The Sky’s The Limit: Scotland Successfully Hosts Its First Skyrunning World Championships
19th Sep 2018
Top Global Mountain Runners Declare Love For Scotland
More than 2000 Skyrunners from almost 60 countries across the world praised Scotland’s fantastic landscape this month as they competed in a prestigious series of extreme mountain races.
2018 Highlight Reel
#SkylineScotland 2018 is a wrap! Thank you to the volunteers, sponsors, partners and competitors alike – it's been a blast! #PerfectStage #SkyWorldChamps18 #SWS2018 #GoldenTrailSeries #YOYP2018 EDIT: Summit Fever Media + Steve Ashworth MediaPosted by Salomon Glen Coe Skyline on Monday, 17 September 2018
Competitors came to race in quite the line-up; the 2018 Skyrunning World Championships, the 5th race in the Golden Trail Series, and a round of the 2018 MIGU Run Skyrunner® World Series.
The women's podium for the Ben Nevis Ultra saw athletes from The Netherlands, Spain, and Ecuador ©No Limits Photography
It’s the first time that Scotland has hosted the biennial Skyrunning World Championships, which comprised three of the four races over the weekend.
An impressive nine different countries were represented on the podiums of the four races, including America, Britain, Ecuador, Italy, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and The Netherlands.
Prizegiving after the fourth and final race of the weekend. Thanks to EventScotland for the support - The Perfect Stage ©No Limits Photography
The top 10 places across all races were represented by a total of 17 different nationalities.
Spain’s Kilian Jornet dominated, winning two races: The 2018 Skyrunning World Championships SKY race on Saturday, and the Salomon Glen Coe Skyline® on Sunday.
The 30-year-old Salomon Team athlete also smashed the SKY record in the 29km Salomon Ring of Steall Skyrace™, finishing in 03:04:34, an impressive 20 minutes faster than the record set last year.
Kilian Jornet won two races back to back ©No Limits Photos
The Salomon Ring of Steall Skyrace™ challenges athletes to race over four of Scotland’s highest mountains on a course with 2500m of ascent.
The Salomon team athlete said: “It was an amazing race on a beautiful and technical course. I am very happy to be the winner.”
The next day, Kilian also triumphed in the Salomon Glen Coe Skyline®.
In rain and strong winds, he raced a 32km 'bad weather' course through the Scottish mountains, including a total ascent of 2700m and a climb of the exposed Curved Ridge on Buachaille Etive Mòr.
He crossed the finish line in Kinlochleven on Sunday in 03:37:17.
Kilian said: “I love to do races like this. Scotland’s terrain is world-class and offers a unique place for mountain running.
“It’s technical, the track is beautiful, which is what I love when I’m racing.”
After two years of winning at Skyline Scotland, Stian Angermund-Vik podiumed bronze this year ©MyBibNumber
Another of the world’s best Skyrunners, Stian Angermund-Vik, of Norway, declared Scotland to be “my favourite place to race”.
Stian was third in the 2018 Skyrunning World Championships SKY race and he also took bronze in the 2018 Skyrunning World Championships VERTICAL race.
Stian said: “I love Scotland and I am so happy to be here racing in the mountains. I will return again and again, for sure.”
Hillary Gerardi wins after a sprint finish to the line with 2016 winner Jasmin Paris ©No Limits Photography
American Hillary Gerardi, the winner of the women’s Salomon Glen Coe Skyline® race and bronze in the 2018 Skyrunning World Championships VERTICAL race, said she rediscovered her love for skyrunning in Scotland.
She said: “Last year, when I raced the Salomon Ring of Steall, I had been having a tough season. Scotland helped me to find joy again in skyrunning.
“This year I am so happy to be back and to have won. Racing in the Scottish mountains is so much fun. It’s technical, muddy and the views are amazing.”
Scotland, the perfect stage for a growing mountain sport
The authentic Scottish experience - a piper heralds the start of both races and ceremonies at Skyline Scotland ©No Limits Photography
It was in 2015 that Shane Ohly, race director of this weekend’s Skyline Scotland skyrunning festival, first saw his dream of a running race over some of Scotland’s most extreme terrain come to fruition.
The Salomon Glen Coe Skyline® attracted a field of less than 100 athletes who raced 52km, scrambling an exposed grade 3 scramble of Curved Ridge on Buachaille Etive Mòr and running (for some at least!) across the grade 2 scramble of Aonach Eagach Ridge.
Views down to Glen Coe from the Aonach Eagach on a good day ©Africa Attachment
This year, the field had grown substantially, with more entries demanded than places available.
In addition, the number of races at the annual skyrunning event has increased to four and, this year, Skyline Scotland hosted the prestigious 2018 Skyrunning World Championships, with the VERTICAL - Salomon Mamores VK® race, the ULTRA - Salomon Ben Nevis Ultra™ race and the SKY – Salomon Ring of Steall Skyrace™.
We're ready, are you?
