Starting from the sea and climbing directly to the 1044m of the summit of Store Blamann, the highest summit on Kvaloya island, the Blåmann Vertical Kilometer® is everything a Skyrunning race should be and the route personifies the sea-to-summit concept.
The terrain twists and turns with a variety of mixed terrain – early stage are soft boggy ground. Huge slabs of rock follow, interspersed with snow and ice, the terrain at times require low grade climbing to cover – it is a race that requires ‘hands-on’ scrambling.
Just 20 minutes from Tromso, the Blåmann Vertical Kilometer® is a race that anyone can try and it’s a wonderful introduction to Skyrunning.
As expected, the newly crowned Skyrunning World Champion, Stian Angermund dictated the pace and the race on the steep slopes from the sea. He paced himself early on and then opened a lead over second placed man, Alexis Sevennec.
“I took the early stages early and then as the terrain became more challenging, I started to push and open up a gap,” said Angermund after the race. “I felt very good today but may time is slower despite perfect conditions. I am not sure why? I think it may be because I am preparing for some longer races… today was a magic day though, the views were amazing!”
It was a glorious sunny day of blue skies and void of clouds. By the midway point, Stian had a clear lead over Frenchman, Sevennec who looked strong but Angermund was in his own race as he ran all the gradients.
At the summit, Angermund crossed the line in 36:59, Sevennec trailed by 1-min 45-seconds and Pierre Mettan rounded at the podium with a convincing lead over Julien Ançay and Adam Jensen.
The ladies race once again turned into a ‘nail biter’ as Eli Anne and Emelie Forsberg traded blows. “I am a runner, not a scrambler,” said Anne after the race. “I was leading and then as the terrain became more technical, Emelie passed me. We were neck-and-neck and then I made a surge in the closing meters and passed Emelie – it was so close!”
Therese Sjursen who is a VK specialist ran a solid race for 3rd ahead of Hilde Aders who recently made the podium at the recent Dolomites SkyRace. Rounding out the top-5 was Anita Iversen Lilleskare also from Norway make 4 of the top-5 Norwegian,
- Eli Anne Dvergsdal – idrettsutøvar – NOR – 45’58”
- Emelie Forsberg – SWE – 45’59”
- Therese Sjursen – NOR – 47’21”
- Hilde Aders – NOR – 48’22”
- Anita Iversen Lilleskare – NOR – 48’28”
- Stian Angermund – NOR – 36’59”
- Alexis Sévennec – FRA – 37’46”
- Pierre Mettan – SUI – 40’37”
- Julien Ançay – SUI – 42’03”
- Adam Jensen – USA – 42’45”
Attention now turns to tomorrow and the Tromsø SkyRace® which will start at 0800 Saturday August 5th. You can read a full race preview HERE.