Skyrunning UK inaugural Peaks SkyRace August 3rd

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The inaugural Peaks SkyRace takes place this coming weekend, August 3rd, launching the first ‘Sky’ distance race in the Skyrunner® National Series UK.

‘This course combines altitude with technical terrain and some superb views; a combination which should please the most discerning athlete,’ Craig explained, ‘a personal highlight on the course without a doubt is Ramshaw Rocks, it’s beautiful and rugged.’

Covering a distance of 29.7-miles, with a total elevation gain and loss of 2012m, the Peaks SkyRace is expected to be a real test that combines tough technical running with the addition of pace, for those who wish to push the envelope.

 Skyrunning UK Sponsored by

Based on an old Peak District Challenge called the ‘Five Trigs Round’ for which there is no fixed course, just the requirement to visit five specific trig points. The route takes in some of the best of the White Peak District as well as including the highlights of the traditional round.

©mickkenyon.com

©mickkenyon.com

‘The Peaks may not have the raw elevation of the Lakes or Snowdonia, but it has rugged technical terrain,’ said Richard Weremiuk, race director.

‘It has been a priority from day one to ensure that Skyrunning UK provides courses of varying length, difficulty, elevation and terrain on some of the most iconic trails and areas of the UK.’  said Skyrunning UK Director, Ian Corless.

Put the date in your diary, August 3rd 2014 and we look forward to seeing you all for the UK’s very first Peaks SkyRace.

Event website HERE

Skyrunning UK sponsor ROCKTAPE will be available at the event offering advice and taping. In addition, Raidlight UK will have a selection of apparel and accessories.

Episode 66 – Krar, Enman, Forbes, McGregor

Ep66This is episode 66 of Talk Ultra and on this weeks show e catch up with Rob Krar after his incredible Western States. Kasie Enman is on the comeback trail after her 2nd child and we chat after a stellar 2nd place at Speedgoat 50k. Scott Forbes just this last weekend won Race to the Stones in the UK… a great result but Scott has an incredible story. In Talk Training we talk nutrition with Renee McGregor. The News, a Blog, Smile and Miles with Emelie Forsberg, Up and Coming Races and Pocket Rocket is back… Stevie Kremer.

NEWS

HARDROCK 100 results iRunFar
 
·      Kilian Jornet – 22:41:33
·      Julien Chorier – 25:07:56
·      Adam Campbell – 25:56:46
·      Jeff Browning  – 26:58:59
·      Scott Jaime  – 27:46:14

·      Darcy Piceu – 29:49:58
·      Betsy Kalmeyer – 37:57:22
·      Betsy Nye – 42:22
·      Tina Ure – 42:45
·      Suzanne Lewis – 42:55

 
SPEEDGOAT 50K

·      Sage Canaday  – 5:12:30
·      Paul Hamilton – 5:31:15
·      Alex Nichols  – 5:33:30
·      Rickey Gates  – 5:46:36
·      Mike Wolfe – 5:53:17

·      Anna Frost – 6:42:00
·      Kasie Enman  – 6:43:48
·      Ellie Greenwood – 6:53:04
·      Hillary Allen  – 7:03:57
·      Kerrie Bruxvoort  – 7:12:41

INTERVIEW with KASIE ENMAN
 
Skyrunning Ice Trail Tarentaise

  • Francois D’Haene 7:38
  • Fabian Antonilos 7:56
  • Tom Owens 8:02
     
  • Emelie Forsberg 9:25
  • Allessandra Carlini 9:42
  • Maud Gobert 9:42+
  • Skyrunning Dolomites SkyRace
     
  • Kilian Jornet 2:03:50
  • Ionut Zinca 2:05:20
  • Tadei Pivk 2:05:21
  • Manuel Merillas 2:07:29
  • Alexis Sevennec 2:07:54·
  • Laura Orgue 2:26:17
  • Emelie Forsberg 2:27:40
  • Maite Maiora 2:31:58
  • Christel Dewalle 2:35:53
  • Magdalena Kozielska 2:36:23
     
     
    DODO TRAIL
     
    ·      Ricky Lightfoot 5:19:21 new CR
    ·      Jean Pierre Grondin 5:55:30
    ·      Jeannick Boyer 6:02:54
     
    ·      Landie Greyling 6:49:10
    ·      Estelle Carret 6:51:55
    ·      Andrea Clemons 8:37:35 
    BLOG
     
    Dakota Jones has ab excellent write up on Hardrock 100 on iRunFar – http://www.irunfar.com/2014/07/falling-off-edges-hardrock-2014.html

     
    INTERVIEW

    ROB KRAR produced the 2nd fastest run ever at the 2014 Western States. We caught up with him just a few days after the race for a chat.

    SMILES and MILES with EMELIE FORSBERG

    TALK TRAINING with Renee McGregor lead nutritionist
     
     
    INTERVIEW
     
    SIMON FORBES won the Race to the Stones in the UK which is impressive. However, he has a fascinating back story.

     
    UP & COMING RACES
     
    Australia
    Australian Capital Territory
    Bush Capital 60 km Ultra | 63 kilometers | August 03, 2014 | website
    Queensland
    Flinders Tour – 50 km | 50 kilometers | July 27, 2014 | website

    Austria
    Dirndltal Extrem Ultramarathon | 111 kilometers | August 02, 2014 | website
    Pitztal-Gletscher Trail Maniak 95K | 95 kilometers | July 26, 2014 | website

    Belgium
    Flanders
    100 km Dodentocht® | 100 kilometers | August 08, 2014 | website

    Canada
    Alberta
    Canadian Death Race | 125 kilometers | August 02, 2014 | website

    Quebec
    Trans Gaspesia | 260 kilometers | August 03, 2014 | website

    Finland
    Lapland
    NUTS Midnight Sun Trail Ultra 125 km | 125 kilometers | July 25, 2014 | website
    NUTS Midnight Sun Trail Ultra 55K | 55 kilometers | July 26, 2014 | website

