FINALISSIMA SKY GRAN CANARIA CLASSIC DISTANCE WORLD CUP WMRA KIRIAGO AND NJERU CROWNED
FINALISSIMA SKY GRAN CANARIA CLASSIC DISTANCE WORLD CUP WMRA KIRIAGO AND NJERU CROWNED. Our WMRA sections brings us the final race of a fabulous Valsir Mountain Running World Cup.
Day three of the Valsir Mountain World Cup Finalissima at Sky Gran Canaria proved to a be dramatic and fitting end to what has been a superb season. It all started in mid-June, in Broken Arrow, Lake Tahoe, USA and ended on this demanding, rugged coastal route. There’s been a long list of winners in that time that includes runners all over the world, but always there’s been underlying theme – watch out the Kenyans are ready to pounce.
WMRA FINALISSIMA SKY GRAN CANARIA CLASSIC DISTANCE
On super Sunday, we had the final race of a fabulous Valsir Mountain Running World Cup and overall mountain running year. Originally billed as super fast race with lots of downhill, the race was a much quicker 22km, reduced in altitude because of local conditions and the danger of forest fires, which, however resulted in a fantastic fast Classic Mountain Running course.
Kenya’s Philemon Kiriago and countrywoman Joyce Njeru continued the theme they had been enjoying all season and quite simply dominated proceedings from the gun. Run over two laps, both Kiriago and Njeru employed similar tactics on what was another hot Canarian day and seized control as early as the first 5km.
For Kiriago that meant keeping things moving as he had countryman Patrick Kipngeno, the World Mountain Running Champion and multiple winner of World Cup races this year tracking his every stride, in fact leading the first kilometers, all the way to the final fast downhill 5km.
For Njeru, however, it was a case of simply running away from her opposition. She established a 40-second gap on Philaries Kisang, also from Kenya and a podium finisher on five occasions in 2023, and maintained that gap all the way to the finish.
While the victory was of course important, it also meant something far more significant for Kiriago. Victory confirmed he had secured enough points to become overall World Cup champion. “I’m excited today as I hoped I win the World Cup and it all went well,” he said afterwards, pleased to have seen his race plans fall into place so successfully. It has been a great year with wins at Fletta Trail, Sierre Zinal and Trofeo Nasego.
Behind him, Kipngeno was also pleased with the way things unfolded in Gran Canaria and the season as a whole. “I’m very happy to finish second in the World Cup series. It’s been a very long season,” he said, summing up perfectly the thoughts of everybody racing in the mountains this year.
Like Kiriago, the win also confirmed Njeru’s status as World No.1 in the Valsir Mountain Running World Cup rankings. “I just feel good; the race was good. It was a nice feeling to finish and defend the World Cup trophy. It really well worked well for me,” the winner of Fletta Trail, La Montee du Nid d’Aigle and Canfranc, as well as the Canfranc vertical race said.
Winner of the vertical race on day one, Britain’s Joe Steward move from fourth to third. Behind him, his season-long rival, Canada’s Remi Leroux switched positions – third to fourth – because of his sixth place in the vertical 4km.
VALSIR MOUNTAIN RUNNING WORLD CUP MEN’S OVERALL TOP 10:
- Philemon Kiriago (KEN) 285
- Patrick Kipngeno (KEN) 280
- Joe Steward (GBR) 211
- Remi Leroux (CAN) 168
- Christian Allen (USA) 160
- Andrea Rostan (ITA) 139
- Henri Aymonod (ITA) 135
- Alex Baldaccini (ITA) 102
- Ondrej Fejfar (CZE) 98
- Alric Petit (FRA) 91
As it had been all season long, Njeru never looked like losing her crown, but behind her the competition was intense for a podium position. Four or possibly five were battle for that spot, and in the end it was Britain’s Scout Adkin who enjoyed a rewarding weekend in Gran Canaria. She won the vertical race on Friday and doubled back with a bronze in the 22km to move up from fifth to second overall.
VALSIR MOUNTAIN RUNNING WORLD CUP WOMEN’S OVERALL TOP 10
- Joyce Njeru (KEN) 295
- Sout Adkin (GBR) 230
- Philaries Kisang (KEN) 215
- Andrea Mayr (AUT) 190
- Lucy Murigi (KEN) 190
- Camilla Magliano (ITA) 173
- Susanna Saapunki (FIN) 166
- Anna Gibson (USA) 160
- Sara Willhoit (GBR) 111
- Madalina Florea (ROM) 109
VALSIR MOUNTAIN RUNNING WORLD CUP WOMEN’S UPHILL TOP 3
- Scout Adkin (GBR) 120
- Andrea Mayr (AUT) 100
- Joyce Muthoni Njeru (KEN) 100
VALSIR MOUNTAIN RUNNING WORLD CUP MEN’S UPHILL TOP 3
- Patrick Kipngeno (KEN) 140
- Joe Steward (GBR) 130
- Andrea Rostan (ITA) 93
VALSIR MOUNTAIN RUNNING WORLD CUP WOMEN’S CLASSIC TOP 3
- Joyce Muthoni Njeru (KEN) 150
- Philaries Kisang (KEN) 110
- Scout Adkin (GBR) 100
VALSIR MOUNTAIN RUNNING WORLD CUP MEN’S CLASSIC TOP 3
- Philemon Kiriago (KEN) 140
- Patrick Kipngeno (KEN) 90
- Remi Leroux (CAN) 83
VALSIR MOUNTAIN RUNNING WORLD CUP WOMEN’S LONG TOP 3
- Joyce Muthoni Njeru (KEN) 70
- Allie McLaughlin (USA) 64
- Madalina Florea (ROM) 56
VALSIR MOUNTAIN RUNNING WORLD CUP MEN’S LONG TOP 3
- Philemon Kiriago (KEN) 100
- Christian Allen (USA) 80
- Patrick Kipngeno (KEN) 80