TROFEO KIMA 2016 Race Summary and Images – Skyrunner® Extreme Series

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You cannot look at Trofeo Kima with the eyes of a pure runner; It’s beyond running! For over twenty years, ‘Kima’ as it is affectionately known, has blown the minds and the legs of all those lucky enough to toe the line.

The race is arguably the pinnacle of the Skyrunning calendar and as such it has gained a reputation as one of the most demanding and challenging races in the world. At 52km in length the distance is not intimidating, however, 8,400m of ascent and descent put the race in perspective.

Passing over seven passes of the Sentiero Roma, a well-known GR route, the race in its current form is the brainchild of the International Skyrunning Federation president, Marino Giacometti. So tough is Kima that it has a capped field of just 250 participants and the race is held every other year to add to its allure.  This is a race that one aspires too; you need to earn a place on the entry line. The challenge comes no greater. This is confirmed in the words of the previous course record holder, Kilian Jornet:

‘Picture a mountain terrain that has no paths, amidst glaciers; it is all crests, rocks, stretches of via Ferrata and all over a course that stretches 52-km. Kima is not athletics, it is mountaineering; pure Skyrunning!’

Kima takes place on mountain paths that are unmarked. Simple flickers of colour show the way through rock, granite, snow and ice. Sections of the course are so severe that fixed ropes and chains provide the only secure way to traverse vertical walls of rock or exposed ledges. Needless to say, a head for heights, an ability to look after oneself and excellent fitness make each runner’s journey on the Sentiero Roma one that they will never forget. Scaling incredible terrain on foot and at times by hand, participants will reach a high point of 2,950m at Cameraccio Pass. It is the challenging terrain that truly sets the race apart, as Giacometti describes: ‘Kima crosses the group of technical mountains in the area and passes through all of the seven refuges situated on the route. It’s a very technical race and ultimately it has become a beacon of Skyrunning’

‘Kima’ was the nickname of Pierangelo Marchetti, who with friends founded the first helicopter equipe in Italy. The mountains were Perangelo’s life; he loved them and he embraced them. Unfortunately, on July 8th 1994, while attending a rescue mission via helicopter, Pierangelo’s life was taken. Trofeo Kima was created in his memory to ensure his love and dreams of the mountains would live on.

During the 20-year history, Kima has seen the best in the world perform over this challenging course. Now part of the Skyrunner® Extreme Series, Kima is one of three ‘extreme’ races that provides points for an overall Sky Extreme Series title where two out of three races must be completed. The first race in the series was Tromso SkyRace, the second Trofeo Kima and the third being the Salomon Glen Coe Skyline in Scotland.

For many, this iconic Skyrunning and mountain running race is still unknown. It’s like a precious jewel, hidden away for fear of someone stealing it. With each edition, one link in the securing chain is removed and the extreme beauty of Kima is being revealed to an audience of adrenaline junkies. Kima is not for everyone, but if you have the experience and the courage, the Sentiero Roma rewards each who ventures on to its tough and technical terrain.

This year, Tom Owens was riding high after a string of successful results and many had tipped him as the pre-race favourite. However, a day of intense heat and clear skies most definitely played with the rule book throwing several curve balls.

In the ladies’ race, the 2016 Kima will no doubt be remembered as the return to top level racing for Emelie Forsberg. Recent surgery on her knee after an ‘acl’ injury had deprived Emelie (and us) of her presence in a race. A couple of forays into shorter races had tested her fitness and recovery but could Emelie stand 7+ hours on ‘this’ course.

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Early action came from Alexis Sevennec and Leo Viret who dictated the pace up the very long first climb pursued by Marco De Gasperi and Nepalese runner, Bhim Gurung.

©iancorless.com_TrofeoKima2016-0996Constantly fighting the terrain and each other, Sevennec and Viret lead the race for much of the way with Gurung moving up into 3rd place after Qualido. In the latter stages of the race though, De Gasperi made a move as Sevennec and Viret faded. Gurung joined the Italian Skyrunning legend and in the closing stages the two dueled to the line… in the closing stages it was Gurung who made the break crossing the line to a stunning victory and new course record time of 6:10:44. De Gasperi crossed the line also under the old course record of Kilian Jornet a spent force. He dropped to the ground exhausted from the effort and heat. Vireo closed 3rd and Sevennec smiled his way across the line in 4th. Tom Owens finished 5th after a tough and hard day in the office – his first at Tromso and 5th here still securing his place at the top of the Sky Extreme Series.

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The ladies race was all about come back girl Emelie Forsberg and she didn’t disappoint. Leading the race from beginning to end, Emelie smiled her way to the line, pretty in pink! Yes, this was one of those great comebacks that even Emelie questioned, “I planned to take it easy early on and not push too hard. My operation removed some of my hamstring and this has made my leg weaker so I need to be careful. But everything felt good today and I am so happy, this was not about winning a race, although that is great! It was about coming back with no problems and feeling good.”

©iancorless.com_TrofeoKima2016-2490Emelie finished in 7:49:06 outside Nuria Picas’s course record time of 7:36:21. Ruth Croft from New Zealand pursued Emelie all day and had a great run often hovering around 10-minutes behind.

©iancorless.com_TrofeoKima2016-2542At the line the gap was 17+ minutes and Ruth confirmed that her skills on such technical terrain are not good enough in comparison to Emelie. Kima legend and previous winner of the race, Emanuela Brizio upheld her incredible history with this race crossing the line in 3rd, 8:21:42.

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Thanks to the support of our Partner Migu Xempower, Sponsor Alpina Watches and Official Pool Suppliers, Scott RunningCompressport and Salomon.

About Skyrunner® World Series
Skyrunning was founded in 1992 by Italian Marino Giacometti, President of the International Skyrunning Federation which sanctions the discipline worldwide and sports the tagline:
Less cloud. More sky.

The Skyrunner® World Series was launched in 2004 and has grown to represent the peak of outdoor running defined by altitude and technicality. In 2016, the Series, composed of four disciplines, features 23 races in 15 venues on three continents.

iancorless.com is the official photographer and media partner for the Skyrunner® World Series Follow on:

Social Media Logos

Facebook/iancorlessphotography
Twitter (@talkultra)
Instagram (@iancorlessphotography) 

Follow the Skyrunner® World Series on social media platforms

Facebook.com/skyrunning
Twitter @skyrunning_com
Instagram @skyrunning

Trofeo Kima is featured in my new book, RUNNING BEYOND (information here)

RunningBeyond_JKT

RACE IMAGES ©iancorless.com / SWS

Episode 117 – Debbie Martin-Consani, Jonathan Albon, Martin Yelling

A_GRAVATAR

This is Episode 117 of Talk Ultra and it’s a packed show. We talk with Jonathan Albon who last year won the Tromso SkyRace and this year placed 2nd. Debbie Martin-Consani talks about running long and her recent CR at the North Downs Way 100 in the UK. We also speak to my fellow podfather and good friend, Martin Yelling, about his inspiring, ‘Long Run Home.’ The News and Niandi co-hosts.

Karl is on the AT and he is now through the first week and everything seems to be going well. Each week I will post a 7-day update on my website, days 1-7 are HERE

RUNNING BEYOND BOOK is going to be available from October in Italy with Germany, Spain and the UK following – HERE

00:07:24 NEWS

TROMSO SKYRACE HERE

Jasmin Paris 8:43:53

Malena Haukøy 9:10:20

Martina Valmassoi 9:44:02

Tom Owens 6:45:15

Jonathan Albon 6:53:25

Finlay Wild 6:55:03

The VK which was run the day before saw Stian Angermund confirm his form from the Skyrunning World Championships with a strong victory and Emelie Forsberg won a nail biting sprint for the line to show us all she is on her way back. Read and view images HERE.

00:16:07 INTERVIEW JONATHAN ALBON

SIERRE ZINAL

It was a Kenyan victory for Petro Mamu ahead of the UK’s Robbie Simpson and Francesco Puppi from Italy was 3rd. In the ladies race, Michelle Maier took a great victory in 2:58 ahead of Lucy Wambui Murigi and Elisa Desco was 3rd.

TRANSROCKIES

120 miles over 6 stages and victory went to David Laney/ Ryan Ghelfi in the men’s race and Amanda Basham/ Keely Henninger for the women.

NORTH DOWNS WAY 100

Male:

  1. Neil Kirby 16:46:21
  2. James Poole 17:20:27
  3. John Stocker 18:03:26

Female:

  1. Debbie Martin-Consani 18:34:54 (6th overall)
  2. Annabelle Stearns 21:41:32
  3. Wendy Shaw 22:33:55

00:50:14 INTERVIEW DEBBIE MARTIN-CONSANI

MONTANA BRIDGE RIDGE RUN

This 20 mile race gets a mention as Jim Walmsley of Western States fane was apparently flying ahead of course record and then…. a lack of confidence saw him backtrack, WSER is obviously haunting him. Turns out he was on the correct course, he turned around and this time won but missed the record.

Gonzalo Calisto, 5th at 2015 UTMB tests positive for EPO – Compressport have now released a statement which is a really positive sign. Read HERE.

ANGELES CREST 100

Guillaume Calmaettes 19:14

Dominick Layfield 19:30

Dominick Grossman 19:57

Jenny Welch 26:51

Maria Lourdes Rivera 27:02

Selina Nordberg 28:54

SRI CHIMNEY SELF-TRANSCENDENCE 3100mile

It was the 20th edition of the 3100m journey and Yuri Trosteny completed the distance first in  46 days and just 94-minutes faster than Asprihanal Aalto. Asprihanal won the race in 2015 in a record 40 days. This time he came from behind and on one day he ran 86 miles to try to steal victory – 94 minutes super close! Yuri ran consistently more than 63 miles everyday!