    France
    Haute-Corse
    Via Romana – 62 km | 62 kilometers | August 03, 2014 | website
    Haute-Savoie
    Trail du Tour des Fiz | 61 kilometers | July 27, 2014 | website
    Isère
    Défi de l’Oisans | 200 kilometers | July 27, 2014 | website
    Trail de L’Etendard | 65 kilometers | August 03, 2014 | website
    Jura
    Tour du Lac de Vouglans | 71 kilometers | July 26, 2014 | website
    Loiret
    L’Orleans-Océan | 410 kilometers | July 26, 2014 | website
    Savoie
    Courchevel X Trail 54 km | 54 kilometers | August 03, 2014 | website
    La 6000D | 65 kilometers | July 26, 2014 | website
    TCT 50 | 50 kilometers | August 03, 2014 | website
    TCT 73 | 73 kilometers | August 03, 2014 | website
    Ultra 6000D | 110 kilometers | July 26, 2014 | website

    Germany
    Bavaria
    Chiemgauer 100 k Mountain Ultra Run | 100 kilometers | July 26, 2014 | website
    Chiemgauer 100 mi Mountain Ultra Run | 100 miles | July 26, 2014 | website
    Brandenburg
    Berliner MauerwegNachtlauf | 62 kilometers | July 26, 2014 | website
    Lower Saxony
    Süntel-Trail 50K | 50 kilometers | July 26, 2014 | website

    Guadeloupe
    Rèd Mammel | 50 kilometers | July 25, 2014 | website
    Ultra Transkarukera | 120 kilometers | July 25, 2014 | website

    Italy
    Aosta Valley
    Monte Rosa Walser Ultra Trail | 50 kilometers | August 02, 2014 | website
    Piedmont
    Terra Acqua Cielo Wild Trail | 50 kilometers | August 03, 2014 | website

    Sicily
    Etna Trail | 64 kilometers | August 02, 2014 | website

    Veneto
    Trans d’Havet Ultra | 80 kilometers | July 26, 2014 | website

    Latvia
    Cēsis ECO Trail 80 km | 80 kilometers | August 02, 2014 | website

    Madagascar
    Isalo Raid – Grand Raid | 80 kilometers | July 26, 2014 | website

    Mauritius
    Trail des 7 Couleurs | 120 kilometers | July 26, 2014 | website

    Mongolia
    Mongolia Sunrise to Sunset 100K | 100 kilometers | August 06, 2014 | website

    Portugal
    Ultra-Trail Nocturno da Lagoa de Óbidos | 50 kilometers | August 02, 2014 | website

    Réunion
    Trail du Grand Ouest | 60 kilometers | August 02, 2014 | website

    Romania
    VLC Ultra TrailRun Petrimanu 56 | 56 kilometers | July 26, 2014 | website

    Russia
    Elbrus Mountain Race | 105 kilometers | August 01, 2014 | website

    Serbia
    Tara Challenge | 61 kilometers | August 02, 2014 | website
    Tara Ultramarathon | 115 kilometers | August 02, 2014 | website

    Spain
    Andalusia
    Subida Granada Pico Veleta | 50 kilometers | August 03, 2014 | website
    Aragon
    Calcenada – 104 km | 104 kilometers | August 01, 2014 | website
    Gran Trail Aneto-Posets | 109 kilometers | July 26, 2014 | website
    Vuelta al Aneto | 58 kilometers | July 26, 2014 | website
    Castile and León
    Gredos Infinite Run – 120 km | 120 kilometers | July 26, 2014 | website
    Tilenus Xtreme Ultra Trail 105 KM | 105 kilometers | July 25, 2014 | website
    Tilenus Xtreme Ultra Trail 60 KM | 60 kilometers | July 25, 2014 | website

    Catalonia
    BUFF® Epic Trail Aigüestortes | 100 kilometers | August 02, 2014 | website
    Cadí Ultra Trail | 80 kilometers | July 26, 2014 | website
    Ultra Catllaràs | 55 kilometers | July 26, 2014 | website
    Principality of Asturias
    Ultra Trail DesafíOSOmiedo | 86 kilometers | August 02, 2014 | website

    Sweden
    Tierra Arctic Ultra | 120 kilometers | August 08, 2014 | website

    Switzerland
    Grisons
    Swiss Alpine Marathon K78 | 78 kilometers | July 26, 2014 | website

    Thailand
    Bangkok Ultra Trail Festival – 50 km | 50 kilometers | August 03, 2014 | website

    Turkey
    DASK ADAM Anatolian Mountain marathon – Long Course | 75 kilometers | August 07, 2014 | website
    DASK ADAM Anatolian Mountain marathon – Medium Course | 60 kilometers | August 07, 2014 | website

    United Kingdom
    Cumbria
    The Montane Lakeland 50 | 50 miles | July 26, 2014 | website
    East Riding of Yorkshire
    The Montane Lakeland 100 | 100 miles | July 25, 2014 | website
    England
    Round the Rock | 48 miles | August 02, 2014 | website
    Round the Rock Ultra Marathon | 48 miles | August 02, 2014 | website
    Hampshire
    Oxfam Trailwalker GB (South) | 100 kilometers | July 26, 2014 | website
    Kent
    The 50 Mile Challenge | 52 miles | July 28, 2014 | website
    North Yorkshire
    Oxfam Trailtrekker GB (North) – 100 km | 100 kilometers | July 31, 2014 | website
    Oxfam Trailtrekker GB (North) – 65 km | 65 kilometers | July 31, 2014 | website
    Stirling
    Devil o’ the Highlands Footrace | 43 miles | August 02, 2014 | website

