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RUN247 / Running News / Trail Running News / Stellar startlists as Broken Arrow kicks off 2024 Valsir Mountain Running World Cup

Stellar startlists as Broken Arrow kicks off 2024 Valsir Mountain Running World Cup

Jonathan Turner
News Director
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The 2024 Valsir Mountain Running World Cup schedule kicks off in style this week at Broken Arrow in Palisades Tahoe, California.

The competition launches with the Broken Arrow VK on Friday and that’s followed on Sunday by the 23k Broken Arrow Skyrace, both are gold label races – and the elite fields are stacked!

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Walmsley’s Western States warm up

Many of the runners from last year’s podiums are back this year, along with others who could well challenge them.

The Vertical Kilometre race starts on the valley floor and climbs its way up 914m over 4.8km to the summit of Washeshu Peak at 2708m.

There’s some brutally steep terrain, leading up to the iconic Headwall Ridge and the ‘stairway to heaven’ bolted ladder to the summit of Washeshu Peak.

In the women’s VK last year’s winner Anna Gibson returns to defend her title, while runner up Jade Belzberg takes her on again as do Annie Dube and Anna Mae Flynn, who finished fourth and fifth 12 months ago.

But they will face stiff competition in the form of Allie McLaughlin, Tabor Hemming and others – McLaughlin came out on top in the 23k race last year after a great battle with Gibson.

The men’s VK is also looking incredibly competitive. Darren Thomas, second last year, is back, and big names such as Jim Walmsley, ahead of Western States later this month, Philemon Ombogo Kiriago, Eli Hemming and Christian Allen are set to take him on.

Darren Thomas Broken Arrow VK 2023 photo credit Peter Maksimov
Darren Thomas was runner up in the VK last year [Photo credit: Peter Maksimov]

McLaughlin and Hemming bid for repeat wins

Many of the runners are racing both the VK and Sunday’s Skyrace, with a day in between to recover.

Last year the Skyrace was severely affected by snow but the snowline isn’t as low this year.

Last year’s winner McLaughlin is doing the double, as are Tabor Hemming, who was third last year, and Annie Dube.

Allie McLaughlin Broken Arrow 2023 photo credit Peter Maksimow
Can Allie McLaughlin lands the spoils again? [Photo credit: Peter Maksimow]

In the men’s Skyrace the defending champion is also back, with Eli Hemming joined by the rest of last year’s podium – Chad Hall and Meikael Beaudoin-Rousseau.

Allen and Thomas are poised to double up and, to shake things up even further, former world champion Joe Gray is also on the start list.

Jonathan Turner
Written by
Jonathan Turner
Jonathan Turner is News Director for both TRI247 and RUN247, and is accustomed to big-name interviews, breaking news stories and providing unrivalled coverage for endurance sports.  

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