Anticipation mounts for the 2014 Skyrunning World Championships to be held in Chamonix on June 27-29. Even before getting off the ground, the events were an immediate sell-out when they went online last October with a record number of requests. Since then, the world’s best runners and teams have submitted their entries, which we announce here.
No less than nine Skyrunner® World Series Champions will take part, headed by superstars, Kilian Jornet and Emelie Forsberg, Luis Alberto Hernando, Tofol Castanyer, Stevie Kremer, Nuria Picas, Urban Zemmer, Agustì Roc, Laura Orguè.
Out of the ISF Top 20 World Ranking:
– 15 athletes will compete in the Sky distance, 14 in the Ultra and 17 in the Vertical.
Many more world-class names will be competing over the three distances – winners from top skyrunning events, from trail running races, and mountain running….they will all be here to compete in the magic arena that is Mont Blanc. 3,400 athletes will participate in the three Skyrunning World Championships disciplines with a total of 6,500 runners overall in the weekend’s events.
In the previous World Championships held in 2010, the country ranking was headed by Italy, followed by Spain and France counting 13 nations. Four years on and the country participation has more than doubled, with 28 nations taking part.
Certainly Spain is the all-out favourite, with France and Italy close behind. With the rapid development of the sport and new countries emerging, the picture could soon change. Strong competition is forecast from Great Britain and new entries Norway and the Czech Republic for example, will no doubt make their mark.
By no means a complete list, among the world-class names participating from ISF member countries, will be:
Spain: Kilian Jornet, Luis Alberto Hernando, Tofol Castanyer, Nuria Picas, Laura Orguè, Uxue Fraille, Maite Maiora, Agustì Roc, Iker Karrera, Artiz Egea, Jokin Lizeaga, Nuria Dominguez…
France: The host country with the biggest field of participants. Where to begin?
Francois D’Haenne, Michel Lanne, Xavier Thevenard – respectively 1st, 2nd and 3rd in the 80K last year; Christel Dewalle, Mathéo Jacquemoud, Alexis Sevennec, William Bon Mardion, Thibault Baronian, Axelle Mollaret Stephanie Jimenez, Maud Gobert, Mikael Paséro…
Italy: Urban Zemmer, Antonella Confortola, Silvia Serafini, Elisa Desco, Tadei Pivk, brothers Bernard and Martin Dematteis EAA champions, Marco Moletto, 2010 World Champion Nicola Golinelli, Federica Boifava…
Great Britain: Tom Owens and Andy Symonds are back racing after a year off joined by Ricky Lightfoot and Tessa Hill.
New Zealand: Anna Frost, Jonathan Wyatt and Ruby Muir. After her recent Transvulcania victory, Anna is back in great shape after a difficult year.
USA: 2013 Sky Series champion Stevie Kremer, 2011 WMRA champion Kasie Enman, Alex Nichols, Cameron Clayton and Ultra running icon Mike Wolfe.
Andorra: the consistently strong Teixido and Casal brothers.
Canada: Land of great distances and Ultra runners: Tina Lewis, Jason Loutit, and Adam Campbell.
Robust teams will participate from Japan with Dai Matsumoto and Torhu Myahara; from the Czech Republic starring Anna Straka (Pichrtova), five-time winner at Sierre-Zinal, and Robert Krupicka.
From Brazil, ultra runner Fernanda Maciel. From Switzerland, Marc Lauenstein and Candide Gabioud among others.
Completing the ISF member countries participating with teams will be Greece, Poland and Russia and, for the first time in an international skyrunning competition: Australia, China, Netherlands, Portugal and South Africa.
Top runners from other countries are headed by Romanian Ionut Zinca, ranked 2nd behind Kilian in the Sky distance, and include Germany’s Philipp Reiter, Florian Neuschwander and Florian Reichert. Interestingly, strong competition is coming from a number of countries new to skyrunning. Norway is showing great promise and will offer strong competition in the Vertical and Sky categories with talent like Thorbjorn Ludvigsen and Eirik Haugsnes who, in just one year, have made their mark in the sport.
Sweden will support Emelie Forsberg, at the head of both the 2013 Sky and Ultra ranking, with a team. Countries stretching across the world from Ecuador to Nepal complete the picture of a truly international championship.
Overall, 44 athletes ranked in the top 20 across the three disciplines will take part – a historic first. The 2014 Championships represent the first time the Ultra distance will be disputed.
Some numbers for the record:
9 Skyrunner® World Series Champions
28 national teams
38 countries participating
46 top 20 ranked athletes
3,400 participants in the thee disciplines
25,000 euros cash prizes
Individual world titles are at stake in each discipline as well as a combined title, based on the best results of two out of three races. Countries will be ranked according to the best results of three men and one woman in all three disciplines.
€ 25,000 cash prizes will be awarded and anti-doping controls will be carried out.
On the launch of the announcement, Marino Giacometti, ISF President, commented: “We’re proud to present the World Championships in Chamonix and, with the support of the Club des Sport, we’re confident the events will be a perfect showcase for skyrunning and draw the best athletes in the world for some intense competition.”