NASEGO, Italy — The first weekend of September in Europe’s mountain ranges is a trail runner’s dream, featuring a double-header in Italy’s Nasego that’s already jostling the world rankings. Running in the shadow of the iconic UTMB World Series, the Gold Label Valsir Mountain Running World Cup unfurled a two-day athletic drama north of Brescia, Italy. This weekend the spotlight was on the Vertical Nasego and Trofeo Nasego.
Two Races, One Weekend, High Stakes (Vertical Nasego and Trofeo Nasego)
Saturday spotlighted the Vertical Nasego, a grueling 4.3-kilometer climb with a 1,000-meter elevation gain. Sunday featured the 22nd Trofeo Nasego, essentially a half-marathon at 21 kilometers but with a challenging 1,330-meter elevation gain.
Kenyan Athletes: The Usual Suspects
Before the starting gun fired, Kenya’s athletes were the ones to watch, holding the top two spots in both the men’s and women’s world rankings.
Italy’s Rostan trailed men’s leaders Kiriago and Kipngeno, while Scotland’s Adkin followed women’s frontrunners Muthoni and Kisang. Murigi, another Kenyan, held the women’s fourth spot.
September 2 saw unexpected turns. Kipngeno clinched the men’s race in just over 34 minutes, but the women’s title went to Austria’s veteran Mayr, who set a course record of 38:06. Both led wire-to-wire. Notably absent from the top finishers was overall men’s leader Kiriago, who took fifth.
Day One Top Results Standings
- Andrea Mayr (AUT) — 38:06
- Philaries Kisang (KEN) — 40:27
- Scout Adkin (GBR) — 40:35
- Patrick Kipngeno (KEN) — 34:25
- Christian Allen (USA) — 35:01
- Joe Steward (GBR) — 35:08
Sunday’s Race: Tables Turned In Trofeo Nasego
September 3 saw a shift in the narrative. Philemon Kiriago found redemption with a time of 1:31:00, winning the Trofeo Nasego by a 45-second margin over Patrick Kipngeno (1:31:45), while the podium was rounded out by Christian Allen (1:48:33) of the US.
On the women’s side, Mayr did it again, this time finishing 46 seconds ahead of Romania’s Mădălina Florea (1:46:52). Kenyan Joyce Muthoni took third place with 1:48:33.
The complete top-five rankings are as follows:
Day Two Results Standings
- Andrea Mayr (AUT) 46.06
- Madalina Florea (ROU) 1.46.52
- Joyce Muthoni (KEN) 1.48.33
- Philaries Kisang (KEN) 1.49.44
- Susanna Saapunki (FIN) 1.50.06
- Philemon Kiriago (KEN) 1.31.00
- Patrick Kipngeno (KEN) 1.31.45
- Christian Allen (USA) 1.32.33
- Cesare Maestri (ITA) 1.34.43
- Xavier Chevrier (ITA) 1.36.17
Looking Ahead – Valsir Mountain Running World Cup
The Valsir Mountain Running World Cup has more thrills in store. The next stop is Canfranc, Spain, where the vertical uphill is scheduled for September 8 and the Classic Mountain for September 10.
The 2023 season will wrap up in mid-October (13-15) with a three-day event in Spain called Sky Gran Canaria. After that, all eyes will be on preparations for a competitive 2024 season, expected to kick off in June.
For full results and the Valsir Mountain Running World Cup latest standings, click here