Euro Champs VK title in Spain
Oihana wins the European SkyRace titleIt’s curtains up for the final of the 2011 European Skyrunning Championships which will take place in Alicante, Spain on Saturday, November 5th with the Vertical Kilometer® del Puig Campana.
Lining up for the challenge are Vertical Kilometer® world record holders, Italians Marco De Gasperi and Urban Zemmer.  Zemmer set the standing world record on the Dolomites course in Canazei last year in 33’16” while De Gasperi enjoyed an eight-year stint with his  34’51” record set in Val d’Isère in 2002.  Uphill specialist Nicola Golinelli completes the Italian team.

The strong Spanish team is headed by recently crowned Skyrunner® World Series champions, Oihana Kortazar and Luis Hernando.  Kortazar is also European SkyRace® Champion, winning the first leg of the Championships at the International SkyRace® in Switzerland on June 12.  Backing up the Spanish team will also be course record holder Mónica Ardid (49’29”.)  The men’s course record is 37’51” set by Agustí Roc in 2009.  France is represented by the legendary Corinne Favre and  Didier Zago.

Italy's Urban Zemmer, VK world record holder.  Photo:  ElvisA record field of 456 runners will participate in Saturday’s Vertical Kilometer®.  As the name suggests, the course comprises one thousand metres elevation gain over 3.650 km distance and with inclines up to 35.5%, it represents an explosive challenge.  The timed race section starts at 380m in Finestrat, ascending to the summit of Puig Campana at 1,408m.  The  8 km descent is at the runners’ own pace.

Individual and team titles are at stake which, as the European final, will count points scored in the Swiss International SkyRace® on June 12  for the combined title.  

Team favourites are the super-strong home team, leading the ranking with 326 points, followed by Italy and Switzerland.  As for the Vertical Kilometer® title, an exciting contest is anticipated.

International SkyRace® – Valposchiavo, Switzerland - June 12  
Vertical Kilometer® del Puig Campana - Valencia, Spain - November 5

Ranking after the first leg in Switzerland on June 12:

1 SPAIN - 326 points
2 ITALY  - 298 
4 RUSSIA  -  152
5 ANDORRA  - 142
6 GERMANY -  92
7 FRANCE - 86