RUN the RUT 2017 Race Preview

3-days, 3 races and 3 incredible experiences, Big Sky Montana hosts the Run the Rut weekend of racing. If ever a race weekend existed that should combine with a holiday experience, this is it, Big sky is located between the idyllic town of Bozeman and the iconic Yellowstone Park.

The isolated Lone Peak mountain provides a stunning backdrop for the Run the Rut races of VK, Sky and Ultra with all races climbing to its summit via technical ridge and difficult climb.

Utilizing what would be ski runs in winter, it’s easy to understand why the Rut has gained a reputation for providing a tough and technical test even for the most experienced runner.

The VK is the next race in the new VK World Circuit and this race takes place on Friday September 1st. The Sky Classic and Ultra continue the 2017 Migu Run Skyrunner World Series taking place on Saturday 2nd and Sunday 3rd respectively.

The Rut races have become flagship races in the USA. And are the only US based races in the 2017 Migu Run Skyrunner World Series. This is primarily due to the technical nature of the trails. You see, access to open land and mountains is not the same as in Europe. Strict land management is in place and ‘off-trail’ races just don’t exist. The Rut have managed to work around this by using the Big Sky resort which does not have to comply with land permission issues.

Vertical K

The VK kicks off the action from the Big Sky Resort up to the summit of Lone Peak at an altitude just short of 3000m gaining 3,632 feet in just over three miles.

SkyRace

The SkyRace is the most pleasing race of the Rut weekend as the proportion of vertical gain and technical running all blend together in the most logical and pleasing course.

The men’s race has all the makings of a classic with some serious competition coming from Aritz Egea who is looking for 2017 SWS victory – he raced last weekend in Switzerland and will be tried.

But Jan Margarit is a man on form with victories at the Dolomites SkyRace and Comapedrosa, for me, he is the odds on favourite for victory! Remi Bonnet has won in the USA in past years and is the likely contender to give Margarit a tough run. However, Pascal Egli is having great year and he will no doubt be one to watch.

Eugeni Gil Ocana is on fire in 2017 and if he is not too tired after placing 2nd at Matterhorn Ultraks, he is a likely podium placed finisher. Expect strong competition to come from Julien Martinez, Oscar and Marc Casal Mir, Sintu Vives, Marc De Leon, Eduard Hernandez, Pere Rullan and Dai Matsumoto.

Laura Orgue is the hot favourite in the ladies’ race having raced well multiple times in 2017 – victory at Dolomites SkyRace and 2nd place in Comapedrossa. Hillary Gerardi has been a revelation in 2017 with a string of strong and consistent performances. Addie Bracy, Glykeria Tziatzia and Jennifer Asp (still not sure if she will run the Sky or Ultra) are also podium contenders.

SkyUltra 50km

The long course gains over 3000m of elevation and as with all the other races visits the summit of Lone Peak.

The men’s race is an interesting one with Luis Alberto Hernando missing UTMB to run here in the USA and gain valuable points for the SWS. Competition for the Spaniard will no doubt come from Italian Franco Colle who has excelled on this course in the past editions.

BREAKING NEWS (31st August)

I have also had conformation that Timothy Olson and Seth Swanson will also toe the line here at the RUT making the fight for the 50km very competitive. Olson is back to his old days with some great form as of late, he placed 10th at Transgrancanaria, 4th at Power of Four and he won Penyagolosa in Spain.

Equally, Swanson is back on a roll with 4th at San Fran 50 in December 2016, 6th at Hong Kong Ultra 100km early 2017 and 2nd at Lavaredo recently.

Matt Shyrock returns after success in the 2015 racenand a recent run at Tromso SkyRace. Pere Aurell Bove is having a great year but just last weekend raced in Switzerland at Matterhorn Ultraks – he will be tired! Australia’s Caine Warburton will be a contender for the podium as will Johan Lanz from Sweden, Russia’s Dmirtry Mityaev, Czech Republic’s Robert Krupicka and the Portugal’s Andre Rodriguez. Peru’s Remigio Huaman always runs strong and he along with Kiril Nikolov from Bulgaria round off the main protagonists for the podium.

The ladies’ race is headed up by Ragna Debats who won last weekend’s Matterhorn Ultraks. Ragna is on a roll at the moment and in great form but two 50km races in 7 days and a long-haul flight will no doubt take its toll.

 

Strong competition will come from Michelle Maier, Ekaterina Mityaeva, Kristina Pattison and Jennifer Asp.

*****

Race summaries and images will be posted on this website after each race.

Images at iancorless.photoshelter.com

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YADING SKYRUN 2017 PREVIEW – 2017 Migu Run Skyrunner® World Series

The “2017 Migu Run Skyrunner® World Series” kicks-off this weekend in China with the Yading Skyrun.

It is going to be a weekend of high altitude action as the Yading races personify the simple ethos of running in the Sky! The Yading Skyrunning Festval takes in numerous 6000m peaks through three races – VK, SKY CLASSIC and the Yading Kora Ultra. It will be a weekend that encapsulates challenge and reward.

The Yading Skyrun will start at 0700 on May 2nd and will cover a distance of 29km and is the only race of the weekend in the 2017 Migu Run Skyrunner® World Series. Staring in the centre of Yading’s Shangri-La the race will start with a gradual downhill. After 3.5km, the race will hit the lowest point in the race – 2860m! From here, the only way is up – passing a small village, the race route hugs a single-track. The summit at 4700m is covered with Buddhist prayer flags and what follows is a fast descent all the way back to Chonggu Temple.

The Yading VK starts the weekend on May 1st starting at noon. Covering a distance of 7km (unusally long for the VK format) the race will have an elevation gain of 1072m but starts at 3992m and concludes at 5000m. This is a first for Skyrunning! Alpine forests, prayer flags, a glacier lake and a high pass at 5000m concludes a lung and leg busting VK!