When this show comes out it will be the Matterhorn Ultraks in Switzerland and then the week after it’s UTMB with a super stacked field and the iconic Trofeo Kima in Italy.

01:56:30 INTERVIEW MARTIN YELLING

UP & COMING RACES

Australia

Northern Territory

Alice Springs 60K Ultramarathon | 60 kilometers | August 21, 2016 | website

Belgium

Flanders

Oxfam Trailwalker Belgium | 100 kilometers | August 27, 2016 | website

Bulgaria

Orehovo Ultra | 52 kilometers | August 20, 2016 | website

Persenk Ultra | 157 kilometers | August 19, 2016 | website

Wild Boar Ultra | 104 kilometers | August 19, 2016 | website

Canada

British Columbia

Black Spur Ultra – 100km | 100 kilometers | August 20, 2016 | website

Black Spur Ultra – 100km Relay | 100 kilometers | August 20, 2016 | website

Black Spur Ultra – 50km | 50 kilometers | August 20, 2016 | website

Squamish 50 | 50 miles | August 20, 2016 | website

Squamish 50/50 | 130 kilometers | August 20, 2016 | website

Squamish 50K | 50 kilometers | August 21, 2016 | website

TrailStoke Ultra | 60 kilometers | August 27, 2016 | website

Ontario

Iroquoia Trail Test – 50K | 50 kilometers | August 20, 2016 | website

Quebec

Trans Vallée | 67 kilometers | August 19, 2016 | website

Finland

Eastern Finland

100 km | 100 kilometers | August 20, 2016 | website

France

Alpes-Maritimes

Ultra-Trail Côte d’Azur Mercantour | 140 kilometers | September 02, 2016 | website

Ariège

Ultra du Montcalm | 65 kilometers | August 20, 2016 | website

Hautes-Pyrénées

Grand Raid des Pyrénées – le Grand Trail | 80 kilometers | August 27, 2016 | website

Grand Raid des Pyrénées – l’Ultra | 160 kilometers | August 26, 2016 | website

Grand Raid des Pyrénées – Tour des Cirques | 117 kilometers | August 26, 2016 | website

Isère

La Traversée Nord | 85 kilometers | August 26, 2016 | website

L’Echappée Belle Intégrale | 144 kilometers | August 26, 2016 | website

Ultra Tour des 4 Massifs | 160 kilometers | August 19, 2016 | website

Ultra Tour des 4 Massifs – 90 km | 90 kilometers | August 20, 2016 | website

Loir-et-Cher

100km des Etangs de Sologne | 100 kilometers | August 27, 2016 | website

50km de la Sologne des Rivières | 50 kilometers | August 27, 2016 | website

Savoie

Courmayeur Champex Chamonix (CCC) | 98 kilometers | August 26, 2016 | website

North Face Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc (UTMB) | 166 kilometers | August 26, 2016 | website

Orsières – Champex – Chamonix (OCC) | 53 kilometers | August 25, 2016 | website

Petite Trotte à Léon (PTL) | 290 kilometers | August 22, 2016 | website

Sur les traces des Ducs de Savoie (TDS) | 119 kilometers | August 24, 2016 | website

Tour de la Grande Casse | 63 kilometers | August 20, 2016 | website

Vienne

Trail des Castors – 80 km | 80 kilometers | August 20, 2016 | website

Germany

Mecklenburg-Vorpommern

75 km | 75 kilometers | August 20, 2016 | website

Saarland

RAG-Hartfüßler – Trail 58 km | 58 kilometers | August 28, 2016 | website

Iceland

Fire and Ice | 250 kilometers | August 29, 2016 | website

The Iceland Trek | 84 kilometers | August 26, 2016 | website

India

Uttarakhand

Uttarkashi 135 | 135 miles | August 26, 2016 | website

Ireland

Connacht

Achill Ultra Marathon | 39 miles | August 27, 2016 | website

Kerry

Kerry Way Ultra | 120 miles | September 02, 2016 | website

Longford

Longford Ultra Marathon | 63 kilometers | August 28, 2016 | website

Wicklow

Wicklow Coastal Ultra Trail Marathon | 50 kilometers | August 28, 2016 | website

Japan

Hakusan Geotrail 100 K | 100 kilometers | August 21, 2016 | website

Hakusan Geotrail 250 K | 250 kilometers | August 21, 2016 | website

Kenya

Tsavorun | 84 kilometers | August 19, 2016 | website

Morocco

65 km | 65 kilometers | August 27, 2016 | website

New Zealand

Great Naseby Water Race 100 km | 100 kilometers | August 27, 2016 | website

Great Naseby Water Race 160 km | 160 kilometers | August 26, 2016 | website

Great Naseby Water Race 50 km | 50 kilometers | August 27, 2016 | website

Great Naseby Water Race 60 km | 60 kilometers | August 27, 2016 | website

Great Naseby Water Race 80 km | 80 kilometers | August 27, 2016 | website

Norway

styrkeprøven True West | 50 kilometers | August 27, 2016 | website

Peru

80 K | 80 kilometers | August 19, 2016 | website

80K Relay | 80 kilometers | August 19, 2016 | website

Réunion

Cimasarun | 55 kilometers | August 27, 2016 | website

Romania

Dracula 106K | 106 kilometers | August 26, 2016 | website

Dracula 106K 2-Day Stage Race | 106 kilometers | August 26, 2016 | website

Vlad Tepes 52K | 52 kilometers | August 27, 2016 | website

South Africa

Namaqua Quest | 110 kilometers | August 24, 2016 | website

Peninsula Ultra Fun Run | 80 kilometers | August 20, 2016 | website

Spain

Aragon

8K | 78 kilometers | August 27, 2016 | website

Sweden

Fjällmaraton Bydalsfjällen 50 km | 50 kilometers | August 20, 2016 | website

UltraVasan 90K | 90 kilometers | August 20, 2016 | website

Switzerland

Grisons

Swiss Irontrail T141 | 147 kilometers | August 19, 2016 | website

Swiss Irontrail T81 | 89 kilometers | August 19, 2016 | website

Obwald

MOUNTAINMAN Ultra | 80 kilometers | August 20, 2016 | website

Valais

Ultra Tour Monte Rosa | 117 kilometers | September 01, 2016 | website

Ultra Tour Monte Rosa – Stage Race | 117 kilometers | September 01, 2016 | website

Vaud

Ultra Trail du Barlatay | 87 kilometers | August 20, 2016 | website

United Kingdom

Anglesey

Ring o’ Fire | 131 miles | September 02, 2016 | website

Buckinghamshire

Ridgeway Challenge | 86 miles | August 27, 2016 | website

East Sussex

100km | 100 kilometers | August 27, 2016 | website

50 km | 50 kilometers | August 27, 2016 | website

England

Ultra Great Britain | 200 miles | August 20, 2016 | website

Greater London

T184 | 184 miles | August 26, 2016 | website

Hertfordshire

Chiltern Way Ultra 100k | 100 kilometers | August 28, 2016 | website

Chiltern Way Ultra 200k | 200 kilometers | August 27, 2016 | website

Moray

Speyside Way Race | 36 miles | August 20, 2016 | website

Sheffield

Ultra Tour of the Peak District | 60 miles | August 20, 2016 | website

USA

California

100K | 100 kilometers | August 20, 2016 | website

100M | 100 miles | August 20, 2016 | website

50K | 50 kilometers | August 20, 2016 | website

50M | 50 miles | August 20, 2016 | website

Bulldog 50K Ultra | 50 kilometers | August 27, 2016 | website

Castle Peak 100K | 100 kilometers | August 27, 2016 | website

Diablo Trail 50K Run | 50 kilometers | August 27, 2016 | website

Tamalpa Headlands 50K | 50 kilometers | August 27, 2016 | website

Colorado

Devil Mountain 50K | 50 kilometers | August 20, 2016 | website

Devil Mountain 50 Mile Ultra | 50 miles | August 20, 2016 | website

Leadville Trail 100 Run | 100 miles | August 20, 2016 | website

Silverton Alpine 50K | 50 kilometers | August 20, 2016 | website

Georgia

Yeti Snakebite 50K | 50 kilometers | August 27, 2016 | website

Yeti Snakebite 50M | 50 miles | August 27, 2016 | website

Idaho

Standhope 60K | 60 kilometers | August 20, 2016 | website

Michigan

Marquette Trail 50 Kilometer | 50 kilometers | August 20, 2016 | website

Marquette Trail 50 Mile | 50 miles | August 20, 2016 | website

Ultra Marathon | 50 miles | August 20, 2016 | website

Montana

Fool’s Gold 50M | 50 miles | August 20, 2016 | website

Fool’s Gold 50 Miler | 50 miles | August 20, 2016 | website

Ghosts of Yellowstone | 100 miles | August 20, 2016 | website

Ghosts of Yellowstone 100M | 100 miles | August 20, 2016 | website

Mystery Ranch 50K Endurance Run | 50 kilometers | August 20, 2016 | website

Rampage the Roots Montana’s Ultra Challenge 50 km | 50 kilometers | August 20, 2016 | website

