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 UK inaugural Peaks SkyRace August 3rd

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The inaugural Peaks SkyRace takes place this coming weekend, August 3rd, launching the first ‘Sky’ distance race in the Skyrunner® National Series UK.

‘This course combines altitude with technical terrain and some superb views; a combination which should please the most discerning athlete,’ Craig explained, ‘a personal highlight on the course without a doubt is Ramshaw Rocks, it’s beautiful and rugged.’

Covering a distance of 29.7-miles, with a total elevation gain and loss of 2012m, the Peaks SkyRace is expected to be a real test that combines tough technical running with the addition of pace, for those who wish to push the envelope.

 Skyrunning UK Sponsored by

Based on an old Peak District Challenge called the ‘Five Trigs Round’ for which there is no fixed course, just the requirement to visit five specific trig points. The route takes in some of the best of the White Peak District as well as including the highlights of the traditional round.

©mickkenyon.com

©mickkenyon.com

‘The Peaks may not have the raw elevation of the Lakes or Snowdonia, but it has rugged technical terrain,’ said Richard Weremiuk, race director.

‘It has been a priority from day one to ensure that Skyrunning UK provides courses of varying length, difficulty, elevation and terrain on some of the most iconic trails and areas of the UK.’  said Skyrunning UK Director, Ian Corless.

Put the date in your diary, August 3rd 2014 and we look forward to seeing you all for the UK’s very first Peaks SkyRace.

Event website HERE

Skyrunning UK sponsor ROCKTAPE will be available at the event offering advice and taping. In addition, Raidlight UK will have a selection of apparel and accessories.

Skyrunning Vertical top 100 men and 50 women

Limone Vertical Extreme, the final of the Vertical World Series, Limone, Italy, 2013. © iancorless.com

After the Ultra and Sky rankings released recently, it is now the turn of the ISF Vertical discipline to announce the top ranked athletes.

Ten races in five continents were selected in the Vertical category and count 239 men from 20 nations and 115 women from15 nations.

Italy leads the men’s ranking followed by Spain and France and places second in the women’s ranking which is led by Spainand followed by France.

The Vertical discipline is clearly at home in the steep and technical terrain of the Alps where skyrunning was born. For added drama, many of the events take place at night.  “One thousand metres skywards” however, can be found in many countries and new nations are adopting this fascinating discipline, introduced by the skyrunning inventors in 1994 who registered “Vertical Kilometer®” and it’s derivatives as a trademark.  America will feature among the countries including the “VK” in their national calendar. Talking of new nations, it’s also interesting to note the very high performance level of new entries like Norway, ranking 10th and 12th

Urban Zemmer, 2012 & 2013 Vertical World Champion heads the Vertical ranking. © iancorless.comThe overall ranking has been devised for the three skyrunning disciplines based on 55 races in 2013 (24 Ultra, 21 Sky and 10 Vertical). Among the principal aims was to take into account the quality of the field and the time relative to the winner, along with a proprietary ISF algorithm and other factors.

Here’s the general overview on the calculations previously published in the Ultra and Sky news:

The ranking was elaborated on the basis of the participation and results obtained by the athletes in the international races selected by the ISF.

In calculating the points, the ranking is based on a proprietary ISF algorithm specifically studied for outdoor running, taking into account a consolidated algorithm used by the International Ski Federation.

Fifty-five races were selected for the 2013 season (24 Ultra, 20 Sky and 10 Vertical) – see ISF announcement in March.  The selection was aimed at identifying the world’s most prestigious races with the greatest number of elite athletes participating, as indicated in the ISF news in January.

In each selected race, the first 30 men and first 15 women were counted. For each athlete, points were calculated on the basis of:  the final position, the time relative to the winner and the number of elite athletes ahead or behind.

The final points were calculated on the average of the three best results of the season obtained by each athlete.  For athletes who did not participate in at least three of the selected races throughout the season, a penalty of 11% was applied to those who participated in only two races, and 22% was applied to those who participated in just one.