    USA
    Alaska
    Resurrection Pass 100 Mile Ultra Trail | 100 miles | August 08, 2014 | website
    Arizona
    Vertigo 63K Night Trail Run | 63 kilometers | July 26, 2014 | website
    California
    Angeles Crest 100 mile endurance run | 100 miles | August 02, 2014 | website
    Salt Point 50 km | 50 kilometers | August 02, 2014 | website
    San Francisco 100 Mile Endurance Run | 100 miles | August 02, 2014 | website
    San Francisco 50 Mile Endurance Run | 50 miles | August 02, 2014 | website
    San Francisco 52.4 Ultramarathon | 52 kilometers | July 27, 2014 | website
    Skyline 50K | 50 kilometers | August 03, 2014 | website
    Colorado
    Grand Mesa 100M | 100 miles | July 26, 2014 | website
    Grand Mesa 37.5M | 60 kilometers | July 26, 2014 | website
    Grand Mesa 50M | 50 miles | July 26, 2014 | website
    Mountain Ultra | 220 kilometers | August 01, 2014 | website
    Mount Werner Classic – 50K Trail Run | 50 kilometers | July 26, 2014 | website
    Ouray 100 Mile Endurance Run | 100 miles | August 02, 2014 | website
    Ragnar Relay Colorado | 200 miles | August 08, 2014 | website
    Wild West Relay | 200 miles | August 01, 2014 | website
    Idaho
    Standhope 60K | 60 kilometers | August 08, 2014 | website
    Wild Idaho 50K Enrudance Run | 50 kilometers | July 26, 2014 | website
    Wild Idaho 50M Enrudance Run | 50 miles | July 26, 2014 | website
    Maryland
    Catoctin 50k Trail Run | 50 kilometers | July 26, 2014 | website
    Minnesota
    Minnesota Voyageur Trail 50 Mile Run | 50 miles | July 26, 2014 | website
    Mississippi
    Big Butts 100K | 100 kilometers | July 26, 2014 | website
    Big Butts 50K | 50 kilometers | July 26, 2014 | website
    Montana
    HURL Elkhorn 50 K Ultramarathon | 50 kilometers | August 02, 2014 | website
    HURL Elkhorn 50 Mile Ultramarathon | 50 miles | August 02, 2014 | website
    Nevada
    Ruby Mountain Relay | 184 miles | August 08, 2014 | website
    North Carolina
    Mattamuskeet Death March | 100 kilometers | July 26, 2014 | website
    Ohio
    Burning River 100 Mile Endurance Run | 100 miles | August 02, 2014 | website
    Oregon
    Siskiyou Out Back Trail Run 50K | 50 kilometers | July 26, 2014 | website
    Siskiyou Out Back Trail Run 50M | 50 miles | July 26, 2014 | website
    Pennsylvania
    Viaduct Trail 100 Mile Ultramarathon | 100 miles | July 27, 2014 | website
    Viaduct Trail 150 Mile Ultramarathon | 150 miles | July 26, 2014 | website
    Viaduct Trail 50 Mile Ultramarathon | 50 miles | July 27, 2014 | website
    South Carolina
    Landsford Canal 50 K | 50 kilometers | July 26, 2014 | website
    Vermont
    Moosalamoo Ultra – 36 M | 36 miles | August 02, 2014 | website
    Virginia
    Dahlgren Heritage Rail Trail 50 km | 50 kilometers | August 02, 2014 | website
    Washington
    Grand Ridge 50K Trail Run (August) | 50 kilometers | August 02, 2014 | website
    White River 50 Mile Trail Run | 50 miles | July 26, 2014 | website

    CLOSE

3:51:35

Montane ready to tackle the Lakeland 100 and 50 2014

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This weekend will see the famous MONTANE® Lakeland 100 / 50 ultra distance races take place. With over 1,100 entrants and a strong, competitive field, this year’s race is certain to raise pulses – not just amongst the runners.

©Press release by Montane

The epic ML100 race starts from the John Ruskin School in Coniston on Friday 25 July, while the shorter, speedier ML50 sets off from Dalemain on Saturday 26 July. The 50-mile event this year is a British Athletics Ultra Trail Championship event and will without doubt see some fast racing from the top ladies and top men. Will course records be broken?

Several Team Montane members will be participating and hopes are high for spots on the podium.  Stepping up to the endurance ML100 will be Debbie Martin-Consani and Steven Major.  Both have tackled the event before, however, as veterans of the course will readily admit, prior experience doesn’t necessarily make it any easier.

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Debbie is an experienced ultra distance runner with various podium finishes under her belt, amongst which finishing 1st in the 145 mile Grand Union Canal Race in both the ladies and overall categories.  She has also been selected to run for Team GB for the International Association of Ultrarunners.  In 2013’s ML100, Debbie finished with a very respectable time of 26:02:00 in the ladies category, second only to Lizzie Wraith, who smashed the course record by just over 4 hrs 30 mins.

Steven took up running originally to fundraise for his son’s football team.  His first race was a 5 mile local fun run: “I found the run quite difficult, not having done enough training, but even so I got round in one piece and thoroughly enjoyed the camaraderie between other fun runners and organisers.  After experiencing this, I thought ‘I want to run it again’”.  Since that first 5 mile run, Steven has run longer, more difficult trail races.  This will be his third ML100.

The ML50, although it uses the second half of the ML100 course, is a completely different event.  Competitors are more tightly bunched together and competition is generally fiercer as the race distance is shorter.  Whereas ML100 participants take on average 30 hours to complete the course (the record stands at 19:50:37), the ML50 racers cross the finish line on average after 16 hours.  The current course record is 07:39:26.

Team Montane members Marcus ScotneyTony Holland and Stuart Mills are raring to compete and there will be fireworks aplenty!  All three have competed in either the ML100 or ML50 before – Stuart has previously focused on the ML100, Tony has experience of competing in both distances and Marcus has participated in the ML50.

©iancorless.com.IMG_5376IZNIK2014Marcus began running in 1994 and took on his first ultra marathon in 2008.  He has run trail, fell and road races and now concentrates on trail.  A high achiever, Marcus has numerous race wins to his name, most recently a stunning victory in the 130km Iznik Ultra in Turkey.  He returns to the ML50 after having to pull out of 2013’s race: “DNF’d at 28miles suffered with chest pain was like running up hill whilst running down down hill & breathing through a straw”.

Tony was propelled into the world of running in 2010 after being inspired by his son, who has Down’s Syndrome and regularly fundraises for the Northumberland Down’s Syndrome Support Group & Disability Activity through his running.  Initially a means of fundraising for Tony, it has transformed his life.  He is a regular on the trail running race circuit and last year set up his own specialist running store, http://www.ultra-runner.com/.  In 2012, Tony took on the ML100, but was forced to withdraw at checkpoint 9 of 14.  In 2013 he was back to tackle the ML50 and completed the course in a time of 12:18:49.  This year he will be on the start line once again for the ML50.

