A Double Bill in Italy #VK and #SKY – Migu Run Skyrunner® World Series and Vertical Kilometer® World Circuit

Skyrunning heads to Italy this weekend for a double bill of high mountain action organised by Alta Valtellina Skyrunning Experiences headed up by mountain running legend Marco de Gasperi.

Santa Catarina VK

Friday, the Santa Catarina VK takes place, the next race in the Vertical Kilometer® World Circuit. Starting at an altitude of 1739m the course covers just 2.9km to reach 2739m in a lung and leg bursting race.

Covering a variety of terrain, the route is primarily free of technical difficulty as passes over pastures, grassland, ski routes, trails and slopes made of scree. However, the final section has fixed rope to the summit.

It’s a mass start race and the runners will depart at 1500 from the Centro La Fonte ski station.

Ones to watch:

It will come as no surprise that the La Sportiva team will be present in large numbers with Marco Moletto and Nejc Kuhar heading up the team. Both these runners are VK specialists and we can expect them to be fighting for the podium.

Saul Padua will of course be in the mix too along with Hannes Perkmann and Pere Rullan. Other string contenders are Ales Palko, Joan Freixa Marcelo, Marc Trassera Puyol, Eugeni Gil Ocana, Eduard Baquer, Josep Roset and Actor Aijuria. The ladies race is somewhat compromised after a succession of recent races, the last taking place just last weekend. Therefore, it looks likely that the battle for victory will be between Therese Sjursen, Francesca Rossi and Marianna Jagercikova.

Livigno SkyMarathon

On Sunday, the action moves to Living, approximately 90-minutes by car from Santa Caterina for the Livigno SkyMarathon, the next race in the 2017 Migu Run Skyrunner® World Series .

The Living race personifies pure Skyrunning with 2700m of vertical gain over a 34km course. Exposed mountain ridges, ropes, chains and most the course at altitudes of 2500 to 3000m, this course is not only one to participate in, but one to watch! It’s a classic.

The race takes place on the border of Italy and Switzerland and therefore captures the best of both worlds. Following on from Zegama-Aizkorri, the race will be a hot bed of action with valuable points at stake for the Migu Skyrunner World Series.

The race will start at 0800 on Sunday 18th June.

Ones to watch:

Oh, boy it’s a stacked field for the weekends main event with many of the world’s best Skyrunners toeing the line for battle. The 34km course is the perfect distance for those who will depart at 0800 on Sunday.

Hassan Ait Chaou had a great 2016 and will no doubt be a favourite along with his teammate Aritz Egea who recently has had a return to form. The Casal Mir brothers, Oscar and Marc will also be strong contenders with Marco Moletto.

But the biggest threat may well come from Bhim Gurung. He had an incredible run in China with a breakneck descent that gave him a superb victory.

Andre Jonsson, Adrien Michaud, Nuno Silva, Pascal Egli, Inaki Uribe-Etxebarria, Pere Rullan and a whole host of other top talent will be in contention for top-10 places. In total, 38 elite male runners are on the start list.

Maite Maiora after victory at the recent Zegama-Aizkorri is the outright favourite for the lady’s race – she will take some beating!

Celia Chiron (5th at Zegama) though has the potential to provide a good battle along with Aitziber Ibarbia, Michaela Mertova, Maria Zorroza, Natalie Roman Lopez, Hillary Gerardi, Addie Bracy, Katerina Matrasova and Katrine Villumsen.

Race information can be found HERE on the race website.

The Migu Skyrunner World Series can be found HERE and the Vertical Kilometer World Circuit can be found HERE.

Limone Extreme VK – Race Report

Limone Extreme VK ©iancorless.com

As daylight disappeared on the shores of Lake Garda 192 runners departed on the quest to complete a VK under darkness with only illumination from a headlamp.

It was a fabulous spectacle as the lights of Limone glowed in the distance.

Departing in one large group it was always going to be a frantic charge for the front of the race. A clear path a huge advantage for a fast and trouble free race.

Urban Zemmer at halfway

Urban Zemmer at halfway

Urban Zemmer (US La Sportiva) was a pre race favourite and he didn’t disappoint. He charged and led from the front. He wanted that Skyrunner World Series title and he needed a win today with maximum points and the current leader, Marco Facchinelli, to finish outside the top four places.

At the line Urban achieved his goal taking the win in an incredible 37:10. Second place went to Thorbjorn Ludvigsen from Norway, 37:34, third place Marco Moletto (La Sportiva) was just over a minute back in 38:37 and Kilian Jornet (Salomon) was fourth, 39:04.

The male overall rankings will have big changes after this race with current leader Marco Facchinelli finishing twenty second, Ferran Teixido Marti Ventoa (currently second), thirteenth and Joan Freixa Marcelo (currently third) in eighteenth place.

The ladies race had an interesting dynamic with Antonella Confortola (GS Forestale) looking to repeat her win at Canazei VK on the Limone course. However, Laura Orgue (Salomon Santiveri) currently lying third in the Skyrunner World series, Like Urban Zemmer would be looking for maximum points to hopefully take the overall series title.

Antonella Confortola at halfway

Antonella Confortola at halfway

With grit and determination Laura took the lead and never looked back powering up the 1000m of vertical gain and crossing the line in 46:10, over 1 min ahead of Antonella Confortola who finished in 47:19. Samantha Galassi finished third in 48:27 with Brit, Tessa Hill (Arct’eryx) taking a great fourth place 48:45.

Vanessa Ortega Trancon who lead the World Series before the Limone race finished sixth and Alba Xandri Suets who was placed second finished in eigth place. These placings will without doubt affect the overall ranking.

Skyrunner World Series rankings will follow asap after the judges have checked the results and made all the necessary calculations.