The 2014 ranking will be based on 2013, but with a more precise indication of the elite athletes based on the previous year’s ranking.

The ISF ranking will be complete at the end of the 2015 season as the points will be calculated on the average of the previous three seasons with a weighted coefficient for each year.

The ISF assesses the yearly performances in their whole within the context of the results and performance in each race.  As in other disciplines, it does not analyse the performance in absolute terms due to the many variables in outdoor running (vertical climb, type of terrain, climate, level of the competition… etc), the comparison between different races or different editions of the same race, would be too approximate.”

Erik Haugsnes, strong new Vertical contender from Norway. © iancorless.com

Here’s the top ten men and women at a glance

2013 ISF Vertical Ranking

Men

1. URBAN ZEMMER (ITA) 301,482

2. KILIAN JORNET BURGADA (ESP) 291,557

3. NEJC  KUHAR (SLO) 237,842

4. ALEXIS SEVENNEC-VERDIER (FRA) 235,754

5. PHILIP GOTSCH (ITA) 235,538

6. MARCO FACCHINELLI (ITA) 230,773

7. AUGUSTI ROC AMADOR (ESP) 227,807

8. MARCO MOLETTO (ITA) 227,626

9. SAUL ANTONIO PADUA RODRIGUEZ (COL) 224,861

10. ERIK-DAGSSØNN HAUGSNES (NOR) 219,095

Women

1. LAURA ORGUE VILA (ESP) 230,564

2. CHRISTEL DEWALLE (FRA) 224,725

3. ANTONELLA CONFORTOLA (ITA) 223,595

4. VANESA ORTEGA TRANCON (ESP) 206,194

5. SAMANTHA GALASSI (ITA) 202,008

6. TESSA HILL (GBR) 195,039

7. ALBA XANDRI SUETS (ESP) 189,899

8. EMELIE FORSBERG (SWE) 184,717

9. VALENTINA BELOTTI (ITA) 179,400

10. CELINE LAFAYE (FRA) 168,187

2013 Vertical ranking

Top 100 men

Top 50 women

Article ©ISF

ISF Sky Ranking

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

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

The top 100 men and 50 women in the ISF Sky ranking announced today offer more food for thought after the Ultra rankingannounced earlier. Twenty-one races in five continents were selected in the Sky category.  The top 100 men count 487athletes from 37 nations while the top 50 women are calculated out of 216 athletes from 29 nations.

 

The overall ranking has been devised for the three skyrunning disciplines based on 54 races in 2013 (24 Ultra, 21 Sky and 10 Vertical). One of the principal aims was to take into account the quality of the field and the time relative to the winner, along with a proprietary ISF algorithm and other factors.

 

Some considerations on the ranking per country for the two distances:

In the Ultra distance France, Spain and USA count four, three and three athletes respectively in the top ten overall. If we take the mean value of the points of the top three ranked athletes per nation, the men’s results show Spain leading (247,649), followed by USA (245,363) and France (236,344).

 

The women’s Ultra ranking presents a more varied picture however, with, apart from the nations mentioned above, Sweden, Italy and New Zealand featuring. Again, taking the mean value of the top three per nation, Spain leads with (194,477), followed by France (192,846) and USA (190,065).

 

The Sky discipline with respect to the Ultra counts more nations in the top ten men’s and women’s rankings, with athletes fromfive nations.  Again, Spain’s prowess dominates with four men and four women in the top ten overall.  In both cases Italy, the cradle of skyrunning, boasts two men and three women in the top ten. In the men’s field, using the above mean value,Spain again leads the ranking with (262,317) followed by Italy (235,146).

 

The women’s Sky ranking is led by Spain (251,559) followed by Italy (234,246).

 

Here’s a general overview on the calculations previously published in the Ultra news:

The ranking was elaborated on the basis of the participation and results obtained by the athletes in the international races selected by the ISF.