Finally, after winning the 2013 & 2010 ML100, legendary runner Stuart Mills will try his hand at the ML50.  He joined his local running club at the age of 14 and began training in earnest in 1978.  He ran his first marathon in Rotorua, New Zealand aged 17.  Stuart’s wealth of experience has led him to a set of core race tactics: “Run as fast as I can, while I can!”

But whether all or none of our fantastic Team Montane runners cross the finish line, one thing’s for sure – this year’s race will be electric.

For further information on the Montane Lakeland 100 / 50, click here

Ice Trail Tarentaise 2014 – Race Start Images

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The 2014 Ice Trail Tarentaise got underway at 0400 Sunday 13th July. It was a wet start but temperatures were mild and everyone was enthusiastic at the tough challenge that would be ahead.

Ones to watch in the men are Francois d’Haene winner of the ITT in 2012 and 2nd in 2013 behind Kilian Jornet and Luis Alberto Hernando who beat Francois in Chamonix just 2-weeks ago.

For the ladies, Emelie Forsberg 2013 champion returns but she will have strong competition from Francesca Canepa and Maud Gobert amongst others.

Race Preview HERE

Ice Trail Tarentaise Press Conference Images 2014

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The Skyrunner World Series – Ice Trail Tarentaise gets underway at 0400 Sunday 13th July from the town of Val D’Isere, France.

A press conference was held today, 1100hrs with many of the top elite runners assembled.

Luis Alberto Hernando and Emelie Forsberg, were crowned Skyrunning World Champions just 2-weeks ago in Chamonix. Will they be triumphant in Val D’Isere?

Luis will have strong competition from Francois d’Haene who placed 2nd to Kilian Jornet in the 2013 edition. In addition, we can expect strong performances from Tom Owens, Fulvio Dapit, Fabien AntolinosCaine Warburton, Vlad Ixel, Matt Cooper plus many more!

Francesca Canepa from Italy has been a last minute entry and will pressure Emelie along with Nuria Dominguez.

You can read a race preview HERE

Follow that action on iancorless.com, Talk Ultra Twitter and Skyrunning Facebook and Twitter feeds

Skyrunner® Series UK launches with V3K

V3K logo

 

It is finally here, the start of the Skyrunner® Series UK commences this weekend over the classic Welsh 3000’s in the heart of Wales.

An epic challenge awaits each and every participant as they cover 55 km’s, 15-peaks and over 4000m’s of vertical gain. ‘Where earth meets Sky’ is our ethos and the Welsh 3000’s will provide this in abundance.

Providing a classic mountain challenge, the V3K provides a point-to-point race over a route that has become revered for many a runner and walker. Crib Goch needs little introduction and provides the toughest section of the whole route.

V3K Route

Kirsch Bowker, RD for the V3K explains, ‘the launch of the Skyrunner® Series UK is a significant moment and to be involved right from the start is quite incredible for us. The route has it all from fast running to really technical rough terrain. It must rank as some of the most technical terrain covered by a UK mountain race.’

 

 

Starting in the early hours of Saturday morning, the V3K offers an incredible challenge because of the successive ascents and descents. It’s a tough challenge and one that must not be underestimated.

Approaching Elidir Fawr Llewelyn in the background_Alogo

‘The route ranks on a par with some of the races featured in the Skyrunner® World Series. Of course, the terrain in Wales may not be as high as the Alps or Dolomites but believe me, when images show the beauty and the majesty of this course, I firmly believe it will become an iconic Skyrunning race in the UK.’ Ian Corless, Director for Skyrunning UK said, ‘Kirsch and her team have done an incredible job in the build up to this race. We are now in that exciting time when the race is imminent and anticipation is high. It’s going to be a great day and an incredible start to the Skyrunner® Series UK’

‘I adore this route. I have covered every inch of this course time and time again.’ said Kirsch. ‘The hardest section of the course is down Crib y Ddysgl and then the ascent of Crib Goch and the traverse of its pinnacles.’

 pyow_A

Over 100-participants will toe the line from England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, Netherlands, China, Italy, Spain, Poland and Germany. It’s just the start the series needed and with follow on events such as The Peaks SkyRace in August, the 3×3 Ultra in early October and the Mourne Skyline MTR in Northern Ireland, the stage is set for an incredible series of races that will be expanded on in 2015 and moving forward.

A long-term aim has always been to bring the Worlds best mountain runners to our shores and provide a showcase for our sport to expand and grow. The news that Skyrunner® World Series 2013 champion, Stevie Kremer (Salomon) will race the Mourne Skyline MTR later this year is a sure sign that the V3K will be the start of something very special in the UK.

Stevie Kremer ©iancorless.com This growth would not be possible without the incredible support of the run community, enthusiastic and dedicated race organizers and importantly race sponsors. The Skyrunner® Series UK is incredibly grateful and thankful of the support and sponsorship provided by inov-8, Rocktape and Raidlight.

A final word from Kirsch, ‘we are having a festival/party at the finish with free food. We really want a crowd to welcome folk as they arrive. We really do want lots of people here!’

Skyrunning World Championships 2014 – In-Depth Preview

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Worlds collide in the endurance capital of the world this week when 28-nations congregate for the 2014 Skyrunning World championships.

*Please note, this preview will be updated with many potential changes within the coming days as we are made aware of any withdrawals.

The best-of-the-best will assemble to do battle over the classic Skyrunning distances of VK, SKY and ULTRA in the amazing endurance arena that is Chamonix. 

3400 athletes representing 28-nations will toe 3-separate start lines over an incredible weekend of racing starting on June-27th at 0400 with the 80km ULTRA event. The same day at 1600-hours the 4th edition of the Vertical Kilometer will start from the center of Chamonix. At 0700-hours on Sunday 29th, the 12th Mont-Blanc SKY Marathon will take place.

An epic weekend of racing!

The depth of talent travelling from all around the world is quite mind blowing and thus, making a prediction from such high quality fields is an endurance task in its own right. So, I have provided a list, ‘Ones to watch’ and for each race I have made my predictions that we can expect to don the podium for the ladies and the men. It’s no easy task…

No less than eight Skyrunner® World Series Champions will be present.

