Skyrunner World Series 2016

Screen Shot 2015-12-03 at 21.01.24In case you missed it, the International Skyrunning Federation this week released the calendar for its 2016 World Series. 

“Skyrunning” is defined as running in the mountains up to or above 2,000m altitude. That is to say, it’s more than your average trail run.

Indeed, the press release states that the 2016 Skyrunner World Series takes skyrunning “to the next level” and is “going extreme”. When you look at the races that make up the series, they clearly mean it.

In addition to Vertical Kilometre, Sky and Ultra formats, the ISF has announced the introduction of the Sky Extreme Series which takes place in three countries with three “super-technical” races. The Sky Extreme kicks off on 7 August with the Tromsø SkyRace in Norway. This is followed three weeks later by the Kima Trophy in Italy  and concludes with the Glen Coe Skyline in Scotland on 18 September which is billed as “probably the toughest skyrunning race to date” – probably with good reason.

The Sky Series comprises 8 races in 6 countries, including China with the Yading Skyrun which opens the season in April.  The highest race in the World Series, it reaches 4,700m altitude on the Tibetan Plateau in China’s Sichuan mountains. The full calendar looks like this:

SKY

April 30 – Yading Skyrun – 29 km, Sichuan – China

May 22 – Maratón 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 Coma Pedrosa – 22 km, Andorra

August 20 – Matterhorn Ultraks 46K – Zermatt – Switzerland

September 4 – The Rut 25K – Big Sky Montana – USA

October 22 – Limone Extreme SkyRace – 23 km, Limone sul Garda – Italy

SKY EXTREME

August 7 – Tromsø SkyRace – 50km, Tromsø – Norway

August 28 – Kima Trophy – 50 km, Valmasino – Italy

September 18 – Salomon Glen Coe Skyline – 53 km, Glen Coe – Scotland

ULTRA

May 7 – Transvulcania Ultramarathon – 75 km, La Palma – Spain

June 4 – Ultra SkyMarathon Madeira – 55 km, Madeira – Portugal

July 10 – High Trail Vanoise – 68 km, Val d’Isère – France

September 4 – The Rut 50K – Big Sky,  Montana – USA

September 24 – Ultra Pirineu – 110 km, Bagà – Spain

VERTICAL

May 5 – KM Vertical – 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 – Blaman Vertical – Tromsø – Norway

September 2 – Lone Peak Vertical Kilometer – Big Sky, Montana – USA

October 21- Limone Extreme Vertical Kilometer – Limone sul Garda – Italy

Canada is noticeably absent from the list of countries hosting races which seems a bit odd given that there are awesome races here that take runners up to and above 2,000m. Skyrunning Canada will reveal the Canadian Skyrunning series on 14 December. An entry on their Facebook page announcing the 2016 Skyrunner World Series ends by posing the tantalizing question: “Canadian Races in 2017?” Let’s hope the answer’s “yes”.

For more on the origins and ethos of skyrunning, check out the ISF’s website or watch this wonderful video produced by Salomon as part of their Running TV series:

Until next time, happy trails.

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