2016 Skyrunning



World Circuit

Active Patch 4U

Active Patch 4U

Incredible Emelie, Queen of The Rut. Collé wins the Ultra

Franco Collè, winner The Rut 50K. (c)iancorless.com

The Rut 50K rounded up the weekend’s Skyrunner® World Series’ events in America’s wild Montana mountains on Sunday, following Friday’s VK and Saturday’s 25K Sky distance.

Force of nature, Emelie Forsberg, set out to do all three and placed 4th in the VK, 5th in the 25K and comfortably took the 50K, setting a new course record and taking the ranking leadership. Italian Franco Collé, a relative newcomer to skyrunning, took the men’s win and now heads the ranking. With the finals coming up in two weeks’ time, he could aspire to making his dream come true.

Ian Corless reporting for ISF, recounts: Overnight temperatures dropped and light snow had left a sprinkle over much of the 50k terrain. The 0600 start was below freezing and it was a good job that runners went straight into a 500m climb to get warm. The first 45-minutes were undertaken in darkness and then a most incredible sunrise welcomed a new day.

The Rut 50K. (c)iancorless.com

Covering 50km (31 miles) the race had 3,040m of vertical gain and loss. In the words of the Mike Foote and Mike Wolfe (Rut race directors), “There are sections of this course, including the ascent and traverse of Headwaters ridge, as well as the ascent and descent of Lone Peak, which are EXTREMELY STEEP & TECHNICAL with sections of exposure and potential rockfall hazard. This is a true mountain course so please treat it with the respect it deserves!”

To many a skyrunner, that is a calling card for full-on, adrenaline packed mountain running adventure. Restricted to just 600-runners, demand for The Rut 50K was always going to be high and this was reflected in the race selling out early.

Containing 60% single-track, 25% dirt road and 15% off-trail, the RUT really did provide a spectacular race. As with all races over The RUT weekend, the 50km event had wave starts that would be offset by 5-minute gaps. The elites ere released in wave 1 and 3 other waves followed.

What transpired was a stunning day of racing. Italian Franco Collé followed on from his impressive podium placing at Mont-Blanc 80km and ran a cool, calm and controlled race. Pushing from the front he looked relaxed throughout and he crossed the finish line in 5:16:58. His time was impressive but outside Kilian Jornet’s 2014 winning time.

Cristofer Clemente, 2nd at The Rut 50K. (c)iancorless.com

Spaniard Cristofer Clemente has consistently shown excellent results in 2015 and is a prime contender for the Skyrunner® World Series, he backed this up once again time trailing Franco throughout the race but running a strong and secure 2nd place in 5:19:28.

American Matt Shryock produced a breakthrough performance having placed outside the top 10 in 2014 to come through and take the final podium place in 5:29:00. His excitement and enthusiasm for his finish was clear for all to see with some great showboating.

Pre race favourites, Max King and Luke Nelson finished 6th and 7th respectively. Max on the line said, “that is quite some race!”

Emelie Forsberg followed on from her 2014 victory with a repeat win in 2015. Not only did she win but in the process set a new course record! This is all the more remarkable considering that Emelie has raced all three races of the runtherut weekend. Incredible. Her time 6:25:44.

Continuing to show incredible promise as a future star of skyrunning, Hillary Allen followed on from a podium place at Mont-Blanc 80km to finish 2nd here in Montana. Her time 6:30:15 was under Emelie’s 2014 course record! It was no easy result though, just before the 18-mile mark Hillary went of course with three other ladies and this opened up the doorway for eventual 3rd placed lady, Italian Martina Valmassoi to move into 2nd. Hillary dug deep though and gained back her 2nd place. Martina Valmassoi running her first ultra had a breakthrough performance to finish on the podium in 6:41:42. It was quite a run.

Ashley Erba, a pre race favourite had been leading the ladies in the early stages but was forced to withdraw.

With the racing over and done, Big Sky Resort, the two ‘Mikes,’ Montana, the Lone Peak mountain and a stunning weekend of favourable weather has well and truly made the RUNTHERUT weekend a great showcase for Skyrunning in the USA and worldwide.

Hillary Allen, 2nd The Rut 50K. (c)iancorless.com

It’s early days however, with the podium slots across the three races taken mainly by runners from Europe, with the exceptions of Hillary Allen and Matt Shryock (2nd and 3rd in the 50K), Megan Kimmel winner of the 25K and Morgan Arritola (2nd in the VK). Back in 2013, world-class ultra runners Mike Foote and Mike Wolfe designed the 50K and VK to fit skyrunning parameters and launch the sport on American soil. This year, the “SKY” mid distance was introduced and, judging by the early sell-out of the events to a field of 1,800+, a big success.  In 2014 the US Skyrunner® Series was launched to expand the concept and the weekend’s races were included on the circuit which closes in Flagstaff, Arizona on October 3 and 4 for all three disciplines.

Sometimes, all it needs is the chance to try out skyrunning and American runners that have crossed the pond have proven they can excel in even the most technical races: World Champion Stevie Kremer, Kasie Enman, Megan Kimmel, Hillary Allen, Sage Canaday, Alex Nichols, Dakota Jones… among others. Generally races in Europe tend to be more technical, thanks to the steep terrain and off-trail running which distinguishes skyrunning from trail running, which, after all, the Americans invented!  The time is ripe to get off course, to tackle the technical and reach for the sky!

Emelei Forsberg, Queen of The Rut, winner and record holder 50K. (c)iancorless.com

Look out for the Skyrunner® Ultra Series finals to be held on September 19 at the Ultra Pirineu where the world’s top runners will battle for the title.

* Scoring: 3 Skyrunner® World Series races + 1 Continental Championship race in each discipline (The Continent of your choice).

Skyrunner® World Series prizes
$25,000 will be awarded to each Series’ M/F champion at the finals:
SKY: $ 3,000 / 1,500 / 750.  ULTRA: $ 3,000 / 1,500 / 750. VERTICAL: $1,000 / 700 / 300.

Official Watch of the 2015 Skyrunner® World Series, Alpina Watches will award a luxury Horological Smartwatch – the first of it’s kind - to the Series’ men’s and ladies’ winners.

Race results

1. Franco Collé (ITA) Tecnica: 5:16:58
2. Cristofer Clemente (ESP) Race Land: 5:19:28
3. Matt Shryock (USA) inov-8: 5:29:00

1. Emelie Forsberg (SWE) Salomon: 6:25:44 (new record)
2. Hillary Allen (USA) The North Face: 6:30:15
3. Martina Valmassoi (ITA) Salomon: 6:41:42

The Rut 50K winners Franco Collè & Emelie Forsberg. (c)iancorless.com

Skyrunner® Ultra Series provisional ranking

1. Franco Collè (ITA) Tecnica – 310 points
2. Cristofer Clemente (ESP) Race Land – 292 points
3. Luis Alberto Hernando (ESP) adidas – 288 points
4. Marcin Swierc (POL) Salomon – 222 points
5. Javier Rodriguez (ESP) Mammut – 154 points

1. Emelie Forsberg (SWE) Salomon – 400 points
2. Mira Rai (NEP) Salomon – 288 points
3. Kristina Pattison (USA) La Sportiva –266 points
4. Anna Comet (ESP) Dynafit – 244 points
5. Hillary Allen (The North Face) – 160 points
5. Dong Li (CHN) Salomon – 160 points

Winners’ interviews at iRunFar
Emelie Forsberg
Franco Collè

Follow us for updates and news on twitter and Facebook