Sunday heralds World Series final
The final of the 2011 Skyrunner® World Series nears. On Sunday, September 18 some of the world’s strongest runners will compete on the spectacular duelling ground of Italy’s Sentiero delle Grigne: 43 km long with a massive 6,400m vertical climb.
At least ten of these runners stand a chance of winning the race, but only two can take the World Series’ Champion title: Spain’s Luis Alberto Hernando, current ranking leader, and Italy’s Mikhail Mamleev, ranked second.
Among the top ten race contenders are Spain’s Tofol Castaner, reigning World Champion; and Jabi Olibarria, ranked third; Britain’s Tom Owens, a strong second in Zegama; and Italy’s Nicola Gollinelli, 2010 Combined Events Champion. Italy’s Marco De Gasperi, after his outstanding win and record at the Sierre-Zinal, still with an eye on competing here, is recovering from an injury at the recent World Mountain Running Championships. Skyrunning legend, Ricardo Mejia from Mexico is also expected to compete.
In the women’s field, Spain again heads the ranking with Oihana Kortazar and, with 388 points, looks set to take the title, unchallenged from France’s new skyrunning champion Stephanie Jimenez, ranked second, and Italy’s Emanuela Brizio, 2009 and 2010 world champion and recently crowned Italian national champion, currently ranked third.
With a record field of 439 entries to date, the Sentiero delle Grigne is probably the toughest race on the circuit for distance, technical stretches and vertical climb, the final concludes the Series which embraced eleven countries across four continents. The world titles are awarded on the sum of four main races and one trial plus a 20% extra at the final.
Apart from the € 10,000 World Series prize purse, the winners will be invited to the Skyrunner® SuperCup on Malaysia’s Mount Kinabalu on October 22 and 23 where skyrunning champions and record holders will contend for the trophy.