Engelhardt and Omaya Aduya Grossklockner Mountain Run | Report

Germany’s Nina Engelhardt and Kenya’s Richard Omaya Atuya won the Grossklackner Mountain Run in Heiligenblut on Sunday (7), the second gold label race of the 2024 Valsir Mountain Running World Cup.

In contrast to the series’ season-opening race, conditions in the Austrian countryside proved tough for the runners with temperatures of 9C and winds of up to 30km/h on a wet and foggy day.

This iconic race takes place in the shadow of Austria’s highest mountain, the Grossglockner (3798m). Runners start from the village of Heiligenblut on a 13.4km route with 1300m of elevation gain to the finish in Kaiser-Franz-Josephs-Hohe.

Women race

Defending champion Philaris Jerudo Kisang and Run2Gather’s Gloria Sebet took an early lead with Scout Atkin, Joyce Muthoni Njeru, Susanna Chapungi and Engelhardt.

In the middle section of the race, Engelhart – winner of the uphill and downhill races at the recent European Off Road Running Championships – moved into the lead and built up a gap of about a minute. Jerudo Kisang now took second place, while Sebet and Atkin were neck and neck, with a small gap to Chapungi and Muthoni Njeru.

It soon became clear that Engelhard could not be caught, but the battle for the rest of the podium places was incredibly close. Engelhardt was first to beat Kaiser-Franz-Josephs-Hohe in 1:22:09. Gerudo Kisang took second place and finished in 1:23:45, Sebet completed the podium 13 seconds behind. Adkin finished fourth and Muthoni Njeru fifth.

The men’s race was incredibly close throughout. Richard Omaya Atuya took it from the start with Run2Gather teammate Jospat Kiprodich. Another of their teammates, Michael Celilo Souli, was in close competition with Philemon Abraham and Joe Stewart.

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Mwangi separated Njeri and Kibrodich a bit. In the middle division they managed to create a small gap to Celilo Savoli, and he held off Paul Machoka and the German athletes Lucas Erle and Abraham. Stewart, an early challenger, also fell back in the middle division.

It was close, but Omaya Atuya came out first in Kaiser-Franz-Josefs-Höhe to take the win in 1:10:04, 21 seconds ahead of Kiprotich. Selelo Saoli retained third place, Machoka fourth and Ehrle fifth. A spectacular sprint finish with only one second separating them.

Leading results

Women
1 Nina Engelhardt (GER) 1:22:09
2 Philaris Jerudo Kisong (KEN) 1:23:45
3 Gloria Sebet (KEN) 1:23:58
4 Scout Adkin (GBR) 1:24:05
5 Joyce Muthoni Njeru (KEN) 1:25:09

Men
1 Richard Omaya Aduya (KEN) 1:10:04
2 Jospat Kiprodich (KEN) 1:10:25
3 Michael Celilo Savoli (KEN) 1:12:4
4 Paul Machoka (KEN) 1:13:45
5 Lukas Ehrle (GER) 1:13:46

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