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Over-forties skyrunners will be chasing medals at the second Masters World Champs in Portugal

Getting ready for the second Masters Skyrunning World Championships in Portugal. © Spotcriativo Eventos

Never tired of touching the sky, runners from 20 countries will be heading to Portugal for the second edition of the Masters Skyrunning World Championships to be held ion April 13-14, 2024.

Featuring the SKY and SKYULTRA disciplines across four age categories, the events are open. The first three over-forties male and female athletes to cross the line in each event will take home world titles and medals, while Official Teams will gather points for the country ranking. Brazil, Portugal and Czech Republic came out on top at the first Championships in Italy last year.

Spain’s Pere Aurell got a gold in the first Masters and is aiming for another. ©

Last year’s world champion, Pere Aurell, 40, from Spain, will join a long line of medallists back for more.  “I’m very excited to race in Portugal, a new place for me, and to try to retain the Masters World Champion title. It will be my first important race of the season competing against high-level athletes so that makes me really happy.”

The SKYULTRA, 55 km long with 3,600m vertical climb, will take place on Saturday, April 13, with the Zela Ultra Marathon and, by popular request, the SKY discipline has also been included: the Zela SkyRace®, 37 km long with 2,500m vertical climb on Sunday, April 14.

Anna Strakova from the Czech Republic will be aiming for another piece of SKY. ©

Another gold medallist from last year’s championships is Anna Strakova, 50, representing the Czech Republic. An avid skyrunner, her CV counts wins of the Sierre Zinal and Mount Kinabalu races five times each. “I love skyrunning, being close to the sky and pushing my limits…no matter how old I am. I think I’m competitive but in skyrunning it is the mountain you have to compete with,” she commented. “I’m looking forward to the Zela SkyRace – as always with excitement and respect. I haven’t been able to do much training in the mountains but I do what I love and I’ll do my best on the day. I’m sure that will be a beautiful adventure and that my legs will burn like hell!”

Overall, 51 medals are at stake between the individual titles and the country ranking where teams from across the world stretching from Peru to Australia will compete.  Rafael Aquino, President, Skyrunning Brazil, one of the most active ISF members, commented, “We have high hopes with the Masters team this year, besides last year’s gold medal in the team ranking, we got pretty close to an individual medal with Jasieli Tagliari and Dante Mendes, who are back and stronger this year. Also, we have new entries of recent forty-year-olds, Ivania Rambo and Andre Mapa, who have been our best skyrunners for the last three years. It’s a Brazilian Dream Team totalling 18 athletes, the best ones in each masters category, aiming high, to the sky!”

Ryuji Yamamoto, 62, from Japan who participated in the first Masters Skyrunning World Championships, will take on the SKY. ©

Japan and Portugal are also sending large teams. A battle over two days of intense skyrunning for these more mature runners is an occasion to test their performance against rivals in the same age group. The oldest runners, both 65, are Luis Paulo from host-country Portugal, born on October 27,1958, just three days older than Japan’s Masanao Uchida.

Commenting on hosting these second Masters Skyrunning World Championships, João Luis Queiroz, President of the ISF Portugal member, FCMP, said, “It’s an honour for the FCMP and Vouzela to welcome all the athletes and country delegations, as well as the ISF, to the second Masters Skyrunning World Championships. I’m sure this region in the centre of Portugal will also fulfil the hearts of our guests with beautiful landscapes, savoury gastronomy, and intense competition.”

Official teams
Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Chile, Czech Republic, Guatemala, Hungary, Japan, Mongolia, Montenegro, Peru, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, United Kingdom, Venezuela.

Ildikó Wermescher Hungary, 2023 Masters Skyrunning World Championships gold medallist is ready to compete for another. ©

Fun facts
Ivania Rambo (BRA): SkyUltra South American Champion 2023
André Mapa (BRA): Combined South American Champion 2023
Anna Strakova (CZE): O48 Masters World Champion 2023
Ildiko Wermescher (HUN): O56 Masters World Champion 2023
Leonardo Diogo (POR): O56 Masters World Champion 2023
Pere Aurell (ESP): O40 Masters World Champion 2023

More info

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