2021 Mountain Running World Cup: Mid-Season Review

Announcement from the World Mountain Running Association (WMRA). The American Trail Running Association is a WMRA media partner and will be providing coverage of all sixteen events in the 2021 Mountain Running World Cup. ATRA founder Nancy Hobbs is a member of the WMRA Council. Photos: WMRA.

After a cancelled 2020 program, race fans waited a very long time for the Mountain Running World Cup to come around again, but now it seems to be flying past very quickly. It’s hard to believe that the World Cup is already four races in, and what an exciting four races it’s been. At the program’s quarter-way point, here’s a quick update on the results so far and which athletes are leading in the points.

World Cup

The Races

The first Mountain Running World Cup first was June 27 at the Tatra Race Run in Poland. This was a long mountain race, at 15 miles with 5500 feet of ascent. It attracted a great field of international athletes itching to race in the first World Cup event for 17 months! For the women Charlotte Morgan (GBR) emerged winner and top points scorer, closely followed by Alice Gaggi (ITA) and Iwona Januszyk (CZE). The men’s race was won by Marcin Kubica (POL), with Piotr Lobodzinski (POL) second and Henri Aymonod (ITA) in third. These were the World Cup leaders, but it was early days.

Next up was Grossglockner on July 11, the first short distance mountain race and no stranger to hosting World Cups. This race was dominated by Kenyan athletes. In the women’s race it was a Kenyan 1 – 2 – 3, Joyce Muthoni Njeru took the top spot, Purity Kajuja Gitonga second and Lucy Murigi third. The men’s race was also won by Kenyan Lengen Lolkurraru, with Filimon Abraham (GER) second and Manuel Innerhofer (AUT) third. This spread the points slightly wider, but Charlotte Morgan, Henri Aymonod and Lorenza Beccaria (ITA) finished in the top 10 and added to their World Cup points tallies.

Then came La Montee du Nid d’Aigle on July 17, another short distance mountain race. Here Lucy Wambui (KEN) took top spot for the women, followed by Christel Dewalle (FRA) and Anais Sabrie (FRA), and Xavrier Chevrier (FRA) took the men’s win, with Italy’s Francesco Puppi and Henri Aymonod second and third. Now the World Cup points were starting to add up.

For the fourth World Cup race athletes were back in Poland’s Tatra Mountains for Tatra SkyMarathon for the next long mountain race. Here Marcela Vasinova (CZE) finished first for the women, followed by Katarzyna Solinska (POL) and Charlotte Morgan (GBR), and Peter Frano (SVK) for the men, followed by Andrej Witek (POL) and Raul Criado (ESP).

So where does this leave the 2021 Mountain Running World Cup standings a quarter of the way through the competition?

La Montee du Nid d'Aigle

The Athletes

Charlotte Morgan (GBR) leads the women’s World Cup. competition on 235 points, amassed from two podiums and a top 10 finish, out of three starts. Charlotte has been a strong performer in mountain races for several years now. She had a very successful 2019, with a 7th place in the World Long Distance Mountain Running Championships, 7th at Grossglockner, 4th at Trofeo Nasego and she finished 9th overall in the Mountain Running World Cup. She won the World Long Distance Mountain Running Championships in 2018 too, so it’s no surprise to see Charlotte excelling in the long mountain races this year.

In the 2021 men’s World Cup competition Henri Aymonod (ITA) is out in front with 220 points, after strong showings at three races, with two podiums and a 10th place. Henri has dominated short uphill races for the last couple of years, with wins at Chiavenna Lagunc, Vertical Nasego and Piz Tri Vertikal, as well as coming 3rd at the 26K Broken Arrow Skyrace and 4th at Challenge Stellina.

Find the current Mountain Running World Cup athlete points (overall and by race) on the WMRA website [PDF].

World Cup France

Global Mountain Running Ranking

In addition to Mountain Running World Cup points, this year the athletes can also see for the first time how they stack up against their competitors at over 95 global mountain running events on a 365 day rolling ranking with the World Mountain Running Ranking. This is a constantly updated database of mountain running races, results and rankings. It’s worth keeping your eye on this, as well as the World Cup results, if you really want to know who the in-form athletes are in 2021.

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