Italy’s Nasego Hosts a Double Mountain Race Weekend

Written by María Avila for the World Mountain Running Association (WMRA). American Trail Running Association (ATRA) executive director Nancy Hobbs is the WMRA general secretary.

Nasego in Italy is the next stop for the Valsir Mountain Running World Cup. On this occasion, top athletes will compete for their place on the ranking during a double Gold Label race in the Italian mountains.

Vertical Nasego and Trofeo Nasego will take place respectively on the 3rd and 4th of September. The setting for these races will be the Brescian pre-Alps on the side of Casto’s commune, located in Lombardy’s Italian region. These competitions mark the beginning of the second batch of the 2022 Gold Label season, with six meetings completed and six to go.

The appointment starts on Saturday, the 3rd of September, with a short uphill mountain race, Vertical Nasego. This competition will consist of 4,3 km of full climb that accumulates 1000 meters of ascension. On this day, the feminine category will race first at 10h00, followed by the masculine group at 10h45. There is a lot of expectation in this battle. No one has been able to defeat the previous records established since 2019, set by Davide Magnini and Andrea Mayr. The runners will have to mark a time inferior to 35’17” and 38’39” to register a new best performance in the men’s and women’s categories, respectively.

Andrea Mayr. Photo: Marco Gulberti.

Vertical Nasego will start in the main street of Casto. From there, the runners can already spot the finish line above them. The race goes upwards through roads and rural trails. The challenge will increase on the track’s second half, where the path gets even more steep and narrow. If the athlete counts with enough experience, this section can turn into an advantage. This was the case of Henri Aymonod, who won the battle in 2021 by pushing into the last quarter and arriving at the finish line only 22 seconds before Andrea Rostan.

Runners will have the opportunity to pick up their dorsals since 7h30 at Palazzetto dello Sport di Casto. The award ceremony for this 7th edition of Vertical Nasego will take place on Saturday at 14:30.

The next day, there will be a new challenge awaiting. On Sunday, the 21st edition of Trofeo Nasego will mark the long mountain specialty. The course of this race will cover 21,450 km, mainly between foothills paths accumulating a total ascent of 1336 meters. The athletes will face rugged ascends around the Sabia Valley. The route will start in Casto and go through undulated trails until the arrival.

Trofeo Nasego begins at the lowest elevation of 413 meters and moves forward until reaching its highest point at 1311 meters in kilometer sixteen. From there, it will be mostly downhill until the finish line. The athletes will have the chance to run through emblematic places such as Piani de Alone, Ponte Vrenda, and the Rifugio Nasego. The ending point is the town of Famea, also the home of Valsir, the World’s Cup sponsor. The company has historically supported Nasego and its organizers, which makes this race even more distinct.

Photo by Marco Gulberi.

The pick-up of the dorsals for Trofeo Nasego will take place on Saturday from 15h30 to 18h30. For those looking for more excitement between Vertical and Nasego, the organization will broadcast a press conference on their Facebook page @trofeonasego with some top runners. The race should start at 9h30, and the expected arrival of the first athlete is between 11h00 and 11h05. The award ceremony will occur at 14h30 in the ABCF Sports Center in Famea.

The race was initially born in 2002 and has grown over the years with the participation of internationally renowned athletes. The establishment of new records marked the last edition. On the women’s side, Grayson Murphy registered a new course mark by completing the race in a time of 1h45’56”. While, in the men’s category, Petro Mamu established a record of 1h32’55”.

During previous editions, Nasego’s races have hosted the best world mountain runners, including Henri Aymonod, Xavier Chevrier, Denisa Dragomir, Grayson Murphy, and many others. Many runners have signed to both races on previous editions. Last year Grayson Murphy got second place on Vertical Nasego. Then, the next day she beat the record on Trofeo and obtained first place. This year, the organization also counts on the presence of International mountain running champions and athletes from various continents.

The current leader of the feminine category World Cup, Joyce Muthon Njeru, has already confirmed her participation in both Vertical and Trofeo. Until now, Joyce has occupied first place on the podium of every race she has competed, accumulating a total of 200 points. However, her streak might be threatened by her fellow compatriot Lucy Wambui Murigi and the Italian Camilla Magliano, who are behind her with 132 and 94 points, respectively. Lucy already left her name over the history of Trofeo Nasego with her victory in 2019 with a time of 1h52’23”. On this occasion, she will only focus on Sunday’s appointment.

Photo: Marco Gulberti.

Also racing are Andrea Mayr, 1st and 2nd last year, 2020 Trofeo Nasego champion Sarah McCormack and Madalina Florea, 3rd at Giir di Mont Uphill.

On the men’s side, once again, there will be the performance of the Run2geteher pair Patrick Kipnego, leader of the World Cup standings, and Philemon Kiriago Ombogo who is right behind him. Another runner to keep an eye on during both races is Petro Mamu Shaku who won the Trofeo last year and got a second place on Vertical.

Andreu Blanes, 2nd at Sierre-Zinal, also races in Trofeo Nasego, alongside 2017 champion Cesare Maestri and Eric Muthoni, 3rd last year.

Trofeo Nasego
Date: 4 September 2022
Distance: 21,450 km
Ascent: 1336
Previous Records: Grayson Murphy 1h45’56” women’s and Petro Mamu 1h32’55” men’s both in 2021.

Vertical Nasego
Date: 3 September 2022
Distance: 4,3 km
Ascent: 1000 meters
Previous Records: Davide Magnini 35’17” men´s and Andrea Mayr 38’39” women´s both in 2019

Both races have the capability of becoming turning points on the table of positions for the 2022 Valsir World Mountain Running Cup. Almost half of the points still need to be handed, and new promising runners are joining the following stages. Follow our social media for the most recent information about the upcoming races.

Photo: Marco Gulberti.

About the Valsir Mountain Running World Cup:
With 12 Gold Label races across 6 countries and 9 locations, and a further 5 Silver Label races in 5 different countries, the 2022 World Mountain Running Association’s Valsir Mountain Running World Cup promises 5 months of quality racing in the mountains. All World Cup events are World Athletics (WA) Permit Mountain Races. Races fall into one of 3 categories; Short Uphill, Classic Mountain and Long Mountain. As well as the overall World Cup standings, calculated from an athlete’s best 6 results, there will also be a classification for each category, calculated from an athlete’s best 3 results in that category.

About the WMRA:
Formed in 1984, the World Mountain Running Association is the global governing body for mountain running and has the goal of promoting mountain running for all ages and abilities. As well as the Valsir World Cup, the WMRA organizes Masters, U18 and area championships and this year will work in partnership with the World Athletics, ITRA and IAU to deliver the inaugural World Mountain and Trail Running Championships in Chiang Mai, Thailand. The WMRA also maintains the Mountain Running World Ranking, a system of points allocated to athletes based on the results in designated races. More information on the WMRA website, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

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