The Yading Kora Ultra also takes place at 0700 and takes in the Kora pilgrimage route over 46km.

This area of Yading is blessed with immense natural beauty, including the three sacred peaks (Mount Chenrezig, Jampayang, and Chenadorje) which loom over the National Park at an altitude of over 6,000m. From the 5th Dalai Lama through Joseph Rock this area has been a source of spiritual inspiration. With over 2,300m of elevation gain over the length of the course, and the finish line sitting at just over 4,000m, the race challenges beginners and elites alike.

           Tadei Pivk placed 2nd in the 2016 Yading Skyrun

The “2017 Migu Run Skyrunner® World Series

The Chinese company, Migu Run, under the name of Migu Xempower, was the Series’ main sponsor in 2016.

The 2017 Migu Run Skyrunner® World Series features 22 races in 11 countries and will reward the champions in the various categories a € 60,000 end of season prize purse.

The Chinese company Migu Run, the creator and owner of an advanced online and offline exercise and health management platform, has been announced as the new long-term title sponsor of the Migu Run Skyrunner® World Series beginning in 2017.

The Series is structured in three categories, Sky Classic, Sky Extreme and Sky Ultra, counting 22 races in 11 countries stretching from April to October.

Yading is the highest race of the circuit reaching 4,664m altitude. The Yading Skyrun will be organised by China Mountain Trails (CMT), a subsidiary of Migu Run, entrusted with spearheading the trail and mountain running events.

Note for 2017 the ‘new’ VERTICAL KILOMETER® WORLD CIRCUIT HERE

The rapidly expanding appeal of climbing 1,000 metres sky-high has prompted the creation of this circuit to showcase some of the best races across the world – for starters, sixteen races in eight countries.

The circuit is a Skyrunner® World Series spin-off, launching with double the number of races. They include the world’s shortest and fastest races, the first and only triple VK, some 20-year-old classics and some exciting new ones. With the aim of expanding in the future, the number of races may be increased throughout the season.

A new SKY! – The 2017 SKYRUNNER® WORLD SERIES

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2017 SKYRUNNER® WORLD SERIES

A day to travelling and I have arrived in La Palma, the home of Transvulcania. It’s apt that I should be in the place where Skyrunning transformed itself in 2012. What has followed has been an epic journey and the sport has changed with the passing of each year.

As 2016 comes to a close, the announcement of the 2017 calendar once again brings new races, new changes – we are in for a seriously exciting year in the SKY!

The Skyrunner® World Series will consist of the Sky Classic category with eleven races, the new Extreme Series, introduced earlier this year, now with four races, and the Ultra Series with eight.

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SKY CLASSIC

May 2                     Yading Skyrun, 30 km, China
May 28                 *Maratòn Alpina Zegama-Aizkorri, 42 km, Spain 
June 18                  Livigno SkyMarathon®, Italy
June 24                  Olympus Marathon, Greece
July 8                     Buff Epic Trail 42KM, Spain
July 22                   Dolomites SkyRace, 22 km, Canazei, Italy
July 30                   SkyRace Comapedrosa, 21 km, Andorra
August 26              *Matterhorn Ultraks «46K», Zermatt, Switzerland
September 2         The Rut 25K, Montana, USA
September 16       Salomon Ring of Steall Skyrace, 29km, Kinlochleven, UK
October14           *Skyrunning Extreme – 23 km, Limone sul Garda, Italy

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SKY EXTREME

July 16                    Royal Gran Paradiso, 53 km, Ceresole Reale, Italy
August 5              *Tromsø SkyRace®, 53 km, Tromsø, Norway
September 17        Salomon Glen Coe Skyline, 55 km, Kinlochleven, UK
August 26              Matterhorn Ultraks «X-K», Zermatt, Switzerland – TBC subject to course

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SKY ULTRA

May 13                   Transvulcania Ultramarathon, 75 km, La Palma, Canaries, Spain
June 3                    Ultra SkyMarathon Madeira, 55 km, Madeira, Portugal
June 9                    Scenic Trail 113K, Lugano, Switzerland
July 8                    *High Trail Vanoise, 68 km, Val d’Isère, France 
August 12               Devil’s Ridge Ultra 80K, Gobi Desert, China – TBC
September 3          The Rut 50K, Montana, USA
September 16        Salomon Ben Nevis Ultra, 100 km, Kinlochleven, UK
September 23       Ultra Pirineu, 110 km, Bagà, Spain

(*Extra 20% points)

Lauri van Houten provides the details for The 2017 SKYRUNNER® WORLD SERIES

The ranking will be based on the five best results in the Sky Classic Series, two in the Extreme and three in the Ultra Series. The end of season bonus pool will rise to a total of € 60,000.

Who is the best all-round skyrunner? Based on the five best results in the three categories: one Ultra, one or two Extreme and two or three Sky Classic, a € 10,000 prize will be awarded to a men’s and women’s Overall Champion.

To accommodate the greater number of races, an extra 20 % points will be awarded in certain races on an annual rotation basis as follows: Sky Classic, three;  Extreme, one; Ultra one.

Notably, the Vertical Kilometer® will no longer be a part of the World Series but conduct its very own circuit. Details will follow soon.

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Maximum number of results taken into account

Classic:      5
Extreme:   2
Ultra:         3

Computing of overall ranking

  • Compete in at least one race in each category
  • Maximum 5 results counted as follows:
    – 4 between Classic and Extreme with at least 1 of each
    – 1 Ultra

prizemoney


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, featured 23 races in 15 venues on three continents.

2017 will be bigger and better, join us in the SKY!

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