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GTWS race two 2024 – Four Sisters women’s results: Njeru climbs to victory

Jonathan Turner
News Director
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Joyce Muthoni Njeru ran out the brilliant women’s winner of the second Golden Trail World Series race of 2024 – the Four Sisters Mountain Trail in China.

The Kenyan had opened up a significant lead in the opening race in Japan last week but faded into fourth on the final loop as Maude Mathys (FRA) notched a comeback win.

But this time she proved by far the strongest as she maintained her pace to cross the line in front in 2:25:27 for her first GTWS victory, with Patrick Kipngeno making it a double for Kenya by winning the men’s race.

Mathys was second, just over four minutes back, with two-time World Mountain Running Champion Grayson Murphy (USA) rounding out the podium in third on what was her long-awaited GTWS debut.

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How the race played out

The long uphill 1,000-metre climb which started the 22km race always looked like suiting Njeru and so it proved.

As she had seven days earlier, she had what looked like a commanding lead at the first checkpoint – but would it be enough to hold off the chasers on the technical descents which were to follow?

By the second checkpoint she’d actually extended it to over four minutes on Mathys and the gap was maintained on the lightning quick run to the finish.

Joyce Njeru wins Four Sisters Mountain Trail 2024 GTWS [Photo credit: Golden Trail World Series | Four Sisters Mountain Trail | Colin Olivero]
[Photo credit: Golden Trail World Series | Four Sisters Mountain Trail | Colin Olivero]
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‘The perfect race’

She was understandably delighted afterwards, saying: “I’m so happy! On the start line, I was getting a bit worked up because I wanted this victory so badly and I knew I was capable of it. But I quickly calmed myself down and got into my pace.

“Today, it wasn’t about battling with the others it was about battling with myself to do the perfect race. I knew I was strong in both the climbs and downhills, and I proved it today.”

More reaction from the podium

Mathys, victorious in Japan, this time had to settle for second place and she admitted: “It was a tough race today, but I’m happy. I tried to set off slowly and control my heart rate because I didn’t want to suffer with the altitude.

“Grayson passed me at the top before the first big downhill, but bizarrely I managed to catch up with her just before I got to the bottom and that gave me a confidence boost for the rest of the race, and so I carried on accelerating even though it was mega tough from the race’s halfway point.”

Murphy didn’t disappoint on her GTWS debut and finished third despite suffering from cramps along the way. She explained: “I was having so much fun, and then suddenly I started getting cramps just near the end of the downhill. I tried getting some nutrition in, but the cramps persisted, I’ve even got them now! I’ve never had this problem before, so I need to find out what happened.

“But I’m really pleased with this first race on the Golden Trail Series and will come on other stages for sure!”

2024 GTWS race two – Four Sisters Mountain Trail, Saturday April 27, 22km

WOMEN

  1. Joyce Muthoni Njeru (KEN) – 2:25:27
  2. Maude Mathys (FRA) – 2:29:44
  3. Grayson Murphy (USA) – 2:34:26
  4. Naiara Irigoyen (ESP) – 2:34:56
  5. Malen Osa Ansa (ESP) – 2:36:17
Top five women Four Sisters Mountain Trail 2024 GTWS [Photo credit: Golden Trail World Series | Four Sisters Mountain Trail | Colin Olivero]
[Photo credit: Golden Trail World Series | Four Sisters Mountain Trail | Colin Olivero]
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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