Imagine it… who would you most like to design a Skyrunning course? I for one would say, Kilian Jornet and Emelie Forsberg. I’d then pinch myself and say, ‘nah, that will never happen. For sure they have the passion but they just won’t have the time!’
How wrong could I be!
Mark the date in your diary, September 6th 2014. The inaugural Tromsø SKYRACE will take place.
‘We wanted to start small and grow the event’ Emelie said in a recent interview. ‘Starting at sea level, the route will climb up three peaks on an out and back course – Tromsdalstinden (1238m), Hamerokken (1404m) and then Tromsdalstinden again but via a different route.’
Tromsdalstinden: 1238m Sálašoaivi or Sálaščohkka, is an iconic summit visible from Tromsø. The trail to climb the summit is not really technical, with a first part on grass hills and then a rocky large ridge. The downhill is on a steeper rocky trail before easy zig zags trail to the hut. The views from the summit, with Tromsø city and the fjords on the north and Hamperokken and Lyngen on the south made this mountain one of the most gorgeous landscapes of the area.
Hamperokken: 1404m Gáranasčohkka, is the highest mountain peak on the mainland peninsula west of the Ullsfjorden. The trail to climb the mountain starts around sea level and climbs to 1000m on a easy grass and rock slope to the first summit of the ridge, then it follows a 5 kilometers rocky ridge with some easy technical passages that can require to put the hands (mostly if it’s wet or raining!) Last 50m to the summit are a short scrambling to the top. The downhill is on a loose rock steep couloir until reach the valley. The summit designs a long ridge culminated by a thin characteristic aiguille. Being on the center of Ullsfjorden, the views of Lyngen on the east and all the Tromsø mountains around gives us a big wilderness feeling.
Racing over the classic distance of 42km’s, the course will have an elevation gain of 4300m. Grassy mountains, rocky ridges; Kilian clicked through images on his phone and showed me some of the more technical sections. ‘It’s a beautiful route’ he says, ‘it has some technical ridge running and the most amazing views. Emelie and I have run over this area many times and we knew we just had to have a race here!’
It’s very different organising a race to running one but Emelie assured me, ‘we have a great team in place. You know, we are already race directors as we put on a Skimo race in Lyngen (north Norway) during the winter. However, if possible, both Kilian and myself will run the Tromso Skyrace; I will do the shorter race and Kilian will run the longer event.’
With just 100-places available, other elites runners will hopefully take part but that is not a priority. The dynamic duo want to encourage, promote and endorse running to a community of runners who may well have not attempted or completed such an event before. It’s about giving something back to the sport and I for one know only too well that the 100-places available will be gone in a flash…
Dakota Jones for example has just been announced as a participant in the first race.
Tromso is an island located within the Arctic Circle and in September the Northern Lights will illuminate the sky. Imagine it; rugged mountains, beautiful fjords and a race second to none with an epic backdrop.
Emelie can’t contain her excitement as we speak, ‘It’s going to be so special and super exciting!’ Kilian concurs, ‘It will be an epic race and one that will grow. We love Skyrunning and the Tromso Skyrace will echo all that is good in a Skyrunning race.’
I joke with Emelie, ‘I assume the aid stations may well be the best in any race I have witnessed?’
Laughing Emelie replies, ‘For sure, the aid stations will be great but cinnamon buns and Yogi Tea will welcome every runner as they cross the line.’
ENTRY OPENS 27th JULY at 19OO (Norway time)
6 – 7 SEPTEMBER 2014
An ECO RACE – We are lucky to run in such wild nature, and for this we need to take care to keep this area wild and clean. When we run, we will keep need this in mind. We will try our best to keep the route clean. We will mark the course with biodegradable tape, just in case some is blown away by the wind or by any accident left behind. Aid stations will only be by huts and road crossings and will use reusable glasses. We will not have any paper publications, to protect the forests.
Race Website – HERE
Facebook – HERE