Announcement from the World Mountain Running Association (WMRA). ATRA founder Nancy Hobbs is a WMRA Council member.
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 (WMRA) Mountain Running World Cup promises 5 months of quality racing in the mountains.
“I’m delighted to announce the new 2022 WMRA World Cup calendar,” said World Cup Manager, Justin Maxwell. “We start with a relatively new but exciting race in Montemuro and we finish at Chiavenna-Lagunc KV, a race steeped in history. In between we have an array of classic mountain running events, some new, some old, but all unique in one way or another. A true mountain running test for any aspiring World Cup Champion.
“I’d like to thank all of the race organizers who applied to be part of the 2022 WMRA World Cup, we are very grateful for your support.”
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.
2021 Mountain Running World Cup winners
- Overall – Joyce Muthoni Njeru and Henri Aymonod
- Short Uphill – Andrea Mayr and Henri Aymonod
- Classic Mountain – Joyce Muthoni Njeru and Geoffrey Gikuni Ndungu
- Long Mountain – Charlotte Morgan and Raúl Criado Sánchez
The 2022 Races
The 2022 World Cup kicks off on June 19th with its first ever visit to Portugal for Montemuro Vertical Run, a race making its first appearance on the circuit in only its second edition. Although it comes in the Classic category it’s short and sharp. At just 9.5km and 980m+, it will be an hard race for anyone who comes into the World Cup season at anything less than 100%.
From a new addition, we go to an established classic. On July 10th it’s the 23rd edition of Großglockner Berglauf. This is a spectacular race, climbing 1,265m+ in 13.4km against the backdrop of Austria’s highest mountain. From the valley, it first follows the river, then passes the Pasterze glacier, before a savagely steep final climb takes the runners to the finish at the Kaiser-Franz-Josefs-Höhe.
Next we go to France La Montée du Nid d’Aigle on July 16th, a race which made its first appearance in the World Cup in 2021 and returns for 2022. From Saint Gervais to Refuge du Nid d’Aigle, runners climb 2,000m in 19.5km with only 100m of descending. In 2021 we saw furious racing and fast times; a new men’s course record for Xavier Chevrier and Lucy Murigi coming within 2 seconds of Isabelle Guillot’s long-standing mark.
Two weeks later we have the first double-header of the World Cup at Giir di Mont in Premana, Italy. The short uphill race on Saturday 30th July is a new addition but its double status as a World Cup race and the Italian uphill championship is sure to draw a quality field. Sunday 31st sees the classic long race, which hosted the 2017 World Long Distance Mountain Running Championships. At 32km with 2,400m+, it’s the longest race in the World Cup this year.
Then on 13th August we go to Switzerland for The Race of the Five 4000s, Sierre-Zinal. Despite attracting the deepest field in mountain running, Maud Mathys and Kilian Jornet have had a stranglehold on this race in recent years, racking up consecutive wins and breaking course records in the process. Will 2022 be the year Maud and Kilian are finally beaten? Would-be successors have 32km with 2,200m+ and 1,100m- to make an impression.
September brings 2 more double weekends. First, on the 3rd and 4th, it’s Vertical Nasego and Trofeo Nasego. The uphill race climbs 1,000m in 4.2k, while the long race is 21.5k, 1,336m+. We saw some fantastic racing here in 2021 with American Grayson Murphy and Andrea Mayr going toe to toe on consecutive days and coming away with a win and a second place each. You can be sure these classic races will provide similar excitement in 2022.
Then we head to Canfran-Estación in the Aragonese Pyrenees for Canfranc-Canfranc. Again, there are 2 races here but this time the athlete’s get a day off in between. The uphill race, 4.4km and 927m, appears in the World Cup in its very first edition on Friday the 9th, while the classic 16km, with 1,195m of climbing, is on Sunday the 11th. These are hard races on rough, technical terrain. Will the extra rest time tempt athletes to try the the double?
October comes around and only 2 races remain. First, on the 2nd, we say goodbye to the high mountains and kaixo to the Basque Country for Zumaia Flysch Trail, 22km and 850m+. The only coastal race in the calendar this year is an opportunity for the athletes to experience the stunning scenery of a UNESCO Geopark and the overwhelming Basque enthusiasm for mountain running.
The season closes, as it did last year, with KV Chiavenna-Lagunc on the 8th of October. Climbing 1,000m in just 3.2km, this is the place to come for a fast vertical kilometre times; Bernard De Matteis and Andrew Mayr’s course records, 30’27” and 35’40” respectively are positively eye-watering. With bonus points on offer in the last race of the season, athletes have every incentive to give it everything here.
Silver Label Races
In addition to the 12 World Cup Gold Label races, this year we are introducing 5 World Cup Silver Label races, giving athletes further opportunities to earn World Cup points in countries such as Peru, Czech Republic, Ireland, Slovenia and Portugal.
The 5 Silver Label races are:
- May 22 – Seven Sisters Skyline (IRE) Long
- July 2 – One Hundred Douro-Paiva (POR) Long
- August 7 – Krkonossky Half Marathon (CZE) Classic
- August 25 – Andes Race (PER) Long
- October 1 – Smarna Gora (SLO) Classic
About the 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, ITRA and IAU to deliver the first World Mountain and Trail Running Championships in Thailand. Website, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
About the WMRA World Ranking:
In 2021 we launched the WMRA World Ranking, a clear, objective and easy to understand tool which has several key goals:
- To provide a race directory for the top mountain races all over the world
- To give a rolling 365 day ranking of mountain running performances, showing who the top mountain runners are today, based on current results
- To implement a transparent and easy to understand scoring system, with no hidden algorithms or formulae
Results of the World Cup races (and all mountain races) can be found on the World Ranking site. Three American’s finished in the top 10 of the 2021 WMRA World Ranking.