Looking towards some hoped-for certainties after a year of cancellations in the sports world, the biennial Skyrunning European Championships will take place in Portugal on 19-20 November, 2021 featuring the SKY and SKYULTRA disciplines.
The host venue is São Pedro do Sul, in the northern part of the country where the demanding terrain rolls out a massive 20% uphill vertical climb in both races, challenging true skyrunners that like it tough and steep.
Carlos Teixeira, Vice-President of the Portuguese Federation, FCMP, commented, “We are proud to announce the realisation of the first ever Skyrunning European Championships in Portugal highlighting our hospitality and the mountain territory of our country.”
The events kick off on the 19th with the SKYULTRA at the Pisão Extreme, 65 km long with 6,500m vertical climb. The appeal of this gruelling race saw the participation of 2016 Skyrunning World Champion Stian Angermund-Vik from Norway in 2018. He was back in 2019 to set the record in 9h54’40”. The women’s record is 14h51’38” by Portugal’s Jocelina Ferreira. Only 30% of the participants manage to cross the finish line of this punishing course.
“The Pisão Extreme is entertaining with a lot of up and down on ridges and rocks – just the way I like it!” said Angermund-Vik. “I hope to race at the Skyrunning European Championship extreme this year,” he concluded.
November the 20th is the turn of the SKY discipline with the highly popular Pisão Skyrunning, 35 km long with 3,500m vertical climb. The records were set by Fran Salgueiro (ESP) in 4h40’53” for men and Sabina Marques (POR) in 6h25’03” for women.
Just in its third year, in 2019 the Pisão events sold out attracting 800 runners from 18 countries. True to skyrunning policy, the races are capped to minimize environmental impact and guarantee a safe and enjoyable experience for the athletes.
Race organiser Sérgio Tavares commented, “We’re so honoured to host the Skyrunning European Championships at the Pisão Extreme and look forward to making it a memorable day for the participants. You will find challenging routes rich in natural beauty where you will need a huge dose of adrenaline to reach the finish line. Train hard, race harder!”
The Skyrunning European Championships are open only to official national teams and will have a separate start from the event open to the public. Fifteen medals across the three disciplines will be awarded together with the Skyrunning European Champion titles.
The 2019 Skyrunning European Championships were held in Italy with three disciplines in two different locations with the Maga Ultra SkyMarathon, the Vertical Terme di Bognanco and the La Veia SkyRace® where 480 athletes from 24 countries participated and 19 official teams were represented, all taking ranking points for the medals.
The candidature for the Skyrunning European Championships was presented and supported by the ISF Member for Portugal, Federação de Campismo e Montanhismo de Portugal (FCMP) who look forward to welcoming athletes from across Europe for a taste of top-level Portuguese skyrunning.