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When the only way is up. 2024 VK OPEN Championships announced

Portugal’s Km Vertical do Fanal, 2024 VK OPEN Grand Finale venue. ©Km Vertical do Fanal

Announcing the 2024 VK OPEN Championships celebrating the Vertical Kilometer® where the only way is up – 1,000m vertical climb over less than 5 km means a minimum 20% incline. In other words, short, steep, lung-busting races that world-class elites can perform in around 30 minutes of agony…and victory.
Nine races in eight countries across two continents make up the fourth edition of the VK OPEN.

From February to October, the races stretch from Brazil, to Portugal, Spain, Italy, Andorra, Bulgaria, Austria and Colombia with the Grand Finale, for the first time, in Portugal.

No doubt the toughest challenge on the calendar is a double Vertical Kilometer® – the Monte Zerbion Vertical in Italy’s spectacular Aosta Valley with 2,200m vertical climb over 9.5 km where an extra 20% points will be awarded.

Monte Zerbion Vertical, Italy, the only double Vertical Kilometer® on the calendar. ©Monte Zerbion Vertical

From April to the end of June the circuit will tour Europe and includes four new entries: KV Puig Campana in Spain; Monte Zerbion Vertical in Italy; Casamanya Extrem Vertical Race in Andorra and Kaiserkrone Vertical Race in Austria.

The highest race, topping out at 3,600m altitude, is in Colombia, the Kilómetro Vertical Alto de Letras, where athletes will not only battle up the vertical climb, but also with the thin air.

Double points will be awarded at the VK OPEN Grand Finale which will be held for the first time on the island of Madeira, Portugal, the KM Vertical do Fanal on October 13, 2024.

Colombia’s Kilómetro Vertical Alto de Letras, the highest race on the Championships. ©Kilómetro Vertical Alto de Letras

The growing popularity of the VK OPEN Championships saw an increase in participation during the 2023 season, with 404 athletes from 29 countries earning points.

World Champion titles and trophies will be awarded based on a maximum of three races: two plus the Grand Finale. Race winners will receive free entry and accommodation at the final, where cash prizes will also be awarded.

All competitors will be automatically inserted in the skyrunning ranking.

2023 VK OPEN World Champions were Matteo Lora from Italy and, for the second time running, Mojca Koligar from Slovenia.

The tough Kaiserkrone Vertical Race, Austria, for the first time on the VK OPEN Championships. ©AndiFrank

It may be all uphill, but when they get to the top, the view is among the rewards which could include a World Champion title and trophy, a spot on the new skyrunning ranking and a healthy body from all the training – running uphill consumes 10 times more calories!

2024 VK OPEN Championships
23 February – Base Vertical – Brazil
02 March – KM Vertical de Câmara de Lobos – Portugal
28 April – KV Puig Campana – Spain
18 May – Monte Zerbion Vertical – Italy
08 June – Casamanya Extrem Vertical Race – Andorra
15 June – Parangalitsa VK – Bulgaria
28 June – Kaiserkrone Vertical Race – Austria
16 August – Kilómetro Vertical Alto de Letras – Colombia
13 October – Grand Finale – KM Vertical do Fanal – Portugal

Check out the race parameters and technical level here

ISF Overall Ranking

2024 VK OPEN Championships