In addition to the successful Vertical, Sky and Ultra formats, the International Skyrunning Federation has confirmed the introduction of the new Sky Extreme Series: three countries and three super-technical races that will allow runners worldwide to have a real opportunity to embrace the Skyrunning ethos.
Kilian Jornet explained, “When I discovered Skyrunning years ago it was the images of small runners traversing huge glaciers, scrambling rock ridges and descending steep snow fields. I’m really happy to see this new Series, with the most technical races – the soul of Skyrunning!”
Sky Extreme kicks off on August 7, with the Tromsø SkyRace® in Norway, where Kilian Jornet and Emelie Forsberg launched the first, made-to-measure SkyRace in the Northern territories. The biennial Kima Trophy is back and the 2016 series will conclude with a new entry, the Salomon Glen Coe Skyline™, which is set in the Scottish Highlands and is probably the toughest Skyrunning race to date.
James Crozier high on Curved Ridge who went on to finish the course in 11:07:09 and place 60th overall. Fantastic! © Ian Corless
“I am totally delighted that the Salomon Glen Coe Skyline™ is joining the most prestigious mountain running series in the world”, said Race Director Shane Ohly. “My team of professional staff and volunteers worked so hard to deliver a world class race at the inaugural event in August 2015, and to the participants themselves - who proved how their high mountain competency made this race route really work. This latest World recognition is a justified reward for everyone.”
Ian Corless, Skyrunning UK Director added, “I had a dream 2-years ago when Skyrunning UK was launched in the UK that with in 3-years we would host a Skyrunning World Series® event. That dream is now a reality and with it the worlds best will come to Scotland in September to race in the mountains of Glen Coe, it would not have been possible without Shane Ohly and Gary Tompsett who made the dream a reality!"
2015 British Fell Running Champion Jasmin Paris in action at the Salomon Glen Coe Skyline. © Ian Corless
The Salomon Glen Coe Skyline™ has now been catapulted onto the World stage and the 2016 race on Sunday 18th September will see the stars of Skyrunning competing in Scotland for what is expected to be the most competitive mountain running field seen for a generation in the UK. The €5,000 cash prize for the leading runners is sure to raise a few eyebrows and encourage the best British fell and mountain runners to compete.
Jim Mann winner of 2015 Berghaus Dragon’s Back Race and 12th at the Salomon Glen Coe Skyline™ in 2015 © Ian Corless
The Salomon Glen Coe Skyline™ course is considered to be one of the most extreme and challenging mountain race routes in the world with long sections of scrambling that includes an ascent of Curved Ridge and a full Aonach Eagach traverse.
Skyrunning World Champion (Ultra) Emelie Forsberg was enthusiastic in her support for the Salomon Glen Coe Skyline after finishing second overall in 2015. “Waow! Seriously the best race in this distance. Super technical ridges and gullies (think Trofeo Kima but no via ferrata!) some parts very runnable on nice but still tricky trails. Glen Coe I’m thrilled to have run this race. Thanks to your amazing organization. Even though it was hard all of the nature and the course made me go fast. Thanks all of you standing along the course, you made me feel so welcomed here!”
Emelie Forsberg Skyrunning World Champion who finished second overall at the 2015 Salomon Glen Coe Skyline © Ian Corless
The 2016 Salomon Glen Coe Skyline™ will be the last race in the new Sky Extreme Series, so two new World Champions (male and female) will be crowned at the end of the race. Also, leading competitors in the Sky Extreme Series will become eligible for the end of season prize purse of €36,000.
There will be a separate prize fund for runners who are competing in the UK Skyrunning Series, which the Salomon Glen Coe Skyline™ is also part of.
Emelie Forsberg and Joe Symonds. Winners at the 2015 Salomon Glen Coe Skyline™. Happy memories from a great weekend. © Ian
There are further BIG and EXCITING developments for the 2016 event. These include two fantastic new races that are more accessible for participants and have no vetting. These are:
Am Bodach Vertical Kilometre® - Friday 16th September 2016
The UK’s first Vertical Kilometre®, this is an incredible leg burning and lung-busting ascent from sea level to the Am Bodach Munro summit. This race is part of the Skyrunner UK Series®, and entries not vetted.
Kinlochleven Ring of Steall™ - Saturday 17th September 2016
Also part of the Skyrunner UK Series®, this race is a variation of the classic 'Ring of Steall' ridge-walking route. The 25km / 2,500m mountain race has spectacular views of Ben Nevis from the Mamores and includes short sections of easy scrambling. Again, entries not vetted for this race.
Does the next race need any introduction?
Salomon Glen Coe Skyline™ - Sunday 18th September 2016
A Skyrunner World Series® and Skyrunner UK Series® race. The route includes 53km / 4,500m of pure Skyrunning that tackles some of the most challenging Scottish mountain terrain. Climbing experience required. Entries restricted and vetted.
Entries for all three races will open at 12:00 noon on the 1st February 2016 and sold on a first come, first served basis. They are expected to sell out within days… if not hours!
2016 SKYRUNNER® WORLD SERIES
August 7 Tromsø SkyRace® - 50 km, Tromsø – Norway
August 28 Kima Ultra SkyMarathon® - 50 km. Val Masino - Italy
Sept 18 Salomon Glen Coe Skyline- 53 km, Glen Coe - Scotland
April 23 Yading Skyrun - 29 km, Sichuan - China
May 22 Maratòn Alpina Zegama-Aizkorri – 42 km, Zegama - Spain
June 26 Livigno Outdoor Race Experience – 30 km, Livigno - Italy
July 17 Dolomites SkyRace® - 22 km, Canazei - Italy
July 31 SkyRace® Comapedrosa, 22 km - Andorra
Aug 20 Matterhorn Ultraks 46K - Zermatt - Switzerland
Sept 4 The Rut 25K – Big Sky, Montana – USA
Oct 22 Limone Extreme SkyRace® - 23 km, Limone Sul Garda - Italy
May 7 Transvulcania Ultramarathon – 75 km, La Palma - Spain
June 4 Ultra SkyMarathon® Madeira – 55 km, Madeira - Portugal
July 10 High Trail Vanoise - 68K, Val d’Isère – France
Sept 4 The Rut 50K, Big Sky, Montana – USA
Sept 24 Ultra Pirineu - 110 km, Bagà – Spain
May 5 TVU Vertical – Tazacorte, La Palma - Spain
June 24 Santa Caterina Vertical Kilometer® - Sondrio, Italy
July 10 Kilomètre Vertical Face De Bellevarde - Val d’Isère - France
July 15 Dolomites Vertical Kilometer® - Canazei – Italy
August 5 Blamann Vertical - Tromsø - Norway
Sept 2 Lone Peak Vertical Kilometer® - Montana – USA
Oct 21 Vertical Kilometer® Grèste de la Mughéra - Limone Sul Garda -Italy
Skyrunner® World Series Ranking
Maximum number of results scored:
Sky Extreme: two best results
Ultra: three best results
Sky & Vertical: four best results