July 8, 2012
Skyrunners worldwide celebrated their own games today with the final events of the 2012 SkyGames®. Six skyrunning disciplines stretching over two weekends had 1,300 participants and twenty nations competing for the forty medals and 14 world titles at stake.
Host country Spain dominated throughout with a formidable contingent including no less than three skyrunning world champions in their ranks. Luis Alberto Hernando and Nuria Picas were crowned 2012 SkyGames® World Champions in the combined category. The title was based on the highest points scored in the SkySpeed® (100m ascent), the Vertical Kilometer® (1,000m ascent) and the SkyMarathon®.
Both champions clinched the title by winning the compulsory SkyMarathon® outright today – a tough, 42 km race with a punishing 3,000m vertical climb.
The final medal count had Spain soaring ahead with 7 gold medals, 6 silver and 4 bronze, followed by France, Italy, Japan, Andorra and Venezuela.
The ranking points, based on the best results of three men and one woman per nation, read as follows: Spain, Italy, France, Holland, Greece, Andorra, USA, Great Britain, Poland and Switzerland.
New entries we’ll no doubt be seeing more of were Alex Nichols (USA) who, in his first SkyMarathon®, placed an excellent 6th, and Japan’s Dai Matsumoto(6th in the 2006 Andorra SkyGames®) placed 2nd in today’s SkyRace®. Look out for him in the World Series’ races coming up soon.
The six SkyGames® disciplines: SkySpeed, 100 metres vertical climb with a 45% incline; Vertical Kilometer, the universally popular formula, here a mere 3.5 km with a 30% incline; SkyBike – a duathlon combining mtb and skyrunning to 2,000m altitude; SkyRaid – a multi-discipline team relay; the 21 km SkyRace with 1,350m vertical climb, reserved for runners aged 16-21. The events concluded with an epic SkyMarathon reaching 3,100m altitude – valid for the combined points title.
- Spain – 7 gold, 6 silver, 4 bronze
- France – 1 gold, 1 silver, 1 bronze
- Italy – 1 gold, 1 bronze
- Japan – 1 gold
- Andorra – 1 silver
- Venezuela – 1 silver
After months of preparation, an invasion of thousands, and the spectacular week-long celebrations, the people of the small towns scattered around Ribagorza Románica will return to their quiet ways, welcoming tourists to the Romanic Churches for which they are famed and, possibly, feel just a little nostalgia for the stirring sports events that have touched citizens and participants alike.
The event was sanctioned by FEDME, the Spanish Federation for Mountain Sports.