Many of the world’s top trail runners will once again be racing in the western U.S. in 2013. The Skyrunner World Series race calendars released on Nov. 30 include three American races, including the Skyrunner World Ultra Final on Sept. 28 in Colorado.
The Skyrunner series includes 15 total races broken equally into its Sky, Ultra and Vertical racing divisions. Of those races, all are in Europe, except the July 27 Speedgoat 50K in Park City, Utah (Ultra series), the Aug. 18 Pikes Peak Marathon in Manitou Springs, Colo. (Sky series) and the Sept. 28 Ultra Race of Champions 100K between Breckenridge and Vail, Colo. (World Ultra series final).
Now in its 10th year, the Skyrunner running series was the brainchild of Italian mountaineer Marino Giacometti, who serves as the president of the International Skyrunning Federation. The principal aims of the International Skyrunning Federation are the direction, regulation, promotion, development and furtherance of mountain running and similar multisport endurance activities on a worldwide basis.
While the Pikes Peak Marathon and Speedgoat 50K have been associated with the Skyrunner series previously, this is the first time UROC is part of the series. UROC, which has been held in Virginia during its first two years, was created two years ago by J. Russell Gill III and Francesca Conte to serve as an international championship race.
“This is a huge honor,” says Gill, UROC’s race director. “Choosing Vail as the 2013 venue for the Ultra Race of Champions was the right move. Vail is an iconic location and a name recognized around the globe for hosting world championship events. We are ecstatic about hosting the Skyrunner World Ultra Final, and to work more closely with Marino and Skyrunner executive director Lauri van Houten during the planning process.”
Max King (U.S.) and Ellie Greenwood (Canada) won the 2013 UROC races in Wintergreen, Va., each taking home a $5,000 cash prize.
The UROC course is slated to begin in Breckenridge and send runners on roads and trails through Frisco and Copper Mountain en route to the finish line in Vail.
“For me, this is perfect fit,” says Conte, Ultra Race of Champions president and a native of Italy. “I was born and raised in the Italian Alps and UROC being named the 2013 Skyrunner World Ultra Final is a true homecoming. The course has all the qualifying elements of a Skyrunning event, including scenic beauty, dramatic mountain passes, elevation gain and loss and an iconic finish location in Vail Village.”
UROC registration begins on Jan. 15 at www.ultraroc.com. Registration dates for the Pikes Peak Marathon (typically in mid-March) will be announced in January at www.pikespeakmarathon.org. Information about the Speedgoat 50K can be found at www.karlmeltzer.com/speedgoat-50k.
2013 Skyrunner World Series
(Races between 22K and 50K with at least 1,300m positive vertical climb)
1. May 26, Maratòn Alpina Zegama-Aizkorri 42K, Zegama, Spain
2. June 30, Mont-Blanc Marathon – 42K, Chamonix, France
3. Aug. 18, Pikes Peak Marathon 42K, Colorado
4. Aug. 24, Matterhorn Ultraks 46K, Zermatt, Switzerland
5. Oct. 13, Skyrunning Xtreme 23K, Limone sul Garda, Italy
(Races over 50 km long that exceed the SkyMarathon parameters)
1. May 11, Transvulcania Ultramarathon 83K, La Palma, Spain (Canary Islands)
2. June 21, Ronda dels Cims 170K, Vallnord, Andorra
3. July 14, Ice Trail Tarentaise 65K, Val d’Isère, France
4. July 27, Speedgoat 50K, Park City, Utah
5. Sept. 28, Ultra Race of Champions 100K, Breckenridge to Vail, Colo.
(Races with 1,000m positive vertical climb not exceeding 5K distance)
1. May 7, Mount Elbrus Vertical Kilometer, Russia
2. May 18, Ribagorza Vertical Kilometer, Barruera, Spain
3. June 28, KM Vertical, Chamonix, France
4. Sept. 8, Gerania Vertical Kilometer, Loutraki, Greece
5. Oct. 11, Xtreme Vertical Kilometer, Limone sul Garda, Italy