SKYRUNNING 2014 Calendar Announced – SWS14 #SWS14

Kilian Jornet Trofeo Kima 2012 ©iancorless.com

Kilian Jornet Trofeo Kima 2012 ©iancorless.com

The ISF is pleased to announce the 2014 Skyrunner® World Series. Fifteen quality races, three disciplines, the same winning formula. The 2014 Series will offer participants benefits amounting to 1,000 race slots230 free entries125 accommodation slots and 50 travel slots.

Five Sky, five Ultra and five Vertical races are distributed across six nations in three continents.

The Sky Series comprises some of the best races in the history of the sport and welcomes back Zegama, Dolomites SkyRaceCourse de Sierre-Zinal celebrating its 41st year, Zermatt’s Matterhorn Ultraks launched this year and Limone Extreme tying up the Series.

Opening the season in May will be the almost legendary Transvulcania Ultramarathon.  In its third successful year on the Skyrunner® World Series, the event will be enhanced with a spectacular “sea to sky” Vertical Kilometer®, where contestants climb up the same rugged, steep descent of the long distance race.

The Ultra Series heads over to France for a repeat of the 65 km Ice-Trail Tarentaise over the snow-covered peaks above Val d’Isère.  A Vertical Kilometer® will also take place here.  From 1996 five editions were held on the imposing Face de Bellevarde, where the first world record was set.

Utah’s Speedgoat 50K returns on the Ultra Series followed by the biennial Kima Trophy.  Probably the most emblematic skyrunning event, it will celebrate its 20th anniversary with skyrunning legends Bruno Brunod and Fabio Meraldi.

Concluding the Ultra Series in September, we welcome new entry, The Rut 50K, in Montana’s appropriately named Big Sky resort. Organised by two American Ultra running icons, Mike Foote and Mike Wolfe, it’s set to make its mark on the international scene. Here, America’s first World Series’ Vertical Kilometer® will also take place in the rugged Montana mountains.

The Italian Dolomites, home of the 2013 European Championships, are again back on the calendar with a SkyRace® and Vertical Kilometer® double.

Italy’s incredibly spectacular and gruelling Limone Extreme SkyRace® and Vertical Kilometer® will again host the World Series final in October on Lake Garda.

462 kilometres across the three disciplines are set off by no less than 36,150 metres vertical climb with inclines between 16% and 50%.

The reward for this gruelling programme? Benefits amounting to US $ 200,000$ 120,000 cash prizes, $ 25,000 World Series final prizes and $ 55,000 worth of benefits.

The rewards don’t finish here however.  There’s more in store with the new Skyrunner® card.  Details will be revealed in January 2014.

2014 Skyrunner® World Series

Team partners are a growing success story with two partnership formulas to choose from. At least ten principal outdoor brands are involved. See here for further information for team entries in the World Series.

SKY
1. SPAIN: Maratòn Alpina Zegama-Aizkorri – 42 km – Zegama – May 25
2. ITALY: Dolomites SkyRace® - 22 km – Canazei – July 20
3. SWITZERLAND: Course de Sierre-Zinal – 31 km – Valais – August 10
4. SWITZERLAND: Matterhorn Ultraks – 46 km -Zermatt – August 23
5. ITALY: Limone Extreme SkyRace® - 23 km – Limone sul Garda – October 12

ULTRA

1. SPAIN: Transvulcania Ultramarathon – 83 km, La Palma – May 10
2. FRANCE: Ice Trail Tarentaise – 65 km, Val d’Isère – July 11
3. USA: Speedgoat 50K, Snowbird, Utah – July 19
4. ITALY: Trofeo Kima – Aug 31
5. USA: The Rut 50K, Big Sky, Montana – September 14

VERTICAL
1. SPAIN: Transvulcania Vertical Kilometer® - May 8
2. FRANCE: VK Face de Bellevarde, Val d’Isère – July 11
3. ITALY: Dolomites Vertical Kilometer®, Canazei – July 18
4. USA: Lone Peak Vertical Kilometer® - September 12
5. ITALY:  Vertical Grèste de la Mughéra, Limone sul Garda – October 10

*Legend

SKY – races more than 22 km and less than 50 km long with at least 1,300m positive vertical climb (SkyRace® and SkyMarathon®)
ULTRA – races over 50 km long that exceed the SkyMarathon® parameters (Ultra SkyMarathon®)
VERTICAL – races with 1,000m positive vertical climb not exceeding 5 km distance (Vertical Kilometer®)
 

Skyrunner®, SkyRace®, SkyMarathon®, Vertical Kilometer® are registered trademarks

Press Release ©ISF

Speedgoat 50k Preview – The Mens Field

Speedgoat

Two ISF Skyrunning events in one day and both of them ultras! Trans D’Havet in Italy and Speedgoat in the USA. In many respects, although two races in the same series, they are chalk and cheese. Trans D’Havet is a point-to-point mountain race with some altitude, technical running and tunnels… yes, tunnels! Apparently 6km’s in total. Speedgoat is a 50km trail race in Utah’s Wasatch Mountains and to clarify, the rules have been amended this year to inform all participants that they ‘must’ stick to the trail. Last years top two, Kilian Jornet and Rickey Gates are not returning but third and fourth are; Max King and Anton Krupicka. With 12,000 dollars up for grabs and $1000 premium for the first man and women to reach Hidden Peak at mile 8.3., Talk Ultra’s Mr Speedgoat and the ISF have lined up a great field of guys looking to secure points in the Skyrunning World Series (three events score)

But look at the field… Timothy Olson, Sage Canaday, Max King, Anton Krupicka, Cameron Clayton, Mike Wardian and so on, it really is a top quality field and a tough one to call.