We're in town and ready to go! Hello Kinlochleven! Are you ready for #SkylineScotland 2018?Posted by Salomon Glen Coe Skyline on Wednesday, 12 September 2018
Yesterday, Shane said: “It was just a dream at the start, to host a race that would attract some of the world’s best mountain runners.
“This weekend, so many world-class athletes came to take part in four world-class races that all took place in the mountains of a world-class landscape.
“It has been both humbling and inspiring and we are indebted to the support of our event sponsors and partners.”
Huge numbers of world-class athletes began Saturday's Ring of Steall Skyrace ©No Limits Photography
The 2018 Skyrunning World Championships are managed by the International Skyrunning Federation. The ISF was the brainchild of Italian mountaineer Marino Giacometti, who launched the first skyrunning races in the early 1990s.
This year, Marino, the ISF president, chose Scotland for the 2018 Skyrunning World Championships.
Marino Giacometti presenting the winners at the prize ceremonies each day ©No Limits Photography
He said: “We were excited to bring the 2018 Skyrunning World Championships to Scotland where there is the perfect terrain.
“The standard of races has been world class and we have been very impressed by the number of countries represented, especially at the top of the field.
“The weather has been challenging, to say the least, but we have been extremely happy with the success and the great participation.”
He also expressed his thanks to Skyline Scotland for the excellent organisation and for hosting the 2018 Skyrunning World Championships in the Scottish “Skylands”, a new and spectacular international sports arena. The ISF even issued a gold medal to the organising team:
A Skyrunning World Championships GOLD medal to the whole event team, modelled here by head of event village Jonni Suckling ©MyBibNumber
Notes for editors:
The event is title sponsored by Salomon with key support from Event Scotland, Scotland's Year of Young People, and The Highland Council.
Red Bull offers supporting products and media coverage at the race weekend, entertainment in the village and the Red Bull After Party at The Ice Factor on Saturday night. Other sponsors and partners include: Suunto as a key sponsor and official timing partner; Ellis Brigham as an official retail partner; and the Ice Factor as the venue host of the event village. We are thankful for the support of key landowners and stakeholders such as The National Trust for Scotland and The John Muir Trust.
Scotland’s Year of Young People 2018
Skyline Scotland celebrates Scotland’s Year of Young People 2018 by welcoming pupils from local secondary schools, Ardnamurchan High School and Kinlochleven High School, to be part of the event.
Support and sponsorship of Skyline Scotland
The 2018 Salomon Skyline Scotland is supported by EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate.
Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said: “The Scottish Highlands is the perfect stage for the 2018 Skyrunning World Championships, the world’s greatest mountain event.
“With some of the world’s best athlete’s set to compete, EventScotland is delighted to be supporting this extreme event as it comes to Scotland for the first time, strengthening the region’s status as a global adventure capital.
“It is also great to see the event celebrating Scotland’s Year of Young People 2018 by giving local young people the chance to be involved in the delivery of the World Championships.”
EventScotland is working to make Scotland the perfect stage for events. By developing an exciting portfolio of sporting and cultural events EventScotland is helping to raise Scotland’s international profile and boost the economy by attracting more visitors. For further information about EventScotland, its funding programmes and latest event news visit www.EventScotland.org. Follow EventScotland on Twitter @EventScotNews.
EventScotland is a team within VisitScotland’s Events Directorate, the national tourism organisation, which markets Scotland as a tourism destination across the world, gives support to the tourism industry and brings sustainable tourism growth to Scotland. For more information about VisitScotland see www.visitscotland.org or for consumer information on Scotland as a visitor destination see www.visitscotland.com.
Scotland's Year of Young People:
• A global first, YoYP 2018 is a part of the Scottish Government’s themed-year programme, which focuses on celebrating Scotland’s greatest assets.
• A year-long programme of events and festivals are taking place across the whole of the country for all ages to enjoy, led by EventScotland part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate. More information at www.visitscotland.com/yoyp2018
• The Skyrunning World Championships 2018 are supported by the Year of Young People 2018 Event Fund, managed by EventScotland, part of the VisitScotland Events Directorate. EventScotland is working with the events and festivals sector to develop an exciting portfolio of Year of Young People 2018 public-facing events, which provide opportunities for young people to express themselves through a wide range of activity.
• Local authorities, schools, youth groups and organisations are running their own YoYP 2018 activity. Search #YOYP2018 on Twitter for the latest news.
• Young people co-designed the Year. A group of young leaders, Communic18, lead on all key decision making. More than 380 Ambassadors are championing activity.
• The Year is delivered in partnership between the Scottish Government, VisitScotland and EventScotland - part of the VisitScotland Events Directorate, Young Scot, Scottish Youth Parliament, Children in Scotland, YouthLink Scotland and Creative Scotland.
• More information can be found at yoyp2018.scot, searching @YOYP2018 #YOYP2018 on Twitter or by emailing [email protected]