Grayson Murphy Smashes Course Record at the Canfranc-Canfranc 16K

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 / Canfranc-Canfranc.

After an exciting day of racing at yesterday’s Canfranc-Canfranc 45K race, the 9th round of the WMRA Mountain Running World Cup, yesterday, fans didn’t have long to wait for round 10. Canfranc provided the stunning backdrop again for the 16k classic mountain running race earlier today.

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Start of the Canfranc-Canfranc 16K race.

2019 World Mountain Running Champion and 2-time USATF Mountain Running Grayson Murphy (USA) was back for more European racing action, after her win at Italy’s Trofeo Nasego and 2nd place at Vertical Nasego last weekend. Also on the start line for the women were course record holders Servant Nadege (FRA), Nuria Gil (ESP) and Yolanda Martín (ESP).

In the men’s race all eyes were on 2020 winner Antonio Martinez (ESP), who would face strong competition from Sandor Szabo (HUN), and Spanish athletes Iñigo Arantzamendi, Roger Comellas, and Ion Sola. Also on the start line for the men was Raul Criado (ESP), who was 3rd in yesterday’s 45k race, back for more!

The runners were set off in small groups at minute intervals, in line with local COVID-19 protocols. They would face one up and down over the 16k, but what a big up and down it was! 1400m over the course of the first 6k to the summit of La Moleta, followed by a technical 10k descent down to the finish.

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Canfranc-Canfranc 16K women’s race winner Grayson Murphy (USA).

It was Szabo who hit the summit in the lead in the men’s race, with Daniel Castillo (SPA) a minute behind and Martinez a minute behind him. It was all still very close, despite the long climb. In the women’s race there was a clear leader and that was Grayson Murphy. She hit La Moleta 10 minutes ahead of Gil and in fact was lying in 4th place in the race overall at that point! Servant was around 90 seconds behind Gil.

It looked unlikely that Grayson Murphy would be caught, but anything can happen on a 10k technical descent! In the men’s race it was Martinez who hit the final stretch (part of the famous Camino del Santiago) first and he took the win, his second consecutive one here, in 1.52.26. Szabo was a minute and a half behind in 2nd place in 1.53.52, with Castillo taking 3rd in 1.54.38.

All eyes were on the clock for Grayson Murphy’s arrival as it looked likely that the existing women’s course record of 2.08.18 was under threat. In fact Grayson Murphy broke the finish-line tape in an incredible 1.57.43, obliterating the previous mark and finishing 5th overall! The runner who set that record, Gil, took 2nd in 2.15.28 and Servant was 3rd in 2.17.16.

Full results for yesterdays 45K and today’s (Sunday) 16K race are on this website.

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Canfranc-Canfranc men’s 16K winner Antonio Martinez (ESP).

About the WMRA Mountain Running World Cup:
Races take place between June 2021 and October 2021 in 8 countries. There are 12 event locations and 16 races in 3 categories: short uphill; classic mountain race; long mountain race. Runners can take part in as many races as they want, and they get points for their finishing positions. Their best 7 results in the World Cup races count towards their final ranking. The points scoring format is cumulative. Finishing positions in a WMRA World Cup race range from 100 points for first to 1 point for 30th. There are separate competitions for men and women and athletes must compete in at least two races in order to be considered in the final rankings. See full calendar for World Cup races at: https://www.wmra.info/calendar/2021-major-events

The current, reigning World Cup champions are Sarah McCormack and Andrew Douglas.

About the World Mountain Running Association (WMRA):
Formed in 1984, we are the global governing body for mountain running and we have the goal of promoting mountain running for all ages and abilities. As well as the World Cup we organize Masters, U18 and regional championships and this year we will work in partnership with the World Athletics, International Trail Running Association (ITRA) and the International Association of Ultrarunners IAU to deliver the first World Mountain and Trail Running Championships in Thailand. More information at: www.wmra.info

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