Nebraska

50K | 50 kilometers | August 20, 2016 | website

Nevada

51 km | 51 kilometers | August 21, 2016 | website

Black Rock City 50km | 50 kilometers | August 30, 2016 | website

Marlette 50K Trail Run | 50 kilometers | August 21, 2016 | website

Ruby Mountain Relay | 184 miles | August 19, 2016 | website

New Hampshire

100 Miler | 100 kilometers | August 21, 2016 | website

50 Miler | 50 miles | August 21, 2016 | website

New York

Twisted Branch Trail Run | 100 kilometers | August 20, 2016 | website

Oregon

Hood to Coast Relay | 199 miles | August 26, 2016 | website

Where’s Waldo 100k Ultra | 100 kilometers | August 20, 2016 | website

Pennsylvania

Baker Trail UltraChallenge | 50 miles | August 27, 2016 | website

Rhode Island

100 miles | 100 miles | August 20, 2016 | website

South Dakota

50 km | 50 kilometers | August 27, 2016 | website

Lean Horse Half Hundred | 50 miles | August 27, 2016 | website

Lean Horse Hundred | 100 miles | August 27, 2016 | website

Texas

Habanero Hundred 100k | 100 kilometers | August 20, 2016 | website

Habanero Hundred 100 miler | 100 miles | August 20, 2016 | website

Habanero Hundred 50k | 50 kilometers | August 20, 2016 | website

Reveille Peak Ranch – 60km | 60 kilometers | August 27, 2016 | website

Utah

Skyline Mountain 50K | 50 kilometers | August 20, 2016 | website

Washington

200 Mile S2S | 200 miles | August 26, 2016 | website

Cascade Crest 100 Mile Endurance Run | 100 miles | August 27, 2016 | website

03:07:19 CLOSE

 

03:11:03

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Website – talkultra.com

Tromso SkyRace® 2016 Summary and Images – Skyrunner® Extreme Series

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Not even the 24-hour daylight could illuminate the landscape, the mountains and fjords were lost. Cloud shrouded the 3rd edition of the Tromsø SkyRace®, the first race in the new Skyrunner® Extreme Series.

Tromsø SkyRace®, is the brainchild of Kilian Jornet and Emelie Forsberg, with 2 high profile race directors like this, it’s not necessary to ask, ‘how technical is the race?’ You just know it’s going to be possibly one of the toughest races out there. Previous editions have confirmed this, in 2015, Jonathan Albon won the race in a new course record 6:08:41 and Salomon Team Manager Greg Vollet said, “It was crazy, but it was awesome! Certainly one of the most difficult races in the world!”

Hundreds of runners departed from the new start (and finish) outside The Edge Hotel, Tromso. It must be noted, that this new start and finish adds 8km’s onto what was an already tough course. Running what looks like a figure of 8 drawing, the route takes in 2 mountain summits: Tromsdalstind (1.238m) and Hamperokken (1.404m) which must be run twice; out and back! Crossing snow fields, rivers, dense forest and of course technical ridges, 4600m elevation awaited the runners but that statistic is only part of the story. It’s the technicality that makes this race hard.

Steep descents, challenging terrain and the ridge running at Hamperokken requires 110% focus. This IS NOT a race for everyone.

“The Hamperokken ridge is difficult. For much of it I was using both my hands and feet for purchase. At one point of the razor edge ridge we had to jump a gap from one rock to another. It was funny to see how our little contingent had gone from racing to simply traversing this dangerous section together.” – Jonathan Albon

It requires a level of skill, devotion and commitment that not every runner has. Purists would say that Skyrunning may well finally be harking back to the glory days of the late 80’s or early 90’s when Giacometti, Meraldi, Brunod pioneered a new sport on the slopes of Monte Rosa and Mont-Blanc.

Skyrunner® World silver medalist for the SKY distance and recent winner at SkyRace Comapedrosa, Tom Owens was the odds-on favourite for victory and it was no surprise that he dictated the pace from the front. His arrival at Hamperokken ridge in 1st place was to plan, however, the proximity of 2nd Finlay Wild and 3rd Jonathan Albon confirmed that the race ahead was going to be a tough one!. They were only separated by seconds!

The ridge offers no room to pass and crossing from one end to the other is all about being comfortable with the challenge and doing so at ones own pace. On the descent the trio stayed together but Tom moved ahead approximately 300m from the top of the final summit and made his move. Jonathan and Finlay pursued but Tom was once again running the race of his life; he was just too quick. Last years’ winner Jonathan Albon held on for 2nd and Finlay Wild placed 3rd just behind, it was an incredible race and a Brit 1, 2, 3 podium.

Tom said post-race, “This is just like three of the hardest fell races you could ever run with a load of technical sections and the ridge was just incredible. Kilian and Emelie have created a beautiful (and hard) race. What a start to the Extreme Series!”

The ladies race was dictated by pre-race favourite, Jasmin Paris and she arrived at Hamperokken ridge in 1st. Looking relaxed and composed, Jasmin was running as hard as she needed still feeling jaded from recent FKT efforts and racing. Moving along the ridge she smiled, she was having fun.

Over the final half of the course Jasmin extended her lead and victory was never in doubt.

Last year, Malene Blikken Haukoy placed 3rd and this year she was running a comfortable 2nd on home terrain. Her ony threat came from Martina Valmassoi but her lead was comfortable and she cruised to the line securing the 2nd podium slot.

Martina Valmassoi running one of the longest and hardest races of her life like the two ladies in-front of her looked settled for the final podium place and the finish line could not arrive soon enough.

Jasmin, Like Tom Owens reveled in the ‘British’ like conditions that Norway and Tromso provided, “It’s just an incredible race. I loved the ridge, it was so much fun and the terrain and temperatures made me feel at home. Now I am really looking forward to returning to Scotland for the Salomon Glencoe Skyline!”

One thing is for sure, Kilian and Emelie have created something quite special in Tromso, it has set the stage for Trofeo Kima, the Salomon Glencoe Skyline and the Skyrunner® Extreme Series. The ‘Extreme’ series may not be for everyone but Skyrunner’s can dream to achieve the skill level and fitness required to take part in the ultimate mountain running experience. For sure it’s Skyrunning but it’s Skyrunning with bells on, it’s alpinism without the clutter.

Results

Jasmin Paris 8:43:53

Malena Haukøy 9:10:20

Martina Valmassoi 9:44:02

 

Tom Owens 6:45:15

Jonathan Albon 6:53:25

Finlay Wild 6:55:03


Thanks to the support of our Partner Migu Xempower, Sponsor Alpina Watches and Official Pool Suppliers, Scott RunningCompressport and Salomon.

About Skyrunner® World Series
Skyrunning was founded in 1992 by Italian Marino Giacometti, President of the International Skyrunning Federation which sanctions the discipline worldwide and sports the tagline:
Less cloud. More sky.

The Skyrunner® World Series was launched in 2004 and has grown to represent the peak of outdoor running defined by altitude and technicality. In 2016, the Series, composed of four disciplines, features 23 races in 15 venues on three continents.

iancorless.com is the official photographer and media partner for the Skyrunner® World Series Follow on:

Social Media Logos

Facebook/iancorlessphotography
Twitter (@talkultra)
Instagram (@iancorlessphotography) 

Follow the Skyrunner® World Series on social media platforms

Facebook.com/skyrunning
Twitter @skyrunning_com
Instagram @skyrunning

Tromsø SkyRace® 2016 Preview – Skyrunner® Extreme Series

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Skyrunning goes EXTREME this weekend with the Tromsø SkyRace® the first race of three in the new Skyrunner® Extreme Series which also includes the iconic Trofeo Kima and the soon to be iconic, Salomon Glencoe Skyline in the UK.

A double whammy weekend of running that starts with the Blåmann Vertical Kilometer® and concludes with the Tromsø SkyRace® is the brainchild of Kilian Jornet and Emelie Forsberg. Needless to say, the dynamic Skyrunning duo have something quite special in store.

On Friday, 15 countries will participate in the tough, challenging, leg hurting, lung busting Blåmann Vertical Kilometer® as they climb 1000 vertical meters over the short distance of 2.7km. Starting on the shores of the sea, the race really does encompass the ethos of ‘sea-to-sky’ perfectly and concludes at the altitude of 1044m at Store Blåmann.

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Double Skyrunning World Champion (SKY and VK) Stian Angermund is without doubt the hot favourite for victory after two incredible performances in Spain. Running on home soil, Stian will without doubt be fired up to impress. Strong competition will come from Ferran Teixodo, Hannes Perkmann, Rolf Einar Jensen, Allan Spangler, Pieter Schnapps and Ferran and Jordi Lorenzo.

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Laura Orgue took silver medal in the Skyrunning World Championships just 2-weeks ago for the VK distance and last weekend she held off a charging Oihana Kortazar at the SkyRace Comapedrosa to take a stunning victory. Laura has said she is feeling a little tired but without doubt, she is the favourite for victory in Tromso. Yngvild Kaspersen, like Stian, will be running on home soil and although the VK is not her speciality, we can expect a top performance. Other strong competition will come from Natalia Tomasiak and regular VK competitor, Therese Sjursen.

Saturday’s Hamperokken SkyRace® is a beast of a course and has some of the most technical and challenging sections ever witnessed in a Skyrunning race. Designed by Kilian and Emelie the race has been instrumental in inspiring the new Extreme Series which harks back to the early pioneering days of Giacometti, Meraldi and Brunod.

