After the success of the first annual Youth Skyrunning World Championships in 2016 in Italy, the 2017 edition will be held in the European principality of Andorra, boasting two events: the KV Arinsal (Vertical Kilometre®) on July 28 and the SkyRace® Arinsal on July 30.
Proudly representing South African skyrunning will be 19 year old Capetonian Hayley Preen, who will be racing the 15km Skyrace® Arinsal, which has an elevation gain of 1,415m, its highest point being at 2,748m above sea level.
Hayley Preen has been training in the French alps. Photo > Andre Gie
Sixteen countries (double the 2016 number) from four continents will participate, seeing young skyrunners competing to do their countries proud.
Fifty-four medals will be up for grabs, distributed across three age group categories. Combined titles and medals will also be awarded to the best male and female runners competing in both the VK and the SkyRace®.
The categories are: A (16-17 years), B (18-20 years) and U23 (21-23 years).
The events kick off with Friday’s KV Arinsal, a 3.5 km long Vertical Kilometre® which starts in the town of Arinsal and finishes at Alt de la Capa at 2,570m altitude.
After a day’s recovery, the SkyRace® Arinsal will take place on Sunday at 9.15. Starting and finishing in Arinsal this specially designed Youth Championship course is 15 km long with 1,415m vertical climb to an altitude of 2,748m at the Pic de les Fonts.
The race shares part of the SkyRace® Comapedrosa course, seventh stage of the 2017 Migu Run Skyrunner® World Series Sky Classic category.
Countries competing in the 2017 Youth Skyrunning Championships are: Andorra, Austria, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, France, Greece, Italy, Japan, Portugal, Peru, Romania, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, UK and USA.
The Youth Skyrunning World Championships are held annually in different countries with a view to developing and promoting the sport and to highlight young skyrunners, giving them an opportunity to shine on the international stage.
In 2016 the gold, silver and bronze medals went to Spain, Czech Republic and Japan. With strong teams from these countries participating again, they are still the favourites, but doubling up on last year’s eight countries, the competition will be tough.
At last year’s Youth Skyrunning World Champs, Preen secured second place in the Youth B category (age 18-20), earning her a silver medal. Her time of 3:36:48 was just three minutes behind 19 year old Spanish Laia Aguilar (3:33:34), and well over 20 minutes ahead of bronze medallist Mara Beringues of Spain (4:00:13).
Preen will be competing in the event compliments of the La Massana Ministry of Tourism, Federaciò Andorrana de Muntanysme (FAM) and SkyRace® Comapedrosa organisers Ocisport.
The 2017 Youth Skyrunning World Championships can be followed at http://skyracecomapedrosa.com/en/2017/skyrace-comapedrosa-92/