Written By World-Track Contributor
Media News Report, Sunday, July 23, 2023
SAINT GERVAIS (Media News) – There were no surprises at the Valsir Mountain Running World Cup’s gold label event on Saturday, 22 July, in Saint Gervais, France. Kenyan record holders, Joyce Njeru and Patrick Kipngeno claimed victory in the women’s and men’s races, respectively, at the La Montee du Nid d’Aigle.
The race, nestled just miles from the towering Mont Blanc, saw a minor change in its course due to construction, resulting in a 19.5-kilometer route with a total elevation gain of 2000 meters and a comfortable running temperature of around 15°C.
- Read more: Results Montee du Nid d’Aigle: Patrick Kipngeno, Joyce Njeru win at Valsir Mountain Running World Cup 2023
- Recap and top results: 2023 World Mountain and Trail Running Championships
Njeru, faced with relentless competition from her fellow Kenyan, Philaries Kisang, emerged victorious by a mere five seconds.
Meanwhile, the men’s race saw Kenyan dominance as well, with Philemon Kiriago clinching second place, two minutes behind the triumphant Kipngeno. These successful performances boost their standings in the overall world rankings.
Njeru now holds a strong second position, only surpassed by Austrian legend Andrea Mayr, while Kipngeno leads the pack ahead of Kiriago. A notable detail of the Saint Gervais rankings is the equal representation of Kenyan and European runners within the top ten finishers, with representation from Finland, Italy, France, and Norway.
The Valsir Mountain Running World Cup will take a three-week pause before resuming with the Sierre-Zinal on August 12 in Switzerland. The 31-kilometer race will unfold at the foot of the Matterhorn – familiar to many as the iconic Swiss chocolate trademark.
The course is dominated by nine-time Spanish champion, Kilian Jornet. Intriguingly, no Kenyan runner has ever claimed victory in this race. The only East African winner came in 2016, from Eritrean Petro Mamu.
The top five finishers for the Saint Gervais race are as follows:
- Joyce Njeru (KEN) 2:06:28
- Philaries Kisang (KEN) 2:06:33
- Susanna Saapunki (FIN) 2:10:42
- Lucy Murigi (KEN) 2:13:28
- Blandine L’Hirondel (FRA) 2:14:18
- Patrick Kipngeno (KEN) 1:46:44
- Philemon Kiriago (KEN) 1:48:47
- Xavier Chevrier (ITA) 1:51:11
- Stian Angermund (NOR) 1:51:52
- Theodore Klein (FRA) 1:54:54
Live general ranking of the Valsir Mountain Running World Cup:
- Andrea Mayr (AUT)
- Joyce Muthoni Njeru (KEN)
- Allie McLaughlin (USA)
- Scout Adkin (GBR)
- Monica Madalina Florea (ROU)
- Patrick Kipngeno (KEN)
- Philemon Ombogo Kiriago (KEN)
- Remi Bonnet (SUI)
- Henri Aymonod (ITA)
- Stian Angermund (NOR)
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