Kilian Jornet and Emelie Forsberg once again show incredible powers of recovery to win the ISF Skyrunning European Skyrace in the Dolomites, Canazei.
After placing first and second respectively in the Vertical Kilometer just forty eight hours previous, Kilian and Emelie excelled in the Skyrace. Emelie dominated the ladies event from start to finish but Kilian had a much tougher time. Racing his favourite sparring partner, Marco De Gasperi, they pushed each other over every meter of the Canazei course and in the end it was an explosive sprint from Kilian that provided the victory just three seconds clear of Marco.
Marco explained after the race, ‘we kept pushing, racing Kilian is always hard, he pulled away a little on the climb to Piz Boè but I always had him in sight. We had lots of snow that can provide an advantage when going downhill but can reduce pace when running on the flat or up. It was tough race!’.
I asked Kilian about racing Marco, “I was a little worried racing Marco. This race is only two hours and therefore would suit Marco. I expected him to push hard from the start and cause me some problems. I decided to run hard uphill but Marco remained in touch. The descent is long and technical and the opportunity to pull away was impossible. Ultimately it cam down to a sprint and I found that little extra.’
It was an epic battle, post race Marco was a little disappointed to once again repeat a second place behind Kilian just like at the Mont Blanc Marathon. Marco’s time will come once again. The pace at the front was so fast that Kilian and Marco both broke the old course record.
Interviews with Kilian Jornet and Marco De Gasperi are available on the next episode of Talk Ultra out on Friday.
Tadei Pivk arrived four minutes after the dynamic duo to take the third spot on the podium, a repeat of his performance at Zegama-Aizkorri. Ionut Zinca from Romania placed fourth and Alexis Sevennec fifth making it a truly varied European podium fitting of a European Championship with representation from Spain, Italy, Romania and France.
Emelie Forsberg produced once again another stunning performance and dominated the ladies race. Her time of 2:26:52 was just fifty two seconds off her 2012 time and almost certainly, had Emelie had someone to push her during the race she could have broken the course record. The day after the race, relaxing in the Canazei sun she told me of her passion for running, the mountains and the sport. It is reflected in all she does. A true ambassador for the sport.
You can listen to Emelie’s new regular slot on Talk Ultra this coming Friday ‘Smiles and Miles with Emelie Forsberg. You can email questions to her here: firstname.lastname@example.org
Silvia Serafini produced a stunning performance for Italy and moved her way up through the field for second place and a silver medal, ten minutes behind Emelie. Spain produced third and fourth places with Nuria Dominguez and Maite Maiora and Poland completed the top five with Dominika Wisniewska.
The Dolomites SkyRace® has for many years represented an ideal playground for the world’s top athletes. The steep technical course and spectacular panorama has runners coming back for more time and again. Today, 540 runners finished the race – the top 60 men within half an hour of the new course record. Fans of stats will also be pleased to hear that Kilian broke the male ascent record set by Augusti Roc and Emelie Forsberg broke the female descent record set by Angela Mudge.
A total of 23 European nations were ranked to date. Look out for the final race on July 27, when the Ultra distance will be disputed for the European title at the Trans D’Havet, Vicenza.
Italy leads the national ranking with 622 points, followed by Spain and France. Spain leads the medal count however, with two gold and a bronze, followed by Italy and Sweden. The final ranking will be confirmed after this weekends ultra at Trans D’Havet.
European Skyrunning Championship
Spain – 2 gold / 1 bronze
Italy – 1 gold / 3 silver / 2 bronze
Sweden – 1 gold / 1 silver
Czech Republic – 1 bronze
1. Italy – 622 points
2. Spain – 558 points
3. France – 480 points
4. Sweden – 380 points
5. Czech Republic – 216 points
1. JORNET KILIAN (ESP) SALOMON SANTIVERI – 2h00’11”
2. DE GASPERI MARCO (ITA) GS FORESTALE – 2h00’14”
3. PIVK TADEI (ITA) CRAZY IDEA – 2h04’10”
4. ZINCA IONUT (ROU) VALETUDO SKYRUNNING – 2h07’26”
5. SEVENNEC ALEXIS (FRA) CRAZY IDEA – 2h07’58”
1. FORSBERG EMELIE (SWE) SALOMON 2h26’52”
2. SERAFINI SILVIA (ITA) SALOMON AGISKO – 2h36’55”
3. DOMINGUEZ NURIA (ESP) TEAM ESPANA – 2h37’41
4. MAIORA MAITE (ESP) TEAM ESPANA – 2h37’58
5. WISNIEWSKA DOMINIKA (POL) – TEAM POLAND – 2h40’30”