Maga Ultra SkyMarathon 2019 – ISF European Skyrunning Championships

In a spectacular downpour that hit the village of Serina, near Bergamo, Italy, spirits were high as the six medals at stake for the Ultra at the 2019 Skyrunning European Championships were awarded to dominant Spanish podiums today at the Maga Ultra SkyMarathon.

Lauri van Houten, ISF, reports on the action from Maga Ultra SkyMarathon

The strong world-class field pushed the pace, smashing the standing records, with the top 13 men and 6 women finishing under the previous time.

The men’s gold medallist, Italian Cristian Minoggio, closed in 6h37’26” slicing an incredible 1h06’ off the previous record. “I still can’t believe it. Until I have the medal in my hand, I won’t believe it,” commented an ecstatic Minoggio. “It was a splendid race, a course I felt in my heart from the first to the last step. Now all I can do is repeat this performance at Veia!”

The silver went to Spain’s Manuel Merillas, who initially led the race, but was overtaken after the first summit halfway through the race by Minoggio. “I didn’t expect such a technical and demanding course, especially on the downhill. I loved it and congratulate Cristian who took the win.”

View the full Image Gallery HERE

Bronze medallist, Italian Daniel Jung, held a steady fourth throughout until third man, Sweden’s André Jonsson had to pull out after 45 km, leaving Jung in third. “I’m very satisfied,” said Jung. “It was a really tough race and spectacular at the same time with a very high level of competition. I hoped to do well, and a medal is the best way to celebrate!”

The women’s podium, all-Spanish, had Ester Casajuana up front from the gun. “The race was as beautiful as it was hard. I pushed from the first to the last meter and I’m really happy with this medal and also because two other Spaniards, two friends, won the other medals!” She finished in 8h19’11”, almost an hour faster than the standing record. The silver went to Sandra Sevillano and the bronze, Silvia Puigarnau. In second until km 30, last year’s winner, Italian Cecilia Pedroni had to settle for fourth, despite knocking 35’ off her own record time.

The race

Today’s Ultra discipline was disputed at the Maga Ultra SkyMarathon, a tough 50 km course with a gruelling 5,000m vertical climb across four mountains topping out at 2,512m altitude. In true skyrunning style, it features stretches with fixed ropes and exposed ridges. 15 nations participated in the race which counted 149 participants.

Race organiser, Davide Scolari, commented, “We’re very proud to have held the first event of the Skyrunning European Championships. We’d like to thank all the athletes, volunteers and sponsors for their enormous support, and we’re thrilled to have had such an important international field.”

Some 150 athletes representing official teams from 19 countries will fight for the 27 medals at stake in the Championships: Andorra, Austria, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Finland, France, United Kingdom, Greece, Hungary, Italy, North Macedonia, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Switzerland and Sweden.

Titles and medals

Individual, national and combined titles are at stake awarding 27 medals. Today’s Ultra awarded six individual medals to the top three men and women finishers from Europe, while the national and combined titles must wait for the conclusion of all three disciplines on September 7.

The National titles are based on the best four results scored by Official National Team members in each race, counting at least one per gender. After today’s Ultra, the country ranking has Spain in the lead with 336 points; Italy 318; Czech Republic 246; Portugal 198; Austria 146.

The Combined title is based on the best results of the top three men and women in the Vertical and Sky races. WADA anti-doping tests will be carried out at the finals where the Vertical and Sky categories will be celebrated on Thursday, September 5 and Saturday, September 7 in Piedmont, Italy at the Veia SkyRace® in a spectacular amphitheater surrounded by the Swiss 4,000m mountains.

View the full Image Gallery HERE

2019 Skyrunning European Championship medallists

Men
Gold: Cristian Minoggio (ITA) – 6h37’26

Silver: Manuel Merillas (ESP) – 6h52’03”

Bronze: Daniel Jung (ITA) – 7h0252″

Women
Gold: Ester Casajuana (ESP) – 8h19’11”

Silver:  Sandra Sevillano (ESP) – 8h33’35”

Bronze: Silvia Puigarnau (ESP) 8h41’11”

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Skyrunner® World Series 2014 Preview

Skyrunner-World-Series-90

 

In just over one month’s time, it all begins again, the Skyrunner® World Series fires up on the island of La Palma with what has become, in just two-years, an iconic Skyrunning race, Transvulcania La Palma.

