Gran Canaria, (Oct. 13) – The Valsir Mountain Running World Cup Finalissima kicked off with a bang as Great Britain’s Scout Adkin and Joe Steward dominated the uphill race at Sky Gran Canaria on Friday. The event, which took place in the scenic town of Agaete on Gran Canaria, was altered due to weather conditions but still provided a thrilling spectacle.
Weather Alert Alters Course
A weather alert for heat and potential forest fires led to a last-minute change in the 6km uphill race, shortening it to 4km. The altered route did not climb above 400m due to these restrictions.
Despite the brutally hot conditions, with temperatures soaring to 36°C, the athletes gave it their all. – More information about the change at https://skygrancanaria.net/modificaciones-de-la-carrera/
Joe Steward Takes the Lead
Joe Steward quickly adapted to the challenging conditions, racing to victory in the Sky A4Uphill event with a time of 17:42.
Steward, who had previously placed eighth at the World Mountain and Trail Running Championships, was the man to beat, and he lived up to the expectations. He had also won the Canfranc-Canfranc vertical uphill race last month.
Scout Adkin Shines in Women’s Race
In the women’s category, Scout Adkin once again proved her mettle. She led the race with a finish time of 21:17, looking incredibly strong on the technical sections leading into the final climb. Adkin had previously won a bronze medal in last year’s European Off-Road Running Championships.
Kenya’s Patrick Kipngeno finished 11 seconds behind Steward, securing second place in the men’s category. In the women’s race, Finland’s Susanna Saapunki clocked 21:30, finishing second behind Adkin.
The action-packed weekend continues with a long-distance race on Saturday, starting and finishing in Tunte, in the middle of the island. The race will cover a total of 2736m of ascent over 35km, including some steep, technical ground.
On Sunday, the classic race will start at Artenara at 1240m and cover 22km.
World Cup Standings
The uphill race has set the stage for an exciting finale in the World Cup standings. Joyce Muthoni Njeru leads the overall women’s World Cup standings, while Philemon Kiriago leads the men’s.
Both athletes will be participating in the upcoming races, making the competition even more intense.