Some numbers for the record: 

  • 8 Skyrunner® World Series Champions
  • 28 national teams
  • 38 countries participating  
  • 46 top 20 ranked athletes 
  • 3,400 participants in the thee disciplines
  • 25,000 euros cash prizes

Individual world titles are at stake in each discipline as well as a combined title, based on the best results of two out of three races. Countries will be ranked according to the best results of three men and one woman in all three disciplines.

€ 25,000 cash prizes will be awarded and anti-doping controls will be carried out.

******

Chamonix VK The 4th annual Vertical Kilometer

Race start 16:00 Friday June 27th 

A route of pure ‘mountain’ spirit, that takes a straight and direct line from the center of Chamonix to the finish at Planpraz. Climbing 1000 vertical meters in 3.8km it’s a pure test of strength. Similar to a prologue in the Tour de France, runner’s start at timed 30-second intervals, the fastest to the summit is the winner!

The opening sections comprise of runnable trail, however, the last section is comprised of rocks and requires more commitment with notably a few aerial passages equipped with cables and ladders.

Records:

  • Kilian Jornet – 34:07
  • Christel Dewalle – 41:33

MEN

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The Dematteis brothers will without doubt be serious contenders after strong performances at the VK at Transvulcania La Palma. Like the Super Mario Brothers, these guys bring excitement and drama to any race.

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Saul Antonio Padua last years winner will have competition this year, however, his performance in the VK last year was world class. What do you think, another win?

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Kilian Jornet fresh from another Summit of my Life record may well not have much running in his legs but it has never slowed him before and why would it slow him this time?

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Eirik Haugsness placed 3rd last year and very much feels comfortable with the effort level required for a quality performance over the VK distance. He prefers a course that allows him to run and Chamonix provides exactly such a course, at least over the first 700-meters.

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Urban Zemmer is a class act on any VK and a specialist at the discipline. However, the Chamonix VK does not really suit his style. He will be in the mix but not on top of the podium. Zemmer was Skyrunner ® World Series Champion in 2013 and despite my thoughts, would almost certainly like the World title too! He placed 5th last year.

Alexis Sevennec placed 4th last year and comes from a ski mountaineer background, as so many VK specialists do. I don’t see him making the podium but he will be close, very close!

Finally, Marco Facchinelli placed 2nd in the Skyrunner® World Series in 2013 and like Zemmer will be looking to stamp his authority on the VK.

Ones to watch:

  • Kilian Jornet (Esp)
  • Saul Antonio Padua (Col)
  • Oscar Casal Mir (And)
  • Marc Casal Mir (And)
  • Aritz Egea (Esp)
  • Martin Gaffuri (Fra)
  • Alexis Sevennec (Fra)
  • Greg Vollet (Fra)
  • Didier Zago (Fra)
  • Tom Owens (Gbr)
  • Bernard Dematteis (Ita)
  • Martin Dermatteis (Ita)
  • Marco Facchinelli (Ita)
  • Urban Zemmer (Ita)
  • Dai Matsumoto (Jap)
  • Eirik Haugsness (Nor)
  • Thorbjorn Ludvigsen (Nor)
  • Jono Wyatt (Nzl)
  • Joakim Lanz (Swe)
  • Alex Nichols (Usa)
  • Marco Moletto (Ita)

LADIES

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Christel Dewalle set a course record on the VK in 2013 and will be looking for a repeat performance. Her strength and endurance was confirmed in 2013 with a top-quality 2nd place at Ice Trail Tarentaise.

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Laure Orgue Skyrunner® World Series Champion in 2013 is a VK specialist and as shown on many occasions previously will be looking to push as hard as possible for victory in Chamonix.

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Antonella Confortola on her day is one of the best VK specialists on the circuit, particularly when using poles. The Chamonix VK may be too runnable for Antonella but she will without doubt be up at the front as she was in 2013 when she placed 3rd.

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Stevie Kremer like Emelie is not a VK specialist but her mountain ability is quite incredible. How will she perform on the VK, well, it’s a question mark? After a stunning run at Zegama-Aizkorri one can assume that Stevie will be in the mix.

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Kasie Enman flew up the early climbs at Zegama-Aizkorri and led the race early on before Stevie Kremer reeled her in and took the lead. Because the VK is a flat out effort, I can’t help but think we will see Kasie create some fireworks.

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Finally, Brit, Tessa Hill has honed and fine-tuned her VK skills in recent years and without doubt, the Chamonix course suits her running VK style. Tessa was 3rd in the 2013 Skyrunner® World Series and placed on 5th at the 2013 Chamonix VK.

 Ones to watch:

  • Laura Orgue (Esp)
  • Christel Dewalle (Fra)
  • Stephanie Jiminez (Fra)
  • Janine Frost (Gbr)
  • Tessa Hill (Gbr)
  • Antonella Confortola (Ita)
  • Anna Eriksmo (Swe))
  • Landie Grayling (Sa)
  • Kasie Enman (Usa)
  • Stevie Kremer (Usa)
  • Axelle Mollaret (Fra)

  

The 12th annual Mont-Blanc SKY Marathon.

Race start 07:00 Sunday June 29th 

This year yet again athletes from 65 countries will compete in an exceptional and very technical course.

After starting from the center of Chamonix (1035m) it is a climb up the Arve valley by passing through the hamlet of Lavancher before reaching Argentiere (1250m).

In direction of Le Planet the course rejoins the Balcon Nord trail before re-descending in the direction of Montroc. Tré le Champ then it is the Col des Montets (1461m) at the heart of the Aigulles Rouges nature reserve.

By the Diligences route the runners cross the hamlet of Buet before rejoining Vallorcine (1260m) nestled at the end f the valley on the Swiss border. The climb begins toward the Aiguillette des Posettes (2200m). Efforts are rewarded by a sumptuous panorama of the Mont-Blanc range and the Chamonix valley. Facing the Aiguille du Tour and its glacier the trail descends by following the Crete des Fretes.

After several technical passages to the village of Le Tour (1453m) it is a return to tranquility on the path that longs the Bisme stream and then to Montroc (1382m). The runners cross through the hamlet of Frasserands and Tré le Champs before rejoining the historic trail of the Mont-Blanc Cross, at the heart of the Aiguilles Rouges facing the entire massif. The path rises up to La Flegere (1875m). After traversing the beautiful Charlanon combe (1812m) there is a soft little climb inviting everyone to take in the scenery.

