Palisades Tahoe, California – Kenyan athletes Joyce Muthoni Njeru and Patrick Kipngeno demonstrated their dominance by securing victories in both the Vertical Kilometer (VK) and Skyrace events at the Broken Arrow Skyrace this weekend. Their remarkable performances took place from Friday through Sunday, June 23.

The 23-kilometer Broken Arrow Skyrace served as the first gold label long race of the 2024 Valsir Mountain Running World Cup. The course featured a challenging 1,533-meter ascent, guiding runners through notable highlights of the area, including KT-22 and the iconic Washeshu Peak. Beginning in Palisades Tahoe Village, most of the race was set above the tree line, presenting technical and demanding trails.

 

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This year, the race benefited from ideal weather conditions, a stark contrast to last year’s snow-impacted event. Warm temperatures, clear blue skies, and a mostly snow-free route provided an excellent environment for competition.

Joyce Muthoni Njeru took an early lead in the women’s race, reaching the first timing point at Snow King (4.6 miles) in 40:23, almost two minutes ahead of Tabor Hemming. Last year’s champion, Allie McLaughlin, was a minute behind, closely followed by Jade Belzberg and Daniella Moreno. By the 7.8-mile mark, Njeru had increased her lead to nearly three minutes over Hemming, with McLaughlin and Belzberg trailing.

Joyve Njeru winning the Broken Arrow Skyrace. Photo:©Scott Rokis

Njeru maintained her lead at High Camp (10.5 miles), arriving two and a half minutes ahead of Hemming. The battle for the podium spots was fierce among Hemming, Belzberg, and McLaughlin. In the final downhill stretch, Njeru secured her win with a time of 2:11:52. Belzberg surged ahead to claim second place in 2:12:29, while Hemming finished third in 2:13:31. McLaughlin and Moreno rounded out the top five.

In the men’s race, Patrick Kipngeno replicated his VK success by leading the Skyrace. He reached the first timing point in 32:49, a minute ahead of last year’s winner, Eli Hemming, with Philemon Ombogo Kiriago close behind. Kipngeno continued to extend his lead, maintaining a two-minute advantage at High Camp.

Patrick Kipngeno winning the men’s Broken Arrow Skyrace Photo:©Scott Rokis

Despite Hemming’s strong pursuit in the final downhill section, Kipngeno secured victory with a time of 1:45:37. Hemming finished second in 1:47:00, followed by Ombogo Kiriago in 1:50:23. Taylor Stack and Meikael Beaudoin-Rousseau completed the top five.

The next event in the Valsir Mountain Running World Cup is the first classic race of the series, scheduled to take place at Grossglockner in Austria on July 7.