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Skyrunning World Championships ready to re-start

Frenchman Bastien Perez on the Buff® Epic Trail VK, 2016 Skyrunning World Championships, Barruera, Spain. ©

Some good news to kick off the year’s sporting calendar. The Skyrunning World Championships and Youth World Championships are back with teams from no less than 29 countries participating across the two events. After the 2020 postponements, the championships are confirmed, and athletes are raring to get back in the mountains to compete.

The postponed 2020 Skyrunning World Championships will take place on July 9-11, 2021 in Vall de Boí in the Spanish Pyrenees, site of the 2016 World Championships. The bi-ennial World Championships will celebrate their sixth edition.

Athletes will confront each other in three skyrunning disciplines: VERTICAL, SKY and SKYULTRA. World titles and 27 medals will be awarded to Individuals and Official Teams as well as a Combined title based on the best results of the Vertical and Sky races. The world-class line-up counts some 185 athletes who will give their all in the three events, part of the Buff®Mountain Festival.

The Spanish Pyrenees welcome back the Skyrunning World Championships this year to the Buff® Epic Trail arena. ©Billy Fotograf

The events launch on Friday, July 9, 2021 with the VERTICAL discipline at the Buff Epic Trail VK, a 2.8 km-long Vertical Kilometer® that will heat up the atmosphere. The following day is the turn of the SKYULTRA with the Buff Epic Trail 68K while the Skyrunning World Championships will conclude on Sunday, July 11 with the Buff Epic Trail 42K celebrating the SKY discipline.

The venue is located in the magnificent Vall de Boí, a spectacular natural arena and UNESCO World Heritage Site, surrounded by 3,000m peaks and 200 mountain lakes. In 2019 the BUFF® Mountain Festival attracted 3,000 athletes and 15,000 spectators.

FEDME, the Spanish Mountain Sports Federation and ISF member for Spain, will sanction the events and oversee them with their referees. The organisation will be in the capable hands OCI Sport, with whom the ISF has collaborated on a number of high-profile events. WADA anti-doping tests will be carried out at the Championships.

Spain’s Luis Alberto Hernando on his way to the gold for the Ultra, 2016 Skyrunning World Championships. ©

Youth Skyrunning World Championships

Only two weeks to take a deep breath before diving into the 2021 Youth Skyrunning World Championships to see future skyrunning stars emerge at the spectacular venue at L’Aquila near Rome, Italy on July 30 and August 1, 2021.

After the postponement of the 2020 events, the fifth edition of the Youth Championships will see 187 athletes from 26 countries aged between 15 and 23 years-old battle for the 54 medals at stake.

Spain’s Claudia Sabata on her way to the gold medal at the 2018 Youth Championships in L’Aquila, Italy. ©Luca Cironi

On Friday, July 30 the young skyrunners will line-up for the VERTICAL discipline at the Gran Sasso Vertical Run, a 3.8 km race with 1,000m vertical climb that tops out at 2,130m altitude.

After one day of rest the young runners will face the tough Gran Sasso SkyRace®23 km long with 2,369m vertical climb. The Youth A category, 15-17 year-old athletes will run on a reduced course.

The 2019 Youth Championships saw a record number of nearly 200 young athletes from 28 countries compete with thirteen countries taking home medals. The Youth Skyrunning World Championships are held annually with a view to developing and promoting the sport for the future.

Japan’s Hiromu Miyazaki participating at the Skyrunning Youth World Championships, 2018. ©Luca Cironi

FISky, the Italian ISF member, will sanction the events and oversee them with their referees. WADA anti-doping tests will be carried out at the Championships.

The skyrunning 2021 summer season is already heating up with these two important world events confirmed. More news to follow with the 2021 Skyrunning European Championships which will be held in Portugal in November.