©copyright .iancorless.com._1110251

To many, the growth and resurgence of Skyrunning in the last couple of years, triggered by the ISF (International Skyrunning Federations) foresight to hold a conference, ‘Less Cloud, More Sky’ after the 2012 Transvulcania may have many new Skyrunners thinking that our sport is just a few years old… They couldn’t be further from the truth!

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Kilian Jornet’s new movie, Déjame Vivir, the second in his ‘Summits of My Life’ project, documents his 2013 season; wonderfully capturing the history of the sport of Skyrunning. ‘Fila’ clad Skyrunners pushing boundaries on snow capped peaks around the world on old footage from Transworld Sport. Conversations with Bruno Brunod about the Matterhorn summit record and of course, ISF President, Marino Giacometti talking candidly to camera.

©copyright .iancorless.com.iancorless_DSC8044facesofkima

Born on the slopes and summits of Monte Rosa and Mont Blanc, Skyrunning dates back to 1989 when Giacometti set a record running from the village of Alagna to the summit of Monte Rosa. It was a new sport, a sport of Alpinism without the clutter of ropes and heavy packs. It was about going fast and light to the mountains, summiting and returning as fast as possible. A sport where earth meets sky!

‘There is nothing new in Skyrunning. It is just now that everyone is catching up with our vision from so many years ago,’ Giacometti explained, ‘The creation of an ultra series of races is just what the Skyrunner® series required in 2012. Today we have a new breed of runner who is actively looking for technical, steep and demanding courses over longer distances.’

ISF_World_championships_Logo_4.11In addition, 2014 will see the Skyrunning World Championships take place in Chamonix, arguably, the endurance capital of the world. It will be a great showcase for the sport and it coincides perfectly with the ever-expanding Skyrunner® National Series.

Kilian Jornet & Marco De Gasperi Mont-Blanc Marathon ©iancorless.com

Kilian Jornet & Marco De Gasperi Mont-Blanc Marathon ©iancorless.com

The inclusion and growth of the Skyrunner® National Series has also shown the sport we love reach new heights. Just recently Canada announced a new series under the watchful eye of Adam Campbell, the USA series has been created by Ian Sharman and one-by-one more series follow; South Africa, Australia & New Zealand, United Kingdom and Russia to name just a few.

Lauri Van Houten (ISF Executive Director) understands better than anyone why Skyrunning has captured today’s runners hearts and minds, ‘It’s a different angle on traditional trail running and mountain running. Skyrunning captures the spirit and tough technical challenges runners are looking for today.’

Transvulcania La Palma will kick-start the 2014 Skyrunner® World Series and once again, fifteen iconic races over the classic distances of VK, SKY and ULTRA will see the worlds best Skyrunners®, do battle on the slopes and peaks of the worlds mountains.

 

Trofeo Kima copyright Ian Corless

Trofeo Kima copyright Ian Corless

An exciting year of high altitude drama awaits; Anna Frost, Nuria Picas and Emelie Forsberg will join new Skyrunners® Krissy Moehl, Jodee Adams-Moore and Cassie Scallon on the slopes of the Fuencaliente lighthouse on the weekend of May 10th.

Just two weeks later, Kilian Jornet, Luis Alberto Hernando will go head-to-head with Tom Owens and Zaid Ait Malek on the legendary slopes of Zegama-Aizkorri.

Tom Owens - Trofeo Kima

Tom Owens – Trofeo Kima

A new year, a new Skyrunner® World Series and without doubt, new memories and moments that will be remembered in years to come! 

Don’t miss out on the Skyrunner® World Series 2014.

 Calendar:

SKY

ULTRA

VERTICAL

Ranking points

The three best results in each Series are scored. Ranking points in the final races of all three Series will be increased by 20%. Ranking points breakdown: 100-88-78-72-68-66-64-62-60-58-56-54-52-50 down to 2 points to 40th position for men and 15th position for women.

Total prizes:  US $ 25,000. Titles and prizes will be awarded in each Series as follows:

SKY: $ 3,000 / 1,500 / 750.  ULTRA: $ 3,000 / 1,500 / 750. VERTICAL: $1,000 / 700 / 300.

 

*Entry is direct with organizers.

Slots and benefits are available for 2013 SWS and ISF Ranked athletes.

