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About ISF

Skyrunning – the Federation

Skyrunning - a Federation since 2008. ©

The International Skyrunning Federation represents the governing authority of skyrunning – mountain running above 2,000m over extremely technical terrain. Three main disciplines define the sport which are not just based on distance, but vertical climb and technical difficulty:  SKY, SKY ULTRA and VERTICAL.

The principal aims of the Federation, founded in 2008, are the direction, regulation, promotion, and development of skyrunning on a worldwide basis.

An updated list of members, Associates and Aspirant Members can be found here. The Federation is a Unit Member of the UIAA  and is currently the only discipline in the outdoor running sector with its own Federation.

Among the events sanctioned and coordinated by the ISF are: the annual Youth Skyrunning World Championships, Masters Skyrunning World Championships, VK OPEN Championships and the Stairclimbing World Championships. The Skyrunning World Championships and SkySnow World Championships are biennial, held every even year, and the Skyrunning Continental Championships, every odd year.

Events sanctioned by the ISF include the Skyrunner® World Series and the Vertical World Circuit® (stairclimbing). The Skyrunner® National Series are sanctioned and managed directly by the ISF.

Bearing in mind the geographical, logistical and physical limitations of such a challenging sport, the following figures illustrate the dimension in numbers:

  • more than 2,000 races worlwide
  • 450,000+ athletes from 90 countries participate in official races annually

An important research project has accompanied the sport since its inception in 1992. Unique physiological and psychological studies were carried out by the FSA (Federation for Sport at Altitudein collaboration with universities and institutes on athletes in the field and in the laboratory.

The work of the ISF commissions includes laying down regulations for both athletes and organisers: selecting and coordinating races for the calendar; research and anti-doping; international communication and addressing environment issues.

Skyrunning disciplines and regulations