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Uphill Champions Crowned

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Mike McMonagle

By: Mike McMonagle

Our stories following Team USA at this years World Mountain and Trail Running Championships will feature images by Mike McMonagle and words by Corrine Malcolm. Find Mike taking photos near you - or in his backyard in Salt Lake City, Utah.

The World Mountain and Trail Running Championships kicked off Friday morning with the men’s and women’s uphill, or vertical, mountain race. The 8.5 kilometer (5.3 mile) race did not disappoint, with the best climbers in the world on the line – athletes erupted from the start corral and rapidly covered the initial flat kilometer quickly. From there, the heat and humidity that lingered in the jungle single track cooked the athletes as they covered 1065 meters, 3,494 feet, of climbing in under five miles.

Philemon Kiriago on his way to 2nd place
Philemon Kiriago on his way to a silver medal finish.
A battle for the podium plays out in the men's race
Switzerland’s Pascal Buchs makes his way up the climb.
Patrick Kipngeno
Men’s gold medal winner, Patrick Kipngeno, made it a 1-2 day for the Kenyan men.
Joseph Gray climbs with the men's top ten
Reigning World Champion, Joseph Gray, chases Switzerlands Joey Hadorn with Ireland’s Zak Hanna on his heels.
Alejandro Garcia Carrillo grits his way to a third place finish.
Grit in a grimace from Spain’s Alejandro Garcia Carrillo on his way to an emotional bronze medal finish.
Oyvind Heiberg Sundby on his way up the climb
Norway’s Øyvind Heiberg Sundby fighting his way through the vertical kilometer.
Cam Smith from Team USA pushes the climb
Cam Smith fighting hard to help Team USA secure a 4th place team finish.
Coffee Beans on the plant along the world championship course
This one’s for Mike – if you like coffee, Chiang Mai might be a place to add to your travel bucket list.

In the men’s race Kenyans Patrick Kipngeno and Philemon Kiriago came out on top finishing in 46:51 and 48:24 respectively. If you need a good cry, go watch an emotional Alejandro Garcia Carrillo claim bronze in 49:03 – it will hit you right in the feels. Hot on Alejandro’s heels, only 30-seconds off the podium, were Joey Hadorn, Zak Hanna, and Joseph Gray finishing in 4th, 5th, and 6th. In the team competition Italy claimed gold, Switzerland the silver, and Spain the bronze. Team USA, comprised of Joseph Gray (6th), Cam Smith (20th), and Dan Curts (24th) ultimately finished fourth – or as the live announcer called it “the chocolate medal.” You can find full results here.

Children line the course during the vertical mountain race at WMTRC
Allie Mac on her way to winning the vertical mountain title
Team USA’s Allie McLaughlin on her way to an impressive gold medal performance in today’s uphill mountain race.
Andrea Mayr on her way to a phenomenal 2nd place
Austria’s Andrea Mayr runs her way to silver medal finish 16 years after her first World Championship win.
Maude Mathys climbs to a third place finish
A multi-time European Champion, Maude Mathys climbs her way to the bronze medal.
Lauren Gregory on her way to a 12th place finish
Five years after a junior worlds bronze medal Lauren Gregory joins the senior ranks and finishes 12th on the day.
Rachel Tomajczyk rounds out the women's team for the US
Rachel Tomajczyk fights hard on her way to helping Team USA lock in the women’s Team Gold in the uphill mountain race.

Does Allie McLaughlin get tired? That was the question on many minds as Allie Mac came ripping down the finishing straight to claim the title of World Champion in a time of 55:15. Fair to say, we are all blown away, still buzzing after a week of phenomenal performances by Allie at the Golden Trail World Series Finals just five days ago! She was pursued by a hard charging Andrea Mayr, who comes into this championship weekend in search of a record equaling 7th world title. At 43 years old Andrea did not get that title today but adds a silver medal, in a time of 55:41, to her long list of running accolades. Rounding out the women’s podium in third place position was the Swiss and European Champion Maude Mathys in 56:00 well clear of 4th place. All three of these women will be lining up for Sunday’s short course Uphill/Downhill race – and we could see a very similar podium unfold. In the team competition the US Women’s team climbed to the top of the podium to take home the gold with Allie McLaughlin joined by Lauren Gregory (12th) and Rachel Tomaczyk (26th). The United Kingdom and Switzerland finished 2nd and 3rd respectively. Full results can be found here.

Children cheering on the side of the vertical mountain course
Taking the "red-truck" up the mountain for photos

Up next the 40-kilometer Short Trail Race and 80-kilometer Long Trail Race take to the mountain Saturday morning in Chiang Mai (Friday evening in the US). Representing the US will be Michelle Merlis, Kristina Mascarenas, Stevie Kremer, Kimber Mattox, Ashley Brasovan, Max King, Jonathan Aziz, Noah Williams, Joseph DeMoor, and Zach Miller on the 40km Team. On the 80km Team the US will be representing by Brittany Charboneau, Kaytlyn Gerbin, Leah Yingling, Addie Bracy, Adam Peterman, Adam Merry, Jeff Colt, and Eric LiPuma. Live timing should be available here.

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