What Goes up, Must Come Down.

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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 final race of the 2022 World Mountain and Trail Running Championship, the Classic (uphill & downhill) Mountain race, closed out a weekend of phenomenal racing by athletes from across the globe. The lollipop course was flat for roughly a kilometer before sending the athletes straight uphill for 475 meters (1,558 feet) then launching them back downhill to the finish, for a total of 10.7-kilometers (6.6 miles). Missing a few favorites, notably Grayson Murphy (who did not make the trip due to injury) and Vertical/Uphill top-five finishers Joe Gray and Andrea Mayr from Friday’s event the podium had a few more steps open than usual. There’s a little more to the story – but let’s just start with, it was a day for Uganda.

Ugandan runner Rebecca Cheptegei dominated the race from start to finish
Rebecca Cheptegei showed complete control over the field as she ran away to a nearly 30 second margin of victory.
Allie Mac of team USA and Kenyan favorite Joyce run shoulder to shoulder from the start line
Friday’s Uphill World Champion, Allie McLaughlin, runs shoulder to shoulder with Kenya’s Joyce Njeru.
Ugandan Annet Chelangat Chemengich finished in the 2nd place position in the uphill downhill race
Running aggressively from the start Annett Chemengich Chelangat runs to a solid 2nd place finish.
American Sam Lewis rockets down the hill
Team USA’s Sam Lewis heads into a steeper downhill section of Sunday’s course.
Monica Madalina Florea of Romania looks for a podium position but comes up just short.
With a pair of 4th place finishes this weekend, Romania’s Monica Florea may have come up short on a World Championship medal, but she put together two incredible runs.
Team USA's Rachel Tomajczyk on her way to helping the US secure a third place in the women's team race.
Team USA’s Rachel Tomajczyk pushes hard to help the women’s team secure a bronze medal in the team competition.

Uganda was close to sweeping the women’s race with Rebecca Cheptegei and Annet Chelangat Chemengich going 1-2 in 46:25 and 46:52 respectively – if their teammate Rispa Cherop hadn’t collapsed less than a mile from the finish the podium would have been a sea of the yellow, red, and brown from the Ugandan kits. In third was Friday’s Uphill World Champion, Allie McLaughlin, in 48:31 helping to secure a bronze medal finish for Team USA in the process. Winning the women’s team competition was Switzerland led by a 6th place finish from Judith Wyder, the team from Great Britain took second. Complete results can be found here.

Samuel Kibet one his way to becoming the 2022 Uphill/Downhill World Champion.
On his was to a near perfect day for the Ugandan Men, Samuel Kibet, runs to victory in the Uphill & Downhill Mountain Race.
Patrick Kipngeno chases Timothy Toroitich on the downhill, they would go on to finish 2nd and 3rd respectively.
Friday’s Uphill Champion Patrick Kipngeno (Kenya) thwarts Uganda on a podium sweep by chasing down Timothy Toroitich (Uganda).
Shut out of a 1-2-3 for Uganda Leonard Chemonges ultimately finishes 4th in the Uphill & Downhill race.
Just off the podium, Uganda also took the 4th and 5th positions with Leonard Chemonges and Eluid Cherop.
Team USA Dan Curts on his way to a 16th place finish.
Dan Curts leads the USA men on the day running his way to a 16th place finish.
Team USA's Mason Coppi pushes to the finish line.
Mason Coppi of team USA.
Moran Elliott makes good on two weeks of racing post GTWS finals in Madeira last week.
Coming off a week of racing at the Golden Trail World Series Finals Morgan Elliott pushes the pace downhill in Sunday’s race.
While not the day he had hoped for, team veteran Andy Wacker pushes hard to the finish.
Team veteran Andy Wacker fights his way to the finish.

You might be thinking – where was Uganda on Friday? Well it turns out the men’s transport to the race took them to the wrong location on the mountain. A mistake that could and should have been avoidable, but for what they missed on Friday they made up for during Sunday’s race. Not only did they win the men’s team competition they took four of the top five positions with Samuel Kibet taking the win in 40:02, Timothy Toroitich in 3rd in 40:26, Leonard Chemonges 4th in 40:51, and Elide Cherop in 41:27. The only man to ruin Ugandas otherwise perfect day was Friday’s Uphill World Champion, Kenya’s Patrick Kipngeno in 2nd at 40:12. Behind Uganda in the team competition was Spain in Italy, the US men’s team finished 9th on the day. Complete results can be found here.

Want to relive action from the rest of the week?
Find the 40-kilometer and 80-kilometer action here.
Find the crowning of the uphill champions here.
Relive the opening ceremonies here.
Follow along as the women’s 40-kilometer team previews the course.
Welcome Team USA to Thailand with us as they take their first runnings steps in a new place – here.

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