Then the slopes intensify before the finish at Planpraz (2050m) the intermediary station of the Brevent that offers one of the most spectacular views of the Mont-Blanc. Race description ©Club Des Sports De Chamonix Mont-Blanc

Records:

  • Kilian Jornet – 3:30:41
  • Stevie Kremer – 4:03:16

 

MEN

Check the list out below… what a line-up. Last year we had a battle royal with Kilian Jornet, Marco De Gasperi and Luis Alberto Hernando. Only Kilian returns! Marco De Gasperi is not available to race and Luis has moved up to the Ultra distance. So, what is going to happen?

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No surprise, Kilian Jornet is odds on favourite. He won last year and why wouldn’t he this year? He certainly has less running in his legs than any other year but he lives and breathes the mountains and his need to run in preparation for a running race is somewhat distorted in the way the rest of us function.

My dark horse and potential apple cart shaker is Vlad Ixel. He is not a name many European runners will know but after some quality runs in the Southern Hemisphere, I firmly believe that Vlad will be the surprise of the whole 2014 Skyrunning World championships.

Michel Lanne

Michel Lanne

Michel Lanne was the joint winner of the 80km event with Francois d’Haene in 2013 and knows the mountains and terrain like the back of his hand. A recent quality performance at Zegama-Aizkorri confirms good form.

I’m pretty excited from a British perspective! We have a return to top flight racing for *Andy Symonds after a horrendous 2013 due to injury. Tom Owens pushed Kilian in 2012 and like Andy Symonds had a 2013 to forget. Oli Johnson placed 10th last year in Chamonix and Martin Cox seals the quartet of top UK talent. *injured

Zaid Ait Malek

Zaid Ait Malek

Zaid Ait Malek will smile is whole way around the marathon route and will potentially take (or just miss) the podium. He is an incredible mountain running talent.

Jono Wyatt – do I need to say anymore? He’s a mountain running legend. Jono has been there and done that for decades. You can NEVER rule him out as way saw at Sierre-Zinal last year.

Alex Nichols

Alex Nichols

USA has fast men *Alex Nichols (7th in 2013) If Alex is in great shape, it would be feasible for him to place in the top-10. However, this is a top quality field and the pressure will be on.  *injured

Didier Zago placed 6th last year but I believe he is taking a more casual approach to running these days. So my final shouts will go to Eirik Haugsness (5th last year) and up and coming star, Thorbjorn Ludvigsen.

Ones to watch:

  • Oscar Casal Mir (And)
  • Marc Casal Mir (And)
  • Vlad Ixel (Aus)
  • Miguel Caballero (Esp)
  • Aritz Egea (Esp)
  • Zigor Iturrieta Ruiz (Esp)
  • Kilian Jornet (Esp)
  • Jokin Lizeaga (Esp)
  • Augusti Roc (Esp)
  • Nicolas Bouvier (Fra)
  • Thibaut Baronian (Fra)
  • Martin Gaffuri (Fra)
  • Michel Lanne (Fra)
  • Didier Zago (Fra)
  • Martin Cox (Gbr)
  • Oli Johnson (Gbr)
  • Tom Owens (Gbr)
  • Andy Symonds (Gbr)
  • Florian Reichert (Ger)
  • Fabio Bazzana (Ita)
  • Dai Matsumoto (Jap)
  • Toru Myahara (Jap)
  • Zaid Ait Malek (Mor)
  • German Silva (Mex)
  • Tineke Van Den Berg (Ned)
  • Eirik Haugsness (Nor)
  • Thorbjorn Ludvigsen (Nor)
  • Jono Wyatt (Nzl)
  • Marcin Swierc (Pol)
  • Andre Castro (Pol)
  • Lucky Miya (Sa)
  • Marc Lauenstein (Sui)
  • Alex Nichols (Usa)

LADIES

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Stevie Kremer won the race last year with a new course record and one has to tip her as the hot favourite, particularly after her strong and dominant performance at Zegama-Aizkorri.

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Maite Mairoa is on a roll at the moment after a stunning Transvulcania and Zegama-Aizkorri performance. Maite has always been a dominant force in mountain running but this last 12-months has seen a change. She is a different runner and one that can push the best-of-the-best.

©iancorless.com_IMG_1042Zegama14

Elisa Desco won Sierre-Zinal ahead of Stevie Kremer in 2013 and then placed behind Stevie at Zegama. This can only mean that we are in for a high quality battle in the Chamonix arena.

Kasie Enman looked like she was going to throw race predictions out of the window at Zegama-Aizkorri but faltered in the latter stages when fatigue hit. Long haul travel or mother duties could be to blame but one thing is for sure, several weeks on I think we will see a much stronger and more dominant runner who will mix things up in Chamonix.

Final shout goes to Jo Meek from the UK who will be tipping her toe in the Skyrunning world. Jo was unknown last year bur 2nd place lady at Marathon des Sables, winning The Coastal Challenge in Costa Rica, a win at the Iznik Ultra and CR and most recently 5th placed lady at the iconic Comrades Marathon shows that Jo has all the speed required to do well! The biggest test for Jo will be the long climbs and technical running. I’m going to be seriously interested to see how this race goes.

 Ones to watch:

  • Jo Brishetto (Aus)
  • Nuria Dominguez (Esp)
  • Maite Maiora (Esp)
  • Aline Camboulive (Fra)
  • Juliette Benedicto (Fra)
  • Stephanie Jiminez (Fra)
  • Jo Meek (Gbr)
  • Antonella Confortola (Ita)
  • Elisa Desco (Ita)
  • Silvia Serafini (Ita)
  • Sharon Broadwell (Nor)
  • Landie Grayling (Sa)
  • Zhana Vokueva (Rus)
  • Kasie Enman (Usa)
  • Stevie Kremer (Usa)

 

The Mont-Blanc ULTRA 80km

Race start 04:00 Friday 27th

In 2013 the first edition left it’s mark in everyone’s minds. The technicality, beautiful scenery and paths delighted all runners. For the first runner and the last runner, the challenge was the same! Among fatigue, visions of gorgeous mountains, capricious weather, heat and snow, all the necessary ingredients for an extraordinary event beyond the norm came together for the birth of a legend…

After an early start (4:00am) from the center of Chamonix Mont-Blanc the runners will rise directly up to the Bellachat Hut (2246m) from where they will see the first rays of sunlight shining on the summit of the Mont-Blanc. After a short rest they will leave Brevent (2525m) to descent to Planpraz (1st refreshment post). At the heart of the Aiguilles rouges, a trail will take them to the Flegere and then to the chalet des Cheseryus before descending to the Col des Montets via la Tete au Vent.

