130 athletes from 25 countries took part in the first edition of the race held in the Norwegian town of Tromsö. The 42-km race with a total climb of 4,300m was received in a very festive atmosphere by its participants.
all images ©jordisaragossa
The race, which the athletes Kilian Jornet and Emelie Forsberg had been dreaming of, finally came true this morning, with the first edition of Tromsö Skyrace. Held in the Arctic town of Tromsö, the race figured 130 athletes from 25 countries who faced a tough and highly technical route, especially chosen for lovers of pure sky running.
Jornet and Forsberg spent the last four days hands on, helping out with marking the route, preparing supplies and various other technical aspects, so that everything was ready for the race. “Running is not tiring at all compared to this!”, laughed Jornet the day before the race, as he and Forsberg finished preparing the 130 cinnamon rolls that were later distributed among the participants.
The greatest fear of the organizers was the weather, which in the end did not spoil the race, and so, it was held on a cloudy day with no rain. Participants set off at 8 am from Fløya, facing the 42-kilometre route with 4,300m climb, along the summits of Tromsdaltinden (1,238m) and Hamperokken (1,404m). In addition to the long race, there was also a mini skyrace of 21km and a climb of 1,600m.
From the beginning of the race, a group led by three Scandinavians Eirik Haugsnes, Stian H- Angermund and Ola Hovdenakk, made the most of their knowledge of the terrain and adaptation to cold weather, to place themselves in top positions. Jornet followed them, while checking that the marking was correct and everything at the supply stations was in order. They all reached the top of Tromsdaltinden in the lead before facing the first steep descent. The terrain was demanding on the athletes as one of the participants stated:
“The timings to be scored in the race will be much longer than those in a normal marathon, because there are some very technical stretches and the slope is very steep in places, but it is a race in a very wild area, a unique experience.”
Lead positions in the men’s race did not change throughout the route, and although athletes have been alternating places, it was Eirik Dagssøn Haugsnes who eventually won the race after descending back to Fløya first. In the women’s, the Scandinavians also asserted their status and victory went to Hana Krajnikova. Jornet finished in third place and so did Forsberg, who ran the short race.
Nevertheless, the intention of the organizers of this first edition of the race was to design a race in which runners could challenge themselves in a festive atmosphere accompanied by a feeling of companionship. Upon arrival at the finishing line, many runners, tired but smiling, claimed they were already looking forward to repeating the experience. There, holding a cup of tea and some famous cinnamon rolls, athletes who had travelled to Tromsö from different parts of the world, shared beautiful moments by exchanging experiences and emotions among themselves.
After the race, Jornet and Forsberg explained:
“It has been a fantastic experience. Living a race from inside helps you to understand many things. We were very lucky with the weather, which was kind to us and allowed us to enjoy a race without any problems for runners. We hope that the participants are as pleased as we are.”
After a day of intense emotions, Jornet and Forsberg are already beginning to dream about the next edition, which is sure to be a success.
Tromsö Skyrace Classification
- Eirik Dagssøn Haugsnes – 6:38:30
2. Ola Hovednak – 6:49:39
3. Kilian Jornet – 6:49:55
4. Stian H-Angemund – 7:09:46
5. Sondre Stier Thorbergsen – 8:17:08
- Hana Krajnikova – 9:49:48