Competitive Scene - Page 7
Anna Frost in a relaxed moment at the brutal 2012 Speedgoat 50K, Snowbird, Utah, an Ultra SkyMarathon Series race. Photo by Kevin Winzeler.
SKYRUNNER WORLD SERIES
While the Skyrunner World Series (SWS), organized by the ISF, is entering its 10th year, both the series and organization are just starting to attract the attention in the U.S. that they’ve long received in Europe. Last year’s outreach by the ISF to top American trail runners with invitations to the Transvulcania Ultramarathon, Zegama Marathon and Cavalls del Vent did much to spark this. Says ISF Executive Director Lauri van Houten, “For American runners it represents a new challenge in many ways—more technical, steep courses, the supporters, the fans and the atmosphere.” (see Adventure, April 2013, Issue 87)
The SWS has continually evolved, with 2013 seeing a new format, three five- race circuits each focused on a separate Skyrunning discipline: the Sky Series (races from a half-marathon to just over a marathon), the Ultra Series (races 50K to 170K) and the Vertical Series (vertical kilometer races). As it was last year, the Pikes Peak Marathon is part of the Sky circuit, while the Speedgoat 50K returns to the Ultra circuit. As noted above, UROC will be the finale of Skyrunning’s 2013 Ultra Series and, as such, figures to gain a significant contingent of top European competitors if last year’s Speedgoat 50K is any indication (see “Speedgoat 50K Has Decadence and Decree,” October 2012, Issue 83). Last year was Skyrunning’s first foray into an ultra series. Van Houten explains, “It’s a natural evolution—people are continually looking for greater challenges, higher, faster, longer.”
Americans look to further embrace Skyrunning in 2013, with Anton Krupicka, Rickey Gates, Stevie Kremer, Cameron Clayton, Alex Nichols and Luke Nelson all signed up for at least three races, the minimum number of races to gain series ranking.