The year’s Skyrunner World Series final is this Sunday on Italy’s Sentiero delle Grigne, where a beautiful mix of 43km and 3200m of ascent (a mountain marathon with 10,500ft of vert) will greet this year’s mountain running elite. Inside Trail has been fortunate enough to be alive and able to comment on the six-race-series’ final three races (Sierre-Zinal, Pikes Peak Ascent, and tomorrow’s race).
The men’s race is certainly up for grabs among several competitors, but based on the current Skyrunner World Series standings, Spain’s Luis Alberto Hernando (current rankings leader), or Italy’s Mikhail Mamleev (2nd) appear to be the main contenders for the World Series’ Champion title. Basque’s Jabi Olabarria looks to have an outside shot, if he is indeed toeing the line. Unfortunately, the race may miss Italy’s great Marco De Gasperi, currently 8th and out of contention for the win (despite two series wins at Arles Tech and Sierre-Zinal), who is nursing an injury he suffered last weekend at the World Mountain Running Championships.
Oihana Kortazar of Spain looks like a lock for the Series title sitting comfortably in 1st in the current standings with France’s Stephanie Jemenz and Italy’s Emanuela Brizio perched for an outside shot.
Again, the race is up for grabs for several men and women contenders, but the overall World Series Titles look to be in the grasp of just a couple men and women mountain runners.
The Skyrunner World Series standings are based on a system that assigns points to men’s and women’s results according to a breakdown consisting of 100-88-78-72-68-66-64-62-etc., down to 2 points, “to the 40th position for men and the 15th position for women.” The Skyrunner World Series is based on a circuit of international standard races in various countries using a minimum of six and a maximum of eight races. Runners must also participate in a Skyrunner World Series National Trial. These trials are used “to promote skyrunning in as many countries as possible and to give the opportunity to as many athletes as possible to participate in the World Series.” Athletes hoping to win the Skyrunner World Series (SWS) must participate in a trial. Skyrunners then use their four best results (3 + 1 trial) or five best results (4 + 1), depending on how many Skyrunner series races have been scheduled in a season. The countries that host a Skyrunner World Series Trial in 2011 are Greece, Andorra, Spain, Italy, UK, France, Japan, Venezuela (points applied to 2012 series), and the Philippines (2012 series).
At the SWS final, the first male and female with the highest point totals will be declared Skyrunning World Champions. Also, the team with the highest score will be declared Skyrunning World Champion Team. Who can’t appreciate this kind of competitive organization?
Sentiero delle Grigne is known as one of the toughest courses on the circuit, technically difficult mountain trail matching the breathtaking beauty of the La Grignetta with it’s awesome mountain towers and gorgeous surrounding lakes.
Last year’s winners of Sentiero delle Grigne were Miguel Heras and Mireia Miro.