRA. Our WMRA section bring us today the exciting news about the Valsir Mountain Running World Cup 2023 by WMRA start at California.
This first race of the 2023 Valsir Mountain Running World Cup sees international podiums and historic snow conditions. Follow them LIVE with us at their offcial streaming here for the vertical race, and soon comingp up the long race.
WMRA WORLD CUP 2023:
BROKEN ARROW KICKS OFF SERIES THIS WEEKEND
As we gear up for the launch of our 2023 Valsir Mountain Running World Cup we bring you a preview of the first Gold Label Races which get the show on the road – the Broken Arrow vertical uphill race and the Broken Arrow Skyrace long mountain race.
Broken Arrow has been part of our World Cup before, first in 2019, then again in 2021, but it promises to provide even more competitive races this year, with top elite fields. And while it takes place in the US, the event very much has its roots in the traditions of European mountain running, with steep terrain, scrambling and huge amounts of vertical gain and loss at altitude.
It was already a historic edition of Broken Arrow due to the record breaking snowfall in Lake Tahoe, but it didn’t disappoint on the racing front either. Runners had to contend with long snowfields, with patches of dirt trail in between them, which presented a very challenging course.
BROKEN ARROW UPHILL VERTICAL WMRA
First up was the vertical uphill race on Friday 16th June at 10am. The race started on the valley floor and climbs its way up 954m (3,100 feet) over 6.8km (4.5 miles) to the summit of Washeshu Peak at 2708m (8885 feet).
Along the way it takes in some brutally steep terrain, leading up to the Headwall Ridge and the ‘stairway to heaven’ bolted ladder to the summit of Washeshu Peak.
Ater the KT22 summit at around halfway there is a slight respite in the form of a downhill section, where the runners can either recover a little, or just push even harder and try to open a gap.
The day couldn’t have been more perfect, with clear blue skies and a temperature of around 9 celsius on the start line. However, up at the summit of Washeshu Peak (2,700m) it was a different story with gusting winds, making things difficult for drone operators.
The vertical uphill race was the first Gold Label race in the 2023 Valsir Mountain Running World Cup, some exciting fields were assembled and anticipation was high. There were some high profile withdrawals before the race, most notably Allie McLaughlin (USA) and Grayson Murphy (USA), who both raced in the World Mountain and Trail Running Championships last week, but there were still very deep fields in both the men’s and women’s race.
ANDREA ROSTAN WINS MEN´S RACE
Right from the start of the men’s race there was one runner determined to lay down the gauntlet and that was Andrea Rostan (ITA). There were a number of international runners in the men’s race, who all seemed determined to make their journey worthwhile. Henri Aymonod (ITA) and Zak Hanna (IRL) chased Rostan hard, along with Darren Thomas (USA), the 2021 champion from the vertical uphill race.
At the halfway point where the runners hit the downhill section after KT22 Rostan was still out in front, showing no signs of fading. Aymonod and Thomas were by this point together and changing positions, with Hanna just behind. Rostan had opened up a lead of 80 seconds and although Aymonod and Thomas were just starting to draw him in a little, there just wasn’t enough distance left to really make a difference. Rostan emerged at the stairway to heaven ladder first and took the win in a fast 39.51. Thomas pulled away from Aymonod a little on the final climb and he finished second in 41.10, with Aymonod just behind in 41.29.
ANNA GIBSON WINS THE WOMEN´S RACE
In the women’s race there was also a runner who struck out early on and that was Anna Gibson (USA), an athlete who’s achieved track success as well as showing her strength in the mountains by finishing 5th at the 2021 USATF Mountain Running Championships and winning The Rut vertical race.
Behind Gibson there was a group of women who were attempting to stay in touch with her. This included Jade Belzberg (USA), who finished 5th here in 2022, Sara Willhoit (GBR), fresh from the World Mountain and Trail Running Championships, Amanda Basham (USA) and Nicole Mericle (USA). It was all to play for in the race for second and third, but could Gibson be caught?
Anna stretched her lead out to 2 minutes by the halfway point and, although anything could happen once they hit the final climb, she just looked so strong that it was looking unlikely. But it was all shaking out in the chasing group. By now Belzberg and Willhoit had pulled away from the others in the group and it was looking like a battle for second and third. Gibson couldn’t be caught and she won in 47.09. Belzberg won the duel with Willhoit and they did in fact claw some time back on Gibson, with Belzberg finishing in 48.00 and Willhoit 48.25.
It was an exciting first race to start off this year’s Valsir World Cup and we only have to wait one more day before our next race, the 23k Broken Arrow Skyrace on Sunday 18th.
WMRA WORLD CUP 2023: FULL CALENDAR