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Covering a ‘new’ distance of 53km (the old distance was 45km) and 4600m of vertical terrain, the race really is a challenge for those taking part. This is reflected in the 2015 winning time of Jonathan Albon’s 6:08:41. Jonathan will return this year no doubt looking for a repeat victory as he starts his ‘Extreme’ journey in 2016.

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Arguably Jonathan’s biggest threat will come from the UK’s Tom Owens who is on fire at the moment. Tom placed silver at the Skyrunning World Championships for the SKY distance and last weekend took a stunning victory at the SkyRace Comapedrosa where he said post race, “I felt brilliant today, my legs were superb!” If Tom makes the journey to Norway, he will push Jonathan, no doubt!

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For me though, the one to watch will be Finlay Wild. Finlay spent his teens and early twenties mountaineering in summer and winter throughout Scotland and abroad. His local mountain Ben Nevis provided an obvious running challenge and he went on to win the Ben Nevis Race six times. In 2012, Finlay set new course records on Glamaig, Glen Rosa Horseshoe and Sliochmay. In 2013 he set a new record on Scotland’s Cullin Ridge knocking 15-minutes of the old record to set a benchmark time of 2:59. He may very well be the real surprise package of the race!

Also watch out for Andrew Fallas, another Scottish runner relatively unknown in Skyrunning circles but the ‘Extreme’ element is bringing the fell/ mountain runners into a new playground.

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Norwegian Rolf Einar Jensen made the podium at the Tromso race in 2015 and with race experience, local knowledge and an ability to run fast over this technical terrain, one can expect him to equal if not better his past results. Equally, Eirik Haugsness who won the first edition of the Tromso race 2-years ago brings experience to the start line. It’s going to be tight up at the front and Philipp Reiter will add to the pressure.

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Luke Nelson is flying over from the USA, he is a prolific ultra runner and an ever present on the Skyrunning circuit in the USA. This year Luke is looking to compete in the Extreme Series. Matt Cooper from Australia has experience of Trofeo Kima and once again will return this year, to the Italian classic; Tromso kicks off his ‘Extreme’ campaign and he will make his presence felt.

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Sota Ogawa makes up the last of the top men who will contest the podium after placing 9th at Sai Kung 50k in 2015.

Surprises will no doubt come from the UK’s Jim Mann who is an experienced fell runner and winner of the 2015 Dragons Back Race. Also watch out for Konrad Rawlik who has just married the ladies hot favourite for victory, Jasmin Paris.
ELS2900 race director, Matt Lefort will also run along with Zigor Iturrieta, Christophe Le Saux and Alfred Gil Garcia amongst others. It’s going to be a cracking race!

Finally a notable mention in the men’s race for Tim Shieff. Tim is one of the worlds most successful ‘Freerunners’ and is an expert in Parkour. In 2009 he was crowned World Champion after winning the Barclaycard World Freerun Championships. Although Tim is new to Skyrunning, he has completed the Skyrunning UK’s V3K and in a recent chat, Tim told me, ‘running is my new passion and particularly Skyrunning. The technical courses that Skyrunning offer are a great extension of Freerunning and Parkour.’  I wonder, could Tim surprise everyone like Jonathan did last year?

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The ladies race has less depth but Jasmin Paris from the UK, in my opinion, will make an impact on the circuit in a huge way in 2016. Last year she placed 2nd behind Emelie Forsberg at Glencoe Skyline and just a couple of weeks ago, Jasmin took the bronze medal at the Skyrunning World Championships for the ULTRA distance. This all came on the back of minimal training due to her recent wedding. Jasmin’s legs may well feel a little tired in Tromso but the course, the technical sections and all the climbing will suit her… watch out ladies!

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Martina Valmassoi recently placed well at Ultra SkyMarathon Madeira and comes to Tromso with plenty of high mountain experience. Both Natalia Roman Lopez (who placed 7th at the recent High Trail Vanoise and 26th at Transvulcania) and Kathrin Shambeck (who was 53rd at Matterhorn Ultraks last year and 27th Transvulcania in 2013) will also look to make the top-5.

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Malene Blikken Haukoy may well be a dark horse after a victory at Homindal Rundt 70k in 2015 and her 3rd place at the Tromso race in 2015. 

Both Blåmann Vertical Kilometer® and the Tromsø SkyRace® are capped for safety and environmental reasons. It’s an important element of running in such a stunning part of the world and they are both ecologically sustainable.

Gnarly, gruelling, technical, beautiful and challenging; Skyrunning goes EXTREME this weekend, don’t miss it!

Course records are 6:08:41 and 7:09:54 for the men’s and ladies’ races held by Jonathan Albon and Emelie Forsberg, will we see a new benchmark set in 2016?


Thanks to the support of our Partner Migu Xempower, Sponsor Alpina Watches and Official Pool Suppliers, Scott RunningCompressport and Salomon.

About Skyrunner® World Series
Skyrunning was founded in 1992 by Italian Marino Giacometti, President of the International Skyrunning Federation which sanctions the discipline worldwide and sports the tagline:
Less cloud. More sky.

The Skyrunner® World Series was launched in 2004 and has grown to represent the peak of outdoor running defined by altitude and technicality. In 2016, the Series, composed of four disciplines, features 23 races in 15 venues on three continents.

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Episode 112 – Nicky Spinks, Emelie Forsberg, The Jeff’s

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This is Episode 112 of Talk Ultra and we speak with Nicky Spinks about that incredible DOUBLE Bob Graham Round. Emelie Forsberg joins us to tell us all about her injury, how she feels and when (we hope) she will be back and we speak to ‘The Jeff’s’ an inspiring husband and wife who took respective 1st places at the Salt Flats 100

NEWS

Ultra Trail Australia 

Men

Pau Capell 9:20

Ben Duffus 9:39

Yun Yanqiao 9:42

notable 4th – Ryan Sandes 9:48

Beth Cardelli 11:16

Fiona Hayvice 11:33

Kellie Emmerson 11:53

00:16:16 INTERVIEW Steven Jeff and Meagan Jeff – Salt Flats 100

Quicksilver 100k

Paul Terranova 9:17

Chris Calzetta 9:32

Mario Martinez 9:56

Krissy Moehl 11:02

Roxana Pana 11:44

Monica Imana 12:13

ROB YOUNG – marathonmanUK has started his Transcontinental run record (2766 miles) on May 14th. He started with an 81 mile day 1…. you can track him HERE

At the time of recording having run 5-days he was just south of the Grand Canyon heading to Flagstaff

We mentioned in the last show about Nicky Spinks completing the DOUBLE BOB GRAHAM ROUND and I am really pleased to say I caught up with her just days after of this inspiring interview. Only the 2nd person and 1st lady to complete a double BGR in 45:30

01:07:42 INTERVIEW with Nicky Spinks

01:44:19 INTERVIEW with Emelie Forsberg

UP & COMING RACES

Argentina

Fiambala Desert Trail 50K | 50 kilometers | May 28, 2016 | website

Fiambala Desert Trail 80K | 80 kilometers | May 28, 2016 | website

Australia

Victoria

100km | 100 kilometers | June 04, 2016 | website

60 km | 60 kilometers | June 04, 2016 | website

Macedon Ranges 50K Trail Run | 50 kilometers | May 29, 2016 | website

Western Australia

Kep Track 100km Ultra Marathon II | 100 kilometers | June 05, 2016 | website

Kep Track 75km Ultra Marathon II | 75 kilometers | June 05, 2016 | website

Austria

ESPA-Mountain-Marathon | 50 kilometers | June 04, 2016 | website

ESPA-Ötscher-Ultra-Marathon | 72 kilometers | June 04, 2016 | website

Belgium

Wallonia

Trail des Vallées du Chevalier – 62 km | 62 kilometers | May 28, 2016 | website

Bhutan

The Last Secret | 200 kilometers | May 27, 2016 | website

Canada

Alberta

Blackfoot Ultra 100KM | 100 kilometers | May 28, 2016 | website

Blackfoot Ultra 50 Km | 50 kilometers | May 28, 2016 | website

Blackfoot Ultra 50 Miler | 50 miles | May 28, 2016 | website

Calgary Marathon 50K Ultra | 50 kilometers | May 29, 2016 | website

British Columbia

55 km | 55 kilometers | May 28, 2016 | website

Ontario

Sulphur Springs 100 Mile Trail Run | 100 miles | May 28, 2016 | website

Sulphur Springs 50K Trail Run | 50 kilometers | May 28, 2016 | website

Sulphur Springs 50 Mile Trail Run | 50 miles | May 28, 2016 | website

China

Shangri-La 100k | 100 kilometers | May 28, 2016 | website

Shangri-La 50k | 50 kilometers | May 28, 2016 | website

Czech Republic

Craft Gemini Maraton | 84 kilometers | June 05, 2016 | website

Mammut Ultramaraton | 85 kilometers | June 04, 2016 | website

Denmark

Midtjylland

Nordisk eXtrem maraton X50 | 50 kilometers | May 28, 2016 | website

Nordisk eXtrem maraton X70 | 70 kilometers | May 28, 2016 | website

Finland

Oulu

NUTS Karhunkierros Trail Ultra – 160 km | 160 kilometers | May 27, 2016 | website

