Joseph DeMoor and Lauren Gregory Top Americans at Vertical Nasego

Written by Maria Ávila for the World Mountain Running Association. Photos: Marco Gulberti and Giacomo Meneghello at Corsa in Montagna.

Veteran U.S. mountain runners Joseph DeMoor (pictured above) and Lauren Gregory broke the top 10 at a competitive Vertical Nasego race yesterday; a gold label race in the WMRA Mountain Running World Cup. DeMoor finished 7th in 36:30 behind new course record holder Patrick Kipngeno (Kenya). Fresh off her solid run last weekend at Challenge Stellina, Gregory finished 8th in 44:28 behind multiple world champion Andrea Mayr (Austria).

The first day of racing at Nasego in the northern region of Italy saw impressive victories from Andrea Mayr and Patrick Kipngeno. Both climbed the vertical race with impeccable performances leaving Monica Madalina Florea on the women’s side and Zak Hanna on the men’s with second position. Valentina Belotti and Philemon Ombogo completed the podium to take the third places respectively.

Through a 4,3 km course, the athletes completed 1000 meters of ascension. The results of this meeting were a new record on the men’s side. Moreover, the competence is getting though on the women’s standings of the Valsir Mountain Running World Cup.

Lauren Gregory. Photo: Giacomo Meneghello.

Women’s Race

The competence in the women’s race started with Andrea Mayr as a leading figure and Monica Madalina close to her while Joyce Muthoni was behind them. The runners were close to each other. However, in the last 600 meters, the Austrian won an advantage of more than a minute over the others. At the same time, Muthoni was left behind in fourth place, overpassed by the Italian Valentina Belotti.

After 38 minutes and 48 seconds, Andrea Mayer raised her hands in the arrival line, becoming the first entrance through the arch of victory of Vertical Nasego; Two minutes after her, the Romanian athlete Monica Madalina Florea was arriving with the sparkle of an experienced participant. Behind them, Valentina Belotti was consecrating herself the third place in the race.

This result is not surprising since Andrea Mayr obtained first and second place in the previous two editions. Despite her impeccable performance, Mayr was left only nine seconds behind the race record she established in 2019. This date presents new scenarios for the Valsir World Mountain Cup. So far, Muthoni felt untouchable, obtaining a first place on the podium of every competition she participated in. On the other hand, Monica Madalina Florea continues climbing to the top since her 3rd place at Giir di Mont Uphill.

1 Andrea Mayr 🇦🇹 38’48”
2 Monica Florea 🇷🇴 41’22”
3 Valentina Belotti 🇮🇹 42’18”
4 Joyce Muthoni 🇰🇪 43’13”
5 Alessia Scaini 🇮🇹 43’50”
6 Camilla Magliano 🇮🇹 44’01”
7 Maddalena Somà 🇮🇹 44’20”
8 Lauren Gregory 🇺🇸 44’28”
9 Adela Stranska 🇨🇿 44’52”
10 Vivien Bonzi 🇮🇹 45’15”

Complete women’s results [PDF].

Andrea Mayr. Photo: Marco Gulberti.

Men’s Race

On the male side, the race was shoulder to shoulder between Patrick Kipnego and Zak Hanna. At the last ramp, Kipnego pushed harder, arriving first and breaking a record that already seemed unbeatable since it was recorded in 2019. The Kenyan runner registered a time of 33’47”, which leaves the previous 35’17” mark behind.

Verticale represents the awaited comeback of Zak Hanna to the top runners with second place. The Irish athlete who occupies the fourth place in the table of positions of the Valsir World Cup might become a threat to the Run2gether duo of Kipnego and Ombogo. The last mentioned was saved from sliding down the ranking thanks to his third place.

The effort from Henri Aymonod was not enough to get him to the first position as in the previous two editions of the Vertical. The Italian arrived in 4th place on this occasion with a time of 35’15”. However, Aymonod might be able to recover some ground in the Valsir World Cup classification during tomorrows Trofeo Nassego.

The runners who will try to double up with two races in Casto over the weekend can count on only a few hours of recovery from this race before competing the next day at the Trofeo Nasego. This will consist of a 21,45 km race distance which will be a big challenge for the athletes that have been traditionally competed in short courses.

1 Patrick Kipngeno 🇰🇪 33’47”
2 Zak Hanna 🇮🇪 34’21”
3 Philemon Kiriago 🇰🇪 35’01”
4 Henri Aymonod 🇮🇹 35’15”
5 Marcello Ugazio 🇮🇹 35’51”
6 Andrea Rostan 🇮🇹 36’22”
7 Joseph Demoor 🇺🇸 36’30”
8 Timotej Bečan 🇸🇮 36’39”
9 Massimo Forcaz 🇮🇹 37’24”
10 Damiano Pedretti 🇮🇹 38’17”

Complete men’s results [PDF].

Patrick Kipngeno. Photo: Marco Gulberti.

Find even more mountain running race photos on Flickr.

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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