Team manager’s contact: info@skyrunning.com for entry details and partnerships

 

*Legend

SKY – races more than 22 km and less than 50 km long with at least 1,300m positive vertical climb (SkyRace® and SkyMarathon®)
ULTRA – races over 50 km long that exceed the SkyMarathon® parameters (Ultra SkyMarathon®) 
VERTICAL – races with 1,000m positive vertical climb not exceeding 5 km distance (Vertical Kilometer®)

 

Skyrunner®,SkyRace®, SkyMarathon®, Vertical Kilometer® are registered trademarks

 

Skyrunning HERE

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The North Face Endurance Challenge, San Francisco, 50-mile Championships Preview (Men)

San Francisco 50 TNFEC50

My head hurts… it’s December, what happened to the ‘off-season’. Not only do we no longer have an off-season but The North Face have arguably assembled one of the most competitive fields in the 2013 season. Way back in April I was writing about the ‘race of the year’. Of course, it was Transvulcania La Palma. This was followed by another ‘race of the year’, Western States. I then followed this with another race of the year, Zegama and so on… you get the picture! Ultra running and mountain running is booming and as such, we are all seeing the benefits, not only from a watching and a following perspective but also from a racer perspective. It is now possible to have several peaks in one year and TNF may very well have hit on a winning formula with such a competitive race in December.  It’s late enough in the season to have recovered from recent previous efforts, such as UROC or Run Rabbit Run and equally far enough away from ‘key’ races in 2014 to allow for adequate RnR.

Okay, deep breath… here we go.

Miguel Heras TNFUTMB 2013 ©iancorless.com

Miguel Heras TNFUTMB 2013 ©iancorless.com

Miguel Heras returns after winning the race in 2012. His time of 5:33 in lousy conditions confirmed his ability if any was needed. Having said that, Miguel is used to rough-n-tough weather and as such, may very well have excelled in the conditions over his US contemporaries. Also the 2012 race did have issues over course marking which did lead to several runners going astray. I take nothing away from Miguel, he is a class act and although 2013 has been a difficult season for him, his second place at TNFUTMB proves that he is back. He followed this with a quality performance at Cavalls del Vent so without doubt he is a contender for the win. However, this field is stacked.

Dakota Jones UROC 2013 ©iancorless.com

Dakota Jones UROC 2013 ©iancorless.com

Dakota Jones is back racing and embracing the trails after a quiet start to 2013 and some escape in the mountains. In addition, Dakota became an ‘RD’ in 2013 which primarily caused him to miss TNFUTMB and refocus on UROC. That refocus nearly worked and certainly with 5-miles to go at UROC he looked as though he had the race in the bag. However, Rob Krar pulled something out of the bag and relegated Dakota to second that day. In fine form, Dakota departed for Japan to repeat his 2012 win at Hasetsune Cup, however, disaster struck and he had a tough day and a dnf. Without doubt, Dakota will be recovered and focused on winning at San Francisco. He will be looking for a repeat performance similar to San Juan Solstice 50m when he broke Matt Carpentar’s record.

Sage Canaday UROC ©iancorless.com

Sage Canaday UROC ©iancorless.com

Sage Canaday will bring his speed to this race and along with Cameron Clayton and maybe, Max King. They will be out at the front pushing the pace. Sage has had a mixed 2013 in the sense that he has occasionally pushed and failed below his own demanding standards. His great runs at Tarawera, Transvulcania La Palma and Lake Sonoma may well fall into insignificance in Sage’s own mind as I feel he may well dwell on his performances at Sierre-Zinal and UROC. Don’t get me wrong; I am a big Sage fan. He has all the ability to go out and win San Fran but I just wonder what effect recent performances will have on his confidence. In real terms, caution may well prove a huge bonus allowing him to hold back early on and keep his powder dry for the final 30% were he can use all that natural speed and ability. Unfortunately Sage has Flu – will not start

Cameron Clayton Transvulcania ©iancorless.com

Cameron Clayton Transvulcania ©iancorless.com

Cameron Clayton will be feeling somewhat inspired and motivated coming into San Fran after his 3rd place at UROC behind Rob Krar and Dakota Jones. Cameron was 3rd at this race last year and although he has had a full season, you can’t rule him out from pulling something special out of the bag for that $10,000 prize. His 2013 season has been fulfilled with top placing’s at Transvulcania and Lake Sonoma, however, he has had a few below par performances which I think ultimately were more due to a niggling foot and other health issues. All looks good now though.