 

In calculating the points, the ranking is based on a proprietary ISF algorithm specifically studied for outdoor running, taking into account a consolidated algorithm used by the International Ski Federation.

 

Fifty-four races were selected for the 2013 season (24 Ultra, 20 Sky and 10 Vertical) – see ISF announcement in March.  The selection was aimed at identifying the world’s most prestigious races with the greatest number of elite athletes participating, as indicated in the ISF news in January.

 

In each selected race, the first 30 men and first 15 women were counted. For each athlete, points were calculated on the basis of:  the final position, the time relative to the winner and the number of elite athletes ahead or behind.

 

The final points were calculated on the average of the three best results of the season obtained by each athlete.  For athletes who did not participate in at least three of the selected races throughout the season, a penalty of 11% was applied to those who participated in only two races, and 22% was applied to those who participated in just one.

 

The 2014 ranking will be based on 2013, but with a more precise indication of the elite athletes based on the previous year’s ranking.

 

The ISF ranking will be complete at the end of the 2015 season as the points will be calculated on the average of the previous three seasons with a weighted coefficient for each year.

 

The ISF assesses the yearly performances in their whole within the context of the results and performance

in each race.  As in other disciplines, it does not analyse the performance in absolute terms due to the many variables in outdoor running (vertical climb, type of terrain, climate, level of the competition… etc), the comparison between different races or different editions of the same race, would be too approximate.”

 

Following on from the Ultra and Sky distances, the Vertical will be announced next.  Subsequently, all the runners will be listed by country.

 

2013 Sky ranking

Top 100 men

Top 50 women

 

2013 ISF Ultra ranking

Top 100 men

Top 50 women

Article ©ISF

 

International Skyrunning Federation Ultra Ranking 2013

©copyright .iancorless.com._1110251

As promised earlier in the year, a ranking has been devised for the three skyrunning disciplines based on 54 races in 2013 (24 Ultra, 20 Sky and 10 Vertical). One of the principal aims was to take into account the quality of the field and the time relative to the winner, along with a proprietary ISF algorithm and other factors.

 

Today we announce the top 100 men out of 613 selected from 38 nations in 24 races across five continents.  The top 50 ranked women are named out of  273 from 27 nations .  Subsequently, all the runners will be listed along with the Sky and Vertical rankings to be published later.

 

Here’s an overview:

 

The ranking was elaborated on the basis of the participation and results obtained by the athletes in the international races selected by the ISF.

 

In calculating the points, the ranking is based on a proprietory ISF algorithm specifically studied for outdoor running, based on consolidated algorithms used by the International Ski Federation.

 

Fifty-four races were selected for the 2013 season (24 Ultra, 20 Sky and 10 Vertical) – see ISF announcement in March.  The selection was aimed at identifying the world’s most prestigious races with the greatest number of elite athletes participating, as indicated in the ISF news in January.

 

In each selected race, the first 30 men and first 15 women were counted. For each athlete, points were calculated on the basis of :  the final position, the time relative to the winner  and the number of elite athletes ahead or behind.

 

The final points were calculated on the average of the three best results of the season obtained by each athlete.  For athletes who did not participate in at least three of the selected races throughout the season, a penalty of 11% was applied to those who participated in only two races, and 22% was applied to those who participated in just one.

 

The 2014 ranking will be based on 2013, but with a more precise indication of the elite athletes based on the previous year’s ranking.

 

The ISF ranking will be complete at the end of the 2015 season as the points will be calculated on the average of the previous three seasons with a weighted coefficient for each year.

 

The ISF assesses the yearly performances in their whole within the context of the results and performance in each race.  As in other disciplines, it does not analyse the performance in absolute terms due to the many variables in outdoor running (vertical climb, type of terrain, climate, level of the competition… etc), the comparison between different races or different editions of the same race, would be too approximate.

2013 ISF Ultra ranking

Top 100 men

Top 50 women