Less cloud. More sky. That simple motto is the creed by which many European runners have lived for many years. Born in the mountains of Europe in the early 90s, SkyRunning has experienced an incredible rebirth and growth in the last several years. For years, many of us could only dream about running some of the iconic SkyRunning races. As we watched Kilian and Emelie hop over rocks and slide down scree fields we could only hope to be be so lucky to travel to those races some day. For most of us, following the race on social media, and looking up the results after was the best we can do. Many areas in the US did not offer anything as challenging and as unique as SkyRunning. It was only a matter of time before SkyRunning reached the shores of the US. In just two short years, US SkyRunning has grown from an idea into a big race series with races that offer terrain and experience unrivaled by many others.
When asked, Ian Sharman, the Director of US SkyRunning said, “Ever since I first saw Skyrunning at Transvulcania, it captured my imagination with the audacity and beauty of the courses and sheer difficulty of the races. The events are some of the toughest around but leave runners wanting more, from the leaders to the back of the pack. So I’m really excited and honored to bring the original Skyrunning concept to the US on a wider scale with some of the most exciting races around.”
In 2016, US SkyRunning Series is going back to the traditional SkyRunning formula of 5 races in each category, Sky, Ultra and VK (vertical kilometer). This series of races will allow runners to compete for a huge prize purse of over $40,000, with $5,000 available for the overall Ultra series winner. In each race, runner’s will be able to score points that will rank them in the Series. The three best results in each Series are scored in the overall ranking for each runner. Ranking points in the final races of all three Series are increased by 20% then rounded.
In addition to the US SkyRunning Series, back for 2016 is the North American SkyRunning Continental Championship. It is a single day Championship event for all three disciplines – Sky, Ultra and VK. In 2016 this will be held at the Audi Power of 4 50k (Ultra) and Flagstaff Sky Race (Sky) and Mt Albert Vertical K® in Canada.
Here at TAUR, we are very excited for the 2016 season.
2016 Race Schedule
SKY (races less than 50km)
1. NEW YORK: Whiteface Sky Race – 19 miles – Wilmington – July 9 – 9,000ft elevation gain
2. COLORADO: Kendall Mt Run – 12 miles – Silverton – July 23 – 3,750ft elevation gain
3. MONTANA: The Rut – 25km – Big Sky – September 3 – 7,000ft elevation gain
4. WASHINGTON: Crystal Mountain Sky Marathon – 26 miles – Crystal Mountain Resort – September 17 – 8,000ft elevation gain
5. ARIZONA: Flagstaff Sky Race – 39km – Flagstaff – October 1 – 8,000ft elevation gain
ULTRA (races over 50km)
1. CALIFORNIA: Tahoe Sky Ultra – 50+km – Lake Tahoe – June 19 – 10,000ft elevation gain
2. COLORADO: Audi Power of 4 – 50km – Aspen Snowmass – August 7 – 7,900ft elevation gain
3. MONTANA: The Rut – 50km – Big Sky – September 4 – 10,000ft elevation gain
4. TEXAS: Franklin Mountains Trail Run – 50km – September 10 – 10,000ft elevation gain
5. ARIZONA: Flagstaff Sky Race – 55km – Flagstaff – October 2 – 10,000ft elevation gain
VERTICAL (Vertical KM)
1. CALIFORNIA: Tahoe VK – Lake Tahoe – June 18
2. NEW YORK: Whiteface VK – Wilmington – Jul 10
3. COLORADO: Audi Power of 4 VK – Aspen Snowmass – August 6
4. MONTANA: Lone Peak VK – Big Sky – September 2
5. ARIZONA: Flagstaff Sky Race VK – Flagstaff – October 1
Full press release can be seen at US SkyRunning.
All photos are property and courtesy of the US SkyRunning.