NUTS Karhunkierros Trail Ultra – 53 km | 53 kilometers | May 28, 2016 | website

NUTS Karhunkierros Trail Ultra – 80 km | 80 kilometers | May 28, 2016 | website

France

Ardèche

53 km | 53 kilometers | June 04, 2016 | website

Dordogne

La Mythique International Run | 250 kilometers | June 04, 2016 | website

Haute-Savoie

Technica Maxi Race | 85 kilometers | May 29, 2016 | website

Trail du Gypaète | 73 kilometers | June 04, 2016 | website

XL Race | 87 kilometers | May 28, 2016 | website

Hautes-Pyrénées

Trail du Hautacam – 50 km | 59 kilometers | May 29, 2016 | website

Isère

Circuit de la sure | 56 kilometers | June 05, 2016 | website

Jura

La Transju’trail – 72 km | 72 kilometers | June 05, 2016 | website

Orne

Trail du Massif d’Ecouves en Pays d’Alançon – 61 km | 61 kilometers | June 05, 2016 | website

Pas-de-Calais

105 km | 105 kilometers | May 28, 2016 | website

50 km | 50 kilometers | May 28, 2016 | website

Rhône

Raid 500km | 500 kilometers | June 05, 2016 | website

Saône-et-Loire

Trails des Vignes | 300 kilometers | May 28, 2016 | website

Ultra Trail de Côte-d’Or | 105 kilometers | May 28, 2016 | website

Germany

Baden-Württemberg

Schefflenzer Ultralauf – 100 km | 100 kilometers | May 28, 2016 | website

Schefflenzer Ultralauf – 50 km | 50 kilometers | May 28, 2016 | website

North Rhine-Westphalia

Bödefelder Hollenlauf 101 KM | 101 kilometers | May 28, 2016 | website

Bödefelder Hollenlauf 67 KM | 67 kilometers | May 28, 2016 | website

Hungary

Ultrabalaton | 212 kilometers | May 28, 2016 | website

Ireland

Kilkenny

Tullaroan Ultra Marathon | 39 miles | June 04, 2016 | website

Italy

Emilia-Romagna

Trail Alta Val Nure – 60 km | 60 kilometers | May 29, 2016 | website

Piedmont

Trail del Monte Soglio – Gir Lung | 63 kilometers | May 28, 2016 | website

Sardinia

Asinara Ultra Trail 80K | 80 kilometers | May 28, 2016 | website

Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol

Vigolana Trail | 65 kilometers | June 04, 2016 | website

Tuscany

100km del Passatore | 100 kilometers | May 28, 2016 | website

Veneto

103 km | 103 kilometers | June 10, 2016 | website

53 km | 53 kilometers | June 10, 2016 | website

Nepal

Mount Everest Extreme Ultra Marathon | 60 kilometers | May 29, 2016 | website

Netherlands

Friesland

Pieter-ROG-pad Special Waddeneilanden | 300 kilometers | June 02, 2016 | website

Peru

Jungle Ultra | 220 kilometers | June 03, 2016 | website

Portugal

Blue Island Trail – Ultra Trail | 70 kilometers | May 28, 2016 | website

OMD – Ultra Trail Serra da Estrela – 100 Milhas+ | 100 miles | June 03, 2016 | website

OMD – Ultra Trail Serra da Estrela – K100 | 101 kilometers | June 04, 2016 | website

OMD – Ultra Trail Serra da Estrela – K70 | 70 kilometers | June 04, 2016 | website

Santana Ultra SkyMarathon Madeira | 59 kilometers | June 04, 2016 | website

Ultramaratona Caminhos do Tejo – 144 km | 144 kilometers | June 10, 2016 | website

Ultramaratona Caminhos do Tejo – 57 km | 57 kilometers | June 10, 2016 | website

Ultra-Trail de Sesimbra | 60 kilometers | June 05, 2016 | website

Réunion

60 km | 60 kilometers | June 04, 2016 | website

Romania

80 km | 80 kilometers | June 04, 2016 | website

Ultramaraton 52,75 km | 52 kilometers | May 28, 2016 | website

Russia

Elton Ultra-Trail® – Master 56 km | 56 kilometers | May 28, 2016 | website

Elton Ultra-Trail® – Ultra 104 km | 104 kilometers | May 28, 2016 | website

Master | 56 kilometers | May 28, 2016 | website

Ultra | 100 kilometers | May 28, 2016 | website

Serbia

Ultra Trail Stara Planina 122 km | 122 kilometers | June 04, 2016 | website

Ultra Trail Stara Planina 86 km | 86 kilometers | June 04, 2016 | website

Slovakia

Štefánik Trail | 140 kilometers | June 10, 2016 | website

South Africa

Comrades Marathon | 89 kilometers | May 29, 2016 | website

Spain

Basque Country

Euskal Herria Mendi Erronka | 65 kilometers | June 04, 2016 | website

Castile and León

60 km | 60 kilometers | June 04, 2016 | website

Catalonia

Trail | 71 kilometers | May 28, 2016 | website

Trail Els Bastions® | 52 kilometers | June 04, 2016 | website

Ultra Els Bastions® | 90 kilometers | June 04, 2016 | website

Ultra Trail | 129 kilometers | May 27, 2016 | website

Galicia

80 km | 80 kilometers | May 28, 2016 | website

Sweden

Boras Ultra Marathon – 100 miles | 100 miles | May 28, 2016 | website

Boras Ultra Marathon – 87 km | 87 kilometers | May 28, 2016 | website

Switzerland

Berne

100km run Biel | 100 kilometers | June 10, 2016 | website

United Kingdom

Birmingham

Grand Union Canal Race | 145 miles | May 28, 2016 | website

Calderdale

Calderdale Way Ultra (long) | 50 miles | June 04, 2016 | website

Devon

Dartmoor Discovery | 32 miles | June 04, 2016 | website

East Sussex

Weald Challenge 50 km Ultra Trail | 50 kilometers | May 29, 2016 | website

Greater London

First Half Challenge | 56 kilometers | May 28, 2016 | website

London 2 Brighton Challenge | 100 kilometers | May 28, 2016 | website

Northamptonshire

Northants Ultra | 35 miles | June 05, 2016 | website

Surrey

The Omen 66.6 | 67 miles | June 04, 2016 | website

Worcestershire

Severn Path Ultra | 58 miles | May 28, 2016 | website

Severn Plod Ultra | 45 miles | May 27, 2016 | website

Severn Way Ultra | 58 miles | May 29, 2016 | website

USA

Alabama

Rockin Choccolocco 50K | 50 kilometers | May 28, 2016 | website

Arkansas

War Eagle Tail Twister Trail 50k | 50 kilometers | June 04, 2016 | website

California

Loco 50K | 50 kilometers | June 04, 2016 | website

Loco 50K | 50 kilometers | June 04, 2016 | website

Nanny Goat 100M Trail | 100 miles | May 28, 2016 | website

San Diego 100 Mile Endurance Run | 100 miles | June 03, 2016 | website

San Francisco 100 Mile Endurance Run | 100 miles | May 28, 2016 | website

San Francisco 50 Mile Endurance Run | 50 miles | May 28, 2016 | website

Colorado

50K | 50 kilometers | June 04, 2016 | website

50K Trail Race | 50 kilometers | June 04, 2016 | website

50 Mile Trail Race | 50 miles | June 04, 2016 | website

Ultimate Direction Dirty 50K Trail Run | 50 kilometers | June 04, 2016 | website

Florida

Lake to Ocean 100K | 100 kilometers | June 04, 2016 | website

Georgia

Wildwood Games – 50K Trail Run | 50 kilometers | June 05, 2016 | website

Idaho

Scout Mountain Ultra Trail 100k | 100 kilometers | June 04, 2016 | website

Scout Mountain Ultra Trail 60k | 60 kilometers | June 04, 2016 | website

Maine

Pineland Farms 50K Trail | 50 kilometers | May 29, 2016 | website

Pineland Farms 50 Mile Trail | 50 miles | May 29, 2016 | website

Michigan

10k Run | 62 miles | May 30, 2016 | website

Yankee Springs Trail Double Marathon | 84 kilometers | June 04, 2016 | website

Missouri

Go! KT82 Trail Relay | 82 miles | June 04, 2016 | website

Nebraska

G.O.A.T.z Gravel Classic 60k | 60 kilometers | May 28, 2016 | website

GOATz Gravel Classic 60K | 60 kilometers | May 28, 2016 | website

New York

Cayuga Trails 50 | 50 miles | June 04, 2016 | website

Oregon

Bend Beer Chase | 70 miles | June 04, 2016 | website

TrailFactor 50k | 50 kilometers | May 30, 2016 | website

Walk The Line Relay – 2 Person Team | 33 miles | June 04, 2016 | website

Walk The Line Relay – 3 Person Team | 33 miles | June 04, 2016 | website

Walk the Line Relay – Solo | 33 miles | June 04, 2016 | website

Rhode Island

Gloridays | 44 miles | June 05, 2016 | website

South Carolina

El Diablo | 220 kilometers | June 03, 2016 | website

Hell Hole Hundred – 100K | 100 kilometers | June 04, 2016 | website

Hell Hole Hundred – 100M | 100 miles | June 04, 2016 | website

Hell Hole Hundred – 60K | 60 kilometers | June 04, 2016 | website

Utah

Squaw Peak 50 Mile Trail Run | 50 miles | June 04, 2016 | website

Virginia

Old Dominion 100 Cross Country Run | 100 miles | June 04, 2016 | website

Washington

Pigtails 100 Mile Challenge | 100 miles | May 28, 2016 | website

Pigtails 150 Mile Challenge | 150 miles | May 27, 2016 | website

Rainier to Ruston 50K Ultra | 50 kilometers | June 04, 2016 | website

Rainier to Ruston 50M Ultra | 50 miles | June 04, 2016 | website

Soaring Eagle 10 M Trail Run | 50 kilometers | May 28, 2016 | website

Soaring Eagle 50K Trail Run | 50 kilometers | May 28, 2016 | website

Vashon Island 50K Ultramarathon | 50 kilometers | June 04, 2016 | website

Wisconsin

Kettle Moraine 100 km Trail Run | 100 kilometers | June 04, 2016 | website

Kettle Moraine 100 Mile Trail Run | 100 miles | June 04, 2016 | website

Kettle Moraine 38 Mile Night Fun Run | 38 miles | June 04, 2016 | website

Kettle Moraine 50 km Trail Run | 50 kilometers | June 04, 2016 | website

Ragnar Relay Chicago | 194 miles | June 10, 2016 | website

Wyoming

Rocky Mountain 50k | 50 kilometers | May 29, 2016 | website

02:23:59 CLOSE

02:28:43

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Skyrunning is Booming! article on RUNULTRA

Skyrunning is Booming!