Rob Krar UROC ©iancorless.com

Rob Krar UROC ©iancorless.com

Rob Krar, wow, what can we say about Rob that hasn’t already been said. Arguably, one of ‘THE’ ultra runners of the year after his rim-to-rim exploits, Western States run (his first 100) and then his incredible win at UROC. He raced just the other weekend at JFK50 and dropped leaving question marks in his own mind. However, the ‘drop’ may very well have just saved his legs and without doubt, don’t be surprised if he is on top of the podium at the end of the weekends festivities.

Timmy Olson TNFUTMB ©iancorless.com

Timmy Olson TNFUTMB ©iancorless.com

Timmy Olson repeated his victory at Western States, always the sign of a true champion when you can go back to a race and do it again…! He raced at Tarawera and made the podium, he just missed the podium at Transvulcania and dug real deep at TNFUTMB. Surprisingly after such a tough TNFUTMB he then raced Run Rabbit Run on what must have been a tired body. He certainly has an autopilot but I can’t help but think this race will be all about fulfilling sponsorship requirements and showing face. Having said that, showing face will probably still result in a top-10 and should he get his race face on, don’t be surprised if Timmy gets a podium place.

Ryan Sandes Gran Canaria ©iancorless.com

Ryan Sandes Gran Canaria ©iancorless.com

Ryan Sandes has had ‘one of those years’ that he will be keen to get over! I was with Ryan in Gran Canaria in March, he was all fired up for an exciting season ahead and then injury hit forcing him to miss Western States. Healed, Ryan returned to Leadville in the hope of repeating his 2011 victory, however, injury reappeared. He has tackled some personal projects in South Africa and recently raced in Patagonia. Ryan will be looking to finish 2013 on a high and may just well go under the radar after a quiet year.

Max King La Palma ©iancorless.com

Max King La Palma ©iancorless.com

Max King has not had a repeat of his 2012 season. Winner of the 2012 JFK and UROC, Max was an unstoppable rollercoaster and along with sage Canaday was just on fire. In 2013 he had planned to mix things up and race at different distances and represent the USA in multiple disciplines, it didn’t go to plan and he has been plagued with an ankle problem. If he is recovered and inform, Max will be up at the helm with Cameron and Sage dropping fast minute miles an looking to be the last man standing at the end.

Alex Nichols Chamonix ©iancorless.com

Alex Nichols Chamonix ©iancorless.com

Alex Nichols placed 5th last year and will come to this race confident after a great 2013 season racing in the Skyrunning calendar. In particular, he has plenty of speed uphill and has improved his down hill speed. 2013 may well just be the year that he moves a couple of places higher on the podium.

Francois D'Haene UTMB ©iancorless.com

Francois D’Haene UTMB ©iancorless.com

Francois D’Haene was last years 2nd place, approximately 13-mins behind his Salomon teammate, Miguel Heras. Francois has raced less in 2013 due to the pressures of owning a vineyard, however, when he has raced, he has been in top form. His was 2nd at Ice-Trail Tarentaise behind Kilian Jornet, he was joint winner at Mont-Blanc Marathon 80k Ultra with Michel Lanne and his recent dominance at the super tough Raid de la Reunion (Diagonale de Fous) means that his presence at San Fran surely means he is a podium contender. *Update “Finally my season ends sooner than expected …since my fall in Death Valley tuesday with a shock in the ribs I hope but I have finally abdicate … So I would support the team tomorrow.”

Michel Lanne Trofeo Kima ©iancorless.com

Michel Lanne Trofeo Kima ©iancorless.com

Michel Lanne is another consistent performer who may well do very well at this race. He had a great run with teammate Francois D’Haene at Mont-Blanc but then picked up an injury. In addition, he has also become a dad! December may well prove to be a great time of year; his life will have settled a little, he will be over his injury and without doubt he will be excited to race in the US.

Dylan Bowman UROC ©iancorless.com

Dylan Bowman UROC ©iancorless.com

My final hot tip for a podium place goes to Dylan Bowman. Dylan had a great Western States and turned up at TNFUTMB in the form of his life but had a freak training accident, which caused him to miss the race. He has a new coach and he is going to be looking to release some of that UTMB frustration.

