World Champion Grayson Murphy To Race Italy’s Vertical Nasego & Trofeo Nasego

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. Above Photo: Peter Maksimow.

This weekend the Mountain Running World Cup is well and truly back in action. There are not one but two races to look forward to in Casto, Italy. The Vertical Nasego takes place on Saturday September 4th followed by Trofeo Nasego on Sunday September 5th.

Vertical Nasego is the 7th race of this year’s Mountain Running World Cup and is in the short uphill category at 4.3 km with 3300 feet of ascent. It’s a tough short uphill race, which will see the athletes using their hands in the steepest parts, as they make their way up to the finish at 4600′.

The Trofeo Nasego is the 8th World Cup event in 2021 and will see athletes will take on this 20th edition of the race, consisting of 13 miles with 4400 feet of ascent. The first half of the race is fast and then at 7 miles the runners begin their big climb up to Refugio Nasego, before the final steep descent.

Both races always attract a top field and this year’s may well be the best ones ever assembled. Most athletes will contest both Vertical Nasego and Trofeo Nasego.

Trofeo Nasego

Photo: World Mountain Running Association.

Women’s Preview

Grayson Murphy (USA), the defending World Champion who was recently crowned 2021 USATF Mountain Running Champion, will be racing in Europe for the first time! It’s going to be really exciting to see her race against some top European and African mountain running talent. She’ll be reunited with her fellow mountain running athletes from that podium at the 2019 World Mountain Running Championships, Elise Poncet (FRA) and Philippa Williams (GBR) for starters.

Also on the start line will be Andrea Mayr (AUT), fresh from winning Challenge Stellina and six time World Champion and record holder at Vertical Nasego, among many other accolades. She’ll be joined by the reigning World Cup winner Sarah McCormack (IRL), who won Trofeo Nasego last year. It’ll be great to see Sarah taking part in her first World Cup race this year.

As ever there will be strong competition from Kenyan athletes. Lucy Murigi, two-time World Mountain Running Champion who is currently lying 5th in the World Cup, will always be one to watch, as will Joyce Njeru, who is having a great season, having won at Grossglockner and Krkonossky. Charlotte Morgan (GBR), the current leader in the World Cup, will also be toeing the line.

But there will be plenty of Italian competition out to win on home turf. Alice Gaggi, currently second in the World Cup, is expected to do well, as are Erica and Francesca Ghelfi, and Lorenza Beccaria, who is also having a good run in the World Cup. Athletes like Susanna Saapunki (FIN), Lucie Marsanova (CZE), Mocja Koligar (SLO) and Timea Merenyi (HUN) could also feature.

Trofeo Nasego

Photo: World Mountain Running Association.

Men’s Preview

The men’s race will also bring together podium finishers from the 2019 World Mountain Running Championship as silver medallist, Cesare Maestri (ITA), will face Marek Chraschina (CZE) for a rematch. But can anybody beat Henri Aymonod (ITA) in a short uphill race? He is the defending champion here and has since won Chiavenna Lagunc and Piz Tri Vertikal. He also won Challenge Stellina last weekend.

Geoffrey Ndungu (KEN), who won at Krkonossky and is currently lying 3rd in the World Cup rankings, will be a strong contender, as will his compatriot Timothy Kirui, who was 2nd at Krkonossky. Also flying high in the World Cup in 2nd place is Sandor Szabo (HUN) and Timotej Becan (SLO), who is currently 6th could also feature.

As well as established favorites like Petro Mamu (ERI) this could also be a race where we see some exciting breakthrough performances from runners such as Tiziano Moia (ITA), who came close to beating Henri Aymonod at Piz Tri Vertikal and is proving himself as a short uphill specialist. We could also see Italian rising stars such as Luca Merli, Marco Filosi, Alberto Vender, Lorenzo Cagnati and Daniel Pattis doing well. Zak Hanna (IRL) is another rising star who is working hard and seeing the results from it.

Trofeo Nasego

Photo: World Mountain Running Association.

Race information (Central European Time)

Saturday September 4th
10am – women’s Vertical Nasego start
10.45am – men’s Vertical Nasego start
2.30pm – awards ceremony
5pm – press conference with some of the elite runners will be held. It will be broadcast live on the Trofeo Nasego Facebook page.

Sunday September 5th
9.30am – Trofeo Nasego start
2.30pm – awards ceremony

Find more information about the race on the Trofeo Nasego website.

Trofeo Nasego

Photo: World Mountain Running Association.

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:

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:

2019 World Mountain Running Champion Grayson Murphy.

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