Joyce Njeru (KEN) and Petro Mamu (ERI) were the victors in Round 11 of the World Mountain Running Association (WMRA) World Cup held at Trofeo Ciolo on Sunday morning.
Njeru has showcased good form in the World Cup this year – she has tasted success on two occasions so far in the World Cup, round two at Grossglockner Berglauf and round six at Krkonossky Half Marathon.
Mamu, meanwhile, has been in imperious form lately – he took victory in round eight of the World Cup in early September at Trofeo Nasego, finishing third a day earlier in the Vertical Nasego race (round seven).
WMRA World Ranked #1 Njeru enjoyed her third success in the World Cup this season winning in a time of 57:12, nine seconds ahead of second-placed Lucy Murigi (KEN). Alice Gaggi (ITA) took bronze a further three minutes 56 seconds behind.
Current Women’s World Cup leader Charlotte Morgan (GBR) finished in sixth place nine minutes 25 seconds off the pace – she started the race 45 points ahead of Njeru in the standings and 70 ahead of Gaggi.
With four of the top five in the World Cup rankings in action, this weekend’s race could prove a crucial juncture in the campaign to take home the WMRA World Cup title with six races remaining.
Heading into the race, Mamu was tenth in the World Cup standings and he has certainly given himself every opportunity to mount a late charge for the title.
He took victory in a time of 50:22 finishing 57 seconds ahead of Geoffrey Gikuni Ndunga (KEN) and one minute and one second ahead of Alex Baldaccini (ITA).
Current World Cup leader Henri Aymonod (ITA) finished fifth in a time of 53:13 with Sandor Szabo (HUN) – who is currently second in the standings – a distant ninth in a time of 57:45.
There is a quick turnaround ahead of the next WMRA World Cup races, which take place in Palisades Tahoe, USA. The Sierra Nevada mountains play host to Broken Arrow Vertical on 1st October in round 12, before the Broken Arrow Sky Race in round 13 two days later.