A new year and what better way to start than with the announcement of the first race in the new Skyrunning UK ‘Skyrunner® National Series’ – the ‘3×3ULTRA’ by High Terrain Events.
Over 4000m (13,000ft) of ascent await participants of the 3×3Ultra. “It’s an opportunity to cover three classic Lakeland peaks in an accumulative distance of 80km’s”, says High Terrain Events race director, Ian Mulvey.
Salomon athlete, Ricky Lightfoot (IAU World Trail Champion 2013 and Otter course record holder) has been instrumental in combining his skills and knowledge in designing a course that will bring Skyrunning UK an event that ultimately will create the perfect flagship for the Skyrunner® National Series (SNS) within the UK.
Based on the classic ‘Lakes 3000’s’ the 80km route will include Scafell Pike, Helvellyn and Skiddaw. An amazing circular route over the best mountains available within the UK, it promises to be a tough challenge.
Lauri van Houten, executive director for the International Skyrunning Federation (ISF) has been instrumental in providing the backing and support to enable Skyrunning UK to become a reality. When asked about Skyrunning in the UK, Lauri had this to say:
“Some of the world’s top athletes come from the UK! Andy Symonds, Tom Owens, Ricky Lightfoot, Robbie Simpson, Tessa Hill, Anna Lupton and past SWS (Skyrunner World Series) Champions Angela Mudge and Rob Jebb… British races are known for being tough and challenging. Skyrunning captures the spirit and tough technical challenges runners are looking for today. That’s the ‘feel’ we’d like to bring to the UK.”
The race route combines all the elements of a classic Lakeland run with aspects of European racing.
Tom Owens states:
“Skyrunning UK offers a great opportunity, we already have the main ingredients; technical terrain, beautiful mountains and hills. The UK has brilliant and committed athletes who love racing. We may not have the required altitude that a Skyrunning race would require in Europe but this is compensated for with the amount and steepness of climb that we can accumulate over distance, the 3×3Ultra is a great example of this.”
No stranger to Skyrunning, Salomon International athlete, Andy Symonds has performed with the best-of-the-best all over Europe, his podium finish at Transvulcania La Palma in 2012 a particular highlight also offered his approval of the 3×3Ultra:
“Skyrunning is about running high up on rough ground. Getting up, over and along big mountains with big views. The 3×3Ultra does just that and it’s great to see it finalized on the all new Skyrunning UK calendar, it’s an exciting time”.
The Skyrunner® National Series will bring a new race series to the UK. Made up of five races in each category (Sky and Ultra), runners will accumulate ranking points by competing in at least three out of five races over the SkyRace® and Ultra SkyMarathon® distances. Respective male and female winners of the ‘SNS’ in 2015 will be rewarded with the ultimate prize; not only they will they be crowned champions of the ‘SNS’ but they will also receive the opportunity to race in the final of the Skyrunner® World Series.
Ian Corless, director for Skyrunning UK has been working for months in conjunction with the ISF Athlete Commission to bring this moment to fruition:
“It’s about progression and development. Having witnessed Skyrunning from every level for the past 2-years and seen the growth, the excitement, the opportunities; to not be part of this in the UK would be a shame. The sport is growing at all levels. In time I hope we will have a series of UK based Skyrunning teams similar to the model that inov-8 have created. A Skyrunning National Series will provide not only a great structure for the sport but it will also provide a springboard for UK athletes to race in other countries but equally, we hope to attract foreign athletes to race on home soil. The announcement of the 3×3Ultra clearly states our intentions for what a Skyrunning event should be in the UK.”
“The only setback has been the difficulty in finding the right person to represent Skyrunning in the UK and bring it in line with other countries. It’s been hard to find a replacement but Ian Corless has embodied that and with his contacts and know-how we’re confident he’ll pull a great movement together.”
The stage is set for the 3×3Ultra.
Ian Mulvey, race director for the 3×3Ultra explained his thoughts and vision:
“It will showcase what we have to offer in the UK and hopefully attract international runners enabling the top UK athletes to race against the world’s best on their home terrain.”
When asked about the benefits Skyrunning will bring to the UK race circuit, Ian replied:
“Having raced in Europe I can see the potential of bringing Skyrunning to the UK. In terms of raising the profile of UK ultra running, I think this will take ultra running to the next level and give us recognition on an international scale. Now is the perfect time for this type of event, runners are looking for tougher challenges to strive for. Being part of the Skyrunning UK series I hope will raise the profile of the event & attract international athletes.”
Seize the opportunity now and sign up for what will become an iconic Skyrunning UK event.
Enter online here
Race date: 4th October 2014
Elevation: 4000m +/-
Race venue: Keswick, Cumbria.
Race website: http://www.highterrainevents.co.uk