The 2017 Migu Run Skyrunner® World Series touched base on the island of Madeira, Portugal, on the second leg of the Sky Ultra category on Saturday, June 3.
A true “sea to sky” concept, some 200 runners from no less than 21 countries took part in the Ultra SkyMarathon® Madeira (USM), many aiming for the Series’ ranking points. The 55 km-long race is distinguished by a gruelling 4,000m verical climb and includes very technical stretches.
Briton Jonathan Albon, at his first attempt here, ran a perfectly executed race, pacing himself throughout to crush the standing record by nearly 15 minutes closing in an incredible 5h45’36”.
American Hillary Allen bettered her second position here last year to clinch her first skyrunning victory in 7h06’22”. Albon was 2016 Sky Extreme champion and both are competing for the Series’ Overall Champion* title.
“The course is amazing – from sea level, up above the clouds, mountain paths, all within a couple of hours. It’s among my top three best events. Ever!” Albon remarked. “ I knew I had to pace myself so I just decided not to go any harder than “mid-zone 3”. I really wanted to make a charge in the second half coming out of the river bed and the second climb and that’s exactly what happened!”
Frenchman Aurélien Dunand-Pallaz held the lead for the first half of the race to finish second, while Russian Dmitry Mityaev, after racing the first half in fourth, held a steady third position to the end.
Allen ran alone from start to finish, tailed by Russian Ekaterina Mityaev and New Zealander, Anna Frost. Not on her best form, the skyrunning star was forced to retire mid-way. Third place went to Elisabet Bertran from Spain.
After placing second in the first Sky Ultra just three weeks ago, Allen was a little nervous about adequate recovery. “It’s always been a big goal of mine to win a World Series skyrunning race,” she commented. “I know the course. The ridge lines are my favourite and I just love the scrambling – using my hands.” The perfect description of a true skyrunning course!
Approximately 1,000 athletes from 29 countries participated in the weekend’s Ultra SkyMarathon® Madeira events which include four distances: 55 km, 20 km, 13 km and the new Santana Vertical Kilometer® race.
After two Sky Ultra races, Dmitry Mityaev leads the ranking followed by Jonathan Albon and Timothy Freriks boasting two straight wins each. Hillary Allen heads the women’s ranking with Ekaterina Mityaeva now in second.
Just one week away, the third Sky Ultra on the eight-race calendar will take place in Switzerland on June 9 with the Scenic Trail 113k.
Ultra SkyMarathon® Madeira results
- Jonathan Albon (GBR) – 5h45’36”
- Aurélien Dunand-Pallaz (FRA) – 5h55’30”
- Dmitry Mityaev (RUS) – 6h07’23”
- Beñat Marmissolle (FRA) – 6h08’28”
- Nuno Slva (POR) – 6h11’23”
- Hillary Allen (USA) – 7h06’22”
- Ekaterina Mityaeva (RUS) – 7h34’33”
- Elisabet Bertran (ESP) – 8h35’11”
- Lúcia Franco (POR) – 8h49’15”
- Janne Geurts (GBR) – 8h54’20”