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Italian wins Mount Elbrus Vertical Kilometer

winner Marco Facchinelli.  Photo ©Konstantin Dikovsky

The new format 2013 Skyrunner® World Series kicks off with the first race of the season on the icy slopes of Russia’s Mount Elbrus.  Winner of the Elbrus Vertical Kilometer® was Italy’s Marco Facchinelli (La Sportiva) who raced 1,000 metres skywards up the steep, snow-covered course, nearly 4 km long and finishing at 3,450m altitude.


Facchinelli’s time of 44’48” fell 9 seconds short of Marco De Gasperi’s record set last year – the standing Vertical Kilometer® record at 3,000m altitude.  Russians Vitaly Shkel and Konstantin Savchuk raced for a photo finish to take second and third place in 46’22” and 46’23 respectively, while Andorra’s Ferran Teixido was fourth.


The women’s field was dominated by the strong Russian field and just like last year, Salomon runner Zhanna Vokueva was pipped to the post by a mere four seconds by Larisa Soboleva who closed in 51’08. Elena Kravchenko was third.


The race is part of the Redfox Festival held every year on May 7, a national holiday.  The Festival counts different events on snow and at altitude, over a four-day period which includes the Elbrus Vertical SkyMarathon® run between 2,350 and 5,642m altitude. 246 athletes from 15 countries are participating in the Festival.


This extremely tough Vertical Kilometer® launches the participation of the strong Russian Skyrunning Team in the Vertical and Sky Series as well as the European Championships.


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Provisional race results

Men


1. Marco Facchinelli (ITA), La Sportiva – 44’48”

2. Vitaly Shkel (RUS) – 46’22”

3. Konstantin Savchuk (RUS) – 46’23”


Women


1. Larisa Soboleva (RUS) – 51’08”

2. Zhanna Vokueva (RUS), Salomon – 55’09”

3. Elena Kravchenko (RUS) – 58’37”