Andorra will host the fifth stage of the Skyrunner® World Series with the SkyRace® Comapedrosa coming just one week after the Skyrunning World Championships that took place in Spain.
Arinsal, a small ski resort within Andorra will have 370 runners toe the line to take on the challenge of the 21 km course. The ascent involves a brutal 1,000 metre-high vertical wall over just 2 km which will test the best to the summit of the Comapedrosa at 2,942m the highest point in Andorra.
Starting with a paved road up to the Coll de les Cases (1958M), a very straight road through a wooded area follows and from this point the runners will encounter a stretch of ridge with much height and little vegetation. Climbing up to the Pic de les Fonts at 2748m the Pla de l’Estany follows.
Now the beautiful and challenging climb begins, a true vertical wall of more than 1000m of positive difference in about 2km. A VK within a race! Without a marked path, the runners follow markers to the summit of Comapedrosa at2.942m.
The descent is by the traditional route through the Estany Negre and Comapedrosa refuge, until reaching Arinsal where the race started.
Azara Garcia and Manuel Merillas are hot favourites after both gaining top 5 results at last weekends Skyrunning World Championships. However, Laura Orgue will race and arguably will be fresher after racing just the VK at the world championships. Oihana Kortazar will also be a podium contender with a strong battle coming from a quality line-up of top female Skyrunner’s that includes:
Yngvild Kaspersen, Marta Molist, Ragna Debats, Aitziber Ibarbia, Sheila Aviles, Laura Sola de Miguel, Nuria Dominguez and Ekaterina Mityaeva.
In the men’s field, Manuel Merillas 4th in the recent World Championships and 2nd in the 2015 Sky rankings may well have a battle on his hands with Rémi Bonnet if the young Swiss is back on form? Pere Aurell, 2015 race winner, will also defend his title.
As in the ladies race, the men’s race has great depth:
Marc Casal Mir, Pablo Villa Gonzales, Oscar Casal Mir, Stian Overgaard Hassan Ait Chaouand Alexis Sevennec head up the competition with a strong presence coming fromand Andrej Fejfar, Pere Aurell (2015 race winner), Aritz Egea, Pere Rullan, Alfredo Gil Garcia, Sintu Vives, Jessed Hernandez.
Course records are 2:46:42 by Pere Aurell and 3:21:15 by Oihana Kortazar.
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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