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2016 Skyrunning
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Zegama – stellar cast for European Championships

Zegama 2014 race start. ©Jordi Saragossa


The small Basque town of Zegama comes to life on May 17 with yet another stellar line-up. This year, the iconic race will also award the European title for the Sky distance, together with points for the Skyrunner® Series. A permanent feature on the Skyrunner® World Series since 2004, the 42 km race with a tough 5,472m ascent and descent attracts a consistently deep field.


No less than 34 elite athletes on the 2014 ISF Ranking will be among the 600 runners lining up, including 2014 Ultra World Champion, Emelie Forsberg, fresh from her extraordinary win at Transvulcania just last week. 2014 winner and World Champion in the Sky distance, Elisa Desco will be pushing for another win, with super-strong Spaniards Maite Maiora, Laura Orgue, Nuria Dominguez and Uxue Fraile forcing the pace. Nepal’s Mira Rai, recently crowned Asian Champion, will unfortunately be unable to attend due to visa problems.


Elisa Desco, 2014 race winner and World Champion. ©iancorless


The men’s competition will come from Italians Marco De Gasperi and Tadei Pivk, Romanian Ionut Zinca, Maroccan Zaid Ait Malek, past race winner, Briton Ricky Lightfoot, Frenchman Michel Lanne, Spaniards Aritz Egea, Alfredo Gil, Jokin Lizeaga, Manuel Merillas, Hassan Ait and Jessed Hernandez among others.


Despite the absence of 7-times winner Kilian Jornet and last year’s winner Stevie Kremer, the competition will be fierce in both the men’s and women’s fields. The records to beat are by Kilian Jornet (3h48’38’’) and Emanuela Brizio (4h38’19’’).


Zaid Ait Malek. ©iancorless


The top ISF ranked men:


Ionut Zinca (Rank 2 - ROU), Marco De Gasperi (Rank 3 - ITA), Tadei Pivk (Rank 4 - ITA), Zaid Ait Malek (Rank 6 - MAR), Aritz Egea (Rank 7 - ESP), Alfredo Gil (Rank 10 - ESP), Jokin Lizeaga (Rank 12 - ESP), Michel Lanne (Rank 19 - FRA), Eirik Haugsnes (Rank 20 - NOR), Manuel Merillas (Rank 25 - ESP), Hassan Ait (Rank 27 - ESP), Jessed Hernandez (Rank 32 - ESP), Pere Rullan (Rank 33 - ESP), Imanol Goni (Rank 35 - ESP), Florian Reichert (Rank 37 - GER), Cristobal Adell (Rank 38 - ESP), Iban Letamendi (Rank 41 - ESP), Ricky Lightfoot (Rank Ultra 54 - GBR), Dai Matsumoto (Rank 56 - JPN), Ricardo Mejia (Rank 59 - MEX), Pere Aurell (Rank 60 - ESP), Fernando Arca (Rank 82 - ESP).


The top ISF ranked women:


Emelie Forsberg (Rank 1 - SWE), Maite Mayora (Rank 3 - ESP), Elisa Desco (Rank 6 - ITA), Nuria Domínguez (Rank 8 - ESP), Uxue Fraile (Rank 11 - ESP), Laura Orgue (Rank 15 – ESP), Federica Boifava (Rank Ultra 16 - ITA), Aitziber Ibarbia (Rank 26 – ESP), Ragna Debats (Rank 27 – NED), Nerea Amilibia (Rank 35 – ESP), Azara Garcia (Rank 39 – ESP).


Marco De Gasperi. ©Fabio Menino


Not only will the top runners compete for points in the World Series ranking, but titles and medals are at stake in this first edition of the European Championships.


A special prize will be awarded to the male and female European Champions in the form of a prestigious Alpina Horological Smartwatch, Official Watch of the 2014 Skyrunner® World Series and European Championships.


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