|Kilian and Emelie Skyrunner® Ultra Champions|
Kilian Jornet takes the Skyrunner® Ultra title for the second time since the introduction of the distance in the World Series last year and Emelie Forsberg, in her first 100 km and with three straight wins, takes over from Nuria Picas as the new Ultra queen.
The five-race Series, after the previous epic events at Transvulcania, Ronda dels Cims, Ice-Trail and Speedgoat, concluded Sunday in Vail, Colorado at the 100 km Ultra Trail of Champions (UROC) with one of the deepest Ultra fields seen in recent times.
The men’s race went to an ecstatic Rob Krar, who just recently signed up with The North Face after placing second at Western States, closing in 9h29’00”. A big welcome back to Dakota Jones, (Montrail) who, after a quiet year, placed an excellent second in 9h32’26”. Salomon’s Cameron Clayton was third in 10h06’24”, while Kilian placed fourth in 10h19’18” - for him, a day of torment. The paved road section which accounted for 19% of the course represented the biggest challenge, no doubt favouring runners from a traditional running background - with the exception of Emelie Forsberg, whose talent knows no boundaries.
Strong race favourite Sage Canaday (Scott), sadly had a bad day. After initially going out strong he finished 6th. Among the Skyrunner® Ultra Series competitors who faired well here were Frenchman Martin Gaffuri, placing 8th, he now ranks 4th in the Series and Luke Nelson (Patagonia Ultra Running), finishing 11th, ranks 7th.
The women’s race was another affair with favourite Emelie Forsberg, (Salomon), racing her first 100 km. She ran strongly throughout although seriously challenged by the effects of high altitude…and Stephanie Howe, (The North Face) hot on her heels and almost closing the gap every time Emelie succumbed to breathlessness. However, Emelie is not a lady who gives up easily and, summoning all her strength, she held her lead position to the finish line where, as darkness fell, she took 15th position overall after 12h06’33” of racing. Stephanie’s time (17th overall) was 12h29’27”. Michele Yates ((Ultimate Dirction/GU) winner at Run Rabbit Run 100, was third 13h19’08”.
Italian Francesca Canepa (Montura/Vibram), was fourth in 12h55’07” (20th overall), an excellent race considering her win at the mammoth Tor des Geants 330 km race only two weeks earlier. She reached the race leading the ranking but her fourth position wasn’t enough to hold off Emelie’s three straight wins for the title.
Some interesting facts emerge from an analysis of the Ultra ranking: perhaps not surprisingly, the supremacy of the American runners.
If we consider the top 20 ranked men and women, that three out of five racestook place in Europe, that the world champions are European, with respect to other nations, American men gained more points overall and men and women collectively count 48% of the points overall!
Skyrunner® Ultra Series ranking (extract)
1° Kilian Jornet (ESP) - 287 points
2° Sage Canady (USA) – 258 points
3° Cameron Clayton (USA) – 208 points
1° Emelie Forsberg (SWE) - 320 points
2° Francesca Canepa (ITA) – 265 points
3° Stephanie Howe – (USA) – 206 points
Results & Race website
Updated September 30th, 2013
Skyrunner® World Series ranking (updating)