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Kipngeno and Njeru kick off Mountain Running World Cup in style with dominant wins

Jonathan Turner
News Director
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Patrick Kipngeno and Joyce Njeru took the wins as impressive fields lined up for the Broken Arrow Vertical Kilometre on Friday, the race that started the 2024 Valsir Mountain Running World Cup schedule.

Both Kipngeno and Njeru are habitual winners in this series – but the opposition they faced this time was incredible.

Jim Walmsley – last year’s UTMB winner and favourite for Western States next week – was the man who was closest to Kipngeno. And Njeru saw off last year’s winner Anna Gibson and others.

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Women’s race – All about Njeru

It was fantastic racing to the summit of Washeshu Peak – and Njeru produced her customary dominant display.

She moved into the lead after 1.5km and despite the quality of her rivals – it was 2023 winner Gibson in second and Allie McLaughlin in third – she wasn’t threatened.

Njeru stopped the clock in 45:39 and it was nearly two minutes back to Gibson at 47:35 and McLaughlin at 47:50.

Joyce Njeru at Gran Canaria. Courtesy of WMRA, credit Marco Gulberti.

Men’s race – Kipngeno dominates

The race started on the valley floor and climbs its way up 914m (3,000 feet) over 4.8km (3 miles) to the summit of Washeshu Peak at 2708m (8885 feet).

Despite some changes to the course this year, along the way it still took in some brutally steep terrain, leading up to the iconic Headwall Ridge and the ‘stairway to heaven’ bolted ladder.

Kipngeno, who has already had a fantastic season including starring roles at the Golden Trail Race World Series, took all of that in his stride.

And like Njeru he was a class apart.

Which was all the more impressive given that Walmsley was his closest challenger – 36:29 and 37:49 were their times for the brutal course.

Meikael Beaudoin-Rousseau rounded out the podium in third.

Kipngeno and Njeru win credit Jonathan Wyatt
Kipngeno and Njeru after their wins [Photo credit: Jonathan Wyatt]
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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