The recent Fast and Light film provides a great insight into Skyrunning and shows how the sport has grown worldwide; the UK has also seen interest grow in a sport where earth meets sky.

Shane Donnelly is a 26-year old runner from Ireland who has had his imagination captured by the sport.

In 2015 alone, he has raced the Tromso SkyRace in Norway, the Glen Coe Skyline in Scotland and the Mourne Skyline MTR in Northern Ireland.

Three challenging races but it’s the Glen Coe event in Scotland that is currently making runners turn their heads and wonder, ‘can I do that?

Let’s face it, the 2015 first edition of the race had Skyrunning World and European Champion, Emelie Forsberg take part and post race she said:

“Waow! Seriously the best race in this distance. Super technical ridges and gullies (think Trofeo Kima but no via ferrata!) and some parts are very runnable on nice but tricky trails. Glen Coe I’m thrilled to have run this race. Thanks for the amazing organization. Even though it was hard all of the nature and the course made me go fast.”

 You can read the full story on RUNULTRA.co.uk HERE

run-ultra-logo

 

FAST and LIGHT Salomon SRTV – Skyrunning

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Watch the film, Fast and Light at the bottom of this article

A trickle of piano noise from the local music school weaves its way through open window shutters left ajar to allow some breeze… the heat of the day can be stifling. It feels and sounds like a scene in a movie. Cobbled streets, stone arches, a wonderful old square, the chatter of children playing and the smell of a freshly brewed cappuccino in the air.

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Biella, or should I say, the International Skyrunning Federation HQ (and home of Lauri van Houten and Marino Giacometti) is atop a hill in a walled village close to the Aosta valley, just over an hour from Chamonix and in close proximity to Monte Rosa and the Matterhorn. It seems the perfect location for the home of pure mountain running. Biella lies in the foothills of the Alps in the Bo mountain range near Mt. Mucrone and Camino.

It is midway through the 2014 season, between Ice Trail Tarentaise and Trofeo Kima, I spend time with Lauri and Marino in Biella at their home in the mountains (Casina) Corteno Golgi and at Trofeo Kima to get an inside look at what makes this couple tick and how the Skyrunning calendar and its logistics fall into place. The African Attachment with Greg Fell, Dean Leslie and Kelvin Trautman were also filming for Salomon Running. Today, 20th Oct the preview film will be made live. ‪#‎FastandLight‬ is for me a special moment. I hope you enjoy the film and the related articles and images that are currently published worldwide to coincide with the films release.

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Mountains dominate the life of Marino and Lauri. It’s not a job; it’s a passion that dominates 12+ hours of every day. You will see the dynamic duo at all the Skyrunner® World Series races every year. In total, that is 15-events in 3-disciplines, VK, SKY and ULTRA. But these worldwide events are just the visible face of what the ISF does! Behind the scenes it’s a frenetic highly pressured scene of telephone calls, emails, logistical planning and negotiations that make the Skyrunner® World Series tick.

“We moved here as the sports brand Fila were based here. In the 90’s they were a key sponsor for Skyrunning,” says Lauri van Houten, Executive Director for the International Skyrunning Federation, “When Fila folded, we were left with a dilemma; should we stay or should we go? Stay we did and it feels natural and relaxed to be here now.”

It’s a scenario far removed from 1989 when Giacometti set a record running from the village of Alagna to the summit of Monte Rosa. 25-years of mountain running and today, iconic names such as Bruno Brunod and Fabio Meraldi are once again being talked about in the same breath as Kilian Jornet.

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Bruno Brunod

“Older generations were already Skyrunners. My grandfather crossed the mountains working for example. ‘We’ as Skyrunners added more speed but in essence it has always been the same thing, Skyrunners have always existed.” Bruno Brunod says. 

“What I liked was going quickly to the summit. I felt the same when I was a kid in the pastures, I always ran up and down the summits that surrounded me. It is something I felt inside, something I liked.”

In 2012, Skyrunning went through a revival. After careful and strategic planning, the ISF launched the new Sky Ultra Marathon Series with Transvulcania La Palma and a seminar, ‘Less Cloud, More Sky.’ The sport moved up a notch and became something that runners all over the world aspired to. It’s been called the ‘the next big thing’ but as Giacometti explains:

“There is nothing new in Skyrunning. It is just now that everyone is catching up with our vision from so many years ago.”

BIELLA

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Biella is a wonderful place. Calm and relaxing, to me, it is typically Italian. Located opposite a music school, the ISF headquarters and home of Marino Giacometti and Lauri van Houten resonate a calm and tranquility that seems far removed from the full-on days in and around and Skyrunner® World Series.
The sun shines and the daily bustle of Italian life provides a wonderful soundtrack that penetrates ones’ mind. Cars rumble over cobbled streets as they scoot off to work, mothers are heard chastising their child©iancorless.comIMG_5035ren as they amble to school. The click of an espresso machine and that wonderful noise as pressured water works its way through fresh coffee and the smell, oh the smell! Nothing beats a fresh coffee in the morning. It’s 7am and Marino is kicking off his day with a good strong shot of the dark stuff before donning glasses and opening his computer.

The office is adorned with memorabilia from 20+ years of travel and racing. The door plaque sums it up’ Skyrunners.’ In the corner, magazines are stacked in chronological order documenting a lifetime in sport.

Lauri joins us looking a little tired. Yesterday was another 18-hour day. It’s normal… it shouldn’t be but it is!

“What does a normal day look like for you Lauri?” I tentatively ask, knowing full well the answer.

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“How long have you got? I have no idea; I am speechless. I am a person that gets bored easy. This job is NEVER boring! I may have 5-spreadsheets open, 50 e-mails to look at, and a schedule of things to address and amend and then I need to coordinate with athletes, teams, team managers and race directors and media. My day starts with email. I often think oh my goodness and then the first forty or so emails arrive and then a daily grind starts. In addition to this, sometimes language is a challenge. I speak English, Italian, German but I have emails from Russia, Turkey, Greece, Afghanistan and so on. As I said, my day is never boring.”

Trofeo Kima is just around the corner. For many, me included, ‘Kima’ is the epitome of Skyrunning. Kilian Jornet sums it up well when he says:

“Picture a mountain terrain that has no paths, amidst glaciers; it is all crests, rocks, stretches of via Ferrata and all over a course that stretches 50-km. Kima is not athletics, it is mountaineering; pure Skyrunning!”

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Preparations are well underway for the race and in just 24-hours we will all need to travel to Milan for a press conference and then a journey will follow to the mountains, to Corteno Golgi and a stay at Marino’s mountain house, the ‘Casina’ before an onward journey to the Kima race itself.

“I m a hub, the person in the middle,” says Lauri. “But often you can’t plan how a day will unfold. I have a ‘to do’ list that obviously needs to get done but then things happen daily that need to be addressed immediately. It’s all about time management and you just can’t stick to a too rigid schedule as the guidelines constantly move and change. Kima is imminent and therefore many questions and problems arise. We also have a press conference in Milan, that requires work.”

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Marino looks over at us, he peeps over his glasses and smiles. My question. “Tell me where you come in Marino?” Seems to suggest that I am implying he does nothing.

“Now it’s difficult. We have so many races. I look at race profiles initially and it is easy to see from a quick glance what will and will not make a good Skyrunning race. Remember, my experience was mountaineering but we had to adapt my dreams for a worldwide audience. I look for mountains and mountains provide races and opportunities. I also need to consider locations, countries and how the schedule comes together.”

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The phone rings and Marino joins Fabio Meraldi in a conversation. Walking out of the office into the sunlight, Marino strides around the garden in animated discussion. The Italian sounds like bird song and with arms waving and gesticulating, plans are made for Kima and a series of interviews that will be filmed by The African Attachment on a new film about Skyrunning called, ‘Fast and Light.’

“Tell me about Trofeo Kima, because you designed this course, yes?”

“Kima is on the course of the Sentiero Roma. It’s a well known via ferrata route. It crosses the group of technical mountains in the area and passes through all the 7-refuges. We did the race in reverse for safety reasons but it is still a very technical race and ultimately it has become a beacon of Skyrunning. Ironically, for a Skyrunning race the course does not go to the summits! It is just not possible. However, it is a pure expression of Skyrunning.”

It is easy to look at the ISF calendar and see the Skyrunner® World Series and think easy! However, it takes 365-days to make those 15+ days happen. When one season ends, plans start immediately, if not before for the following season.

