Tromsö, Norway was shrouded in mist and low cloud today. Ironic considering that the previous days had glorious sunshine and blue skies. At 3pm, leaving the sea of the Ersfjord fjord runners faced a vertical climb of 1.044m reaching the top of Store Blåmann; the first VK in Tromsö.
It’s a technical course that mixes many different terrain types to make this an ultimate challenge for the VK specialist and novice. 117 runners made it to the top having crossed several sections on large rocks, boulders, scrambling sections and snow.
From the beginning of the race, a small group of strong athletes pushed at the front with local, Stian Angermund pushing ahead of Pascal Egli and Remi Bonnet. Slovenian Nejk Kuhar and the Norwegian Thorbjorn Ludvigsen chased hard but were loosing ground at the mid point. Angermund obviously wanted victory on home soil and sealed the top podium slot with a strong finish in a remarkable 35:20. Remi Bonnet moved up into 2nd an Pascal Egli completed the podium.
Yngvild Kaspersen from Tromsö followed up a great run at Dolomites SkyRace and pushed race director Emelie Forsberg all the way to the line. But Forsberg managed to win (43:41) by just 1 second after a sprint on the last rocky section before the summit. Maite Maiora took the final podium place.
Tromsö and race directors, Kilian Jornet and Emelie Forsberg pulled out all the stops to make this VK a very special occasion. It was like a group of friends assembling and undertaking a fun day of running in a very casual and informal way. But the planning and experience was well established ahead of the race and all went smoothly. Kilian post race said:
“Everyone was very positive and happy and I am really pleased we had no issues. It was a success!”
Many of the runners will now rest and look to do ‘the double’ and get ready for Sunday’s events; The Hamperokken SkyRace, part of the for the Ultra SkyRunner® World Series and the Tromsdalstind SkyRace of 21km. Both races will start at 10am.
1. Stian Hovind-Angermund 35:20
2. Remi Bonnet 35:42
3. Pascal Egli 36:05
1. Emelie Forsberg 43:41
2. Yngvild Kaspersen 43:42
3. Maite Maiora 45:10