The hamlet of the Buet (1330m) will mark the beginning of a long technical loop starting with the Tré les Eaux valley, then a demanding ascent up to the Col du Corbeau (2602m). Most likely with some snow still on the ground runners will enter into Swiss territory and head up the

Col de la Terrasse (2643m). In this mineral world the descent to the Emosson dam will require keen attentiveness on the final snowfields. Very soon the pastures of the Loriaz will allow the muscles to relax after over 50km of effort. But the rest period will be short-lived because once Vallorcine is crossed (1260m) the ascent of the aiguillette des Posettes will burn the calves and pump the cardio!

Facing the Mont-Blanc the descent along a ridge will require utmost caution to get through the numerous steps and reach the village of Le Tour and then Argentiere (1260m). Runners will then re-descend along the Balcon Nord in the direction of Chamonix and take the Marathon race route in reverse.

The final difficulty will be the climb up to Signal (2200m), running next to one of Chamonix’s most famous tourist sites, the Mer de Glace. A last balcony at the foot of the Aiguilles des Grands Charmoz de Blaitiere and the Fou will take the runners to the Plan d’Aiguille (2200m), which overhangs the Arve valley. 1200m lower the finish line will honor the deserving finishers…. Race description ©Club Des Sports De Chamonix Mont-Blanc

Records 

  • Francois d’Haene and Michel Lanne – 9:45:57 (joint record 2013)
  • Caroline Cheverot 13:10:05

 

MEN 

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Luis Alberto Hernando dominated Transvulcania La Palma this year and has decided to move up from the SKY distance (placed 3rd last year) to the ULTRA distance at Mont-Blanc. On his day he is one of the best in the world and I am sure Luis will be using this race as an opportunity to understand the mountain ready for his first UTMB later in the year.

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Francois d’Haene won the race last year and after consummate performances at Raid de la Reunion and the recent UTMF, one has to say that he is odds on favourite here!

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UTMB 2013 winner Xavier Thevenard has the perfect combination of skills to excel and place on the podium. His recent performance at Transvulcania was disappointing but these things happen in racing… I think Xavier will be a podium contender. In addition, he has just had a warm up on the UTMB route with his Asics team trying to beat the sun!

Ricky Lightfoot’s presence in the race really does excite me and if he shows some of the quality and skill shown at races such as The Otter in South Africa, The World Trail Running Champs and the Three Peaks then we are in for some real excitement. 

Mike Wolfe makes the journey from the USA and loves mountains with technical trail. He has performed at the highest level at UTMB before and will be looking to transfer those experiences to the 80km course.

Philipp Reiter, Salomon ©iancorless.com

Philipp Reiter, Salomon ©iancorless.com

Philipp Reiter, Adam Campbell, Jason Schlarb, Matt Cooper, Pablo Villa and the list goes on! It’s going to be an epic race.

Ones to watch:

  • Xavier Teixido (And)
  • Matt Cooper (Aus)
  • Pieter Schaaps (Bel)
  • Chico Santos (Bra)
  • Jason Loutit (Can)
  • Jan Bartas (Cez)
  • Martin Saenz (Ecu)
  • Pao Bartolo (Esp)
  • Luis Alberto Hernando (Esp)
  • Pablo Villa ((Esp)
  • Sebastien Buffard (Fra)
  • Sylvain Couchaud (Fra)
  • Yann Curien (Fra)
  • Francois d’Haene (Fra)
  • Benoit Girondel (Fra)
  • David Pasquio (Fra)
  • Xavier Thevenard (Fra)
  • Ricky Lightfoot (Gbr)
  • Philipp Reiter (Ger)
  • Giuliano Cavallo (Ita)
  • Steffan Ruzza (Ita)
  • Yoshito Kondo (Ita)
  • Ronnie Duinkerken (Ned)
  • Phudorjee Lama Sherpa (Nep)
  • Leonardo Diogo (Pol)
  • Johan Lantz (Swe)
  • Jason Schlarb (Usa)
  • Mike Wolfe (Usa)

 

LADIES

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Anna Frost is back and in the space of just over a month has put some really tough times behind her, topped the podium with a new CR at the Transvulcania La Palma and has then followed this up with some quality training. Frosty appears to be in a great place both physically and mentally. Frosty is my hot tip but….

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Nuria Picas is in the race and Nuria has not stopped winning in 2014. She has become an unstoppable force in mountain running and ultra running. The only blip was a recent withdrawal from Zegama-Aizkorri but that shows us nothing. It was basically one race too many and Nuria had the sense to stop. Frosty and Nuria are great friends and it has been sometime since they shared trails together. Expect them to run next to each other for some time chatting and then a head-to-head battle in the latter stages.

Emelie Forsberg’s 2013 has already been extremely interesting, a bad fall wiped out her Transvulcania and this then impacted on Zegama-Aizkorri. Emelie is not used to finishing off the podium and I am 100% convinced we will see an inform and fired up Emelie in Chamonix. Plus she is going to be racing against Frosty and Nuria. Wow!

We will finally get to see Southern Hemisphere talent Ruby Muir trade blows and I for one am excited to see the outcome. Ruby shot to prominence from not only winning Tarawera in 2012, but also doing it in Vibram Five Fingers. I am unsure of the shoe choice for the 80km race, it’s irrelevant. I do know that we are in for a fast race and one that Ruby may well lead?

Fernanda

Fernanda Maciel has been trading blows with Nuria Picas on the UTWT circuit and has had a string of top-3 places to confirm that she will be in the mix in Chamonix. However, despite Fernanda’s obvious ability, I don’t think she will have the speed required for the top slot.

