|Top names announced at Euro Champs|
The third edition of the European Skyrunning Championships kicks off with not just Europe’s best, but no less than seven world champions representing sixteen nations. The events will mark the first European Ultra title, as well as the Vertical and Sky distances.
Taking on all three disciplines will be super-champs Kilian Jornet and Emelie Forsberg, for whom only the sky is the limit. A number of other athletes will take on the three-race challenge but mostly the specialists are aiming for medals in their preferred categories.
The strong Spanish team includes 2011 Skyrunning World Champion Luis Alberto Hernando who will take on the Ultra with 2012 Ultra Champion Nuria Picas.
The twelve team members also include three-time World Champion, Agustì Roc and Vertical Champion Laura Orguè.
Italy will be aiming at the Vertical and Sky distances with a robust line-up headed by Vertical World Champion Urban Zemmer and Antonella Confortola who took third at the recent KM Vertical in Chamonix. The Italian squad is supported by Nicola Golinelli (4th Mont-Blanc Marathon), Marco Facchinelli currently heading the SWS Vertical Series together with Marco Moletto (ranked 4th). Silvia Serafini (4th in Mont-Blanc Marathon), will race both distances while Stephanie Jimenez will take on the SkyMarathon®.
Many more world-class names have signed up to represent their county in the European Championships. Among them, the strong French team: Michel Lanne, Emilie Lecomte, Matheo Jacquemoud, Didier Zago, Celine Lafaye and Corrine Favre; Philipp Reiter and promising “new” skyrunner Florian Reichert (Germany); Ferran Teixido and Oscar Casal Mir (Andorra); Zhanna Vokueva (Russia); Csaba Nemeth (Hungary); Ionut Zinca (Rumania); Tessa Hill (Great Britain).
The Netherlands are not new to skyrunning after their first experience at the 2012 SkyGames®. They are led by Ragna Debats, 5th at Mont-Blanc Marathon. New entries include a very strong representation from the Czech Republic with no less than thirteen team members they are determined to make an impression on the international skyrunning scene.
To date, the sixteen countries entered are: Andorra, Austria, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, France, Great Britain, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Rumenia, Russia, Spain, Switzerland, Sweden.
The events kick off on July 19 in Canazei, Trento, Italy with the Vertical Kilometer®, followed by the Dolomites SkyRace® on July 21. The Ultra distance will be disputed at the Trans d’Havet just six days later in the nearby Veneto Region on July 27.
With such a deep field in every category, records are likely to tumble.
The record on the unforgiving Vertical Kilometer® course, just 2,1 km long, stands at 33’16” by Urban Zemmer and Antonella Confortola, 39’13”, back in 2008 when the course was inaugurated at the SkyGames® .
The Dolomites SkyRace® favoured by the world’s top runners offers a new challenge after record-breaking performances last year by Kilian Jornet in 2h01’52 and Emelie Forsberg, in 2h26’00. The challenging and often technical course represents one of the toughest proving grounds for the relatively short distance: 22 km but with 1,750m climb to the summit of the Piz Boè which, at 3,152m altitude, towers majestically above the start and finish of the race in Canazei.
Moving on to the much anticipated Ultra, the Trans d’Havet is an 80 km point to point with 5,500m vertical climb traversing the Piccole Dolomiti in the Veneto Region. The route, technical in stretches, includes 6 km of tunnels.
Course records at last year’s launch were: 10h58’44” by Daniele Palladino (ITA) and Francesca Canepa (ITA) 11h44’45’’.
The winning formula? Easy: the European Skyrunning Championships are open with individual titles at stake in each discipline. Ranking is based on the sum of the highest points scored in two out of three events. The national title is based on the score of the first three men and one woman in all three events.
Dolomites Vertical Kilometer®, Canazei, Trento, July 19
Dolomites SkyRace®, Canazei, Trento, July 21
Trans d’Havet, 80k, Piovene R, Piccole Dolomiti, Vicenza – July 27