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World Series finals – stars shine at Limone

Limone, Lake Garda,site of the VK & Sky finals. © Droz Photo


Anticipation mounts for the Skyrunner® VK and Sky finals which will conclude the super-intensive skyrunning season on Italy’s Lake Garda this weekend – but not without another dose of emotion-packed racing and the best field in any skyrunning event - ever.


The deeply stacked field presents not only the best skyrunners from the two disciplines, but top names from the world of athletics who will be testing their skills on Limone’s short, steep, technical courses, against the strongest competition.


More than 750 competitors are registered in the two races, a 100% increase since the first World Series edition.


Kilian “the King” will race both distances. Already crowned Ultra Series Champion, the Sky Series title is technically already in his pocket. If he wins Friday’s Vertical Kilometer® race, he will be the first athlete all-time to win the three titles.


Friday’s spectacular night-time Extreme Vertical Kilometer® climbs high above Lake Garda where the runners will scramble up the rocky limestone trail in a spectacular torch-light procession. In the men’s race, 10 of the first 11 in the current standings will be at the start line. Thirteen in the top 20 of the 2013 ISF Ranking will compete, together with the top four in last year’s race.


Kilian Jornet, 2013 SkyRace winner. © Droz Photo


Kilian, Italian Marco Moletto and Slovenian Nejc Kuhar, both La Sportiva will be racing to win for the Vertical title.  Seven athletes out of the top ten will line up here. The title will go to the race winner.


In the women’s field, the first five of the current ranking compete. Eight in the 2013 ISF Ranking and the top two in last year’s race. Race favourite is last year’s SWS Vertical Champion and race record holder, Laura Orguè (Salomon).


From the athletics world, Great Britain’s Julia Bleasedale, with an 8th position in the 2012 Olympic Games in the 5,000m and 10,000m, will test her speed for the first time on a skyrunning course and among the top specialists together with, Petro Mamo from Eritrea, 2012 WMRA World Champion.


For the full impact of the top competitors in the two races, check out a selection of some of the top athletes below:


Men

Kilian Jornet (Salomon), Ionut Zinca (Valetudo), Marco De Gasperi (Scott Sports), Tadei Pivk (Crazy Idea), Zaid Ait Malek (Buff), Aritz Egea (EMF), Manuel Merillas (Mammut), Jokin Lizeaga (EMF) Jonathan Wyatt (Salomon), Nicola Golinelli, Marc Pinsach (FEEC), Hassan Ait Chaou (EMF), David Schneider (inov-8), Fabio Bazzana (Salomon), Slabolcz Gyorgy (Valetudo), Damiano Lenzi, Urban Zemmer (La Sportiva), Nejc Kukar (La Sportiva), Alexis Sevennec (Scott Sports), Marco Facchinelli (La Sportiva), Marco Moletto (La Sportiva), Erik Haugsnes (inov-8), Thorbjørn Ludvigsen (Salomon), Ferran Teixido (FAM), Oscar Casal (FAM), Alex Nichols (inov-8), Michel Lanne (Salomon), Bernard Dematteis (Agisko), Martin Dematteis (Agisko), Petro Mamu, Florian Reichert (Arc’teryx).


Women

Laura Orguè (Salomon), Stevie Kremer (Salomon), Emelie Forsberg (Salomon), Maite Maiora (La Sportiva), Elisa Desco (Scott Sports), Stephanie Jimenez (Salomon), Antonella Confortola (Salomon), Laia Andreu (FEEC), Tessa Hill (Arc’teryx), Christel Dewalle (adidas), Azara Garcia (Yaniro), Francesca Rossi (La Sportiva), Julia Bleasedale, Iulia Gainariu (Valetudo), Jennifer Senik (Crazy Idea), Debora Cardone (Valetudo), Chiara Gianola (La Sportiva).


Extreme Vertical Kilometer®, Limone. ©iancorless.com


It was in 2012, together with the vision and determination of the organisers, that the ISF selected the quiet tourist resort of Limone on Italy’s Lake Garda to represent the 2013 Skyrunner® World Series VK & Sky finals. In just two years the races have grown to epic proportions attracting the biggest and best fields of runners in any skyrunning event to date.


Given the depth of the field, records could fall. The standing records in the SkyRace are 2h13’34” by Marco De Gasperi in 2012 and 2h46’13” by Stevie Kremer in 2013. In the VK: 37'10" by Urban Zemmer and 46’10” by Laura Orguè.


What better way to close the skyrunning season than with a lake-side prize-giving ceremony on Saturday evening awarding a total of € 24,000 - €12,000 to the race winners and €12,000 to the SWS VK & Sky Champions*. The celebrations will continue…long into the night with an Italian style party in the Piazza!


* US$ 25,000 are awarded to the VK, SKY and Ultra Champions each year.


Stevie Kremer, 2013 race winner. © Droz Photo


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