“We are no longer race organisers.” Lauri says, “We did in the past! We organised many races in logistically difficult places, such as Tibet, Mexico, Nepal and so on. I think we organised over 80-races! The World Series is a collection of races that we coordinate.”

Marino was a visionary and many like to call him the ‘Father’ of Skyrunning.

“Skyrunning differs to other sports and this is the discipline we launched in the late 1990’s. Skyrunning has always existed; all across the world it is just that it became a formalised sport. I therefore consider myself the father of Skyrunning for the aspect of race organisation because when it started 25-years ago nobody talked about this.”

Emails ping on arrival, the phone rings repeatedly and I suddenly realise that our day is going to be way too busy to continue discussing the working life of the ISF. Taking a place at my desk, I open my laptop and get on with my work in preparation for Kima. I sneak an opportunity pre lunch to stroll around the town, take in a cappuccino and photograph Biella. Lunch provides a break and in true Italian fashion, everything stops. It provides an opportunity to relax, take in a glass of wine and eat fresh and wholesome food in a meze style.

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“Marino is brilliant,” Lauri says as she pours white wine into my glass. “He took on the role of food shopping and preparation to allow me more time to work on logistics. It really is a life saver.”

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Marino is a fit man, he is lean, dark skinned from many hours outdoors and one may well think that is to be expected from someone who heads up the ISF and the sport of mountain running. It would be easy to assume that Marino spends 4 to 8-hours a day on the mountains, fulfilling his dreams and working his ISF role in and around his passion! In reality, Marino cycles or runs for 30-minutes a day. Somewhere deep inside I wonder, does he have regrets and then I find myself asking the question, “Do you regret the decisions you made all those years ago, to race direct and not race?”

“I made my choices. What can I say, for 2 to 3-years I was very disappointed with myself. I had run around Everest for example, but not to the top. Now I can’t go back. It’s a question of mountain mentality; I was born in a small valley, a small village with no sun in winter. You try to survive everyday and this forms your mentality. In my next life I hope to relax and enjoy simple pleasures.”

“But you must have dreams, aspirations. Do you have a bucket list; do you want to achieve anything else?”

“I want to go back to the mountains… it is just a dream! In 2016 I would like to go to the Everest North Face with Bruno and Kilian. I know it is impossible… but I can dream.”

It’s not often that I am stuck for words, but as I look into his eyes I feel sad. To me it seems as though Marino has given up on his personal dreams.

“Do you believe you can only live your dreams when you leave Skyrunning behind?”

“Skyrunning is our baby. But the baby has grown up. We would be lost without Skyrunning and we will be on board for as long as we can but obviously, in the near future we will hand over more duties to other people. Many of the people we work with are all very knowledgeable and passionate. That is stimulating and exciting. Skyrunning is here to stay, as we both are, have no fear!”

BIELLA gallery:

MILAN – Trofeo Kima press conference

Milan is not far away and it’s on our way to the ‘Casina’ thus making the Kima press conference logical and workable into a day of travel. We are late but Marino drives like an Italian! A clean white shirt, Armani jeans and Mr ISF looks pretty darn dapper. Lauri is dressed in black with large shades. I suddenly feel very British. Italians do ‘style’ with ease and of course, where better to look sharp than Milan. I have no choice, I am on a working trip and my wardrobe doesn’t extend to looking cool.

It’s hot in the city and the traffic irritates me after the quiet of Biella. Walking into a large office block we are escorted to the 4th floor and Kima delegates greet us. It’s all kisses and handshakes. Old friends meet new friends and the banter is relaxed.

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A large table with place names adds formality to the event. Marino takes his place and the conference begins. It’s a show for local press and global papers and all part of the valued process to promote the ISF, Skyrunning and give valued exposure to race sponsors.

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Post the conference, a meeting takes place and Kima is discussed. Great emphasis is placed on schedules in regard to the helicopter. Kima is so technical and demanding that a helicopter is the only way to transport media around the event. Bad weather; no media!

Helicopters are expensive but at Kima we often have 2-helicopters at our disposal for 8+ hours. It may well be why I enjoy the race so much. It’s an adventure. Believe me, to be afforded the opportunity to see the worlds best runners on arguably the best course is something I will never take for granted.

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“We have to do these press conferences, it’s important for all concerned but it’s a drain on our valuable time and for every hour, minute and second we are here, more and more emails and questions flood into our respective in-boxes,”Lauri says as we rush to the car for our onward journey to the Casina. “It has a knock on effect for tomorrow and the days after, what can you do?”

CASINA – Corteno Golgi 

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The ‘Casina’ is a mountain house in Corteno Golgi close to Marino’s birthplace of San Antonio. Spread over 2-floors it is almost two completely different buildings. Upstairs is all wood, a combination of rustic/ modern and a wonderfully relaxing place that has been heavily influenced by Lauri. Downstairs is the original building, un-touched for years and one that harks back to Marino’s past. The garage is a Skyrunning museum of ice axes, helmets, shoes, race bibs, clothing, videos and old slides.

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Surrounded by green fields and mountains on either side I suddenly see Marino in a new light. He his home! He points at peaks and explains his childhood; his passions and I suddenly feel very honoured and privileged.

“The African Attachment (TAA) arrive tomorrow Ian and you are going to be able to spend a couple of days in the mountains with Marino. They are filming a piece on Skyrunning and they want to take Marino back to his childhood, revisit old haunts and film Marino running in the mountains.”

I met Dean Leslie and Greg Fell from TAA at Transvulcania La Palma back in 2012 and since then we have kept in-touch and often crossed paths at races all over the world. I am excited at the guys arriving and the opportunity to work alongside them and shoot stills, a real perk of the job. Photographer, Kelvin Trautman is directing the film and although I haven’t met him before, we soon hit it off and I realise that what is in store; two awesome days in the mountains.

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The evening is amazing. The sky is adorned with clouds and as we climb with cameras, Marino runs to the instructions of Kelvin.

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Looking for ridges and technical lines, Marino embraces the challenge and is arguably having the most fun he has had in ages.

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Days don’t get much better than this… at the summit of Monte Padrio the light is incredible and as the sun disappears for the day we are rewarded with a colour palette of orange, red and gold. Marino is in silhouette on the Skyline and I realise I am in a moment, a moment that I won’t ever forget.

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Sleep is not something you need when working with the ISF. The following day starts early with a short drive and we are suddenly looking at Marino’s childhood home.

Marino's childhood home

Marino’s childhood home

Marino laughs as he recounts boyhood memories. “I used to go mushroom picking in this area.”

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Following him up the trail, Kelvin wants Marino to go back 50-years to those mischievous days as a boy. Immediately Marino finds a mushroom, he removes his Buff and ties a knot in one end to create a cloth bag. Moving left to right on the trail, the bag slowly fills with the rewards from the land.

“In the Valle Campo Vecchio I would go skinny dipping in the river.”

Marino may well have regretted this sentence as just an hour later he was running along grass banks barefoot and then submerging himself in the ice cold river water from the mountains.

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Today, Marino may well have fulfilled some of those dreams that he thought might not ever come back. It was special.

The warmth of the log burner in the Casina provided that ultimate feeling of contentment that one longs for after a day in the mountains. Marino’s body was aching, his legs heavy from the repeated running but beneath a tired façade I knew he had had a good. Red wine had been decanted to glasses and dinner was moments away.

As we relax into the evening, the Casina provided a very different ambiance to Biella. It’s more relaxed. The pressures and deadlines still exist, they have not gone away but the mountains and mountain life make us all realize why we are here. It provides perspective.

Eager to resume my questions from the previous day, I hold back. Now is not the time… it has been a great day, a great couple of days and we need to savour the moments.

“We have plans for some very exciting races at high altitude that will be very technical in future years.  2012 was an important stepping-stone. Less Cloud. More Sky was an important phase in the development of Skyrunning. One thing that was apparent is the desire from runners for technical and high altitude sport. So, here we are following our heritage for a new era.”

My concerns of talking shop are eroded away as Lauri brings our conversation to present day.

“So, am I correct in assuming that we won’t see races like Templiers or UROC in future ISF race calendars?” I ask.

“We needed to expand, to grow and introduce Skyrunning to a new audience. Templiers and UROC allowed this to a certain extent but we will go back to our roots moving forward. In America it is harder to find courses but we are working on this. UROC was a high altitude race just not technical. The Rut has shown we can find the correct style of course. We would love to do a race from Cervinia or Chamonix to the summit of Mont-Blanc but we can’t do this for everyone!”

“Do you think it is a happy coincidence that the revival of Skyrunning coincides with the rise of Kilian Jornet?”

“Absolutely, however, it is no coincidence. Bruno Brunod was Kilian’s hero. Kilian followed his dreams and the inspiration Bruno provided, Kilian is now the epitome of Skyrunning. When we first met Kilian in 2006, he impressed immediately. He was a natural Skyrunner. We all know the history; he was born in the mountains and as such he has just developed in an organic way. As I said, a natural.”

Kilian Jornet

Conversation turns to the day’s events; Lauri is eager to enquire how filming went. We laugh as Marino explains in detail his plunge in the ice-cold water of the river and how his fingers turned blue.

“Kelvin worked Marino hard today with his demands but it was great fun. This area, the mountains and the small village are all quite special. I can understand completely why Marino loves to escape here.”

Another fried mushroom is removed from the platter and added to my plate. To think, just this morning Marino was collecting these very mushrooms from his childhood haunts. He had prepared them in the traditional manner and the simple delicacy provided the perfect accompaniment to the surroundings and company.