So who else… it seems crazy that I am not writing about the names below in more depth. But I have previewed above who I think may well take out the top-3 slots

  • Mike Wolfe – was 11th last year and set an incredible FKT this year with Hal he could win this race!.
  • Adam Campbell – 4th last year and I may regret not adding him above?
  • Mike Foote – great 2013 UTMB but been quiet recently.
  • Hal Koerner – Think he will be on TNF duty.
  • Karl Meltzer – Karl says he has no chance in such a fast and ‘short’ field. If it were a 100-miles he would be listed above.
  • Matt Flaherty – another who should maybe be above but he was 2nd at JFK just a week ago, maybe a little tired?.
  • Mike Wardian – anything can happen…. Mike is an unpredictable phenomenon.
  • David Riddle – may or may not race with injury?
  • Gary Gellin – 9th last year.
  • Ryan Ghelfi – 5th at UROC and I may regret not adding him above too.
  • Rickey Gates – mixed 2013 but always a contender.
  • Jorge Maravilla – top 20 in 2012.
  • Martin Gaffuri  – great season on the Skyrunning calendar.
  • And finally, Greg Vollet who continues to amaze and surprise every time he races.

So, there you have it. A super stacked crazy race to end the year, the top-3 are any bodies guess. I have tried to provide a little insight but just don’t be surprised if we see a completely unexpected performance and a surprise win.

Ladies preview HERE.

2014 Skyrunning World champs €25,000 prize purse

©copyright .iancorless.com._1040611 After the extraordinary sell-out of the three Skyrunning World Championship events in Chamonix, France, we’re pleased to announce the slots available for countries participating.Eighteen medals and individual world titles are at stake in each discipline – Vertical, Sky and Ultra, and a further six for thecombined titles based on the best results of the Vertical KM and Mont-Blanc Marathon.

Three more medals will be awarded to national teams based on the best results of three men and one woman across all three disciplines.

A total of twenty-seven glittering medals and a €25,000 prize purse await the champions of these prestigious competitions which, for the first time, include the Ultra distance.

More than 30 nations will participate and, unlike the previous Championships,  dominated by Italy, Spain and France, “new” skyrunning nations like Australia and New Zealand, Czech Republic, Japan, Poland, South Africa and USA are raring to show their talent and make their mark in Chamonix.

The “test run” for the new Mont-Blanc 80K course was held in June, together with the KM Vertical and the Mont-Blanc Marathon which were Skyrunner® World Series races.

So, here’s the low down on the three World Championship races:

June 27 – the Mont-Blanc 80KM features a challenging 6,000 metres of vertical climb along ridges, over snow fields and traversing glaciers in a point to point loop.

Records: Francois D’Haene with Michel Lanne, 9h45’57” and Caroline Chaverot, 13h10’05”, 2013.

June 27 – short and steep, the Vertical KM points 1,000 metres skywards. A timed race, it will test your VO2 max to the limit.

Records: Saul Antonio Padua,34’34” and Christel Dewalle in 41’33”, 2013 .

©copyright .iancorless.com.Skyrunning

June 29 – The Mont-Blanc Marathon – the 42 km course starts in Chamonix and finishes at 2,016m altitude, gathering 2,511m elevation gain and 1,490m on the downhill, this beautiful trail offers some of the best scenery of the Mont Blanc massif. Records: Kilian Jornet, 3h30’41”, 2013 and Stevie Kremer, 4h03’20”, 2013.

Chamonix, it is fair to say, is probably the most iconic and spectacular sports arena to stage a World Championship.  The expert organisers are the Club des Sport de Chamonix, which manages year-round major international sports events.

Held every four years, the 2014 Skyrunning World Championships will represent the second edition since the inauguration of the ISF in 2008 and the first time with the ultra distance, attracting long distance runners from around the world.

Marino Giacometti, ISF President, commented:  “We’re proud to present the World Championships in Chamonix and, with the support of the Club des Sport, we’re confident the events will be a perfect showcase for skyrunning and draw the best athletes in the world for some intense competition.”

ISF Member countries and countries wishing to participate should submit the Team Entry Form below.

Programme and race details can be found here.

Words ©ISF Images ©iancorless.com