Close this search box.

Young skyrunners of the world unite! It’s time for the 2024 Youth Championships

Bar, Montenegro is ready to welcome the 2024 Youth Skyrunning World Championships. © Skyrunning Serbia and Montenegro

The 2024 Youth Skyrunning World Championships are on their way. The eighth edition of this annual event will see skyrunners aged 15 to 23 battle for medals on the mountains near Bar, Montenegro, from June 28-30, 2024.

Launched in 2016 to introduce skyrunning to young athletes and pave the way for their future, the exponential growth over the last few years has seen the Youth Skyrunning World Championships become one of the most popular events on the ISF Calendar, opening the door to new talent from far-off countries.

Brazil Skyrunning will once more be showing their colours. President Rafael Aquino Leal, states, “It’s Brazil’s fifth participation in the YWC. Since the last two editions it has become our tradition to send a big team – a reason for great national pride. In Montenegro, a total of 16 athletes will represent us, half of them with experience from previous World Championships. We still haven’t won our dreamed-of Youth medal, but each year Brazil becomes more and more competitive and we’re ready to put up a good fight!”

Brazil is back for the fifth time with another big team chasing the Youth medal they’re dreaming of. ©

With the events just around the corner, there’s no holding back the 215 athletes from 28 countries across five continents: Andorra, Australia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Serbia, Spain, Slovenia, Slovakia, Switzerland, Sweden, United Kingdom and USA.

A total of 75 medals are at stake as well as individual, combined and team titles.Athletes are divided in four categories based on their age: Youth A (15-16), Youth B (17-18), Youth C (19-20) and U23 (21-23).

Three events will take place across two disciplines:
• SKY for Youth A & B categories
• SKY for Youth C & U23 categories

Britain’s Charlie Allmond took a gold in his first VERTICAL in 2022. He’s part of the big UK team who are ready for more. ©

The weekend kicks off on Friday, June 28 with the VERTICAL at Vrsuta Vertical KM. The course is a classic 5 km with 1,000m vertical climb, a perfect Vertical Kilometer®, starting in Sutomore, a village close to Bar.

After a day’s rest, Sunday, June 30, will focus on the SKY discipline featuring two distances according to age. The Youth A & B categories will run on a shorter course, 12 km with 800m vertical climb, while the older runners will tackle the full Rumija SkyRace®21 km with 1,600m vertical climb. It summits Rumija peak at 1,580m altitude offering the runners stunning views of both the sea on the left and the Skadarsko lake on the right.

Twins Yuna and Rina Ogake from Japan who will turn 15 in November are the youngest runners, ready to test their strength with older and more experienced athletes back for the challenge: from JapanRiko Obata and Karen Kobayashi;  Norway – Ingeborg Syntnes and Trym Dalset;  Poland – Patrycja Stanek;  Spain – Biel Sagues, Uma Plans, Gabriela Lasalle, Ïu Net Puig and Lluis Puigvert;  SwedenMeija  Petersson;  UK Charlie Allmond, Rosie Woodhams and Chloe Rylance.

Norwegian Ingeborg Syntnes is only seventeen, but has already pocketed five gold medals and a silver. No doubt her talent will be rewarded again. © ISF

Just seventeen, Ingeborg Syntnes from Norway is back for the third time after collecting an incredible five gold medals and a silver in the 2022 and 2023 Championships. “I’m expecting a great event with many competitors from across the world. I’m hoping for very steep hills and cool courses in beautiful surroundings. My training load is high to target a peak performance for this World Championship. I’m of course hoping for more medals..!”

“It means a lot to compete against the best in my age category and it’s great to see the sport is growing with more athletes and to be a part of this.”

Another medal collector is Spaniard Ïu Net who also counts five gold and one silver medal from the last two Championships. “I think it is a very important objective for many young people in our sport. In the end, it is the place to measure yourself against the best in your category.

Spaniard Ïu Net is back to add more medals to his already, impressive collection. ©

“No doubt I’m very competitive and although in Spain we are lucky to have a high national level, competing with other countries and also the best in the other categories is an added bonus.”

Ryan Kerrigan, US Skyrunning, has been attending the Youth Skyrunning Championships since 2017. “I’m thrilled with this year’s US Youth Team. Athletes range from the Green Mountains of Vermont to the Chugach’s of Alaska. There’s been a shift in the level of experience of Youth skyrunners in the US. Previously we had been seeking more track and xc runners and skiers and trying to convert them to skyrunning. This year’s team is comprised of through-and-through mountain goats who live and breathe skyrunning for breakfast, lunch and dinner,” he commented.

“It’s exciting to know so many US youth athletes who see themselves as skyrunners at heart, and this weekend in Montenegro is their chance to shine on the international stage and form lifelong relationships with equally dedicated athletes from all over the world!”

Since 2017 the US has been present at the Youth Champs. This year, new faces and new talent are aiming sky-high. ©

Last year, Spain, Italy and Japan headed the country ranking and new entries, Mongolia and Chile, took home medals on their first participation. Countries, teams, performance and passion are on a continuous upward curve where the 2024 Youth Skyrunning World Championships will see tomorrow’s champions star today.

The events are organised in cooperation with the Serbia and Montenegro Skyrunning Association and will be supervised by ISF Referees. WADA anti-doping tests will be carried out.

Full info

Race website