Get Ready For The 2023 Valsir World Cup
This weekend sees the first races in this year’s World Cup. Let’s find out what we’ve got in store over the next four months.
The 2023 Valsir World Cup has an exciting mix of races which are new to the series, as well as established favourites which attract the best athletes year after year. We are certain to see some incredible racing and discover up-and-coming runners, all under the backdrop of some of the most stunning mountain locations in the world. We continue to partner with our sponsor Valsir in order to keep growing and developing the World Cup.
Let’s take a look at the 17 races across 11 events in 8 countries, which make up the 2023 Valsir Mountain Running World Cup.
First up and kicking off the 2023 World Cup is Gold Label race Broken Arrow in Palisades Tahoe in the USA spanning 16th to 18th June. This race first debuted in the World Cup in 2019 and this year it will again provide a vertical uphill race (6.8km with 954m of ascent) and a long mountain race (23km/1533m).
Broken Arrow describes itself as ‘European-inspired mountain running characterized by off-trail scrambling, steep terrain, and massive amounts of vertical gain and loss’ and the majority of it takes place at over 2000m. It always boasts top elite fields in both races and it’s a fitting place to begin this year’s World Cup.
From the USA we head to Zakopane in Poland for our first Silver Label race of the year at Tatra Race Run on 25th June. This is our next long mountain race over 24km with 1700m of ascent. This race made its debut in the 2021 World Cup and it takes place in in the Tatra Mountains, the highest range in the Carpathian Mountains between Poland and Slovakia.
The following weekend (2nd July) the World Cup moves on to Portugal for our next Gold Label race, Montemuro Vertical Run, a classic mountain race in Castro Daire. It’s only the 3rd edition of this event but at its World Cup debut last year it proved to be a stunning location and a fast, runnable course with 980m of ascent over 10.2km. The final steep, technical climb to the summit delivered a brutal sting in the tail with panoramic views.
After a weekend off we then roll on to our next Gold Label event, a double header in Malonno with Piz Tri Vertical on 15th July and Fletta Trail (classic mountain race) on 16th July. These races will showcase the fervency of Italian mountain running and are sure to attract a top field like they do every year.
From Italy we head to France for the next Gold Label race on 22nd July, La Montee Du Nid D’Aigle. This is another classic mountain race of 19.5km with 2000m of ascent, taking place in Saint Gervais Mont Blanc. The ‘climb to the eagle’s nest’ is steeped in tradition – this will be its 36th edition – and is seen as a must-do race for mountain runners. It delivered some amazing racing in the World Cup in 2021 and 2022.
After a brief summer break the World Cup returns on 12th August with arguably the most famous mountain race of all, Sierre Zinal. This year marks its 50th edition and there’s no doubt that it will attract a top field of international runners. ‘Le Course des Cinq 4000s’ is our next long mountain race at 31km with 2200m of ascent and 1100m of fast, runnable descent.
September sees some more big World Cup races. Firstly, we head to Nasego for our second Italian double header on 2nd and 3rd. On the Saturday we have the 8th Vertical Nasego, our next vertical uphill race with 1000m of ascent over just 4.1km. This race is always a classic of the mountain running calendar and provides some unforgettable images as the final section is so steep it requires hands as well as feet. The following day Trofeo Nasego provides our next long mountain race of 21km with 1330m of ascent, most of which comes in the second half. Runners have a flatter, fast first half, then they take on the steep climb to Refugio Nasego before the final descent.
The next weekend (8th to 10th September) we go to Spain for the first of two weekends of Gold Label World Cup racing this year. Canfranc-Canfranc, the race which will host the 2025 World Mountain and Trail Running Championships, will provide the setting for another vertical uphill race, with 927m of ascent over 4km, and our next classic mountain race of 16km with 1600m of positive ascent. In the vertical uphill race runners will start at Rosieta and top out at Tuca Blanca at 2400m. On the circular route of the classic mountain race runners will head to the peak of La Moleta at 2572m at the 5.8km point, then race it out over 10km downhill to the finish at Canfranc Estacion.
Next up on 30th September is a visit to Primiero in Italy for a Silver Label race making its debut in the World Cup - the Primiero Dolomiti Trail race, which is a classic mountain race, followed by another Silver Label race on 7th October at an old favourite for the World Cup, Smarna Gora Race. This will be the 44th edition of this historic race.
Finally it’s back to Spain for the Sky Gran Canaria Gold Label races on 13th to 15th October. The beautiful town of Agaete on the coast will play host to three races – a vertical uphill, classic mountain and a long mountain – which will decide the final World Cup standings for the runners.