Finally, Brits Claire Price and Lizzie Wraith may well fly the flag for Blighty. Claire lives in Hong Kong and has been a consistent performer at the highest level. Lizzie by contrast is based in the UK and shot to prominence after winning and setting a new course record on the Lakeland 100 course.

Ones to watch:

  • Anna Frost (Nzl)
  • Ruby Muir (Nzl)
  • Fernanda Maciel (Bra)
  • Dong Li (Chn)
  • Anna Strakova (Cze)
  • Uxu Fraile (Esp)
  • Nuria Picas (Esp)
  • Lauren Gaussens (Fra)
  • Maud Gobert (Fra)
  • Claire Price (Gbr)
  • Lizzie Wraith (Gbr)
  • Alessandra Carlini (Ita)
  • Emelie Forsberg (Swe)

The 2014 Skyrunning World Championships will be an incredible showcase for running. Like you, I can’t wait for all the excitement to unfold.

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The Best Of The Best – 2014 Skyrunning World Championship line-up announced

Lauri van Houten, Executive Director for the ISF gives us the low down on who will be participating in the 2014 Skyrunning World Championships to be held in Chamonix on June 27-29.

Even before getting off the ground, the events were an immediate sell-out when they went online last October with a record number of requests.  Since then, the world’s best runners and teams have submitted their entries, which we announce here.

No less than nine Skyrunner® World Series Champions will take part, headed by superstars, Kilian Jornet and Emelie Forsberg, Luis Alberto Hernando, Tofol Castanyer, Stevie Kremer, Nuria Picas, Urban Zemmer, Agustì Roc, Laura Orguè.

Out of the ISF Top 20 World Ranking:
–  15 athletes will compete in the Sky distance, 14 in the Ultra and 17 in the Vertical.

Many more world-class names will be competing over the three distances –  winners from top skyrunning events, from trail running races, and mountain running….they will all be here to compete in the magic arena that is Mont Blanc.  3,400 athleteswill participate in the three Skyrunning World Championships disciplines with a total of 6,500 runners overall in the weekend’s events.

In the previous World Championships held in 2010, the country ranking was headed by Italy, followed by Spain and Francecounting 13 nations.  Four years on and the country participation has more than doubled, with 28 nations taking part.

Certainly Spain is the all-out favourite, with France and Italy close behind. With the rapid development of the sport and new countries emerging, the picture could soon change. Strong competition is forecast from Great Britain and new entries Norwayand the Czech Republic for example, will no doubt make their mark.

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Spain: Kilian Jornet, Luis Alberto Hernando, Tofol Castanyer, Nuria Picas, Laura Orguè, Uxue Fraille, Maite Maiora, Agustì Roc, Iker Karrera, Artiz Egea, Jokin Lizeaga, Nuria Dominguez

France: The host country with the biggest field of participants. Where to begin?
Francois D’Haenne, Michel Lanne, Xavier Thevenard – respectively 1st, 2nd and 3rd in the 80K last year; Christel Dewalle, Mathéo Jacquemoud, Alexis Sevennec, William Bon Mardion, Thibault Baronian, Axelle Mollaret Stephanie Jimenez, Maud Gobert, Mikael Paséro

©copyright .iancorless.com._1130788Italy:  Urban Zemmer, Antonella Confortola, Silvia Serafini, Elisa Desco, Tadei Pivk, brothers Bernard and Martin Dematteis EAA champions, Marco Moletto, 2010 World Champion Nicola Golinelli, Federica Boifava

Great Britain: Tom Owens and Andy Symonds are back racing after a year off   joined by Ricky Lightfoot and Tessa Hill.

New Zealand: Anna Frost, Jonathan Wyatt and Ruby Muir. After her recent Transvulcania victory, Anna is back in great shape after a difficult year.

USA: 2013 Sky Series champion Stevie Kremer, 2011 WMRA champion Kasie Enman, Alex Nichols, Cameron Claytonand Ultra running icon Mike Wolfe.

Andorra: the consistently strong Teixido and Casal brothers.

Canada: Land of great distances and Ultra runners:  Tina Lewis, Jason Loutit, and Adam Campbell.

Robust teams will participate from Japan with Dai Matsumoto and Torhu Myahara; from the Czech Republic starring Anna Straka (Pichrtova), five-time winner at Sierre-Zinal, and Robert Krupicka.

From Brazil, ultra runner Fernanda Maciel; from Switzerland Marc Lauenstein and Candide Gabioud among others.

Completing the ISF member countries participating with teams will be Greece, Poland and Russia and, for the first time in an international skyrunning competition: Australia, China, Netherlands, Portugal and South Africa.

 

Top runners from other countries are headed by Romanian Ionut Zinca, ranked 2nd behind Kilian in the Sky distance, and include Germany’s Philipp ReiterFlorian Neuschwander and Florian Reichert.  Interestingly, strong competition is coming from a number of countries new to skyrunning. Norway is showing great promise and will offer strong competition in the Vertical and Sky categories with talent like Thorbjørn Ludvigsen and Eirik Haugsnes who, in just one year, have made their mark in the sport.

©copyright .iancorless.com._1040540Sweden will support Emelie Forsberg, at the head of both the 2013 Sky and Ultra ranking, with a team. Countries stretching across the world from Ecuador to Nepal complete the picture of a truly international championship.

Overall, 46 athletes ranked in the top 20 across the three disciplines will take part – a historic first. The 2014 Championships represent the first time the Ultra distance will be disputed.

Some numbers for the record:
•    9 Skyrunner® World Series Champions
•    28 national teams
•    38 countries participating
•    46 top 20 ranked athletes
•    3,400 participants in the thee disciplines
•    25,000 euros cash prizes

Individual world titles are at stake in each discipline as well as a combined title, based on the best results of two out of three races. Countries will be ranked according to the best results of three men and one woman in all three disciplines.
€ 25,000 cash prizes will be awarded and anti-doping controls will be carried out.

On the launch of the announcement, Marino Giacometti, ISF President, commented:  “We’re proud to present the World Championships in Chamonix and, with the support of the Club des Sport, we’re confident the events will be a perfect showcase for skyrunning and draw the best athletes in the world for some intense competition.”

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