An intense weekend of skyrunning events lies ahead. Just three weeks ago, Kilian Jornet was crowned Skyrunning World Champion in both the VK and Sky disciplines, taking the combined title. Tomorrow, on his return from a victorious Hardrock 100 course record only last week, he is ready to race the Dolomites Vertical Kilometer® against fierce competition and will also participate in Sunday’s Dolomite’s SkyRace® in Canazei. There seems to be no mountain, no course, too high or too steep to hold back this indomitable force of nature. Conditions are excellent for the 1,000m vertical climb where he set the course record last year in 32’43”.
Italians excel in the Vertical Kilometer® which was born here 20 years ago. Competition will come from Bernard DeMatteis, 18 seconds behind Kilian in the Chamonix World Championships and Urban Zemmer, 3rd just one second later. He came 2nd in the race last year and was 2013 World Series champion.
Returning to the competition are Philip Goetsch, 3rd, Slovenian Nejc Kuhar, 4th, 2012 winner, and Frenchman Matheo Jacquemoud, 5th. Look out for Agusti Roc, heading the current World Series ranking; La Sportiva’s super-strong Vertical specialists: Nadir Maguet, Marco Moletto, Marco Facchinelli; Andorra’s Ferran Teixido, 3rd and Oscar Casal, 6th; Norway’s Thorbjorn Ludvigsen and Eirik Haugsness.
The women’s field is deeply stacked and promises exciting competition. Antonella Confortola, racing on home ground, set a record here in 2008 which she bettered by 2’ last year, standing at 41’02”. Spain’s Laura Orguè, recently crowned Skyrunning World Champion also leads the Skyrunner® World Series ranking ahead of Antonella.
Emelie Forsberg will be racing in both events after her triumph at the World Championships Ultra distance and last Sunday’s 65km Ice Trail Tarentaise. Like Kilian, her racing skills stretch from the long to the short and steep, although she says she is still perfecting her vertical technique with poles. She was 2nd here last year. In the mix: Iva Melesova from the Czech Republic, 3rd; from France, Christel Dewalle, 3rd in the World Championships and Stephanie Jimenez; from Italy, Francesca Rossi.
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