I have to say, that despite the presence of Olson and Krupicka, I am going to to lean towards a Canaday, King and Clayton smack down with Olson and Krupicka causing some trouble in the latter stages.

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Sage Canaday has performed at the top level since moving into the ultra world and although he may still be on a learning curve between 80 and 100k, I feel that this shorter race will suit his speed. He still needs to learn on technical running but as he showed at Transvulcania with the final podium place, he can nail it when required.

iancorless.orgIancorless_transvulcania_019

Max kIng in 2012 just held off Anton Krupicka in the latter stages. He made the decision to shy away from longer races in 2013 and just last weekend placed on the podium in the US Mountain Running Champs. But it wasn’t a win! He has all the speed required to win this race and although I see him as a main protagonist, I don’t see him in the top spot.

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Cameron Clayton is new to ultras and has an impressive record. He has a gung ho attitude of glory or go home. He brought that to Western States and he went home… however, the shorter distance of Speedgoat will suit him and he will be out front from the gun with Sage. Question is, can he hold on?

Anton Krupicka, La Palma copyright iancorless.com

Anton Krupicka, La Palma copyright iancorless.com

Anton Krupicka will be fit, no doubt. But other than a second place at Cavalls del Vent in 2012, he has raced little and been plagued with issues. He was fired up for Transvulcania and then got a bug. He missed Ronda dels Cims to do his own project, Nolans 14 and then didn’t go well. So what can we expect? To be honest, I am not sure. Without doubt he prefers the longer distances but he placed fourth last year and as he has proved in the past, he can race well over the 50km to 50 mile distance.

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Timothy Olson has just repeated his victory at Western States and will be riding high. However, Like Anton he likes the 100 mile distance. At Transvulcania 2013 when he placed fourth behind Sage, he said post race that he was just warming up. He has all the class needed to win Speedgoat but I think Canaday and Clayton may just have the edge over 50km.

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Luke Nelson raced at Transvulcania and said post race that it was a learning curve. He has all the ability to mix it up but I see him somewhere between five and ten and not in the top five.

Benoit (front) at MDS copyright iancorless.com

Benoit (front) at MDS copyright iancorless.com

Benoit Laval, founder and CEO of Raidlight clothing will toe the line. He is an accomplished runner and although he placed third at Lantau 50 earlier this year and raced at Marathon des Sables, I don’t see him in contention for the podium at Speedgoat.

Michael Wardian after a prolonged rest from injury continues to bounce back with some impressive running. Although still racing on a regular basis he does seem to have eased back but in the process has had some great results. For example, just recently he ran 3:12 for 50km to set a world record indoor, a far cry from Speedgoat but you can never rule him out and almost certainly he will be running up at the front pushing the pace.

Thierry Breuil from France may mix things up however, he was recently fifth at the Trail Running Championships and although that course is nothing like Speedgoat, he may find his feet and have a great run.

Other contenders: Jorge Maravilla, Jason Loutitt and Jason Schlarb.

Links:

Speedgoat 50k – HERE

Skyrunning – HERE

A ladies preview will follow

Arc’teryx announce team for Skyrunner World Series

Arc’teryx, the Canadian outdoor brand and ISF partner, announces their six-man team participating in the 2013 Skyrunner® World Series. 

Arc’teryx, the Canadian outdoor brand and ISF partner, announces their six-man team participating in the 2013 Skyrunner® World Series.  From the US, charismatic and eclectic runner Joe Grant is back for more and will race the Ultra Series starting with the Transvulcania Ultramarathon on May 11 where he placed 12th last year as well as a 2nd place at Hardrock 100 and a second place at the 350-mile long Iditarod Trail Invitational, the legendary Alaskan sled dog race.  He’s also aiming at the Sky Series’ new Ultraks 46K in Zermatt, Switzerland.

Adam Campbell

Adam Campbell

Canadian distance runner Adam Campbell, plagued with injury last year, has got big plans for the SWS Ultra Series and he’ll be toeing the line at Transvulcania with Grant in the first of the Series Ultra races which he describes as, “a global race series in some of the most iconic mountain settings and over some very rough and technical terrain”. The SWS in a nutshell.

Italy’s Nicola Golinelli will be tackling both the Sky and Vertical Series.  Last year, he chalked up two third places in the Vertical K and a fourth position at the Giir di Mont, Premana, Italy.  He will debut at the highly competitive Zegama-Aizkorri marathon on May 26 where he placed 5th in 2011.

Frenchman Didier Zago, like Golinelli, will aim for both Sky and Vertical races, starting off with the Cara Amón Vertical Kilometer® on May 18, site of the 2012 SkyGames® in northern Spain.

Tessa Hill

Tessa Hill

Briton Tessa Hill joins Zago in the two disciplines and skyrunning new comer Florian Reichert from Germany, will race the Sky Series, launching at Zegama.

An intensive season of highly competitive racing faces the runners, from the short steep Vertical Kilometers to the marathon distance Sky Series and the grueling Ultra Series.  With no less than five world champions competing, one thing is for sure – everyone will be racing for the love of it.  Champions or not, unquestionably the driving force behind every SWS participant lies their passion for running in the mountains.

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