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Njeru and Kiriago take Fletta Trail wins in WMRA Mountain Running World Cup


Philemon Kiriago brok the Fletta Trail record this weekend at the latest installment of the Valsir WMRA Mountain Running World Cup, with Joyce Njeru winning the women’s race. 

The weekend’s racing in Malonno, Italy was almost a clean sweep for Kenyan athletes, with Patrick Kipngeno winning the Vertical Kilometre race, the Piz Tri Vertical.  

The only non-Kenyan win came in the women’s field of that race, Austrian Andrea Mayr taking the title and breaking the record, a feat Kipngeno also accomplished. 

Kiriago captures Fletta Trail record

The Fletta Trail is categorised as a Classic Mountain Race on the WMRA Mouintain Running World Cup. 

21km long with 1,100m of ascent, the race started and finished in Malonno, a small community known as the “village of mountain running.” 

The men’s podium at Fletta Trail 2023. Photo courtesy of WMRA, credit Marco Gulberti.

And it was Kenya’s Philemon Kiriago who made the village his home. Having taken second on the Saturday in the Vertical Kilometre (VK), he aimed to go one further in the Fletta Trail- a goal he accomplished with considerable ease. 

He led from start to finish, and whilst his competitors were able to stay in contact with him he broke away on the final downhill, crossing the line in a record time of 1.24.22. 

German Filimon Abraham came behind him, finishing in a time of 1.27.14, while Italian Cesare Maestri took third in his home country. 

With both the weekend’s VK and Classic Mountain Race categorised as Gold Label races, Kiriago was able to move up to first place in the overall WMRA Mountain Running World Cup standings with his respective second place and victory. 

Njeru chases down Mayr

Andrea Mayr shot into the lead of the Women’s field at Fletta Trail on Sunday, as she seeked to double up on her Vertical Kilometre victory the day before. 

But Kenya’s Joyce Njeru stayed in close contact with Mayr throughout the race, and by the time of the final downhill descent back to Malonno she had put herself in position for a thrilling finish. 

She chased down the Austrian leader in formidable fashion, emerging into the Italian village ahead of her rival to take the win in a time of 1.39.05, just 40 seconds ahead of Mayr. In third came Philaries Kisang, who finished in a time of 1.41.13. 

Joyce Njeru crosses the line at Fletta Trail. Photo courtesy of WMRA, credit Marco Gulberti.

Njeru was fifth in the Vertical Kilometre and, along with victory in the Fletta Trail, that helped her to move to first in the overall standings.  

She is joint on 110 points with Britain’s Scout Adkin, with Mayr and Anna Gibson of the US both close behind on 90. 

The next stop for the Valsir WMRA Mountain Running World Cup is Saint Gervais, France, for La Montee du Nid D’Aigle this coming weekend. The weekend’s event features one World Cup race, cateogrised as a Gold Label Classic Mountain Race. 

WMRA Mountain Running World Cup: Fletta Trail & Piz Tri Vertical results

Men’s Fletta Trail Results 

  1. Philemon Kiriago (KEN) 1.24.22 
  1. Filimon Abraham (GER) 1.27.14 
  1. Cesare Maestri (ITA) 1.28.49 
  1. Sylvain Cachard (FRA) 1.29.14 
  1. Marco Filosi (ITA) 1.29.29 

Women’s Fletta Trail Results 

  1. Joyce Njeru (KEN) 1.39.05 
  1. Andrea Mayr (AUT) 1.39.45 
  1. Philaries Kisang (KEN) 1.41.13 
  1. Monica Florea (ROU) 1.43.04 
  1. Scout Adkin (GBR) 1.43.24 

Men’s Piz Tri Vertical Results 

  1. Patrick Kipngeno (KEN) 32.03  
  1. Philemon Kiriago (KEN) 34.04 
  1. Joe Steward (GBR) 34.35 
  1. Andrea Rostan (ITA) 34.50 
  1. Filimon Abraham (GER) 35.02 

Women’s Piz Tri Vertical Results 

  1. Andrea Mayr (AUT) 37.14 
  1. Scout Adkin (GBR) 38.59 
  1. Philaries Kisang (KEN) 39.49 
  1. Monica Florea (ROU) 40.23 
  1. Joyce Njeru (KEN) 41.40 

For up to date Valsir WMRA World Cup standings, click HERE

Patrick Ryan
Written by
Patrick Ryan
Patrick is a major contributor to TRI247 and RUN247. A keen hiker with wide experience in sports journalism, he has covered the Olympics and Commonwealth Games.

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