European Skyrunning Championships 2013

Emelie Forsberg, winner 2012 Dolomites SkyRace®. © Pegaso Media

Every two years the European Skyrunning Championships are celebrated and 2013 is no exception.  The big news is the inclusion for the first time of the ultra distance.  The venue is all-Italian with the Vertical Kilometer® and SkyRace® in Canazei, Dolomites on July 19 and 21, while the Ultra will take place just six days later in the nearby Veneto Region.

The Dolomites will again host two of the events in the three-year history of the Championships.  The record on the unforgiving Vertical Kilometer®course just 2,1 km long, stands at 33’16” by world record holder Italian Urban Zemmer and Antonella Confortola in 39’13” back in 2008 when the course was inaugurated.

The classic Dolomites SkyRace® favoured by the world’s top runners offers a new challenge after record-breaking performances here this year by Kilian Jornet in 2h01’52”, and the three top women, Sweden’s Emelie Forsberg, American Kasie Enman and Spaniard Mireia Mirò – all under record time.  Forsberg’s record stands at 2h26’00”.

Trans d'Havet. ©Augusto Mia Battaglia

The challenging and often technical course represents one of the toughest proving grounds for the relatively short distance:  22 km but with 1,750m climb to the summit of the Piz Boè which, at 3,152m altitude, towers above the start and finish of the race in Canazei.

The much anticipated Ultra is embodied by the Trans d’Havet, a point to point 80 km long with 5,500m vertical climb traversing the Piccole Dolomiti in the Veneto Region.  The route, technical in stretches, includes 6 km of tunnels dating back to the First World War, created by General D’Havet, to whose name the race is dedicated.

At the launch this year, the men’s winning time was 10h58’44”, no doubt destined to fall with the top European runners participating here in 2013.

Following on from the Dolomites SkyRace® on the 21st, five days’ activities and fun-packed action are being organised for runners who want to stay over for the Trans d’Havet.  More news on this later.

The European Skyrunning Championships are open with individual titles at stake in each discipline and a combined title based on the sum of the highest points scored in two out of three events. The national title is based on the score of the first three men and one woman in all three events.

2013 European Skyrunning Championships

VK

Dolomites Vertical Kilometer®, Canazei, Trento, July 19

Sky

Dolomites SkyRace®, Canazei, Trento, July 21

Ultra

Trans d’Havet, 80k, Piovene R. Piccole Dolomiti, Vicenza – July 27

SkyGames – Spanish Pyrenees

I am pleased to say that I am just doing my last minute prep and packing before heading out to the Pyrenees at the invite of Skyrunning partner Arc’teryx.

Arc’teryx will be present with a media camp where international journalists will get to know the company, the skyrunning partnership and to learn about and test the Endorphin line together with team athletes:  Adam Campbell (Canada), Murray Strain and Tessa Hill (Great Britain), Didier Zago (France) and Nicola Golinelli (Italy).

For the people of Ribargorza Románica a dream comes true as runners from across the world converge on the small towns dotted around this remote and relatively unknown area of the Spanish Pyrenees hosting the 2012 SkyGames®.

This evening, a turnout of 1,500 spectators is expected at the opening ceremony which will pay homage to the 19 countries participating with a parade of flags representing each nation. The organisers, OCI Sport, intend to get the events off with a bang by concluding the evening with a fireworks display spsotlighting the Romanic Church of Taüll, a World Heritage site and the surrounding mountains.

Forty medals, 14 world titles and 40,000 euros prize money are at stake in the skyrunners’ “high altitude Olympics”.   1,300 athletes will compete in the six disciplines held between June 30 and July 8, climaxing with theSkyMarathon, compulsory for the combined title.  Certainly, the super-strong Spanish team looks set to take the lion’s share of the medals, headed by reigning Skyrunner® World Series champions, Luis Alberto Hernandez and Oihana Kortazar and past world champion, Agustí Roc, as well as Mireia Mirò competing in the Vertical Kilometer.

Adam Campbell testing the Arc'teryx Endorphin lineAmong the other nations participating are France with past skyrunning world champion Corinne Favre and Didier ZagoNicola Golinelli from Italy;Zhanna Vokueva, Russia, Adam Campbell, Canada; Alex Nichols, USA;Murray Strain and Tessa Hill, Great Britain; Adel Ojeda from Venezuela; together with teams from Andorra, Bolivia, Greece, Holland, Ireland, Japan, Marocco, Mexico, Poland, Singapore and Switzerland.

Joan Peralada, President of the Association for Ribagorza Románica Development, commented;  “For two years, the residents have worked with determination to ensure the success of the event, amassing 300 volunteers and a 50-strong team of professionals to manage the races.  After a bleak winter where the ski facilities were closed and jobs lost, the SkyGames® have filled 7,000 hotel rooms creating a much-needed economic boost for the area and it’s future development.”

The six SkyGames® disciplines making up the mammoth event are:SkySpeed, 100 metres vertical climb with a 45% incline; Vertical Kilometer, the universally popular formula, here a mere 3.5 km with a 30% incline; SkyBike – a duathlon combining mtb and skyrunning to 2,000m altitude; SkyRaid – a multi-discipline team relay; the 21 km SkyRace with 1,350m vertical climb, reserved for runners aged 16-21.  The events conclude with an epic SkyMarathon reaching 3,100m altitude – valid for the combined points title.

The event is sanctioned by FEDME, the Spanish Federation for Mountain Sports.

Follow the events on twitter and Facebook and see www.ocisport.net for details.

RESULTS for Vertical K

Ladies race was won by Oihana Kortaza and the mens race was won by Augusti Roc