The Casina gallery:

Filming with The African Attachment gallery:

TROFEO KIMA

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Emelie Forsberg looked into the lens of the TAA camera, smiled in a way that only Emelie can and with a nervous and infectious giggle whispered the words:

“Two years ago in my first year of racing I was fortunate to race at Trofeo Kima. I looked at this course and thought; really… you can run a race on this course?”

©iancorless.com-8663I too had found my first Kima experience equally mesmerising. My breath had been taken away by the drama and severity of the course. I had never seen anything quite like it and the impact was profound. Hopping from one section of the course to another via helicopter added some serious icing to the Kima cake.

A vertical wall of rock and suddenly a flash of red and white. Kilian appears, hand-over-hand as he descends via chains and then flies past us with a wave as though running a 5k. He looks so incredibly relaxed.

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Kasie Enman is the first lady and this provides some confusion. Emelie Forsberg had had a convincing lead; what had happened? Finally, Emelie arrives 5th lady, in tears but running like a demon. She had gone off course and lost almost an hour. Trying to claw back time she takes risks; 4th place, 3rd place and then 2nd, was it possible to take back victory?

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Unfortunately, no! Kasie Enman held on to a convincing lead and the records will show that the American was the 2014 Kima ladies champion. In the male race, Kilian Jornet had the race of his life and in doing so broke his own course record.

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Fabio Meraldi makes an appearance and like a long lost son is embraced into the arms and hearts of the Skyrunning throng:

“I remember the feeling, like a drug, feeling this moving energy… I still get goose-bumps just talking about it.”

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The party atmosphere continues and minutes after the award ceremony, clouds turn from grey to black and a warning clap of thunder alerts everyone that a change is coming. The heavens open and rain falls from the sky like a series of rods being thrown. It’s a biblical storm and we all look at each other and simultaneously shake our heads. Lauri relays our thoughts, “Wow, thank god this rain and storm did not arrive during the race.”

Another race over, another successful event but there is no rest. This evening a glass of red and a nice meal but tomorrow it’s back to the grind. Another race is only weeks away and like déjà vu the process will repeat itself.

“Lauri, and you, your dreams?”

“To expand Skyrunning and see the growth continue with the collaboration from those who love the sport as we do.”

“Will you ever be able to let go?”

“Why, why would I want to let go? This is my life: I love it. Maybe I would like less stress but I like challenges, I like work and I don’t like to be bored.”

I smile knowing full well that her words are true and that in all honesty, I already knew the answer.

“One thing is for sure, I won’t be in the Bahamas filing my nails everyday, I can guarantee that will never happen.”

 

The KIMA galleries:

******

FastandLight Salomon SRTV

Fast and Light is released on October 20th 2015 at 1600 via Salomon SRTV HERE

Credits and thanks

Quotes from Bruno Brunod, Fabio Meraldi, Emelie Forsberg and Kilian Jornet are taken from the film, FAST and LIGHT. ©TheAfricanAttachment and ©SalomonRunning.

Many thanks to Lauri van Houten and Marino Giacometti the ISF and Skyrunning.

Many thanks to Trofeo Kima and all the staff.

All images and content ©iancorless.com

A series of articles will be published worldwide to coincide with the release of Fast and Light and I would like to take the opportunity to thank all the editors and creatives involved in this process.

Look out for articles in: Adventure Types – Australia/ NZ, Canadian Running Magazine – Canada, Trail Chile – Chile, TRAIL Magazin – Germany, Ski Alper – Italy, Trail Run – Japan, Poland, ALERG – Romania, Running The Cape – South Africa, Outdoor Fitness Magazine – UK, Like The Wind – UK, Nature Trail – France, Spain and many more.

 

CALENDAR 2016 iancorless.com – Order now!

1

The 2016 iancorless.com calendar is now available to order.

Price £20.00 (free postage UK)

Delivery is guaranteed on or before December 7th with the first batch of calendars being posted in early November. Numbers are limited and will be sold on a first come, first served basis.

To order a calendar please use the contact form below.

Featured races in the calendar are:

Marmot Dark Mountains, The Coastal Challenge, The Dragons Back Race, Marathon des Sables, Tranvulcania Ultramarathon, Richtersveld Wildrun, The Rut, Glen Coe Skyline, Ultra Pirineu, Everest Trail Race and the Dolomites SkyRace.

To order a calendar please tick the calendar box and then your preferred postal preference – UK, Europe or outside Europe (please tick only one postbox). You will receive an invoice via PayPal and once paid a confirmation.

Ultra Pirineu 2015 Race Images and Summary

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Nuria Picas was looking to defend her ‘home’ crown in a race that she has won for the last 4-years. Luis Alberto Hernando, champion in 2013 and 2014 was returning looking to make it a triple but more importantly the Skyrunner® World Series title for the ultra distance was at stake. Add to the mix Kilian Jornet and Emelie Forsberg, the last time the duo raced here in Baga was 2012. Kilian won that year ahead of Anton Krupicka and Dakota Jones, Emelie placed 3rd behind Nuria Picas and Anna Frost.

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Starting at 0700 in the center of Baga, one has a full appreciation of how important running has become in Spain and I guess more importantly here in Catalonia. Kilian and Nuria are as important if not more important than football stars here in this part of the world. Autographs, photographs, shaking hands, pats on the back and the noise; wow the noise is incredible! Yes, they are the ‘Messi’ of the running world in these parts.

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The day was always going to be one full of drama and battles. We had a race within a race and as such one had to keep an eye not only on who was running in the top-3 but also who was running in the top overall rankings. Coming into Ultra Pirineu Franco Colle was 1st in SWS rankings followed by Cristofer Clemente in 2nd and Luis Alberto Hernando in 3rd. It was all up for grabs. For the ladies the battle was relatively straight forward; if Emelie won the race she would be SWS champion. If Mira Rai won the race, she would become champion.

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From the gun Emelie made her intentions clear and took hold of the race from the front and it stayed that way for the whole 110km. Although the story changed a little behind the dominant Emelie, the writing was on the wall; Mira Rai would place 2nd and Nuria Picas would place 3rd. At times Mira looked to close the gap and then it would extend whereas Nuria looked resigned to a solid 3rd place.

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The men’s race was a little more unpredictable! I say unpredictable but in all honesty, did we (I) ever think anyone other than Kilian Jornet would win the race? I know I shouldn’t say that; anything can happen in 110km but barring an accident or some unforeseen problem, I really didn’t see any other scenario playing out.

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In the early stages Jessed Hernandez, Miguel Heras and Zaid Ait Malek accompanied the Catalan over the undulating terrain. Kilian always looked relaxed and in control. The protagonists changed at the front of the race, Miguel and Zaid would take a turn to pace and all the time Kilian would run in 2nd keeping his powder dry. The elastic finally snapped with Zaid and Kilian taking the front and opening up a gap over Miguel.

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Behind the lead trio a battle was unfolding. Franco Colle SWS leader coming into the race dropped with sickness; his 2015 SWS chances over! Cristofer Clemente was running in 4th and Luis Alberto Hernando clearly tired from his 2nd place efforts at UTMB just 3-weeks earlier was running in and around the top-10 battling to win the SWS title.

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Miguel didn’t give in though, he found some internal strength with 85km’s covered and closed the gap to then take over the lead with Kilian as Zaid faded. Over the final km’s, Kilian put his foot on the gas on one of the final climbs and quickly opened up a 6-minute gap over Miguel. The writing was on the wall, Kilian would win the 2015 Ultra Pirineu and he would be welcomed by a home crowd like a long lost son.

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Behind the drama unfolded, Zaid refused to give in. He once again caught Miguel and this time pulled away and never looked back. He finished 2nd and produced one of the most impressive display finish line antics I have witnessed. Miguel took the final podium place and then attention turned to the SWS ranking.

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Cristofer Clemente finished 4th and Luis Alberto Hernando had to finish in the top-15 to take the SWS crown; he did it! It has been quite a year for Luis. A series of high ranking victories and podium places, 2nd at UTMB, Skyrunning European Champion and now the 2015 Skyrunner® World Series Champion. Bravo!

Attention now turns to Limone Extreme for the respective SWS titles in VK and SKY.

Results

  1. Kilian Jornet 12:03:27
  2. Zaid Ait Malek 12:12:23
  3. Miguel Heras 12:20:35
  1. Emelie Forsberg 13:39:33
  2. Mira Rai 13:43:49
  3. Nuria Picas 14:13:01

Skyrunner World Series Champions 2015

Emelie Forsberg and Luis Alberto Hernando

  

Full race results HERE

Skyrunning goes global with The RUT and CBS News

 

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If you think running a marathon is a feat in itself, imagine doing an ultra-marathon up a mountain. At “The Rut Mountain Race” in Big Sky, Montana, nearly 400 athletes from around the world gathered to compete across 31 miles. They cover more than 10,000 feet of elevation. The sport is known as “skyrunning.”

As part of the “CBS This Morning” series, “Pushing the Limits,” we take a look at the world’s elite athletes who are getting their high-altitude adrenaline rush.

Luke Nelson sums it up when he says:

“I run in the mountains because it gives me a freedom that I can’t find anywhere else…. I think the human body was meant to run; but this is pushing it!”

View the film here

http://www.cbsnews.com/videos/pushing-the-limits-skyrunning/?tag=facebook

You can read reports and view images from RUNTHERUT races below:

VK HERE

SKY HERE

ULTRA HERE