What you need to know:
- Kenyans will also compete Vertical Uphill and Mountain Classic races.
- There are 1,600 athletes from 66 countries competing in five categories of the global event.
Kenya’s Patrick Kipngeno Wednesday successfully defended his 7.1km uphill title at the 2023 World Mountain and Trail Running Championships in Innsbruck-Stubai, Austria.
In the women's category, Philaries Jeruto Kisang had to settle for silver after struggling to hold off the opposition in a hellish last kilometre that involved tackling a steep hill. Kenya also won team gold in both categories to lead the table standings.
The versatile Kipngeno had to dig deep into his array of tricks to see off his pursuers in the closing stages of the uphill race, crossing the finishing line in 40min 18sec.
Uganda’s Levi Kiprotich came in second in 41:51 with another Kenyan Josphat Kiprotich sealing the third spot in 42:04. Kenyans Philemon Ombogo Kiriago (42:54) and Hillary Kimaiyo (43:44) to finished in seventh and 12th positions respectively.
Kipngeno, who has a personal best time of 62:42 in the half marathon and 29:22 in 10km, first won the world title last year in Thailand and, going by his dominance in Austria, is clearly the man to beat in this discipline.
Battling Jeruto clocked 48:51 in the women’s race behind Austria’s Andrea Mayr who cut the tape in 48:18 with Grayson Murphy from USA finishing third in 49:22.
The athletes started the race at an elevation of 1,000m before climbing a murram surface track up the hill to an elevation of about 2,118m above sea level. Kenyans will also compete Vertical Uphill and Mountain Classic races.
There are 1,600 athletes from 66 countries competing in five categories of the global event.